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There are twenty-one attributes, of which fifteen always apply to all units. Attributes pertaining to cost are normally only displayed prior to acquiring a unit, and attributes pertaining to leadership are only shown on commanders.


The three cost-type attributes of a unit are integral to evaluating the unit's efficiency. The amount of numbers in which they can be produced depends on cost, and this must be strongly considered when comparing units.


A unit's cost in gold is paid when the unit is first recruited, even if the recruitment takes multiple turns to complete. Generally, gold cost is the biggest determiner of whether a unit can be used en masse in the mid game, however the other two costs are very important when you have few forts, for the sake of flexibility, and when the numbers are unusually high.

Gold cost is also the number on which upkeep is based; each unit's annual upkeep is 80% of their cost in most cases, or 40% of their cost in the case of sacred units. It therefore can be relevant even for summoned units, units gained from events, or freespawn units, which is especially notably in the case of LA R'lyeh.

Gold represents a unit's training, and depends primarily on a unit's attribute values as well as magic paths and unit abilities.


Unlike gold and gems, resources aren't a pooled resource that you accrue, but are a constant number in a province each turn. The number of units that can be recruited in a turn must have a total recruitment cost that doesn't exceed the resources available in the province, however if there aren't enough resources available to complete a unit in one turn, those resources will (like the gold spent) be carried over to the next turn. In this way, it is never impossible to recruit units unless the resources in a province are zero.

Resources are often the primary number which determines how many of a unit can be recruited in a single provinces, and are especially relevant during expansion. They are determined primarily by a unit's weapons and armor, each of which have a resource value.

Resources represent the materials such as wood and steel available in a region. The number in a province is basically random but heavily modified by province type. Resources are transferred to provinces with forts from surrounding provinces according to the Administration value of the fort.

Recruitment Points

Recruitment points function identically to resources when recruiting units. However, they are generated according to the population in the province. Recruitment points are roughly meant to represent the amount of "human capital" in a province, and units which are particularly noble or otherwise rare tend to cost more recruitment points.

As with resources, any recruitment points used to partially recruit the last unit carry over to next turn.

Commander Points

Although presented the same way in the unit interface, commanders make use of a different and unrelated recruitment point mechanic. Commander recruitment points are a separate pool, and are determined by fort level. Unfortified provinces and palisades have one point, fortresses and castles have two points, and citadels have three points. In general, non-magical commanders cost one to recruit, most mages cost 2, and particularly skilled mages cost 4, meaning that even a citadel cannot recruit one per turn.

Combat Modifiers

These attributes are among those always displayed on all units. They are the ones which are added to a DRN roll in order to determine the outcome of combat events like attacks and spellcasting. You may also be looking for a detailed description of the game's combat mechanics. This page does not delve directly into the relevant equations.

Attack Skill

The attack skill is used to make a melee attack roll, and is the number added to DRN to determine when an attack hits. The attack skill is most often a relevant consideration with regards to infantry, as infantry spend the greatest portion of time in a melee slog where these calculations have the most impact.

Attack skill is also used to determine if you succeed with a repel against an attacker.

Because weapons modify attack rolls as well, it is generally only useful to look at the attack number in the unit attribute screen when planning thugs and supercombatants. Instead, look at the attack values associated with each weapon that the unit wields, which already include those modifiers. These numbers are also shown if you click on the Attack score in the attribute list.

Defense Skill

A defense roll is made to successfully avoid an attack in its entirety. This can differ from not taking damage, and as a result effects which occur on a successful attack are substantially more powerful than those which occur on damage.

Note that although defense is generally decreased by shields, an attack roll that beats the defender's defense roll but does not beat their defense roll plus the shield's parry will be a shield hit. This means that the defender benefits from the shield's protection in addition to their normal protection, and many magical shields have effects that trigger in this case as well.

Defense is subject to a harassment penalty when a unit us outnumbered: They receive one point of harassment per turn, which is subtracted from defense. Mounted units only take half this penalty and often have high defense to begin with, so contrary to real history, they're unusually at home being bogged down by melee. This can be considered an abstraction as the game's scripting engine is not sufficiently sophisticated to represent breaking away for subsequent charges. Note also that some units have unsurroundable and recieve reduced harassment penalty.


A strength roll, modified by weapon damage, determines how much damage an attack does. It is opposed by protection, but can be considered a counter to both high protection and high HP, making particularly useful for countering especially survivable troops, as well as thugs and supercombatants. For this reason, it is often included in workhorse blesses.

