- This article is about the unit ability called "Fireball Spell". For the Chaos spell of the same name, see Fireball.
All Magicians possess the Fireball Spell ability, and they are the only units that have this ability. It cannot be added to any other unit artificially. Other units with the Caster ability may also be able to cast Fireball, but in those cases the normal rules for casting it apply instead.
Magicians have the unique ability of being able to channel magic energy via their staves into a large flaming sphere, which is hurled at the target and will explode on impact. The fireball inflicts Area Damage and can inflict serious damage, especially to Multi-Figure targets.
During each battle, it is possible to activate a unit's Fireball Spell ability exactly once. This is done by selecting that unit, clicking the "Spell" button in the combat menu, and selecting the unit's name. The game then prompts for a valid target - i.e. any enemy unit on the battlefield.
When the ability is activated, the game essentially casts the Fireball spell at the designated target. Unless countered by effects such as Counter Magic or a Node's dispelling aura, a sphere of fire will fly down from the sky, impact with the target, and deal damage to each Figure within the target unit immediately.
The strength of this Fireball is exactly 5, and cannot be increased like the actual Fireball spell. As with all Area Damage attacks, this means that the game makes 5 To Hit rolls against each individual Figure within the target unit, and each figure must separately make To Block rolls to defend itself. "Unblocked" hits are translated into Damage Points (no figure can be hit for more damage than it has HP), and applied to the unit as a whole.
Due to striking each Figure independently, the Fireball spell is much stronger against Multi-Figure units than it is against Single-Figure units. Despite being weak in strength, it has a good chance of killing a few lightly-armored Figures. The low strength, however, means that the spell will do little if any damage to any decent Single-Figure unit, and will likely be less powerful than the Magicians' Magical Ranged Attack.
Activating a unit's Fireball Spell ability costs it all of its remaining Movement Allowance for this turn. A unit that has already spent all of its Movement Points cannot use Fireball Spell until the next turn.
Targets possessing Magic Immunity or Righteousness will be completely unaffected by the Fireball, and will never suffer any damage from it. Targets with Fire Immunity will temporarily have their Defense score boosted to 50 for the purpose of blocking this spell, and thus will likely suffer no damage from it either. Avoid using the Fireball Spell ability against any such targets.
Similarly, the Defense bonus granted by Bless, Resist Elements, and Elemental Armor; and even the Large Shield ability (Swordsmen) is significant compared to the Attack Strength of this Fireball, therefore units with these effects may also make poor targets.
Fireball versus Normal attack comparison Edit
Most mid tier units have 6 figures, and Magicians are a high end unit, requiring a 1,000 investment in a Wizards' Guild. At this point, the opposing Wizards will most likely be fielding Veteran Halberdiers or better, unless they are playing races which only have access to weak units.
Against a 6 figure unit with 4 (assuming basic Veteran Halberdier stats), the Fireball ability will do 1 damage to a figure roughly 44% of the time, or roughly 2.64 figures killed per Fireball Spell. This is about 25% better than a Recruit Magician unit doing an average of 2 damage to the same target with it's Magical Ranged Attack.
At Regular and Veteran Experience Levels, the Ranged Attack damage more or less catches up, with an average damage of 2.563 (2 damage or less roughly 50% of the time, marginally worse than the Fireball Spell).
At the Elite level, the baseline Magician unit would kill 3 or more figures with the Ranged Attack roughly 88% of the time, which is significantly better than the Fireball Spell. This is because while the normal attack benefits from Attack Strength and to hit bonuses from experience levels, the Fireball Spell does not.
The figures are obviously even more in favor of the Ranged Attack for 6 figure High Men Magicians. As such, the Fireball Spell is mainly only useful with inexperienced Magicians against common multi-figure units by the time they can be recruited. However, it's also worth noting that unlike the Ranged Attack, Fireball Spell does not get weaker if the Magicians unit loses some of its figures. It is also an extra spell after exhausting their allotment of 4x Ranged Ammo.
Units with Default Fireball Spell Edit
Remember that these units also possess a strong Magical Ranged Attack, which will actually be more useful when targeting Single-Figure units. Try to target the Fireball Spell at Multi-Figure units instead, and only use it on Single-Figure units if no other units are on the battlefield and your Magicians have run out of ammunition for their ranged attack.
Acquiring Fireball Spell Edit
No known spell or effect can add the Fireball Spell ability to a unit that does not already possess it.
As a result, Magicians are the only units to have the Fireball Spell ability.