Some of you might be old enough to remember the fantastic turn based strategy games called ‘Age of Wonders.’ This was a ‘Civilization’ style game in a fantasy setting where you built an empire of Orcs, Undead, Elves or even Hobbits and conquered your enemies. The mixture of city building and magic was intoxicating.
So my first thoughts upon seeing this new iteration announced was whether or not it would live up to it’s legacy.
The brief explanation on the website, coupled with the brief preview video, do give us a few clues. For instance, it appears that the general game mechanics aren’t being tampered with. In the old AoW games, you played essentially in the same way gameplay is done in Civ. You move your units so many hexagons per turn, you go to cities to produce units, build buildings, craft spells, etc. The real unique part was combat. Units that engaged an enemy don’t immediately resolve combat with a few repetitive animations like Civ. In AoW, all units within a one hexagon of the combat immediately go into a separate RTS style resolution. Each unit can be controlled interdependently to go about whatever task you’ve set out for them. City battles were especially interesting because taking out the walls would occasionally become a serious pain in the butt.
As far as AoW3 is concerned, it appears that all of this will remain the same. What sets AoW3 apart from the two previous games is that this one will be a ‘turn based RPG empire builder.’ Which means at the start of your game you pick a class, you have your typical RPG classes such as Rogue, Sorcerer, Arch-druid, Warlord, but you also have classes like the technologically inclined ‘Dreadnought,’ or the religious ‘Theocrat.’
The development director at Triumph, Lennart Sas, does a better job of explaining the changes then I can;
“In Age of Wonders III, we extrapolate RPG style classes to be the leaders of fantasy empires, for example: as a Goblin Theocrat you can build your own holy empire, recruit little goblin crusaders or cute winged goblin angels equipped with flaming weapons, and wage war on your heathen enemies. We want players to be able to choose between lots of different play styles, without being restricted by fantasy clichés, like all goblins are evil.” (sourced from Gameinformer.com)
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