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Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


Originally published in 1999, Age of Wonders was developed by Triumph Studios and Epic Games and published by Gathering of Developers. Gathering of Developers, or GoD, was created by a number of developers in an attempt to get their own publishing company and get away from the demands and frustration of big-name publishers. A grand dream that lasted all of a year before Take Two Interactive got a hold of them.

The Age of Wonders series in set in what mostly started as a stereotypical fantasy setting (Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Orcs, Goblins, etc...) but started to find its own footing after a while. The gameplay itself is turn-based and features a strategic layer and a tactical combat layer. It is likened to Masters of Magic, Heroes of Might and Magic, and the Warlords series, among others.

Three games have been published so far in the series, Age of Wonders, Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne, and Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, while a fourth game,Age of Wonders III, was recently announced.



This LP will at the very least involve the first game and hopefully encompass all three given enough time. I don't have a great track record of LPs in the past, though two of them were thwarted by the loss of the savegame file near the end. To (hopefully) prevent this from happening again I'll be backing up the game info to dropbox. It's been quite a while since I've played the first game, so it'll be a little rough. But that being said let's begin!

Can I get them right now?
At least Steam and Gamersgate have all three games available, both individually ($5.99 for the first game and $9.99 for the other two) or as a package deal for $19.99.




Table of Contents
1) OP (You are here)
2) Game Mechanics Explained
3) Tutorial Mission part 1,Part 2

The Cult of Storms Start

4) Cult of Storms Mission 1: Assassination
5) Cult of Storms Mission 2: The Northern Trade Route
6) The Cult of Storms Mission 3: The United Cities

The Cult of Storms Path One: The Lizardmen

7) The Cult of Storms Mission 4: What Could Have Been (Early win to The Southern Swamps)
8) The Cult of Storms Mission 4: The Southern Swamps
9) The Cult of Storms Mission 5: The Peninsula of Sobek
10) The Cult of Storms Mission 6: The Serpent River
11) Cult of Storms Mission 7: Blackwater Lake

The Cult of Storms Endgame One: The Highmen

12) Cult of Storms Mission 8: Gabriel's Last Stand
13) Cult of Storms Mission 9: Unicorn Valley
14) Cult of Storms Mission 10: Garrison Supply
15) Cult of Storms Mission 11: The Pass of Grief
16) Cult of Storms Mission 12: The Valley of Wonders; Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Cult of Storms Path Two: The Orcs

17) Cult of Storms Mission 4: Uniting the Clans;Part One,Part Two
18) Cult of Storms Mission 5: The Goblin Rebellion; Part One, Part Two
19) Cult of Storms Mission 6: Ashen Steppe
20) Cult of Storms Mission 7: Facing a Legend; Part One, Part Two

Cult of Storms Endgame Two: The Dark Elves (After the Orcs)

21) Cult of Storms Mission 8: From the Depths of Earth; Week One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six to Eight-ish, Finale
22) Cult of Storms Mission 9: Wayward Children; Week One, Two, Three, Four through Six, Finale
23) Cult of Storms Mission 10: Inioch Touch (Complete)
24) Cult of Storms Mission 11: The Storm; Month One, Crescendo
25) Cult of Storms Mission 12: The Valley of Wonders; Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Hollow Victory


Age of Wonders Two

26) Introduction to the game

Fire Sphere

27) Initiation Phase: Introduction, Opening Play, Phase Two, Expansion and Consolidation, Hold and Exploit, Exploit and Purge
28) Mastery Phase: Stoking the Flame, Inferno
29) Special Phase: Between Death and Destruction, Burn It All Down

Water Sphere

30) Initiation Phase: Halfling Repose, Tricks and Treats, Leprechaun Party: Now - Whenever
31) Mastery Phase: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Divine Storm. The Inexorable Tide
32) Special Phase: Repo (Half)Men.

Life Sphere

33) Initiation Phase: Infusing Hope

Taerkar fucked around with this message at Oct 31, 2014 around 17:56

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Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


Game Mechanics for Age of Wonders

The information in this post will be expanded as things are discovered in the game. Anything that has not been revealed yet (including units) should be Spoilered

Combat and Unit Stats


This is the starting hero from the tutorial

At the top of his sheet is his attributes. They are Attack (Sword), Defense (Shield), Damage (Star), and Magic Defense (Ankh). Below those four are his Movement (Boot) and Hitpoints (Heart). Finally we have his Upkeep Cost (Coins), which is zero because he's a hero, and Available Mana Crystals. Currently he is happy with us and at the top of his icon to the right we can see that he's currently level 7 and is at 91 of 105 XP needed to get to lvl 8.

The way attributes work is that they are direct comparison between the applicable stats for combat. Attack is resisted by defense, magical attack is resisted by magical defense, and damage goes into hitpoints. Every point of difference between attack and defense is a 10% chance difference with a base of 50% (6 attack vs 5 defense is a 60% chance to hit, 4 vs 5 is 40%) and there's a cap of 90%. Damage is a straight 1 to rated value amount. All four values cap at 10.

Spells also possess attack and damage values, but their attacks are resolved against magic defense, not regular defense.

