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Water Movement is an intermediate mode by which units move in combat.

Water Movement rules take effect during battles on Shore and Ocean map squares, for units that possess it.

The game's naval vessels (the ones that don't fly, anyway) are Move Sailing Sailing; they are permanently bound to sea squares as soon as they leave port, and may enter combat with enemies on open water. Other units which have Move Swimming Swimming, a Movement Type available through various sources, are able to wage battle on land or sea. Both types of units use Water Movement in sea battles. The other baseline rules are:

  • Units with Ground Movement cannot move in the sea battlescape.
  • Units with Air Movement get to retain it no matter where they fight.

In spite of its association with combat, the wavy Icon Movement WaterWater Movement icon can be useful for referencing a unit's base Movement Allowance, meanwhile emphasizing that the unit is seaworthy.

Combat Terrain Edit

The sea battlescape consists entirely of uniform water tiles.

Icon Movement WaterWater Movement Terrain Table
Terrain Square Name Cost to Enter Description
Arcanus Myrror Cardinal Diagonal
CombatTile Arcanus Ocean CombatTile Myrror Ocean Ocean Icon Movement Water1 Icon Movement Water1.5 Uniform tileset for Shore and Ocean combat.

Effects Overview Edit

The table below outlines the interactions Unit Abilities and spell effects have with Icon Movement WaterWater Movement in combat.

Icon Movement WaterWater Movement Effect Table
Unit Abilities
Icon Ability Combat Effects
Ability FireBreath Fire Breath Permits a unit on the surface to initiate melee attacks on a Icon Movement AirFlyer.
Ability LightningBreath Lightning Breath
Ability Thrown Thrown
Ability DeathGaze Death Gaze
Ability DoomGaze Doom Gaze
Ability StoningGaze Stoning Gaze
Ability Merging Merging Grants de facto Icon Movement WaterWater Movement.
Unit may teleport to almost any tile at a cost of Icon Movement Water/Icon Movement Air1.
Ability Teleporting Teleporting
Ability Pathfinding Pathfinding None — No combat terrain discounts.
Ability NonCorporeal Non-Corporeal Unit has Icon Movement WaterWater Movement and immunity to snares. No combat terrain discounts.
Ability PlaneShift Plane Shift None — Sorry, you cannot wink in and out of combat.
Ability WebSpell Web Spell Traps a target, forces a Icon Movement AirFlyer into Icon Movement WaterWater Movement if it has this. Otherwise the victim defaults to Icon Movement GroundGround Movement whereby it is effectively immobilized (Combat Instant snare).
Ability WindWalking Wind Walking Does not grant Water or Air Movement. Icon Movement GroundWalkers accompanying the wind walker will enter combat, but immobile.
N/A Transport The Move Sailing Transport will enter combat. Icon Movement GroundWalkers in transport will not (vice-versa for Floating Islands).
Spells
Realm Spell Combat Effects
Icon Arcane.png Dispel Magic May remove relevant movement buffs imparted by spells, but not innate abilities or Item Powers.
Icon Arcane.png Disenchant Area
Icon Sorcery.png Dispel Magic True
Icon Sorcery.png Disenchant True
Tactical FloatingIsland Floating Island Does not grant Water or Air Movement. Icon Movement GroundWalkers accompanying the unit will enter combat, but immobile.
Icon Sorcery.png Wind Walking
Icon Chaos.png Call Chaos Potentially grants Icon Movement Air Air Movement (~4% per target).
Icon Chaos.png Chaos Channels Potentially grants Icon Movement Air Air Movement (~33%).
Icon Life.png Endurance Icon Movement Ground+1
Icon Nature.png Entangle Icon Movement Ground−1 ... Requires corporeal foes in Icon Movement GroundGround or Icon Movement WaterWater Movement (Combat Enchantment snare).
Icon Sorcery.png Flight Grants Icon Movement Air Air Movement to the target.
Icon Sorcery.png Haste Icon Movement Ground× 2
Icon Nature.png Web Traps a target, forces a Icon Movement AirFlyer into Icon Movement WaterWater Movement if it has this. Otherwise the victim defaults to Icon Movement GroundGround Movement whereby it is effectively immobilized (Combat Instant snare).
Icon Nature.png Water Walking Grants Icon Movement Water Water Movement to the target.
Icon Sorcery.png Wind Mastery Icon Movement SailingShips friendly to the caster get Icon Movement Water+50% Move Points, and −50% for each enemy instance of the spell.
Icon Death.png Wraith Form Grants Icon Movement WaterWater Movement and immunity to snares. No combat terrain discounts.

Transports in Combat Edit

Main article: Transport

Naval vessels have a tendency to complicate the rules, both in their technical (but violable) restriction to Ocean and Shore tiles and their role as Transports. To summarize their effects in tandem with the information in the chart above:

Any transported units that do not have Icon Movement AirFlight, Icon Movement SailingSailing, or Icon Movement WaterWater Movement cannot take part in ocean battle. If, after suffering battle losses, the total Transport Capacity of the stack is insufficient to carry the Icon Movement GroundGround units in the stack, any excess units will Drown. The Floating Island spell creates an exception to this behavior: the island itself does not appear in combat at all, while the Icon Movement GroundWalking units it carries appear but cannot move (but may still attack, if they have ranged attacks or a unit moves adjacent to them).

While Move Flying Flying and Move Swimming Swimming units may default to Ground Movement as circumstances dictate, ships cannot. In rare cases sailing units may be attacked on land, such as in the port where they were constructed, or when they were flying overland but had their enchantment dismissed. In port, they will simply not appear for the battle. Overland, they will appear in battle, but immobilized (like walkers trapped in water, they can still hurl their Icon Ranged Boulder.png Rocks and attack adjacent foes). They may appear in any combat, and mobile to boot, if they obtain the ability to Icon Movement AirFly (the lynchpin of the Flying Invisible Warships strategy).

Any Wind Walking unit is effectively a Transport as well. The wind-walker and all its allies will enter open water combat, but only the Icon Movement Water/ Icon Movement Air ones will be able to move. The most prominent recurring victim of this mechanic is Jaer the Wind Mage, who cannot move in water combat since beneath his Wind Walking ability, he is just a Icon Movement GroundWalker.

Availability Edit

Move Swimming Swimming Edit

This Movement Type guarantees Icon Movement WaterWater Movement in combat, and is made generally available to units through one Common Icon Nature.pngNature spell, a Rare Icon Death.pngDeath spell, and their related Item Powers for heroes' equipment:


A total of 7 normal units (all Lizardmen) and 1 fantastic unit are natural Move Swimming Swimmers:


Additionally, 4 more fantastic units obtain Water Movement solely through their Non-Corporeal ability:

Two other fantastic units, Shadow Demons and Wraiths, are both Flying and Non-Corporeal, so they need never adopt Water Movement.

Icon Movement SailingSailing Edit

Unsurprisingly, the innate Movement Type of most ship designs. There are exactly 3 Move Sailing Sailing vessels in the game:

The Floating Island also has Move Sailing Sailing movement on the overland map, but cannot appear in combat.

Ability Merging Ability Teleporting Merging / Teleporting Units Edit

Two Walking units gain the ability to move around in sea combat on account of these abilities:

The only other teleporting unit, the Djinn, is a Flying unit already.

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