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Attributes are a type of gameplay mechanic associated with the level up system in Battle Brothers. Attributes are character stats that affect combat performance. These stats are displayed in the lower left area of the character screen. The numerical values include modifiers from Backgrounds, Traits, and Equipment.

What 1-3 stars next to an attribute mean, is explained on the Talents page.

(Click on the image to read) Mercenaries' Talents explanation
Head Armor Melee Skill
Body Armor Ranged Skill
Hitpoints Melee Defense
Action Points Ranged Defense
Fatigue Damage
Morale Effectiveness vs. Armor
Resolve Chance to hit head
Initiative Vision

Head Armor[]

For calculation and further info see: Armor Damage

Head Armor is determined by a character's helmet and is reduced by hits to the head.

Depending on the incoming weapon skill’s damage and armor ignoring values, some damage can go directly to the Health.png hitpoints even with the best head gear equipped. With no or destroyed helmet any hit to the head will cause direct damage to Health.png HP.

The head of a character is harder to hit than the body, but is more vulnerable to damage. Hits on the head are called critical hits and inflict 50% more Health.pngHP damage. One-handed Axes' Chop skill deals additional 50% Health.png HP damage on top of that. These bonus damages are negated by Perk 09.png Steel Brow perk; enemies possessing this perk also negate the Trait icon 01.png Brute trait bonus damage of player's mercenaries.

Head armor weighs less than body armor for the same amount of durability, but Armor Attachments cannot be applied. Heavy head armor incurs substantial Vision.png Vision penalty, which may handicap the use of some weapons and items, especially during the Night.png Nighttime.

Body Armor[]

For calculation and further info see: Armor Damage

Body Armor value is determined by a character's body armor and is reduced by enemy hits to the body.

Depending on the incoming attack’s armor ignoring properties and damage value, some damage can go thru the best body armor directly to the hitpoints. With no or destroyed body armor any hit to the body will cause direct damage to HP.

Some of the crafted Armor Attachments reduce the incoming damage of certain types: melee, ranged, armor ignoring damage. Some body armor Attachments give other benefits: permanent acid protection or blocking damage of the first hit once a battle (unless it’s a 100% direct hit to HP).

Heavily armored mercenaries can benefit from Perk 03.png Battle Forged perk, which grants 30% armor damage reduction at 300/300 head/body armor setup (alas it has diminishing returns, when the current armor value decreases).

Heavy armor also comes at the expense of a high penalty to Fatigue and Initiative. This penalty can be decreased with Perk 40.png Brawny perk, which also applies its effects to the head armor. There is a specific Armor Attachment that applies similar effect for the body armor as well.


For calculation and further info see: HP Damage

Hitpoints (HP) represent the health of a character. If this attribute falls to 0, the character is killed or "struck down". Characters with the Trait icon 43.png Survivor trait have 90% chance of being struck down instead of getting killed (battle log will show "struck down"), unless they suffer a fatality or already have all the permanent injuries. Characters without the Trait icon 43.png Survivor trait have less chances to survive after losing all hitpoints. Being struck down always incurs a permanent injury that can only be removed with the Water skin.png Water Skin, which is a legendary item of single quantity.

Hitpoints can be lost due to several effects that inflict Damage over Time (DoT). These are: poison (by Webknecht/Poison Oil), bleed (inflicted by cleavers and whips, caused by some wounds), Miasma spell. Poison and bleed effects can be healed by items and mitigated by Perk 04.png Resilient perk (DoT duration is reduced to a minimum of 1 turn). Certain amount of Hitpoints is lost when a character is devoured by a grown Nachzehrer, attacked by AlpsNightmare, or touched by Geists.

Ways to preserve HP, while wearing armor, are most commonly split between picking either Perk 03.png Battle Forged or Perk 29.png Nimble perks. Heavily armored brothers can receive a lot of hits before they start losing hitpoints, but are very susceptible to high armor ignoring damage (AID), e.g. from crossbow bolts and barbarian 2-handed weapons, especially combined with Perk 57.png Crippling Strikes. Thus, Upgrade 03.png Additional Fur Padding helps weaken this high AID and keep your men alive. Upgrade 06.png Bone Platings completely absorbs body armor damage from the first hit once a battle, so it helps too. But the most vulnerable spot is the head, which cannot be protected with armor attachments and takes additional damage, that can only be negated with Perk 09.png Steel Brow.

