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 (2,331 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 31, 2014

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Packages that include this game

Buy Age of Wonders III Collection

Includes 4 items: Age of Wonders III, Age of Wonders III - Deluxe Edition DLC, Age of Wonders III - Eternal Lords Expansion, Age of Wonders III - Golden Realms Expansion

 

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 (50)

April 30

v1.555 Patch now Available

Hi, today we launch V1.555 the first official patch after the Eternal Lords expansion and V1.5 got released April 14th. After such a big update, there is bound to be feedback and new ideas. With your help we were able to turn this in a big update relatively quick after the launch of the new expansion. The update is available on both GoG and Steam. Thanks for all your comments!

See this topic for full patch notes.

5 comments Read more

April 14

Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords Expansion now available

Embrace forbidden powers and prepare to reign for eternity, as today Triumph Studios launches the highly anticipated Eternal Lords Expansion.


Eternal Lords is the major, second expansion for Age of Wonders III, marking one year of continuous development since its release. With the introduction of the Tigran and Frostling races and the new Necromancer class, players must adapt to a world on the brink of cataclysmic change. New mechanics include the Race Governance system, which allows players to tailor the features of each race in their empire to meet their strategic needs, and adds new layers of depth to empire development and diplomacy.

The expansion is accompanied by the free V1.5 main game update introducing Vassals, the New Play by Email multiplayer mode, Mac/Linux support, Race Relations, improved AI, and more racial unit diversity.

10 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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    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:
      • Requires a 1024x768 screen resolution.
      • Requires an open IPv4 connection for online multiplayer.
      • A Triumph Account is required to use the game's online services. The game's single player and Hot Seat modes are fully playable using the guest account.
      • Please note that the Editor is Windows only.
    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: A 1920x1080 screen resolution.
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.9.3 (Mavericks)
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ @2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia Geforce GTX 250 / ATi Radeon HD 4870 with 512MB or integrated Intel HD 4000 with 3GB system ram.
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
    • Additional Notes:
      • Requires a 1024x768 screen resolution.
      • Requires an open IPv4 connection for online multiplayer.
      • A Triumph Account is required to use the game's online services. The game's single player and Hot Seat modes are fully playable using the guest account.
      • Please note that the Editor is Windows only.
    Recommended:
    • 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
    • Additional Notes: A 1920x1080 screen resolution.
    Minimum:
    • OS: SteamOS, Ubuntu 14.10
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4 Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ @2.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia Geforce GTX 250 / ATi Radeon HD 4870 with 512MB or integrated Intel HD 4000 with 3GB system ram.
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
    • Additional Notes:
      • Requires a 1024x768 screen resolution.
      • Requires an open IPv4 connection for online multiplayer.
      • A Triumph Account is required to use the game's online services. The game's single player and Hot Seat modes are fully playable using the guest account.
      • Please note that the Editor is Windows only.
      • Not running SteamOS or Ubuntu 14.10? That doesn't mean your machine won't run the game, it just means we haven't seen it run on those distributions in the office. Visit the various AoW3 forums to learn more and share your experiences. Please post feedback on how the game runs on your system to help your fellow gamer and to help us improve our Linux build.
    Recommended:
    • 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
    • Additional Notes: A 1920x1080 screen resolution.
Helpful customer reviews
133 of 162 people (82%) found this review helpful
71.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
AGE OF WONDERS III - Good Turn based tactical combat, Hero RPG elements and Empire building 4X strategy

