|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Weapon Immunity is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below. The earliest game version that does away with (all of) these, thus in which Weapon Immunity works fully as intended, is v1.51.|
Unit Abilities available in Master of Magic.
When a unit with Weapon Immunity is subjected to non-magical damage from Normal Units, its Defense is raised to 10 for the purpose of blocking this damage. This makes the unit more resilient against most attacks made by such units.
There are many effects that can alter a unit's Weapon Quality to allow it to get through Weapon Immunity. Even without these, setting the unit's Defense score to 10 may not be much of an improvement, making this a comparably weak immunity. However, the fact that it scales well with the Figure counts of both the attacker and the defender still makes it quite powerful in the early game.
Weapon Immunity is not a very common immunity, but is still possessed by 7 different Fantastic Units, almost all from the Death Realm. It may also be acquired through the Invulnerability or Wraith Form spells, or the Item Powers of the same name (in the case of Heroes).
Though cold steel weapons are often dangerous to anyone at the receiving end, the existence of mystical entities and defensive spells will occasionally render simple steel insufficient. Whether a creature is magically protected, or simply is not tangible enough to be hurt by a normal weapon, it will be hard to kill such an opponent without magic of one's own.
Creatures with Weapon Immunity therefore hold a serious advantage against "mundane" enemies, taking little or no damage from their attacks. Fortunately, there is more than one method to imbue weapons with magical energy, so that they can hurt their target properly.
Weapon Immunity is a passive ability that protects a unit from regular Damage. The majority of Normal Units deliver only this type by default, with no other special properties attached. When such units make a Melee-, Ranged Missile, or Ranged Boulder attack against a target possessing Weapon Immunity, the target's Defense score is raised to exactly 10 (if it is lower). This allows the defender to make 10 To Block rolls, nullifying, on average, 3 points of Damage from each attack.
10 is actually a high amount, even compared to the toughest Fantastic Units, but it is not normally enough to block all damage from any serious attack. Many experienced high-tier Normal Units can deliver more than 3 points of Damage per Figure, and can thus get through the Immunity. Still, 10 is better than what most units have by default.
Note that the Weapons-Immune unit's Defense score is raised only for the duration of resolving this Damage, and will return to normal immediately afterward. This ability also does not apply at all against Thrown Attacks, Fire Breath, Ranged Magical Attacks, or spells of any kind. However, if the attacker is a Multi-Figure unit, the increase in Defense does work separately against each individual Figure's attack.
From the Unofficial Patch 1.50 onwards, Weapon Immunity also works against Thrown Attacks. However, due to a still persitent bug, four generic Normal Units will still ignore it on all of their attacks. These are Triremes, Galleys, Warships, and Catapults.
Defeating Weapon Immunity Edit
As stated above, Weapon Immunity only triggers against Normal Units - Heroes and Fantastic Units bypass it by default. There are several ways to improve the quality of a Normal Unit's weapons, thus enabling their attacks to ignore Weapon Immunity entirely.
Below is a list of effects that will alter a unit's weapons this way:
- Magical Weapons, Mithril Weapons, or Adamantium Weapons, which require the Alchemy Retort, or an Alchemists' Guild;
- Eldritch Weapon, a Common Unit Enchantment castable both in- and outside of combat;
- Flame Blade, an Uncommon Unit Enchantment, also castable both in- and outside of combat;
- Metal Fires, a Rare Combat Enchantment that will affect all friendly units;
- Holy Weapon (Common), or its Global version Holy Arms (Very Rare);
- Black Channels (Uncommon), Chaos Channels (Uncommon), and a number of various Death-related spells and effects (most of which result in creating Undead), which all turn Normal Units into Fantastic Creatures.
Note that in all of these cases, the unit is not actually delivering Magical Damage (which would be blocked by Magic Immunity), but rather a special kind of Physical Damage that simply does not trigger the effect of Weapon Immunity. All of these effects apply to every Attack Type that the unit can make.
Units with Default Weapon Immunity Edit
Note that the Demon Lord already has a Defense score of 10 by default, which means that it does not actually benefit from Weapon Immunity. However, if a Demon Lord's Defense score is ever lowered for any reason, it is speculated that Weapon Immunity would temporarily restore it to 10 whenever it is triggered.
Acquiring Weapon Immunity Edit
There are several ways to add Weapon Immunity to a unit that does not already have it. This includes:
- Casting Invulnerability on the unit.
- Casting Wraith Form on the unit.
- Equipping a Hero with a Magical Item that contains the Invulnerability or Wraithform Item Powers.
