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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    I just got Age of Wonders 3 (Free on Steam for a short while!), and I'm hoping some of you guys have some advice for new players.

    Now, I'm very familiar with the Heroes of Might and Magic series (played pretty much all of them but the first one), so AoW isn't necessarily different (although it IS a bit intimidating; the amount of information to learn between races, unit abilities, spells, etc, is all pretty intense).

    I guess I just need to know what good habits I should be making, like common mistakes I should avoid when fighting, what upgrades are best to focus on for newer settlements, stuff like that.

    Anyone got anything for me?
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-07-12 at 04:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    So, first things first.
    1) Cities are power. Building "tall" where you have just a few cities really isn't a thing; throw down as many as you can defend. They basically all provide bonuses, and the closest you get to building tall is upgrading a few cities really heavily while the rest are basically just resource production with min imal enhancement.

    2) Fights should emphasize unit survival first and foremost. Try to pick fights where you won't lose units, then fight defensively. Try and protect unit HP as much as possible too. There are exceptions here (losing 1 tier 1 unit for a gold mine that gives +30 a turn is definitely worth it, throwing away a scout because you have battle magic that will blow the hell out of an opposing army is almost always worth it)

    3) The evolve ability is your best friend. If you're playing Archdruid in particular you'll see a lot of it, where a tiny snake or spider has, buried in its stats, the "evolve" tag. This routinely jumps a unit from tier 1 to tier 3, and you can often get them early. Used to be the reed snake jumped from tier 1 to tier 4, which was downright ridiculous when you whipped that out at turn 15 or so.

    4) Think about what units are going into which fights. Goblin swarm darters are pretty decent archers in general; they get moved up to spectacular in siege offense because they basically do not care about walls. Naga and healers are generally solid, but they're particularly strong in situations where you're up against the attrition of multiple small fights in a row because they either regenerate and have a self heal that can push beyond starting battle HP or can heal others beyond starting battle HP.

    5) Leader abilities are also critical. Competitive multiplayer tends to favor minmax ranged power over everything, but there are other good options. Army buffs are great, vision buffs are great, unit conversion is great (Convert, Befriend Animal, that sort of thing), and having meaningful defenses is also broadly helpful. Items also feed into this; flying mounts especially are incredibly useful.

    6) The Tome of Wonders is really helpful, so give it a look when you're confused.

    What expansions do you have? They change the game pretty significantly, and there are expansion specific tips. Also what specific race-class are you playing; I can provide specific tips there as well. Especially for Archdruid and
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    When it comes to leader creation, I find it's always worth dumping two of your three orbs into getting the second tier skills, then rounding out with the third in whatever seems cool or useful. That gets you access to another T4 unit, which are usually summons. This can be particularly handy for leaders like the Warlord, who can otherwise only get their good units from relatively upgraded (read: expensive) cities.

    When it comes to the morality system, you should basically pick whatever you're going for at the beginning of the game, and stick to it. Even more so if you take some alignment specific skills. Occasionally it may seem like you're going to have to violate your alignment, but this can usually be avoided. I once managed to, via being just the most sickeningly perfect person ever, to seduce a city full of hateful undead into joining me. Then I cast a spell on them that made them not care about my habit of having birthday parties for cute puppies and not dining on the flesh of the innocent. I ended up with hordes of what I can only imagine were very cheerful undead.

    In terms of class, some are easier than others. Sorcerer is seriously easy, because you don't have a huge amount of buildings to manage; you just basically summon as much stuff as you can. Warlord is harder, because you need to build your dudes from buildings, which may not be particularly conveniently located to the front line.


    Really the heart of the game is in the combat though, so it pays to understand this pretty thoroughly. In particular a unit turning to counter-attack takes one AP, and the follow-up attack takes a second. Because the defender only gets to spend an AP after the attacker, a single attack from a flanking position eats up one of the defender's AP (for turning) and does not actually let them hit back (because they'd need a second attack to be able to counter). In field battles this can be an invaluable way to shut down high tier units for minimal losses. Less effective in sieges, since it's harder to flank in the first place.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Scouting is very important. Different classes have different quality of scouts, but you should always send some units to explore, pick up treasure and scope out neutral dwellings. Once you find those dwellings, destroy them as quickly as you can, otherwise they'll spawn units to harass you. Especially haunted boneyards. Just... trust me on this one.

    Mind control abilities are powerful when used right and can lead you to gain units with each fight, rather than losing them. Some ways to get them early are arch-druid leaders and heroes with befriend animal or rogue leaders, heroes and bard units with charm.