|| 8 ||
Score Comment
Graphics 8 Nice graphics and detail on the strategic map and even better graphics for units, terrain and magical effects in combat. UI is nice, detailed and easy to use
Audio 6 Music gets a little repetitive - maybe a little more variety needed, sound effects are good but nothing special.
Gameplay 8 Age of Wonders III is a turn based, 4X strategy game based in a fantasy setting. The tactical combat view (when your army's battle) is excellent, you really feel like you are head to head with the AI (which seems to do a good job most of the time) in a battle of wits. Casting a well timed spell or outmanoeuvring your enemy can sometimes turn the tide of a battle, unfortunately usually the outcome of a battle is a forgone conclusion due to the relative strength of the units involved, but even when this is the case its still fun to crush your enemy and minimise your losses. The strength of the Units in your army really plays such a large part of the battles that you can actually choose to skip the tactical battle entirely and have the computer automatically calculate the results. Some of the units have somewhat of a balance issue with the higher level units often being able to take down whole armies by themselves with little damage or risk. This inevitably results in a race to upgrade your city buildings to create these higher level creatures. AI at the strategic level is a little predictable but there is still fun to be had placing your cities and grabbing as many resources as possible to fund your economy. One thing I noticed at the strategic level is there doesn't seem to be any downside to city spamming (covering the map in loads of your cities) as you gain resources (mana, gold, research) for each city. Ruins, shrines and artefacts are scattered throughout the maps and these will often require you to fight a monster to claim the reward for your Hero. Hero's are your army leaders you get a main one and then can hire more for gold. Hero's have a selection of spells they can use to aid you in battle, summon monsters or benefit your cities. Items you collect / make can be given to your hero's to increase their stats and they also get skills as they earn xp through battles.
Story 7 The game contains a number of well written scenario's which are fairly fun to play through. Overall I think I preferred playing the random maps though.
Replayability 7 If you enjoy the game you will probably want to play it again, random maps and steam workshop adds more community made content.
Overall
8 A fan of this genre will probably get a lot of enjoyment out of this game. While not as complex or detailed as others of the same type what it does it does well. Hotseat mode (a mode I loved from Civilisation) is a great addition to this game and playing with friends is a lot of fun.

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
42 of 45 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
124.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
Although Age of Wonders III features story based campaigns and scenarios (many of which are obviously balanced for multi-player), the real meat of the game IMO is the Random Map mode. This is equivalent to the default mode of most 4X games like Civilization, and that's what I'll talk about here.

Unlike most 4X games which start you off with a single settler in a mostly empty undeveloped world, the default mode (normal game flow) of AoW3 starts you off in a populated world which already has roads, cities and armies. In these games you can get stuck into the action quickly and may not need to build any cities at all, just capture existing ones. These games can be a lot quicker to play than other 4X games.

However, the random map games are extremely customisable, much more than Civ. There are three other preset modes - Battle, Empire Building and Adventure - which provide very different game experiences. Better still, go into the advanced setup screens and you can tweak the details to your heart's content. You can start with nothing more than a settler and a leader in a completely empty world, just like Civ, if that's what you want, or you can fill it with as much or as little of the different options that are available. You can also tweak the geography, altering the quantities of different terrain types that will appear on the map.

The graphics are superb, they blow away the old AoW games and are better than most current 4X games IMO. The music is excellent too, one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a game, making it well worth getting the Deluxe version for the 2 hours of music, not to mention the huge 8 player scenario Dragon's Throne.

The huge variety of units in the game, and the many different unit abilities and spells, provide for an awesome variety of strategy and tactics. The game is far more detailed than previous versions, and while the older games were great in their own right, AoW3 takes it to a whole new level. I can't go back to the old games anymore. It's a game you can get sucked into for many, many hours of your life.

The two expansion packs - Golden Realms and Eternal Lords - are real expansions, not shallow cash grabbing DLCs like in many games these days. They add a lot of real content, not just new races and campaigns, but many new rules and game mechanics.

I highly recommend this game, one of the best 4X games ever in my opinion.
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30 of 38 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
56.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
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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18 of 23 people (78%) found this review helpful
2,605.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
It has been almost one-year since release, I've been playing this game constantly for almost the full year. Incredibly addictive coupled with vast replayability and a veritable smorgasbord of options, units, spells, structures, and game mechanics... and the developers have only expanded on the deep content with Golden Realms and the upcoming release of Eternal Lords. I am not normally a review-writer or poster but this is hands down the best game of the genre I've ever played, including Master of Magic.

