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Weapon quality infoicons (Icon Melee Magic Icon Melee Mithril Icon Melee Adamantium) redirect here. For an explanation on weapon qualities, see Melee Strength.

A Melee Attack is the term used to refer to direct, physical, face-to-face combat between any two units. A Melee Attack is performed when a single unit moves adjacently to an enemy target on the battlefield, and then assaults it directly with weapons, claws, teeth, or whatever other physical weapons are available.

Unlike Ranged Attacks, Melee Attacks cannot be performed at a distance - they require close proximity since physical contact is always made by the two units. This close proximity allows the attacker to also simultaneously unleash "subsidiary" attacks, including Breath, Thrown, Gaze and Touch Attacks, which can significantly increase the damage caused to the target.

On the downside, the close proximity also gives the target an opportunity to make a Counter Attack against the assailant - a process that occurs simultaneously with the Melee Attack. In other words, the target gets to inflict its own damage upon the assailant, putting both units at risk.

All Melee Attacks deliver Melee Damage by default, which is intended to cause actual Icon Damage.png Damage points to the target - potentially killing one or more of its Icon Figure.png figures. Again, if the attacker and/or the defender possess any Special Attacks, these are often executed as part of the Melee Attack and may cause all sorts of subsidiary harm to either unit. Most units do not possess such attacks, and thus will only deliver Melee Damage.

Initiating a Melee Attack on an enemy unit takes a number of Movement Points equal to 50% of the attacker's Movement Allowance. A Melee Attack may not be performed by a Icon Movement GroundWalking or Icon Movement WaterSwimming unit against a Icon Movement AirFlying unit, unless special conditions apply.

Concept Edit

During a battle between two armies, units may have different ways of inflicting damage upon their enemies. The most common (and usually most effective) way of doing so is for a unit to march up to an enemy unit and perform a Melee Attack against it.

In a Melee Attack, the attacking unit (known as the Assailant) is assumed to be making direct "hand-to-hand" contact with the enemy - striking at it with hand-held weapons or (in the case of monsters) claws, teeth, et cetera.

The defending unit (known as the Target) usually gets the chance to retaliate. This is called a Counter Attack. When this occurs, both the assailant and the target deliver Melee Damage to each other simultaneously! Therefore, a Melee Attack is often riskier than Ranged Attacks.

Melee Attacks are distinguished from Ranged Attacks and direct-damage spells in several different ways, due to the physical contact made between the assailant and the target. Most importantly, for a Melee Attack to occur the assailant and the target must be adjacent to each other. A Melee Attack may never be performed if there is one or more tiles of distance between them.

Furthermore, once a Melee Attack has been initiated, both assailant and target get the chance to employ additional Special Attacks as dictated by their abilities. This may include Breath Attacks, Gaze Attacks and so forth, most of which take place just prior to the distribution of normal Melee Damage.

Ordering a Melee Attack Edit

Screenshot Melee

Melee Attacks may only be executed against a target that is immediately adjacent to the attacker. Diagonal attacks are fine.

Before initiating any Melee Attack against any target, the attacking unit must first move adjacently to that target. In other words, the attacker and the target must be in adjacent tiles on the battlefield for any Melee to occur between them. Diagonal Melee Attacks are allowed.

While the attacker is selected, put the mouse cursor over the desired target. If a Melee Attack is possible, the cursor will change into an image of two crossed swords. Clicking the mouse button in this case will trigger a Melee Attack by the selected unit against the selected target. If the target is invalid for an attack (for any reason), the cursor will turn into a big red X, and no attack can be ordered.

Of course, computer-controlled units perform the same process without all the visible clicking.

Dealing Melee Damage Edit

Main article: Melee Damage

The main goal in most Melee Attacks is to deliver normal Melee Damage - damage from physical weapons such as swords, spears, claws or teeth, as available.

Under the simplest circumstances, a Melee Attack consists simply of the assailant attempting to deliver as much of this Melee Damage as it can to its target. It will try to kill off as many of the Icon Figure.png figures in the enemy target as it can, or otherwise injure the target unit as much as possible.

Melee Damage is explained in its own article (see also Physical Damage for a thorough explanation of the process). In general, the assailant is required to make a number of Icon ToHit.png To Hit rolls in order to determine how many times it has struck the target successfully. The target then gets to make Icon ToBlock.png Defense rolls to try and block or dodge some (or all) of these hits, minimizing damage to itself. After all rolls have been completed, "unblocked" hits are translated into Icon Damage.png Damage Points and inflicted directly at the target's Icon Hits.png Health score.

