Welcome to a new development journal! This time we shall tell you a bit about the basic characteristics of units and how this information is presented in the unit panel. Clear representation might not be the most thrilling of subjects to read about, but it is highly important: you want to be able to see exactly what is going on and not be surprised by unknowable things or being fed vague descriptions instead of clear numbers. While the unit panel isn’t completely finished yet we still wanted to show you so bear with me and get an inside look at the inner workings of units!
Unit Character Sheet
The fantasy units in Age of Wonders, ranging from basic military units to the most exotic hellspawn, feature a wide variety of different characteristics and the unit’s character sheet is where you’ll find all of it in detail (of course there are other quick ways of getting vital unit info too, like popups). You view the Character sheet from the army panel, from a city’s production list and of course when clicking a unit’s portrait in Tactical Combat.
Inspired by pen and paper RPG character sheets, we aim to make this as user friendly as possible while allowing us to present the units visually together with their lore.
The information present on the unit panel:
- Name: ‘Phantasm Warrior’ in this case.
- Owner shield: The coat of arms of the side owning the unit.
- Upkeep: This unit has an upkeep of 16 gold. You will have to pay this every turn.
- XP and Medals: This unit is freshly summoned and as such has 0 XP and no medal. It needs 30 XP to get the first (iron) medal. The bar features a gauge indicating how you are to the next one.
- Morale – The unit has normal morale in this case. The face will change to happy (high morale) or unhappy (low morale) depending on the morale. There are 7 different morale states. Units can get higher morale in numerous ways, for example by winning battles.
- Alignment: (not pictured) Some units have a fixed alignment, which is displayed next to the morale mask (mirror from the upkeep position).
- Core Stats – Hitpoints, movepoints, defense and resistance. Note that a unit’s strength is now tied to its attack abilities.
- Active abilities – Abilities that the unit can activate. For example a melee strike or a stunning touch attack. Since strength depends on the specific attack ability a unit can have a strength 12 melee strike attack but a strength 15 stunning touch attack. There are 5 different damage channels; this Phantasm Warrior deals both physical and shock (lightning) damage in melee, but physical protection will not help against its stunning touch.
- Passive abilities – A unit’s passive abilities, like true sight and shield.
- Unit figures and formation – You can see the unit up close. Shows the amount of figures and the formation they’re in as well. Units are animated and Clicking in the 3D viewer allows you to rotate the view a bit. The background corresponds to the unit’s actual surroundings.
- Lore – Below the units there is a smoothly scrolling description of the unit. This time, Ray has written the text ‘in character’, as if some scribe of the Blessed Continent itself had written it.
Tooltips pop up detailing or explaining certain aspects when you hover your mouse over it. For example hovering over the True Sight ability would read: “The unit is capable of seeing concealed or invisible units.”
Units can belong to a Type, which indicates their general role during combat. Note that there is plenty of variety within each type!:
- Irregular: These units are often skirmishers fit for hit and run tactics like the Orc Javelin Throwers, or provide a versatile role like the Human Civic Guard. They have both melee attacks and one-shot ranged attacks and are usually highly mobile. The cheapest unit any race can build is an Irregular.
- Infantry: These units focus on melee and are good at it. Usually armored and/or shielded, they can take some punishment. Pending race, some carry double handed great swords or axes, others carry shield plus weapon.
- Pikemen: They usually have less defense than the Infantry units but make up for that with their aggressive abilities: First Strike as well as a Polearm weapon that gives a bonus versus Mounted units.
- Ranged: Includes archers, crossbow men, and even flame throwers from the draconian race. Very weak melee, their main use is to shoot from a distance. Very useful on city walls.
- Cavalry: Mounted units who can move far. Useful for scouting the world map as well as performing deadly charges in combat (especially devastating when flanking). The races are equipped with a variety of mounts and mounted weaponry.
- Caster/Support: Units who have magical or priestly abilities (touch attacks, cast attacks, fire and frost bolts etc). Although weaker in melee and lacking in hitpoints, they are quite versatile and can turn the tide of the battle with their abilities.
- Misc: Monsters, siege engines etc
Types are displayed in the unit panel as well as on the unit’s flag.
Next time we’ll go in more detail about how the unit panel shows buffs and debuffs in tactical combat, and how certain class skills unlock new abilities for your units.
As always we would really appreciate your feedback. We do have our own plans to further improve the order and sorting of the ability list to help readability, but every bit helps. 🙂
Thanks for reading,