Only a few fairly minor issues - mostly having to do with requested features such as added victory conditions, more customization options, and more gameplay options have been addressed by the developers or are in the process of being addresed. Kudos to Triumph. They've certainly earned the name.

A long-time player of other 4 x games I would enthusiastically recommend this for any fan of the genre. I definitely encourage anyone on the fence to try it out!
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
69.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
Age of Wonders 3, what can I say that hasn't already been said. I am a late convert to the game. The original release didn't inspire me. The Golden Realms expansion, though great, didn't interest me. The hype of Eternal Lords got me to look and it's implementation got me to stay and play.

A fantastic fantasy war game that reminds me a lot of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, AoW 3 is a fantastically fun battle simulator. Is it a perfect game? No. It has some shortcomings, but it's getting better all the time.

My favorite Race are the Tigrans; fast, blood thirsty and feline.
My favorite specilization: Arch Druid because of the summons and the cool units.

Least favorite.. BONE DRAGONS!!!!!


Anyways, to get more, come check out our official review at eXplorminate4x.com
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16 of 21 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
36.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
It feels a lot like Heroes of Might & Magic had a baby with Master of Magic.

I HIGHLY suggest reading some of the reviews here. The negatives aren't all bashers, the positives aren't all fanboi's. You'll get a good picture of what this game offers and where it is lacking. This is my take.

Pro's:
The hex-7 combat. You can flank prior to engaging, but you may leave an army vulnerable to attack (it affects placement in the battlefield.. except against a city)

The hero "Leader" capabilities. Each army (group of 6 units including hero) can have a hero as a leader. Heros can pick from abilites to strenghten themselves or provide army-wide bonuses.

The Dreadnaught Class (while overall not high on my personal list) is really neat. They are mech-based, rather than magic. If you use their higher special units, you need other special units to heal them. This matters most if your empire included multiple races. Healers can't heal machines, and workers can't heal normal units. I like that concept. :reusgreed:

Spell options are "random" which helps split up the monogamy of game play (with a few exceptions).

Underground & above ground, + teleporters, water tunnels, and 6v6 "dungeons" with unique item (Strong, Epic, Legendary, and Mythical difficulties. :ghlol: )

The graphics.

Con's:

The basic race & class units are carbon copies of each other. Slight differenced being pure damge vs a resistance-based damage type)

The buildings are all exactly the same (except the T2 & T3 class buildings.. but the resource from them isn't a game changer).

The spell system is lacking, in comparison to Master of Magic. There are obvious "winners" for large maps/games, which are to be avoided in smaller/shorter games.

As above, there are several abilities/spells which only have true functionally in MP... thus wastes a spell slot.

Again, as above, the spells are generated "randomly" based on your leader choices. While not entirely bad (MoM was like that also), the MultiPlayer-biased or large map-biased abilities aren't balanced out of the choices. Likewise, they don't recive more weight in those circumstances.

So that's really just one big one, split into 3 parts and the last being a pro & con.


--------
I've not gotten the xpac.. but that's supposed to add a few more nice things to the game. Worth the expansion price? Not sure yet. Next sale though.. ;)

There are a few things they could do differently, from a deisgn standpoint, but given the origins and overal gameplay.. It's definitely a good $20-30.00 game. Not sure about $40-45 (not counting the expansion)

Apparently there is a bug that can crash and lose all of your data. I haven't run into that one yet. It does have occasional "lag" on the large + maps.

I defenitely enjoy it, so far, I'm just a bit picky about things.
--------

What they could do to "fix" some of the holes in the game:

Make a couple of "difficult" races, that are OP'd, but cost more.
Make a couple of "easy" races, that are weak, but fast to max out.

