|Spell Type||Summoning Spell / Instant Spell|
|Target friendly Normal Unit is instantly and permanently transformed into a unit of Werewolves.|
Lycanthropy is an Uncommon Summoning Spell belonging to the Death Magic realm. It is entirely different from all other Summoning Spells in several ways, and could even be thought of as a special form of Instant Spell.
Lycanthropy has a base Casting Cost of 180, and must be targeted at a friendly Normal Unit on the overland map. It will instantly turn that unit into Werewolves - a 6-figure Fantastic Unit of the Death realm, with interesting and potentially powerful combat properties. Therefore in practice, Lycanthropy is a Summoning Spell which requires the "sacrifice" of a Normal Unit.
The transformation is entirely permanent and cannot be undone in any way. The original unit is not "Enchanted" with Lycanthropy, it is simply transformed into a completely different unit. In fact, the resulting Werewolves unit will always be the same - completely regardless of the properties of the original unit.
Lycanthropy has no Upkeep Costs - the spell itself is gone immediately after taking effect. However, the resulting Werewolves unit costs 5 per turn to maintain. If this Mana is not duly paid, the Werewolves are destroyed; they do not revert to their previous form.
Lycanthropy mutates a friendly Normal Unit into a specific kind of Fantastic Unit called Werewolves. This completely new unit belongs to the Death Realm, and has completely new combat properties and abilities. The transformation is permanent and cannot be undone.
- Main article: Werewolves
|# of figures||6|
|Melee Attack per figure||5|
|Defense per figure||1|
|Hit Points per figure||5|
+10% To HitDeath Immunity
The Werewolves are a 6-figure unit of Fantastic Creatures, associated with the Death Realm. The unit possesses a relatively-strong Melee Attack, though it has barely any Defense. Ample Hit Points and the innate ability to Regenerate give the unit a rather fearsome reputation, as do all the various immunities it gets thanks to being a Death creature.
Lycanthropy will always create the same unit of Werewolves whenever it is cast, regardless of the state, properties, or abilities of the original target unit. Note however that two things do get left over from the original - Unit Enchantments and Damage (more on this below).
- Since this is no longer a Normal Unit, it cannot be targeted by spells that require a normal target.
- The Werewolves are associated with the Death realm, and so will be affected by spells that can only affect such creatures (for good or for bad).
- Fantastic Units do not have an Experience level, and do not collect Experience points.
- Finally, note that all Fantastic Units are said to have a Magical Melee Attack (in regard of ignoring Weapon Immunity, not in regard of increasing To Hit) - unlike Normal Units that would need to acquire it in some way or another.
The Werewolves cannot revert to their original form under any circumstances. The original unit is gone for good.
Retained Properties Edit
After the transformation is complete, the original unit's properties are lost entirely. It no longer possesses any of its abilities, innate bonuses, or even basic combat properties like Ranged Attacks or its former Resistance score and so forth.
The unit also loses any Experience points it has garnered so far. As a Fantastic Creature, the resulting Werewolves do not have an Experience level and cannot gain any Experience Points. Therefore it's usually wise to avoid casting this spell on a unit that's earned plenty of Experience - you get the same results casting Lycanthropy on a "Recruit" unit as you do on an "Elite" one.
When creating the new Werewolves unit, the unit retains exactly as much Damage as it had before the transformation. Essentially, after creating a fully-healed Werewolves unit (with its 5 Hit Points per figure), the game deducts the inherited Damage from the unit's total Hit Points. It kills off any Werewolf figures as necessary.
Damage Example Edit
- A unit of 8 Barbarian Spearmen has 1 Hit Point per Figure, for a total of 8 Hit Points.
- Lycanthropy is cast on this unit. It is instantly transformed into a 6-figure unit of Werewolves, with the default 5 Hit Points each, for a total of 30.
- The 6 suffered by the original unit is now deducted from the new unit's health. In other units, the new Werewolves unit suffers exactly 6.
- This is enough to kill one Werewolf figure (for 5) and inflict 1 extra damage to the next Werewolf. Therefore, this new unit starts life with only 5 figures, the last of which is slightly damaged.
- The unit may heal this damage over time, and will do so constantly during battle thanks to its innate Regeneration. In fact, the next time its army wins a battle, any figures still missing will be restored to life with full health!
Unit Enchantments Edit
In what is likely a design oversight, the new Werewolves unit gets to keep most (if not all) Unit Enchantments that were in effect on the original unit at the time of the casting of Lycanthropy. All these enchantments will continue benefiting the unit as they did before.
However, it has an important side-effect: it allows the new unit to possess Unit Enchantments that cannot normally target it.
In other words, the new unit, which is essentially a Fantastic Unit for all intents and purposes, can keep Unit Enchantments that cannot target Fantastic Units at all. For example, an Eldritch Weapon spell cast on the original unit will carry over to the Werewolves, even though it is not legal to cast this spell on a Werewolves unit.
If such a Unit Enchantment is ever dispelled, it is not possible to cast it on the Werewolves again - since they are not an actual valid target for it. Nonetheless, as long as the Werewolves keep the enchantment, they continue to enjoy its bonuses as normal.
