Age of Wonders III is the long anticipated sequel to the award-winning strategy series. Delivering a unique mix of Empire Building, Role Playing and Warfare, Age of Wonders III offers the ultimate in turn-based fantasy strategy for veterans of the series and new players alike!
User reviews: Very Positive (1,741 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 31, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"An excellent 4x, reviving the classic series. Tactical hex-based battles and city-building combine in a wonderful fantasy setting. Evil-aligned penguins"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (32)

December 18

Holiday Gift

With the Holidays approaching fast, we have a bit of a different kind of Journal for you: a gift to all you Age of Wonders 3 players.

The Age of Wonders 3 Holiday update features a dozen new types of head gear to be used with the Leader Customizer. The set includes sinister cloak hoods plus Undead and Frostling themed head gear in anticipation of the upcoming expansion, set for Q1 2015

As with other head pieces it takes on player colors; so if you want to create a Santa, select the new fluffy Santa hat, ensure to pick a red and white color scheme and choose a big bearded dwarf. Or select a hooded skull mask if Santas aren’t your thing. Al lot of these accessory types were tricky or time intensive to make (such as the hoodies), so they didn’t make it in the original release. Hurrah to Daniel for pulling it off!

All the head gear is available for all the classes and races, so get these updates from Steam (Auto update) and GoG (download patch) and get customizing now to look at your Christmas best.

Thank you for making the game such a success this year.

Happy Holidays!

- Team Triumph

PS: a lot of us will be off during the next two weeks; but we might have an additional journal lined up for you next week

PPS: for a screenshot with some of the hats & season greetings, check out this post.

27 comments Read more

December 12

Dev Journal: Frostling Queens and Royal Guards

In this concluding journal about the Frostling race units we show you the mighty Ice Queen and her Royal Guard

7 comments Read more

Reviews

“This is a deep experience backed by intricate mechanics and a concerted polish that makes gameplay immediately intuitive and rewarding. Age of Wonders 3 will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning, constantly muttering that you'll crawl into bed after just one more turn.”
9/10 – Joystiq

“A war worth sinking your teeth into”
83/100 – PC Gamer

Digital Deluxe Edition

Get the game and also the Dragon’s Throne Stand-Alone Scenario and the two hour Official Soundtrack.

Dragon’s Throne Scenario
An extra large Stand-Alone Scenario. Legend tells of dragons who ruled the fabled Sea of Flames at the dawn of time. However nobody has seen a True Dragon in living memory. The isles are still loaded with treasure and have become popular with adventures, merchants, scoundrels and sightseers. Now eight rival lords have found a mysterious dragon’s egg, and each sees it as proof of their claim to the Dragon’s Throne. The sages warn they risk unleashing the wrath of the Dragons, but the Lords pay no heed as they prepare for war. You can play the Dragon’s Throne versus AI opponents or in multiplayer with up to 8 players.

Age of Wonders III: Original Soundtrack
The two hour Age of Wonders III Original Soundtrack is composed by maestro Michiel van den Bos, of Unreal, Deux Ex, Overlord and Age of Wonders 1 fame. The OST features thirty one crisp, high quality 320kbs MP3 & FLAC tracks from Age of Wonders III and five exclusive bonus tracks. To top it off the OST includes liner notes by the composer - english only - and jewel case CD inlay jpg files. Be enchanted!

Songs and OST materials will be placed in your AoW3 folder in the Steam Directory: "...Steam\steamapps\common\AoW3\OST"

You can get there using your favorite file manager or by following these step:
1) Right click 'Age of Wonders III' in your Steam Library.
2) Select 'Properties'.
3) In the 'Age of Wonders III - Properties' tab, go to the 'Local Files' tab.
4) Select 'Browse Local Files...' to open the folder that contains the game.
5) Here you can find the 'OST' folder that contains your music.

About This Game

Age of Wonders III is the long anticipated sequel to the award-winning strategy series. Delivering a unique mix of Empire Building, Role Playing and Warfare, Age of Wonders III offers the ultimate in turn-based fantasy strategy for veterans of the series and new players alike!

