|basic per turn.|
Available on Shore:
A small-statured humanoid people, their common name of Halfling seems to have originated from a word that meant an awkward rustic teen, such that was neither a boy or man, but half of each. Very few races experience tensions with this genial and easy-going race, and a Halfling Fortress makes a good choice for that very reason.
The trademark of the Halfling race is the yeoman Farmer— an expert who can produce 3 Food where all other races harvest only 2. This and their excellent racial relations frame the Halflings as an economic race with a uniquely strong early game. They, and any race the controlling wizard captures, can commit more workers towards getting up basic buildings and units without as much care for Rebels and food upkeep. By adding experienced Slingers to these highly-reliable features, Halflings never truly lose their edge later on like a frontloaded military race does, despite their lack of advanced urban development options.
Physical Features Edit
Halflings are short and stout, barely over waist-high. They would nigh be mistaken for human children, but while children tend to be slight, fully-grown Halflings have big paunches and wide, hairy bare feet, and carry themselves in a mature but distinctly jovial way.
Pressed into combat, Halflings are unusual. While smaller and weaker than others, their low center of gravity and deft motions (normally handy for sowing crops) can throw a bigger, stronger armsman entirely off-rhythm, and for this, all Halfling units have the Lucky trait which boosts the base effectiveness of their Attack and Defense points. Of course, Halflings would greatly prefer to sup and drink with big folk, neither taking nor bringing trouble, which is usually how things pan out.
The Halflings maintain a quiet, unpretentious agrarian society. While they are civilized, they have no instinct for corporatism and grand projects. And while there is status to be had through land ownership, they have no hierarchies whatsoever. Yeoman farmers and country crafts are the virtual entirety of Halfling culture. A Halfling town is a monolith of honest, hard-working, and comfortable middle class. Most outsiders find this civilization dull, truth be told, but entirely nonthreatening.
Under the influence of a Wizard in Master of Magic, though, swift changes could get under way. An enterprising war leader can bring out the Halflings' hidden potential for fast expansion, disciplined fighting formations, and building lasting religious strongpoints— all the while putting a "good face forward" to keep other races in line under his banner. Their excellent food and easy-going society softens the rough edges of imperialism. Useful.
A wizard could be aided all the more by the simple fact that between the strength, sophistication, and brutality of other races, Halfling ascendancy seems like the most ludicrous scenario imaginable. It would represent the triumph of the simple life; few among the races but the rival wizards themselves would even protest. Halfling governors shrug off intrigues and stick to the boilerplate. The food always reaches the table.
Halflings are the physically-weakest race in the game. However, all Halfling troops have the Lucky ability which confers minor spell resistance, and more critically, heightened abilities To Hit and To Block. Furthermore, ranged combat does not rely on physical strength at all. Halfling ranged attacks retain full strength and have enhanced accuracy.
Halflings train unusually large companies in their units in some cases; their Swordsmen and Slingers have 8 figures apiece and thus perform unusually well under spells which boost figure stats, such as Giant Strength or Heroism. But Halflings are not a martial race, and their standard troops are 50% more expensive to produce than the "baseline" templates for those units.
The race's military development basically halts in the mid-game with the advent of Slingers. To keep 4-foot-high stone-throwers viable in later stages, the wizard needs to train teams of them to high Experience Levels, minimizing their losses to this end, and use magical buffs. But deployed properly, Slingers are a strategy unto themselves. Large packs of Slingers can overload their enemies' defenses with strong, accurate missile fire.
Army List Edit
|Halfling Swordsmen||30||1||8||1||2||2||6||1||Lucky, Large Shield|
|Halfling Bowmen||45||1||6||1||1||1||1||6||1||Ranged Attack x8, Lucky|
|Halfling Shamans||75||1||4||1||1||2||3||8||1||Ranged Attack x4, Lucky, Healer, Purify|
|Halfling Settlers||90||1||1||1||1||6||10||Lucky, Create Outpost|
|Slingers||100||1||8||1||1||2||2||6||1||Ranged Attack x6, Lucky|
Force Composition Edit
Halflings do not possess a sufficient variety of units nor sufficient high-tier units to allow making very powerful armies. The Halfling army will often require some support from other units.