Mix up the complexity of the city structures. Maybe Orcs only get a shrine, not a grand temple, etc... then balance it out other ways. (can tie into above)

Get rid of the "Knowledge Points" resource. It becomes 100% worthless at some point in the game. :angrytitan: Merge "Mana Income" and "Knowledge Points" and let the player balance the resource between the two. (mana income if dor spell upkeep, unit purchase, initial spell cast, etc.. Knowledge Points only go to how fast you research spells)

Unbalance the spell system some more. Let a Mastery level always yield a really bad@$$ unit and global power.

Weigh out some of the spells that favor different game maps and MP vs SP. There shouldn't be a clear "winner" for them, on that front. (These are in the Class-specific spells, regardless of your focuses, and the one focus realm of expansionisim.) If a balance can't be reached easily.. simply making a counterpart (with a note on each as to what they favor) that is equally beneficial in the opposite playstyle is fine.
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13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
500.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 15
Long story short: Simply the best turn-based 4X game in years.

The good bits:
* Competent AI
* Huge variation in races, classes, spells, abilities and units
* Excellent tactical battles that keep you on your toes.
* Great soundtrack
* Vivid fantasy setting
* Plenty of options in the robust random map generator to drastically alter every game you set up
* Exploration is a blast

The weaker bits:
* Diplomacy is servicable, but it's nowhere near Civilization levels
* No more naked Nymphs :(

Extra bits:
* Very dedicated support from the developers
* New expansions bring crazy amounts of content
* Regular free patches with new mechanics and additional free content

Am looking forward to some PBEM games once the system goes live!
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
629.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Disclaimers:

- I was a closed beta tester for the base game as well as its two expansions. However I'm not an employee of Triumph Studios, only a community volunteer.
- This review was written post Eternal Lords and 1.5 patch releases.


Age of Wonders III is a turn based hex based fantasy 4x game that is a lot more combat focused compared to something like the Civilization series but also quite a bit more strategically and tactically involved than let's say Heroes of Might & Magic which can be both good or bad depending on your personal preferences.


Gameplay

Compared to the previous games AoWIII retains most of the series' fundamentals but also iterates and adds to the formula.

The most notable change is the way yor faction is presented via the class system. Your research tree and unit roster are not only determined by spell school and starting race picks but by your leader class (warlords, sorcerer, archdruid, dreadnaught, etc.), starting race as well as specializations which are akin to the previous game's spell spheres and leader skills. Your base unit list is thus determined by the race of the towns you own as well as your chosen class.

Comparing it to AoWII the class system in a way separates the racial aspect of a faction from the gameplay theme of it. For example, in AoW2 Elves were always Druids with nature themed units, Archons were always Theocrats with their religious and holy theme, Dwarves were Dreadnoughts due to their technological prowes, Orcs were Warlords with strong physical combatants and so on.

The AoWIII class system separates race and theme so Elves can be steampunk-ish technologists, Dwarves can wield druidic powers while Goblins can be religious crusaders. Thematically this allows you to create both stereotypical combinations (wizard elves) as well as some unusual ones (holy angelic goblins).

Gameplay wise the trio of race, class and specialization (additional mini tech trees) allows for a myriad of different play styles and strategies and a very diverse meta game which encourages experimentation and greately enhances replayability.

Each class comes with a unique tech tree which consists of special class units which can have their own racial variations as well as a large number of combat or strategic spells and passive upgrades that enhance your empire as well as units.


Customization

AoWIII features a leader creation process which allows for detailed aesthetic and gameplay customization. Visual options are akin to rpg games like Dragon Age allowing for changes to race, gender, clothing, accessories, hair style and color, skin color, eyes, hats masks, postures, background scenery, portrait poses, coat of arms, etc.

Gameplay-wise the options include race, class and 3 slots for specializations that can be magic oriented or more mundane empire upgrades.

Game settings include numerous tweaks to the random map generator like map type (land, continents, islands), map size (s, m, l, xl), geographical settings (types of terrain and climate, existence of the underground layer), starting town/army, amount of resources, treasure sites, independent monsters, etc.