Create an Empire in your own Image
  • Rule as one of 6 RPG style leader classes: Sorcerer, Theocrat, Rogue, Warlord, Archdruid, or the tech-focused Dreadnought.
  • Research powerful skills unique to your class to develop your empire and arsenal.
  • Choose your allies from among the six main races - Humans, High Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Goblins and Draconians - and fantastical monster dwellings.

Explore and Exploit a Living Fantasy World
  • Explore a rich fantasy world that is more detailed and alive than ever with over 50 location types to raid for treasure.
  • Expand your domain by building new settlements, forge pacts with monstrous allies and capture valuable resources.
  • Wield earth shattering magic and terra-form the lands for your needs.

Fight In-depth Tactical Battles
  • Recruit legendary heroes, equip them with magical weapons, and let them lead your armies into battle.
  • Crush your enemies using the detailed 3D turn-based Tactical Combat System.
  • Become a master tactician. Crush city defenses. Learn to use flanking and master your army’s hundreds of abilities.

Master Age of Wonders III’s many Modes!
  • Immerse yourself in a rich single player story campaign, playable from two sides of an epic conflict.
  • Create endless scenarios using the random map generator.
  • Compete in multiplayer wars with up to 8 players online.

Please note that:
  • Level Editing Tools are provided as a courtesy to fans. They might have different system specifications from the Age of Wonders III game, are not tech supported and have an English only interface.
  • Coop: Random maps and stand-alone scenarios can be played using player alliances versus computer opponents.
  • Local Coop: Random maps and stand-alone scenarios can be played using “Hot Seat” mode on the same computer using player alliances versus computer opponents.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ @2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia 8800 / ATi Radeon HD 3870 with 512MB or Laptop integrated Intel HD 3000 with 3GB system ram
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
    • Additional Notes: Open connection for online multiplayer. 1024x768 screen resolution.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Phenom X4 9900 @ 2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia Geforce 460 1GB or AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
    • Additional Notes: Open connection for online multiplayer. 1920*1080 screen resolution.
Helpful customer reviews
182 of 186 people (98%) found this review helpful
721.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
This game is absolutely incredible. It stays true to the style and feel of the previous games in the series, while also embracing some of the more modern elements in the 4X genre. Some may find the game a bit "simplistic" compared to other 4x games, but this is misleading. While this game is very easy to learn, and keeps most of the numbers and math pretty simple, there is an incredible amount of strategic depth to this game, and even after over 500 hours played, with 90% of that focusing on just *one* class, I am still learning new things.

The game itself takes place on about 3 different levels. The most prominent level is the tactical combat itself. This is unmatched by any other game in the 4x genre. In truth, it's more akin to the Total War series than anything, except turn based. It is not an understatement to say that this is the best combat system in any of the modern 4x games, bar none.

The second level is strategic movement. Many reviewers and players alike who only play this game for a bit do not understand just how much thought goes into something as simple as moving troops around. Each hex has different movement costs, which affects how fast units can move across them. But the movement costs are variable based on race, unit type itself, and even what the player has researched. Furthermore, different types of units may benefit from terrain features, such as Druids and Rogues who have units with Concealment. This allows some of their units to be rendered invisible in forest tiles. Compounding this issue is how classes and races interact. For instance, Dwarven Rogues are the only combination in the game with access to mountain concealment from the beginning, and this allows for some rather unique strategies involving raiding parties in the early game. While many will say that the tactical combat in this game is what stands out, at the intermediate skill level, the strategic level may actually be more important. After all, you can't actually GET to tactical combat if your enemy utilizes terrain to outrun you, or to reach your cities before your main army can get there to repel them.

The third layer is the empire management layer. This layer is pretty much what your typical 4x player expects to be the bulk of the game, as games like Civ largely ignore the first 2 to focus entirely on management. To those who have played and enjoyed the Civilization series: be warned. Age of Wonders 3 handles city management *vastly* differently than most other 4x games. The key difference lies in how cities work. Unlike civilization, there are no wonders or structures that can be built in cities to give them a specialized role. But don't worry, there absolutely are ways to make cities unique. Where this game differs from most others is that cities are largely defined by the terrain features within their domain. This creates a very different feel to empire management than other 4x games, in that the single most important factor of a city lies in where it is placed. In fact, a city placed on the right structure can often unlock units that cannot be accessed normally, or allow unusual and powerful modifiers to your armies. Some even give massive bonuses to income, or research.

