Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required

Poll: What race should we play?
You do not have permission to vote in this poll.
Draconians - FIRE FIRE FIRE
50.00%
7 50.00%
Dwarves - Stout. Sturdy, even.
7.14%
1 7.14%
Goblins - Poison damage and losing all of our heroes
21.43%
3 21.43%
Halflings - Civilians with luck
0%
0 0%
High Elves - Trees and Lightning
7.14%
1 7.14%
Humans - Ships and Cavalry
7.14%
1 7.14%
Orcs - Choppas and Dakka
7.14%
1 7.14%
Total 14 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
#1
Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
For this Let's Play, I'm going to be letting you guys make most of the choices for the game.

Age of Wonders III is a turn based fantasy 4x game. Like most games of its genre, the player controls a leader unit and said hero's faction and then sets about conquering the world. While the game features preset campaigns and scenarios, these don't let us customize our hero, so we'll be playing on a random map.

When creating our hero, the first step is choosing our race. Race slightly modifies the attributes of our hero, and the race of each city determines the units that said city builds. Each race has the same number of units and these units all fill a similar role (cavalry, pikeman, etc). Race actually doesn't matter all that much in Age of Wonders, since whenever we capture a new city, we have the option of absorbing it into our empire which keeps the original population. Additionally, there are a number of neutral cities which we will be able to recruit into our empire either by completing quests for them, paying them while keeping good relations, or simply by conquering them. This makes founding new cities much less vital than other games in the genre, and also means that it's fairly easy to have a lot of diversity in our cities if we're so inclined. Of course, it's also possible to sack all of the cities and replace them with our own or 'migrate' another race to a city to change the types of units that it builds.

Going alphabetically, the first race is the Draconians. These are dragon-like humanoids with an affinity for fire. Most of their units have fire resistance natively, and their priests can grant a fire attack and even more (stacking) fire resistance to allied units. [Image: e9216eacc24a73ef9b12842764ccae99.png]

Next is the Dwarves. They fit most of the stereotypes for fantasy dwarves, with low speed, high defense, and a penchant for caves and mountains. Their melee units often have some resistance to ranged attacks to make them less likely to get murderzoned before ever reaching an enemy, and their priests and elite units are immune to fire.
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Next come the Goblins. These little guys are special in that most of their units deal Blight damage (which is basically poison), and they have units that can amplify this damage type. Keeping true to their tropes, Goblin units tend to be quick to produce and die quickly. If they survive the fight, Goblin units also heal more quickly when in swamps.
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The Halfling race was added in one of the game's DLCs. Halflings deal the least damage in melee, and their units are also vulnerable to the ubiquitous physical damage. They make up for it with a 'Luck' special, which gives them a chance to avoid all damage that scales with their morale. I don't like them since they're fairly RNG dependent.
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High Elves are so named because they are really tall or something, since there are no other elves. They also like trees. They are the only race with native access to lightning damage. Their units tend to be squishier and have no easy access to healing, so they rely on their mobility and ranged units to avoid taking damage altogether. In the campaigns, they are ironically ignorant, technologically backward, and xenocidal, but there's no reason for us to play them that way unless we want to.
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The manual says that Humans are a moderate race, with moderate mobility, damage, and defense, but I've found that to not be the case at all. Most of their units are armored, making them second only to the Dwarves defensively. Additionally, most of their units have the 'Mariner' special ability, which lets them board ships without using up all of their movement. This means that instead of having a native terrain bonus like the elves and dwarves, their preferred terrain is coastal areas. Their cavalry is very good too.
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Finally, we have the orcs. They have the best melee units in terms of raw damage output, and their units have pretty decent health as well. Their melee units have a special ability allowing them to not lose action points when they counterattack or make attacks of opportunity, meaning that they are best against other melee units. They suffer from generally poor magic resistance and sub par ranged units.
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#2
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Ok, so after race, the next option is Class. This actually affects gameplay much more heavily, as it determines what our specialty units are and what spells we can cast.

