Accurate as of 11th July, 2012 -- Updated by Nogitron.
If you find information on this page which is inaccurate or confusing, or if you feel that I've left information out which should be added, or if you feel that a particular bit of information should be detailed more, please send me a PM here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s an enormous amount of information, mechanics, and mathematics that goes into every single battle. Which units will hit which? How much damage will they do? Did that spell pass barriers? If so, did the units resist it? And so on, and so forth. Here I will explain some of the mechanics that come into play for battles, so you can have a better understanding of your Battle Reports and make adjustments to your kingdom/army based on them.
Before we get into Mechanics of the actual Battle itself, it will be best for you to understand something about stacking.
Stacks and the Stack Multiplier
When viewing your army, each group of units is called a "stack." For example, 1,000 archers would be referred to as "a stack of archers". A player's complete army is also sometimes referred to as their "stack," which will undoubtedly cause some confusion. It is best to assume that, unless a specific unit is being spoken of, then the term "stack" will apply to the entire army. The maximum number of stacks a player can have in a battle is 10, if a player has more than 10 stacks in their army, only the top 10 stacks based on stack power will participate in battle (unless the player manually changes the participating stacks). Each stack will hold a position in the army based on the percentage of power that stack in particular contributes to the total power of the army. However, some units can hold a higher position in the army due to the Stack Multiplier.
The Stack Multiplier is a mathematical adjustment made to each stack in your army to adjust their placement within the army based on their unit type. There are three unit types, and each has its own multiplier:
- Ranged Units (All units with a Ranged or Missile-Type Attack) – 1.0x Multiplier
- Melee Units (All Non-Flying units with any Non-Ranged Attack Type) – 1.5x Multiplier
- Flying Units (All units with the Flying ability) – 2.25x Multiplier
The resulting updated power of each stack is called their stack power, and is the value used to determine the stack's placement in the army for the purpose of battle. For example, a stack of Flying units with 400,000 net power will “multiply” up to a stack power of 900,000 (400,000 * 2.25). This means that if you have a Flying stack with 400,000 net power, it will stack above a Ranged stack with 800,000 net power, even though the Ranged stack is clearly the stronger of the two. A Melee stack of 400,000 net power, however, would “multiply” up to 600,000 stack power (400,000 * 1.5), and would sit below them both. This multiplication of power does not change the actual power of the stack, it is used for stacking purposes ONLY. Therefore, if that Flying stack of 400k net power (900k stack power) were killed in its entirety (stackwiped), you would only lose 400k power. Let’s have a look at a sample stack:
|Dark Elf Magician||2041||14.0%|
The Leviathans are a Melee Unit. Their net power per unit is 49,500. So the full stack has a net power value of 940,500; however, because they’re a Melee unit, their net power is multiplied up to 1,410,750 stack power. The Ice Elementals are a Ranged unit. Their net power per unit is 21,800, so the full stack has a net power value of 1,373,400. Being a Ranged unit, their multiplier is 1.0, so their stack power remains at base. This is why the Leviathans, though lower in actual power, stack above the Ice Elementals. In fact, it would only take 814 Archangels to stack above the Ice Elementals, even though their combined actual power rating would only be 610,500; the 2.25x Flying multiplier would bump their stack power up to 1,373,625.
Knowing the Stack Multiplier can seriously assist you in building a stack to counter your target’s stack. You will always know where your stacks are going to sit, and why.
Now that we know how stacks stack, we can begin to understand more about the battle itself and its mechanics. The battle (as seen in the battle report) is divided into three phases: The Pre-Battle Phase, the Battle Phase, and the Post-Battle Phase.
Now that you know how stacks stack, you can begin to understand more about the battle itself and its mechanics. The battle (as seen in the battle report) is divided into three phases: The Pre-Battle Phase, the Battle Phase, and the Post-Battle Phase.
- 1 PHASE I: The Pre-Battle Phase
- 2 PHASE II: The Battle Phase
- 3 PHASE III: The Post-Battle Phase
PHASE I: The Pre-Battle Phase
Pre-Battle phase is where both sides use their spells and items, followed by stack pairing, and then heroes using their abilities (such as casting spells at the enemy). I am unsure as to which side uses their spells/items first or if the order of usage denotes precedence (such as the case where a green mage uses Call Hurricane while his opponent uses Carpet of Flying). Units which die in this phase do not take part in the actual battle; however, they may still be resurrected at the end of the battle provided the stack has units remaining.
Spells and Items
The first thing that occurs in a battle, even before the armies line up on the field, is the usage of battle spells and items. Both mages involved in the battle have the opportunity to cast one spell and use one item to increase their chances of winning the battle. If the Defender's Defense Assignment is triggered, his or her spell and/or item will ALWAYS be used. In some cases the spell will fail (if the mage doesn't have enough mana, if it's an off-color spell and he fails the casting, or if the mage is confused by a detrimental enchantment and he fails casting), but the majority of the time, the spell WILL cast. The item on defense assignment will always be used when the assignment is triggered provided one is available in inventory.
The Attacker's spell and items, however, must pass a series of resistance checks before being effective. First, they must pass the barrier resistances. Barrier resistance is the ONLY way that items can be blocked, as items are "plain" (read: no color), and therefore cannot be stopped by outside spells like Mind Bar, or by Unit resistances. Both the Spell and the Item must pass the Barriers separately, and a higher Barrier resistance increases the chance of them being blocked. The maximum unmodified Barrier resistance a mage may have is 75%. This will, in theory, block 75% of incoming spells and items, though it is based on a random roll and therefore may block far more (or far less) than that in practice.
When the Attacker uses a Spell and/or Item in combat, a HIDDEN random roll is performed of 1 - 100. If the defending mage has a Barrier Resistance of 75 and the random roll returns a value lower than 75, the Spell and/or Item is blocked (read: has no effect on the battle), and does not need to run a check vs any other type of resistance. Whatever the value of the Defender's Barrier Resistance, that is the minimum number required from the random roll to bypass the Defender's Barriers and have your spell and/or item affect combat. If the Defender's Barrier Resistance is 59, your resistance check must roll higher than 59 to allow the spell and/or item to pass. If the Item passes the Defender's Barrier Resistance, the item WILL affect combat, as Color and Unit resistances do not apply to items.
