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Ranged Missile Attack

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This article deals specifically with Ranged Missile Attacks. For an overview of how Ranged Attacks work in general, see Ranged Attack.

A Ranged Missile Attack is one of three classes of Ranged Attacks available in Master of Magic; it actually consists of two types, Bows and Bullets, which only differ in the graphics they use and the description on the character sheet. When a unit is capable of making a Ranged Missile Attack, its details panel will show the strength of the attack as a series of Icon Ranged Bow.png Bows or Icon Ranged Boulder.png Bullets (the bullet symbol is unfortunately the same as the one used for Rocks, but it will say Bullets instead of Rocks down below). The Icon Ranged Bow.png Bows icon is used on this wiki to represent Ranged Missile Attacks and/or their strength.

Ranged Missile Attacks are generally weaker than other Ranged Attacks. For one, all Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attacks suffer from Icon ToHit.png To Hit penalties based on the distance to the target: the further away the target, the higher the penalty. Thus they are significantly less useful at long range. Furthermore, Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attacks are generally weak in strength, and generally have little or no chance of harming opponents possessing Missile Immunity.

Mitigating this somewhat, most Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attackers are Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units containing plenty of figures, increasing the statistical chance of causing at least some damage. Also, a Ranged Missile Attack can harm opponents possessing Magic Immunity, making it more useful than Ranged Magical Attacks in this particular case.

Like all other Ranged Attacks, Ranged Missile Attacks may only be used a limited number of times (usually 8) per battle. This number is displayed in the unit's details panel.

Ranged Missile Attacks are fairly common compared to other Ranged Attack types. There are 15 different types of Normal Units possessing this attack, and an additional 4 Heroes. There are no Fantastic Units possessing this type of attack. Note that all of the Heroes possessing a Ranged Missile Attack may use a Bow to increase the strength of this attack.

Ranged Missile Attack Properties Edit

A Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attack is one of three different types of Ranged Attack in Master of Magic, with the other two being Ranged Magical Attacks and Ranged Boulder Attacks. There are several important differences between each of these attack types. The advantages and disadvantages of Ranged Missile Attacks are explained below - for an overall comparison, see Ranged Attack.

Distance Penalties Edit

Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attacks suffer from an important disadvantage that seriously affects the way they are used in combat, especially when compared to the simpler (and deadlier) Icon Ranged Magic.png Ranged Magical Attacks: they suffer Icon ToHit.png To Hit penalties based on distance to the target.

The penalty equals Icon ToHit.png -10% To Hit for every 3 tiles of distance between the shooter and the target. Therefore, the shooter suffers Icon ToHit.png -10% at a distance of 3 tiles, and Icon ToHit.png -20% at a distance of 6 tiles. The game's original manual indicates that Icon ToHit.png -20% is the largest penalty possible, but the Strategy Guide implies that the bonus could be even higher (i.e. Icon ToHit.png -30% at 9 tiles, and so on).

At a distance of 1 or 2 tiles from the target (i.e. either adjacent to the shooter or one empty tile apart), the shooter suffers no Icon ToHit.png To Hit penalty at all.

As a result of this penalty, Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attackers will generally want to close the distance with their target before spending any of their ammunition. Attempting a long-range shot may reduce the shooter's Icon ToHit.png To Hit score by such a large amount that there is very little chance to actually inflict any damage on the target whatsoever.

The same principle is also important to remember when fighting against enemy Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attackers: if you wish to minimize damage, keep your units as far away from the enemy Missile troops until they've depleted all of their ammunition. After that you can close the distance safely.

Immunity to Missiles Edit

Ranged Missile Attacks directed at a target possessing Missile Immunity will trigger that ability - raising the target's Defense score to Icon Defense.png 50 for purposes of blocking damage from this attack.

Icon Defense.png 50 is virtually impossible to defeat; only extremely-powerful Heroes will ever have enough Icon Ranged Bow.png Attack Strength to have any real chance of inflicting damage through this much armor. Thus, Missile Immunity usually makes a unit completely impervious to Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attacks.

No Immunity to Magic Edit

On the other hand, Ranged Missile Attacks do not trigger a target's Magic Immunity, if it possesses one. Therefore, Ranged Missile Attacks may be useful against such units, where Icon Ranged Magic.png Ranged Magical Attacks will likely have no effect whatsoever.

