|Req. Town Buildings||Fighters' Guild|
|# of figures||6|
|Melee Attack per figure||4 *|
|Defense per figure||3|
|Hit Points per figure||1|
|Poison Touch 1|
Nightblades are a type of Normal Unit. This unit is unique to the Dark Elf race, and may only be created at a Dark Elf town, for the Construction Cost of 120. The town must already contain a Fighters' Guild for this to be possible.
Nightblades are a Melee Attack unit, possessing similar combat characteristics to the common Halberdiers. However, they possess two important abilities that basically define their entire role on the battlefield: they are Invisible, and perform a Poison Touch attack that is deadly to low-Resistance targets. While other Dark Elf units are busy showering enemies with their Ranged Attacks, Nightblades move stealthily behind the enemy to take out Ranged Attack units in the rear or ambush other weak enemy units. Like all other Dark Elves, Nightblades are highly resistant to magic.
Nightblades require an Upkeep Cost of 3 and 1 to maintain. Failure to pay these costs will result in the unit being disbanded automatically.
Unit Properties Edit
Physical Description Edit
Nightblades are a group of Dark Elves - slender humanoids with violet-colored skin and white hair. Nightblades however possess the ability to become so stealthy that they completely disappear from sight. The Nightblades use this ability to sneak up on their targets and attack them with deadly poison-tipped weapons. They are also incredibly resistant to magic and other ill effects.
Attack Properties Edit
Nightblades rely on a strong Melee Attack that is roughly on par with that of a Halberdiers unit. However, they back this up with poison-coated weapons which can easily kill low-Resistance targets. Unlike other Dark Elves, the Nightblades lack a Ranged Attack entirely.
Each Nightblade has a default Melee Attack score of 4. However, since Nightblades usually come with at least one free Experience Level, their actual attack score is normally 5. With no additional bonuses, this delivers an average damage output of about 1.5, a formidable attack that can pierce most Normal Units' armor.
With all 6 figures in the unit attacking simultaneously, the resulting damage output can be quite high, especially against poorly-armored targets. On occasion it can also hurt low-tier Fantastic Units.
In addition, each time the Nightblades attack or Counter Attack, they also carry out a Touch Attack delivering 1 point of Poison Damage per Nightblade. The target unit makes 1 Resistance roll for each living Nightblade - and each failed roll causes the target to suffer 1 point of Damage. The average damage output from this attack is therefore dependent only on the target's Resistance score, and can thus vary greatly from one target to the next.
Defense Properties Edit
Nightblades possess a Defense score of 3, which is average for a Normal Unit. They can deflect about 0.9 points of Damage from any damage source, on average. This can help against weak opponents, but will not save the unit against any decent attack.
As with most Normal Units, each Nightblade possesses only 1 Hit Point. In other words, each point of Damage inflicted on this unit will kill off one of its figures.
Fortunately, the Nightblades' Invisibility serves to protect them during battle. They cannot be attacked while invisible (see more on this below), nor can be directly targeted by any spell. Furthermore, if they do become visible to the enemy, any unit attempting to attack the Nightblades receives a penalty of -10% To Hit, reducing damage significantly.
This makes the Nightblades unit a little more resilient than Halberdiers. Still, because the unit is so expensive, it is often best to avoid serious combat, instead using the Nightblades to kill off weaker units.
Dark Elves are inherently resistant to magic, and so Nightblades possess an impressive Resistance score of 7 by default. Again, since Nightblades are almost always created with at least one free Experience Level, they will normally have a score of 8 instead. This provides good protection from Curses and other ill effects. With additional Experience, the Nightblades can become significantly more resistant to such effects, and may even become immune to some of them as the unit crosses 10.
Other Properties Edit
Nightblades possess the Invisibility trait, which renders them invisible to almost all enemy units. As long as the Nightblades are not directly adjacent to an enemy unit, the enemy cannot see them at all, cannot make any attacks against them, and cannot directly target them with any spells. Furthermore, the enemy cannot see the Nightblades on the overland map, and is not aware of their existence until they suddenly appear in battle.
When the Nightblades move to a tile adjacent to any enemy unit, they become semi-transparent. At this point, all enemy units can see them on the battlefield, and they can be targeted with attacks and spells. If an enemy army contains at least one unit possessing the Illusions Immunity trait or the True Sight spell, the Nightblades will become semi-transparent immediately regardless of their position.