If the Spell passes Barrier Resistance, it must then face Color Resistance. Color Resistance is increased most often by beneficial enchantments such as Mind Bar, Shroud of Darkness, Protection from Evil, and so on. There are some unique items that increase Color Resistances as well. It is uncommon for a Color Resistance to reach 75%; however, this is the maximum for Color Resistance as well. Again, a random roll will occur of 1 - 100. If the number rolled is LOWER than the number of Color Resistance for the color of the spell cast, the spell is blocked. If the number rolled is higher, though, it will affect combat.
Simply because a spell affects combat, though, does not mean that it will be successful. Once the spell affects combat, the units involved have a chance to block its effect. Any spell that is cast on own units (such as Blood Curse, Platinum Hand of Healing, and Flight) will never be resisted, but any spell cast on opposing units has to face a third (and FINAL) resistance check (in the case of the Defender, this is the ONLY resistance check his spell may face). It works in exactly the same way as the above two resistance checks, facing a random roll of 1 - 100; however, some units may have complete resistance to the color of the spell and block it entirely. Let's look at an example of resistance checking.
A Red mage is attacking a Green mage. The green mage has 75% Barrier Resistance and 38% Black and Blue resistance from Sunray. For sake of brevity, we will say that the Green mage is using Treants, High Elves, and Phoenix for his army. The Green mage has Rust Armor and Ash of Invisibility set for his defense assignment. The Red mage is using Stun and Carpet of Flying as his spell and item for combat. When the fight begins, resistance checks go into effect. Since the Green mage is the defender, BOTH his spell and item automatically succeed. Ash of Invis increases the initiative of all of his units to 6. Rust Armor is a spell which affects own units, and own units never resist your own spells. The Red mage, however, must pass the resistance checks ...
Resistance Check #1
- The Red mage's Stun spell rolls a 77 out of 100 against Barrier Resistance and passes Barriers.
- The Red mage's Carpet of Flying item rolls a 53 out of 100 against Barrier Resistance and is blocked.
Resistance Check #2
- The Red mage's Stun spell (a red spell) rolls a 21 out of 100 against Color Resistance and passes Color Resistance (The Green mage had 0% against red spells). The spell will now affect combat.
Resistance Check #3
- The Red mage's Stun spell, being a spell which does not affect own units, must now face Unit Resistances. Given that Stun affects ALL enemy units, each unit will resist it separately:
- The Stun spell rolls a 34 out of 100 against Treant's Unit Resistance (of 0%) and affects Treants.
- The Stun spell rolls a 19 out of 100 against High Elf's Unit Resistance (of 75%) and is resisted by High Elves.
- The Stun spell rolls a 92 out of 100 against Phoenix's Unit Resistance (of 80%) and affects Phoenixes.
Some spells do not directly affect own units OR opposing units, but rather simply deal damage (such is the case with Fireball and Mental Thrash). These spells do not face the third resistance check and instead will go directly into damage mitigation based on the affected unit's Attack Type resistance.
The reason that the resistance checks are the first thing that occur in a battle is because there are spells and items which will affect a number of different factors of the battle, some of which occur before battle even begins, such as the battle pairing. The item Carpet of Flying or the spell Gravity Pull, for example, can give the Flying ability to, or remove it from units, causing stacks to pair up differently than they otherwise would. Speaking of stack pairing ...
Stack Pairing is the second stage of the Pre-Battle Phase, and is the method of determining which units will hit which during combat. This is based on the three unit types gone over at the beginning: Ranged, Melee, and Flying. This process can be altered based on spells/items used in the stage above. The determination of which unit will hit which begins with knowing the following:
- Flying Units are Air-based and can hit anything.
- Ranged Units are Ground-Based and can hit anything.
- Melee Units are Ground-Based and can only hit other Ground-Based Units.
- There is technically a fourth Unit type, which I will call the Hybrid Unit. These are Ground-Based units with one close-quarters (read: not ranged) attack and one ranged attack. They are technically Melee Units and will prefer to target Ground-Based Units, which is why I hesitate to put them in their own group; however, failing to find a Ground-Based Unit to hit with both of their attacks, they will still hit a Flying Unit with their one Ranged attack. Unholy Reavers, Leviathans, and Medusas fall into this group.
- This unit type is considered Melee for the Stack Multiplier.
The second thing you need to know to determine Stack Pairing is that units will always attack the first unpaired stack that they can hit. If all stacks they can hit have already been paired, they will cycle back to the top and go down the list again. This has been changed from how it was in the past, where all stacks that had no pairing would pair with the top stack of the opposing army. In practice, this is how it would work:
|Attacking Army||Defending Army|
|Dark Elf Magician||R||Mind Ripper||R|
|Minor Elemental||R||Shadow Elemental||H|
|Astral Magician||R||Water Elemental||R|
The letter next to each unit signifies their Unit Type. F for Flying, R for Ranged, H for Hybrid, and M for Melee. Based on these data, we can determine the following pairing:
From the attacking army –
The Leviathans will hit the Liches
The Ice Elementals will hit the Air Elementals
The Shadow Elementals will hit the Mind Rippers
The Dark Elf Magicians will hit the Archangels
The Naga Queens will hit the Efreetis
The Minor Elementals will hit the Shadow Elementals
The Astral Magicians will hit the Water Elementals
The Mind Rippers will hit the Yetis
The Archangels will hit the Medusas
The Zombies will cycle back to the top, and hit the Liches
From the defending army –
The Air Elementals will hit the Leviathans
The Archangels will hit the Ice Elementals
The Liches will hit the Shadow Elementals
The Mind Rippers will hit the Dark Elf Magicians
The Efreetis will hit the Naga Queens
The Shadow Elementals will hit the Minor Elementals
The Water Elementals will hit the Astral Magicians
The Yetis will hit the Mind Rippers
The Medusas will hit the Zombies
The Squirrels will hit the Archangels
This is a GENERAL idea of how the pairing would work out, but ultimately it also depends on the SIZE of each stack. A stack will only attack an opposing stack if the target stack’s percentage of army power is at least 10% of the attacking stack’s percentage of army power. Using the above example, if the Yetis in the defending stack consisted of 2% of the defender's army power, and the Mind Rippers in the attacking stack consisted of 30% of the attacker's army power, the Yeti stack would be too small to hit, and the Mind Rippers would ignore them, instead continuing down the enemy stack in search of a viable matchup. Failing that, they will cycle back to the top and hit the Air Elementals. This is why Heavy Top and Shallow Stackers often find their top stacks getting hit far more often than their bottom stacks, and also why I suggest making ALL stacks consist of at least 1% of your army power unless you specifically WANT them to be avoided (such as fodder stacks for land grabbing).