Special Attacks Edit

Main article: Special Attack

Delivery of Melee Damage (see above) is only one part of the Melee Attack process. For many units, the Melee Attack actually consists of several different attacks being performed in rapid succession against the target, with each attack potentially delivering extra harm to the target just before or just after Melee Damage is processed. The sequence of these attacks is very specific, and is of extreme importance.

These extra attacks are called "Special Attacks", and many deliver "Special Damage" which often behaves nothing like the Melee Damage described above. In most cases, the purpose of Special Attacks is to kill off extra enemy Icon Figure.png figures or neutralize them in one way or another.

Special Attacks may include Breath Attacks, Thrown Attacks, Gaze Attacks, Touch Attacks, and so forth. Each of these attacks delivers a specific type of damage as defined by the unit's abilities and/or equipment. For example, the Ability FireBreath Fire Breath ability allows a unit to perform a Breath Attack delivering Fire Damage.

As explained below, the sequence in which Special Attacks are delivered is quite rigid, and is very important. The sooner a Special Attack occurs, the more potential it has for preventing the enemy from retaliating (explained in the next section), thus giving extra protection to the attacker.

Counter Attacks Edit

Main article: Counter Attack

In most circumstances, making a Melee Attack against a unit allows that unit to retaliate. This is known as a Counter Attack. In essence, the target gets to deliver its own Melee Damage on the attacker, in much the same way as described above.

Barring special abilities and so forth, Melee Damage is dealt simultaneously by both the target and the attacker. Therefore, the attacker may be in as much risk as the target! This is the complete opposite of Ranged Attacks, where no retaliation is allowed - making the attacker completely safe while the target is the only one who takes damage.

The process of handling Counter Attacks is very complex, and is explained in more details further down this article and on its own article.

Movement Costs Edit

Any Melee Attack initiated by a unit (i.e. not a Counter Attack) costs that unit half of its total Movement Allowance. For example, a unit with a Movement Allowance of Icon Movement Ground3 will spend 1.5 Movement Points when making a Melee Attack against any enemy.

As a result, a unit may make two separate Melee Attacks each turn - spending half of its movement allowance on one attack, then the remaining half on another attack. Each attack may be directed at a different target, if so desired. This of course would leave the unit with no Movement Points to spend on actual movement this turn.

Alternatively, units may move before and/or after their Melee Attack - in other words, spending half their movement points on attacking, and the rest on movement towards or away from the enemy.

If the unit has at least 0.5 Movement Points remaining, but less than half its Movement Allowance remaining, it will simply spend all remaining points on the attack, and its turn ends immediately afterwards.

Units with 0 Movement Points remaining may not attack at all.

Melee Attack Sequence Edit

As explained earlier, many units' Melee Attacks give the unit a chance to use its various Special Attacks, if it has any. Also, the target of the Melee Attack performs its own Counter Attack, which can also be comprised of several Special Attacks executed in rapid succession. Melee Damage is only exchanged between the attacker and the target at the very end of the Melee Attack process!

In most cases, the sequence is as follows:

Step Assailant Target
1 Thrown Attack OR Breath Attack --
Gaze Attack --
2 -- Gaze Attack
3 Melee Damage Melee Damage

The purpose of this stage-based process is to give the combatants a chance to kill-off or neutralize some or more of the opponent's Icon Figure.png figures, reducing the opponent's overall strength before the next stage begins - especially before the opponent can deliver any of its Melee Damage (at stage 3). Thus, a unit with plenty of powerful Special Attacks - particularly Thrown Attacks, Breath Attacks and/or Gaze Attacks - has a chance of completely preventing the enemy from retaliating, and thus minimize or eliminate damage to itself.

The reason is that any Icon Figure.png figure killed off during any of the above stages does not get to participate in the subsequent stages of the attack. For example, if a target loses half of its Icon Figure.png figures during stage 1, its overall strength by step 3 is half what it had at the start of the process, thus significantly reducing the risk to its opponent.

If either the attacker or defender has lost all of its Icon Figure.png figures by the end of any of the above steps, then the Melee Attack ends prematurely with victory for the other unit (assuming it survived).

A unit executes only those Special Attacks that are available to it, and only at the appropriate stages in the process. For example, if the attacker lacks both Thrown Attacks and Breath Attacks, then step 1 is skipped. There are many instances where only step 3 is executed, with both units exchanging only Melee Damage since neither possesses any Special Attacks whatsoever.