Lightly armored brothers that go Nimble benefit from light-weight, but efficient armor and helmet. They take only 40% of the damage to the hitpoints, if weight is below a certain threshold. Not only they get less Fatigue penalty from the armor and thus more endurance for fight, but also lose less Initiative which synergizes with defensive perk Perk 01.png Dodge. This kind of mercenaries effectively use their HP as the armor, both with its pros and cons. Most notable are: you can swap damaged armor, but health restores very slowly; very susceptible to DoT, especially inflicted by cleavers with Mastery; high and further HP losses mean more negative morale checks. Non-Steel Brow brothers suffer much from 1-handed axes’ attacks to the head too.

Enemies reduced to 0 HP are always killed, unless they possess Perk 07.png Nine Lives perk, which restores little health pool and removes any applied poison and/or bleeding. Wiedergangers can come back to life if not killed by decapitation or fatality, Fallen Heroes self-reanimate even in the headless state. Necromancer can reanimate any humans to fight for him (your dead mercenaries included). On the other hand, "struck down" Brothers can't be eaten by Nachzehrers or reanimated by Necromancers. At some point player will gain the Obsidian Dagger that will allow him to reanimate any humans killed with it to fight along his company's side.

During one of the possible end-game crises - Undead Scourge - killed humans reanimate on their own, and Zombies often come together with Ancient Dead. Be advised that a Necromancer possesses powers to also reanimate killed skeletons.

Certain backgrounds (Background 33.png Hedge Knight, Wildman.png Wildman, Lumberjack.png Lumberjack, Miner.png Miner, Brawler.png Brawler) have higher initial HP pool and can come with Trait icon 14.png Tough trait. Other backgrounds (Cripple2.png Cripple, Beggar.png Beggar) have the least hitpoints, and are excluded from positive health trait and talent, and may possess negative Trait icon 04.png Fragile trait. Some (Retired soldier.png Retired Soldier, Swordmaster2.png Swordmaster) have generally low health pool and are excluded from Trait icon 14.png Tough trait, but can never be Trait icon 04.png Fragile and cannot be excluded from health talent.

Certain injuries reduce HP pool, either temporarily or permanently, depending on the injury. Strong health pool reduces chances to receive injuries and helps maintain good morale during combat upon losing hitpoints.

On the world map lost hitpoints are recovered at a rate of 1HP/hour on march and 2HP/hour while camping or escorting a caravan. The Cook increases hitpoint healing rate by 33%.

Action Points[]

Action Points (AP) are used in combat to perform different kinds of actions and movement.

Different units possess a varying number of Action Points. A certain amount of AP is required to perform a specific action or move. When AP reach 0, the turn for the character ends, and the next unit acts (auto-end turns feature can be disabled in the options menu). Action Points fully recover every round unless a unit is stunned or affected by goblin poison or by a certain injury.

The only ways to work around the limited amount of Action Points are to either conserve or regain them. Most common action, beside attacking, is movement. Difficult terrain and changing height levels negatively impact AP availability and thus tactics options: Perk 23.png Pathfinder substantially helps mitigate the impact.

As for the combat part of battle, Mastery perks make some tactics available with certain weapons – Polearms and Daggers – by reducing AP cost of their skills. Additional opportunities come with Perk 35.png Berserk perk, which restores 4 AP upon enemy kill (though it activates only once per round). When a situation dictates a different approach, a weapon or an item can be switched without losing AP with Perk 39.png Quick Hands (it works only once per round, auto-end turns feature can specifically be disabled for that; limitation - any swap to/from a shield does require a standard amount of AP).


Fatigue determines how exhausted a character is. Using either skills or movement will not only use up Action Points, but will also build up Fatigue. A character will not able to move or execute any skills, if too much Fatigue is accumulated. That's why Fatigue is considered as one of the most important stats.

