Defense is a unit property indicated by a row of Shields near the top of a unit's details window. It signifies the unit's ability to block incoming Physical Damage, such as caused by most Melee Attacks, Ranged Attacks, and a variety of offensive spells.
The unit's Defense score is used whenever Physical Damage is applied to it. Each Shield has a basic 30% chance of blocking 1 point of Damage from hurting the unit. These odds may be increased or decreased by a few magical effects, but will otherwise be 30% for almost all units.
Concept Overview Edit
A unit's Defense score indicates its ability to block, dodge or otherwise avert incoming damage. Both armor and agility are factored into this score, so both nimble and well-armored targets may have a high Defense score.
When a unit is struck by Physical Damage, it may make a single Defense roll for each Shield it has. Each successful roll will block exactly 1 point of Damage. Therefore, the more Shields a unit has, the more Damage it can potentially block.
Multi-Figure units may make more Defense rolls than their listed number of Shields - but this only occurs when one or more of these figures is killed off during the course of a single attack. When a figure is killed off, the next figure in the unit makes the same listed number of Defense rolls in order to prevent further Damage to itself. If this figure is also killed despite the additional rolls, the next figure steps up to make the same number of rolls to prevent further damage - and so on and so on. The process only ends once all Damage has either been dealt or blocked - or once the unit runs out of figures (and is thus destroyed entirely).
Defense from Physical Damage Edit
- Main article: Physical Damage
Physical Damage is the most common Damage Type in the game, and is most often dealt by Melee Attacks, Ranged Attacks, and direct-damage spells like Ice Bolt or Fire Bolt. Other sources of Physical Damage include Thrown Attacks, Breath Attacks, and occasionally a few others.
Physical Damage is distinguishable from other types of damage because it forces the attacker to make To Hit rolls in order to determine the accuracy of its attack. Each successful roll registers one "hit" on the target, and will potentially cause 1 point of Damage to the target if it goes unblocked.
Fortunately, Physical Damage allows the defender to make Defense rolls, in an attempt to block, dodge or otherwise avert any successful hits from the attacker.
Defense Rolls Edit
Therefore, a unit with 10 may make 10 Defense Rolls - potentially averting up to 10. However, due to the random nature of these rolls, it is more likely that the unit will block somewhere between 0 and 10.
A unit's chance of success with each roll is called the "To Block" chance. By default, it is exactly 30%, and only a scant few effects can alter it.
With each Defense Roll, the program randomizes a number between 1 and 100. If it comes up equal to or lower than the unit's To Block score, the roll is considered "successful" and will block 1. If the roll comes up higher than the unit's To Block score, that particular roll is failed and will not block damage.
- During a Physical Damage attack, the attacker registers 10 successful hits on some target. If no Defense rolls were allowed, that target would suffer exactly 10.
- Assuming that no special conditions apply, the normal rules of Physical Damage allow the target unit to make Defense rolls. The target possesses a Defense score of 10, and a To Block score of 30.
- The target therefore rolls 10 random numbers, each between 1 and 100. Any roll that comes up 30 or lower will negate exactly one hit.
- If, for example, three rolls are successful, then the number of incoming hits is reduced by 3. Therefore, the target will only suffer 10-3 = 7 points of Damage.
- If all 10 rolls are successful, the target unit suffers no damage - having averted all hits!
- Conversely, if all 10 rolls fail, the target will suffer all 10 hits, translated into 10 points of Damage.
Multi-Figure Unit Defense Edit
A Multi-Figure unit may be able to make more Defense rolls than the number of Shields in its details window would indicate. This occurs only when one of the figures in the unit is killed off during an attack - allowing the next figure to step up and make a whole new series of Defense rolls.
The process goes as follows:
- The attacker makes the necessary To Hit rolls to determine its accuracy, resulting in a number of hits registered against the target unit.
- The "lead" figure in the target unit makes a number of Defense Rolls equal to the number of Shields possessed by the unit.
- Any Damage that has not been averted by the Defense Rolls will hurt this specific figure.
- If sufficient Damage has been caused to this figure, it will die. The next figure then steps up to the "lead" position, and will try and avert the remainder of the damage.
- This new "lead" Figure now makes a number of Defense rolls equal to the number of Shields possessed by the unit.
- Any Damage that has not been averted will hurt this specific figure.
