November 12, 2011

MOM -- an interesting bug

If you put a Magic Spirit in a stack of Shadow Demons, the stack moves speed 2. Of course, you have to be careful not to take the Magic Spirit with you into any battles, because it'll be the target-of-choice for all range strikes, and it doesn't regenerate. But it's easy enough to leave it outside, and bring it in afterwards.

That can't have been intentional. It makes Shadow Demons unreasonably powerful as a board-clearer if you're playing a quick-game strategy, which so far as I can tell is the best way to get a really high score. When they move speed 2, and have scouting 2, they can locate enemy wizards pretty easily, and a stack of three or four of them can win any city battle in the early game, and of course without taking any losses as long as they win.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 09:10 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 If memory serves, Magic Spirits have Pathfinding. Since I can't find a reference online for some reason: Pathfinding units use half a movement point to move over any terrain, and they also share this benefit with every unit in the stack. Magic Spirits only have one movement point as well, but they can move two spaces a turn. However, Pathfinding is buggy, so although it seems weird that it lets Shadow Demons move an extra space, that is one of the few places where it's actually working properly (perhaps because the Shadow Demons fly?).

Posted by: John at November 17, 2011 09:43 PM (LfW1t)

2

They don't have pathfinding. They're incorporeal, which gives them the ability to cross terrain at half-a-move per square. Wraiths do the same, and anything with the Wraithform spell does, too.

That's why Great Wyrms with Wraithform move 6 on the strategic map.

But where pathfinding even on one unit affects the whole stack, Wraithform doesn't. If any unit in the stack is not incorporeal, the entire stack moves at the slower speed.

Shadow Demons are not incorporeal; that's why when a stack is made up exclusively of Shadow Demons it moves speed 1. If you added a pathfinding unit to that, it would double the speed. I haven't tested it, but if you put the pathfinding spell on any one of them, it should, too.

And presumably if you did Wraithform on all of them, it would, too. But adding a Magic Spirit to the stack shouldn't.

I've got a save game where I can test that. I'll do it in the morning.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 17, 2011 10:28 PM (+rSRq)

3

Here's what I found:

Shadow Demons are noncorporeal. They have a movement of 1, and that should mean they cover two spaces per turn, but they actually move one.

If you put pathfinding on a Shadow Demon, it has no effect. Still moves one.

If you have Shadow Demons and a Ranger in the same stack, it moves two.

Magic Spirits are noncorporeal. With a listed movement of one, they move two because of the noncorporeal bonus.

Magic Spirits are not pathfinders. A stack consisting of a Magic Spirit and a Settler moves one, not two. A stack of a Settler and a Ranger moves two.

You can't put Wraithform on a Shadow Demon. It tells you that it already has it.

Conclusion: I think that in the name of game balance, an exception was made for Shadow Demons to slow them down, but there's a bug in the code which kicks in when Shadow Demons are stacked with Magic Spirits.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 18, 2011 03:39 PM (+rSRq)

4 Interesting! I was so sure Magic Spirits were pathfinders, but it has been quite a while since I played a game of MoM. Maybe I'll get around to one tomorrow.

Posted by: John at November 18, 2011 10:56 PM (LfW1t)

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