The upkeep cost of a unit is in coins unless it is summoned, in which case it is paid out through mana. The base cost is 4 for a tier one with each additional tier costing 2 more, up to 8 for a tier 4

Abilities

Every unit has multiple abilities, ranging from just how they move to what attacks and special abilities they have in addition to what special defenses they might possess. So far we have seen:

Movement
Walking - Basic land movement, nothing special
Forestry - Faster movement in forests
Mountaineering - Allows (slow) movement in mountains
Cave Crawling - Faster movement undeground
Tunneling - Allows for the unit to dig tunnels underground in soft terrain, slower movement
Swimming - Allows the unit to travel over water without another unit's help
Flying - Air movement, ignores the cost of all terrain Except Mountains, though the unit can still travel over them at an increased movement cost.
Wall Climbing - Allows for the unit to move over walls (But not gates), allows it to capture walled locations without a siege unit
Haste - (Enchantment only), -1 MP to all movement costs
Floating - Similar to flying, but does not allow for the unit to fly over walls (I think)


Melee Combat
Strike - Basic melee combat, a unit without this cannot attack.
Poison Strike - Adds a chance to poison to the attack, reducing its defensive stats for the next three turns
Fire Strike - Adds a chance to set the target on fire with the attack. For three turns the fire attacks the unit to attempt to hurt it. Attack 4, Damage 1
Cold Strike - Adds a chance to freeze the target, -2 to defense and renders the unit unable to move
Death Strike - Adds a chance to curse the target, keeping it from healing normally for three turns
Holy Strike - Adds a chance of causing vertigo with the attack, reducing the units Defense and Resistance for three days
Magic Strike - No additional effects, but can get around physical resistance/immunity
Entangling Strike - No special damage type, but allowing for a chance to entangle a target when hit. -2 to defense and renders the unit unable to move

Charge - +2 damage to the first melee strike when attacking
Wall Crushing - Allows the unit to attack physical structures in combat
First Strike - Allows the unit to strike first in combat, only has any real effect when they're attacked. If both units have it combat proceeds normally.
Extra Strike - Allows for the unit to attack one extra time in combat.
Self Destruct - (Goblin Bombers only) allows the unit to blow up, doing damage (Attack 8, Damage 6, Fire and Wall damage) to all surrounding units and structures. Counts as a siege weapon for passing walls (And amusingly enough does not consume the unit if no battle is fought)
Cause Fear - Can cause a unit to become panicked when attacked in melee. -2 to Defense and Resistance for that battle only
Web - Can entrap a unit in webbing, rendering it immobile and helpless. -2 to Defense for 3 combat turns
Round Attack - Single attack against all surrounding units, can hit friendlies. Resolved with the unit's attack and damage stat (No bonuses from charge, no penalty from parry), no retaliation
Unholy Champion - Gives the unit +2 Attack and +2 Damage against Good opponents
Holy Champion - As with Unholy Champion, but against Evil units
Enchanted Weapon - +1 Attack and +1 Damage, provides Magic Strike (Usually from a spell)
Life Stealing - Unit gains 1HP for every successful melee hit
Possess - (Incarnate Only) Does what it says on the tin. The Possessing unit takes over the possessed one, gaining all of its abilities and powers and leaves when the possessed unit is killed.

Ranged Combat
Archery - 2 shots, 4 attack, 2 damage
Hurl Stones - 4 shots, 3 attack, 1 damage
Poison Darts - 3 shots, 4(?) attack, 1 damage, can poison
Venomous Spit - 1 short range shot, can poison
Shoot Javelin - 2 long-range shots, 5 attack, 5 damage
Shoot Black Javelin - As with Javelin, but has Death Damage Subtype added
Magic Bolts - 1 shot, 7 attack, 3 damage, Magical damage only
Holy Bolts - 1 shot, 6 attack, 3 damage, Holy Damage only, can cause vertigo
Lightning Bolts - 1 shot, 6 attack, 3 damage, Lightning Damage only, can stun
Frost Bolts - 1 shot, Cold Damage only with chance of freezing
Black Bolts - 1 shot, Death damage only, can curse
Hurl Boulder - 1 long-range(?) shot, 3 attack, 7 damage, can damage structures
Fire Musket - 1 shot, Human Musketeer only
Fire Cannon - 1 long-range(?) shot, 5 attack, 8 damage and can damage structures, Bombardier only
Marksmanship - +1 attack for every odd rank, +1 damage for every even rank (Max of +2/+2)
Call Flames - Ranged fire-based attack, can ignite


Defenses
Damage Immunity - No damage or effect from specified type
Damage Resistance - Half damage from specified type.
Parry - +2 defense against the first melee strike when defending


Magic
Spell Casting - Hero only ability, provides 10 casting points per turn per rank. 10 mana income at rank 1, +5 for each additional rank
Healing - Allows for the unit to heal another once per turn
Dispel Magic - Allows for the unit to remove magic from another unit, more powerful with levels
Turn Undead - Damages and causes fear in undead units, rendering them unable to act for 3 combat turns
Entangle - Can entrap a unit, rendering it immobile and -2 Defense for three turns
Seduce - Attempts to take control of the target (male) unit. Killing the unit that seduced it will remove any existing seduction
Charm - Like Seduce, but with no restrictions of sex
Fire Breath - Does fire damage in an arc before the unit. Can hit multiple targets (template)
Dominate - A more powerful version of Charm/Seduce, has a lasting effect on the dominated unit's morale as well, I believe.

