Gaze Attacks are only available to units possessing one of the three Unit Abilities that bestow such an attack, including Death Gaze, Doom Gaze, and Stoning Gaze. Each of these abilities provides the unit with a Gaze Attack that delivers one specific kind of Special Damage. The type of damage delivered by the attack determines its effect, and it can be quite different from one Gaze Attack to the next. Units that do not possess one of the Gaze Attack abilities by default will never be able to use a Gaze Attack.
Gaze Attacks are executed nearly halfway through the Melee Attack sequence, before any Melee Damage is delivered. Thus, the more enemy Figures a Gaze Attack can kill, the less danger there will be to the Gaze Attacker once the target gets the chance to retaliate. Note that Breath Attacks and/or Thrown Attacks will be executed before any Gaze Attacks take place.
Gaze Attacks may be executed by either or both of the participants in a Melee Attack. However, if both units are capable of a Gaze Attack, the initiator of the Melee Attack gets to go first, followed by the target of the Melee Attack (if it is still alive by that point).
Two of the three different kinds of Gaze Attacks, namely Death Gaze and Stoning Gaze, will always trigger a target's Magic Immunity (if present). If this occurs, the target will feel no harm from the Gaze Attack whatsoever. A Doom Gaze attack, however, does not trigger Magic Immunity.
The strength of a Gaze Attack is indicated in a unit's details panel as the value of its relevant gaze ability. For example, a unit's details panel may list "Stoning Gaze -4", "Doom Gaze 10", and so forth. This value can have different meanings depending on the type of damage delivered by the attack. For example, "Stoning Gaze -4" inflicts a -4 Resistance penalty on the target. To understand how these values work, it is best to read the article explaining the relevant ability.
The strength of a unit's Gaze Attack will likely stay the same throughout the unit's existence, and normally cannot be modified by any spells or effects. Again, specific types of gaze-related abilities may behave differently from others, so please read the relevant ability articles for more information.
Ancient mythology, and particularly Greek mythology, contains various creatures who can cause harm to anyone making eye-contact with them. Most famous of these were the Gorgons, and primarily the Medusa, whose stare could turn any creature into a solid stone statue. In the ancient tale, the only way to avoid this effect was to approach and attack the creature while observing it only through a mirror (specifically, a reflective shield).
In the world of Master of Magic, various creatures possess a similarly-deadly ability of killing purely by looking at the target. In the game, sneaky tactics involving polished shields may not be used, so any unit attacking a gazer opponent is grievously risking itself. Because only eye-contact is required, the Gaze Attacker can harm its opponent from a relatively safe (though not overly long) distance, well before physical combat ensues between the two units. Therefore, the more enemies are killed or harmed by this gaze attack, the fewer remain to harm the Gaze Attacker when physical contact finally occurs.
The effect of a Gaze Attack depends entirely on the type of Special Damage that it delivers. All Gaze Attacks deliver one damage type, and the exact type is determined by the Unit Ability that gave the unit this kind of attack.
The following table shows the three available gaze-related Unit Abilities, and the type of damage delivered by their respective Gaze Attacks:
|Icon||Name||Gaze Attack Damage Type|
|Death Gaze||Death Damage|
|Doom Gaze||Doom Damage|
|Stoning Gaze||Stoning Damage|
Death Damage and Stoning Damage are very similar, forcing each Figure in the target unit to Resist or die instantly. The "strength" of a Death Gaze or Stoning Gaze ability indicates a temporary Resistance penalty inflicted on the target to make it harder for those figures to survive the attack. The real difference between these two damage types is that each will trigger a different immunity, if present.
Doom Damage operates very differently - causing a precise number of Damage Points to the target. Unlike Physical Damage or Area Damage, it does not involve any To Hit rolls by the attacker, nor any Defense rolls by the target. Thus the amount of Damage inflicted will always be the same. That amount is indicated by the strength of the Doom Gaze ability.
Gaze Attacks and Multi-Figure Units Edit
Death Gaze and Stoning Gaze affects all Figures when targeted at a Multi-Figure unit. That is, each Figure in the target unit has to resist the effect individually, with the same penalty (if applicable), regardless of the amount of remaining Figures in either the attacking or defending unit.
In contrast, Doom Gaze is more of a direct damage ability, and will only resolve its effect once, against the lead Figure of the target unit.
What little research has been carried out on this subject indicates that Multi-Figure units execute only one Gaze Attack upon their target, regardless of how many Figures they has left. Thus, as long as the unit has at least 1 Figure remaining, its Gaze Attack is as deadly as it was when the unit was still fully healthy.
This also means that confronting an enemy Multi-Figure Gaze Attack unit is very deadly even if that unit has lost most of its Figures. Try to finish it off from a distance (with Ranged Attacks or spells) if possible, instead of risking a unit in Melee combat.
Any Death Gaze or Stoning Gaze attack performed against a target possessing Magic Immunity is completely ineffective. These Gaze Attacks will trigger that Magic Immunity, causing all damage from the attack to be completely ignored.
Execution and Sequence Edit
A unit may use its Gaze Attacks regardless of whether it is the initiator of Melee combat or its target. If both attacker and target possess a Gaze Attack, they may both use it during the fight. Therefore, a unit with a Gaze Attack is lethal both when attacking and when attacked.
|1||Thrown Attack / Breath Attack||--|
|3|| Melee Damage,|
| Melee Damage,|
As the table above shows, if both attacker and target possess a Gaze Attack, then the initiator of the Melee Attack gets to deliver its own Gaze Attack first. If the target survives, it may unleash its own Gaze Attack in retaliation. In either case, Gaze Attacks occur before either unit may inflict Melee Damage or Touch Attacks upon the other unit.
The position of the Gaze Attack on the above table gives it an important tactical advantage: if a Gaze Attack can successfully kill off one or more enemy Figures, the enemy unit will be weakened by the time stage 3 (the exchange of Melee Damage and Touch Attacks) is reached. This potentially reduces the harm caused to the Gaze Attacker by the enemy at the end of the Melee process. If a Gaze Attack manages to kill off all enemy Figures simultaneously (a not-uncommon event), then the Melee Attack process abruptly ends with victory for the Gaze Attacker!
Ground vs. Air Edit
The normal rules of combat prohibit any Walking or Swimming unit from initiating a Melee Attack against any Flying opponent. Such units may only Counter Attack to this opponent, allowing the Flying enemy to maneuver freely around them without fear of being attacked.
However, possession of a Gaze Attack by a Walking or Swimming unit allows that unit to break the rules: it may freely and voluntarily execute Melee Attacks against enemy Flying units.