- This article is about detrimental Unit Curses, which the caster places on enemy units. For spells that enhance the caster's own units, see Unit Enchantment.
Unit Curse is a Spell Type, or group of spells in Master of Magic. Like all other curses, Unit Curses are meant to have a persistent negative effect - lasting as long as the curse remains in play. Spells in this category are meant to be used on enemy units, reducing their combat effectiveness, or hindering their performance in other ways.
Unit Curses can only be used during combat, and must be targeted at enemy units. Usually, the enemy unit gets one singular chance, as a unit, to Resist the curse. Should it fail, the spell will take hold immediately. Some Unit Curses are harder to avoid than others, and apply a penalty to the target's Resistance roll, while the Rare Mind Storm spell may not be resisted at all.
Unit Curses continue to affect their target until the end of the battle, until dispelled by the enemy, or until the afflicted unit is destroyed. They can not be canceled by their caster.
There are a total of only 9 different Unit Curses in Master of Magic, making this the smallest category of spells. Only the Sorcery, Chaos and Death Realms possess such spells - Nature and Life specialize in beneficial Unit Enchantments instead.
All Unit Curses must be cast during combat - they cannot be cast on the overland map under any circumstances. A Unit Curse must be targeted at an enemy unit, though some units may possess certain properties that render them immune to one or more Unit Curses, and these units may therefore not be targeted.
Unit Curses span the gamut of Casting Costs - some are very cheap to cast, while others are quite expensive. However, all but one of them give their target a chance to Resist the curse, albeit always on a per-unit basis, meaning that the target can only make a single roll to avoid the effect, regardless of the amount of figures it has. If the roll is successful, the curse dissipates harmlessly, applying no effect and wasting its entire Casting Cost. As a result, units with high Resistance scores may be completely immune to some or all Unit Curses.
Once a unit is affected by a Unit Curse, that curse and its effects will remain until the end of the battle. However, the opposing Wizard may attempt to remove the curse prematurely using dispel type spells, and it will also dissipate naturally should the afflicted unit die. Because Unit Curses do not carry over to the campaign map, they never have an Upkeep Cost.
Targeting Restrictions Edit
Not every enemy unit may be targeted by any Unit Curse. Possession and Shatter can only be cast on Normal Units and Heroes, while Creature Binding will only affect Fantastic Units. Some units can also possess certain abilities that prevent them from being targeted. Most notably, Magic Immunity protects against any and all Unit Curses. In addition, units with Illusions Immunity are immune to all but Creature Binding from the Sorcery Realm; while units possessing Death Immunity will not be affected by Unit Curses from the Death Realm, with the exception of Possession.
If an invalid target is selected, the game will refuse to cast the spell, although it does allow choosing a different target.
The Curse Icon Edit
Once a unit is affected by a Unit Curse, an icon representing the effect of the spell appears in the unit statistics window, when right-clicking to inspect the unit. Unit Curse icons can be quickly distinguished from other icons by their blue background.
Getting Rid of Unit Curses Edit
All Unit Curses last only until the end of the battle, or until the cursed unit is killed - whichever comes first. However, the unit's owner may be able to prematurely remove these effects through the use of dispel type spells. In fact, in the latest official game version (and even in Insecticide), the removal of Unit Curses is entirely automatic: the game will not make any dispel attempts and will always remove all curses from any targeted units. This is generally regarded as a bug though, and is corrected in the Unofficial Patch 1.50.
Dispel Magic Edit
Combatants may cast either the Dispel Magic or Dispel Magic True spell on an individual unit on their side, in an attempt to remove each and every Unit Curse affecting it. As noted above, in the official game, this will automatically succeed and free the unit from all afflictions immediately. From v1.50 onwards however, the spell has to make a separate dispelling attempt against each Unit Curse; with a different chance of success based on the Casting Cost of the targeted curse, and the Mana invested into Dispel Magic / True. If the curse is lifted, all of its effects will instantly disappear as well.
Disenchant Area Edit
It is also possible to try and remove all Unit Curses currently affecting all of a Wizard's units on the battlefield. This requires the use of the Disenchant Area or Disenchant True spells, both of which will simultaneously target all enchantments and curses on the battlefield. Again, in the latest official game version, both spells will remove Unit Curses automatically; but require successful dispelling attempts in v1.50+ instead.