Other
Leadership - Provides all units in the stack with +1 Attack
Night Vision - Improved vision underground
Vision - Gives +2 view range per rank, up to 4 ranks
True Seeing - Allows the unit to spot concealed/Invisible Units
Bard Skills - Improved morale in party
Regeneration - Restores the unit to 100% health at the beginning of each turn
Fearless - Unit cannot be affected by fear
Ignition - Unit can set terrain on fire as it moves (in combat only)
Concealment - Unit cannot normally be seen in woods
Snow Concealment, Wasteland Concealment, Desert Concealment, Water Concealment - Unit cannot normally be seen while it is on the appropriate terrain
Invisibility - Unit cannot be seen by normal means
Construct - Allows the unit to build watch towers or rebuild razed structures (Builder only)
Dragon - Unit is a dragon
Path of Frost - Unit converts the land it moves over to the frost template (including water, but water only stays frozen for a few turns)
Path of Life - Unit converts the land it moves over to the basic grassland template
Transport (X) - Allows for the unit to carry other (non-transport) units. Units being transported do not use MP while being moved.
Path of Darkness - Unit leaves 'darkness' behind, returning the black fog of unexplored territory behind it.

-----------------------------------------

Cities
Cities range from level 1 to 4, depending on the physical size of it in hexes. They cannot be expanded in the game, but must be upgraded beyond level 1 to be able to produce stronger units. Main source of income from population, fields, and the production of merchandise (25% bonus to income)

Cities can be defended by wood or stone walls and have one specific population type. The attitude of the population depends upon your standing with that race and that can be modified by your actions (Upgrading / Improving Defenses increases, Looting and Razing severely decreases, migration improves with new race and worsens with old race)

-----------------------------------------

Sites

Tower
Towers are simple defensive structures that also allow for improved vision. Cannot be conquered when occupied without a siege weapon

Gold Mine
+10 Gold income per turn

Power Node
+10 mana income per turn

Wizards Tower
Allows for the purchase of a spell

Shipyard
Allows for the construction of ships

Builder's Guild
+10 (12 if not making a unit) Gold income per turn, can build Builders, Flamethrowers, and Drills

Cave Entrance
Allows for movement between map layers. Always two-way.

Teleporter Entrance
Allows for movement to another part of the map, can be a different layer, not always two-way.

Monster Lair
Castle Ruins
Crypt
Ziggurat
Explorable locations with unknown treasure and enemies.

Prison
Explorable location with unknown enemies. When cleared will have units inside that will offer to join your forces.

Scrying Pool
Allows vision to another part of the map. Possibly multiple locations.

Altar of Death
Allows for a ranged death strike on a wide area, up to 12 hexes away. Curses the land.

Altar of Ice
Allows for a ranged ice strike on a wide area, up to 12 hexes away. Freezes the land.

Altar of Fire
Allows for a ranged fire strike on a medium area, up to 12 hexes away. Does not affect the land.

Altar of Life
Allows for a ranged holy strike on a wide area, up to 12 hexes away. Revitalizes the land

Altar of Lightning
Allows for a range lightning strike on a small area, up to 12 hexes away. Does not affect the land.

Pestilence Altar
Creates a cloud of Pestilence over a wide area, up to 12 hexes away. Does poison damage to all units caught within or traveling through, lingers for multiple turns and can move.

Spring of Life
Heals all living units that enter it and gives them Nature's Blessing (+1 to Attack, Defense, and Resistance) for 3 days.

Poison Vines
Unholy Woods
Holy Woods
Terrain that attacks units that walk through it with typed damage

Magic Sanctuary
A location that has a permanent Anti-Magic Shell over it, protecting those within from overworld spells.

---------------------------------------

Races

Races in Age of Wonders are divided into Good, Neutral, and Evil races. Evil races hate good ones and good ones hate evil races, but this can be overcome through city actions.

Good Races
Halflings - Small Race, slightly better magical resistance than average, slow cavalry, fairly weak
Dwarves - Small Race, slightly better magical resistance than average, poison resistance, slow cavalry, durable
Elves - Normal Race, Kinda fragile, but with better magical resistance than average. Good archers
Highmen - Tall Race, Faster on feet than other units, Holy resistance. Multiple units have healing.

Neutral Races
Humans - Normal Race, generally average stats, get special weapons (Musketeers)
Lizardmen - Small Race, slightly worse magical resistance than average, almost all units can swim. Turtle siege weapons
Frostlings - Small Race, slightly worse magical resistance than average, all units have cold protection (or better). Dire Penguins!
Azrac - Medium Race, generally average stats but somewhat poor defense. Innate fire resistance

Evil Races
Orcs - Normal Race, Hit harder than others
Dark Elves - Evil Elves, Good resistance, poor defense. Good archers
Goblins - Small Race, slightly worse magical resistance than average, slow cavalry, use poisons, fairly weak
Undead - Normal Race, True Evil (Don't like Neutral even), Regeneration on many (all?) units. Resistant/immune to many damage types, but can be turned

Taerkar fucked around with this message at May 9, 2013 around 14:08

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


The tutorial mission for Age of Wonders is a simple one. There's an island, you have a small hero party, and there's a bit of the gameplay on that island for you to explore and defeat.



This is our start to the mission. You can see our party there and what little it can see. There's other tabs that we can take a look at now to see more important information:


First thing we have is the realm tab. This is where you can see your gold income and upkeep (we have no income currently), our owned cites and sites (none currently), as well as our heroes.