While each layer is important, it is worth noting that this game is still very much different from many other 4x games. The focus is of the game is, at its heart, a wargame. While the diplomacy is functional, the predominant strategy will always be to crush your enemies, and annex their cities. Make no mistake, though. Although the goal is the same in every game, the methods are as variable as your imagination.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that there are players in the multiplayer community who have reputations for using an iconic style or strategy, that is almost entirely their own. The sheer number of options in character creation means that a player could very well run a strategy that is truly unique.

So if you're looking for a fantasy 4x wargame, you will not find a better one out there. Age of Wonders 3 is simply the best at what it does.
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131 of 138 people (95%) found this review helpful
76.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
What Age of Wonders 3 consists of content wise.

6 Fully Playable Factions

  • Humans
  • Dwarves
  • High Elves
  • Draconians
  • Orcs
  • Goblins

4 sub factions you encounter in the world and can also control while playing as a main faction to suppliment your forces.

  • Dragons
  • Giants
  • Fey
  • Archon Revenants

249 unique units all with their own custom visuals and animations depending on race

  • These are split between 4 tiers with 4 tiers of ranks every unit can level up to obtain passive stat bonuses and unique abilities.

There are 6 unique classes you can choose from in order to determine what specialty your hero leader unit posses which also affects access to unique units only for that class.

  • Dreadnought
  • Theocrat
  • Rogue
  • Arch Druid
  • Sorcerer
  • Warlord

Each hero class offers different sets of spells you can use in combat and on the strategic maps.

  • 104 Combat Spells
  • 91 Strategic Spells

Leaders and hero units have an extensive range of passive stat bonuses and abilities players can choose every time they gain a rank.

  • 44 hero leadership passives that affect troops.
  • 29 spells and hero specific passive abilities for the rogue class alone. There are plenty of abilities, passives, and spells for each of the 6 classes to make them widely customizable.
  • Each leader has 8 slots for gear ranging from melee weapons, to cloaks, and even unique mounts they can ride. Weapons and mounts are fully displayed on your character while in-game during combat. There is an additional 10 slots per leader/hero available for ranged weapons and storage.

Empire building including city upgrades and other dwellings you'll find located throughout the map

  • 24 city upgrades to expand and customize each settlement
  • 33 unique dwelling upgrades that allow for custom non faction units such as dragons and undead to suppliment your army.

To further customize your facation you have access to a total combination of any 3 different specialization available to any class and any facation

  • Creation Adept
  • Creation Master
  • Destruction Adept
  • Destruction Master
  • Fire Adept
  • Fire Master
  • Earth Adept
  • Earth Master
  • Water Adept
  • Water Master
  • Air Adept
  • Air Master
  • Expander
  • Explorer

A fully functional leader creator

  • Emblem option
  • 2 tiered color choices
  • 13 different categories of visual customizations such as gender, head, hair, skin color, accessory, eyes, hair color, eyebrows, posture, clothing, skin decorations, facial hair, and scene (background environment). Also various static character portrate angels to choose from of your unique character model.
  • Randomized generator option for visuals, class, and/or faction.
  • 53 pre-made leaders to choose from


What else can I say about this game? You've just read through a ton of in-game content making it one of the greatest turn based combat games out there. So many different ways to customize and play you most likely won't even encounter or use everything available in the game. Even if empire building and diplomacy features are fewer than combat assets there is more than enough to satisfy 4X genre players. The games strenght is getting out into the world, slaying monsters, finding treasure in dungeons, and crushing rival empires. If you like to send postcards and and have tea parties to talk out your problems with rival warlords, this game might not be for you. If you like to trick rivals into allegencies only to build up your forces while their guard is down then knock over their castle when convenient, this game is for you.

