Bone Dragon and Ghost Dragon
• Decreases enemy morale by -1
• Decreases enemy morale by -1
• Aging 20%
"Bone and ghost dragons are raised from dragon corpses. Both of these creatures have a ferocious biting attack and lower the morale of enemy units by one when they appear on the battlefield. Ghost dragon attacks have a 20% chance of aging their targets. Aged troops have the hit points of all their members halved." RoE manual
Unlike the majority of dragons, Bone Dragons and Ghost Dragons don't have breath attack, i.e. they damage only the troops directly attacked by them. Placing hydras, sea serpents , couatls or any living dragons into the skeleton transformer will produce bone dragons instead of regular skeletons. Bone and ghost dragons themselves will be turned into skeletons.; in Horn of the Abyss (since 1.7.0) they're converted into Bone Dragons.
Special Ability: Aging
Ghost dragons have the special ability aging, which has a 20% chance to occur after they have attacked a creature stack and before the stack has a chance to retaliate. It lowers the maximum health of every creature in the target stack down to 50% (rounded up). The effect lasts for 3 combat rounds, and can only be removed with cure or dispel. Additionally, non-living creatures are immune to aging.
When ghost dragons successfully age a stack, any health lost before being aged remains lost. However, the aging cannot reduce health to 0. For example, a ghost dragon attacks one angel and deals 60 points melee damage before the aging occurs. The angel will have 40 health left, which is the result of the calculation
If the ghost dragon had dealt 130 damage, the angel would have had 1 health left, which would have been the result of two calculations:
200 is the previous maximum health and 100 is the maximum health after aging. 70 health remains after the first calculation (the usual damage calculation).
If cure with a power to heal of 30 is used, the angel would have had 131 health left. The following calculation shows the ensuing result:
200 is the previous maximum health and 100 is the maximum health after being aged. Also, 31 health remains after the first calculation (the usual damage calculation).
Even though Peasants are not immune to aging, it has no effect on them unless health-boosting artifact is equipped. They have 1 HP, which means that after being decreased to 0.5 and rounded up, it remains 1 HP.
Creatures immune to aging:
Heroes with a specialty
- Mutare the Overlord and
- Mutare Drake the Overlord have dragons as a specialty. All dragons receive +5 Attack and +5 Defense.
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Bone Dragons are the only type of dragon that doesn't require any magical resources to recruit.
Bone Dragons and Ghost Dragons are often considered to be among the weakest level 7 creatures. They are not as powerful as dragons of Rampart and Dungeon, and do not share their breath attack and magic immunity (on the other hand, they can be boosted by some spells, unlike e.g. Black Dragons, and cannot damage their own troops). While Aging can effectively cripple an enemy stack, it is quite unreliable and may be controversial in some cases, as a stack suffered from aging will be resurrected faster.
They are fast, but have below average attack stat and the lowest defense of any level 7 unit. Use them defensively to clean up troop stacks in the first few rounds of combat and try to keep them from being overwhelmed as they will falter when they get teamed up on. They also deal the lowest minimal damage for a tier 7 unit, sharing this stat with the Hydras and Chaos Hydras.
Bone and Ghost Dragons are very useful if the enemy has units from at least two factions, as they will have negative morale (unless there are things increasing it). Also they are effective against wandering monsters since the latter don't have positive morale, which often causes unexpected and unnecessary losses in the hero's army.