Next is the magic tab. Here we have our current mana income and research project. Other tabs will show you what continuous spells we have active (none currently), global spells in effect, both ours and others (also none currently), and our sources of mana income. Right now we have a total of 15 mana income coming from our hero.


Mana income can be split between research and storage in the form of mana crystals. All spells not only cost magic points but also mana crystals. Without enough of both, you can't cast. Normally I would change this a little but for the purpose of the tutorial I'm leaving it as is.


This is the magic research screen. It shows us what we're currently researching, the amount of mana going to that research, and our current mana reserves.


This is what we can currently research, or at least part of it. Right now we're researching Magic Weapon, which is a sustained offensive buff.


Now we have the relations tab. This shows not only our relationship with other players when we find them, but also our standings with the various races in the game. Currently we are friendly with Halflings, our own race.


Our standings with the Goblins is far worse. But they're evil and we're good so that's to be expected.


Now let's look at our party. The first member of it is our current hero for this tutorial. He has the basic Walking and Strike abilities, which mean that he simply walks on the ground and he can attack in melee combat with a physical attack. He also has Bard Skills which make everyone in his stack happier and Spell Casting at the rank of II. Each rank of that provides 10 casting points per turn so he has a total of 20. This is also why he generates 15 mana per turn, 10 for having Spell Casting and 5 for every additional rank.

At the top of his sheet is his attributes. They are Attack (Sword), Defense (Shield), Damage (Star), and Magic Defense (Ankh). Below those four are his Movement (Boot) and Hitpoints (Heart). Finally we have his Upkeep Cost (Coins), which is zero because he's a hero, and Available Mana Crystals. Currently he is happy with us and at the top of his icon to the right we can see that he's currently level 7 and is at 91 of 105 XP needed to get to lvl 8.

The way attributes work is that they are direct comparison between the applicable stats for combat. Attack is resisted by defense, magical attack is resisted by magical defense, and damage goes into hitpoints. Every point of difference between attack and defense is a 10% chance difference with a base of 50% (6 attack vs 5 defense is a 60% chance to hit, 4 vs 5 is 40%) and there's a cap of 90%. Damage is a straight 1 to rated value amount. All four values cap at 10.


This is our heroes basic info tab. He's a Halfling and has that race's basic attitude towards us (friendly).


Finally these are his items, which he currently has none. Items are a hero-only thing and they provide abilities and attribute bonuses. We'll cover this more later as we get them.

Now in his party we have a couple of regular units so we'll look at them next:


Syron posted:

The Syron is a mystical being of unknown origin. Very few have ever been spotted, and none are known to have ever been slain. A Syron's appearance resembles that of a tall, muscular humanoid, draped in clothing of the same blue hue as their complexion.
Syrons are completely immune to the effects of magic, and it is thought that their collective mission is to seek out and destroy those who abuse the powers of magic. However, they appear to seek out not only evil wizards, but also good ones.


This guy is a beast, and not just because of his stats alone. He is immune to cold, lightning, holy, death, magic, and poison damage, meaning they do 0 damage to him and can't cause their special effects to him. Only Fire and normal damage can hurt him. Another new thing is Parry, which gives him +2 defense against the first melee strike on him every time he is attacked. Beyond that he has strike and walking.


Centaur posted:

Centaurs appear as a race of intelligent half-man, half-horse beings. They typically live in small forest-dwelling clans. Although they are considered protectors of nature, they hunt for their food and are skilled in the use of the bow and arrow. Their equine legs enable them to move over great distances quickly; they can run down almost any prey. Their ability to move easily through the forests makes them exceptional hunters and particularly formidable foes in dense woodlands.
As they are generally benign creatures of the forests, Centaurs can often be found fighting alongside Halflings and Elves.

The Centaur is the first ranged unit we'll see in the game. Not only does he possess Archery but he also has Marksmanship at rank II, a skill that provides +1 to ranged attack for every odd level and +1 to ranged damage for every even level, giving him +1 to both. He also has Forest Walking which allows for him to move through forests as if they were normal terrain (4 mp instead of 6). Charge is a common ability for cavalry units, giving them a bonus of +2 damage to their first attack in melee. Hope they hit!


Halfling Pony Rider posted:

Halflings hardly have a cavalry, finding full-grown horses difficult to mount, let alone ride. As such, steeds are rare among the Halflings. Halfling Pony Riders generally act as scouts, and as a supplement to their foot soldiers. Pony Riders are trained little better than the foot soldiers and their ponies are not capable of traveling as far as full grown horses in a single day. Like other Halflings, Pony Riders are highly resistant to magic and other effects.

Nothing fancy about this guy. As the description says, their cavalry is slower than most other races (32 mp vs 36)

So now that we've gone over our starting troops lets get moving. There's our first structure up ahead, a tower, let's go grab it.


Towers provide a significant vision bonus and any unit that is defending it gets the bonus of walls for defense. An enemy stack that has no ability to break down walls can't take a garrisoned tower.


The tower reveals our first city up ahead, but we don't have enough movement to get to it this turn. The mouseover icon shows two faces talking to each other, showing that we can peacefully resolve an encounter with the town.


Reaching the city on turn two we see that they're super-friendly and welcome us with open arms. Oftentimes if a location has troops but is friendly there will be a cost to recruiting them. If you don't want to or can't pay that cost you can opt to attack them instead or simply leave, but in this case we're going to just take the city peacefully.


