LPG - Magic vs Magical

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This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Intermediate Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(See also Basic Training and Advanced Training.)


A Magical attack is not the same thing as a Magic attack.


Honestly I'm kind of annoyed that this lesson needs to exist; like, if PP had called it Damage Type: Arcane there would be no need for me write this or for you to read it. Anyway...

The Difference

  • Magical Attack - Any attack that has Damage Type: Magical.
    You can have magical melee attacks, magical ranged attacks, and magical magic attacks. Heck, you can even have magical mount attacks.
  • Magic Attack - Any offensive spell.
    Side note: Sometimes a non-offensive spell will cause damage (for example Blazing Effigy). In this case the spell is not an attack, so anything that interacts with "Magic Attacks" will not interact with this spell.

If you have a bonus that applies to ranged attacks:

  • It won't apply to spells (magic attacks).
  • It will apply to ranged attacks with Damage Type: Magical (magical attacks).

If you have a bonus that applies to magic attacks:

  • It will apply to spells (magic attacks).
  • It won't apply to ranged attacks with Damage Type: Magical (magical attacks).

Examples

Hymn of Passage (★ Action) - The warjack cannot be targeted by non-magical ranged attacks. Passage lasts for one round.

Passage prevents enemies shooting the warjack, unless their gun is a magical gun. Either way, spells can be cast at the warjack just fine.

Hymn of Shielding (★ Action) - The warjack cannot be targeted by enemy spells. Shielding lasts for one round.

Shielding prevents enemies from casting spells at the warjack. It can be shot by guns just fine, whether they're magical guns or not.

Incorporeal

Feralgeist the friendly ghost.

Incorporeal is a bit of a weird rule to get your head around. At first glance it seems easy - it's basically rules for being a "ghost" and only magical weapons can harm you. But the more layers you peel back the more convuluted it becomes. The main things people get tripped up on are:

  • Although only weapons with Damage Type: Magical can damage an Incorporeal model, any kind of weapon can hit an Incorporeal model.
Also, Incorporeal models are not immune to weapon special effects.
For example, a non-magical weapon with Ram could hit and knock down an Incorporeal model, even though that weapon can't damage it.
  • Incorporeal models cannot make free strikes. They can, however, engage the enemy in melee. The enemy can and will simply walk away without taking free strikes, but sometimes simply forcing them to walk, instead of aim, can be advantageous.
  • All spells deal Damage Type: Magical by default. This is straightforward for simple nuke spells, but for spells that causes multiple damage rolls (such as Chain Lightning), spells that leave a template in play that deals damage (such as Caustic Mist), or spells that technically aren't offensive spells (such as Blazing Effigy) ... the interaction between those "extra" spell damage with Incorporeal is a bit unclear. See the Rules Clarifications for the answers.

Rules Clarifications

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification:  : Magical Damage      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

* The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
  • All spells have "Damage Type: Magical" (refer errata).
    • This is inherited by "immediate" secondary damage (such as Eruption of Spines). (Infernal Ruling)
    • and might be inherited by "lingering" secondary damage (see below).
  • If a spell leaves a template in play that does damage to models that walk around in it, then:
    • if it is not described as a hazard it will do magical damage to models that walk around in it. (Example: Razor Wall)
    • if it is a hazard then it will not do magical damage to models that walk around in it. Instead, it does whatever damage type is specified by the spell description. (Example: Breath of Corruption).
    • (Infernal Ruling)
  • If a weapon/spell includes Magic Damage and another kind of elemental damage it will still damage Incorporeal models. Incorporeal models are not affected by the rule "if an attack does multiple types of damage and a model is immune to at least one it is immune to the entire attack."
    The phrase "immune to non-magical damage" should be interpreted as "immune to damage that doesn't include Damage Type: Magical" (not interpreted as "has immunity to Corrosion and Electricity and Cold and etc.")
RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification:  : Incorporeal      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

Damage & Debuffs
  • All spells do magical damage. Refer to the latest errata.
  • If a weapon or spell does multiple types of damage (such as Chain Lightning doing Electricity damage), then you'll still be hurt by the spell. "Incorporeal" is not the same as "has immunity to all damage types". (Infernal Ruling)
  • "Mundane" weapons can still apply debuffs to Incorporeal models, even though they can't damage them. For instance, an Ironclad could hit an Incorporeal model with a Tremor Attack and knock the incorporeal model down; Small-based Incorporeal models can be Consumeed, etc. (Infernal Ruling)

Incorporeal models moving

  • If an incorporeal model declares a charge, then they stay incorporeal until they actually make an attack. So, for example:
    • If they're Countercharged after finishing their own charge movement, they will be Incorporeal while resolving the Countercharge attack.
    • If they fail the charge, they will stay Incorporeal.
  • Entering hazards: "Enters or ends its activation" can only be triggered once each turn.
    • If the Incorporeal model begins its activation outside the hazard, moves into the hazard and loses Incorporeal, it would not take any damage from ending its activation in the hazard.
    • If the Incorporeal model begins its activation inside the hazard, stays inside the hazard, and loses Incorporeal, it would take damage from ending its activation in the hazard.
    • (Infernal Ruling)
  • Charging through models (Edit)
    • You can't charge all the way through your charge target, with the intention to turn around and face them once you're on the other side.
      • Because you aren't able to satisfy the "must keep the charge target in melee range" clause at the point after you are through the model but before you turn to directly face. At that point the target is behind you, not in your front arc, and thus not in your melee range.
      • Your melee range only extends to your front arc. Refer to the latest errata.
    • You can still "skim" through the edge of their base, if you're careful and smart with your positioning.

Moving through an Incorporeal model

  • A model that is pushed into an Incorporeal model will go all the way through, only if the push is large enough to get all the through. If the push is too short, the moving model will "bounce back" to where they first started overlapping the incorporeal model. (Infernal Ruling)
  • The core rules that allows models to be pushed through the Incorporeal model will override any ability/spell that uses the phrase "is pushed until it contacts a model" (such as Grip, Drag, and Catch). (Infernal Ruling)
  • A model that is thrown or slammed into an Incorporeal model will end in the normal spot, and the Incorporeal model is repositioned as per the 'Rule of Least Disturbance'.
    • If the Incorporeal model cannot be moved (ie it's a Wraith Engine), then the moving model is repositioned as per the 'Rule of Least Disturbance'.

Other

  • Incorporeal models can engage enemy models. They can't make free strikes or bodyblock enemies, but they do prevent enemy models making ranged attacks, and everyone gets the 'Target in Melee' bonus.