Fatigue recovers for a basic amount of 15 every round. It can be regained at a faster pace with Trait icon 33.png Iron Lungs, or slower for Trait icon 22.png Asthmatic. Fatigue build-up while moving is reduced for Trait icon 21.png Athletic and Perk 23.png Pathfinder, in combat - by picking up Weapon Masteries. Potion 01.png Second Wind Potion helps recover more Fatigue after use. More drastic and efficient: Perk 54.png Recover perk.

Being hit by melee or ranged weapon builds up 5 Fatigue, 10 and 20 if hit by one- and two-handed maces respectively. Dodging or blocking melee attacks with a shield builds up 2 Fatigue points. Some enemies’ offensive skills build up different amount of Fatigue.

Orc weapons and shields not only have higher penalty to Fatigue, but also build up additional 5 Fatigue points for every skill if used by humans.

Some recruits (Wildman.png Wildman, Farmhand.png Farmhand, Lumberjack.png Lumberjack, Background 33.png Hedge Knight) have higher initial Fatigue reserves and can possess Fatigue-positive traits ( Trait icon 15.png Strong, Trait icon 33.png Iron Lungs), while others (Swordmaster2.png Swordmaster, Retired soldier.png Retired Soldier, Miner.png Miner) generally start with less Fatigue reserves and are excluded from Fatigue-positive traits.

Most mid- and high-tier enemies restore more fatigue per turn than player's mercenaries, and some strong opponents possess passive Battle Flow skill that lowers accumulated fatigue upon kill. Besides, Barbarians tend to rely on Perk 01.png Dodge and Perk 26.png Relentless perks and often have Drummer support unit, which lowers accumulated Fatigue of his teammates. Zombies (except Necromancer) and Ancient Dead do not accumulate Fatigue at all.


See full article: Morale

Morale is one of five states and represents the mental condition of combatants and their effectiveness in battle. At the lowest state, fleeing, a character will be outside your control - although they may eventually rally again. Morale changes as the battle unfolds, with characters that have high resolve less likely to fall to low morale states. Many of your opponents are affected by morale as well.

Morale is represented by a flag icon next to the character portrait (during battle). When a friend or foe dies, a morale check is triggered for the other characters on the battlefield. This morale check can change a character's state of morale.

All units (excluding most Zombies and most Ancient Dead) have Morale status, which varies from Confident to Fleeing, with Steady being the default state. Certain Traits and Perks of a character can affect the default morale starting state (e.g. Dastard). Effects of Morale on various stats are shown below:

Resolve Melee
Confident 0 +10% +10% +10% +10%
Steady 0 0 0 0 0
Wavering -10% -10% -10% -10% -10%
Breaking -20% -20% -20% -20% -20%
Fleeing -30% -30% -30% -30% -30%
  • All percentages are applied as modifiers to the normal 100% modifier which is, in turn, affected by other conditions such as Injuries. For example, an uninjured unit with 80 Ranged Skill will have an effective 88 Ranged Skill upon reaching Confident morale status (110% modifier).


For further info see: Combat Mechanics

Resolve represents the willpower and bravery of characters. High Resolve makes it less likely that characters fall to lower morale states due to negative events and the more likely that characters gain confidence from positive events. Resolve acts as defense against certain mental attacks that inflict panic, fear or mind control. Resolve also affects the ability of a character to rally (leave the Fleeing morale state) and the effectiveness of the Rally the Troops perk. High resolve prevents sleep status applied by alps and lowers their nightmare damage to brothers in sleep state.


For further info see: Combat Mechanics

Initiative is a secondary attribute that determines turn order of characters on the battlefield. The higher this value, the earlier the position in the turn order. In general, someone in light armor will act before someone in heavy armor, and someone fresh will act before someone fatigued. The average Battle Brother has a value around 100, which is reduced by the current fatigue as well as any penalty to maximum fatigue (such as from heavy armor and weapons, other equipment).

Apart from its main purpose, Initiative has other uses and can benefit from some perks. The most apparent benefit comes with Dodge perk, which allows to boost both Melee and Ranged Defense by 15% of the current Initiative value. Relentless perk serves as a complimentary measure to capitalize on Initiative-Defense boost, as well as to maintain a certain strategic turn order.

