Aside from Hero and Lord abilities, there are dozens of different spells, each one differing from the previous one. Here you can find supporting spells that will allow you increase the effectiveness of your units, spells that can weaken enemy forces significantly, or even some that are capable of obliterating entire units in a matter of seconds. In this chapter you will learn about the types of spells, as well as how to cast them.
Types of spells
There are different types of spells available in the game. The main difference, aside from the effects they offer, is the way in which the spells work. We can distinguish:
- Augment - spells from this group offer bonuses to specific stats of a single unit. Those can increase the effectiveness and combat capabilities of a unit by, for instance, giving them damage reduction, or can even offer additional properties, like a complete immunity to discipline loss for a short time. Spells from the Augment group are always cast on a single unit. Effects that this group of spells offer can make a unit significantly stronger, capable of defeating several entire units of enemies on their own.
- Augment (area) - spells from this group are identical to the one describe above. In most cases they are weaker than single-target augment spells, but they can buff several units at once. Spells from this group are (maybe except from the ones of the Vortex kind) probably the most powerful in the entire game. The ability to increase the discipline, attack, defense and speed of several units at once can give you a huge advantage over the enemy.
- Hex - the opposite of augment. Spells from this group allow a caster to decrease combat capabilities of a unit (such as defense, attack), or inflict various negative effects, like decreased resistance to fire or increased discipline loss, which causes the unit to be more likely to route. Spells from this group are used on single targets. They are effective primarily against single, powerful units, such as Lords / Heroes focused on melee combat, or a monster decimating your army.
- Hex (area) - the same rule as with the first two spells. The only difference to single-target hex is that spells from the 'area' group allow you to curse several enemy units at once. Similarly to the area of effect augment magic, spells from this group are extremely overpowered - a single spell can, for instance, decrease the discipline of several units to that extent, that the units will route almost immediately.
- Direct damage - spells from this group are used to inflict damage onto a unit. Some of the spells found in this group are capable of dealing immense damage, making them extremely effective against durable units, such as monsters, heroes, or especially Lords. The perfect example can be the Spirit Leech which can drain 2/3 of a Lords health with a single usage! Using it two or three times on a Lord will kill him, crushing the discipline of the enemy army and potentially ending the whole encounter within seconds.
- Magic missile - spells that are quite similar to the ones described above. The only difference is that magic missiles (like, for instance, the Fireball) hone on the target and are almost certain to hit even the most mobile targets. Unfortunately, they deal significantly lower damage than the ones found in the Vortex group, although it's compensated by lower Winds of Magic cost.
- Vortex - a group of spells capable of dealing the highest damage, while also having the highest cost in Winds of Magic points. A good example of a spell of this group is the Firestorm. Casting it will summon a fire tornado on the battlefield, flying around the area and decimating units in its range. The major drawback of those spells is that they can simply fly off in a random direction and cause, literally, zero damage. Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that those spells are effective against large groups of enemies - they won't do much damage against single targets.
- Bombardment - spells from this group allow the caster to deal damage in a specified area. It can be a spell that summons bolts of lightning. Spells from this group are deadly against stationary targets (like infantry units that are in combat) and are capable of annihilating whole units in seconds. However, they are completely useless against targets that are moving, as well as units that have high mobility.
As you can see there are several groups of spells in the game and understanding them (and trying each one in combat) can have a significant impact on the course of a battle. Spells offer vast possibilities - a single, well-timed spell can turn the tide of a battle that was doomed a second ago.
How to cast spells
This chapter can be summed up in a single sentence - "click on a spell and select your target". Even though the process looks roughly like that, process of casting spells is a little bit more complicated. You have to take some factors into consideration, so that your spell won't be blocked by obstacle and the Winds of Magic points wasted for nothing.
The first thing you must make sure of is the resistance to magic of the target. Most units in the game doesn't have any resistance to spells, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Resistance to magic can be increased with Hero / Lord abilities, as well as by giving certain banners to units. Dwarven units, given the fact that they cannot cast spells on their own, have 25% resistance to magic.
However, some units are more vulnerable to certain spells as well. A good example are the Trolls, that receive more damage from fire spells thanks to their regeneration ability, or some Vampire Counts' units that have ethereal form. Ethereal units are almost immune to physical attacks, but they have extremely low health pools, making spells very effective against them - such a unit can be wiped out with a single spell. Additionally, vulnerability to spells can be increased by certain Hero / Lord abilities and items.
Another thing that you must remember about is the environment. Aside from spells from the Vortex and Bombardment group, as well as Augments and Hexes, a lot of spells need direct line of fire to be able to hit the target. A perfect example is the Fireball spell - it automatically homes in on the target, but every obstacle (not to mention an elevation) can block the ball from hitting the target. This will cause you to waste precious Winds of Magic points. Each time you want to cast a spell, make sure that nothing will block it.
The last thing that you must monitor all the time is the reserve of Winds of Magic points. If those points run out you won't be able to cast any spells. Additionally, it's worth to keep some points accumulated in case you need to immediately cast a specific spell. Sometimes it's best to not cast spells to the right and left and just keep the points in the "vessel" in case of an emergency.