CombatCombat can happen when units belonging to different nations enter the same area. In most simple cases it is fairly easy to understand. Consider this example:
- A player, let's call him Todd, sees an area he wants that belongs to another player we'll call Rob.
- Rob has units in his area.
- Todd declares war and moves his units into the area he wants to take.
- Combat results. The actual processing of the fight will take place on the tick that the attacking units move into the area (see the movement page for more information).
This case is particularly easy to understand because there are only two players involved, and they are at war. If you understand this much, you will be able to play the game. However, there are many more situations and possibilities which could arise. It will be helpful to learn about them all. If you are interested, read below.
Cases where an area is unowned:
- A player moves units into an unowned area. No other units from other nations are present. In this case, the owner of the unit conquers the area with no combat.
- Two players both move units into an unowned area. The players are at war. In this case, the units will fight and the winner of the combat will conquer the area.
- Two players who are neutral both move units into an unowned area. Though they are not at war, combat will result as they fight over the unowned area.
- Two players who have a peace treaty move units into an unowned area. Because of their treaty, the players do not fight. Since they are not allied, they also do not cooperate. Therefore, both are "bounced" out of the area. Bounced units attempt to return to a friendly area (owned or allied). If no such area exists, they will be destroyed.
- Two players who are allied both move units into an unowned area. Because of the alliance, the two armies will cooperate in the attack. The new owner of the area will be the player with the strongest army. In the case of a tie, the owner is chosen randomly.
- Three or more players move into an unowned area. First, all the above rules apply. So, if two out of the three had peace treaties, then those two would bounce out. If all players were neutral or at war, a three-way battle would take place (all players hitting all other players at once). If there are alliances between some of the players, there is an additional rule to follow. If a player has units present, and he has an ally that is not in common with another player present (ie not also allied), and that ally is also present, then both must be bounced out of the fight. This is the "no third party alliance" rule. It essentially prevents players from being dragged into fights against nations they are not at war with, but who their allies are. Note that this case is talking about unowned areas. There is more information when an owned area is under consideration.
Cases where an area is owned:
In general, a player must be at war or allied with an area he moves units into that is owned by another player. Otherwise, his units will bounce out.
- A player moves into an owned but undefended area that belongs to another player he is at war with. In this case, the area is conquered by the attacker.
- A player moves into an owned area that is defended by units belonging to a player he is at war with. Combat will result, and will determine the owner of the area.
- A player moves into an area owned by another player he is at war with. The area is defended by units that are owned by a third player who is the ally of the current owner. The attacker is not at war with the defending units. In this case, combat will result. Any allied units residing in another player's territory are always obligated to defend. This is the "house guests assist in defense" rule.
- Other cases in which players in various diplomatic arrangements attack an owned area follow the same rules as stated in the unowned cases above.
It is worth noting that many of these cases should be fairly rare. For the most part, it is the more basic combat cases that players will encounter.
Combat at sea:
Since there are no owners of a sea area and a sea area cannot be conquered, combat at sea is handled differently. Essentially, units are free to move in and out of sea areas with no worry of combat or bouncing, unless another unit they are at war with is present. Only units who are at war with each other will fight each other, and the result of the fight has no effect on the area -- it concerns only the destruction of units.
A note about timing:
You should first read the information on the move page before trying to understand combat. Once you have done so, consider the following. Because units are moving around on different ticks, they will be arriving at their destinations differently depending on how fast they are and how far they must travel along their paths. You should therefore either:
- Move units together that you want to fight together in groups of the same type or that have the same move speed through terrain.
- Carefully note the move costs along the paths your units will take and plan their arrivals to be on the same tick as other units.
If you fail to follow either of these guidelines, you could wind up attacking an area twice, each time with half of your intended army. In some cases this might work just fine for you, but it might also mean you fail to win an area and lost both your armies!
If you understand everything up to this point, you have an excellent grasp of combat. If you desire to know the details of how a combat is resolved in a fight by the server, read on.
The mechanics of a fight:
Once all combatants have been assigned to a side, which we'll call a "team," the resulting fight will be processed. Combat consists of rounds which continue until only one team, the victor, has units remaining. A round can be broken down as follows:
- All attacking units roll dice to determine if they score a hit. Any bonuses from spells or other sources are taken into consideration.
- All defending units roll dice to determine if they score a hit. Bonuses are applied as with attackers.
- If there are only two teams in the fight, all scored hits are assigned to the opposing team. If there are more than two teams present, hits are assigned randomly between enemy teams.
- Each team processes the hits assigned to it.
- For each hit, a unit is selected to absorb the hit.
- The unit makes an armor check. If the armor check succeeds, the hit is ignored.
- If the unit fails its armor check, a hit is applied. This decreases the unit's hit points by one.
- If the unit has no remaining hit points, it is destroyed.
This process is logged, including the dice rolls. The log is sent to each player along with his turn data each turn. It can be viewed on the information tab of the viewer.