Our first city of the game, Kilia. It's a size 3 Halfling city and as such is friendly towards us. Now let's look at what we can do with a city. We can see what units it has access to at top (Note that the riders are faded out), then we see the basic info of the city showing its race, the terrain its own, how happy the population is, and how strong our garrison is. Next is the income of the town and where that income is coming from. Finally we have the enhancements and upgrades to the city, which is currently the baseline.


Beyond building units cities can do other activities, the basic form of which is making merchandise. This is actually automatic if the city isn't doing anything else and increases its total income by 25% (base + crops * 25%, rounded)


The next thing a city can possibly do is upgrade. A city can upgrade to the number of hexes that it has, of which Kilia has 3. Each level of upgrade makes it possible to produce more units. This action also improve the relationship with the race of the city.


The third option is to improve the defenses of a city. They start with nothing, but can be upgraded twice with a wood and then a stone wall. Stone is, of course, stronger than wood but both are equally proof against an enemy force with no siege ability. This also improves the relationship with the race of the city.


Next you can opt to migrate the race of the city, think forced resettlement (if not worse). This has a negative effect on the race being moved out and a positive effect on the race being moved in. It will take between 3 and 5 turns and the options depend on what races are present on the map that you've encountered.



The last two options are loot and raze. Take a big hit to race standings to either get gold or simply destroy the city to deny it to your foes. There rarely is a reason to do this unless you can't hold the city.


Remember how I said that the Pony Rider was faded? That's because the city can produce it, but that production needs to be installed first. It's just a time and money sink really.




Right now the city can only produce Halfling Slingers, Swordsmen, and Battering Rams. They are the basic (tier 1) ranged, melee, and siege units of the Halflings, with the Pony Rider being basic cavalry for the Halflings. I queue up one each of the slingers and swordsmen to show them later.


That done our party leaves the city and takes the second structure of the game, a gold mine. This is a revenue site, increasing our per-turn gold income by 10.


Halfling Slinger posted:

Slingers are the Halfling basic ranged-attacker. Halflings seem to be naturally gifted with the ability to hurt rocks accurately with a sling. Although these sling stones do very little damage, a skilled Halfling can typically launch twice the number of stones as an archer can fire arrows in the same amount of time.
Like other Halflings, slingers are highly resistant to magic.

As turn 3 starts we get our halfling slinger produced. Note that he has no strike ability so he cannot engage in melee combat. If he's attacked he just sits there and takes it (and probably dies). Hurl Stones is his replacement for Archery. It is weaker per shot but fires more shots (4, I believe)


As our party moves along the road we encounter a special site, the monster lair. These are a form of dungeon, containing a few enemy units and a reward of some kind. Our intrepid party goes in, giving us our first battle.


Battles can either be autoresolved or fought manually. Autoresolve is fairly basic with a rank system, I believe. I go, you go, hit each other, etc... it's not that great.


All dungeons have an exploration mechanic to them. You can't see anything in it beyond what your units can. Enemies are a mystery to you as well as what prizes lie within.


We've explored some of it and have found the treasure in the cave. The bag on the right side is an item, though what it is I don't know yet. Sharp-eyed individuals may notice our hero is a bit hurt. That's because an enemy unit attacked him and promptly died, but did get a hit in.


The next turn results in the second enemy showing up, a Hell Hound just like the first one. It actually survives attacking our hero so we can take a look at him.


Hell Hound posted:

Hell Hounds are vicious canines of flesh and fire, thought to be the souls of men who betrayed their friends for gain. No longer worthy of their former form and with their minds seared in the flames of hell, they are the dogs of the infernal pit, hunters for greater demons, kicked about, tortured and set loose upon wicked worlds to howl remorse for all eternity. They are resistant to fire. Their bite is white hot, and ignites flammable materials. Although these hounds look ferocious and evil and have other-worldly origins, they are not particularly difficult for a trained warrior to dispatch. Still, should they survive a combat they regenerate quickly. Hell hounds are not affected by mind spells and fearlessly do their Master's bidding, without question or conscience. Hell Hounds serve demons or powerful wizards, and live wherever the Undead hold strong dominion.

Biggest thing of note on this guy is that he has Fire Strike as well as the normal strike. This means that his attacks do both physical and fire damage, and fire damage has a chance of igniting the target, causing additional damage for a few turns. Fire damage is one of two things the Syron isn't immune to, but if a creature is immune to fire they're still take full normal damage unless they have resistance to that as well. Regeneration increases its HP recovery (to full at the start of a turn, IIRC), but is useless in battle, while Fearless makes it immune to fear-based effects, not that we have any.


Since he's so close to the Centaur I have the centaur take a pop at him. At 5 attack vs 3 defense, each shot (2 total) has a 70% chance of hitting, doing 1-3 damage each, giving us a fair chance of killing it.


But sadly it was not to be, only 2 damage was done. But the hero can easily finish it off, giving us victory.


With the death of the last enemy, the battle is over and all items recovered. It's actually possible to get into a dungeon, grab the item, and leave without killing everything in it.


Here we see the item, the Sword of Justice. When equipped it increases Attack and Damage by 1, as well as providing Strike and Holy Strike. I think I actually forgot to equip it.


Halfling Swordsman posted:

The common Halfling warrior is proficient in the use of a short sword in melee combat. These foot soldiers are lightly armored and relatively cheap to train. They are short and quite quick, relying upon their quickness to parry attacks, and then strike where it hurts the most...

