A Thrown Attack is one of the many Special Attack Types featured in Master of Magic. A Thrown Attack is only executed as an integral part of a unit's Melee Attack, and always delivers simple Physical Damage. Its primary purpose, aside from hurting the enemy, is to try and kill of as many enemy Figures as possible before the rest of the Melee combat process (including the enemy's retaliation) can take place.
Thrown Attacks are only available to units possessing the Thrown ability. This includes 4 of the primary Normal Units from the Barbarian race, as well as three Heroes. Units that do not possess the Thrown ability by default may not acquire it in any way, and thus will never be able to execute a Thrown Attack.
Thrown Attacks are executed at the very beginning of the Melee Attack sequence. Thus, the more enemy Figures a Thrown Attack can kill, the less danger there will be to the Thrown Attacker once the target gets the chance to retaliate.
Thrown Attacks are only executed when the attacker is voluntarily initiating Melee combat. They do not work when Counter Attacking to an enemy assault.
The damage delivered by a Thrown Attack is always very basic Physical Damage, with no additional properties. It will attempt to cause actual Damage Points to the target, and will not trigger any of the target's immunities.
The strength of a Thrown Attack is indicated in a unit's details panel as the value of its Thrown ability. On this wiki, the strength of a Thrown Attack is indicated by a non-official icon of an axe within a blue box: . This icon does not appear in the game, but is based upon the icon representing the Thrown ability. The strength of a Thrown Attack indicates how much Physical Damage it delivers.
The strength of a Thrown Attack will normally grow with Experience at the same rate as the unit's Melee Attack strength. Most effects that improve a unit's Melee Attack will also improve its Thrown Attack. Furthermore, any Axe containing attack-improving bonuses and held by a Hero will improve both the Hero's Melee Attack and his/her Thrown Attack, if present.
A Thrown Attack consists of a unit hurling specially-designed weapons at the enemy from some distance away. This includes weapons like throwing-spears and throwing-axes. These weapons are meticulously balanced in order to maintain air stability, which they usually achieve by rotating around a pre-defined axis. Therefore, they can maintain a rather constant trajectory through the air, and are thus sufficiently accurate to strike their target. Since these projectiles are much heavier than arrows or bolts, they also tend to cause far more damage to anything they strike.
On the other hand, thrown-weapons lack the range of dedicated ranged-weapons like bows and slings. They cannot be used against far-away targets. Instead, they are quite effective at just beyond hand-to-hand combat range, and thus are used as a "first-strike" weapon preceding a powerful charge. In other words, these weapons are hurled just before a unit charges into an enemy formation. They kill a few of the defenders, and thus make it easier to mop-up the rest.
Because of the short distance involved, the Thrown Attack occurs at the very start of any Melee Attack. It will preceded any form of retaliation by the enemy. The desired outcome of a Thrown Attack is the death of as many enemy Figures as possible, so that once the two units are engaged in combat, the enemy has less strength and thus will pose less of a risk to the attacker. It is, essentially, a preemptive strike meant to weaken the enemy prior to actual engagement.
All Thrown Attacks deliver a very basic form of Physical Damage, with no additional effects or special properties.
Physical Damage is meant to cause actual Damage Points to the target - with the intent of killing as many enemy Figures as possible before the attacker and defender engage each other up close.
The amount of Physical Damage delivered by a Thrown Attack is equal to the strength of the attacker's Thrown ability, as indicated in its details panel. This is the maximum potential number of Damage Points that might be caused to the target - though the actual amount is usually much lower. On this wiki, the strength of any Thrown Attack is indicated by the axe icon: . Therefore, an attack with a strength of 4 delivers 4 points of Physical Damage, and can potentially cause up to 4 points of Damage to the target.
To calculate the actual amount of Damage caused to the target, the game runs through the Physical Damage process - a long and complicated process that's explained in detail in the Physical Damage article. In essence, the attacker makes a series of To Hit rolls to determine the accuracy of the attack, and the defender makes a series of Defense rolls to determine how effectively it blocked and/or dodged the attack. When the results of these rolls are compared, we get the total amount of Damage caused to the target. Target Figures are killed as appropriate, before moving on to the next step of the Melee Attack process (usually the exchange of Gaze Attacks between the attacker and the target).
It is currently unknown which To Hit bonuses apply when processing a Thrown Attack, and testing is quite difficult. However, it is certain that some bonuses, such as those received from Axes, certainly do apply to the Thrown Attack. These will improve the accuracy of the attack, and thus help it deliver more Damage on average.
