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It took me a long time to realize the effect that levels had (other than promotion at level 10). In the battle screen, after it shows troop revisions, it will display an X% bonus to AT (10 times level). I am flummoxed as to how this mathematically figures into the battle. It cannot be a numerical modification to AT, otherwise Baldarov would have an effective attack power of 47 and could trounce anything. One round with a Great Slime is enough to disprove that. I remember always wondering why my Lord's soldiers could go toe to toe with a Grand Knight's at level 9, but when I promoted to Magic Knight, they were suddenly getting owned.
So the question is this: how exactly does the attack bonus from level work?
The attack and defense modifiers do...something. It's noticeable, but hard to calculate. Archers might 10-0 a group of Horsemen if the Archers are on Forest and Horsemen are on Plains, but reverse the terrain and the Archers might go 7-3 or 6-4 instead. Likewise, Soldiers on open Plains might still eat Archer shots, but inside a Castle area will defend a lot better.
my Lord's soldiers could go toe to toe with a Grand Knight's at level 9, but when I promoted to Magic Knight, they were suddenly getting owned.
The leader's level does matter. It doesn't show up in stats, but you'll notice in otherwise equal matchups, the higher level leader's troops do ever so slightly better. In the promotion from Lord to Magic Knight, the revision goes from +2/+4 to +6/+4, so the lack of a defense upgrade actually causes your troops to be easier to kill when your level dives from 9 to 1.
I couldn't give you the actual math behind it though.
The promotion does not make the troops easier to kill. The difference, other than an additional +4 to attack, is that their level bonus drops from 90% to 10%. This number DOES show up in combat, in the same place as the revision bonuses. I *think* that the defense bonus is a flat chance to evade any hit. It explains why a group of level 9 Archmage archers will rarely, if ever, total flyers, as they always have 30% defense.
The only theory I have that makes sense for level bonus is that the bonus is a % to have a "second chance" if the first attack calculation is a miss. If the opposiing defense is higher than the attacker's attack, it will probably not take much damage anyway (barring archers vs. horsemen or the like). I just had a King Garett with Warsong nearly effortlessly total Ganelon's Styracosaurs at level 9; 35 attack vs 30 defense. Of course it also explains why Baldarov owns slime troops, but can't put a dent in Great Slimes.