Age of Wonders: Planetfall by Triumph Studios


Yeah the Earth crusher animation when it did it’s crushing was a bit…janky. 😕


It’s a tractor. They’re getting killed by runaway farm equipment.


Tractor of HEAVY METAL DEATH>>>>



Hey guys can I ask this? I have Age of Wonders 3… What’s the best way to play it? I mean for a challenge. I bounced off it in the beginning and just auto-played the combat. I liked the first 2 I think I finished both of those. How is this best played? Sry I know this is the Panetfall thread but …. seems semi-appropriate question here.


If you’re not enjoying the combat it’s going to be a fairly thin 4X experience. The strategy layer is there to facilitate the tactical combat.

I would recommend locking teams because the diplomacy in this game is kind of worthless.


Yeah, like Kevin says if you don’t enjoy the combat this may not be the 4X for you since the combat is the highlight of the game. The strategy layer is really there to support the battles. It’s not like Endless Legends where the tactical battles are more secondary.

I hope you give it a chance because it has the best tactical battles than any other 4X type game I’ve played, especially as you get new hero spells and units.


I agree with the sentiment about the combat being key. The bigger battles in particular can stretch the brain muscle trying to manage everything.

In terms of game setup, I normally play solo against two teams of 3 AI. It means the AI will both fight each other, and also me. It makes for an interesting sort of challenge trying to manage domination. All settlements are revealed (ie:map revealed) and there is no building of cities allowed.


There are so many options, there’s bound to be something suitable for you!


First and foremost, decide what kind of experience you’re interested in. As wargames go, AOW3 provides a huge array of options for how to shape your game.

From there, shape the map, your leader, and opponents (including the number of) to fit. As part of that approach, I’d avoid scenarios and go straight to the “New Random Map” selection.

Map Type


AOW3 isn’t overly good at naval stuff, but water provides opportunities for certain units to really differentiate themselves. Because of this, I typically go for Continents for the map.

Next, click on “Advanced.”

Some key options to pick from there:



“Squire” is like playing a noob; they get the same toys to play with as you, but only focus on a limited number of strategic targets at any given moment.
“Knight” is generic everybody gets the same stuff (but it’s still AI, so you’ll have an advantage in the long run)
“Lord” on up gives cheats to the AI which grow and grow in significance the higher you get.

I feel no need to get a strong challenge out of the game to have a good time, internal monologue being the “I’m bringing peace to the world through force of arms,” so I play on Knight. However, I’m also the kind of player who enjoys Civ 5 even with its brain-dead AI, so take that as a pure personal preference. You mentioned for a challenge, so maxing this out will help reach that.

Surface & Underground


If you choose to include Underground, a second map exists underneath the surface world, with sporadic cave entrances to get there. This adds a LOT of extra consideration to how you’re playing the game (some units and races do better or worse underground) and it essentially doubles the map. I like what it brings to the game so I always include it. Again, for a challenge I’d always include it.

Map Size, Players, and Starting Distance


While separate settings, I combine them as this is a ratio thing to help figure out how much space you want. Over on the right side of the screen under the Game Flow tab is where you’ll see “Starting Distance” which is exactly what it sounds like.

I personally like to create a bunch of stuff going on in neutral territory for each player to deal with before squaring off with each other, so as an example I’ll choose Extra Large, maybe 5 or 6 players (the number includes you, btw), and Far for the distance. As for the rest of the setting on that tab, I like:
Starting town at Village (default)
Starting Units at Battle (largest group)
Roads and Roaming Units at Average (go to Many for a definite challenge)
and everything else at Many (“Cities” is talking about neutrals, btw)

I wouldn’t suggest bothering with the Geography tab unless you really have an exact idea in mind of what map you want to play on. The game does a good job of spreading around different biomes if you leave it alone.

Click “Next”

Here, you can fine-tune your opponents and decide if you want classic or simultaneous turns. More importantly, you want to decide your …

Victory Conditions:


Turn Timer - I really don’t get people who like this, but it’s available if you want it
Teams - if you choose this, sides are locked and you can see where your teammate is moving their forces. If you don’t want an ally and don’t want to bother with diplomacy, you can assign individual teams to each player.
Allied Victory - this lets you do diplomacy. Do you really want to do diplomacy in a wargame? Well, you do you. ;)
Seals Victory - this is a “king of the mountain” thing, where each turn you hold a “seal structure” you gain a point which leads toward a victory. As I tend to go with sprawling maps, I don’t choose this. Much more interesting in close, tight maps.
Unifier Victory - you build a certain number of “Beacons” to win. It’s for turtlers, and again doesn’t fit my preferences.

Leader Selection Method:


Defaults - the computer assigns it for everyone, including you
Random - it’s … um … random.
Customize Leaders - this is MY default, letting me tweak away. Note if you don’t select a leader for an AI player, a random selection is made.
Select Leaders - no tweaking, but you get to pick and choose who you want to be and who you want to face.