Furthermore various game parameters can be tweaked like the number of heroes, hero level cap, hero race, game pace, starting resources, turn progression (classic i-go-you-go or simultanious), empire quests, map events, victory conditions, type and number of opponents, preference for manual or auto-combat and so on.

Much effort was made to cater to different preferences and play styles.


Combat

Like in Heroes of Might & Magic for example, combat in AoWIII happens on a separate tactical map that is derived from the participating units' position on the strategic map. If the units were standing on a snowy arctic hex the tactical map will also have snow on it for example. Same with forests, swamps, etc. Not only that but various sites like cities, farms, dungeons, mines, tombs, etc. are all represented on the tactical map and can have different effects like providing obstacles, choke points, magical effects and so on.

Compared to AoWII combat in AoWIII has less randomness and is more dependent on the player making the right moves. Attacks will always hit for example (except under special circumstances) but the damage can still vary and there is the possibility of criticals or fumbles.

There are many things to keep an eye on in combat like move points (usually the less you have the less attacks you get but not always), limited retaliations, defensive stances, attacks of opportunity, flanking attacks, distances, unit position and facing, range, the presence of obstacles or city walls, types of movement (walking, floating, flying) and so on.

And this is without taking into account unit stats (physical attack vs. defence, magical/elemental attack vs. resistance), traits, special abilities, morale (which influences critical chance), combat spells, unit and battlefield enchantments, unit types, etc.

The basics of combat are simple. Click on a unit, right click to attack an enemy unit. But is the enemy unit far enough to trigger the charge ability, can I flank it, what's the chance of my special effect triggering, what elemental protections does it have, how many retaliations does it have remaining, does it have first strike, is it a polearm unit and will my cavalry take extra damage, can I weaken it prior to attack and how, can I kill it, will my unit survive the next turn after it attacks...there are many questions you could end up asking yourself.

Learning about the units, what abilities they have and how they can be used and combined for maximum effectiveness is necessary for mastering the game but learning can be achieved in gradual steps.

AoWIII retains the adjacency rule of previous games so all armies that are adjacent to the hex being attacked will also participate in combat which can result in some pretty large battles. Thankfully animation speed in battle can be adjusted during combat.

Units and heroes that perform well and survive will accumulate experience points and become stronger acquiring new abilities as they level up and grow into valued veterans.


Strategy

On the strategic level you build up your empire by settling or capturing new cities and expanding your borders in order to bring more and more resources under your control. There are resource sites to be captured, treasure sites to be explored, artifacts to be found, neutral creatures, cities and enemy playes to be subdued. All in all the world is a dangerous place and venturing forth requires combat worthy armies and leaders. Luckily there is a beautiful cloth map to be zoomed out to in order to get an overview of the situation.

Resource gathering and exploration primarily serve the goal of building up armies that can defeat the dangers that lie beyond your borders.

A new addition here compared to AoWII are the creature dwellings which function as minor races that offer unique units for hire as well as their own sets of buildings. These dwellings can expand your unit roster and provide unexpected tactical and strategic options.

Both creature dwellings and independent cities can be outright conqured or negotiated with towards peaceful annexation by vooing them with money or performing quests. How you treat various towns and races can determine their attitude towards you as well as your alignment and diplomatic relations.

Another addition is that clearing out and controlling certain treasure sites can unlock special unit or town upgrades in cities controlling those sites which can make some cities more valuable than others.


All in all after 618 hrs of playing I have not yet experienced everything this game has to offer, so many untried combinations and strategies, which is probably the biggest endorsement I can give.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Age of Wonders III is already a very in depth and well made title. With Eternal Lords thrown into the mix. It just seems even better. This title has a laundry list of features, game modes, and more. Going through all the aspects of the game will take you easily more then a hundred hours to fully assimilate.
To break it down, Age of Wonders III is a mixture of Civ meets Masters of Magic. You will bring your spell-flinging champion into the fray against other champion leaders. The empire aspects compliment your hero. This 4X title has more of a focus on individual heroes and tactical combat. Ordering your troops around the map isn't enough in this title. You must command them in battle as well. While the combat is optional, to fully experience this title I would suggest it. Simply put Age of Wonders III: Eternal Lords is an impressive accomplishment. For such a small studio. Graphics, music, and design are all top notch here. The only true complaint one could form is the price. While it can be a bit pricey. You will be playing one map for hundreds of turns and then there is there multiplayer, The level editor, and more. Bang for your buck is guaranteed. Along as you enjoy the genre.