The third stage of the Pre-Battle Phase is where each side's heroes use their abilities. Shieldmaidens increase the hitpoints of their army's units; Dread Knights decrease the accuracy of the opposing army's units; Illusionists create an extra illusory stack; and so on. In some cases, these hero abilities must pass a unit resistance check against the opposing army--in some cases, no resistance check is necessary. All hero abilities occur simultaneously, and so, even if the damage caused by one hero's ability would kill an opposing hero, the opposing hero's abilities will still affect the battlefield.
The fourth and final stage of the Pre-Battle Phase is the Damage Stage. In this stage, spells or items used by either mage and hero abilities which cause damage will have their damage relegated to the associated targets. Units may resist the damage they receive from these sources based on their Attack Type resistances (explained below). The Attack Type resistances differ from the Unit Color Resistances in that they mitigate damage, rather than creating a block or pass environment. For example, if a unit has 60% lightning resistance, that unit will take 40% of the damage it would otherwise take from a Javelin of Lightning Bolt. Once a source of damage reaches the Damage Stage, the damage itself is GUARANTEED. The only thing resistances can do is modify the amount (100% resistance WILL modify the amount to zero, however).
PHASE II: The Battle Phase
Battle phase pairs off each side's units, dealing damage to each other, until all units have used all of their attacks. Any troops which can resurrect (due to abilities, items or spells), do so in the Post-Battle Phase and will not be counted as having "died", which is why you may kill sufficient units in the battle phase, but the defender ends up blocking your attack because sufficient units resurrected so that the amount killed is less than 10% of his army.
Attack Initiative is what decides the order in which unit attacks occur for the Battle Phase. While technically the Battle Phase is not broken up into stages the way the Pre-Battle Phase is, you can still consider that Attack Initiative is the first stage of the Battle Phase, and the Battle itself is the second stage.
Those who have played table-top role-playing games in the past will likely grasp the concept of Attack Initiative easily, but to those who have not, Attack Initiative can be a very confusing concept. To those people, I would like to start off by saying that it is best to assume that any ideas you have about the way units attack each other may be wrong. The first thing you really need to know about Attack Initiative is that the higher number attacks before the lower number. In a case where two units have the same Attack Initiative, the attacking order is determined randomly.
When you look at the Unit Sheet for a particular unit you will see one or two attack types. The upper one, I call the Primary Attack, and the lower I call the Secondary Attack. If we use Efreeti and Phoenix as examples, you may see some notable differences in their Attack Initiatives (listed as Attack Init). The Efreeti’s Primary Attack has an Attack Initiative of 4, while the Secondary has an Attack Initiative of 2. The Phoenix’s Primary Attack on the other hand has an Attack Initiative of 1, while the Secondary has an Attack Initiative of 5.
Using the information I gave above that the higher number attacks before the lower number, one might conclude that Phoenixes will attack first, and then Efreetis will attack, and the fight is over. However, this would be fallacious. It is best in this situation to pretend that there are no units. There are simply four attacks. One attack with an initiative of 5, one attack with an initiative of 4, one attack with an initiative of 2, and one attack with an initiative of 1. And the attacks will occur in that order. So, in practice …
The Phoenixes will attack first with their Secondary Attack (init 5)
The Efreetis will attack second with their Primary Attack (init 4)
The Efreetis will attack third with their Secondary Attack (init 2)
The Phoenixes will attack fourth with their Primary Attack (init 1)
Now, if we were to add some more units into the mix, say Demon Knights (2/3), Astral Magicians (2/4), Dark Elf Magicians (3/4), Mind Rippers (3/3), and Treants (1/1), we would get the following:
Phoenix with Secondary Attack (init 5)
Efreetis with Primary Attack (init 4) OR
Astral Magicians with Secondary Attack (init 4) OR
Dark Elf Magicians with Secondary Attack (init 4)
Demon Knights with Secondary Attack (init 3) OR
Dark Elf Magicians with Primary Attack (init 3) OR
Mind Rippers with Primary Attack (init 3)
Mind Rippers with Secondary Attack (init 3)
Demon Knights with Primary Attack (init 2) OR
Efreetis with Secondary Attack (init 2) OR
Astral Magicians with Primary Attack (init 2)
Treants with Primary Attack (init 1) OR
Phoenix with Primary Attack (init 1)
Treants with Secondary Attack (init 1)
This should give you a pretty good idea about the order in which units attack during battle. Given there are no outside modifiers, this is the exact order in which these units would attack. But, there are always things that can change this. For example …
- Level 20 Animal Mastery and Undead Mastery give +1 init to many units
- The blue spell Slow reduces the init of ALL enemy units by 1
- The blue spell Paralyze reduces the init of a random enemy unit by 6
- The item The Spider’s Web reduces the init of ALL enemy units by 1
- The item Ash of Invisibility increase the init of ALL friendly units to 6
- The green spell Call Hurricane reduces the init of ALL enemy Flying Units by 1
- The blue spell Double Time increases the init of a random friendly unit by 1
- The blue spell Invisibility increase the init of a random friendly unit to 6
- The green spell Web of the Spider Woman reduces the init of a random enemy unit by 1
This is important information because if a unit’s initiative for any particular attack is reduced to zero, that attack never occurs. Let’s pretend that we’re a mage running the stack listed above. We hit a blue mage who is using Slow and The Spider’s Web as his defense assignment. This combination reduces the Attack Initiative of ALL of your units by 2. So, the above attack cycle would now look like this (assuming no units resist Slow. Any unit which resists Slow will only lose 1 initiative from the Web).:
Phoenix with Secondary Attack (init 3)
Efreetis with Primary Attack (init 2) OR
Astral Magicians with Secondary Attack (init 2) OR
Dark Elf Magicians with Secondary Attack (init 2)
Demon Knights with Secondary Attack (init 1) OR
Dark Elf Magicians with Primary Attack (init 1) OR
Mind Rippers with Primary Attack (init 1)
Mind Rippers with Secondary Attack (init 1)
Demon Knights Primary Attack never occurs
Efreetis Secondary Attack never occurs
Dark Elf Magicians Primary Attack never occurs
Treants Primary Attack never occurs
Phoenix Primary Attack never occurs
Treants Secondary Attack never occurs
And immediately we can see why Slow/Web is such an effective defense. Not only does it eliminate quite a few incoming attacks ENTIRELY, but it also makes the attacks that still happen, happen MUCH later in the battle, allowing for his units to first damage yours, making them not only fewer in number, but also fatigued and therefore weaker.
