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 (2,281 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.

3 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.

9 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
474 of 502 people (94%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
751.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
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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88 of 101 people (87%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
364.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
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) --> *EDIT april 2015* - this has been addressed in the latest patch 1.5!!
  • 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. --> *EDIT april 2015* - this has been addressed mainly in the DLC Eternal Lords!
  • MOD-tools are not released at this moment (nov 2014). They most probably will in the future though.

Other comments:

Overall I recommend this game to anyone who has an interest in Turn Based Strategy games.
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112 of 137 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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
39 of 40 people (98%) found this review helpful
2 people 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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29 of 37 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
45.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
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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24 of 31 people (77%) 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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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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13 of 17 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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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
66.1 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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18 of 27 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1,862.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
I keep finding myself playing this game over and over again to see what I missed. I love the imagery and I cannot wait for the next DLC.

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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
458.6 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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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
177.5 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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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
624.4 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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5 of 5 people (100%) 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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6 of 7 people (86%) 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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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
26.9 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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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.5 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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
161.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
As someone who cut their teeth on Master of Magic on my first PC, I can definitely recommend Age of Wonders 3 to both old fans of the genre and folks getting into it for the first time. The clean visual look and easy to follow unit art combines well with a deeply layered strategy game that has an amazing depth of content, particularly with both DLC packages included.

The top layer of the game is all about strategy - building up your empire, expanding your cities reach, marshalling a vast army of armored elves, lucky halflings, or agile tigrans and assaulting dungeons and tombs for ancient treasure while balancing your diplomacy and maintaining an alignment that may influence your neighbors opinion of you (if you even care what they think - especially if your goal is to crush them like a bug).

When you get into battle with an opposing force, the game really shines again with a powerful tactical layer - positioning your units to defend their flanks and take advantage of your enemies over-reaching become as important as fielding the proper units. Pikes deployed against mounted cavalry works brilliantly, especially if you can get behind a spent and exhaused human Knight! Then again, a well placed fireball can work wonders, as well.

The races and classes are many and varied, and with one amazing spell or ability to research after another regardless of the combination you select at map setup you'll play for hundreds of hours before you start to see all the combinations. From Warlords and their incredibly potent troops to Necromancers and Sorcerers with their poweful magic and mighty summons, including Dread Reapers and Eldrich Horrors, there is something here for all types of strategy gamers.

The multi-player in simultaneous mode works wonders - especially if you are playing with friends on teams, it takes a long time to complete a game but it's just an amazing half a dozen hours to spend.

In the end, I've probably spent as much time watching videos as I have playing it, and I am looking forward to many more years of both - there is a lot to learn, and a lot to dig into, but the basics are simple and elegant and the longeveity of the game is definitely something worth considering. Highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
402.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 18
Age of Wonders III is my favourite strategy game for a couple of simple reasons:
1: it has the best tactical combat.
2: it has great strategic play, where you need to decide what your priorities are and when to engage.
3: the whole is greater than the parts. The strategic and tactical parts of the game complement each other greatly.

This game is focused on strategy and combat. Everything relates to that, from empire building to leveling your heroes. But don't be afraid, it may be a lot of combat all the time, but the combat is deep enough to be different every time. The game's classes offer you many distinct flavours on how you run your empire, on what kind of army you build, on how your strategies play out. Some classes are more mobile, some classes are better at annoying others, some classes are better at simply building up. The difference does not lie in whether they have units to wage war with, the difference lies in how strong those units are, how they reinforce your armies, how your spells reinforce your armies and wether the class is better at direct battles or sneaking past the front lines.

A bit about empire building: this game is not civilization. The way you develop your cities is not based on what research you unlock and there are NOT a hundred different buildings to choose from. Instead, your building decisions are based on what units you want to unlock, what resources you need more of and how many units you need right NOW. At first, empire building will seem simple compared to other 4x games, but it ties in very well with the other parts of the game.

Dislaimer: I am a total fanboy. I've been part of closed beta testing and met the developers.
Warning: This game has ruined tactical role playing games for me. It has ruined other strategy game tactical combat for me. I find those boring just because I'm used to AoWIII.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
144.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Now that I've completed both campaigns, I would have expected to be strongly recommending this game to others.

Unfortunately, I have a real love/hate relationship with this game. Much of the game is great - the grpahics, interface, music and basic gameplay elements. You certainly won't lack for gameplay, the two campaigns took me well over 100 hours to finish, although I never use auto combat so battles made up most of that time.

The hate part comes from the lack of documenation and a few really terrible scenarios in the campaigns. All games should have a manual, especially games this complex, but there is no manual.

Three of twelve scenarios in the campaigns are awful, some of the worst scenario designs I have encountered in decades of playing strategy games, the rest of the scenarios are lots of fun. One is horrible because it has a hidden timer. The other two, the last scenarios in each campaign are horrible because they are mind numbingly frustrating. You have far too many enemies to fight, your basic task is to fight two leaders and attack them with a particular hero. Finding the two leaders is a slow, boring process. It's an idiotic idea which pretty much ruined both campaigns for me. If you are lucky you won't have to play these scenarios, it depends on choices you make earlier in the campaigns.

I do recommend this game if you are willing to put up with some frustration.
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