Beyond being an absolutely great game with tons of content it's technical side as a PC game is solid. No poor low resolution console port, plenty of game options, and loads key bind customization to be found. Performance is a dream and the game is beautiful whether raiding dungeons relieving dragons of their loot or sacking major cities, and doing so right outside their gates seeing the city itself in all it's 3d model glory on the battlefield.

One of the greatest PC games of all time. More factions and content to come via expansions. If you are a 4X fan and like fantasy genre games you cannot pass this one by.
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66 of 74 people (89%) found this review helpful
508.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
I always knew I'd review this game, it was just a matter of when. At 331 hours, I believe I have enough exposure to offer an insightful look into AoW3. I picked this up on a whim during the Steam Summer Sale at 50%, having never played any other AoW games but myself enjoying Civ seemed like something I could get into. AoW3 would quickly become my most played game on Steam by a large margin and for good reason. There is so much good here, so much depth, variation, custimization. If you enjoy Strategy games, buy this game. If you enjoy Turn Based Combat, buy this game. If you enjoy City Building, buy this game. If you enjoy all these things AND Multiplayer for up to 8 people, FFA, Teams or AI partners or any combination BUY THIS GAME.

6 Races and 6 Classes that can be mixed and matched how ever you see fit, an ABUNDANCE of unquie units and Heroes that can be leveled and equiped with various gear that you can find or forge yourself. Sling spells in battle or on the World Map. Giants, Dragons, Titans oh my!

Various map settings to take the game in whatever direction you want, size, land type, Underground, number of roaming Bandits etc. 2 Main Single Player Campagins and multiple Scenarios to play through. Up to 7 different full armies in Turn Based Combat. This game has it all and plenty of highlights I'm forgeting.

BUT. And there always has to be a but. I do have some complaints to address here as well after all my praise. The community is FAR too small, SO BUY THIS GAME. Also there are occasionaly minor issues connecting with players (which a simple restart of the game remidies) but the problem is there and it needs addressed. Other than that, this game is perfect at what it is. It's some sort of Civ meets Fire Emblem, coming from someone new to the series and never played Might and Magic. This is worth full price. Buy it. Add me. And read my guide to help you get started too :D
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36 of 39 people (92%) found this review helpful
1,267.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Very well put together game, and the devs are supporting it better than I have ever seen a dev support a game before. The game is a bit of a combination of homm and civ, I would reccomend it highly. If you are new I reccomend to play a few single player maps before playing the campaign which is hard at times.
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29 of 32 people (91%) found this review helpful
224.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
This game really captures the 'just one more turn!'-feeling.
It is addicting and the game becomes better with each patch & DLC.

Pros:
  • A beautiful strategic map
  • Combat is fast, brutal and entertaining
  • It is fun to level your Heroes and Leader; it adds RPG to the game. Also quests that can be gained from independent cities or dwellings add to RPG-feel.
  • Concept of Race & Class for your Leader provide much variety in play. For example, you can play as a Orc Sorcerer, Dwarven Warlord, Elven Rogue etc.
  • Classes are really different from each other; this applies to gameplay, spells and units. See this wiki for an overview (click the class name for more info).
  • Nice campaigns with different outcomes
  • A pretty good Random Map generator with tons of options
  • Users make custom scenarios and challenges with Map Editor
  • Great music
  • Triumph Studios listens really well to the community and has fixed (almost) all bugs/issues

Cons:
  • In general races could be more varied. The good news is that Triumph is working on this and it is expected to improve in the next patch. See this official dev journal (nov 2014)
  • Although the idea behind alignment is nice (good/neutral/evil is based on your actions and not on your race choice), it remains a bit shallow imo.
  • MOD-tools are not released at this moment (nov 2014). They most probably will in the future though.

Other comments:
  • For new-comers to the game it can be difficult to learn and to master. It is recommended to watch some videos on YouTube if you are new to the Age of Wonder-series. For example: How to play Age of Wonders 3-videos by iHunterKiller. Link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhAjLeSwzp3hLPeLqY2p-R7Ubbauwhxpe
  • I cannot comment on Multiplayer as I didn't have much experience on it.

