Banner Saga Wiki

Each unit taking part in the battles of The Banner Saga (or Factions) is characterized by a set of attributes: Size, Movement range, Attack range, Passive and/or Active abilities and Stats. The battle system of the game uses a five stats:

  • Strength: depletable and non-replenishable.
  • Armor: depletable; replenishable by Mending or regenerated by items (only in the single-player game).
  • Willpower: depletable and replenishable by Resting, the Horn, items or abilities.
  • Exertion: fixed; can be temporarily decreased by special attacks (only in the single-player game).
  • Break: fixed.

Detailed descriptions are given below. Note that in the single-player game, there exist items that, when equipped by a unit, they give bonus to stats (with the exception of Exertion).


Strength[ | ]

Strength (STR) serves as both your units health and attack power: as a unit is injured (gets closer to death) the potency of its attack also diminishes. In a battle, try to keep this stat high for as long as possible, or you won't be able to significantly damage your enemies. When a unit's Strength falls to zero, or below, it is knocked-out (unconscious or dead) and cannot participate in the battle any longer. The purpose of most battles in the game is to knock-out all enemy units. Currently, there is no healing mechanism in the game, able to replenish a unit's Strength.


Armor[ | ]

Armor (ARM) serves as a defense rating denoting how vulnerable is a unit to attacks. Specifically, Armor protects a unit's Strength by decreasing incoming damage. When a unit is attacked by an enemy, the Strength damage inflicted on the target unit is calculated as:

STRdamage = STRattackerARMtarget
  • Example: A 10STR attack on a target with 1ARM deals 9STR damage. The same attack on a target with 8ARM deals only 2STR damage.

When the target's Armor is higher than the attacker's Strength, then only one point of STR damage is inflicted and there is also a miss/deflection chance: the chance-to-hit suffers a -10% penalty for every point the target's Armor is higher than the attacker's Strength, with a minimum of 20% chance-to-hit. When an attack is deflected, the target suffers no damage. The mathematical formula for calculating chance-to-hit (%) is the following:

Miss-Chance = ( ARMtargetSTRattacker )×10%
Hit-Chance = min{ 100% , max{ 20% , 100% – Miss-Chance } }
  • Example: A 10STR attack on a target with 10ARM deals 1STR damage with 100% chance-to-hit. The same attack on a target with 13ARM deals, again, 1STR damage but with only a 70% chance-to-hit (30% miss/deflection-chance).

A unit's Armor can also be attacked directly and reduced, thus making the unit more vulnerable to Strength attacks. The unit stat that defines the damage that a unit can inflict on an enemy's Armor is called Break (see below) and is fixed. Finally, there exists an active ability, Mending, that can restore some of an ally's lost Armor; this only applies to the single-player game, not Factions.


Willpower[ | ]

Willpower (WP or WIL) measures a unit's capacity to perform actions that exceed its regular 'potential'. These actions can be any of the following:

  • Move longer (more tiles) than normal.
  • Inflict more damage to an enemy unit's Strength or Armor.
  • Use an active ability.

Points of Willpower are spent (depleted) when a unit executes these feats; when Willpower runs out, then the unit can only perform normal movement and attacks.

The amount of Willpower that can be spent for extra movement & damage cannot exceed the unit's Exertion stat (see below). The amount of Willpower spent on an active ability is only limited by the Rank of the ability that the unit desires to use; abilities of Rank-{1,2,3} cost {1,2,3}WP, respectively.

Willpower can be replenished by the following means:

  • Resting: If a unit terminates his turn without neither moving, nor attacking, nor using an active ability, then 1WP is restored.
  • Using 'The Horn', a magic item fueled by knocking-out enemies.
  • Specific abilities, granted by allies or equipped items (only for the single-player game).

The maximum Willpower of a unit cannot be exceed by these mechanisms.


Exertion[ | ]

Exertion (EX or EXE) dictates how much Willpower a unit can use to boost its movement or attack damage. You are not restricted to using Willpower for only one action per turn, since you can only boost each action for as much Willpower you have left and what your Exertion allows.

  • Example: A unit with 2 Exertion and 4 Willpower can (a) move 2 extra tiles, and/or (b) do 2 more damage.

Exertion is a fixed stat that can only be temporarily decreased (zeroed) by a specific active ability in the single-player game. Note that units are normally allowed to have zero Exertion, meaning that they can only use their Willpower for active abilities. Currently available Exertion range is between 0-3.


Break[ | ]

Break (AB or BRK) is the amount of direct damage a unit can naturally do to a target's Armor and reduces the enemy's Armor according to said amount. The potency of Break remains constant all throughout a battle, unlike Strength attacks. For this reason, Break is a very important Stat although it is usually listed last.