- This article is about the unit ability called "Large Shield". For the magical item type that gives the same bonus, see Shield.
Large Shield's bonus applies against all types of Ranged Attacks, as well as Thrown Attacks and Breath Attacks. It does not apply against Melee Attacks. All other Attack Types ignore the target's Defense, so Large Shield has no effect against them.
Large Shield is a fairly-common ability, possessed by no fewer than 15 different Normal Units by default. The absolute majority of these are Swordsmen from the various Races (each Race has one such unit available).
The Large Shield bonus is also given to any Hero wielding a Shield item, regardless of any other bonus the item also provides. This is the only way to add the Large Shield ability to any unit that does not already possess it.
Though heavy and unwieldy, a shield is an excellent way to protect a fighter in combat. A large piece of solid material, placed between the fighter and the source of an attack, has a good chance of blocking whatever is trying to hurt that fighter. Though it is often a liability in close combat, where opponents can easily circumvent the shield's protection, it is still nonetheless particularly useful against a majority of longer-ranged attacks.
A shield is a standard piece of equipment for Swordsmen, who will greatly enjoy the protection it gives them as they strive to close in with the enemy and initiate hand-to-hand combat. Heroes may also find it beneficial, though they can easily gain access to far more effective armor instead.
The effect of the Large Shield ability is to raise the Defense score of the unit by +2, allowing it to block some extra damage when it comes under attack.
This bonus is applied automatically by the game, whenever the unit is targeted and struck by the following Attack Types:
When any such attack is executed against the Large Shield unit, the unit's Defense score is temporarily increased by exactly 2. Therefore, it can make 2 more Defense Rolls, each of which has a chance to block an extra 1 point of Damage from the attack. On average, most units will block an extra 0.6 as a result.
Note that the bonus is temporary - it applies only when making Defense Rolls against the types of attacks listed above. It does not apply to any other type of attack, even if delivered simultaneously with the above attacks. The bonus disappears immediately once the attack is concluded.
Also note that Large Shield has no effect against Melee Attacks, and neither does it apply against any Special Attack that is not listed above. The majority of Special Attacks ignore the target's Defense score anyway, forcing the target to make Resistance rolls instead - in which case Defense bonuses wouldn't help even if they were applied.
Units with Default Large Shield Edit
Each and every Swordsmen unit in the game has the Large Shield ability by default. Each Race can build one type of Swordsmen unit, so there is a total of 14 such units in the game. Furthermore, the Beastmen race has access to yet another unit with Large Shield: the Minotaurs.
Dark Elf Swordsmen
High Elf Swordsmen
High Men Swordsmen
The Large Shield ability is identical for each of these.
Acquiring Large Shield Edit
While a Hero is wearing a Shield item, he/she enjoys the Large Shield bonus whenever applicable (as described in the article above). The properties of the equipped Shield are irrelevant, even a shield with a +1 Movement Allowance bonus will also give the Large Shield ability as well.
Of course, it is important to note that Chainmail and Platemail are generally superior to a Shield when obtained through Item Crafting. Though they don't give a Large Shield bonus, they apply a constant Defense bonus of +1 and +2 respectively while worn. In the case of the Chainmail this is a little weaker - numerically - than the Large Shield bonus, but it applies against Melee Attacks (while Large Shield does not!). The Platemail's advantage over a Shield is obvious: it gives a constant +2 against all attacks, thus matching the Large Shield bonus and protecting against Melee Attacks with the same results.
However, since neither of the above bonuses apply to prefabricated items, in the cases of armor found as Treasure or bought from a Merchant, a Shield with the same Defense value will usually provide better protection than the other types of armor.