- This article is about the inherent unit ability called "Pathfinding". For the Nature Unit Enchantment that bestows the same ability, see Path Finding.
On the overland map, a unit with Pathfinding pays no more than 0.5 Movement Points when moving into a new tile, regardless of the Terrain of that tile. When the unit is part of a stack, the entire stack pays no more than 0.5 Movement Points when moving into a new tile. This allows stacks led by a Pathfinding unit to quickly cross any type of terrain.
Knowledge of the land can help a unit survive in harsh regions, but it is also exceptionally important for navigation. Picking out the best routes and finding easy-to-travel shortcuts can speed up one's movement significantly. Those with the ability to find such routes can quickly and efficiently cross terrain that is otherwise notoriously difficult, just as fast as they would walk down a king's highway.
Whether magic is involved or just plain old skill, such navigators are invaluable - particularly when leading entire armies through paths-seldom-trod, facilitating both quick invasions and extremely mobile defensive operations.
Pathfinding does not change which tiles a unit can move into. A Walking unit still cannot enter Shore or Ocean tiles, and a Sailing unit cannot enter land tiles. Pathfinding only changes the cost of entering valid tiles.
Pathfinding also does not change the Movement Allowance of the unit - only the number of Movement Points it must pay to enter a given tile.
Note that any Flying unit with Pathfinding only benefits from this effect if grouped with a non-Flying unit. Pathfinding only assists ground-moving stacks. The same applies to units possessing only Sailing (without an alternative Walking ability) - they move through Shore and Ocean tiles at 1 point per tile as normal.
Pathfinding units do not benefit from regular Roads - they already move as quickly as though every tile had a Road in it. However, Pathfinding units do benefit from Enchanted Roads - entering such tiles without paying any Movement Points.
Pathfinding applies only on the overland map. Units possessing Pathfinding do not have a higher speed during combat.
Group Pathfinding Edit
One of the greatest benefits of the Pathfinding ability is that it applies not only to the Pathfinding unit itself, but also to its entire stack.
When a stack contains a Pathfinding unit, it pays only 0.5 Movement Points to enter any valid tile, as though each and every tile had a Road in it.
Note that if the stack contains only Flying units, the Pathfinding ability has no effect: the stack will pay 1 Movement Point to enter any tile, as is normal for Flying units. However, if the stack contains at least one Walking unit, the stack pays 0.5 Movement Points to enter any tile - even if the Walking unit is not the one possessing the Pathfinding ability.
Units with Default Pathfinding Edit
Note that all three units are Walking units by default (thus enjoying the benefits of the Pathfinding ability, as explained above). The two Heroes arguably benefit much more from Pathfinding, as Heroes' Movement Allowance can easily be increased with the use of Magical Items - allowing them to cross vast distances extremely quickly.
Acquiring Pathfinding Edit
The Pathfinding ability can be added artificially to a unit by the following means:
- Casting the Path Finding Unit Enchantment on the unit.
- Imbuing a Magical Item with the Pathfinding Item Power, and equipping it on a Hero.
- Any stack containing at least one unit with Forester and at least one unit with Mountaineer behaves as though it has Pathfinding. This is actually better than the sum total of those two separate Abilities.
Both methods give the unit the same Pathfinding ability described above in this article - except for the fact that it is not permanent.
Path Finding Unit Enchantment Edit
Path Finding (note the space) is an Uncommon Unit Enchantment from the Nature realm. When cast on any unit, it will add the Pathfinding ability to that unit. The ability remains while the spell is in effect, and behaves exactly as described in this article.
Path Finding has a basic Casting Cost of 50, and can only be cast on the overland map. It is a lingering effect, so the unit gets to keep its Pathfinding ability only as long as the spell remains active. You must then pay an Upkeep Cost of 1 per turn to keep the spell in play.
Remember that casting Path Finding on a Flying unit may be wasteful: while the unit is alone or accompanied only by other Flying units, the Pathfinding ability has no effect.
Pathfinding Item Power Edit
During Item Crafting, it is only possible to select the "Pathfinding" bonus if you possess at least 3 Nature Spellbooks. Otherwise, "Pathfinding" is not available. Of course, it is always possible to find an item already enchanted with "Pathfinding" as reward for defeating an Encounter.
The Pathfinding ability bestowed by an item is transient: it will disappear if the Hero ever removes or loses the enchanted item.