Strength also affects a unit's potential to contribute to a siege, whether attacking or defending, although this number may be modified by unit-abilities as well. You can see the final number in this calculation by clicking the strength score in the unit screen.


There are two kinds of protection, natural protection and armor value. Natural protection is an inherent property of the unit, like most other attributes, while armor value is derived directly from the unit's armor and can therefore change due to equipment (on commanders) or rust.

More on natural protection and armor stacking here.

Because protection directly counters the damage of all attacks, it is especially useful in making troops unstoppable, and therefore in the creation of thugs and supercombatants. The downside of many units with high protection is that the heavy armor they wear incur high encumbrance.


Precision is used to determine ranged attack results. Precision determines how likely it is for a projectile to hit the square that the archer intended; one that has desirable targets. Low precision will result in projectiles instead hitting nearby squares that may contain less desirable targets or even friendly units. Precision does not directly affect the equation for whether a unit within the square is hit.

In combat, precision is only relevant to troops with ranged attacks and some mages. For troops, it is generally important to reduce the amount of friendly fire that occurs when shooting into a melee, and therefore is far more important for dedicated archer troops who are expected to continue using their ranged weapons throughout the battle than it is for melee troops who have javelins, throwing axes, or other weapons with low ammunition as they will generally expend these before battle is truly joined, and thereafter function as melee troops.

Outside of combat, troops with high precision are better at patrol.

Magic Resistance

Unlike all the other combat modifiers, Magic Resistance (MR) is not typically involved in attacks (with some exceptions) and instead generally resists spells. For that reason, it is not opposed to another unit attributed, but instead is opposed to Penetration. Because not all spells or magical effects target MR, and because spells are typically expensive to bring to bear, MR is most important on troops that are difficult to counter in other ways, or which have specific counters that target MR. For example, undead are often targeted with spells like Banish (and its variants), as this is a holy spell that is particularly effective against them, and high MR helps resist that. Thugs and Supercombatants are often targeted by Soul Slay as it is both potent enough to always work if not resisted by MR, relatively accessible, and also overcomes many methods that otherwise mitigate instant kill effects.

General Attributes

Hit Points

Hit points represent the physical integrity of a unit, and under normal circumstances when HP reaches zero, the unit dies. When hit points are lost, there is a chance of an Affliction and hit points are a key mechanic on which several unit abilities are based.


Size represents how big a unit is, and as such its main function is determining how many units fit in a square. Normally, a square can hold up to six points of size in total, divided among any number of creatures. As such, size decreases the amount of attacks possible from a single square of troops and increases the number of attacks that they'll receive from the same number of opponents. Although units with the Formation Fighter ability work slightly differently, they are an exception and even in this case, size is a negative stat. However, size is usually accompanied by superior strength, HPs, and stats in general; many of the most potent units have high size.

Size is also used in many other calculations. Being larger makes it easier to be hit by arrows. It also increases trample damage and is included in repel calculations, meaning that high size can actually be beneficial to tramplers (who avoid much of the downside as they don't make attacks, and move around a lot anyway) and to units with high attack and long weapons, as in these cases repelling can be enough to make them immune to attacks from most ordinary units and even a single extra point can greatly enhance survivability.

Finally, size has an effect on hit locations; small units with short weapons can rarely reach the heads of their large enemies.


Dominions battles typically end not in annihilation but in rout. Morale checks are made for units to see if they begin to rout and leave the battlefield when they encounter adverse conditions such as high casualties or enemies with the fear ability. Morale is also used for other some other abilities, and in particular a morale check is needed to overcome Awe.

Morale can be boosted by commanders with high leadership or the Inspirational ability and penalized by army organization which fails to take into account the natures of different kinds of troops (for example, undisciplined troops). Some troops have very high morale, and therefore will never rout under normal circumstances, especially troops that are mindless or berserk.

Combat Speed

Combat speed represents the amount of distance a unit can cover in a round if they do nothing else. Although Dominions 5 breaks from predecessors in having real-time battles, the round system from previous games is still used to measure time; besides moving their full combat speed, a unit could make all their attacks in one round, and a spellcaster could cast a spell with 100% casting speed. However, these time periods are no longer clearly divided nor are they synchronized among units.

Combat speed is an important stat particularly for units intended to bypass enemy defenses and go for vulnerable units.