I made a video review to show off some of the features and gameplay of this game!
https://youtu.be/Ub8KX1K2Vl0
I hope you enjoy!
Martyr
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
179.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
This game is a true spiritual successor to Age of Wonders 2 and Shadow Magic that manages to remain true to and enhance on many things that make Shadow Magic such a timeless classic.

One great improvement is the new and improved custom wizard creator, which allows you to make really interesting custom characters and save them to use or play against. One of the big changes is the addition of a class system, each wizard chooses one of seven classes, and some of the classes take over the function of some of the old races (Dark Elves, Undead, Archons, Nomads), for example, Rogues build Shadows and Succubi and can do so for any race, and Necromancers can summon or build a lot of the iconic Undead units, as well as ghoul forms of normal racial units.

Each of the seven Wizard Classes contains a variety of unique units and spells and can provide unique upgrades to their armies, each of the nine races has several unique units and a few generic units and can build class units for any class that commands them, in addition wizards can have one of several masteries each of which allow their own upgrades and spells, some of which allow units to be summoned and global or city wide effects to be cast unless dispelled. With recent expansions there are too many specializations to list, and some are quite interesting. My one complaint is that there aren't enough terraforming spells.

The game has a slightly greater focus on Hero Units than Shadow Magic did, but that can also be configured in settings if you don't like it. However your wizard doesn't have to sit around in a tower and gains levels like heroes so it's usually a good idea to take it into fights.

The Building Selection is mostly just like in AoW 2, with the main focus of the game being on exploration and combat. Patches have added buildings based on resources within a city's domain but these are almost all battle improvements or slight improvements to units produced in them. A new racial governance system has been added that allows you to select one of two possible bonuses with each upgrade as you build your cities however.

The Diplomacy system is improved in many ways over Age of Wonders 2, but compared to games like Civilization 4 it still falls short, it's impossible to threaten and coerce other Wizards, and the AI is usually unwilling to participate in diplomacy unless it fully sets the terms.

There are a variety of game modes, including Play by Email. It's possible to play single player, and to my understanding local host multiplayer without creating a Triumph account, so it's not DRM, but be advised that in order to access all of the achievements and some multiplayer modes you may need to create an online account for some of the multiplayer. Multiplayer probably isn't the main reason you'd want to buy this anyway, but it's worth mentioning.

Overall, I can't recommend this game enough, it's my all time favorite game,
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
A fantastic strategy game that will appeal to anyone who loves the genre. The game is a 4X similar to Civilization and Master of Magic, but it takes heavy cues from Heroes of Might and Magic in that the world is littered with goodies thrown about to plunder and neutral enemies guarding them, as well as customisable hero units that you can recruit and level. The best thing about it though, is the tactical battle system. This is nothing new, as Master of Magic, Heroes of Might and Magic, as well as the original Age of Wonders games, all did this a long time ago, but here it feels so refined. Terrain has a big impact, units have cool active and passive abilities, and the strategic choices that you make in battle all feel meaningful. On top of this, the game has great variety. Not only do you have a selection of races to choose, all with their own tech trees and units, but you also have character classes and traits to choose for your leader. Your leader's class and traits will determing what extra special units you can produce, as well as the spells you have access to. The combination of both race and class makes mixing and matching fun to do, and allows you to have much more variety if you get bored of a certain setup, yet still like certain elements of your previous games. The expansions are absolutely worth it if you enjoy the game already. The Necromancer class added by Eternal Lords is amazingly fun, and plays entirely differently than the other classes, with a much more agressive play style that emphasises growing your cities and armies through combat. Over all, Age of Wonders III is one of the best in the genre to date.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
I didn't like this at first, played it for a few hours and was upset that i wasted more money on a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ game. Decided to give it another go and found out that I loved this game, great buy for the midweek madness that I got it on.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
27.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 29
The sequel to one of the best fantasy turn-based strategies that ever hit the digital world. Still great, still addictive, still includes Dire Penguins (which are Dedicated to Evil). Makes me rather sad that the development is already coming to an end due to disappointing sale figures. Shame on you, people. Shame on you.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
48.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 25
"When taken into account the content found in the original game and its expansion, Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords becomes an absolutely massive game. The wealth of military and magical options alone coupled with some truly impressive map sizes result in long, deeply strategic matches requiring up to several weeks for a meaningful resolution. Eternal Lords isn’t likely to turn nay-sayers around, but those who enjoy high fantasy turn based strategy games should waste no time in playing it."