Class units are capable of being built in any of our cities, and are slightly modified based on the race of the city. They tend to be stronger than the basic units of each race, but also require additional research and buildings to produce. Spells range from summoning units and casting combat spells to increasing the production of cities and changing the terrain on the map. There are two resources in the game - gold and mana. These are produced in cities and from sites found throughout the map. Classes that rely more heavily on their units tend to require more gold, whereas classes that rely on their spells tend to require more mana.

The first class is the Archdruid. This is a predominantly summon oriented class, which also have spells that affect animals. They have limited direct damage and their class units are unimpressive. Because their summons are primarily melee, they rely on basic ranged units to provide their backline. They can expand decently well and summon units to their heroes, making them reliant on getting momentum going early. Their most powerful units are giant melee summons.
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The next class is the Dreadnought. Dreadnoughts represent technology and progress and are therefore obviously the good guys of the game. They can build very powerful machines and have spells that deal area of effect fire damage. Their summons don't provide anything other than support, and their machines require supporting units to unlock their full potential. That said, with support their machines are the best units in the game. As they are very production oriented and since their armies scale well with size, they tend to become relatively stronger as the game progresses. Their most powerful unit is a tank that literally rolls over forests and turns them into gold.
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Next up is the Rogue. Rogues specialize in fast moving and stealthy units. The hero itself and several of their class units benefit strongly from flanking, meaning that they can win with little damage taken when they significantly outnumber their opponent. They don't do nearly as well in even fights. Their most powerful unit is a shadow elemental whose incorporeal nature lets them pass through walls, making them good at taking cities when used en masse, but they are individually less impressive than the end game units of other classes.
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The next class is the Sorcerer. Sorcerers are similar to the Archdruid in that they rely on summoned units rather than produced units in the late game. Unlike the Archdruid, instead of summoning lame animals and nature allies, they summon abominations from the aether. They also have bonuses to mana production and spellcasting, so they can both pay for their summons and spam combat spells.
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Next up is the Theocrat. This class specializes in buffing friends, debuffing enemies, and building units that deal Spirit damage. While they are similar to the Dreadnought in that they rely on produced units rather than summons, their units operate best in mixed armies since they provide unique effects and do not rely on specific support. Theocrats are also capable of converting enemy units, both with a hero ability and by building Evangelists.
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Finally, we have the Warlords. Warlords are a whole class designed around trying to make melee units not suck. They produce unique melee units which suck less than default melee units and cast spells to enhance the strength of melee units. Most importantly, they have global enchantments that make all of their units better and require less upkeep, so they're able to use their units effectively once produced.
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#3
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Edit: Since I can't update the poll, I'm going to leave it open to chance since we can select race/class at the same time anyways. Just post regarding which class you want us to use.
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#4
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Goblin Warlord for Operation Bumrush.
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#5
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Currently the winning votes are for Draconians and Warlord. Please don't make me play a Draconian Warlord, it's awful. Just. Awful.

Edit: Actually, I take it back. It's not that bad.
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#6
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Elf Dreadnaught for maximum irony.

(Should I vote for race in the poll or...?)
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#7
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
guess which race i chose!

(it's draconian and im going with sorcerer for class.)
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#8
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
(01-19-2015, 02:35 AM)Palamedes Wrote: »Elf Dreadnaught for maximum irony.

(Should I vote for race in the poll or...?)

Yes. I am going by the poll for race and thread for class, since I can't change it.

In two hours, I'll finalize our race and class. Then we'll pick our Specializations, what our leader looks like, name our hero, name our capital, and name our first subordinate hero. Any suggestions for personality (evil, good, genocidal, etc) can also occur during that phase.
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#9
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
I vote for Argonian Mechbuilder.
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#10
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
I vote ninja dragons
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#11
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Well, Draconians won by a landslide. The class part was closer, but it appears as though Dreadnought was victorious. There is synergy in that if we nuke the whole battlefield with fire, our Draconians will be less hurt than the other guys. We do suffer from pretty much only having access to physical and fire damage, but that shouldn't pose too much of a problem.

