|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Flying Fortress is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Spell Type||Town Enchantment|
|During combat at the affected Town, units without Flying ability may not enter or leave the 4x4 tile area representing the town proper.|
Flying Fortress is a Very Rare Town Enchantment belonging to the Sorcery Magic realm. It may only be cast on a friendly Town on the overland map. For the base Casting Cost of 500, the spell's effect is to prevent Walking and Swimming units from entering or leaving the town limits during combat.
The effect lasts as long as you keep paying its Upkeep Cost of 25 per turn, or as long as it is not dispelled or canceled manually.
Note: This spell's tooltip indicates that it was originally meant to prevent enemy non-Flying units from attacking the town at all. It was also supposed to allow the town owner's Walking troops to leave the town region during the battle - only preventing them from going back in. These effects would've made Flying Fortress extremely potent, not to mention justifying its high Casting Cost and Upkeep Cost. However, due to a Known Bug, this protection does not work at all.
During any combat in a Town enchanted by Flying Fortress, the spell prevents any Walking or Swimming units from entering or exiting the town area on the battlefield.
Non-Flying Barrier EditWhen combat occurs at a Town enchanted by Flying Fortress, a "carpet" of clouds will appear underneath the 4x4 tile area representing the town proper.
Units that do not possess the Flying movement type may not cross between cloudy tiles and regular tiles - in either direction. Therefore, enemy Walking and Swimming units may not enter the town area of the battlefield, nor can Walking and Swimming units leave it.
Flying units are exempt from this effect, being able to cross between the clouds and the land without a problem. The same goes for Teleporting and Merging units which, while essentially "Walking", are allowed to move wherever they please.
Melee Combat between a unit inside the clouds and a unit outside the clouds is also prohibited, unless the attacking unit is Flying. Ranged Attacks and spells may be used normally though - from either side of the cloud barrier.
Remember that the barrier works only during combat. It does not prevent Walking units from entering (or attacking!) the town on the overland map. However, an army comprised entirely of such units may have no choice but to withdraw from the battle if it can't kill the defenders without using Melee Attacks.
Note: This enchantment affects all units on the battlefield regardless of their ownership. Therefore, while enemy units may not come into the city, friendly units may not leave. The spell was originally designed to allow the town's Walking defenders to leave the town - but prevent them from moving back in. Unfortunately this is not the case, so any Walking defenders are now trapped inside the town - sometimes to their own tactical detriment.
Usage EditFlying Fortress may only be cast on the overland map, for a basic Casting Cost of 500. It may be targeted at any friendly Town, but only if the town does not already have a Flying Fortress spell affecting it.
When the spell is cast, the game automatically opens a town-information window showing the contents of the target town. A few moments later, the ground beneath the town will turn into fluffy white clouds. Any mountains in the background will also turn to clouds. This indicates that the spell is in effect, so the clouds will remain until Flying Fortress is either Disenchanted or manually canceled.
At the start of each turn, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of 25 to keep Flying Fortress active. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of available Mana will cause the spell to dissipate immediately.
If you've placed a Flying Fortress on a town, you may remove it by examining the town's details and clicking the text reading "Flying Fortress" in the town's Enchantments list. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
As a Very Rare Sorcery spell, Flying Fortress may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 3 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Flying Fortress may not be acquired at the start of the campaign regardless of how many Spellbooks the wizard possesses. It must either be Researched during the game, or acquired through other means.
Wizards with 3 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Flying Fortress during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Sorcery Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 10 or 11 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research at some point, if it is not already available for casting.
Flying Fortress has a base Research Cost of 4,000.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, Flying Fortress may be acquired as a reward for winning encounters in creature Lairs, Towers, et cetera, or when conquering the Fortress of a rival wizard who has already researched this spell.
Due to the buggy nature of this spell (see below), Flying Fortress's usefulness may be severely impaired, especially when compared to its massive Upkeep Costs.
If the enemy casts this spell on his own towns, beware of attacking those towns with all-Walking or all-Swimming units - you may be forced to withdraw. Bring Flying units, or very powerful Ranged Attackers / Spellcasters to deal with the enemy forces hiding inside.
Note that computer-controlled wizards love Disenchanting Flying Fortresses, so casting this spell makes the town a favoured target for such spells.
Known Bugs Edit
Due to a bug or design flaw, Flying Fortress does not work exactly as described in its in-game tooltip and the game manual.
The tooltip describes it as follows:
- "Suspends a wizard's enchanted fortress far about the earth. Only flying units may enter (or attack) and leave this 'city in the clouds.' The wizard's own foot troops may enter and exit the city overland; during combat, once a foot troop (non-flying unit) leaves the floating city it cannot re-enter until the battle is over."
Unfortunately, as of patch v1.31, several of the points in that description are completely false:
- For one, enemy non-Flying units, whether alone or when stacked with other units, may attack the city freely. The spell only affects their behavior once combat has started.
- During battle, the wizard's own non-flying units may not leave the cloudy area at all - they are restricted to within the town's perimeter, and thus cannot spread out to attack enemies in the field. This is especially problematic if the enemy brought plenty of Ranged Attackers, who can just sit back and pellet the defenders with arrows or magical bolts.
- The above description mentions nothing about ground-troops in the city not being able to Melee Attack any target that's outside the clouds (and vice versa).
- Finally, the only difference that is beneficial to the caster is that this spell may freely be cast on any friendly Town, not just the one that contains the wizard's Fortress. Even a Settlement may be protected by the spell.
On the whole, these deficiencies mean that the spell's massive Upkeep Cost of 25 may not be justified for most players. This is especially true given the fact that enemy wizards will likely "bombard" the city with Disenchant Area spells to get rid of the Flying Fortress spell, whether or not they intend to invade the town - thus wasting the spell's Casting Cost and forcing the wizard to re-cast it...
In the end it's up to the player to decide whether or not this spell is truly worthwhile.