Overall I recommend this game to anyone who has an interest in Turn Based Strategy games.
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118 of 182 people (65%) found this review helpful
574.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
This is a game I really wanted to like. It's a game that puts emphasis on war. It's not the best way to win, it's the only way to win, and the game reflects that. It had a lot of things in it that give it a lot of charm and a lot of fun. Alas, however, the game suffers from a myriad of balance issues that encourage cheesy strategies to win.

First, the positives:

-Tactical combat: This is what the game sells itself with. The concept, how it's designed is actually quite fun on its own. If you like Endless Legend's combat, you would like this.

-Race/Class combos: One of my favorite things for the longest time was the different race and class combos would actually cause you to play slightly differently based on what race you put with what class. However, not all races are equal (meaning, the overall balance of strengths and weaknesses of different races are not equal), and this has never been adequately addressed.

-Map generator: More often than not, I enjoyed the randomness, aside from predicible positioning of capitals. (Hint, opposite of you, and if there's someone above or below you, another person is opposite of him. Locations are very predictible.)

-Diverse Units: Not much to say here. Units are diverse, and even units from the same class may have differences between races.


Now for the bad.

-Balance: Dear god, balance. Heroes have always meant to be powerful, and that is fine. But the majority of experiences players you meet will use heroes as spell casters. This doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, spells, in tactical combat have infinite range. If your hero is on the battlefield, it can hit anything. Your leader can do it even if he/she isn't there for double cost. The majority of matchups will be determined by spells. If not that, you will see tactics such as run and heal. In short, play to the utmost efficiency, no matter how cheap it seems, because everyone else will. In addition to all this, certain races (the ones that come with healing) will almost always win out against those that don't because healing from units also heal a unit in the army for the full amount every turn. This is actually pretty neat, but a fair amount of races/classes don't have easy healing, which impacts your early game. I could go on, but length...

-Scouts: Generally scouts are necessary for war, and things are no different here. But in this game, things revolve around scouts. Why? Because a single scout can burn down cities, forts, watchtowers, you name it. They can be summoned near towns or heroes. Defense in this game is ineffective because offense is so much more efficient. You'll see things like 3-6 summoned scouts come, attack your city, 2-3 spells blown on your units, and you'll just lose. This can be prevented with enough archery units, but if you lose anything (and you will), it's gold loss on your side, mana loss on the enemy side. Defending with your own scouts will often result in a loss against these tactics. Burning down a city takes 2 turns, period. An opponent doesn't need to hold it for longer than that. Watchtower and fort destruction is INSTANT. You can imagine the cheesy strategies that come from this.

-The community: Now, I'll give them credit, this is a mixed bag, because nearly all the community is actually very nice. Nearly everyone that is left are people who enjoy the above strategies now though, so I personally don't consider it a positive.

-Autocombat: To be frank, to manually do every battle yourself is not feasible in this game in multiplayer. Unlike Endless legend, which is very fluid about its manual combat for the most part, manual combat in this game stops all other action for every player that is not in combat. You either get to watch or not depending on what the host decided before the game starts. So you have to use autocombat... except that the AI in autocombat tries to resolve things as quickly as possible by having both sides rush at each other, tactics be damned. Therefore the losses are always higher than they should be, and unless you've played for as long as I have, you shouldn't expect to accurately predict the results, which to my knowledge is not a common skill.

--------------------------------------

My experience with the game can be summed up as "An amazingly cool idea that fell short of what it could be because of poor implementation." It's unfortunate, but true. And it kinda sucks because I like the people I met (mostly) on the game, and I liked the devs at first because they're great people. They lost me, however, because they no longer address balance issues except with expansion releases. I understand that they need to work for a living like the rest of us, but you can't expect your would-be fans to wait for you to fix things that ruin the game experience for them because you want to make more money. I know I'm not the only one who feels the way I do, the online community is much smaller nowadays. Still, I had a lot of fun with it before I fully understood all the issues (I had the game since release). If you can overlook or would not be bothered by the above, then by all means, do buy the game. It has a lot to offer, and it can be a lot of fun for the demographic that it hits. It is not for me, however, and I think that holds true for most people.
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21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
61.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Bought Eador - Wasted time and money.
Bought Fallen Enchantress - Wasted time and money.
Bought the newest Heroes - Wasted time, money, and got information mined by EA.
Bought Warlock - Had fun, but Warlock II is a waste of time and money.