Altering the Sequence Edit

For the most part, the sequence of a Melee Attack and the enemy's Counter Attack is set in stone, as described by the table above.

However, there is one Unit Ability in the game which alters this sequence: the Ability FirstStrike First Strike ability.

When the attacker possesses Ability FirstStrike First Strike, the process is rearranged as follows:

Step Assailant Target
1 Thrown Attack OR Breath Attack --
Gaze Attack --
2 -- Gaze Attack
3 Melee Damage --
4 -- Melee Damage

By moving the attacker's Fear Attack and Melee Damage stages up, the attacker has a better chance of killing or neutralizing enemy Icon Figure.png figures before they get any chance to retaliate (apart from Gaze Attacks, which are always executed first). Again, the more enemy Icon Figure.png figures can be neutralized this way, the less overall strength the enemy has for stage 4, and thus the less damage is caused to the assailant, statistically.

Ability FirstStrike First Strike only works for the attacker in any given Melee Attack - it is never used when Counter Attacking. Furthermore, if the defender has the Ability NegateFirstStrike Negate First Strike ability, then the attacker's Ability FirstStrike First Strike does not trigger, and the sequence remains as described earlier.

The complete picture is as follows. It happens when the attacker possesses First Strike, Haste, and a couple of others, and the defender has Haste, Wall of Fire and a couple of others.

Step Assailant Target
  1 1st Thrown or Breath Attack*,
1st Immolation & Touch Attack**
--
2nd Thrown or Breath Attack*,
2nd Immolation & Touch Attack**
--
Only 1 Gaze Attack*,
1st Immolation & Touch Attack**
--
  2 -- Only 1 Gaze Attack*,
1st Immolation & Touch Attack**
  3 Wall of Fire --
  4 -- Fear Attack
  5 1st Melee Damage***,
3rd/2nd Immolation & Touch Attack**
--
  6 Fear Attack --
  7 2nd Melee Damage***,
4th/3rd ImmolationTouch Attack**
1st Melee Damage***,
2nd Immolation & Touch Attack**
-- 2nd Melee Damage***,
3rd Immolation & Touch Attack**

* Thrown, Breath or Gaze Attack is only dealt in this subphase if the ranged attack strength is at least 1.
** Immolation and Touch Attack is only dealt in this subphase if the previously listed attack is dealt. If the Touch Attack comes from an Item, then the previously listed attack must match the weapon's type.
*** Melee Damage is only dealt in this subphase if the melee attack strength is at least 1.

Ground vs. Air Edit

Units that move by Icon Movement GroundWalking and/or Icon Movement WaterSwimming cannot initiate a Melee Attack against units that Icon Movement AirFly. Even if the two units are immediately adjacent to each other, the ground unit may not attack the air unit voluntarily.

The reverse, however, is different. Airborne units may freely attack ground units at will, barring any special combat effects that may specifically restrict this for any reason.

There is one main exception to this rule: Ground units possessing Breath Attack, Thrown Attack or Gaze Attack abilities may attack airborne units as normal.

Counter Attacks are almost always allowed regardless of the units' movement types. Therefore, when an airborne unit attacks a ground unit, the ground unit may retaliate as normal. However again, it may not initiate an attack against the airborne unit - only retaliation is allowed.