    Healing, as Knaight mentioned, is very useful in letting you carry on from fight to fight without stopping. Different races and classes have different access to healing, but you should try to get some through your heroes, if nothing else.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-07-12 at 06:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Also, this might not be what you asked for, but if you like the vanilla game, really consider getting the expansions, because they spice it up so incredibly much. I myself actually left the vanilla game after several hours, then later picked up the expansions and played it directly into completion.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2019-07-12 at 07:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cespenar View Post
    Also, this might not be what you asked for, but if you like the vanilla game, really consider getting the expansions, because they spice it up so incredibly much. I myself actually left the vanilla game after several hours, then later picked up the expansions and played it directly into completion.
    IIRC they rolled most of the major gameplay system changes into the base game. The expansions are still totally worth it though, because they add lots of good stuff. The second one in particular I'd consider absolutely vital, although that may be just because I love the blitzkrieg style of the tigrens
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    A couple of pretty basic tips just from memory:

    1) Watch out for battlefield-wide area effects (stuff like undead creatures come back to life after one turn, or fires that randomly strike down at units). These can generally be seen before you actually engage in the battle, and they almost always benefit the enemy troops and not your own. Mana node battles in particular always have something like this.

    2) Plan out abilities for leaders who are actually going to be leading an army as opposed to ones that take the second place and just act as powerful units. Abilities that affect your entire army are generally only usable by the leader in the #1 spot (they say this in their descriptions).

    3) A minor tactical tip, but if you have a unit that can shoot up to three times (one for each action point), it's mathematically better to move and take two shots if you can get into close range rather than take three shots (at half damage) at long range. When you have a ranged attack selected, you can see which hexes are considered long range by the circles being dash-lined rather than solid. The movement advice also applies if there is obstructing terrain in the way, because that also nerfs your damage output.
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    One important note about victory conditions: both the Seal victory and the glowy unifier tower victory will torpedo your alliances as soon as you really go for them. They also cause lots of fairly powerful AI stacks to spawn near the Seal, or whatever city your build your happy magic tower in, so you're going to have to fight there. Because of this however the AI doesn't tend to rush a victory condition, so you can take your time getting set up and ready for the impending murderfest.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    IIRC they rolled most of the major gameplay system changes into the base game. The expansions are still totally worth it though, because they add lots of good stuff. The second one in particular I'd consider absolutely vital, although that may be just because I love the blitzkrieg style of the tigrens
    It was also mostly because I found the unit trees of the original races pretty bland, compared to their earlier titles. The expansion races do a lot to rectify that.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    I only have the base game, no expansions.

    I'm a bit confused on a few things:

    Is there a way to tell the ACTUAL range that an enemy can shoot from, including movement? I try to move my units to stay out of what I can tell what the range is of the enemy, but that doesn't seem to account for what happens if they move first.

    Is there a way to highlight all possibly attacked spaces, akin to how Fire Emblem does it?

    The starting campaign is for a Rogue, but beyond having lots of scouting options, I don't really understand what's so roguish about the class or my units. What am I supposed to do with a Rogue?
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    The starting campaign is for a Rogue, but beyond having lots of scouting options, I don't really understand what's so roguish about the class or my units. What am I supposed to do with a Rogue?
    I will say that the campaign seems to delight in giving you mostly the paffest classes as your main...

    Word of warning, by the by, because it fracked me off something rotten: the final mission in both the elf and human campaign is, as far as I can tell, the exact same mission, with the onyl difference being your starting leader. I was, frankly, not prepared to play the same mission all over twice in, like, a week or something, that and a little into the one of the expansion halfing campaign and decide I didn't like it was enough for me to put it down.

    (Still, I got, like 80 hours out of it, though it was definitely a... mixed experience.)
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-07-13 at 03:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    The starting campaign is for a Rogue, but beyond having lots of scouting options, I don't really understand what's so roguish about the class or my units. What am I supposed to do with a Rogue?
    As class gives you a number of unique units, spells and upgrades, some of which you'll start with and some you have to research. As a rogue you have access to mobile skirmishers and mind control, but you'll have to rely on racial units for your frontline. Their spells and upgrades let them boost their own economy while messing with the enemy's.
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    If I'm remembering right, the Rogue' s best strength is access to global vision. This is meaningless though because it slows the game to an unplayable crawl.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Class also determines what kinds of character abilities they can get, I'm pretty sure.

    As far as seeing where enemy units can attack after moving, I don't think there's any way. The combats seem to be more about killing the enemy in the most optimal way and either tanking or healing the incoming damage rather than evading it.
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2019-07-13 at 08:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    As class gives you a number of unique units, spells and upgrades, some of which you'll start with and some you have to research. As a rogue you have access to mobile skirmishers and mind control, but you'll have to rely on racial units for your frontline. Their spells and upgrades let them boost their own economy while messing with the enemy's.
    No kidding. Seems like I can just easymode through some of the campaign just by screwing with my enemy's cities, spawning hostile Independents to wreck their stuff. Seems like a rude way of playing, but I kinda like it.