Turn 4 sees the completion of the Halfling Swordsman. He's fodder like most tier 1 melee.


We approach the cave entrance, a feature that allows for us to move from the Surface map to the underground map. Not all maps have underground layers, but a few can have two.


View ranges in the caves are reduced unless a unit has the proper ability. But we do see something ahead of us.


A power node is the magic version of a gold mine. It gives us +10 mana income per turn.


Which increases both our crystal income per turn and our magic research (dropped a turn)


Turn 5 sees us back outside and a new structure ahead of us.


Our newest structure is a Wizard Tower. This is a site where you can buy a spell, including those you wouldn't be able to research otherwise.


These guys are selling Geyser, a water school damage spell that hits pretty hard. We've got the gold so we pick it up.


Up ahead we see a new stack of unit, apparently a friendly one.


Pleasantries are exchanged and we now have four new friends.


Giant posted:

For reasons forgotten over time, Giants are kindred to Dwarves. Regardless of the validity of that notion, these immense beings maintained good relations with their shorter counterparts. Since Dwarves respect the slow and stalwart, Giants are ideal allies. Giants lack the sophistication of Dwarves and are commonly said to be stupid. Not unlike Trolls, Bards sings tales of simple children outwitting Giants or defeating them with a simple weapon like a sling.
In combat, Giants wield huge tree-trunk clubs which deal devastation to everything they strike. Giant can hurl boulders at opponents or walls, enabling the Dwarves to avoid complicated siege engines.

The giant is a rather powerful unit, especially to low tier guys. They hit hard but are relatively easy to hit back thanks to their poor defenses. Mountaineering is a movement skill that allows for the until to travel through mountains at an expensive mp cost, but most other units can't at all. Hurl Boulder is the big thing about Giants, it's a ranged weapon that does not only physical damage but structure as well, meaning that it can damage walls and gates.


Dwarf Boar Rider posted:

Dwarven Boar Riders, wielding great axes, are among the fiercest mounted warriors, rivaling the Orcish heavy cavalry. Boars are not able to move as quickly as full-sized horses, but they enable the Dwarven riders to move much faster than foot soldiers. Like other Dwarves, their inborn hardiness also gives them a natural resistance to many magical effects and points.
Though mocked by other races as "Pig-lovers" the Dwarves share a strong bond of trust with the formidable swine. The boards are sure-footed, even across rocky mountain passes.

Dwarf Cavalry, nothing special really. 1 better defense and 1 more HP than the Halfling Pony Rider and it has poison resistance, but you'd expect a tier 2 to be better than a tier 1.


Up ahead we have an enemy stack containing a hero. You can't really tell it in this picture but they're sitting on a size 1 city.


The enemy hero. He's a spellcaster (only rank 1 though) and has Night Vision, which improves underground vision. Big whoop.


He's a Goblin, so he must die. Like we were going to let him live anyways.


Fire Sprite posted:

The Fire Sprite is a lesser version of the Fire Elemental. They are typically humanoid in form, but they are composed entirely of fire. Fire Sprites delight in igniting flammable objects. They are also immune to many attack forms, including fire, lightning, poison, death and holy damage.

Only new things here are Ignition which can set the ground it moves over on fire if it's the right type, mostly useless, and Summoned which just marks it as being a summoned unit. Upkeep is paid in mana instead of gold and some spells can dispell it.


Goblin Big Beetle posted:

Named by one of the more creative Goblin minds, the "Big Beetle" is just that: A very big beetle. Carnivorous and always hungry, the Beetles are cared for by special Goblin tenders from eggs. Big Beetles will eat just about anything, and it is though that the only food they cannot stomach is Goblin flesh. The Big Beetle is adept at burrowing. It attacks with crushing poisonous mandibles and -- perhaps because of its diet-- is highly resistant to poison-based attacks.

These guys are sorta nasty, but not too bad really. Cave Crawling lets them move underground as if they were on roads, while Tunneling allows for them to dig through the dirt underground, making new tunnels. Poison Strike allows for the unit to poison others in melee combat, which applies a debuff to the afflicted unit.


(Not shown: Turn Undead, Walking)

Goblin Shaman posted:

Goblin Shaman wield magic amongst a race that fears it greatly, bestowing upon them power, without trust or respect. Goblin Shaman are solitary, although it is not known if this is merely their nature, or if they have been forced into it by the poorly-veiled suspicions of their neighbors. In either case, when wartime comes, the thrist for victory allows the Goblins to set aside their fears, and the Shaman are more than happy to prove those fears well founded by putting their arcane prowess on display.
Like other Goblins, shaman are able to move easily underground and see in the darkness. Goblins are also less resistant to magic than most creatures, but have an innate resistant to poisons.

Goblin Shamans are the first healer unit we've encountered as well as a unit with magical (non-spell casting) abilities. Dispel Magic can do the usual remove buffs from enemies and debuffs from friendlies. Healing is a once-per-turn heal that heals 5-8 damage, I believe. Magic Bolts is a magic-based ranged attack that ONLY does magical damage, so our Syron is immune to it. Finally Turn Undead both damages and fears undead targets.


Goblin Darter posted:

Goblins seldom employ archers, opting instead to use blowguns to shoot darts. The darts do little damage themselves, but the poison that coats them can be deadly. Goblins can shoot poisoned darts slightly faster than a normal archer can shoot arrows.
Like other Goblins, darters are able to move easily underground and see in the darkness. Goblins are also less resistant to magic than most creatures, but have an innate resistant to poisons.