Saw AoW3 on summer sale and warned myself to not waste time and money; but I really like it compared to all the other incarnations.

I like turn based, conflict oriented, strategy. It's not going to be as strategic as Total War, or as simple as Age of Empires- both genres I love. It is a Civ game, based on action and strategy and it's the best flavor I can find on Steam. The AI isn't perfect and it looks like they want me to pay for xpacs. You have to make an account with them to go online, but the game is still playable in solo mode without giving out your information.

I guess I like this one because it looks good, runs smooth, the races are to my taste (traditional with a Warhammer kind of twist), has very few bugs, and a subtle and funny sense of humor. It's basically a blend of the best elements of all the Civs I've wasted time and money on.
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
841.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
Fantastic 4x Game. The battle element is very intelligent and allows for almost endless replayability. With the latest patch Multiplayer stability is very good. In comparison to other games i have played online, I must say I am very happy with the support this game is getting. Highly recommended to anyone who loves civ, master of magic, heros of might and magic, age of mythology and so forth.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
30.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
This is a really fun game. I like the tactical battles for this game. I have quite a few turn based fantasy 4x games, and the tactical battles for AoW have always been fun. There are lots of unit types. Also, players get to cast many spells while playing the game, both tactical and stratgic. Leader customization is great, and starting new scenarios is neat due to all of the choices availble.

AoW III is also a very pretty game. The graphics and sound are phenomenal. There are spells that allow the player to change the terrain. Tactical maps also look good, with a lot of environment colors.

Overall AoW III is a good, fun game.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
19.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
The Great:

- Fantastic tactical turn-based gameplay
- Fun and enjoyable fantasy setting
- Turn-based overworld gameplay generates the "one more turn" compulsion

The Bad:

- Combat slightly favors ranged and magic heroes and units
- City management gameplay is shallow and uninteresting
- Lack of interesting challenges in the late game

Overall:

A great strategy game that deserves your attention if you are interested in turn-based tactical combat and/or Heroes of Might and Magic type gameplay.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
46.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
Overall Rating: 85%
Content: 8/10
Graphics: 9/10
Music: 9/10
Replayability: 8/10

Age of Wonders is back! I was a big fan of the original Age of Wonders back in the 90s, which I remember playing extensively. (Those were the days!) Then there was an Age of Wonders II, which we will politely overlook. Age of Wonders III is the next high fantasy, turn-based strategy game from Triumph Studios that, in my humble opinion, lives up to the standard set forth by the original game. The quality artwork of the original AOW is here again, including lovely 2D scenes and fully rendered characters. The player may create his/her own hero from among several familiar races: Human, Dwarf, Goblin, High Elf, Draconian, and Orc. There is a colorful selection of classes to choose from, including: Warlord, Arch Druid, Dreadnought, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Theocrat. The units that become available to the player depend on the chosen Class and the selected Race. As in the old AOW, it is possible to recruit other units that you may encounter.

The AOW story is divided into two opposed factions: The Elven Court, and The Commonwealth. The Elven Court campaign will have you fighting to preserve old world races and magic, while The Commonwealth represents the oncoming invasion of technology and a new order that threatens to replace the old. Aside from the rich storyline, players can opt to play against each other or the computer in single, premade scenarios. Winning scenarios in either Campaign Mode or in a random skirmish involves conquering territories, developing cities, and managing resources. When a player initiates a battle either against an opposing army or structure, the game transitions from the overworld map into a 3D, turn-based battle complete with melee and magic attacks. You can also discover artifacts that will make your heroes more powerful, or take them from conquered foes.

The only complaint I have with AOW III is its incompatible server selection. Servers are based in the UK, and you are in for some trouble if you wish to battle against a friend that is not on the same LAN as you. Attempting to do so results in a "Poor Connectivity" message that rebuffs your effort to connect to other players online. Hopefully, Triumph Studios will address this issue so that all players are able to play online with equal access. As far as the content goes, AOW III is a tribute to older turn-based strategy games that were abundant in the 90s. The story is deep, the world is vivid, and the music creates effective moods for every occasion. It's also good to see that Triumph Studios is working to add more and more content, which will only strengthen this latest chapter in the AOW series. A keeper for strategy fans, for sure.