    Not a huge fan of the irregulars, though. When I can summon crows and other spies, it's hard to understand why I'd need a bunch of mediocre combat units that are capable of getting into places.
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    My tip for newbies is that flying is completely overpowered. If you can get a flying mount and an army full of flying units you can basically ignore terrain. Of course flying mounts aren't exactly guaranteed loot. I've had games where I've cleared dozens of mythical dungeons and not gotten one. Make sure you take advantage of it if you get one. One of the sorcerer's main strengths is the ability to summon eggs to get them.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Not a huge fan of the irregulars, though. When I can summon crows and other spies, it's hard to understand why I'd need a bunch of mediocre combat units that are capable of getting into places.
    The purpose of scoundrels is to be versatile, mobile and cheap units. They're not terrific, but they can easily flank, blow up walls and machines and with the right upgrade they'll evolve into lesser shadow stalkers. That being said, the rogue's class units definitely require more finesse than other classes'.
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    I know I've only just started, but how the heck do you afford more troops, settlers, and higher tier units? Seems like upgrading a settlement takes forever, costs a lot of money you don't have at the start, and development just seems to halt to a crawl.
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    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    I know I've only just started, but how the heck do you afford more troops, settlers, and higher tier units? Seems like upgrading a settlement takes forever, costs a lot of money you don't have at the start, and development just seems to halt to a crawl.
    Focus on developing one or two main training centers and have the rest of your cities mostly Produce Merchandise.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    I actually prefer to focus on one or two main cities and just vassalise the others for their income without the headache of defending them. The AI seems to leave them alone mostly too. I'm not claiming it's optimal, just that it works. I can't be bothered to manage 20 cities per game.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    AoW 3 has a relatively slow to ramp up sort of economy. I always start by going for Builder's Halls and whatever the first population upgrade building is, so that later I can build things in a reasonable timeframe and the cities actually grow. It's also vital to scout around a lot early on, because the infusions of stuff that careless people apparently drop all over the map are really handy.

    Note that unlike a game like Civ, there's relatively few buildings you can put in a city that increase resource acquisition, and even fewer (any?) that give out nice juicy percentage increases. The best part of your income will come from locations on the map; also make sure to kill/drive off any defenders ASAP. Even if it's in your territory, so long as a bunch of grubby neutrals are camped out there, you don't get any income.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Thanks, you guys. Your info is really helping!

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    AoW 3 has a relatively slow to ramp up sort of economy. I always start by going for Builder's Halls and whatever the first population upgrade building is, so that later I can build things in a reasonable timeframe and the cities actually grow. It's also vital to scout around a lot early on, because the infusions of stuff that careless people apparently drop all over the map are really handy.

    Note that unlike a game like Civ, there's relatively few buildings you can put in a city that increase resource acquisition, and even fewer (any?) that give out nice juicy percentage increases. The best part of your income will come from locations on the map; also make sure to kill/drive off any defenders ASAP. Even if it's in your territory, so long as a bunch of grubby neutrals are camped out there, you don't get any income.
    So does the Builder's Halls improve the production of buildings/units, or does population (via something like the Store Room)?

    Playing a Good aligned character, it seems like I should be inclined to let enemies flee. Is this a viable strategy early on?

    Lastly, I honestly have no idea how to produce Tier 2+ units. Have I just not played enough, or is there something major I'm missing?
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-07-17 at 05:52 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    So does the Builder's Halls improve the production of buildings/units, or does population (via something like the Store Room)?
    The speed at which units and buildings are produced is affected by production, which is the hammer icon. This comes from the Builder's Hall > Siege Workshop > Master's Guild line and various map locations. I think the formula is simply Production / Unit's or building's total cost in gold and mana = number of turns required, rounded up. Storehouse gives you population, which speeds up the city's growth.

    Playing a Good aligned character, it seems like I should be inclined to let enemies flee. Is this a viable strategy early on?
    Yes. Your units get less experience, but you don't risk losing them as much.

    Lastly, I honestly have no idea how to produce Tier 2+ units. Have I just not played enough, or is there something major I'm missing?
    You build racial Tier 2+ units from War Hall and the unique racial building that comes after it, and class units after you've researched them.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-07-17 at 06:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    The speed at which units and buildings are produced is affected by production, which is the hammer icon. This comes from the Builder's Hall > Siege Workshop > Master's Guild line and various map locations.
    Cities also have some amount of base production dependent on the city's size class - I believe it's 20 for an outpost, 25 for a village, 30 for a town, 35 for a city, and 40 for a metropolis - so there's some slight population dependency to production.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Thanks, you guys. Your info is really helping!
    Lastly, I honestly have no idea how to produce Tier 2+ units. Have I just not played enough, or is there something major I'm missing?
    IIRC the War Hall lets you build the generic T2 units for a race, like cavalry. The Temple lets you build priests. Every race has a unique building for their T3 unit. Special class units also require special units, regardless of tier, though how exactly this works varies a bit by class, though I think the T4 unit for each class requires a special building. If you get a T4 unit from your skills (i.e. the fire elemental from taking two fire orbs during character creation) they don't require a building.

    Some map sites let you build units as well, if you clear the site and it's in the borders of one of your cities. Then you can build a special building in that city, and recruit whatever that unit is. These are often pretty powerful, and also fun. You can get Yetis!

    There's also buildings you can build like the Archer's Guild, which let newly trained units in a class (i.e. archers) start with their first level of veterancy. You can tell because they'll have a little medal in the corner of the portrait when you build them. Can be handy later in the game, particularly if you're elves and spamming archers. Elven archers remain firehoses of death pretty late in the game if you work at it a bit.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Economically there's also the matter of how beating the snot out of sites is often a pretty major component. This often means not taking units, magic items, etc.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    yay, my favorite game.

    My thoughts: Sorcerer is pretty much an "I win" button. You can stunlock almost anyone into oblivion.
    Warlord is probably second due to superior units and large radius for towns.

    Beyond that, I think the classes are fairly balanced. I actually really like rogue due to Shadow Stalkers.

    The thing someone posted about valuing a bunch of cities (rapid expansion) over building up a few is true, which sucks, since my playing style tends to be to try to complete everything and conquer every node within my radius. I know this isn't optimal, but just prefer it for some reason.

    Get the expansions- the special buildings you can get due to resource nodes are a lot of fun.

    Generally: T2 Units= Units from a war hall and priests
    T3 Units= Units from each race's top building
    T4 Units= Units you summon or units from a class's top building

    Warlords, for example, build manticore riders once they build the Warlord's top building. So in the end game you have each of your cities cranking out T2 manticore riders. Druids only let you build T3 Shamen, but you can summon a T4 unit.

    Also, a couple combat recommendations:
    1. Learn how the grid works in terms of units of 6 supporting each other. You can place your armies in a way that limits the enemy a bit.
    2. Flank every chance you can within the combat map.
    3. The computer will sort of obsessively try to dispel magic any area combat spell you cast. This gets annoying, and there's a really stupid critical success/failure mechanic that I hate.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Oh yeah, and a buffed up Earth Elemental is almost unkillable.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sloanzilla View Post
    My thoughts: Sorcerer is pretty much an "I win" button. You can stunlock almost anyone into oblivion.
    Warlord is probably second due to superior units and large radius for towns.
    Sorcerer has a solid endgame, but basically every class has some really nice tricks. Stunlocking is also solid but counterable, with the major ways of doing it (supports with School of Enchantment, especially apprentices) having weaknesses exploitable by other classes. Theocrats can just throw downright stupid amounts of magic resistance around, Archdruids can either overwhelm with numbers by virtue of being able to drop a lot of small animals quickly or, late game, just outrange with the Horned God (especially in siege attack, where the Sorcerer siege defense gets really impressive), Rogue has some brutal economic global spells to tilt the balance and a fair number of fast moving units that tend to counter ranged units, etc. Dreadnaught is probably the worst matchup here, and that's more a specific matchup thing than a broad class balance. Even there, if you know you're going up against a Sorcerer you can counter some of your weaknesses (starting with the prevalence of a literal lightning weakness), and they are surprisingly well positioned to counter some of the Sorcerer's shenanigans mid game in particular. Starting with how the Sorcerer has a lot of relatively fragile tier I-III units with the primary defense of being resistant to physical, and the Dreadnaught has the flame tank. Or the frost tank, in one case.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tail of the Bellcurve
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    Default Re: Age of Wonders 3 noobie tips?

    I've never really tested it, but it also seems to me that sorcerer probably gets weaker on larger maps, since basically all their class units (apprentices accepted) need to be summoned. Even though they can get oodles of casting points, that's still a serious throttle on production compared to a solid industrial base.

    On the other hand, with a big map it's usually pretty easy to put together a 3-4 race empire, which gives a great range of T3 units, which probably goes a long way towards covering the gap. And if you get lucky and pick up a dragon or giant dwelling...
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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