Age of Wonders 1 & 2

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    I’ve played the AoW series on and off since I was too young to like girls. However, it has never been my favorite series; it never clicked. It took playing Age of Wonders 3 to finally understand what the series is, and appreciate it for what it is, and what it is not.

    It is not fantasy Civilization.

    You’d think this’d be obvious, but it took learning to play Age of Wonders 3 well enough to beat the Emperor AI (not that hard at the moment…) to fully realize this.

    I once entered a conversation with a diehard AoW fan. I told him that AoW3 was by far my favorite. He found the very idea incredulous, and gave many good reasons for why this was so. Now that I finally appreciate this game fully, and for what it is, I’ve gone back to try AoW1. I’ve enjoyed it to a degree, but prefer AoW3.

    However, I intend to give AoW2 another shot. Before I do so, however, I want to reach out to the community, and ask what I should try out first in order to get the best AoW2 experience possible, so to really demonstrate what it is that sets it apart (and above in many fans eyes) from AoW3.

    Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.



    Can’t find the edit option, but, if this is in the wrong section (belongs in Classics) feel free to move it there or delete this post.



    If you like 3 more, I’d suppose you should just go and play Shadow Magic. It has abilities like Pole Arm integrated which AoW 2 normal does not.

    I think I would just reccomand the Campain. Its pretty doable early on, the real pain starting with the Meandor and O’neron missions. Should you have trouble, the easiest abuse consists of Item Crafting. But this shouldn’t be needed especially with Julia missions.



    Moved it to Classic discussion 🙂



    AoW gets compared a lot to Civ and Master of Magic, but if anything it’s got more in common with Warlords – the first game in particular. I think that in reality, it’s a sort of pastiche of a lot of TBS games – Warlords and Master of Magic and Civ and, yes, even Heroes of Might and Magic (I say “even” because the two series have somewhat of a rivalry due to HoMM3 and AoW1 being released around the same time and, the internet being what it is, thereby prompting all sorts of flame wars over which was better). That’s actually the reason why I love it – it’s got just the right combination of empire-building, strategy, tactics, exploration, character building, and magic to scratch all sorts of itches at once.

    However, I will say this: Avoid AoW 2 like the plague. There’s literally no reason to play it these days. Instead, pick up its standalone expansion pack, AoW Shadow Magic. SM is hailed as being one of the single greatest TBS games of all time. It’s got a massive amount of variety, it’s probably the most well-balanced of all the games, and it’s got an excellent, dedicated modding community.

    Even before SM came out, AoW 2 was a pretty mediocre game IMHO, and literally everything it does do well, either AoW 1 or AoW SM do better.



    I have SM. I booted it up today. The music blared, and there was not options menu on the main screen to turn it down. Made the mistake to try and boot up the tutorial real quick to turn it down. Couldn’t even access the options menu due to the way it forces you to do the action it prompts (what if I wanted to exit the game!?!). Forced me to do a tactical battle (though I was finally able to turn down the sound). Finally able to exit back to main menu (fuming).

    Proceed to have my lady set up a random map for me, toggle “customize leaders” before I begin, click to start… instantly starts the map with a predetermined leader.

    Rage Alt + f4.

    I’ll try again later.



    I still consider AOW2SM to be a better game overall but AOW3 has the potential to exceed all other prev titles if it continues with the improvements. And if mods come out as well for it. Good mods. Like there are for AOW2SM.

    AOW3 has great mechanics and options for more mechanics. Evolution is for instance, something I dreamed about when I was playing aow2sm and wanting some of my elite soldiers to evolve, like an archon legioneer into a archon centurion after managing to survive multiple onslaughts from the enemy and be the last survivor when protecting my city.

    So as I said, AOW2SM still my fav, but I have a feeling AOW3 will become my new fav in the end once they release more expansions and stuff. Even the things they announced just yesterday seem very nice and impressive.

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