Still, any enemy unit attempting to attack the Nightblades suffers a To Hit penalty of -10%. This can be a very significant penalty, reducing the enemy's average damage output by a large amount!
Note that spells that choose their own targets (or affect multiple targets) may end up affecting the Nightblades even when fully invisible. It is simply not possible to directly choose the Nightblades as the target for any spell while they are invisible.
Basic Strategy Edit
Nightblades are stealth units designed for cunning tactics rather than brute-force combat. They differ greatly from all other Dark Elf units, primarily in the fact that they do not possess any Ranged Attack. The Nightblades' task is to surprise the enemy, who is not normally aware of their position, by outflanking it and attacking the weakest units for high damage.
At the start of the battle, while other Dark Elf unit bombard the enemy with their Ranged Attacks, Nightblades must immediately advance up-field. In some scenarios, they will maneuver around the enemy lines to reach the weaker Ranged Attack units in the rear, which they can then easily kill with Melee Attacks, Poison Touch attacks, or both.
In other scenarios, Nightblades will maneuver to the edges of the enemy lines, and then move in to attack exposed low-tier Normal Units or any other unit possessing a low Resistance score. Such units can be killed rather easily by the Poison Touch attack. In fact, some low-Resistance Fantastic Units can also be targeted by the Nightblades, as they too will suffer significant damage from such an attack. However, Fantastic Units' Counter Attacks may prove more than a match for the Nightblades, and could end up killing them all.
Remember to keep your Nightblades hidden until they are ready to strike. The enemy has no idea where they are when invisible, and in fact does not even know they are present on the battlefield until they first reveal themselves. Use this to your advantage, and also make sure to pull your Nightblades back after each attack they make in order to become invisible again. The last thing you want is for enemy units to detect, surround, and destroy your Nightblades.
Remember that if the enemy army has even a single Illusions-Immune or True-Seeing unit, part of this advantage is lost: these units will spot the Nightblades at any distance, and all units on that side can give chase. The Nightblades can also be targeted by spells. Some advantages remain, however: units attacking the Nightblades without Illusions Immunity still suffer a serious To Hit penalty which can impact their damage output, and in version 1.31, the AI will not target invisible units with Ranged Attacks, ever.
Ability Overview Edit
- During combat, this unit is only visible to the enemy when it moves adjacently to an enemy unit, or when any unit in the enemy army possesses the Illusions Immunity ability, or is affected by the True Sight spell.
- While undetected, this unit may not be attacked by any enemy, or targeted by any spells.
- The unit inflicts a -10% penalty on any enemy that attacks it with a Melee Attack or Ranged Attack.
- During this unit's Melee Attack, each figure will also make a Touch Attack against the target, delivering 1 point of Poison Damage per attack.
- The target unit must make a single Resistance roll against each Poison Attack. For each roll the target fails, it receives 1 point of Damage.
- The Poison Damage is dealt simultaneously with the exchange of Melee Damage between the two units.
- The Poisoning also occurs when this unit Counter Attacks against an enemy assailant.
- This effect does nothing against targets possessing the Poison Immunity ability.
Experience Table Edit
The following table illustrates how Nightblades improve as they gain Experience. Any properties that are not listed here do not improve with Experience in any way.
|Level Icon||Level Name||EP||Melee||To Hit||Defense||Resist||Hits|
|Recruit||0 - 19||4||30%||3||7||1|
|Regular||20 - 59||5||30%||3||8||1|
|Veteran||60 - 119||5||30%||4||9||1|
Average Damage Output Edit
The table below details the average amount of damage that each Figure in a Nightblades unit will deliver with each type of attack, based on Experience Level. It can be used in comparison to the target's Defense rating to figure out the chance of hurting that target.
A town must contain a Fighters' Guild to be able to produce Nightblades. Should a town lose an existing Fighters' Guild, it can no longer produce Nightblades until a replacement structure is built.
Note that this building requirement means that Nightblades produced in towns will always start as "Regular" troops (one free Experience Level), giving them a small but significant bonus above the default unit strength.
The Construction Cost of this unit is 120.
Nightblades may appear for hire as Mercenaries. They may already have some Experience on being hired, and several units may be hired simultaneously. Hiring these units requires a certain cost in Gold that depends on many different factors. Nightblade Mercenaries have the same Upkeep Cost as a normally-constructed unit.