Spells and Abilities affecting Melee Attacks Edit

Icon Name Description
Attack Strength
Experience 3 Experience Level up to Icon Melee Normal.png +3 for Normal Units or Icon Melee Normal.png +8 for Heroes
Icon Melee Adamantium Adamantium Weapon Icon Melee Normal.png +2 (requires Alchemists' Guild and a nearby Adamantium Ore)
Icon Melee Mithril Mithril Weapon Icon Melee Normal.png +1 (requires Alchemists' Guild and a nearby Mithril Ore)
UnitEnchantment Berserk Berserk Icon Melee Normal.png Melee strength doubled, Defence reduced to Icon Defense.png 0
UnitEnchantment BlackChannels Black Channels Icon Melee Normal.png +2 (normal units become Undead)
UnitEnchantment Lionheart Lionheart Icon Melee Normal.png +3
UnitEnchantment GiantStrength Giant Strength Icon Melee Normal.png +1
UnitEnchantment FlameBlade Flame Blade Icon Melee Normal.png +2 (normal units only)
CombatEnchantment MetalFires Metal Fires Icon Melee Normal.png +1 for all allied normal units (non-cumulative with Flame Blade)
CombatEnchantment HighPrayer High Prayer Icon Melee Normal.png +2 for all allied units
Ability HolyBonus Holy Bonus Icon Melee Normal.png +1 or Icon Melee Normal.png +2 for all allied units
CombatEnchantment BlackPrayer Black Prayer Icon Melee Normal.png -1 for all enemy units
UnitEnchantment Weakness Weakness Icon Melee Normal.png -2 if unit fails to resist
UnitEnchantment MindStorm Mind Storm Icon Melee Normal.png -5 if unit hasn't Illusions Immunity or Magic Immunity
UnitEnchantment WarpCreature Offensive Warp Creature Icon Melee Normal.png Melee strength might be halved (rounded down) if unit fails to resist
UnitEnchantment Shatter Shatter Attack is reduced to Icon Melee Normal.png 1 if normal unit fails to resist
SpellIcon ChaosSurge Chaos Surge Icon Melee Normal.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos (including Chaos Channeled units)
CombatEnchantment ChaosNodeBonusAura Chaos Node Aura Icon Melee Normal.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos (including Chaos Channeled units)
CombatEnchantment NatureNodeBonusAura Nature Node Aura Icon Melee Normal.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Nature.pngNature
CombatEnchantment SorceryNodeBonusAura Sorcery Node Aura Icon Melee Normal.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery
CombatEnchantment Darkness Darkness Icon Melee Normal.png +1 for all units associated with Icon Death.pngDeath (including Undead units);
Icon Melee Normal.png -1 for all units associated with Icon Life.pngLife;
Cloud of Shadow and Eternal Night have same effect
CombatEnchantment TrueLight True Light Icon Melee Normal.png +1 for all units associated with Icon Life.pngLife;
Icon Melee Normal.png -1 for all units associated with Icon Death.pngDeath (including Undead units);
Heavenly Light has same effect
Ability Leadership Leadership up to Icon Melee Normal.png +3 for all accompanying normal units (up to Icon Melee Normal.png +4 if Super Leadership)
Ability Might Might up to Icon Melee Normal.png +9 (up to Icon Melee Normal.png +13 if Super Might)
ItemPower Sword Red Flaming Icon Melee Normal.png +3 (if this Item Power is used on a Sword, Mace or Axe)
Item Sword 1 Sword up to Icon Melee Normal.png +3
Item Mace 1 Mace up to Icon Melee Normal.png +4
Item Axe 1 Axe up to Icon Melee Normal.png +6
Item Misc 1 Jewelry up to Icon Melee Normal.png +4
To Hit Modifiers
Experience 3 Experience Level up to Icon ToHit.png +30% for Normal Units and Heroes
Icon Melee Magic Magical Weapon Icon ToHit.png +10% (requires Alchemy or Alchemists' Guild); same goes for Icon Melee Mithril.png and Icon Melee Adamantium.png
UnitEnchantment HolyWeapon Holy Weapon Icon ToHit.png +10% (normal units only, cumulative with Icon Melee Magic.png Magical Weapon)
Ability Lucky Lucky Icon ToHit.png +10% (also: enemy Icon ToHit.png -10% in v1.31)
CombatEnchantment Prayer (High) Prayer Icon ToHit.png +10% for all allied units (also: enemy Icon ToHit.png -10% in v1.31)
Ability Invisibility Invisibility an enemy attacking this unit receives Icon ToHit.png -10% (unless enemy has Illusion Immunity)
UnitEnchantment Vertigo Vertigo Icon ToHit.png -20% if unit fails to resist
CombatEnchantment WarpReality Warp Reality Icon ToHit.png -20% for all units not associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos (Chaos Channeled units)
Ability Blademaster Blademaster up to Icon ToHit.png +40% (Icon ToHit.png +60% if Super Blademaster)
Item Sword 1 Sword, Mace up to Icon ToHit.png +30%
Item Axe 1 Axe up to Icon ToHit.png +20%
Item Misc 1 Jewelry up to Icon ToHit.png +20%