- And so on and so on, until:
The common result of this process is that Multi-Figure units are significantly more durable than their Defense score might indicate. They are significantly hard to kill using a single, powerful attack - often requiring several attacks to destroy the entire unit. This gives them great survivability comparable to heavily-armored Single-Figure units.
Of course, the caveat is that with each figure the unit loses, it also becomes much weaker offensively. This means that while the unit is more survivable, just a few lost figures can make it ineffective. It might survive overall, but will no longer contribute as much to the battle.
- A High Men Cavalry is being attacked. Lets assume that this unit is undamaged, meaning that it still has all 4 figures present. Each figure in this unit has 3 Hit Points. The unit's Defense score is 2.
- The unit's attacker makes 7 successful To Hit rolls, scoring a total of 7 hits. Potentially, this should cause 7 to the High Men Cavalry, killing two of the Cavalrymen and slightly injuring another one.
- The "lead" figure in the High Men Cavalry unit makes its Defense rolls. Since the unit has a Defense score of 2, this cavalryman may make 2 separate rolls. Each roll has a 30% chance to avert one hit.
- The cavalryman rolls two numbers: 51 and 18. Only one of these rolls is lower than or equal to 30, so we can say that the cavalryman has succeeded in one Defense roll. This means that the number of inflicted hits is reduced to 7-1 = 6.
- Since the poor cavalryman only has 3, 3 Damage points are inflicted on him, killing him on the spot. The next cavalryman then steps up, ready to absorb the remaining 3.
- This next cavalryman then gets to make 2 Defense rolls of his own! He rolls better than the previous man: 4 and 29. Both of these rolls are equal to or lower than 30, so he can be said to have made two successful Defense rolls, blocking exactly 2 of the remaining damage points. This leaves 1 Damage unblocked, which is now inflicted on this cavalryman.
- Therefore, despite having a Defense score of only 2, the unit has made a total of 4 Defense rolls. 2 were made by the first cavalryman, who failed to protect himself and died valiantly. The second cavalryman then got a fresh chance, making an additional 2 defense rolls and saving himself. Had this cavalryman also been killed, the next one would also have been able to make 2 defense rolls.
- As a result of this mechanism, Multi-Figure units are often considered to be significantly more resilient than Single-Figure units. The more Figures are present, the more damage can potentially be blocked from any attack, thus increasing the number of attacks required to destroy the whole unit.
- On the other hand, each Cavalryman the unit loses will reduce its offensive strength by 25%. Therefore, although the High Men Cavalry unit survived this powerful attack relatively intact, it did lose 1 Figure and with it a significant chunk of the unit's combat effectiveness.
Anti-Armor Damage Types Edit
Some attacks have an easier time getting through the target's Defenses. They do this by delivering Physical Damage along with another type of damage responsible for making the target less capable of defending itself. This is called "tandem damage delivery".
There are two Damage Types that can be delivered in tandem with Physical Damage. They are called Illusion Damage and Armor Piercing Damage. These damage types are responsible for reducing or eliminating the target's Defense score temporarily, just long enough for the Physical Damage component of the attack to get through and severely hurt the target.
Illusion Damage Edit
- Main article: Illusion Damage
Illusion Damage can be added to a Physical Damage attack in one of two ways: Either the attacker possesses the Illusion ability, or it is a Hero holding a Magical Weapon imbued with a "Phantasmal" Item Power. The results are the same in both cases.
When an attack delivers Illusion Damage in tandem with Physical Damage, the Illusion Damage component completely prevents the target from making any Defense Rolls. The Physical Damage then strikes the target, exploiting this weakness.
As a result, even the most heavily-armored targets (i.e. targets with very high Defense) are helpless against this kind of attack, and will suffer as much Damage as the attack manages to deliver successfully (based on the number of successful To Hit rolls made by the attacker).
This effect can only be averted if the target possesses Illusions Immunity. This ability negates the effect of the Illusion Damage component, meaning that the target is allowed to make Defense Rolls as normal against the incoming Physical Damage component of the attack.
Armor Piercing Damage Edit
- Main article: Armor Piercing Damage
Armor Piercing Damage is found as a tandem component in several different Physical Damage attacks. It is often called "Lightning Damage" because many lightning-based spells deliver it (particularly Lightning Bolt), but many units also possess the Armor Piercing ability which does the same thing.