There is an ENORMOUS amount of data that goes into determining how much damage each unit deals to its target during battle. In this section I will outline the ENTIRE damage equation, as well as all of the data used in determining what I will, from here on, call ACTUAL Damage. Actual damage is the damage dealt by a single unit in a stack after ALL modifiers have been taken into account, and is often SIGNIFICANTLY lower than the associated unit's Attack Power.
Attack Power is basically another name for “base damage.” This number is the starting number which all battle modifiers are applied to in the Damage Equation (explained at the end of this page) before arriving at ACTUAL damage. There will be a significant difference between Attack Power and Actual damage once the Damage Equation has been applied, so any method to increase any of the numbers involved is very helpful.
Increasing Attack Power is probably one of the easiest ways to increase one of the numbers in the Damage Equation. Potion of Valor, Battle Lust, The Holy Light, Hero abilities … there are simply too many things to list that can increase or decrease the Attack Power of units. Do some studying and you’ll find something. I guarantee it.
Missile: This is a Distance attack type (meaning the target can be airborne). It is really only used by Barracks units such as Archers. Basically, it’s plain old arrows.
Fire: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type (meaning the attacker must be face-to-face with the target. For Flying targets, the attacker must be Flying). Imagine this as having flaming claws.
Poison: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type. Imagine this as having poison claws.
Breath: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type. Imagine this as being just like one would assume Dragon’s breath to be, but close range.
Magic: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type; however, this particular attack type is usually ranged. One exception is Unicorns.
Melee: This is a close-quarters attack type by definition. Basically this is some kind of standard weapon like a sword, or fists. This attack type can be combined with other non-ranged types, though, like Fire or Cold, in which case you can imagine it like a flaming sword.
Ranged: This is a Distance attack type and, to the best of my knowledge, ALWAYS accompanies another attack type. If you have a ranged attack, it’s a specific kind of ranged attack.
Lightning: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type. Imagine this as having like … electric fists, or something. You have to punch them to give them the shock.
Cold: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type. Imagine this as having fists made of ice, or a touch that freezes.
Paralyse: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type. One can pretend that this can happen when a paralyzing agent is introduced into the attacker through claws or teeth or a stinger. Like a Scorpion.
Psychic: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type. It’s an attack on the opponent’s mind. Usually, this attack type accompanies Ranged.
Holy: By itself, this is a close-quarters attack type. To the best of my knowledge, there are only two units that have a Holy Ranged attack, and they are both White Barracks Units: High Priests, and Knights Templar.
Any type of Ranged or Missile attack is an attack that is made at a distance. In the case of Efreeti, they are shooting fire and magic at a target a ways away from them. This is why Ranged attackers can hit Flying Units. ANY attack type that does not specifically say Ranged or Missile is a close-quarters attack type. This means that the unit must be face-to-face with its target to hit it. This is why Ground-based Melee Units cannot hit Flying Units. One might assume that the attack type Breath would be an attack type that can cover a distance, but it is not.
Attack Type Resistances
Attack Type Resistances mitigate damage directly. That means if a stack is hit with a FIRE attack, and has 50% FIRE resist, that stack will only sustain 50% of the damage the attacking unit deals. That's clear enough, but obviously there are going to be situations where a unit with more than one attack type attacks one of your units. In this situation, how do you determine the resists? Well, let’s look at an example:
Efreeti have three total attack types: Fire, Magic, and Ranged; and all three attack types are taken into account when the target is resisting. But how does that work? For sake of brevity, let’s say that Efreetis are hitting other Efreetis. Efreetis have 30% Fire Resist, 50% Magic Resist, and 75% Ranged Resist. Efreeti attack types are Fire Ranged, and Magic Ranged. Fire Ranged is actually TWO attack types: Fire, and Ranged. Magic Ranged, again, is TWO attack types: Magic, and Ranged. These attacks will be calculated like so:
Attack #1 – Fire Ranged:
( Fire Resist (30%) + Ranged Resist (75%) ) / 2 = Resist against this attack.
( 30% + 75% ) / 2 = 52.5% Resist against this attack.
Attack #2 – Magic Ranged:
( Magic Resist (50%) + Ranged Resist (75%) ) /2 = Resist against this attack.
( 50% + 75% ) / 2 = 62.5% Resist against this attack.
There is the occasional case in which a third attack type can be added to a unit’s attack. Such is the case with Wyverns (which have a Poison Melee attack type) when you cast Flame Blade on them (adds Fire attack type to all units with Melee attack type). It turns their attack into Fire Poison Melee, and this is how that would be resisted by Efreetis:
( Fire Resist (30%) + Poison Resist (55%) + Melee Resist (60%) ) / 3 = Resist against this attack.
( 30% + 55% + 60% ) / 3 = 48.33% Resist against this attack.