And last, but by far not the least Initiative related perk, is Adrenaline. It guarantees early actions next turn, but turn order among Adrenaline users is still governed by the current Initiative value.

Melee Skill[]

For hit-chance calculation and further info see: Combat Mechanics

Melee Skill determines the base probability of hitting a target with a melee attack, such as with swords and spears. Can be increased as the character gains experience.

Ranged Skill[]

For hit-chance calculation and further info see: Combat Mechanics

Ranged Skill determines the base probability of hitting a target with a ranged attack. It defines a hit chance for bows, crossbows, handgonne, firelance and all sort of throwing weapons. Can be increased by allocating attribute points as the character gains experience levels, and by picking up Gifted perk for that purpose as well.

Apart from leveling up Ranged Skill stat and some rare events that have marginal impact, there is only one factor that improves it substantially, though temporarily: a Confident Morale state (10% boost). On the contrary, low Morale state effects Ranged Skill in a negative way (until morale state is improved).

Moreover, there are more factors that handicap Ranged Skill: Nighttime, injuries, Swarm of Insects and other Status Effects. Some of them can be mitigated, while others - cannot.

Melee Defense[]

For hit-chance calculation and further info see: Combat Mechanics

Melee Defense reduces the probability of being hit by melee attacks. It can be increased as the character gains experience and by equipping a good shield and acquiring Shield Expert perk (+25% of the shield defense bonus). Use a shieldwall (and even more with additional shieldwalls adjacency bonus applied). Confident morale status also boosts this attribute. Dodge perk adds up more defense, dependent on current Initiative value. Reach Advantage perk after hitting opponents with two-handed melee weapon provides boost as well. And, Underdog perk cancels enemies' surround to-hit bonus or Backstabber perk, thus improving the defense. Lone Wolf perk has defense benefits, though activates only at certain conditions.

Ranged Defense[]

For hit-chance calculation and further info see: Combat Mechanics

Ranged Defense reduces the probability of being hit with a ranged attack, such as an arrow shot from afar. It can be increased as the character gains experience and by equipping a good shield.

Some recruits’ backgrounds and traits can impact Ranged defense resulting in negative values. Most common examples are Adventurous Noble (with Cocky) and Wildman (with Huge).

Substantial boost to Ranged defense is achieved by equipping an appropriate (Kite or Sipar) shield and using Shieldwall skill (which effectively doubles the defense bonus granted by shield). Moreover, taking Shield Expert perk raises shield defense values by 25% and also gives this increase for Shieldwall. Maintaining a Shieldwall formation adds flat +5 defense for every adjacent companion with active skill.

Mercenary’s Ranged Defense can be improved with some perks. Dodge perk can benefit lightly armored units: 15% of the current Initiative value is added to the current defense. As Initiative decreases with a flow of the battle, so does the Dodge benefit. Fatigue’s negative influence on Initiative and, hence on Dodge defense bonus, can partially be circumvented by Relentless perk, or Recover. There is also a dedicated Ranged defense perk – Anticipation, which effectiveness adheres to the current Ranged defense value and the distance from shooter.

There are many factors that can influence Ranged defense of units. Nighttime decreases Ranged defense by -30% and can be negated by Night Owl Elixir (by some opponents as well). Being rooted results in -35% (Trapped in Vines) or -45% (Throwing Nets) penalty, while Swarm of Insects decreases defense by -50%.

Some character traits and deriving status effects have impact too: Drunk (-25%), Hangover (-10%), Addict (-10%) – these can be gained, and also removed/treated. Temporary (Permanent) injuries have debuffs to Ranged defense also. Consuming Strange Mushrooms not only makes mercenaries hit harder, but also makes them more susceptible to attacks.

Confident morale state grants +10% bonus to cumulative defense value, whereas morale state lower than Steady gives -10%/-20%/-30% penalty.

And, finally, taking higher position than a shooting enemy lowers enemies’ chance to hit, which is as good as higher Ranged defense. Taking cover decreases opponent's hit chance even further, though it can be somewhat mitigated by Bullseye perk.