Large armies of Halfling Spearmen and Halfling Swordsmen will eventually wind up as garrisons, supplanted on the combat front by Slingers. Any of these units will fare better if supported by Halfling Shamans, but at 75 and only 4 Hits, the wizard may wish to avoid using shamans in attacks on ranged defenders and rival wizards (who love hitting vulnerable targets with their heaviest ordnance at the start of combat).
Experience is of great importance to the Halflings' Multi-Figure Units. Buffing and careful use of high-level hordes of Slingers is highly popular among players.
Halfling Settlers are the only way to create a new Halfling town. Halflings are very productive and have a surprisingly effective military, and there are plenty of cases where a player will want to expand into an unpopulated area, and must create Halfling Settlers to do so.
Place new Halfling settlements in the most fertile, mineral-poor terrain, where great food surpluses are possible with just a few townsfolk and there is little concern over erecting expensive Town Buildings like, in a different race's case, the Animists' Guild. These breadbasket towns can jumpstart a small domain and feed an empire. Concurrently, as Slingers are such a solid unit and Halflings can build Alchemists' Guilds, consider seeking a prime location near sources of Mithril, Coal, Iron, or even Adamantium to capitalize on these deadly ranged units.
Halfling Settlers, like all other Settlers, are quite vulnerable. Do not expose them to combat.
Halfling Spearmen possess the racial Halfling ability called Lucky. This confers a few advantages, mainly a +10% To Hit bonus which applies to their Melee Attack, delivering a little bit of extra damage as a result - particularly as the unit gains more Experience. While it doesn't make Halfling Spearmen very dangerous, it does increase their effectiveness by a small amount.
Lucky also bestows a +10% To Block bonus, which will help protect Halfling Spearmen from physical damage, and a +1 Resistance bonus (on top of an innate racial +2) which will greatly help prevent enemy magic from taking effect on these Spearmen.
Halfling Spearmen are 50% more expensive to produce than the "baseline" Spearmen template, which really isn't a big difference. Fortunately, Upkeep Costs are not higher, and Halfling empires should be able to maintain a very large number of Halfling Spearmen to defend themselves and to quell unrest later in the game.
On the upside, Halfling Swordsmen possess the racial Halfling ability called Lucky, which confers a +10% To Hit bonus to their Melee Attack, delivering a little bit of extra damage as a result - particularly as the unit gains more Experience. Furthermore, the unit contains 8 figures by default, giving an increase of about 33% to their overall damage output - at least when the unit is at full numbers.
On the other hand, Halfling Swordsmen have a reduced Melee Attack strength of only 2, which means that individually each Swordsman is weaker. This more than nullifies the bonus from both Lucky and the increased number of figures.
Lucky also bestows a +10% To Block bonus, which will help protect Halfling Swordsmen from physical damage, and a +1 Resistance bonus (on top of an innate racial +2) which will greatly help prevent enemy magic from taking effect on these Swordsmen. With 8 Figures in the unit, the Halfling Swordsmen are also significantly harder to destroy, even with powerful attacks.
Halfling Swordsmen are 50% more expensive to produce than the "baseline" Swordsmen template, which fortunately isn't a big difference. Halfling empires should be able to maintain a large number of Halfling Swordsmen to defend themselves and to quell unrest later in the game.
Halfling Bowmen possess the racial Halfling ability called Lucky. This confers a few advantages, mainly a +10% To Hit bonus which applies to both their Ranged Attack and Melee Attack. Both attacks will deliver a little bit of extra damage as a result, particularly as the unit gains more Experience. While it doesn't make Halfling Bowmen very dangerous, it does somewhat help offset distance penalties when shooting.