Multi-Figure Thrown Attackers Edit
When a Multi-Figure unit uses a Thrown Attack, each individual Figure executes a separate Thrown Attack against the target, in rapid succession. Each of these is treated and processed as a separate attack, involving the entire routine of To Hit rolls, Defense rolls and Damage distribution as described above, from start to finish.
Each of these attacks has the same strength, equal to the value of the unit's Thrown ability. Thus, a unit with "Thrown 3" and 4 Figures will execute 4 separate Thrown Attacks against the target, each with a strength of 3 (i.e. delivering 3 points of Physical Damage at the target).
Therefore, the more Figures a unit contains, the stronger its Thrown Attack is overall. Nonetheless, a "weaker" Thrown Attack made against a heavily-armored target may still fail to cause any Damage to that target even with many Figures participating. This is because each of the individual sub-attacks is weak, and thus each has an equal chance of failing to penetrate the armor.
- A unit of Barbarian Swordsmen has 6 Figures when fully-healed. By default, this unit possesses the Thrown ability of strength 1.
- When the Barbarian Swordsmen unit is voluntarily attacking, each of the 6 Swordsmen makes a separate Thrown Attack, and each of these attacks has a strength of 1 (i.e. delivering 1 Physical Damage point at the target). Therefore, as per the rules of Physical Damage, each Swordsman makes a single To Hit roll against the target, and can potentially inflict 1 Point of Damage. If all attacks are successful, the target will suffer a total of 1 * 6 = 6 points of Damage.
- However, almost all targets are sufficiently-well-armored to withstand this damage, because it is delivered in 1-point "packets", instead of a single 6-point attack.
- For example, an enemy unit with only 1 Defense - extremely light armor - has only a 25% chance of suffering damage from each of these 1-point attacks. In this case, having 6 separate attacks does help, since a 25% chance with each of six separate attacks means roughly a 75% chance that the target will suffer at least 1 point of Damage.
- On the other hand, if the target has a Defense score of 5, the chance of each 1-point attack inflicting any damage on it is remarkably slim - only about 5% per attack! This gives only a ~25% chance of hurting the target at all. For comparison, a single 6-point attack would've been significantly more useful against the same target, having roughly 45% chance of hurting it to some degree.
- Thus, Multi-Figure units with a low Thrown Attack strength can indeed be dangerous to lightly-armored enemies, simply because of the multitude of attacks being executed one after the other. However they are still far less useful against heavily-armored targets than would a single powerful Thrown Attacker delivering the same total amount of Physical Damage in one go.
Execution and Sequence Edit
Thrown Attacks are executed only by the initiator of a Melee Attack. For example, if unit A attacks unit B, and both units have the Thrown ability, only unit A gets to make a Thrown Attack since it initiated combat. Unit B may not use its Thrown Attack. If both units survive of course, then once unit B's turn begins it can initiate a Melee Attack against unit A, in which case unit B gets to use a Thrown Attack and unit A does not.
Thrown Attacks are always executed at the very beginning of the Melee Attack process, before any other attack or damage is delivered. This is one of its primary advantages: the attacking unit strikes with its full force, before the target gets any chance to hurt the attacking unit and reduce its strength in any way.
|1||Thrown Attack / Breath Attack||--|
|3|| Melee Damage,|
| Melee Damage,|
As the table above shows, the Thrown Attack occurs in stage 1, and shares this stage with the Breath Attack. Note that the rules of the game state that a unit may not have both a Thrown Attack and a Breath Attack, so only one of these will be executed as appropriate.
Because of its position in stage 1, the Thrown Attack also has an important tactical advantage: any enemy Figures that are successfully killed off in this attack cannot participate in any of the following stages. Thus, enemy figures killed by a Thrown Attack will not deliver their own Gaze Attacks, Touch Attacks, nor any Melee Damage back at the attacker. This provides the attacker some security: by weakening the enemy, the attacker stands to suffer less retaliatory damage.
Thrown Attacks deliver only basic Physical Damage. As far as we know, this means that no immunity will ever be triggered by a Thrown Attack. This means that there is no good way to prevent this attack from doing damage, except of course when the target innately has a high Defense rating.
Ground vs. Air Edit
The normal rules of combat prohibit any Walking or Swimming unit from initiating a Melee Attack against any Flying opponent. Such units may only Counter Attack to this opponent, allowing the Flying enemy to maneuver freely around them without fear of being attacked.
However, possession of a Thrown Attack by a Walking or Swimming unit allows that unit to break the rules: it may freely and voluntarily execute Melee Attacks against enemy Flying units.