- Casting the Lycanthropy spell on Normal Units, turning them into Werewolves.
Each of these methods adds the same kind of Weapon Immunity described above in this article.
Invulnerability Unit Enchantment Edit
When cast on the overland map, Invulnerability has a basic Casting Cost of 200. It has a lingering effect, so that the targeted unit will keep its Invulnerability effect so long as the spell continues to exist. While it exists, the spell requires an Upkeep Cost of 5 to be paid at the start of each turn.
Alternatively, it is possible to cast Invulnerability during combat as an impromptu Unit Enchantment. In this case the spell's basic Casting Cost is reduced to 40, but its effects will only last until the end of the battle. Since neither the spell nor the effect will carry over to the overland map, there is no associated Upkeep Cost with this version of the spell.
Wraith Form Unit Enchantment Edit
When cast on the overland map, Wraith Form has a basic Casting Cost of 150. It has a lingering effect, so that the targeted unit will keep its Wraith Form effect so long as the spell continues to exist. To stop it from dissipating, the spell requires an Upkeep Cost of 3 to be paid at the start of each turn.
Alternatively, it is possible to cast Wraith Form during combat as an impromptu Unit Enchantment as well. In this case the spell's basic Casting Cost is only 30, but its effect will always end when the battle is finished. As such, this version has no Upkeep Cost either.
Item Powers Edit
A permanent version of either the Invulnerability or Wraith Form spell effects can be imbued into any Shield, Chainmail, Platemail or Jewelry piece. When a Hero wears this item, he/she receives the Weapon Immunity ability (as well the additional effects of these spells noted above).
During Item Crafting, Invulnerability is only available to Wizards possessing at least 5 Life Spellbooks, while Wraithform requires 4 Death books instead. Otherwise, they may not be selected for enchanting. Of course, it is always possible to be offered an item by Merchants that already possesses one of these traits (finding them in Encounter Zones typically imposes much worse Spellbook requirements in v1.31, as listed in the articles of these Item Powers).
The Weapon Immunity ability bestowed by items is transient: it will disappear if the Hero ever removes or loses the enchanted item.
Lycanthropy and Werewolves Edit
This is not a true method of adding Weapon Immunity to an existing unit, but should be mentioned nonetheless.
Lycanthropy is an Uncommon Spell, that is a unique mix of a Summoning Spell and an Instant Spell. When cast on a friendly Normal Unit on the overland map, it will permanently turn that unit into Werewolves.
After transformation, the Werewolves are essentially an entirely different unit - which possesses Weapon Immunity among its many other abilities. Therefore, instead of actually adding Weapon Immunity to a Normal Unit, it replaces the unit entirely with Werewolves - who always possess Weapon Immunity.
Still, when fighting enemies relying primarily on Normal Units without access to Alchemists' Guilds (as will always be the case with Raiders, for example, or opponents relying heavily on Mercenaries), a bunch of Werewolves may fare better against them than most Normal Units, thanks primarily to Weapon Immunity.
Known Bugs Edit
Due to a coding error in the official versions of the game, Weapon Immunity has no effect against Thrown attacks, despite the fact that it is supposed to. For example, a Recruit level Barbarian Spearmen unit will barely hit Werewolves with its Melee Damage. On the other hand, its Thrown attack will have fairly high chances of inflicting Damage to them anyway. This bug is fixed in the Unofficial Patch 1.50 (W152FIX.TXT). Unfortunately, the combination of this patch with Insecticide's flawed fix of the next bug has an unintentionally drastic outcome with regards to Thrown attacks versus Weapon Immunity (when it applies).
In the official game, if a unit with Weapon Immunity also possesses Missile Immunity, the unit's Defense will only be raised to 10 against normal Missiles, instead of the expected 50, as Weapon Immunity mistakenly overwrites the stronger ability in this case. The unofficial patch 1.40 fixes this bug, but introduces a new one in exchange: when Weapon Immunity is applied against non-Melee attacks, it will raise Defense to 50 instead of its usual 10. This will affect any Ranged Missile or Ranged Boulder attacks and, in v1.50, Thrown attacks, made by units with Normal Weapons. This bug is, in turn, fixed in v1.51 (W637FIX.TXT).
Finally, Weapon Immunity has no effect against attacks made by "generic" units (Triremes, Galleys, Warships, and Catapults), regardless of Attack Type. Yet, it does work against the same attacks made by Air Ships, Steam Cannons, and Golems. This oversight is also corrected in v1.51 (W635FIX.TXT).