You can see that in this case the resistances are divided by three. That is because we’re averaging the resistances to determine the resistance against the total attack. Were it a four-type attack (like a Demon Knight’s Cold Melee accompanied with Flame Blade (+Fire) and Vial of Venom (+Poison), then it would be divided by four. The more attack types you can add, the more damage you are likely to do to a target, as more resistances get called into play. Once a final resistance value has been determined, it is added to the damage equation (I will go into this at the end of this section) as its own opposite. That is, 1 – Total Resistances. So, if your total resistance against a particular attack type is 52.5%, the resistance value is subtracted from 1 for the purpose of damage calculation, and therefore would be 47.5. This will make sense when I explain the damage equation, later.
That is how resistances are determined for attack types. So when you’re studying the Attack Types and Resistances of your units and the units of any potential targets, make sure you look at ALL of them. Because 95% melee resist isn’t going to help you much against a Wyvern with Flame Blade if you have 20% Fire and 0% Poison resist.
The unit sheet is very important when it comes to determining how a battle will go down. Knowing what your units’ attack types and resistances are will help you to stack them somewhere they’ll do the most damage and receive the least.
Accuracy is one of the factors of battle that are extremely important and also very complex. I will do my best to make it understandable, but if it’s just too complex to grasp, don’t feel discouraged; anyone can understand the simple rule regarding accuracy: More is better, less is worse. All units start out with a base Accuracy of 30%. PLENTY of things modify this, but one of the most important things to remember is that Accuracy has more of an effect on how much damage your units will do than their own attack power. I will try to give an example …
Efreeti have a base Attack Power of 5,000 on their Primary Attack. With a base 30% accuracy, those Efreeti will deal 1,500 damage each to an enemy unit with no fire or ranged resistances (5,000 * 0.30). For this example, we are not considering any of the Efreeti’s abilities. Now, if we add the Valor bonus of a level 15 Veteran to that (+10% AP), then the Efreetis’ Attack Power increases to 5,500. With 30% base accuracy, each Efreeti will deal 1,650 damage to an enemy unit with no fire or ranged resist. However, if we add 3% Accuracy from Sun Favor instead of that Veteran, we’ll get 1,650 damage out of those Efreeti (5,000 * 0.33). This means that 3% Accuracy gives the same bonus as 10% Attack Power! What if it were 10% Accuracy (5,000 * 0.40)? We’d get 2,000 damage out of those Efreeti. We would need over 33% AP increase to get the same increase in damage that we’d receive from a 10% increase in Accuracy.
There are plenty of Abilities, Spells, Items, Hero Effects, and so on that adjust accuracy in battle, but I will leave it up to you, the player, to research and learn them. As for determining the overall Accuracy of any given unit in a battle, we can rely on the Accuracy Formula. To complete the Accuracy Formula properly, we will need to know the total sum of Accuracy Modifiers. For this formula, every percentage point is added as its direct integer value (that is, a 3% accuracy modifier from Sun would be represented by the number 3):
A = total sum of Accuracy Modifiers.
if A >= 0, then Accuracy = 30+A
if 0 >= A >= -15, then Accuracy = 30-A
if -15 >= A >= -30, then Accuracy = 24-3/5 * A
if A <= -30, then Accuracy = 12-1/5 * A
So, as an example, let’s pit Efreetis against Zombies, on a Regular Attack, with the Zombies using Satchel of Mist on defense …
Efreetis have Fear, Swift, and Marksmanship. This increases their own Accuracy by 10% (Marksmanship) while reducing the Accuracy of the Zombies by 25% (10% from Swift, 15% from Fear). The Zombies have the ability Clumsiness, which reduces their Accuracy by a further 10%, and the Satchel of Mist reduces Accuracy of all units in the entire battle by 10%. Given that the total sum of Accuracy Modifiers affecting the Zombies is greater than 30 (in this case, 45%), we use the last equation in the Accuracy Formula: if A <= -30, then Accuracy = 12-1/5*A. So, this is what the Accuracy result is for both stacks:
- Efreeti = 30% Accuracy (base 30% + 10% for Marksmanship – 10% for Satchel)
- Zombie = 3% Accuracy (12 – 0.2 * 45)
The Efreeti will deal 1500 Damage each before resistances (5,000 * 0.3), and the Zombies will deal 6.3 Damage each before resistances (210 * 0.03). This is a fantastic example of just how much of an effect Accuracy can have on a battle.
Let’s look at one more example for a severe difference in Accuracy. A green mage is sieged by a black mage (On a siege, the attacker's units receive a -10% accuracy penalty if they are ground units (that is, not flying) attacking ground units). The green mage is running Elven Magicians with Nature’s Lore enchantment and Eye of the Eagle as defense assignment. The green mage's army contains a level 17 Warlord, and the Elven Magicians themselves are being led by a level 17 Enchantress. The green mage has Sun Favor. The black mage attacks with Zombies.
The Elven Magicians have Marksmanship and Swift abilities. These reduce the Accuracy of the Zombies by 10% while increasing their own by 10%. The Zombies have the ability Clumsiness, which reduces their Accuracy by a further 10%. The spell Eye of the Eagle increases the Elves’ Accuracy by 10%. The Nature’s Lore enchantment increases the Elves’ Attack Power by 14% and Accuracy by 7%. The level 17 Warlord increases the Accuracy of the Elves by 4% with its Tactics Ability. The level 17 Enchantress increases the accuracy of the Elves by 9% and increases their Efficiency by 17%. The green mage’s Sun Favor increases the Accuracy of the Elves by 3%. The Zombies are attempting a Siege, which reduces their Accuracy by 10%. The total sum of Accuracy Modifiers on the Zombies is -30%. The total sum of Accuracy Modifiers on the Elven Magicians is +43%. So, this is what the Accuracy result is for both stacks:
- Elven Magicians = 73% Accuracy (base 30% + 10% for Eye + 10% for Marksmanship + 9% from the Enchantress + 7% for Nature’s Lore + 4% from the Warlord + 3% for Sun Favor)
- Zombies = 6% Accuracy (12 – 0.2 * 30)
The Elven Magicians (base damage of 500 + 70 from Nature’s Lore * 1.17 to account for the efficiency bonus) will deal 486.8 damage each before resists. The Zombies will deal 12.6 damage each before resists.