Lucky also bestows a +10% To Block bonus, which will help protect Halfling Bowmen from physical damage, and a +1 Resistance bonus (on top of an innate racial +2) which will greatly help prevent enemy magic from taking effect on these Bowmen.
Halfling Bowmen are 50% more expensive to produce than the "baseline" Bowmen template, though Upkeep Costs are not higher. Thus, most Halfling empires should be able to maintain many Halfling Bowmen. Nonetheless, these are often replaced by the much-stronger Slingers unit by the start of the mid-game portion.
The Halfling Shamans' primary advantage is their racial Lucky ability, which is primarily good for defense: It gives the Halfling Shamans a 40% To Block chance by default, and raises their Resistance quite high - coupled with an innate +2 Resistance bonus! Thus, Halfling Shamans are somewhat less at risk when entering combat.
This makes Halfling Shamans a good army-support unit. It can follow armies around to improve their healing rates, as described earlier in this article, and are not at too much of a risk if the army they're healing suddenly enters combat.
Furthermore, for Halfling empires, it should be no problem to maintain plenty of Halfling Shamans, and thus have them following each and every army. Non-Halfling empires may or may not be able to enjoy this benefit, but any Halfling Shamans acquired will still usually be put to use near the front lines.
Also, the Lucky trait gives Halfling Shamans a +10% To Hit bonus, which improves their Damage output by a small amount. On the other hand they get -1 Melee Attack strength, and thus rely much more on their Magical Ranged Attack.
Halfling Shamans are also 50% more expensive to produce than the "baseline" template, and have an Upkeep Cost of 2 per turn. While Halfling empires can front the maintenance with little effort, the increased production cost delays their initial appearance.
Slingers have a weak Ranged Missile Attack and an even weaker Melee Attack, at least before the unit gains Experience. However this weakness is somewhat deceptive, for two reasons: For one, the unit contains 8 Slingers, and each Slinger makes a separate attack. The other reason is the unit's Lucky trait, which bestows a +10% To Hit bonus, increasing its damage output (among other bonuses). A horde of Experienced Slingers can be dangerous to most other units - though each Slingers unit is individually vulnerable.
- Note: The Slingers' Ranged Attack is marked as being a Ranged Boulder Attack. However, for all intents and purposes this is treated by the game as a Ranged Missile Attack.
Slingers are essentially a step up from Halfling Bowmen, but provide enough of an advantage to make them both distinct and superior to Bowmen, and essentially make up the backbone of all Halfling armies.
The Trireme is a Ship which can transport up to 2 Walking units across bodies of water. Triremes are not particularly effective as warships or cargo vessels, but they are earliest available ship and the only ship which Halflings are capable of building on their own.
All Halfling Towns contain Halfling citizens. These have the same output of most other citizens, at 2 per Worker, but because of their nature they will produce 3 Food and 0.5 Production per Farmer which gives Halfling towns 50% more food per turn than most other towns.
Halfling citizens look like this:
The only end-stage Town Building available in Halfling society is the Cathedral. Religious institutions may seem redundant with the race's already-amicable relations overland, but the structures' Mana output will nonetheless be of interest to Wizards who are leaning on Fantastic Armies or possess the Dark Rituals Spell.
Other than this, expect Halfling towns to gear up for either producing lots of Slingers or lots of surplus Food, since more abstract goals are barred to them. Despite the scarcity of grand projects, Halflings are highly reliable creatures; their economy starts on level footing and remains that way for the duration of the game. A Halfling town which gets the basics up and coasts along with Housing or Trade Goods will serve the Wizard well.