Now comes the Specializations and the fluff.

Specializations work like this - we have a total of 3 slots. There are 7 branches of magic and 3 empire specialties that we can use our slots on. These specializations give us things that we can research once the game gets underway. Magic has an 'Adept' level, which grants some spells and boosts, and a 'Master' level which grants more advanced spells and boosts from the same general field. The magic branches are:

Fire, which does what it says on the tin. At the master level, this lets us burn people, summon fire elementals, and terraform our empire to be tropical.

Air, which gives bonuses for ranged units, penalties for ranged units, a speed boost spell, and some lightning stuff. Like most of the features in Age of Wonders, it keeps to the tropes pretty well.

Water, which really should be 'ice' gives cold magic. This would give us some versatility in damage type, but we'd need to be really careful about where we aim.

Earth, which is all about physical damage and resilience. It also has a spell that makes walls regenerate, with which it is possible to make a siege last forever in certain situations against a human opponent. AIs are more patient than us, unfortunately, so the trolling tactic does not work.

Creation, contrary to its name, is not about building stuff. That's what we do as a Dreadnought. It is instead about healing and peace and love.

Destruction, on the other hand, does give a spell to destroy stuff - at least on the Master level. The adept level is less impressive - it just gives a damage buff, helps us pillage faster, and a garbage spell that lets us destroy our own cities.

Wild Magic is the last branch of magic, and gives unreliable buff, debuff, and 'swap' spells.

The Expander empire specialty gives research options that let our cities grow faster and an ability that is absolutely vital for genocide - called 'Swift Migration,' it lets us use the 'Migrate' option (which replaces the race of a city with that of another race within your empire by, presumably, ousting the existing population and replacing it with migrants) instantly rather than forcing us to wait several turns for the effect to kick in.

The Explorer specialty lets us research bonuses for our 'irregular' units, which is pretty useless since we have to spend time researching them instead of something useful, and by the time we're done we don't want to build irregulars anyways. Also, as a Dreadnought, our only class summon is the 'scout drone' which is a mini dirgible. It's fast, it flies, and it explodes upon death (like any good scout should).

The Partisan specialty gives our units bonuses to guerilla warfare. Unfortunately, most of these bonuses do not apply to our monstrously sized, forest crushing tanks.

That's it for specializations. I'll post some sample appearances in a little under an hour. Feel free to start suggesting personality features or names like Warbob Sexlizard before then.
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#12
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
All right, we got some pretty Draconians -
[Image: 2ebf5bf0dc29b67a519c063dbb5bbe7a.png] Horn Dreadlocks
[Image: eabc63fbcb6e5898629b69f8d1c130c4.png] Basically Sauron
[Image: 668f38c16b73c9ecd7ec00b529fb8015.png] Pyro
[Image: 42d47941f56380f54e950a4fc512dad3.png] Demon
[Image: 1de10d343c19e5402f5344f0c147d282.png] Positively Angelic
[Image: bbe7523c3d8c4638eb66fd4363fbfd87.png] Monocle

If you have any other suggestions for appearance, let me know. There isn't a huge amount of customization for the draconians (mostly horn appearance and head accessories).
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#13
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Monocle, but with more horns
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#14
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Either Demon or Monacle please. More and bigger horns is also a good idea.

For specializations, let's take earth, wind, and fire.
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#15
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Oh right - "Master" level requires 2 slots. So we can go Adept into 3 things or Master into 1 and then 1 point for either an Empire specialization or an Adept level in another magical path.

