A unit or Hero possessing the Lucky ability receives a bonus of exactly +10% To Hit, +10% To Block, and +1 Resistance. Any Melee Attack on the Lucky unit is also carried out at -10% (a separate and distinct effect from the unit's own bonus To Block). Lucky therefore enhances the unit's chance to succeed in various die rolls it might be required to perform, slightly increasing both damage output and survivability.
Only 6 Normal Units possess the Lucky ability by default, all belonging to the Halfling Race. Any Hero that has at least one Random Ability pick may also occasionally acquire Lucky (25 Heroes in all).
The Lucky ability does not improve with Experience, but its percentage-based bonuses mean that improving the unit's attack and defense ratings (whether through Experience or by other means) also improves the total benefit from this ability.
There is no known way of adding Lucky to a unit that did not start the game with this ability.
Authorities on cosmic laws suggest that the race is neither to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that sometimes all it takes is just pure luck. In Master of Magic, the Lucky ability could be a mark of divine favor or a naturally-developed gift for making the most of circumstances.
Halflings are inherently lucky creatures. In a straight reenactment of fantasy tradition, they can in fact be led by a wizard to steer the course of a war. From time to time, lucky heroes may also petition to join a wizard's cause who, like the Halflings, also seem to have a strange accord with the wheels of destiny, one that drives their abilities beyond their normal limits.
To Hit Bonus Edit
Any unit possessing the Lucky ability receives a +10% To Hit bonus. This means that whenever the unit has to make To Hit rolls to determine the amount of Damage delivered to a target, the unit will win more of these rolls than it would without the Lucky ability, thus inflicting more damage on average.
To Hit rolls are used primarily when calculating the damage output of a Melee Attack and Ranged Attack. Thrown Attacks and Breath Attacks also require To Hit rolls for damage calculations, but it is currently unknown whether the Lucky ability influences these as well.
A unit's To Hit score starts at 30% by default, and may be adjusted by various magical effects, Experience Level, Magical Items (for Heroes) and innate bonuses. A unit's To Hit score is always measured in increments of 10%.
When the unit attacks, it makes a number of To Hit rolls equal to its attack strength. Each roll results in a number between 1 and 100. For each roll that comes up equal to or lower than the unit's To Hit score, the unit inflicts 1 registered hit on the target - causing 1 point of Damage if the target fails to (or cannot) block it.
As a result, adding +10% allows the unit to inflict more damage, since it will statistically win more To Hit rolls. Also, if the unit's attack strength is increased, the overall benefit from the To Hit bonus increases as well, since it is essentially a percentage-based bonus.
Note that this bonus can raise a unit's To Hit score above 100%. Values over 100% are effectively the same as 100% - meaning that the unit delivers exactly as much Damage as its attack strength. Points above 100% are only good for redundancy.
To Block Bonus Edit
Any unit possessing the Lucky ability receives a +10% To Block bonus. This means that whenever the unit has to make Defense rolls to determine the amount of Damage it has blocked from any direct-damage attack, the unit will win more of these rolls than it would without the Lucky ability, thus averting more damage on average.
To Block rolls are made whenever an attack delivers Damage to the unit (though some exceptions apply). The unit makes a number of To Block rolls equal to its Defense score. Each roll results in a number between 1 and 100. For each roll that comes up equal to or lower than the unit's To Block score, the unit averts 1 point of incoming Damage. It can potentially block all incoming damage this way.
Almost all units possess a 30% To Block chance, which means that they will normally block an amount of damage equal to 30% of the unit's Defense score. Lucky is one of the very-few effects that change a unit's To Block score. A unit's To Block score is always measured in increments of 10%.
As a result, adding +10% allows the unit to avert more damage, since it will statistically win more To Block rolls. Also, if the unit's Defense score is increased, the overall benefit from the To Block bonus increases as well, since it is essentially a percentage-based bonus.
Enemy Melee To Hit Malus Edit
Whenever a unit possessing the Lucky ability is attacked, that attack is subject to a -10% To Hit penalty. This means that whenever a lucky unit's assailant rolls for hits, less of these rolls will succeed, and the lucky target needs to mitigate fewer Damage Points with its own Defense score and accompanying rolls To Block.
This is sort of a mirror-image of the lucky To Hit Bonus described above, applying as a penalty to the attacker rather than a bonus to the lucky unit. It only applies to all To Hit rolls made during Melee Attacks (including Counter Attacks). Ranged, Thrown and Breath Attacks are not affected. Although reduced To Hit values do not change an attack's maximum potential damage, they lower the average damage output of that attack.
This aspect of Lucky is also distinct from the lucky To Block Bonus described above, and will be effective in situations where blocking might be less effective or not even occur at all, such as under an Armor Piercing or Illusionary assault. Moreover, this hit penalty affects creatures with high Resistance and even Magic Immunity, who otherwise present very difficult targets for direct penalties of this kind.
Note that this effect was removed in the unofficial 1.40n Insecticide patch.
Resistance Bonus Edit
Finally, the Lucky ability gives the unit a +1 Resistance bonus. This will help the unit's chances of succeeding any Resistance roll it is forced to make when trying to fend off enemy spells or certain Special Attacks.
A large number of spells, including primarily Unit Curses, will force a unit to make one or more Resistance rolls. Each roll results in a number between 1 and 10. If the number comes up equal to or lower than the unit's Resistance score, the unit is said to have won the roll, and has therefore averted the ill effect that the enemy was trying to inflict upon it.
Units can have very different Resistance scores by default, with some already having a score so high that it will avert any ill effect even without additional bonuses. The majority of units, however, will find a +1 Resistance bonus, albeit small, quite welcome.
Improvement Table Edit
Both the Unit Ability and the Hero Ability named "Lucky" do not improve with Experience Level. In fact, Lucky is one of the few Hero Abilities that does not improve with Experience. Nonetheless, as explained above, both the To Hit and To Block bonuses given by this ability are percentage-based bonuses, and will give an overall greater benefit as the unit's attack strength and/or Defense scores improve - which they normally will, thanks to Experience and other effects.
Units with Default Lucky Edit
Acquiring Lucky Edit
There is no known method of adding Lucky to a unit that does not possess it when the game begins.
Lucky as a Random Ability Edit
The Lucky ability is found in all Random Ability categories. Any Hero with at least one Random Ability pick may occasionally acquire it at random, at the very start of the game. There are no fewer than 25 different Heroes in the game that may do so: