Notes on Warlords II Bonuses

See Also: A Guide to the Rules of Engagement in Warlords II

Combat System

Written (Mostly) by Elam Birnbaum

Web Version by Bob Heeter

Last Modified January 7, 1997

  1. Outline
    1. Outline
    2. Combat Bonuses
      1. Individual Terrain Bonuses
      2. Stack Bonuses
      3. Special Bonuses
      4. Calculation of Bonuses
      5. Notes on Bonuses
      6. The Little-Known Fortify Bonus

  2. Combat Bonuses
    1. Individual Terrain Bonuses. The Individual bonus adds to the strength of that unit only. These bonuses are applied to the creature only when a battle occurs on its terrain. They are added *before* all other bonuses, and cannot bring a unit above strength 9. But they are not included in the maximum bonus limit of +5. Thus a heavy cavalry (strength 5) with a hero (say +5) in the open (+2) can have a modified strength of 12, rather than 10. But a triple-blessed cavalry (strength 8) in the open (+2) would be only strength 9. Please note that the terrain a battle occurs on is the defender's terrain.

      Summary of terrain bonuses for standard army set (non-Deluxe version):

           Creature   Individual Bonus   Terrain Type
      • Minotaurs +1 City
      • Spiders +2 City
      • Griffins +2 City
      • Archers +1 Woods
      • Dwarfs +1 Hills
      • Light Cavalry +1 Open
      • Pikemen +1 Open
      • Heavy Cavalry +2 Open
    2. Stack Bonuses. Stack bonuses are applied to the entire stack.
      1. Terrain Stack Bonuses.
             Creature   Stack Bonus   Terrain Type
        • Dragon +2 All
        • Wizard +1 All
        • Worm +1 All
        • Undead +1 All
        • Elemental +1 All
        • Demon +1 All
        • Devil +1 All
        • Archon +1 All
        • Unicorn +1 All
        • Pegasi +1 All
        • Wolf Rider +1 Hills
      2. Note: Only when fighting in the hills does the presence of a wolfrider in the stack increase the strength of each creature in the stack by one. The rest of the creatures (which are defined as "Special Creatures") add their Terrain Stack Bonuses to the stack for all terrain.

      3. Hero Stack Bonus.
        1. Hero Strength Stack Bonus. The hero's strength gives bonuses to the stack.
          • Table of Strengths and Corresponding Bonuses
            Hero's Strength          Stack Bonus
            • 3 +1
            • 4 +1
            • 5 +1
            • 6 +1
            • 7 +2
            • 8 +2
            • 9 +3
          • Items in the hero's possession holding Battle Bonuses will add to the strength of the hero, thereby aiding in this count. Please note that the battle item adds to the strength of the hero, not the strength bonus.
          • Only the hero with the highest modified strength (strength + battle bonuses) is chosen to have his/her strength bonus added to the stack.
          • Medals and blessings are not considered bonuses and permanently increase a hero's strength.
        2. Command Items Bonus. Items with Command Bonuses boost the hero's stack bonus and increase the strength of the entire stack by the amount of the bonus.

      4. Negative Stack Bonus. The presence of an elephant in a given stack will reduce the strength of all creatures in the opposing stack by one. This type of bonus is applied after all other bonuses.

      5. Defense Bonuses. A defending stack may have its strength increased, depending on its location.
             Location                                       Bonus 
        • Road, Open, Hills, Woods, Mountains, Water None
        • Tower +1
        • Ruins +2
        • Temple +2
        • City with production of 1 or 2 creatures +1
        • City with production of 3 or 4 creatures +2
        • Razed city None
      6. Note: The city bonuses are halved for neutral cities, and rounded down. A neutral city with production of 1-2 creatures has NO defense bonus; a neutral city with production of 3-4 creatures has only a +1 bonus. Razed cities are still city terrain, but with no city defense bonus.

    3. Special Bonuses. There are three types of special bonus.
      1. An Archon (Cancel Hero) negates a hero's group bonuses. Please note that this means that an Archon does negate both the Command Items Bonus and the Group Strength Bonus. For instance, a hero with a base strength of 7 and a +2 battle item has a modified strength of 9, giving him/her a +3 strength bonus. If the hero had in addition a pair of +1 command items, for a +2 command bonus, he/she would have a +5 overall bonus. But if fighting a stack with an archon, none of the bonuses would count, although the hero would still fight at strength 9 due to the battle bonuses.

        The official word from SSG:
        The archon will cancel all Hero command bonuses, including those that they would normally apply to themselves. In your example, the Hero's strength would stay at 9, from battle items, but the hero would not generate a command bonus for himself or the rest of his stack if fighting an archon, or any other army that cancelled hero bonuses.

        Gregor Whiley Vice President, Strategic Studies Group

      2. A Devil (Cancel non-hero) negates all Terrain Stack Bonuses . Note that this does not apply to Individual Terrain Bonuses, a Negative Stack Bonus, or any Special Bonuses. Two stacks with devils fighting each other both suffer the effects of the opposing devil.
      3. A Siege Engine (Cancel city) eliminates the Defense Bonus (tower, ruins, temples, cities).

    4. Calculation of Bonuses.
      1. Attacking Stack Bonus.
            Situation                             Bonuses to Add
        • Hero in Attacking Stack + Command Items Bonus
        • Hero in Attacking Stack + Hero Strength Bonus
        • Defending Stack has Archon(s) - (Hero Strength Bonus + Command Items)
        • All + Terrain Stack Bonus
        • Defending Stack has Devil(s) - Terrain Stack Bonus
        • ---------------------------------------------------------
        • Subtotal
        • If Subtotal is Greater than +5, truncate to +5
        • If Defending Stack has Elephants -1 to attacking stack
      2. Result is Total Attacking Stack Bonus
        • Note: The Total Attacking Stack Bonus should be added to each creature's strength which has already been adjusted according to its Individual Terrain Bonus. Please note that this means that a creature can have a +2 Individual Terrain Bonus plus a +5 stack bonus. An unmodified creature's strength can be no higher than 9. The Individual Terrain Bonus cannot raise a creature's strength beyond 9. Thus, after the stack bonus (maximum +5) a creature's modified strength may be no higher than 14. For instance, a strength 8 creature with a +2 Individual Terrain Bonus and a +5 stack bonus will receive only +1 from the Individual Terrain Bonus, bringing it to strength 9, and then the +5 stack bonus would bring it to 14.
        • Note: If the defending stack has an elephant(s), the greatest the Attacking Stack Bonus can be is +4, and the maximum possible strength of the attackers is 13.

      3. Defending Stack Bonus.
            Situation                             Bonuses to Add
        • Hero in Defending Stack + Command Items Bonus
        • Hero in Defending Stack + Hero Strength Bonus
        • Attacking Stack has Archon(s) - (Hero Strength Bonus + Command Items)
        • All + Terrain Stack Bonus
        • Attacking Stack has Devil(s) - Terrain Stack Bonus
        • All + Defense Bonus
        • Attacking Stack has Siege Engine - Defense Bonus
        • --------------------------------------------------------------
        • Subtotal
        • If Subtotal is Greater than +5, truncate to +5
        • Attacking Stack has Elephants - 1 to defending stack
      4. Result is Total Defending Stack Bonus
      5. Note: The notes for the Attacking Stack Bonus calculation also apply to the defending stack bonus calculation. Note also that city walls will not help stacks which already have a net +5 bonus from heroes and terrain stack bonuses (factoring in Archons and Devils), since the maximum stack bonus is +5.

    5. Notes on Bonuses.
      • If two enemy stacks with Devils in them attack each other, the Devils only cancel the opposing stacks's Terrain Stack Bonus, not their ability to cancel bonuses.
      • Devils do not cancel the Special Bonuses of Elephants, Siege Engines, or Archons (in the case of Archons, the Devil does negate their +1 Terrain Stack Bonus).
      • The strength of a creature after modifications may not be less than 1. Therefore, a strength 1 creature cannot be reduced to a 0.
      • A stack with more than one Hero in it will benefit from the Strength Bonus from the Hero with the highest strength, but will benefit from both heroes' Command Items.
      • A stack with more than one Elephant, Siege Engine, Devil, or Archon will not gain any extra abilities than a stack with one (other than the combat strengths of the units themselves).

    6. The Little-Known Fortify Bonus

      Information contributed by Matt Caspermeyer,

      With the Scenario Builder it is possible to create an army with a Fortify Bonus. What's so special about a Fortify Bonus? It is additive to any other bonus that is in a stack (still has the +5 limit). So if you have a Dragon with a +2 Stack Bonus and then add a creature with a Fortify Bonus, the entire stack will now be +3! This is not documented very well and actually is only supposed to be a defense bonus, but nonetheless it works. Also, in older versions of Warlords an army with a Fortify Bonus will not have that fact displayed in the View - Army Bonus menu, which is perhaps a bug. So if you have an army that is receiving a 'mystery' +1 bonus, that is the coveted Fortify Bonus. What's really neat about this bonus is that it is additive kind of like the flying bonuses awarded in Warlords I. Hope this information is useful!