|Melee Attack||6 *|
Caster ( 5)Pathfinding
Marcus is a non-Champion Hero. He may randomly appear for hire if a wizard has at least 10 Fame points, in which case his Hiring Cost is 200 by default. Alternatively, Marcus can be summoned using the Summon Hero spell (or through partial failure of the Summon Champion spell), and can occasionally be found as a Prisoner reward after a successful Encounter.
Marcus starts with a respectable Melee Attack and a slightly-weaker Ranged Missile Attack. Though both can be useful, Marcus's Might ability, which will rapidly enhance his Melee Attack capabilities, usually encourages turning him into a powerful close-combat specialist. This is backed up by adequate Defense and above-average Hit Points.
Marcus is also an accomplished scout and a great support-hero for your armies. His Pathfinding ability allows him and other units accompanying him to travel very quickly through any kind of land Terrain. He also has a good Sight Range thanks to the Scouting ability.
On top of all this, Marcus also has the ability to cast spells, for which he will pay from his own Mana pool. In addition to any spell known to his employer, Marcus may also cast the Resist Elements and Stone Skin spells - assuming he has sufficient Mana to do so.
Marcus may be equipped with the basic fare of Magical Items, and can additionally be equipped with a Bow instead of a melee weapon, to increase the power of his Ranged Attack. Nonetheless, he still leans towards Melee combat, and will usually be equipped with a Sword. Almost any bonus from equipment will be useful for this Hero.
Marcus's Upkeep Cost is 4 per turn.
General Description Edit
Marcus the Ranger has spent many years learning the various skills that are an essential part of his chosen profession. A master tracker and survivalist, he can navigate easily through any type of terrain, quickly leading troops through paths seldom trod. Capable of fighting with both bow and sword, and having a basic ability to cast spells, he can easily adapt to any new situation.
Marcus is dressed for the part, as well. He wears a white feather in his green cap, and is covered in a blue cloak. The rest of his clothes are lincoln-green, calling back to folklore tales about other men of the forest, such as Robin Hood. Marcus has very red hair and beard, and rides a light-brown horse.
Initial Properties Edit
Note: All data below assumes Marcus is at his lowest Experience Level, and without any Magical Items or Random Abilities - After all, any Hero can become devastatingly powerful after gaining several levels and powerful items. Please refer to the tables and chapters below for more information.
Attack Properties Edit
Marcus the Ranger can make both Melee Attacks and Ranged Missile Attacks. His forte is decidedly the Melee Attack, whose strength will improve very quickly as he gains Experience, leaving his Ranged Attack much weaker, but still useful at close range. For maximum results, they are used in accord.
Marcus's Melee Attack has a default strength of 6. This is immediately boosted to 7 thanks to his Might ability. With no To Hit bonuses, he can be expected to deliver about 2.1 points of Damage on average - a solid amount, which will penetrate some armor. He can thus engage low-tier enemy units reliably, and may inflict some damage on more powerful units as well.
Up to 8 times per battle, Marcus may instead use a Ranged Missile Attack, which has a strength of 5. It will deliver an average damage output of 1.5, but only when the target is very close. If the distance is at least 3 tiles, To Hit penalties apply, reducing this damage output considerably. Thus, a low-level Marcus may struggle to inflict damage on any target that's more than 2 tiles away. Still, it does mean that he can safely attack his enemy without fear of retaliation.
Note: Due to a minor bug related to the coexistence of a Ranged Missile Attack and the Caster skill in Marcus's details panel, the number of Ranged Attacks he has left during the battle is not displayed anywhere. Marcus always has 8 attacks per battle, so it is possible to count them manually.
Defensive Properties Edit
By default, Marcus the Ranger has a rather-average Defense score of 5. This enables him to block, on average, about 1.5 points of Damage from any damage source. This can protect Marcus adequately from most low-tier Normal Units, but expect him to take damage often when fighting anything stronger, at least until he can gain plenty of Experience and/or acquire strong armor.
Marcus is quite healthy, and possesses 8 Hit Points by default. This is a respectable amount for a low-level Hero, and should allow him to survive a few hits from low-tier Normal Units. He is not nearly healthy enough to take on any serious opposition though, until he can gain some extra Defense or a few more Hit Points.
As with most Heroes, Marcus possesses a default Resistance score of 6. This makes him somewhat vulnerable to Curses and other combat maledictions. It will take at least 4 Experience Levels before he can become immune to some of these effects, assuming no Magical Items or Random Abilities augment it.
Other Properties Edit
Marcus the Ranger has a basic Hero's Movement Allowance of 2. This is good for speeding up his movement on the overland map, through plain land tiles like Grassland and Deserts. It is also useful during combat, to close with the enemy rapidly and escape quickly if the need arises. Alternatively, Marcus may use his increased speed to avoid enemies while making Ranged Attacks against them.
On the overland map, Marcus as well as any units stacked with him can move at an impressive rate - spending only 0.5 Movement Points to enter any land tile, regardless of its Terrain type. This allows the stack to cover a lot of ground quickly, even rough ground that would otherwise take many turns to cross.