So that should give you a general idea of how Accuracy works, and why it’s always good to have as much as you can get. This is why Sun Favor is so popular. That 3% Accuracy is the same as having a lvl 15 Veteran leading your troops (or a free Potion of Valor).
Efficiency & Fatigue
Efficiency is a percentage that steadily decreases as a battle goes on. All units begin with a base Efficiency of 100%. This number is then decreased every time that unit makes either a Primary or Counter Attack. Efficiency is NOT affected by a unit making a Secondary Attack. The VALUE of Efficiency, however, is carried across all attack types. This means that if a Primary or Counter Attack has reduced a unit’s Efficiency, the Secondary Attack will have the adjusted Efficiency Value, even though it does not reduce the Efficiency at all.
There are a few modifiers of Efficiency aside from attacks. There are a few spells and items which reduce Efficiency (such as the red spell Stun, and the item Candle of Sleeping), as well as the unit ability Charm. Heroes can increase Efficiency as well; if the Hero leads a stack which is the same color and race as the Hero, the stack will receive an Efficiency bonus of a percentage equal to the level of the Hero. As an example, a lvl 16 Shaman leading a stack of Treants would give those Treants +16% Efficiency. This percentage can bring Efficiency over 100%, which in turn will cause more damage to the target. Efficiency is one of the modifiers of final damage in the Damage Equation, and is applied as a percentage. As an example, the Efreeti’s Primary Attack is init 4 and Secondary Attack is init 2. Therefore the Primary will strike first, which will reduce Efficiency by 15% (explained below). This will change the Efficiency portion of the Damage Equation to a 0.85 multiplier, reducing the damage of all future attacks. The process by which Efficiency is reduced by attacks is called Fatigue.
Fatigue is caused every time a unit makes a Primary or Counter Attack. For each one of these attacks, 15% Efficiency is lost (Units with the Endurance ability only lose 10%). As Counter Attacks are a cause of fatigue, it goes without saying that one would prefer their units to exhaust their attacks before ever having to Counter. This is why units with a high initiative are preferred over units with a low initiative. The absolute preference is to find a unit with both high Primary and Secondary initiative, but as this is rarely possible, it is generally preferred that the stronger attack be the one with the higher initiative, maximizing the damage output while the Efficiency is still at its top.
Units with the Additional Strike ability have a very interesting relationship with Fatigue. Fatigue takes effect for EVERY strike made. This means that units with Additional Strike will actually end up losing more Efficiency than other units. On top of this, the Additional Strike of units with that ability is unaffected by the Endurance ability, meaning that the second strike reduces Efficiency by 15% instead of 10%. Take for example the Demon Knight. The Demon Knight’s Primary Attack is Cold Melee, and it has an Additional Strike. It also has Endurance. This means that when the Demon Knight attacks, it will lose 10% Efficiency on the first hit, and 15% Efficiency on its second. It will lose another 10% on ALL Counter Attacks as well.
Weaknesses are something one really needs to watch out for in their own units. A weakness causes such a dramatic shift in the overall resistance of a unit that it can be the deciding factor in whether or not that unit wins in a fight. Mechanically, a weakness to a particular Attack Type adds a -50% resistance into the average of the resistance formula. This modification is applied IN FULL and AFTER the averaging of other resists. It can actually put a unit into NEGATIVE resist. Let’s look at an example:
Hydras have 50% Fire resist and 0% Breath resist. Chimeras have a Fire Breath attack. Given these numbers, the Hydra would have a 25% resistance against the attack of the Chimera. However, the Hydras have a weakness to FIRE. This causes an extra 50% reduction in resists from the Hydra’s 25% averaged resist, resulting in a -25% total resist. Let’s look at another example:
Liches have 0% Holy resist and 95% Melee resist. Spirit Warriors have a Melee Holy attack. Using our general resistance formula, the Liches should have 47.5% resistance against the attack; however, Liches have a weakness to Holy, making the overall resistance -2.5%. Looking at these examples you can see just how drastic a shift occurs when a weakness comes into play.
Many unit abilities affect the damage the unit will receive during battle (such as Marksmanship increasing accuracy, Piercing reducing resistances, and Charm reducing efficiency); however, only ONE ability affects it directly, in that it doesn't modify a damage modifier--it modifies damage itself. The unit ability Scales reduces ALL damage that stack takes from other units by 25%, which can be pretty major, when it comes down to it. This is why many units with Scales make very good soakers.
The Damage Modifier
Each attack that any unit makes in battle is affected by a Damage Modifier. This is a random multiplier between 0.25 and 0.75 (average 0.5) that affects ALL Attack Types except Magic and Psychic, which are both fixed at 0.5. Here is how the Damage Modifier works in theory:
The Base Attack Power of 5,000 on Efreetis will deal a modified damage of no less than 1,250 (5,000 * 0.25) to no more than 3,750 (5,000 * 0.75) dependent upon the random return of the Damage Modifier. This is an example to give you a general idea of how the Damage Modifier works. It will not function exactly like this in actual combat, as the Damage Modifier is applied to your damage done after ALL other modifiers (AP, Accuracy, Resistances, etc.) are taken into account.