We also will need -

A name
A name for our capital city
A name for our first hero
Political outlook

Here is our monocled master with all of the horns that I could add in a stylish purple -
[Image: c266f975b3ef808ecfdc0833c7baaa6f.png]

I'm going to be sleeping soonish, so we'll have until tomorrow evening to determine our identity and personality.
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#16
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
One point in Expander, toss two into one of fire, air or destruction, whatever lets us turn prissy terrain tiles into productive centers of industry the fastest.

Names and an outlook later if I manage to muster up some creativity.
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#17
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Combine all the characters' faces together.

Call that Warbob Sexlizard.
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#18
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
(01-19-2015, 03:41 PM)Mirdini Wrote: »One point in Expander, toss two into one of fire, air or destruction, whatever lets us turn prissy terrain tiles into productive centers of industry the fastest.

Fire lets us make our terran Tropical, which Draconians enjoy. We'll go with that.

Quote:Call that Warbob Sexlizard.

Warbob Sexlizard it is.

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Hello citizens. Welcome to fireside chats with Warbob Sexlizard. Now, as you all know, the rule of the village of Lizardheim has traditionally been decided with single combat to determine a dictator for life. Warbob Sexlizard's ascendancy was unusual in that Warbob Sexlizard was fairly unknown prior to the tournament that ended in Warbob Sexlizard's victory. Warbob Sexlizard has been busy designing the weapon that Warbob Sexlizard used to slay the other contenders. Warbob Sexlizard does not intend to be the only draconian to wield these 'firearms' - in fact, it is Warbob Sexlizard's intention to create many such weapons and in larger forms and use them to unite the world. In this world, warfare is a leading cause of death and a massive waste of resources. By uniting the world under Warbob Sexlizard's able command, Warbob Sexlizard can do away with all of this waste and focus on Warbob Sexlizard's one true goal: Progress. Warbob Sexlizard will prove the value of Progress by using its teachings to crush those that are backwards in thought and deed.

Some of you may have noticed that Warbob Sexlizard does not use pronouns when referring to Warbob Sexlizard. Warbob Sexlizard would like to make it clear that Warbob Sexlizard does not accept the use of any pronouns, including first and second person forms, when in reference to Warbob Sexlizard. Warbob Sexlizard trusts that there will not be any violations of this.

Now, on with the campaign!
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We start with a Gold Mine and a Great Farm (which increases population) under our control, which is a decent pair of resources. Just outside our city's influence to the north is a Magma Forge, which will add additional production to our capital, and two additional Gold Mines. Given that production and gold are the two limiting factors for Dreadnaughts, we will want to capture all three of these as soon as possible. Their current neutral guards will also help our units level up.

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Our first hero is an unusual High Elf - having accepted the value of Progress, she has come to offer her services to Warbob Sexlizard in the hopes of learning from Warbob Sexlizard's example. She is also an Archdruid. This makes sense because reasons.

In Age of Wonders III, units are limited to 6 in each stack. It is, however, possible to have more than six units on our side in one battle by having multiple stacks bordering the hex being attacked. Heroes can confer bonuses onto any stacks that they are leading, so we will have Imane the Nightowl lead our secondary stack.

Currently, the only structure in range is the Magma Forge, so we will want to take that first. Once we have done so, we can send a fast unit with extra move to grab the Production Resources to the west of Lizardheim. This will automatically build a city upgrade for us, which can jump start our production.

We do, however, have two choices available to us -
First, what research will we take?
SpoilerShow
The two best options are most likely Steam Powered and Summon Spy Drone. While most research options are randomly determined, Summon Spy Drone is the first research option on a track. This track will let us build Engineers, followed by Musketeers, followed by Cannons, and so on. If we want to build tanks, we will need to go down this track to the very end. This will also give us a way to use our mana, since we are limited in terms of how many combat spells we can cast each turn.

On the other hand, Steam Powered will give us a lot of extra gold given our surroundings, which will enable to us to build much more quickly. If we are going to research this eventually (and we will), it is probably better to do so sooner so that we can get the gold flowing right as early as possible.