*Note: This review is intended for people who want to make an informed decision on whether or not to buy this game. Although other players may have differing experiences and credible feedback to offer, this represents my own opinion after experiencing this game.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
46.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
A welcome addition to the franchise, with some new additions and some drawbacks.

Pros:
+More strategic layers than previous Age of Wonders games with Race/Specialization/Class combinations
+Unique balance of over-world construction, exploration, conquering/destruction, and tactical battles
+Strong RPG elements for a strategy game with Heroes and Leaders' leveling and meaningful choices along the way
+Interesting strategic variety with interaction of terrain and races
+Many and meaningful strategic options/choices in units (skills, abilities, looks, interactions) and cities (city types, upgrades) and empire quests
+Relatively easy to use map editor/maker

Cons:
-Less friendly fire (I enjoyed how friendly fire was handled in previous games) and height advantages
-Less atmosphere than age of wonders games through slightly weaker lore, presence of magic, racial uniqueness, and music/sfx
-Story is a bit weak
-3D Models are a bit ugly
-Less races (Currently) than in other age of wonders games

Differences from other 4x Strategy-Fantasy Games:
-More tactical battle focus
-Less focus on construction

The Future:
The community is strong and kind enough.
The developers are continuously working on the game and listening to the players.
New races and classes are coming out.
New race relations coming out.
New balances and bonuses coming out.
More modding coming out.

Buy or No?
If you are experienced with 4x strategy games... I would get this game.
While the genre probably could use a game to revolutionize it a bit, this game does enough new things to keep your interest if you are captivated by 4x genre. You may be annoyed with some things here and there, but overall the balance is strong enough and they are working on improving the balance and adding more content to sink your teeth into.

If you are interested in fantasy lore, role-playing/story-making, primarily and racial interactions... I would get it on sale or wait.
Do some research on the game first; if you find the lore interesting, purchase it if you haven't played any game in the genre or wait to see how the updates improve and add to the game in a few months. Keep in mind you can also create some interesting quests with the map editor/maker.

If you haven't really played much strategy 4x fantasy games and are curious... I would get this game now or on sale.
Your enjoyment of the game will be higher if you have an open-mind and like intricate game systems.

If you are looking for a fast-paced, mind-blowing, competitive game... do not purchase the game or do more research. The pacing is similar to other strategic games like Civilization. Also, there is nothing in here that will take your breath away, at least immediately. The engagement relies on the stories and histories that are created from the complex systems and events that occur.

Overall...
AOW3 is a quality game that could use some improvements. Fortunately, the developers care so improvements are on the way. There isn't too much else in the genre being made at the moment either and is better than its nearest fantasy-strategy competitors. But feel free to check out games like Warlock, Fallen Enchantress, and Endless Legend as they offer slightly different fare if tactical combat is not entirely for you.
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
45.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Having not played an AoW game since the first one, way back in about 1995, I wasnt quite sure what to expect with this.
What I found was a delightful cross between two of my other favourite franchises - Heroes of Might and Magic, and Civilization.

Age of Wonders III features many elements from the above and adds in a few ideas of its own, the result is a very solid turned based strategy/RPG hybrid of sorts. Certainly one to watch out for on the Steam Sale if you are considering getting it.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
A great strategy game that is still getting to me come back, similar to that kind of "just one more turn feeling" that civ 5 is so famous for, i reccomend this to anyone who has played similar games before. Just be careful when learning the game as the game sadly has no tutorial feature,with the only way to learn the game being lots of google searches and the encyclopedia in game.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
50.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Really solid 4X with extremely in-depth combat and plent of units, spells, etc. to play with to make your perfect army. The developers have show a huge amount of support for the game and have gone out of the way to listen to criticisms to iron out the flaws that stuck out on release. I definetly would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the 4X genre just for the combat alone.