Related Bugs Edit
It may also be worth noting that there are two more bugs in the official game that may come into play when dealing with Unit Curses. Firstly, curses that subvert control over a unit may not be dispelled by the unit's original owner, and even if they do somehow get dispelled, the unit will not be returned anyway. This applies to both Possession, Creature Binding, and Confusion. In addition, Heroes casting 3 out of the 4 dispel type spells mentioned above will target their own side's spells instead of those cast by the enemy in the original game, making Disenchant Area their only option if they intend to lift any Unit Curses.
Unit Curses can serve different functions, but will generally cause one of two different effects:
- Reduce the target's combat attributes, such as Melee Strength, Defense, or Resistance; or
- Change the target's behavior, preventing it from obeying orders.
In all cases, a Unit Curse only applies these penalties to the specific targeted unit, although in the case of Multi-Figure units, it does affect all of the figures. For spells that may affect more the one unit simultaneously in a similar fashion, refer to Combat Enchantments and Global Enchantments instead.
Combat Properties Edit
Almost every unit attribute has at least one Unit Curse that reduces it by at least a small amount. These include:
- Movement Allowance;
- Melee Strength;
- / / Ranged Attack Strength;
- To Hit chance;
- Defense score;
- Resistance score.
Note that of these, only Resistance can be reduced below 0. Other properties may only be reduced to 0, as negative numbers would make no sense for them. However, a unit that is reduced to a Melee Strength of 0 cannot initiate Melee Attacks against any opponent. Similarly, a unit that reaches a Ranged Attack Strength of 0 cannot make any Ranged Attacks.
With the exception of Warp Creature, which has three different effects that it may apply, it is not possible to cast the same Unit Curse on a unit multiple times to "stack" its attribute penalties. This remains true even if there are multiple entities that could cast the spell on the same target. If this is attempted after already having afflicted a unit with a curse, the game will throw an error message stating that the spell is already affecting that target.
Disrupting Unit Behavior Edit
Several Unit Curses do not alter the target's properties - but rather, its behavior. For example, the Black Sleep spell, if successfully cast on an enemy unit, will prevent that unit from moving, attacking, or even defending itself. Possession and Creature Binding are even worse - transferring control of a unit to the other side!
Temporary Effects Edit
All effects applied by Unit Curses are completely temporary - they last exactly as long as the curse remains on its target, and no longer. If a curse is lifted in mid-battle, its effects disappear and the unit returns to normal. Otherwise, the unit will return to normal after the battle has ended - assuming it survived that long. Curses never leave behind any permanent effects whatsoever.
The Web Spell Edit
Web is categorized as a Combat Instant spell on the wiki, and as a "Special" spell within the game. However, strictly speaking, Web satisfies every criteria for a Unit Curse, with the exception of its in-game grouping. The reason it is not classed as one anyway is that it has two distinctive effects, one of which can end naturally even if it isn't dispelled, while the other may not be removed by any means in the official versions of the game.
The first effect immobilizes the target unit, making it unable to move or perform voluntary attacks. At the beginning of their combat turns, trapped units automatically try to break free, inflicting damage to the Web based on their attack attributes (see the spell's page for more details). Once a total of 12 is done to it, this effect is removed, and the target is free to act from the subsequent turn.
The second effect of Web is disabling a target's Flying Movement Type, if applicable. Because of the way this is implemented in the official game, an affected unit can only ever regain its ability to Fly if it is granted specifically by the Flight spell. Otherwise, the loss of this Movement Type will always last until the end of the battle.
List of Unit Curses Edit
The list below details each of the 9 Unit Curses available in the game.
|Confusion||Sorcery||Common||15||130||Target unit must Resist or act in a random manner each combat turn.|
|Creature Binding||Sorcery||Very Rare||70||2250||Target Fantastic Unit must resist at -2 or change its allegiance.|
|Mind Storm||Sorcery||Rare||35||1400||Target unit receives -5, -5, -5, -5 and -5.|
|Vertigo||Sorcery||Uncommon||25||400||Target unit must Resist or receive -20% and -1.|
|Shatter||Chaos||Common||12||190||Target Normal Unit or Hero must Resist or have its Melee-, Ranged Missile-, and Thrown Attack Strength reduced to 1.|
|Warp Creature||Chaos||Common||18||220||Target unit must resist at -1 or be afflicted with one of three significant attribute penalties, selected at random.|
|Black Sleep||Death||Common||15||100||Target unit must resist at -2 or become unable to move, attack, cast spells, or defend itself at all.|
|Possession||Death||Uncommon||30||350||Target Normal Unit or Hero must resist at -1 or change sides and join the caster's army for the duration of combat.|
|Weakness||Death||Common||5||40||Target unit must resist at -2 or receive -2 and -2 (and also -2 from v1.51 onwards).|