Fire Damage is a type of Physical Damage that is delivered by several different units, spells and spell effects, particularly those belonging to the Chaos Realm.
Fire Damage is similar to basic Physical Damage types (such as Melee Damage) in the way it harms the target: The attacker must make To Hit rolls to determine how many times it has hit the target, and then the target must make Defense rolls to determine how many hits it managed to block. All unblocked hits are then translated into simple Damage which is applied to the target, potentially killing one or more of its Figures.
Fire Damage is considered a sub-type of Magical Damage. This means that it is almost entirely ineffective against targets possessing Magic Immunity. On top of this, Fire Damage is almost always useless against targets possessing Fire Immunity.
Fire Damage behaves the same way as Melee Damage or Ranged Damage, except it may trigger two different kinds of immunities possessed by the target (if any), making it ineffective against such a target.
To Hit and Defense Rolls Edit
Like other types of Physical Damage, Fire Damage attempts to inflict actual Damage Points on the target. To do so, the attacker must make To Hit rolls to determine how successful the attack was, and the target may make Defense rolls to determine how much damage it managed to block.
The attacker makes a number of To Hit rolls equal to the strength of the Fire Damage attack. For example, an Ice Storm spell attacks with a strength of 6, so it makes 6 To Hit rolls. Each of these rolls results in a number between 1 and 100. For each roll that comes up equal to or lower than 30, the game registers one hit against the target.
The target then makes a number of Defense rolls equal to its current Defense score. Each roll results in a number between 1 and 100. For each roll that comes up equal to or lower than the target's current To Block score (which is usually 30 for most units), the game reduces the number of hits against the target by 1.
At the end of this process, the game tallies up the number of unblocked hits (equal to the number of registered hits minus the number of blocked hits). It then applies Damage to the target accordingly - 1 per unblocked hit.
As with all other types of Physical Damage, if the target has lost one of its Figures due to this damage it may make another set of Defense rolls to try and block more damage. The process only ends once all hits have been translated into Damage or have been blocked by these Defense rolls.
For a more thorough explanation of the process, see Physical Damage.
Fire Damage is a subset of Magical Damage. This means that whenever the target of a Fire Damage attack possesses Magic Immunity or Righteousness , that target's Defense score is raised to a whopping 50, for purposes of blocking the Fire Damage component of the attack.
Thus, when the target possesses this ability, the attack needs to be exceptionally powerful - otherwise it would have no chance of busting through 50. For example, the Fire Bolt spell can be this powerful, assuming a lot of Mana has been invested into it. Most other Fire Damage attacks, however, have virtually no chance to affect such a target.
Fire Damage is different from other Magical Damage types in that it can also trigger another immunity called Fire Immunity. In other words, if the target possesses Fire Immunity, its Defense score is also raised to 50 whenever struck by a Fire Damage attack. Again, this makes the target almost entirely impervious to any but the strongest spells or attacks.
Fire Damage vs. Immolation Damage Edit
Several fire-based effects do not actually deliver Fire Damage. Instead they deliver a damage type called Immolation Damage, which (depending on circumstance) can behave exactly like Fire Damage or completely different from it.
When Immolation Damage is used against a Single-Figure unit, it behaves exactly like Fire Damage. The process is explained above in this article, and works the same for both damage types.
However when used against Multi-Figure units, Immolation Damage is significantly more potent than Fire Damage due to the way it is processed. Instead of making a single set of To Hit rolls against the target, and allowing the target to make a single set of Defense rolls, Immolation Damage will actually strike each Figure in the target unit independently of the others. Each target figure also makes its own attempts to block the hits inflicted directed at itself. Only after all rolls have been completed is Damage applied to the target unit as a whole.
The end result is that against Multi-Figure units, Immolation Damage can inflict far more Damage than would a Fire Damage attack of similar strength. This is why a Fireball spell (delivering Immolation Damage) is often much stronger against such units than the cheaper Fire Bolt spell (delivering Fire Damage). Against Single-Figure units, Fire Bolt is much more economic, causing just as much harm for a much-lower price.
For a thorough explanation, read the Immolation Damage article.
Sources of Fire Damage Edit
Fire Damage is a fairly common Damage Type, and comes from exactly two common sources: Fire Breath, which several different units possess, and fire-based spells which all belong to the Chaos Realm.
Units with Fire Breath Edit
When a unit possessing the Fire Breath ability makes a voluntary Melee Attack against any opponent, it will first unleash a Breath Attack delivering some amount of Fire Damage. In fact, each Figure within the attacking unit makes a separate Breath Attack, so the more figures the unit contains, the more Fire Damage it delivers overall.
Breath Attacks are executed at the very beginning of the Melee combat process, before any other attack or damage is delivered by either of the combatants. Therefore, the more enemy Figures killed in this attack, the fewer remain to deliver retaliatory damage later in the combat process. This means that successful use of Fire Breath can reduce retaliatory damage to the attacker - a sort of preemptive strike.
For each unit possessing it, the Fire Breath ability has a different strength. This is indicated next to the ability icon in the unit's details panel. This indicates the amount of Fire Damage delivered by the attack, per Figure. Fire Breath can grow in strength due to many factors and magical effects, including when the unit gains Experience Levels.
For a complete list of all units possessing this ability, as well as the attack strength of each unit, see Fire Breath.
Fire Bolt Edit
At casting time, the Fire Bolt spell can be infused with additional Mana in order to make it stronger. With every extra 1 invested into the spell, it will deliver an extra 1 Fire Damage.
The spell can take up to 20 extra Mana, meaning that its strength can be increased up to 25 (i.e. delivering 25 Fire Damage points). Such a strong attack is highly likely to kill or at least heavily-injure a powerful Single-Figure unit.
Of course it is always important to remember that Fire Damage is much more effective against Single-Figure units, due to the way that Multi-Figure units defend themselves. That is why a Fireball spell, though costing much more Mana but delivering Immolation Damage is often preferable to Fire Bolt when the target contains Multiple Figures.
This leaves Fire Bolt useful primarily against weaker, or at least less-armored Single-Figure units, or when sufficient Mana to cast one of these other spells is not available.
Fire Storm Edit
Fire Storm is a Rare Instant Spell belonging to the Chaos Realm. For a base Casting Cost of 250, this spell will strike each and every enemy unit within a given overland map tile with an attack delivering 8 Fire Damage points.
This spell is particularly useful against large enemy armies, since the more units present the more Fire Damage is delivered overall. However, an attack of only 8 is relatively weak, and is unlikely to kill any targets. It does, however, injure the enemy army to some extent, and thus is often used to weaken an enemy army prior to actual battle.
Meteor Storm Edit
Meteor Storm is a Very Rare Global Enchantment belonging to the Chaos Realm. It has a basic Casting Cost of 900, and requires an extra 10 to be paid each turn for its maintenance, otherwise the spell dissipates.
One effect of the Meteor Storm is to strike each and every unit on the map (except units garrisoned inside Towns) with 4 Fire Damage points. It will do this at the start of each and every overland turn, so the longer this spell remains in effect, the more units it can potentially kill off. 4 Fire Damage is not much, but a unit repeatedly stricken by this damage may eventually be completely destroyed. If kept going long enough, Meteor Storm can literally clean the map from units - again except those that remain inside Towns and of course those that have Magic Immunity or Fire Immunity.