Just like the Halfling Slinger this guy can't defend itself in melee. Instead of arrows he shoots darts, which are a poison-typed weapon with three shots instead of two, but again with less damage.

(Continued)

Taerkar fucked around with this message at Mar 21, 2013 around 00:33

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified



Here we have our first city combat. Enemy units start inside the walls and can shoot over them without any penalty. Our guys, on the other hand, cannot.


If you move a unit even one spot it cannot use most abilities, such as spell casting or ranged combat.


Only one of the Giants is in range at the start, so he tosses a boulder at the gate, doing some good damage to it.


Most of my units move up to get in range while staying in cover, meanwhile I have my hero cast a spell.


Let's give geyser a go!


Or not.


At the end of the turn the AI moves. He leaves the safety of the walls with both melee units (Fire Sprite and Big Beetle) but doesn't attack.



The Centaur shoots arrows at the Fire Sprite and does a solid 5 damage.


Lets give the magic another go.


Geyser in effect. Magic spells are pretty nice in combat, using a lot of particle effects that were really good back in 1999.


He didn't make it.


Between a boar rider and the Syron the Big Beetle goes down. One of the giants broke the gate so we now can get into the courtyard


Turn three sees one of the boar riders get cursed. This is an out-of-battle effect that means they won't heal naturally for three turns. Death damage can inflict curses.


The rest of the defenders die shortly afterwards, the hero falling last to the Centaur's arrows.


With our victory we now control Gobton. As a Goblin town its inhabitants hate us, but our powerful stack keeps them in line, by which I mean enslaved.


So let's replace these unhappy short beings with happy short beings. Not that this mission will last much longer, but whatever. You can see that our already bad relationship with Goblins will get even worse (-15), while Halflings will like us even more (+10)


As a result of the battle our Pony Rider gained a rank. Non-hero units can gain two levels (silver, gold) and each one provides stat bonuses, +1 to attack, defense, and hitpoints in this case. He's now a bit better than the Dwarf Boar Rider, save for the poison resistance.


Turn seven sees our research finishing. I don't bother to cast it because again, we're almost done.


But I start research on Remedy anyways because why not. It's a basic healing spell so it's a good thing to get.


I decide to leave the two hurt units behind and move on. You can see our destination further to the south.


A teleporter is a link to another part of the map. These usually link to other ones, but not always, so it can be a one-way trip.


Sure enough this one is one-way, revealing the final enemy stack of the mission.


Borok is another Goblin hero, but he's nothing more than fodder for our blades.


Goblin Wolf Rider posted:

"No respectable horse would allow a Goblin upon its back" so say the common folk. Goblins remedy their horselessness by raiding wolf dens and stealing wolf cubs. Raised from pups, the wolves learn to be loyal to their Goblin masters. Although more formidable than regular Goblin foot soldiers, wolf riders are best used as scouts and can be easily overcome by stronger mounted warriors.
Like all Goblins, wolf riders are less resistant to magic than most creatures, but have an innate resistance to poisons.
Our last new unit of the scenario is the Goblin Wolf Rider, basic Goblin cavalry. Again nothing special about them, though they do have better defense than the basic pony rider at the expensive of horrible magic resistance.


The stack is sitting on a reflecting pool. Control of this site allows for vision to other parts of the map, usually other reflecting pools. I don't know if there is any other one on this map and I don't really care.


This is an open field battle and all of my units start out of range.


As a result I move all of my guys up in a tight formation, leaving them out of immediate melee range of the enemy, though they're welcome to try and engage the Syron if they want.


Both Wolf Riders charge out and are met with arrows, boulders, and our other offensive spell, Solar Flare. Solar Flare does Holy Damage, which has a chance of inflicting Vertigo, a rather nasty debuff that inflicts a -2 penalty to Attack and Defense for 3 days. Not that he'll live that long.


Turn three sees the death of the Vertigo'd rider and the enemy hero moving out. He doesn't live another turn.


And now we're done, the end of the tutorial mission. Up next we start the actual campaign.

***********************************

And by campaign I mean we have our first choice. There are two campaigns available in this game, one as The Keepers (Light Elves, Good), or The Cult of Storms (Dark Elves, Evil). I think that chronologically the Cult starts before The Keepers, but I'm not positive. Voting is open for 24 hours and please bold your choices.

RZApublican
Nov 6, 2007

So many horrible memories for Past Karkat...

The Cult of Storms, if only because the campaign narrator (the character you play as) is a lot funnier than his counterpart in The Keepers.

Black Balloon
Dec 28, 2008

Don't worry, I'm only taking damage to save time.



Cult of Storms. Only did the Keepers campaign once, so I'm voting selfishly for variety.

Age of Wonders is a neat game that tried a lot of different stuff for it's time. Whether or not it succeeded with the ideas it had is sort of debatable, but I still appreciate Arrthritis showing it to me a few years ago.

Maekrix Waere
Jul 10, 2010


RZApublican posted:

The Cult of Storms, if only because the campaign narrator (the character you play as) is a lot funnier than his counterpart in The Keepers.

This seems as good a reason as any to join a Cult.

Niggurath
Apr 7, 2009

OPPAI OVERLOAD!


I'm going to have to agree with the masses so far and say go with the Cult of Storms. Also just a minor thing, but would it be possible to maybe make those thumbnailed shots like 800x600 and cropping out the game window? It's not a major thing but it's kinda annoying to click on individual thumbnails.