But wait! We’re not done, yet - go ahead and click on “Advanced Rules”

From here, you’ll find several interesting options:


Game Speed - keep it Normal for now.
Starting Resources - this is how much cash & mana each player starts with. I’d keep it Standard, personally.
Starting Skills - this is talking about starting techs. Also keep it Normal.
All Heroes Have Resurgence - this is a unique feature to AOW. “Resurgence” means the unit will survive a battle even if defeated in combat ONLY AS LONG as another friendly unit in the stack survives. I like playing with this on.
Defender Strength - this is talking about neutral structures out in the world. I’d keep it Normal unless you just find them to be way too easy. While some can be walkovers when facing a decent force, others can be quite tough (most notably those which limit you to a single stack to attack with).
Cosmic Happenings - these are random worldwide events. Normally they add extra struggles, but occasionally they provide boons. I like the added flavor of Medium, so I stick with that.
Maximum Number of Heroes - as I play on huge maps, I max it at 20.
Maximum Hero Level - I stick it at 30. They’re HEROES, ya know?

Over on the right, you’ll see:


Map Exploration - do you want the whole map revealed or fog until you get there? I normally like exploration on, but both ways can be fun.
City Founding - lets you start new cities with settlers. Otherwise, you’ll have to take over neutral (and enemy) cities as you go. I almost always play with it on.
Random heroes match player race - no, this isn’t about being racist. Once you vassalize or take over a city of another race, you’ll get heroes from that race as well.
Force High Speed Tactical Combat - if you find the animations in battle to be tedious, choose this. If not, don’t.
Empire Quests - this is pure awesomeness, imho. Basically think of it as racing for world wonders in Civ, but it’s all based on how you’re playing rather than sacrificing production from any given city to build toward it. Only de-select it if you like to make things more boring ;)

Hit “Launch” and then you get to your leader selection screen (if appropriate based on your choice on the prior page).

From here, you want to reflect on what kind of gaming experience you were hoping for. Keep in mind the following:
Race: gives access to specific units, skills, and structures
Class: gives access to specific units, skills, and structures

Seems like I repeated myself, but this is the key concept - they add together, making for a wide variety of options. After that you can select masteries which add more available skills to your list and further customize your leader.

Important note: your undead and machines typically won’t heal without specific units in their stack. If you’re playing above Knight difficulty, your opponents’ undead and machines WILL, so keep that in mind.

When you’re done, hit Start and good luck conquering the world!


@KristiGaines do you have the expansions? They’re quite good.


I think I do Adam I am going to check here in a bit. Thank you all for the responses I will load it up and try again. Dan thanks for the details. I did like AOW 1 and 2 but 3 I just need to give another try.


I still liked the scale of AoW 1 the best.


Idk if it’s too late or if you’re still contemplating another shot at AoW3, but I have to plug this one more time:

For the love of God play scenarios instead of the campaign, particularly the original campaign. The expansion campaigns are okay, if you want to play more AoW3 and are craving something different than a random map, but the original campaign is pretty bad and a terrible introduction to the game other than the first short tutorial mission.

I’m in the middle of another random map with a High Elf Arch Druid. Man, I forgot how much fun this combo is. Spiders and Hunters are so good.


One of my favorite combos, I have to say. Not the most powerful, but it fits my playstyle so well.


Why do you say that? Longbow Hunters are absurd. I guess you don’t have a crazy high-end since Horned Gods are a pretty crap T4 and Gryphon Riders are…fine? But honestly my games so rarely turn on T4s.


Mostly due to my maps. T4 are go-tos as I make massive worlds with lots of speedbumps. It’s not like the High Elf Archdruid is weak, just that it eventually gets outclassed by some others (and arguably Warlord is the easiest/most powerful for small maps).


Ah, sure, makes sense. I tend to get bored with huge 18v18 battles, so I tend to play medium or large-no-underground maps where there tend to be a few of those at the end but they’re the epic finale rather than every turn in the midgame.

So my games usually turn on T2s, actually, because the best defense is a suicidal offense. In that sense druids kinda lose out as their T2s are pretty much the worst in the game IMO, but Hunters are fantastic T1s and it’s usually not too hard to level up some spiders/serpents to get early T3s until you can summon them directly, at which point you overrun everyone with an unending friggin’ horde of beastly beasts with some Shaman backup. Who all fly all the time because The Great Hunt is on. And also their walls are as nothing when the fury of Gaia herself is mine to command.

Man, I love Druids.


Wait what?

Horned God is probably the single most powerful T4.

Well Golden Dragon is but you hardly ever see those.

And Warlords need time and space to get rolling, so if anything larger maps favour them.

Agreed on the campaigns. The original actually got harder after the patches because the AI got some boosting post release.

And Gryphon Riders are…my favourite the unit probably (maybe Knights actually)

They’re mobile and quite tough and get the first strike in iirc.

Shamans are consistently underrated but man I find them very tough to deal with in multiplayer.

Edit: it’s been a while since I played “competitively” but my recollection was that Druid was actually overall the most powerful class.


One of my Druid games, I got the Empire Quests which gives the two secret spells, and I got True Resurrection. I thought, “Oh, cool - not too expensive and I can make sure my favorite units won’t die.” Then I noticed fallen enemy units were valid targets, and it was very quickly game over as I turned the enemy’s own units—including heroes–against them. And yeah, love that game :)


The AI did this to once.

One of the few times I legitimately lost to the AI.

Losing because the AI just has 40 stacks of units doesn’t count as legit! Although in the situation you just go raiding and burning and you can still win.