The Sacrifice Edit
Unlike other Summoning Spells, Lycanthropy must be targeted at an existing friendly Normal Unit. In effect, that unit is sacrificed (completely destroyed) and completely replaced by a brand new unit of Werewolves.
The original unit ceases to exist completely. It cannot be restored in any way.
Most of the unit's original properties are completely discarded and replaced by the default properties and abilities of a Werewolves unit. As explained in the section above, the new unit does keep Damage and Unit Enchantments, but everything else is lost - including any Experience the unit had gathered up to the time of the transformation.
In other words, it doesn't matter if the original unit was comprised of fearsome Doom Drakes, common Klackon Halberdiers, even lowly Settlers or a single Catapult; the end result is a basic unit of Werewolves, with all the physical and metaphysical traits that Werewolves possess.
Therefore, Lycanthropy is often best cast at units that are weak, cheap or common - rather than powerful, expensive or unique units. The result is the same, so there is no point in wasting a powerful unit by turning it into Werewolves. There are some cases where Werewolves (and their specific special abilities) are required desperately enough to make it worth sacrificing a high-end unit - but they are few.
If the desired target is in an overland army stack, click on that stack to get a list of units inside it, and then select your desired unit.
Lycanthropy may only be cast on the overland map, and has a base Casting Cost of 180. Although normally considered a Summoning Spell, Lycanthropy is often considered an Instant Spell because of the need to target it at a specific unit - which will then be destroyed and entirely replaced by the new Werewolves. There is no other Summoning Spell that behaves in this way.
As explained earlier, the targeted unit's properties are almost entirely disregarded - resulting in almost the exact same Werewolves unit being created each time the spell is used. Therefore, it does not matter whether you cast this spell on Settlers or on a Stag Beetle - the resulting unit is almost always identical.
Lycanthropy does not act as a Unit Enchantment - the spell itself is gone as soon as it is cast. The new Werewolves unit is not considered enchanted, and cannot be "dispelled" (nor can the Werewolves be reverted to their original form). The spell thus has no Upkeep Cost, though the Werewolves do - 5 must be paid every turn to keep them. Failure to pay this amount, due to lack of Mana, leads to the destruction of the unit, rather than it reverting to its previous form.
Casting Lycanthropy is accompanied by an animation of a dark shadow (resembling a grim reaper) passing over the unit. It is then transformed immediately, with the new Werewolves appearing in its place. If the unit had any movement points left before being targeted by the spell, the new Werewolves can move or attack immediately. However note that the Movement Allowance is not reset until the start of the next turn.
Customized Wizards possessing 11 Spellbooks at creation time may choose this spell as one of their default spells before starting the game, in which case the spell will already be researched and available for casting immediately on the first turn.
Wizards who possess at least 8 Spellbooks, or Wizards with 11 Spellbooks who did not select Lycanthropy as a guaranteed spell, will be able to Research this spell at some point during their campaign. Wizards with fewer than 8 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Death Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.
Lycanthropy has a base Research Cost of 400.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Lycanthropy spell 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.
The choice of unit to transform is the critical part to be considered here. It's always important to remember that the game really doesn't care much about which unit is transformed - the resulting Werewolves will be almost identical each time, taking into account only the original unit's Damage and whatever Unit Enchantments it had. Everything else is disregarded.
Therefore, it is completely wasteful to cast this spell on high-end Normal Units, when the most basic (and cheapest) Spearmen will do the same trick. Naturally, since Damage is taken into account, if you have two units you may as well transform the one that's least damaged at the time, but it's more important not to waste resources - so try to target the cheapest units you have, rather than ones that are already strong on their own right. Again, Experience level should also factor into this: it's better to transform a low-experience unit than a high-experience one.
Lycanthropy as a Life Saver Edit
Lycanthropy can save a unit from death, or at least turn a heavily-injured unit into a combat-worthy one in an instant.
This is because Werewolves not only have more Hit Points than most units, but their innate Regeneration ability will also save them from death more often than not, and will help the unit recover health quickly during battles.
Therefore, if you have an army containing one very-poorly unit that's about to be attacked (or has to keep advancing into enemy territory), consider casting Lycanthropy on it just for the sake of getting a mildly-useful but healthy unit instead of a powerful-but-dying one.
Exploiting the Enchantments Bug Edit
This can result in the unit receiving spells that it could not otherwise get. For example, Eldritch Weapon and Flame Blade are commonly cast on the original unit before the transformation, so that these spells will affect the new unit. If such enchantments are removed for any reason, they cannot be re-cast on the Werewolves since they are not a valid target for them.
While this may sound like a negligible exploit, remember that Unit Enchantments specific to Normal Units are often very powerful - they are limited to Normal Units because those are usually weaker than Fantastic Units. Getting Eldritch Weapon and Flame Blade on Werewolves, for example, can make the unit significantly stronger than it usually is.
Exploiting the Magical Weapon Bug Edit
Lycanthropy will also move Magical, Mithril and Adamantium Weapons from the original unit to the newly-created Werewolves, making them superior attackers. In case of Adamantium Weapons, the Werewolves will receive +2 Defense, +2 Attack and +10% To Hit.