Furthermore, thanks to his Scouting ability, Marcus's Sight Range is extended to 2 tiles in each direction. This allows him to spot enemies from afar, and explore the land very efficiently - especially when coupled with the fast movement speed described above.
Marcus may cast any combat spell known to his employer. In addition, regardless of whether they are available to the employer, Marcus also has access to the Resist Elements and Stone Skin spells. Some spells, including these two, may be unavailable for casting until Marcus can gain some Experience and increase his available Mana.
To cast a spell with Marcus during combat, you must select Marcus, press the "Spell" button, and then select "Ranger" from the pop-up list. If Marcus is out of Mana, out of Movement Points, has been killed or is otherwise incapacitated, his name will not appear on this list.
Note that using Marcus to cast spells does not reduce your own available Spell Skill or Mana - he is completely independent and uses up his own skill and Mana.
Finally, the Caster ability also allows Marcus to augment your wizard's own Spell Skill. To perform this, place Marcus in the same tile as your Fortress town. While he is inside this town, your Spell Skill is increased by half the value of Marcus's Caster skill, rounded down.
The following table illustrates how Marcus's various skills and attributes increase as he gains Experience. The effects of Marcus's Might ability have already been computed into the table below. Since Marcus never receives any extra Random Abilities, the following values are correct for every game you play.
|Icon||Level Name||EP||Melee||Ranged||To Hit||Defense||Resist||Hits||Mana|
|Hero||0 - 19||7||5||30%||5||6||8||5|
|Myrmidon||20 - 59||9||6||30%||6||7||9||10|
|Captain||60 - 119||11||7||40%||6||8||10||15|
|Commander||120 - 199||13||8||40%||7||9||11||20|
|Champion||200 - 299||15||9||40%||7||10||12||25|
|Lord||300 - 449||17||10||50%||8||11||13||30|
|Grand Lord||450 - 599||19||11||50%||8||12||14||35|
|Super Hero||600 - 999||21||12||50%||9||13||15||40|
Average Damage Output Edit
The following table shows Marcus's average Damage output with each of his attacks, based on his current Experience Level. The effects of the Might ability have already been taken into account in these values. Note that this table completely ignores bonuses from Magical Items, if any.
Improvement Overview Edit
Both of Marcus's attacks will improve with Experience. However, the Melee Attack strength grows very rapidly thanks to Marcus's Might, leaving the Ranged Attack behind in the dust. Eventually, Marcus will rely largely on his Melee Attack, but should never neglect firing his bow at his enemies before charging in for the kill.
Of course, Marcus is always useful on the overland map regardless of his level, thanks to the Pathfinding and Scouting abilities. Not only is he a very fast explorer for the early and middle portions of the game, but can help entire armies move rapidly through any type of terrain. This can, potentially, be an even greater benefit than Marcus's combat performance.
Ability Overview Edit
- This unit may use a Ranged Missile Attack instead of a Melee Attack up to 8 times in each battle. Once the unit's ammo is expended, it must resort to Melee Attacks.
- This Hero gains +1 Attack Strength to his Melee Attack with each Experience Level, including the first level.
- This Hero may cast spells during combat, withdrawing Mana from his/her own personal Mana Pool to do so.
- The Hero may spend only 5 per battle. This Mana Pool is reset at the end of each battle - assuming the Hero survives at all.
- With each Experience Level gained, this Hero receives a permanent bonus of +5.
- Spellcasting takes up all of the Hero's remaining Movement Points for the turn.
- While this Hero is inside his/her employer's Fortress town, the owner's Spell Skill is increased by half the value of the Hero's Caster ability.
- Increases the unit's Sight Range to 2. On the overland map, this unit can now reveal the fog-of-war and detect enemy units within 2 tiles of its position (including diagonals).
- This unit spends only 0.5 Movement Points when moving into any tile on the overland map.
- When this unit is stacked with other units, the entire stack may move at a rate of 0.5 Movement Point per tile.
Random Abilities Edit
Marcus the Ranger has no Random Abilities. Therefore, his various attributes will be exactly the same each time you play the game. This makes Marcus more predictable. He will never be any less or more useful than this article describes.
Marcus the Ranger has the following item slots:
|Icon||Name||Items that fit here|
|Bow Slot||Bow, Sword, Mace or Axe|
|Shield Slot||Shield, Chainmail or Platemail|
|Jewelry Slot||Any Jewelry|
This set-up contributes to either Melee combat or Ranged combat. Marcus can pick either role, but is often more suited for Ranged combat due to his fragility.
Recommended Items Edit
Marcus's performance as a scout, as well as his performance in combat, can be greatly influenced by the Magical Items he can carry. Furthermore, he has the option to carry either a Melee weapon or a Bow, and this can affect his use in battle to a great degree. Careful consideration and a good mix of bonuses will help, but some players prefer concentration on just a few bonuses in order to specialize Marcus in one field or another.