Full Review Here: http://www.tech-gaming.com/age-of-wonders-3-eternal-lords/
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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
Completely underwhelming. This game offers nothing to make you want to play on. It looks complex at first, but in the end the gameplay is extremely repetitive.
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
30.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 23
I have mixed feelings on this game. Ill start by saying that I own all the previous AOW games and have played them through many times.

I dont like some of the differences but the game is still cool, and the devs are still working on it.

The sound tracks from the older versions were better, IMO. Plus the lack of a customizable playlist that existed in all other AOW games bothered me.

The change from 8 to 6 units per army... I cant say I liked that.
Flying or floating units are no diffrent than any other now. I understand why they changed it, but they didnt have to.
There is a huge gap in the power of the different teirs in 3. Any lesser units are basically useless later. In AOW1-2 even a tier 1 unit still had a chance to survive vs a tier 4. Now? no way. The power gap is too much.
The heroes in 3 are somewhat weaker. Your armor and resists have a negligible effect.
The facing change that happens every time a unit is hit is really dumb. Your heroes can be attacked from the rear several times because of it, it really makes your heroes feel useless when it happens and enemies always seem to focus on your heroes too.

Seems that some broader game mechanics were reduced in favor of prettier graphics. Such as the army size.
Castle and tower walls are just graphics now. They are pretty useless for slowing down the attackers and several times I felt that playing defence behind a wall was actually detrimental and did little to stop attacking forces. In this regard I feel like a good defensivive strategy is a moot point. In 1 and 2, seiging a walled city or tower was pretty difficult, as it should be. AoW3 just has too may ways for units to circumvent or destroy the walls too easily. I resorted to using the auto battle instead of torturing myself.

Magic domains in aow 3 are also another moot point. Your leader should not be able to use any magic outside it like it was in 1-2. I feel like this magic domain mechanic is anti AOW, which has allways been about wizards and their domains and their armies being powerless outside of them unless the leader was physically present.

If you never played an AOW game before, then these flaws probably wont be noticable and I recommend it to you.

But if your like me, the differences and dumbed down mechanics from aow1-2 will make you not like this game as much as the originals and possibly even regret buyng it. Ive tried playing through the campaigns twice now, and the story is interesting, but the gameplay turns me off and I get tired of it.
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14 of 25 people (56%) found this review helpful
152.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
AOW3 is an empire building game/ combat game with a fantasy theme. On paper, it sounds great; but in reality it isnt massively interesting. The variety in gameplay comes through the tech trees in both what your cities are producing and on the special abilities that you can impose on your empire. But both trees are relatively short and you can reach the end of both a long way before you end a game. Like a lot of empire building games, the more cities you build, the more tedious it becomes. Sadly, the combat is also repetitive - the same maps with the same enemies in the same positions. It takes a short while to get used to, but once you do, you will be applying the same tactics over and over again.