Units with Ranged Missile Attacks Edit

The game contains exactly 18 units that possess a Ranged Missile Attack. These are the only units that possess such an attack: no unit may acquire a Ranged Missile Attack under any circumstance if it does not have one by default.

Normal Units Edit

14 of the Ranged Missile Attack units in the game are Normal Units from various Races. Bowmen are the most common of these, and several races also possess unique racial units with a stronger and/or more useful Ranged Missile Attack.

Most of these units may make up to 8 Ranged Missile Attacks per battle, though some can only make 6. Since these units are all Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, their overall attack strength is often higher than implied by the raw attack score, but generally Ranged Missile Attack Normal Units are fairly weak overall.

Normal Units equipped with Icon Melee Mithril.png Mithril Weapons or Icon Melee Adamantium.png Adamantium Weapons receive a bonus of Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 or Icon Ranged Bow.png +2 (respectively) to their Ranged Missile Attack. Those weapons as well as Icon Melee Magic.png Magical Weapons will improve Missile Attacks in 2 further ways: firstly ignoring Weapon Immunity ability, secondly giving a Icon ToHit.png +10% To Hit bonus.

Normal Units acquire Experience over time, which slowly increases the strength of their Ranged Missile Attack. Some can become surprisingly powerful by the time they reach Level 4 ("Elite") or higher. The table below lists a unit's strength when it is still at its lowest Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level with no bonuses whatsoever.

Icon Unit Name # Figures Default Attack Strength Ammunition
Unit Icon BarbarianBowmen Transparent Barbarian Bowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 8
Unit Icon GnollBowmen Transparent Gnoll Bowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 8
Unit Icon HalflingBowmen Transparent Halfling Bowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 8
Unit Icon Slingers Transparent Slingers Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 8 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 2 * 6
Unit Icon Longbowmen Transparent Longbowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 3 8
Unit Icon Pegasai Transparent Pegasai Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 2 Icon Ranged Bow.png 3 8
Unit Icon HighMenBowmen Transparent High Men Bowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 8
Unit Icon Javelineers Transparent Javelineers Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 3 6
Unit Icon NomadBowmen Transparent Nomad Bowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 8
Unit Icon Rangers Transparent Rangers Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 4 Icon Ranged Bow.png 3 8
Unit Icon Horsebowmen Transparent Horsebowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 4 Icon Ranged Bow.png 2 8
Unit Icon OrcBowmen Transparent Orc Bowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 8
Unit Icon BeastmenBowmen Transparent Beastmen Bowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 8
Unit Icon Centaurs Transparent Centaurs Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 4 Icon Ranged Bow.png 2 6
Unit Icon DraconianBowmen Transparent Draconian Bowmen Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6 Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 8

* The Slingers' Ranged Attack is marked with Icon Ranged Boulder.png Boulders, but it is nonetheless a Ranged Missile Attack for all intents and purposes.

Heroes Edit

There are 4 Heroes in the game who possess a Ranged Missile Attack. Each of these Heroes can use his/her Ranged Attack up to 8 times per battle, but fortunately most of them can then switch to a respectable Melee Attack if necessary.

Since each Hero is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit, the strength of his/her Ranged Missile Attack can be considered quite low (at least initially) when compared to other units. Heroes will generally use their speed to get very close to their targets before firing, this making the most of each attack.

All 4 of these Heroes are also capable of holding a Bow. Any attack-strength bonuses and/or Icon ToHit.png To Hit bonuses on the item will improve the user's Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attack strength. Bonuses on Jewelry items also apply to the wearer's Ranged Missile Attack, if he/she possesses one.

Heroes gain Experience over time, and their Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attack strength increases at a rate of Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 per level. Leadership is the only Hero Ability that increases this further with each Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level, and sadly will give no more than Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 or Icon Ranged Bow.png +2 at most, even when the Hero reaches Level 9 ("Demi-God"). Note however that bonuses from Leadership apply to all units in the Hero's army.

The Blademaster ability also influences the Hero's Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attack, and to a much greater degree than Leadership, but it does so indirectly by raising the Hero's Icon ToHit.png To Hit score. This helps the attack inflict more of its potential damage output. Note that the same bonus applies to all of the Hero's attacks.

The table below assumes each Hero is at his/her starting Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level, with no Magical Items, Hero Abilities or Random Abilities.