- Marcus's weapon slot can take a Bow or any of the Melee weapons (Sword, Mace, Axe), and will thus determine how he is used in combat. There are two primary options: improving Marcus's already powerful Melee Attack and to make him a close-combat unit, or concentrate on Ranged Attack and spell-casting bonuses to make him a support unit. Both are quite valid avenues of development.
- If a Bow is selected as Marcus's weapon, his Ranged Attack strength can be boosted by quite a hefty amount - though it will likely not be as strong as his Melee Attack regardless. It does, however, mean that Marcus can spend more time hitting enemies with arrows before he charges in for a kill.
- Alternatively, a good Sword may be a good option, especially if it carries a little Defense bonus as well. This gives him a strong Melee Attack and good survivability, for charging straight into an enemy unit. He can still spend some time to weaken the enemy first with Ranged Attacks, but these will have only a minor effect - especially if used at long range.
- In any case, remember that attack strength and To Hit bonuses on the chosen weapon will only affect the appropriate attack type - so it may actually be better to place such bonuses on Marcus's Jewelry (see below). In fact, a weapon with bonuses to Defense or even Mana may be better!
- Again, since Marcus has the option of developing as a Ranged Attacker or Melee Attacker, he may need very different types of armor. A bow-wielding Marcus may be content with a strong shield, while a melee-fighting Marcus will probably need heavier armor with plenty of Defense bonuses.
- Whatever you choose, never forget that one of Marcus's best qualities are his Pathfinding and Scouting - and thus it is very much recommended that he be given some Movement Allowance bonuses. This will really help during the early game, allowing Marcus to quickly reveal a large part of the map!
- Pretty much any bonus on Jewelry will help Marcus, except perhaps a Spell Save bonus. If you've got access to plenty of Curses, even that bonus may be useful. Determining which bonuses are better depends almost entirely on your preferred strategies for using Marcus.
- Note however that, as explained above, any Attack Strength and To Hit bonuses will boost the strength of both of Marcus's attack types, and therefore may actually be better than putting these bonuses on his weapon. On the other hand, Marcus could definitely use extra or Defense bonuses, so it's a difficult decision either way.
Marcus the Ranger can be acquired in one of four different methods:
- By hiring him as he comes to visit your Fortress town,
- By casting the Summon Hero or Summon Champion spells,
- By rescuing him from an Encounter zone,
- By Resurrecting him after he has been killed in battle.
Hiring Marcus Edit
Every once in a while, a Hero will arrive at your Fortress town to ask for employment. The frequency of this event depends on your current Fame score, the number of Heroes already under your employ, and whether or not you have particular Retorts that affect this chance.
In order for Marcus to appear for hire in this way, you must meet several requirements:
- You must have at least 10 Fame points.
- You must have sufficient Gold in your treasury to hire Marcus (more on this below).
- Marcus must not have already been killed in battle.
Since the game randomly chooses which Hero appears during this event, there's no guarantee that Marcus will ever appear. The chance, however, increases if the number of other valid Heroes dwindles (such as when most other Heroes have died in battle).
The default Hiring Cost for Marcus is 200. This is reduced to 100 if your wizard has the Charismatic Retort. If you do not have this much Gold at the start of a turn (after paying all Upkeep Costs), Marcus will not appear for hire. In fact, if he is picked as the Hero who approaches you, and you lack the money to hire him, you are effectively forfeiting your chance to hire any Hero this turn.
After agreeing to hire Marcus (you can always refuse), you may give him any name you choose - he will be known as "<name> the Ranger". His overland unit will appear at your Fortress town or, if that town's garrison is full, next to your Fortress town.
Summoning Marcus Edit
As a non-Champion hero, Marcus the Ranger can be summoned using either the Summon Hero or Summon Champion spells. However, Summon Champion only has a chance to bring Marcus to you if all Champions are unavailable at the time.
Once the spell is completed, the game chooses a random Hero to bring to your Fortress from a list of all available and valid Heroes. Therefore, there is no guarantee that Marcus will appear when these spells are cast, unless all other Heroes are unavailable.
Again, you get a chance to agree or refuse to hire Marcus. If you agree, he will appear in your Fortress town and/or next to it.
Rescuing Marcus Edit
The game can randomly pick any non-Champion Hero to be rescued in this way - except Heroes that have already died while in your service. Your Fame and Gold are disregarded, and there is no need to pay any Hiring Costs.
Resurrecting Marcus Edit
For most wizards, losing Marcus in battle removes him from the game permanently. He will never appear again.
For Life-wielding wizards, however, who have access to the Resurrection spell, it is possible to bring Marcus back to life after he has died. In this case, Marcus returns to your Fortress town, with no Magical Items, but keeping all Experience he had prior to his death.
You may repeatedly resurrect Marcus each time he dies.
Upkeep Costs Edit
Once Marcus is in your employ, you must pay him an Upkeep Cost of 4 at the start of each and every turn. Failure to pay this price due to lack of Gold results in Marcus leaving your employ. This is not permanent however: Marcus may still be acquired in any of the above methods with no penalty.
Alternate Names Edit
Other wizards can also have a Ranger, but they are different characters (what happens to one has no effect on the others), and go by different names, as follows: