Age of Wonders: Planetfall by Triumph Studios

One followup on the start locations. Do you know if the game has to make sacrifices when playing on 3-player teams in terms of terrain bias? I know what you’re referring to in that Amazons have forest/arcadian etc, but I notice when I play Kir’ko in SP I always have a lot of fertile land. In those 3-player team MP games, I’m often times stuck in the desert or arctic at the start. A typical setup would be:

  • 6 players
  • 3-player teams
  • Medium, Pangea

And speaking of this kind of setup, I love that in Planetfall the game does a good job of clustering allied players. I find it strange how it divvies up the land placement, though. For instance, on a Pangea map it will oftentimes place one cluster of three in the center of the landmass while another team will be on the eastern edge of the continent. Whether a team-based game or a FFA, wouldn’t it make more sense to space them out more evenly on the available land?

Whew, so I asked the guy that worked on the RMG and he had the following to say:

Do you know if the game has to make sacrifices when playing on 3-player teams in terms of terrain bias?

Not based on players or teams, but possibly on geographical location on the map (i.e. By default there is arctic towards the poles and more desert towards the middle). To change this default, check out the ‘Theme Layout’ setting in advanced settings menu.

For instance, on a Pangea map it will oftentimes place one cluster of three in the center of the landmass while another team will be on the eastern edge of the continent. Whether a team-based game or a FFA, wouldn’t it make more sense to space them out more evenly on the available land?

Yes, agreed. 3v3 uses the 1v1 player positioning template (since it’s still 1 team vs 1 team). Modding that template to have larger relative distance between teams could already yield better results, but it’s hard to say from the top of my head what the exact implications are.

Hot deets! Getcher hot deets here!

Very cool looking :)

Feature: Combat Retry

  • You are now able to retry a battle in manual combat once after seeing the results of an auto combat. This can be disabled in the Advanced Setup.

There were a number of units that had 24 movepoints instead of 32. These units now have 32mp, and the Cumbersome property, which causes them to move more slowly in tactical combat.

The Combat Retry is really an awesome feature. It could cut down on the repetitiveness of the battles without resorting to quicksave, try autobattle then reload.

Did they release when this is coming out yet? It may be time for me to play some more when it does.
Edit: It’s coming out Nov 19th.

That movement change was the first thing I learned to mod in this game. Hah. I’m glad the devs agree. 24 speed units were unusable.

Lol there was, iirc, some… Debate… About the movement.

The last 2 dev diaries are awesome.

Can’t wait for the DLC. I’m waiting to play until that comes out.

These new features might get me playing again. Thea 2 uses something like Combat Retry to great effect; I’m glad Planetfall is trying something similar.

Also, there’s this new feature. I hope this means we’ll be better able to defend against sudden AI incursions? As someone mentioned upthread, the AI is somewhat omniscient; a feature like this could mitigate that.

New feature: Orbital Relay

  • Added a new sector Exploitation: ‘Orbital Relays’. Orbital relays function akin to teleporters, letting you transport an army through a relay to any other accessible relay in an instant.
  • Forward Bases can be upgraded to Forward Relays, allowing you to connect them to the Orbital Relay network

You already get a researchable bonus to friendly territory movement, and you have very easy scouting via the strategic operation.

And you have garissons.

Defending in this game is much easier than in Aow3!

It is, but the all-seeing AI is still incredibly annoying. To me, anyway. It’s obnoxious to fight multi-front wars where the AI knows at all times where your armies are (and are not).

I’ve hated this cheat since I was less than two digits old. I’ve heard repeated explanations to justify that stuff, but I reject them all.

I especially don’t think it’s needed here. As @BloodyBattleBrain usually mentions when this is brought up, you have garrisons, you had strategic operations to provide vision, etc. If there’s plenty of tools available to scout, that means the AI can take advantage of them. Just giving full global vision at all times feels like a cop out in otherwise solid AI.

I’ve had AI players from across the continent show up at my city with 9+ units at like turn 15. Given the distance, it means the AI basically beelined all his troops towards me right at the start of the game and it knows precisely when my army moves out to deal with another threat. If I have a smaller army to compliment the garrison but not a match in the open field, the AI knows to walk around them and head to an interior city which lacks defenders. If I move back my main army to deal with that threat, than the AI on the other side of me knows that border is open and moves in for the attack.

None of that is insurmountable but I sure do find it tedious and aggravating.

I can fully understand that.

The only “defence” I can offer is that you can see them coming, and they can’t ninja you with a single scout like they used to.

It is something I also don’t like and I have flagged up, namely that the AI has this habit of sending just exactly the forces required to take a cirh6, even though you might have an army near the city.

I find what works very well is to manual the fights when they attack your city, and inflict maximum damage.

And then counter attack.

If you lose the city don’t worry, it takes a while for them to absorb it, and for some reason they never just burn them down.

If the AI is ping ponging you then it means you are signalling extreme weakness to them.

I can’t confirm for sure but it seems once you take over one AI, the rest treat you with considerable respect.

Yes, it’s a very big step forward from AOW3. In that game, they could streak in from all the way out in the fog of war and snipe a city before you even knew they were there.

Overall, I’m really happy with the AI in this game. If there were other glaring issues they’d likely be getting the bulk of my ire, but since it’s pretty solid all around this particular issue sticks out like a sore thumb to me. I love the scouting options the game provides, I just wish the AI would rely on them and play by the same rules. It’s not enough to put me off the game, it’s just an annoyance especially when I’m fighting on multiple fronts.

I haven’t played enough Planetfall to have a great sense of its AI tendencies, but in AOW3 the best defense was to do your best to keep the AI on the back foot. If it felt threatened, it would keep stacks back to defend its border cities to the point that you had free run to clear dungeons and such.

Planetfall does seem somewhat less aggressive by nature, but again, not enough time to really say.

I was just playing a new game of Planetfall last night and was wondering: am I the only guy who never really clears out the high end sites? I always did in AoW3, but in Planetfall it feels like by the time you can clear them without massive casualties, you may as well just be winning the game instead. I’d have to stop winning to go clear those things out, and it never feels like the correct use of my time unless there is literally a site along my army’s route and I wouldn’t lose more than half a turn.

I’m not sure if it’s an actual pacing issue other people have run into or if it’s just something about how I am playing. The amount of consolidated firepower you need in one lethal doomstack to beat those high end sites is substantially more difficult to achieve than just running 3-4 mid strength stacks and overwhelming the AI with numbers (which you can’t do to the sites).

Not just you, I ignore them, and pretty much for the same exact reason.

There are usually a bunch of sites I don’t feel are worth the time / resources to conquer. Maybe the rewards need to be a bit bigger to be worth while?