Note: This isn't fantasy Civ 5; The game focuses more on the war aspect of 4X's than it does the empire/economy management, so if your strictly looking for a game with that Civ feeling then you might want to watch some youtube videos to get an idea if this is a game for you.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
226.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
I really enjoy this game. I've wanted to play a game like this for some time now. I haven't played the previous AOW games but I'm glad I finally found this one. It's a great blend of Civ and HOMM. I like that you need to be aggressive to win. There's a lot of action and conflict.

The game has a great combination of races, spells, and units. The graphics are great and the customization of your leader are very nice. There are a ton of settings that you can adjust to enhance your game.

The multiplayer is very good. If you autofight independents then it goes by fast. There isn't a lot of waiting around for your opponent to take their turn (hello Warlock games).

I haven't even played the campaigns yet. I prefer sandbox mode.

The expansion adds a lot to the game and is reasonably priced. I bought the base game on a 50% off sale. At $20 you cannot beat it. Knowing what I do now about the game, there is no doubt I'd pay full price for it. I highly recommend it.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
103.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
A wonderful game!

This is what Heroes of Might and Magic 5,6 and 7 should have been like! Clearly developed to beat these titles and it succeeds I think!
Essentially Age of Wonders III is HOM&M but with far superior combat, tactics, spells, heroes and troop development.
The graphics are as good as later HOM&M titles but the 3D used here seems to work so much better than HOM&M I feel, the interface is also more intuitive. Though I loved Heroes of Might and Magic 1 to 4 I could never get used to the later version's interface but AOWIII improves on them greatly in almost all aspects. The one small issue with it is that the maps, at least in the Scenario's, do not seem quite as heavy on resources and independant enemies as HOM&M games but I guess this is because the game is trying to break away slightly here.
I will also say, it's HARD! I like this but was continually getting my backside kicked until I realise how much effect terrain variations had on different troops types! I love this and it really distinguishes it from HOM&M games where morale was a simple mechanism. AOWIII brilliantly bridges the gap between HOM&M and a more traditional squad/unit-based wargame.
Think of a cross between HOM&M and Warhammer and you are just about there :)
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
48.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
I really recommend this game for any 4X fans who enjoy nice tactical battles. I really like the design choice which mixes race and class of a main hero, because this helps to create huge variety of combinations (and of course - many different units to choose from). I'm glad that I started playing this game about 6 months after release, because most of annoying bugs and problems has been fixed and corrected. So this is a great moment to jump into this beautiful and very addicting game.
BTW - looking forward for a new expansion which will add a new class ^^
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
123.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
One of my favorite games on steam!
Prepare to be sucked in with Age of Wonders 3. An amazing turn based strategy game that will continue to hold your attention and WOW you with attention to detail, depth and rich battles.
The game features a series of campaigns with different routes, fun hand crafted scenarios and a random map generator with different modes to play.
You pick a race/class/specializations which are all interesting, fun and create different synergies.
Orc warlord? Human Dreadnaught? Elven sorcerer?,
Goblin Archdruid Specializing in water magic to create a swampy empire?
You name it! the combinations are plenty!
Each race starts off with a variety of units that for the most part fill common roles,
Infantry, Archer, Pikeman, Cavalry, flyers, and support. All these units per race ARE UNIQUE and different, it just might not appear that way on the surface. Orcs are great at melee, elves great with archers etc.
Classes affect your spells in and out of combat, and units that you get.
Terrain/weather affect.
Your leader and Heroes units level up and can customized.
Units can level up.
Different sub factions that can be conquered and used to your advantage. Like dragons and giants.
I can go on and on but the combinations and situations to be in are plenty and it never gets dull.
MUST PLAY! 9/10
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
102.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 18
One of the best strategy games ever! Unlike Civ 5, Age of Wonders has tactical combat (rather than running two units into eachother), vastly differing classes supported by moderately different races, and NO PUNISHMENT FOR EXPANSION!!! Additionally, Age of Wonders is much faster paced and more centered on elite forces (heroes, champion units, etc.) than Civilizations, leading to a greater investment in specific armies and their powerful commanders. Expand, build armies, and WRECK your friends!
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