Halfling initial and end-stage productivity is compared below, taking into account the extent of productivity-enhancing Town Buildings available to this race, and assuming a Tax Rate of 2 Gold for comparative purposes.
|Halfling Farmer||3, ½, 2||3, 1, 3|
|Halfling Worker||2, 2||4, 3|
The Building Chart Edit
The chart below shows all Town Buildings that can be constructed in Halfling towns, as well as the buildings that cannot be constructed. It also shows the requirements to construct each building.
|= Not available|
|= Available only if the town is constructed next to a Shore|
|= Has no prerequisites.|
Interracial Relations Edit
Halflings enjoy the best interracial relations, and it is one of this race's main advantages. This is useful in the early stage of the game, before the wizard can afford large garrisons and unrest-quelling buildings, and onwards. Low racial tensions allow the wizard to leave the early stage sooner by boosting towns' productivity and lowering their overhead. Halflings can let even the fiercest races' cities grow large without being crippled by rebellion.
While an empire's Fortress is inside a Halfling town, all other Halfling towns belonging to this empire feel no adverse effect to their Unrest levels. Thus, the level of Unrest in each such town is based only on the current Tax Rate and other external factors.
Halflings suffer no tension at all with Dwarves, Gnolls, High Elves, High Men, Lizardmen, Nomads, Orcs, or even Trolls. So, the same applies to any such towns under the control of a Halfling empire - they feel no extra Unrest. Similarly, a Halfling town under the rule of an empire governed by any one of these races feels no extra Unrest either.
The table below breaks down all race relations regarding Halfling empires. The same values are used for Halfling towns controlled by empires of different races.
To conclude, Halflings will rarely have a problem living under the rule of most empires, and most races have no trouble living under Halfling rule. Halflings may have a hard time expanding by conquest initially, but easy relations mean that the rewards are greater when they pull it off. Conversely, Halfling towns make ideal targets for conquest by various empires.
If you possess the Move Fortress spell, or come into a situation where you are allowed to relocate your Fortress at will, this can be extremely important. Unless the planes are lopsidedly populated by Klackons or Dark Elves, a Halfling town makes an ideal target for a diverse empire's new Fortress, to minimize the Unrest in each of its other towns.
Complementary Magic Edit
The Life Realm offers impressive advantages to empires based around multi-figure Normal Units... and no empire produces more figures than a Halfling empire! From the lowly Holy Weapon and Holy Armor to the mighty Lionheart and Crusade, 8-figure Lucky Halfling units receive outsized benefits from Life's unit-enhancing spells. Slingers are especially abusive since frequently their melee and ranged attacks are both boosted. Overrunning the planes once with a massively enchanted stack of Slingers is a basic Master of Magic rite of passage.
The primary contribution of Nature Magic to a Halfling empire would be to augment or even possibly replace its armies with powerful Fantastic Units. Spells such as Giant Strength, Stone Skin, and Iron Skin which augment units by strengthening each figure and can turn Halflings into very powerful units especially considering their extra figures in some units. The Nature Summons have some very useful Fantastic Units to further augment the Halfling army.
Nature also provides Halflings with much needed mobility benefits. Given that Halflings can only build Triremes, Water Walking makes it much easier to securely move a Halfling army to new landmasses. Pathfinding, especially when paired with Endurance from Life, also makes the typically slow moving Halfling armies significantly more mobile. And Earth Lore is particularly helpful for Halflings given that they are poor at scouting yet also benefit from early military aggression. Using Earth Lore can significantly improve a Halfling Wizard's ability to select appropriate targets.
Spell Lock provides a critical layer of protection for super-enchanted Slingers. Guardian Wind, Invisibility (Spell), Magic Immunity (Spell), and Haste help turn two-sided battles into one-sided slaughters.
Chaos Magic can gradually replace reliance on Halfling Normal Units with some of the strongest Fantastic Units in the game. Until that time Chaos Magic does offer some additional spells that will increase the attack power of Normal Units, such as Flame Blade, Eldritch Weapon and Chaos Channels. To further augment your Wizard, Chaos Magic includes the most devastating global spells to use against your opponent.
Death Magic is an unconventional choice for the Halflings, but it does still offer some interesting options. In particular, Dark Rituals plays well with a Halfling empire since Halfling cities can build Cathedrals and subject races have minimal unrest penalties.