In short, there isnt much to recommend the game. Its not terribly programmed, but there just isnt enough depth to keep you interested.
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15 of 27 people (56%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
In brief: A game with a fantastic concept that lacks the depth and balance to hold the player's attention.

In not so brief:
I was really excited about this game. I saw some gameplay and got it on the Steam Winter Sale after waiting forever for the price to drop. I was excited by the combination of strategic overworld combined with tactical combat and thought it would make for dynamic and immersive gameplay. To go with the Civilization comparison I had always wished the combat there was more detailed / more engaging and I thought this was the answer. Unfortunately I fails to live up to expectations.

You choose class and race and those determine what "special units" you get and some specialized bonuses and abilities. Unfortunately, the special units are little more than reskins of the same basic types. You have infantry, calvary, and archers. And your specialized units are only "special" in a few details. Once you get to mid-game you've figured out the most efficient way to conduct your battles in the tactical map and so just rinse-and-repeat through the entire late-game. You end up hitting "auto-combat" more and more because it's no longer exctiting to spend 7 minutes to crush some bandits. And at that ponit you're no longer even playing the tactical portion. Every tactical map is effectively the same, and so each battle progresses the same way.

There is no other choice than "crush all your enemies in combat". While in Civ you can win through economics, diplomacy, or culture, in AoW III it is ONLY through conquest. Well that's fine, right? Because you came to play a fantasy strategic/tactical combat game. That's what I thought. But this affects the AI a LOT. Peace treaties are a joke. The AI will propose them, and then break them only a few turns later. There's no real penalty for doing so and in the end they have no other choice. They HAVE to fight you at some point. So forming alliances in game doesn't really work. As a result, the AI is pumping out units at a high rate. Which just turns the game into an arms race. You don't have time to focus on the unique terraforming spells or anything that's not directly combat related. It's just a sprint to get to late-game units so you can stand up to the AI. Which means you probably get there before even exploring the entire map. So the late game is dominated by just cleaning up the rest of your opponents. Sure, now you have the flexibility to play with terraforming or something, but why bother? The game is almost over.

One final thing is that some of the background game mechanics are broken. Empire Happiness is notably problematic. You gain happiness for a number of things but most importantly for conquering other cities. You lose happiness for such things as losing cities. Happiness determines how well your troops perform in combat. The result of this is that once you get an enemy on their heels it's lights out. It becomes a runaway effect where you just get better and better and they get worse and worse. Instead of long campaigns being tiring for your troops, it's almost invigorating. Additionally, your throne city is EVERYTHING. As in, if you lose that, you lose it all. Literally. Keeping your throne city is a victory requirement. So you can't turtle in a lesser city off to the side to make a brilliant comeback later. If you lose that it's game over. So the easiest way to defeat an opponent is to walk past all of their other cities, go right to their throne, and take it. The end.

I could say more but this review is already overly long. I really, deeply wish I could recommend this game, but it's simply not worth it. Like I said a fantastic concept that falls flat when it comes to execution. If you want to play a turn-based strategy game, play Civ. If you want to play a turn based tactical game, play X-COM. If you want to play a fusion of the two, wait for something better to come along.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
I started on Age of Wonders way back in the end of high school / beginning of college. I loved it. I played by myself until I met a guy in one of my college classes that just happened to play as well. I've spent days worth of time playing the original. AoW2, both with and without the expansion, were great games. Really enjoyed them too.

My big complaint, and the big complaint that will forever keep me from really thoroughly enjoying this game is the release of the rest of the races that should have been included in the original game as add on content. It's really a shame, IMO, that a game with such great pedigree would be reduced to peddling out it's content for additional dollars.

AoW3 devs, you've turned my innocent little game that I loved so much into the video game equivalent of the meth addicted stripper exchanging illicit favors for money.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
44.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 19
Wonderful sequel to the Age of Wonders series. The latest updates have really made this game a joy to play. If you enjoy 4x fantasy games then this one should not be missed.
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