Listed Defense
Experience 3 Experience Level up to Icon Defense.png +2 for Normal Units or Icon Defense.png +4 for Heroes
Icon Melee Adamantium Adamantium Weapon Icon Defense.png +2 (requires Alchemists' Guild and a nearby Adamantium Ore)
Icon Melee Mithril Mithril Weapon Icon Defense.png +1 (requires Alchemists' Guild and a nearby Mithril Ore)
UnitEnchantment IronSkin Iron Skin Icon Defense.png +5
UnitEnchantment StoneSkin Stone Skin Icon Defense.png +1 (non-cumulative with Iron Skin)
UnitEnchantment HolyArmor Holy Armor Icon Defense.png +2 (normal units only)
CombatEnchantment HighPrayer High Prayer Icon Defense.png +2 for all allied units
Ability HolyBonus Holy Bonus Icon Defense.png +1 or Icon Defense.png +2 for all allied units
UnitEnchantment ChaosChannels Defense Chaos Channels normal unit might get Icon Defense.png +2 (bugged?)
UnitEnchantment BlackChannels Black Channels Icon Defense.png +1 (normal units become Undead)
CombatEnchantment BlackPrayer Black Prayer Icon Defense.png -1 for all enemy units
UnitEnchantment MindStorm Mind Storm Icon Defense.png -5 if unit hasn't Illusions Immunity or Magic Immunity
UnitEnchantment Vertigo Vertigo Icon Defense.png -1 if unit fails to resist
UnitEnchantment WarpCreature Defensive Warp Creature Icon Defense.png Defense might be halved (rounded down) if unit fails to resist
CombatEnchantment ChaosNodeBonusAura Chaos Node Aura Icon Defense.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos (including Chaos Channeled units)
CombatEnchantment NatureNodeBonusAura Nature Node Aura Icon Defense.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Nature.pngNature
CombatEnchantment SorceryNodeBonusAura Sorcery Node Aura Icon Defense.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery
CombatEnchantment Darkness Darkness Icon Defense.png +1 for all units associated with Icon Death.pngDeath (including Undead units);
Icon Defense.png -1 for all units associated with Icon Life.pngLife;
Cloud of Shadow and Eternal Night have same effect
CombatEnchantment TrueLight True Light Icon Defense.png +1 for all units associated with Icon Life.pngLife;
Icon Defense.png -1 for all units associated with Icon Death.pngDeath (including Undead units);
Heavenly Light has same effect
Ability Agility Agility up to Icon Defense.png +9 (up to Icon Defense.png +13 if Super Agility)
Item Sword 1 Sword up to Icon Defense.png +3
Item Mace 1 Mace up to Icon Defense.png +1
Item Shield 1 Shield up to Icon Defense.png +6 (and Large Shield)
Item Chain 1 Chainmail up to Icon Defense.png +7
Item Plate 1 Platemail up to Icon Defense.png +8
Item Misc 1 Jewelry up to Icon Defense.png +4
Non-listed Defense
Ability WeaponImmunity Weapon Immunity Defense is increased to Icon Defense.png 10, but only if attacked by a normal unit (not hero), that hasn't Icon Melee Magic.png, Icon Melee Mithril.png, Icon Melee Adamantium.png, Holy, Eldritch Weapon or Flame Blade
UnitEnchantment Bless Bless Icon Defense.png +3 against all units associated with Icon Chaos.png or Icon Death.png (including Undead and Chaos Channeled units)
To Block Modifiers
Ability Lucky Lucky Icon ToBlock.png +10%
CombatEnchantment Prayer (High) Prayer Icon ToBlock.png +10% for all allied units
UnitEnchantment EldritchWeapon Eldritch Weapon enemy's chance to block is decreased by Icon ToBlock.png -10% (normal units only)
Other
CombatEnchantment Blur Blur roughly 10 % of all enemy Icon Melee Normal.png attacks will miss (regardless of hit roll)
UnitEnchantment Haste Haste Icon Melee Normal.png Melee attack is executed twice, Icon Movement GroundMovement is doubled
UnitEnchantment Invulnerability Invulnerability absorbs the first 2 damage coming from each enemy Icon Figure.png figure; unit gets Weapon Immunity
UnitEnchantment Immolation Immolation every enemy Icon Figure.png figure is hit by a Icon Ranged Magic.png 4 Fire Damage attack (To Hit modifiers have no effect)
Ability CauseFear Cause Fear every enemy Icon Figure.png figure failing its Icon Resist.png Resistance roll won't (counter-)attack (bugged)
Ability FirstStrike First Strike if initiating the attack, this unit's Icon Melee Normal.png Melee attack will be executed prior to that of its enemy (unless enemy has Negate First Strike); killed enemy Icon Figure.png figures can't retaliate
Ability ArmorPiercing Armor Piercing halves enemy's Icon Defense.png Defense (rounded down)
Ability Illusion Illusion reduces enemy's Defense to Icon Defense.png 0 (unless enemy has Illusions Immunity)

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