The Damage Equation
The Damage Equation is the final step in the process of determining Battle Damage. It takes all of the combined information and multiplies it all together for a final ACTUAL Damage output. The variables used in the equation are Attack Power (AP), Efficiency (E), Accuracy (A), Resistance (R), and the Damage Modifier (D). If the unit targetted has the Scales ability, it will be appended to the Damage Equation as 0.75. Aside from attack power, all numbers are likely to be decimals and will almost always be less than 1. All of the numbers are multiplied together to arrive at the ACTUAL Damage (AD) per unit for that attack. The Damage Equation is calculated for EVERY SINGLE ATTACK a unit makes, including Counter Attacks. Here is what the Damage Equation looks like:
AP * E * A * (1 – R) * D = AD
Let’s make an example to see this in actual practice. A group of Efreeti are attacking a group of Liches. The Efreeti attack first with their Fire Ranged Primary Attack at init 4. The Liches have 75% Fire resist and 95% Ranged resist and no weakness to either attack type. The Efreeti have the Fear, Marksmanship, and Swift abilities. The Liches have the Fear ability (negating the Efreetis’ Fear). The attack is a Regular, so Accuracy is unadjusted by the Siege penalty. For simplicity, let’s assume no spells, items, or enchantments are in play. The AP of the Efreeti is 5,000. The Efficiency of the Efreeti is 1 (or 100%). The Accuracy of the Efreeti is 0.4 (or 40% … base 30% + 10% from Marksmanship). The resistance of the Liches is 0.85 (or 85% … 75% + 95% / 2 … this value, however, is subtracted from 1 to arrive at the total unresisted damage, and so will appear as 0.15 in the Damage Equation). The Damage Modifier, we’ll pretend, is 0.5, as this is the average. So our Damage Equation looks like this:
5,000 * 1 * 0.4 * 0.15 * 0.5 = AD
AD = 150
The Actual Damage that each Efreeti will do to the Lich stack is 150. Given that Lich hp is 7,500, it will require 50 Efreeti to kill one Lich. Had the Lich mage been running a defensive assignment, that number would likely be even lower; perhaps significantly lower. For example, if the Lich mage had been running Lovesick/Satchel on defense, the Efreeti’s accuracy would have been reduced to 0.25, making the Damage Equation look like this:
5,000 * 1 * 0.25 * 0.15 * 0.5 = AD
AD = 93.75
Let’s look at it, now, in the other direction … The Liches’ strike just after the Efreeti using their Magic Ranged Secondary Attack at init 3. The Efreeti have 50% Magic Resist and 75% Ranged Resist and no weakness to either attack type. The Efreetis’ Fear ability is negated by the Liches’ Fear ability, but the Efreeti’s Swift ability reduces the Accuracy of the Liches by 10%. The AP of the Liches is 16,000. The Efficiency of the Liches is 0.85 (or 85%) because, while the Liches’ first attack is their Secondary, the Primary Attack of the Efreeti triggered the Counter Attack of the Liches (even though that counter would not hit due to the Efreeti being “too distant”). The Accuracy of the Liches is 0.2 (or 20% … base 30% - 10% from the Efreeti’s Swift ability). The resistance of the Efreeti is 0.625 (or 62.5% … 50% + 75% / 2), which will be represented as its opposite in the equation, of 37.5% or 0.375. The Damage Modifier is fixed at 0.5, as this attack is Magic. So, our Damage Equation looks like this:
16,000 * 0.85 * 0.2 * 0.375 * 0.5 = AD
AD = 510
The Actual Damage that each Lich will do to the Efreeti stack is 510. Given that Efreeti hp is 3,600, it will require 8 Liches to kill one Efreeti. Had the Lich mage been running an offensive assignment, such as Battle Lust/Candle, the Actual Damage would be even higher. The Liches’ AP would increase to ~24,800 and the resistances of the Efreeti would decrease to 0.525 …
24,800 * 0.85 * 0.2 * 0.475 * 0.5 = AD
AD = 1,001
For the Efreetis’ Secondary Attack, the equation will change to reflect the Efficiency loss from the first attack, as well as the difference in Attack Power, and the difference in the Liches’ resistances (in this case, there is no difference, but often there would be). It would look like this:
8,000 * 0.85 * 0.4 * 0.15 * 0.5 = AD
AD = 204
And the Liches’ Primary Attack would look like this:
5,500 * 0.85 * 0.2 * 0.25 * 0.5 = AD (again, assuming the Damage Modifier is 0.5)
AD = 137.5
If the Efreeti mage had any other units which targeted the lich stack with a primary attack, the counter attacks from the liches would steadily decrease in efficiency. Given all these data, it is easy to see how some very slight changes in any number of things can cause a drastic change to the damage done by any unit during battle. Therefore, make sure you research the units you use and the units you fight against. Learn everything you can about them, because it's very sad when your Naga Queens with a 23,500 AP on their secondary attack pair up with Titans and deal no damage whatsoever do to the Titans' 100% lightning resist.
PHASE III: The Post-Battle Phase
The end of the battle, or the Post-Battle Phase is rather small, but it has its own bit of mechanics. Three calculations occur during the Post-Battle Phase:
- Unit Revival calculations, if any
- Determination of the winner
- Land stolen/destroyed
Calculating Unit Revival
There are a few different ways that unit revival occurs. I have titled them Resurrection, Regeneration, and Healing. Do not confuse them with the spells/abilities by the same name. Any matching is unintentional. ALL of the unit revival types require that SOME of the reviving stack remain at the end of the battle to follow through. This can be as little as one unit, but without that one unit, revival will fail to occur. I will explain the three types below.
- Resurrection brings back a set number of units
- Regeneration brings back a set percentage of units
- Healing brings back a number of units based on a set number of hit points healed
The most common unit revival type in the game is Regeneration. The Ascendant spell Platinum Hand of Healing uses this method. As does the Lesser Item Strange Metallic Can, the unit ability Healing, the Verdant spell Regeneration, the hero ability Healing, and so on. It is this type that I will detail, as Resurrection and Healing are not often used and the data on them can be found elsewhere.
Regeneration will revive a number of units based on a set percentage. For example, the Ascendant spell Platinum Hand of Healing will revive 20% of the slain units of a stack at the end of the battle. The Strange Metallic Can will revive 25% of the slain units of a stack at the end of a battle, and so on. However, these percentages, when combined, are not added linearly, but rather multiplied together to arrive at a total percentage of units revived. It follows this formula:
1 - (A * B * C) where A, B, and C are the opposites of the percentages of Regeneration modifiers. More or fewer modifiers are, of course, possible.