Given that there is water to our south, we will also want to research Seafaring at some point. This is not urgent, however, as the structures that we want to take first are to our north anyways.

The second choice is what do we want to build first.
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The Store House improves our population gain each turn. Population increases the level of our settlement (presently a village), and each level grants additional production, gold, and research.

The Builders' Hall improves our production directly. This will let us accelerate our construction for other buildings.

Since we are going to be reliant on producing our most powerful units rather than summoning them, it is vital for us to focus on developing our capital's infrastructure before worrying about building units. There also exist 'Empire Quests,' which grant rewards for being the first faction to achieve certain goals. One of these goals is the construction of the Grand Palace, the highest end infrastructure building. Another is to be the first to have a Metropolis, the highest level of settlement. Achieving each of these goals will grant a bonus to Lizardheim, and the two go hand in hand as the infrastructure that we develop will help grow our city. As long as Warbob Sexlizard's exploration and expansion allows us to gather gold rather than expending it, we should be able to achieve both of these bonuses.
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#19
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Our first battle
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ends in flawless victory
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thanks to our overwhelming forces. This gives earns us a little bit of gold, and once the control zone of Lizardheim expands, we will get a nice bonus to our production.

Two of our starting units are Draconian Hatchlings. These units are fairly weak to start with, but have a Fire Spit attack that will enable them to draw the enemy's focus so that our harder hitting units can deal damage. Additionally, when they level up sufficiently they will evolve into fully fledged and far more useful draconian units.

It looks like there are 'Scrolls of Knowledge' on the ground to our east. These serve a similar purpose to the Production Resources to our west in that they give us a one time boost to our research. Once we know what our research and production are going to be, we can grab both of these, which will take up the rest of our movement for the first turn.
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#20
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Builders' Hall, Steam powered for maximum progress efficiency.
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#21
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
Steam Powered + Builder's Hall. More gold please.

(01-25-2015, 11:07 PM)Sai Wrote: »Two of our starting units are Draconian Hatchlings. These units are fairly weak to start with, but have a Fire Spit attack that will enable them to draw the enemy's focus so that our harder hitting units can deal damage.

Are you telling me that Lizardheim is sending its infants to go fight on the front lines?
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#22
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
The Blaster Furnace can also function as an arena!
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#23
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
(01-26-2015, 12:24 AM)Coldblooded Wrote: »Are you telling me that Lizardheim is sending its infants to go fight on the front lines?

Every person in Lizardheim must do their part for Progress. Some sooner than others.
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#24
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
(01-26-2015, 12:31 AM)ICantGiveCredit Wrote: »The Blaster Furnace can also function as an arena!

Warbob Sexlizard likes your idea and would like to hire you as Warbob Sexlizard's new interior designer.
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#25
RE: Let's Play Age of Wonders III: User Input Required
The Production Resources granted us a free War Hall. Normally this would be one of the best Tier I buildings to receive, given that it costs more and takes longer to build than any of the other buildings available (save for the Blaster Furnace, the Tier 2 Dreadnought building). Unfortunately, this building is useless to us since it merely enables the recruitment of combat troops. These primitive units are primitive, and the ability to train them will not enable us to churn out Juggernauts any faster.

The completion of Steam Engines, however, was a great boon. Our Great Farm and Gold Mine now produce additional gold, and we are about to capture two more as well.

Speaking of which...
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It seems as though the elves defending this mine wish to cede it to us without a fight. Should we let them escape and ensure a lossless capture of the mines (+Good) or chase them down and use this combat to better train our troops (+Evil)?

Additionally, we have most of the same research option available to us as last turn. The Steamworks upgrade slot was taken by an upgrade that makes our armored units less expensive. This is very useful to have researched once we start producing tanks, but given that we can't make any armored units yet, it doesn't do us very much good. As a result, we will default to researching Summon Spy Drone, unless anyone feels strongly about seafaring or making our settler/builder units move further.
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