From simple observation, it can be seen that combat speeds translates to around 3/4 tiles moved per point. For example, in two combat turns, heavy cavalry (speed 20) moves about 30 tiles (30/2=15).

Map Move

This attribute deals with map movement between provinces. Provinces have movement costs according to their terrain as well as the presence of roads and snow cover. Units may reduce the effective cost with survival abilities (e.g. swamp survival, forest survival) or bypass them with abilities like flying and sailing. A commander may move, with their troops, to any province that both they and all of their troops could reach.

Map move is a useful stat to allow quick response to changing strategic situations, and is particularly valuable for raiding.


A unit's encumbrance stat indicates how direly they are weighed down by their gear. Each round of attacks adds this amount to the unit's fatigue, and casting a spell adds twice as much. However, some units that don't have biology are not subject to normal encumbrance. Typically, a unit's encumbrance comes mostly from their gear and can be adjusted by equipping different items (for commanders), or countered by acquiring reinvigoration. Encumbrance is rarely altered in combat as most combat spells affect fatigue; Curse of Stones is an exception.


Fatigue represents how tired a unit is, and always starts at zero. Higher levels of fatigue incur penalties on attack and defense rolls. Fatigue also opens a unit up to critical hits, which ignore 25% of their Protection when calculating damage. Fatigue is typically accrued by attacking or casting spells, at a rate determined by encumbrance, but can also be added by spells or special weapon effects. Therefore, if they both survive through a long battle, heavily armored units will lose some of their advantage.

When Fatigue reaches 100, a unit becomes unconscious and receives further penalties including to defense, and when it reaches 200, further fatigue damage is dealt as HP damage instead. Units naturally recoup one point of fatigue per round, and five points while unconscious, both of which which may be boosted by reinvigoration. Although not always necessary, making units that have enough reinvigoration to balance out their encumbrance when attack normally (in other words, fatigue neutral units) is often a key part of making thugs and supercombatants.

FIXME: How are the penalties calculated? What are the penalties for being unconscious?


Every unit has an age. They also have a maximum age, which can be viewed by clicking the age in the unit's stats. Units beyond their maximum age (which will be marked as old aged on the unit screen) suffer mounting penalties to their attributes, can get diseased or otherwise gain afflictions, and will eventually die. Because of the timescale of Dominions, it's rare for a unit to become old if they don't start that way, however spell effects like Decay or the Burden of Time can accelerate this process. Decay is especially dangerous for older units because it also deals steady HP damage if the target is already past their maximum age.

Maximum age can be increased by gaining levels in a Magic path specific to their type (Earth for inanimates, Death for undead, Blood for demons, Nature for everyone else) and is decreased for the aforementioned "everyone else" by having levels in the Fire path.

Experience (XP)

For more details: Experience


Leadership, Magical Leadership, and Undead Leadership are commander only attributes. Commanders are able to lead an amount of units equal to their Leadership rating. Leadership impacts, squad morale and squad formation,

Only Commanders with base Leadership of 80 or more can put squads into formations other than Skirmish.

Squad Morale

Leadership Effect
10 automatic -1 to morale for a single squad. An additional -1 to all squads for every squad beyond the first (Five Squads = -5)
40 No morale penalty if leading one or two squads. -1 penalty for every additonal sq.
80 +1 morale for all squads if three or fewer. -1 penalty to morale for every squad above three
120 +2 morale for up to 4 squads, -1 penalty to all if fifth squad added
160 +3 morale for all five squads1)

The morale effects of leadership rating are based on the base leadership rating of the commander. Commanders gain more leadership with experience, so a highly experienced commander with a base leadership of 40 might be able to lead up to 85 units or more, but the morale bonuses still stay the same.


Leadership of non-magical and non-undead units. Leadership is increased by Experience levels; Fire paths increase leadership by 5.

Magic Leadership

Units with the Magic Being trait can only be lead by a commander with Magic Leadership. Magic Leadership is increased by magic paths (+10 per astral path; +5 per path other than death). Magic beings will rout if no allied Commander has magic leadership. Mindless Magic Beings will dissolve instead of routing.

Undead Leadership

Units with the Undead or Demon trait can only be lead by a commander with Undead Leadership. Mages gain +30 undead leadership per death path and +5 per blood path. As with magic beings, they will rout if no allied Commander has Undead Leadership. Many undead troops are mindless and will dissolve instead of routing.

Previously 240 was listed in the table, but according to the manual 160 is the maximum
units-attributes.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/19 09:00 by naaira