When an attack delivers Armor Piercing Damage and Physical Damage in tandem, the Armor Piercing Damage component temporarily halves the target's Defense, allowing the Physical Damage component to get through more easily. In other words, the target may only make half as many Defense Rolls as it normally would when trying to block this Physical Damage.
Given that Armor Piercing Damage cuts the target's Defense by exactly 50%, it can be seen as more effective against heavily-armored targets than it is against lightly-armored targets.
Defense from Immolation Damage Edit
- Main article: Immolation Damage
Other than Physical Damage, there is exactly one more Damage Type that will force its target to make Defense rolls. It is called Immolation Damage, and is delivered by a wide variety of spells and effects, most of which are available only to Chaos wizards. It is also delivered by the Doom Bat, thanks to its special ability called "Immolation".
However, when delivered against a Multi-Figure unit, Immolation Damage behaves very differently. Though the process is too complex to explain here in great detail (refer to the Immolation Damage article for that), the bottom line is that the more figures there are in the target unit, the more Immolation Damage is inflicted against that unit - making it exceptionally dangerous to Multi-Figure units.
As explained earlier, Physical Damage forces only the "lead" figure in the unit to make Defense rolls, and only the "lead" figure will suffer Damage. If that figure dies, the next figure steps up and repeats the process.
With Immolation Damage this process is completely altered: each Figure is struck simultaneously by an equal amount of Immolation Damage, which makes To Hit rolls against each figure, and records the number of hits registered against each figure separately. Each figure then makes a number of Defense rolls equal to the unit's Defense score, in order to try and avert the hits registered only at itself.
At the end of this complicated process, the game tallies up all of the unblocked hits to all figures in the unit, translates these hits into Damage, and applies the Damage to the unit as a whole - killing figures one by one in order.
Special Damage Edit
- Main article: Special Damage
All Damage Types that are classified as neither Physical Damage nor Immolation Damage are known as Special Damage. What makes them special is that they do not require any To Hit rolls, and do not allow the target to make any Defense rolls. Furthermore, the majority of these Damage Types do not even cause Damage Points to the target - they usually apply some other effect, such as outright killing figures regardless of how much Health they have remaining, and so forth.
Special Damage is often delivered by Special Attacks, or by certain spells. In all cases, if the target has any chance of averting this damage, it is through making Resistance rolls instead of Defense rolls. Thus, Special Damage attacks are often preferable against heavily-armored targets, especially when they have a low Resistance score.
Many units in the game possess abilities known as "Immunities", and there are many different types of immunities available. Each of these is meant to make the unit possessing it much more resilient (or completely invulnerable) to one or more Damage Types or spells.
A large number of immunities do this by raising the target's Defense score temporarily by a large amount, whenever the immunity is triggered. The large boost of Defense usually allows the target to block all incoming damage from the attack, thus effectively making the target "immune" to this damage.
The following table lists each Defense-based immunity, as well as the Defense rating it gives a unit when triggered, and the Damage Types that trigger that specific immunity.
|Cold Immunity||50||Cold Damage|
|Fire Immunity||50||Fire Damage, Immolation Damage|
|Magic Immunity||50||Ranged Damage delivered by a Ranged Magical Attack|
|Missile Immunity||50||Ranged Damage delivered by a Ranged Missile Attack|
|Weapon Immunity||10 *||Melee Damage delivered by a Normal Unit or Hero not equipped with magical weapons. **|
* Weapon Immunity only raises the target's Defense score to 10. It thus has no effect for units that already have more than 10.
** Normal Units can get a magical attack in various ways, including from Alchemists' Guilds and from spells. Heroes can hold Magical Weapons to get the same result - not triggering a target's Weapon Immunity.
Large Shields Edit
- Main article: Large Shield
This gives the unit holding the Large Shield better survivability against such attacks, so long as they deliver only Physical Damage. If other types of damage are involved, they may or may not go through the Large Shield unimpeded.