Let's look at an example:
A stack of Archangels are led by a lvl 15 Priestess. The player cast Platinum Hand of Healing and used Strange Metallic Can on defense. In this scenario, there are four contributing Regeneration modifiers. The Archangels themselves have the unit ability Healing, which will revive 30% of slain units. Confusingly, the OPPOSITE of this percentage is what is used for the formula; in this case 0.70, or 70% ... the opposite of 30%. The Priestess has lvl 7 Healing, which will revive 9% of slain units (or 0.91). The spell Platinum Hand of Healing will revive 20% of slain units (0.80), and the item Strange Metallic Can will revive 25% of slain units (0.75). The decimal values are what we will insert into our formula to arrive at a total percentage of units revived:
1 - (0.70 * 0.91 * 0.80 * 0.75)
Result: 0.6178 or approximately 62%. At the end of the battle, about 62% of the dead Archangels will come back to life.
In most situations, somewhere between 15-50% of units will be revived. Sometimes a bit more, but rarely oveer 65%. There are some exceptions, though. The number of units revived can become quite high.
For example: A stack of Archangels (0.70) are led by a lvl 17 Priestess (0.89). The player also happens to have a lvl 18 Shieldmaiden (0.93). The player uses Miracle (0.50) and Strange Metallic Can on defense. The player also has level 20 Legendary Articifer, doubling the effectiveness of the Can (0.50). The player also has The Holy Grail in his inventory (0.85). Here is the result:
1 - (0.70 * 0.89 * 0.93 * 0.5 * 0.5 * 0.85)
Result: 0.876879625 or approximately 88% of the dead Archangels will come back to life.
Clearly this is not going to be a commonplace occurrence, it is simply shown as a demonstration of what it possible.
Determining the Winner
On Arch and Guildwar servers, winner determination is very easy. Whichever mage loses the highest PERCENTAGE of their army power is the loser. However, the defender can "lose" the battle but still retain all of his land if he loses less than 10% of his army power. The attacker is required to deal over 10% damage to his target to be considered for a win. This is a requirement across ALL servers. Arch and Guildwar are alone, though, in that the attacking mage can sustain a higher total damage and still win, provided that the damage taken is a lower PERCENTAGE than their target. As an example ...
A mage with a total army power of 2 million attacks a mage with a total army power of 1 million. The attacking mage must deal at least 100k damage to his target AND lose LESS than 10% (in this case, 200k) of his own army in order to win the battle.
On a non-arch server, however, the rules are quite different. Non-arch servers require that the total power lost by the attacker must not exceed the total power lost by the defender to ensure the win. In otherwords, in the above example, the attacker would lose the battle because he lost 200k power when his target only lost 100k. To have won the battle, he would have to have lost less than 100k power.
There is an exception to this rule, however, in the case of significantly large armies. I call it the Battle Bonus. The battle bonus changes the required amount of damage one or the other of the players may sustain before losing the battle; that is, you can lose more of your army than your opponent and still win due to the battle bonus. The battle bonus only comes into play when one army is more than double the net power (that is, 200%) of the opposing army. The larger army is granted a 1% bonus for each 2% over double net power. Here are some examples:
Defender 1M, Attacker 2.02M - The Attacker's army is 2% over 200% of the Defender's army.
- Result: Attacker receives 1% battle bonus, which allows him to lose UP TO, but not including, 1% MORE net power than the defender and still win the battle.
- This number is based on the actual value of power lost by the defender. If the defender loses 200k net power, the attacker may lose UP TO, but not including, 202k net power and still win the battle.
Defender 1M, Attacker 3M - The Attacker's army is 100% over 200% of the Defender's army.
- Result: Attacker receives 50% battle bonus, which allows him to lose UP TO, but not including, 50% MORE net power than the defender (e.g. 200k to 300k) and still win the battle.
Defender 1M, Attacker 4M - The Attacker's army is 200% over 200% of the Defender's army.
- Result: Attacker receives 100% battle bonus, which allows him to lose UP TO, but not including, 100% MORE net power than the defender (e.g. 200k to 400k) and still win the battle.
The effect is the same in reverse, if the defending army is larger.
A battle where the Defender's army is 2.02M power and the Attacker's army is 1M power will give the defender a 1% bonus, effectively forcing the attacker to lose 1% LESS army power than the defender. If the defender loses 200k army power, the attacker may only lose upt to 198k army power if he wants to win the battle. If the Defender's army is 3M, the defender will have a 50% bonus, and so on, radiating from center in the other direction.
And now we're finally at the last bit about battles, and, arguably the most important; else why would you attack someone in the first place? You want land. We ALL want land. We need that land to support our army and increase our kingdom. We need that land to dominate. So how is the amount of land you steal/destroy determined? It is based on two separate factors:
- The type of attack (Siege or Regular)
- The number of surviving units in the attacker's army
Both attack types require that the same minimum percentage of target army be killed to succeed, but they award a different amount of land upon success. Regular attacks will remove up to 5% of your target's land from him. 1/3 (33%) of this land is given to you, the attacker. The other 66% is lost to the abyss (destroyed entirely). Neither of you get it. Siege attacks remove up to 10% of your target's land from him. Again 1/3 of this land is given to the attacker and the other 66% is destroyed (The ratio of land stolen to land destroyed can be changed using the Grand Conqueror skill).
However, winning the fight does not guarantee that the maximum amount of land will be removed from your target. You need a number of units for that. For every 50 units you have surviving at the end of a battle, your target will lose 1 acre of land. This means that if you want to steal 1 land from your target, you must have at least 150 units surviving at the end of the battle (1 acre for you, 2 acres for the abyss). But 1 acre of land is not worth the risk of the battle, so how do you make certain that you gain the maximum amount of land that you can from each battle? You have to do a little math ...
Take a look at your target's land total. We'll use a random number and say he has 3,654 land. If you're sieging him, he can lose up to 10% of that land, or 365 acres. To make sure that he loses 365 acres, you need to have AT LEAST 18,250 surviving units (365 * 50) at the end of the battle. If you have at least that many surviving, then the target will lose 365 acres, 122 of which will go to you, and 243 to the abyss. To gain maximum land off a regular attack, you'll need half that many units surviving; in this case, 9,125. That will remove 5% of your target's land, which will be 183 acres. 61 will go to you, and 122 will go to the abyss.