Portrait Name Attack Strength Additional Notes
Hero BShan B'Shan the Dervish Icon Ranged Bow.png 4
Hero Marcus Marcus the Ranger Icon Ranged Bow.png 5
Hero Shuri Shuri the Huntress Icon Ranged Bow.png 4 Possesses Blademaster.
Hero Alorra Alorra the Elven Archer Icon Ranged Bow.png 8 Possesses Blademaster.

Spells and Abilities affecting Ranged Missile Attacks Edit

Icon Name Description
Attack Strength
Icon Melee Adamantium Adamantium Weapon Icon Ranged Bow.png +2 (requires Alchemists' Guild and a nearby Adamantium Ore)
Icon Melee Mithril Mithril Weapon Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 (requires Alchemists' Guild and a nearby Mithril Ore)
UnitEnchantment Lionheart Lionheart Icon Ranged Bow.png +3
UnitEnchantment FlameBlade Flame Blade Icon Ranged Bow.png +2 (normal units only)
CombatEnchantment MetalFires Metal Fires Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 for all allied normal units (non-cumulative with Flame Blade)
UnitEnchantment BlackChannels Black Channels Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 (normal units become Undead)
CombatEnchantment BlackPrayer Black Prayer Icon Ranged Bow.png -1 for all enemy units
UnitEnchantment Weakness Weakness Icon Ranged Bow.png -2 if unit fails to resist
UnitEnchantment MindStorm Mind Storm Icon Ranged Bow.png -5 if unit hasn't Illusions Immunity or Magic Immunity
UnitEnchantment Shatter Shatter Attack is reduced to Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 if normal unit fails to resist
SpellIcon ChaosSurge Chaos Surge Icon Ranged Bow.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos (Chaos Channeled units)
CombatEnchantment ChaosNodeBonusAura Chaos Node Aura Icon Ranged Bow.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos (Chaos Channeled units)
CombatEnchantment Darkness Darkness Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 for all units associated with Icon Death.pngDeath (Undead units);
Cloud of Shadow and Eternal Night have same effect
CombatEnchantment TrueLight True Light Icon Ranged Bow.png -1 for all units associated with Icon Death.pngDeath (Undead units);
Heavenly Light has same effect
Ability Leadership Leadership Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 for all accompanying normal units if hero reaches Icon ExpLevel 5.png 6th Level
Icon Ranged Bow.png +2 if hero has Super Leadership and reaches Icon ExpLevel 7.png 8th Level
ItemPower Sword Red Flaming Icon Ranged Bow.png +3 (if this Item Power is used on a Bow)
Item Bow 1 Bow up to Icon Ranged Bow.png +6
Item Misc 1 Jewelry up to Icon Ranged Bow.png +4
To Hit Modifiers
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% (cumulative with Icon Melee Magic.png Magical Weapon)
Ability Lucky Lucky Icon ToHit.png +10% (also: Icon ToBlock.png +10% To Block)
CombatEnchantment Prayer (High) Prayer Icon ToHit.png +10% for all allied units (also: Icon ToBlock.png +10% To Block)
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 Bow 1 Bow up to Icon ToHit.png +30%
Item Misc 1 Jewelry up to Icon ToHit.png +20%
Non-listed Defense
UnitEnchantment GuardianWind Guardian Wind gives Missile Immunity (Icon Defense.png 50)
Ability MissileImmunity Missile Immunity Defense is increased to Icon Defense.png 50
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 Weapon, Eldritch Weapon or Flame Blade
Ability LargeShield Large Shield Icon Defense.png +2
Other
SpellIcon WarpWood Warp Wood destroys all ammunition
Ability Invisibility Invisibility unit can't be attacked unless opponent has Illusion Immunity
UnitEnchantment EldritchWeapon Eldritch Weapon opponent's chance to block is decreased by Icon ToBlock.png -10%
UnitEnchantment Invulnerability Invulnerability absorbs the first 2 damage coming from each enemy Icon Figure.png figure; unit gets Weapon Immunity
UnitEnchantment Haste Haste Icon Ranged Bow.png Missile attack is executed twice (also consumes double ammunition), Icon Movement GroundMovement is doubled
CombatEnchantment Blur Blur roughly 10 % of all enemy Icon Ranged Bow.png attacks will miss (regardless of hit roll)
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)

Note: Icon Ranged Boulder.png Ranged Boulder Attack works very similar. But there are some abilities and spells that only affect Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attacks, namely: Flame Blade, Metal Fires, Weakness, Guardian Wind, Missile Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Warp Wood, Eldritch Weapon.

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