For calculation and further info see: Armor Damage

Damage attribute denotes the base damage the currently equipped weapon does. Will be applied in full against hitpoints if no armor is protecting the target. If the target is protected by armor, the damage is applied to armor instead based on the weapon's effectiveness against armor. Depending on how much damage is done, some of the damage might go directly through the worn armor to the hitpoints. The actual damage done is modified by the skill used and the target hit.

This parameter can be influenced by a fair variety of factors. Firstly, by Traits. Damage is increased for Huge, Drunkard and Brute characters, and decreased for Tiny. Secondly, Double Gripping one-handed weapons results in +25% damage increase, which excellently synergizes with Duelist perk. Ranged weapon users have their own counterparts - Crossbow Mastery and Throwing Mastery (also benefits from Duelist) perks. On top of that, killing an enemy grants some bonus damage (+25%, Killing Frenzy) or hitting an injured opponent deals more damage to the target (+20%, Executioner). And, finally, there are Strange Mushrooms, which seriously boost melee damage during the combat.

On the other hand, there are means to reduce incoming Damage. This can be achieved with heavy armor in conjunction with Battle Forged perk and/or Armor Attachments. As a light armor counterpart, there is Nimble. Some situations call for drastic measures, and this is Indomitable. Additional Damage to Hitpoints with Critical hits and also with head hits by one-handed axes can also be mitigated, with Steel Brow perk.

Besides, some injuries and status effects influence Damage as well. Some enemies gain additional damage: in combat (with skills) and as campaign gets older.

There is a separate category of damage, and this is Damage over Time (DoT). This type of damage is related primarily to poison and bleed procs, which can be countered by similar defensive measures and items. These DoT are modified by some perks and/or traits and mainly mitigated by Resilient perk: it reduces this type of damage (and other status effects) to just 1 turn duration. Damage coming from Fire and Miasma spell can be cancelled by Smoke Pot.

Effectiveness vs. Armor[]

For calculation and further info see: Armor Damage

Effectiveness vs. Armor denotes the base percentage of damage that will be applied when hitting a target protected by armor. Once the armor is destroyed, the weapon damage applies at 100% to hitpoints. The actual damage done is modified by the skill used and the target hit.

Effectiveness against Armor as a weapon parameter is governed by the weapon properties, weapon skill and, sometimes, Mastery perk. For example, Hammer Mastery perk in conjunction with hammers' Destroy / Demolish Armor skills.

Effectiveness against Armor as an armor damage value is influenced by many factors, similarly to overall Damage parameter, though with some distinctions.

Some traits influence overall damage, hence the resulting armor damage is modified by that value. Double Gripping vs armor results in more damage too. Ranged units have Throwing Mastery for armor damage boosting as well (at 2-3 tile range). Killing Frenzy and Executioner give bonus both to HP and armor damage. And, at last, a single use item buff from Strange Mushrooms can help tear some heavy armor off.

On the defensive side, we have some overall damage mitigating Armor Attachments and Battle Forged. And, of course, Indomitable defense bonus from incoming overall damage.

Chance to hit head[]

For calculation and further info see: To-Hit Chance

Chance to hit head denotes the base percentage chance to hit a target's head for increased HP damage. Though, this additional damage can be completely negated by Steel Brow perk.

The resulting chance to hit head is modified by some factors: weapon used, weapon skill, Brute trait and backgrounds (Killer on the Run, Juggler). Moreover, there is a specialized perk for getting more critical hits - Head Hunter.


For vision ranged hit-chance influence and further info see: Combat Mechanics

Vision, or view range, determines how far a character can see to uncover the fog of war, discover threats and hit with ranged attacks.

An obvious Vision limiting factor is Night.png Nighttime. Heavier helmets can reduce Vision. Certain Traits (Trait icon 27.png Short Sighted, Trait icon 56.png Night Blind) or Injuries can also impact it. Additionally, being affected by Poison 01.png Goblin Poison temporary limits view range as well.

Commonly, a hired mercenary has a Vision value of 7. One way to increase the view range, besides having positive Vision traits (Trait icon 09.png Eagle Eyes, Trait icon 57.png Night Owl) and Perk 49.png Bow Mastery perk, is to occupy a higher elevation tile. Though, this gain is applied only vs lower positioned opponents (or terrain).