Unmitigated Changes Edit
|Adamantium Weapon||+2 (requires Alchemists' Guild and a nearby Adamantium Ore)|
|Mithril Weapon||+1 (requires Alchemists' Guild and a nearby Mithril Ore)|
|Stone Skin||+1 (non-cumulative with Iron Skin)|
|Holy Armor||+2 (normal units only)|
|High Prayer||+2 for all friendly units|
|Holy Bonus||+1 or +2 for all friendly units|
|Chaos Channels||normal unit gets +6 (resp. +3 in v1.40) if Demon Skin is rolled|
|Black Channels||+1 (normal units become Undead)|
|Black Prayer||-1 for all enemy units|
|Mind Storm||-5 if unit hasn't Illusions Immunity or Magic Immunity|
|Vertigo||-1 if unit fails to resist|
|Warp Creature||Defense might be halved (rounded down) if unit fails to resist|
|Berserk||Defense is reduced to 0 but Melee strength doubled|
|Chaos Node Aura||+2 for all units associated with Chaos (including Chaos Channeled units)|
|Nature Node Aura||+2 for all units associated with Nature|
|Sorcery Node Aura||+2 for all units associated with Sorcery|
|Darkness|| +1 for all units associated with Death (including Undead units);|
-1 for all units associated with Life;
Cloud of Shadow and Eternal Night have same effect
|True Light|| +1 for all units associated with Life;|
-1 for all units associated with Death (including Undead units);
Heavenly Light has same effect
|Agility||up to +9 (up to +13 if Super Agility)|
|Sword||up to +3|
|Mace||up to +1|
|Shield||up to +6 (and Large Shield)|
|Chainmail||up to +7|
|Platemail||up to +8|
|Jewelry||up to +4|
Note: Normal Units can also improve Defense by gaining Experience Levels. There are some spells and abilities that may help to increase Level or Experience, namely: Heroism, Altar of Battle, Crusade, Warlord retort and Armsmaster hero ability.
Order of Operations for Resolving Defense and Immunities Edit
This section covers the step-by-step order in which the game applies modifiers to Defense during a combat action. Details about these factors are explained above in this article, as well as on their own respective pages.
|1||Base Figure Defense;|
|2|| Any Ranged Attack|
Any Breath Attack
Any Spell damage
|4|| Ranged Magical Attack|
|5|| Ranged Magical Attack|
|6||Armor Piercing|| Divide by 2|
|7|| Non-magical Melee Attack|
Non-magical Ranged Missile
|Raise to 10|
|8||Ranged Missile Attack||
||Raise to 50|
|9||Fire / Cold Damage||Raise to 50|
|10|| Ranged Magical Attack|
|Raise to 50|
|11|| Ranged Magical Attack|
|Raise to 50|
|12||Illusion||Lower to 0|
|| Add +3|
|14||Lower to 0|
|15||Chaos (Item Power)||Lower to 0|
Examples and Quirks Edit
Events lower (thus later) in the order of operations will supersede the earlier ones. The procedure usually generates combat results that make perfect sense, but will also also yield some that are unexpected. Ranged attacks and counters, in particular, may be difficult to predict due to color associations. The following examples may help illustrate how these defensive buffs function.
- Paladins have magic immunity, raising their defense against the attack to 50. Subsequently, Aerie's Illusion attack ability lowers their defense to 0, since the Paladins are not immune to illusions. They are behind City Walls, though, and these factor in later than Illusion, so the Paladins' final defense score is 3.
- Reywind is one of the heroes with a flex weapon slot. Whether this works depends on the type of weapon Reywind has equipped. If he wields a Staff, the mod applies to his ranged attack, the drake's 50 against ranged magic (as well as any other factors in play) will be completely ignored, and an exact level of Damage will be guaranteed. If he wields a melee weapon, though, he would have to go into melee with the Sky Drake in order for this mod to take effect.
- Normal Javelineers throw a volley at a unit with a base defense score of under 10, Weapon Immunity, and Missile Immunity
- First, melee with Ghouls triggers Bless, giving the target +3. That is the extent of the defense score interactions in this case. Righteousness will be checked down-the-line but will not trigger, since this was a melee engagement. These enchantments will also help resist the Ghouls' poison, for what it's worth, but will not stave off the effects of Create Undead if the target is killed primarily by ghouls.
- Wizard casts Fire Storm on an army of Chaos creatures
- Each unit on the map tile will be subjected to 8 Area Damage. Area Damage brings about one attack for each figure currently in the unit, and each of these is defended against separately (any Hell Hounds would receive 4 attacks, Fire Giants 1x, Hydras 9x, and so on). To the point, their base defense scores are loaded first, and then Fire Immunity where applicable, such that each fire-immune figure will defend against the attack series with 50.