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


Niggurath posted:

I'm going to have to agree with the masses so far and say go with the Cult of Storms. Also just a minor thing, but would it be possible to maybe make those thumbnailed shots like 800x600 and cropping out the game window? It's not a major thing but it's kinda annoying to click on individual thumbnails.

I'm playing around with the settings in infranview so I'll definitely look into this for the next time. Normally I won't be in windowed mode, I just was for this one to ensure that everything was going smoothly.

my dad
Oct 17, 2012

this shall be humorous


Bring on the storm!

Digital Jello
Nov 2, 2012

Now I have a machine gun. Ho! Ho! Ho!


Oh my god, I love this series! I played the second one to death, and never got to play the first one here. This is gonna be a treat

Also, the storm.

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


I will admit that I don't think I've done more than a handful of the Cult missions. But hey, they were going to get done anyways so why not start with them. I don't think it'll take me more than an hour past the deadline to get the first campaign mission up.

Snugglecakes
Dec 29, 2008



cult of storms!

Mzbundifund
Nov 5, 2011

I'm afraid so.


Cult of Storms, which has extra comedy potential if you take Dominate on your hero.

Basarin
Oct 15, 2012


Join the cult!

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified




Everyone wanted to join The Cult of Storms. A wise choice for we are strong and are willing to do what needs to be done, unlike the weak and pathetic Keepers.



quote:

Of the Stormlords, only I am worthy to wield the just blade in the Valley of Wonders. While others dare not risk their hiding places, I shall endure the light, gathering true power for a true king, Meandor.

I am here: I am ready.


We could just go with the default hero, but where's the fun in that? So our choices are:

Dark Elf

+2 Resistance, Night Vision, -1 Defense

Orc

+1 Melee Damage, Night Vision

Goblin

-1 Resistance, -4 Movement, Night Vision, Cave Crawling

Lizard

-1 Resistance, -4 Movement, Swimming (Not otherwise available at start)

Azrac

+1 Attack, -1 Defense, Fire Resistance

Both the Lizard and Azrac are neutral, not evil, but I don't think that affects your race relations at all.

Attack, Defense, Resistance, and Health all cost 5 points to raise, Damage costs 10 while Movement costs 1 point per level. Yes, that does mean that the Lizard and Goblin are kinda behind on points to begin with, though Lizard does get swimming. Most of the abilities that they start with outside of Strike, Walking, and Spell Casting I cost 5 points each. I'm not sure what Swimming costs.

The Lizard is riding a frog and the goblin is riding a wolf, the other three get horses.


Last part of hero creation are the spheres of magic, Death, Life, Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. The more you dedicate towards one, the more spells you get from that school.

There's a couple of character types I can build towards (rather than just voting on point allocation) and I'm definitely open to other ideas provided that more detail is given.

Wizard - Your basic caster guy. Gaining more ranks in Spell Casting is a priority, as is improving defenses. May pick up ranged combat abilities so that the hero can still do something when out of mana.

Brawler - All about physical attacks. Good attack and defense, extra skills will be geared towards more types of damage and those which improve other aspects of combat

Skirmisher - Ranged combat above all else. Attributes are more towards defense than offense, but can fight if needed. Good concentration on out-of-combat skills that improve movement.

Commander - Focus on skills that improve the party as a whole, fairly defensive build.


Again, 24 hours for this, close votes between two will see a hybrid result. Choose Race and Type, any suggestion will be added.

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


No matter what is chosen we'll get this next:







Let me know if I need to reproduce the text for these.

my dad
Oct 17, 2012

this shall be humorous


Let us show them strength and cunning. We shall be a Dark Elf Brawler.

Broken Mind
Jan 27, 2009


This is easily one of my favorite games. I am interested in seeing someone solve problems in a different (and less silly) way than I do so I vote for a Dark Elf Wizard. Despite beating this game a lot I never really learned how to manage an army, so I am interested in seeing how you play this through.

Rulebook Heavily
Sep 18, 2010

IT IS SO WRITTEN IN THE EDDAS.


I always tend to do wizard with just a little party-boosting, especially water wizards for... reasons. I'd like to see something different, but on the other hand messing with spells is a huge fun factor in this game.

So some kind of Wizard. I tend to go with Lizards to go with water magic (again for reasons) but showing off the spellcasting is a big thing, I think.

e: Also in that case, I guess Air Air Death.

Rulebook Heavily fucked around with this message at Mar 22, 2013 around 01:43

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


That reminds me that I forgot to include something in the voting.

We have three sphere slots to fill. They can any combination, including all three being the same thing. Vote for your first, second, and third choices. If you vote for multiples of the same sphere then they'll all count and I'll use an overall percentage to determine what three spheres that I use (If something gets more than 33% of the votes I'll take 2, if something gets more than 66% it gets all three)

Mzbundifund
Nov 5, 2011

I'm afraid so.


Dark Elf Wizard (with Dominate), all 3 points in Air Magic.

RZApublican
Nov 6, 2007

So many horrible memories for Past Karkat...

Dark Elf Brawler with Dominate and two points in Air Magic with one point in Life Magic.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I just *LOVE* spoonheads

Orc Wizard with two Death, one Water.

Taking the Pure Evil route in the Cult campaign is fun, and I seriously don't understand how some people can play without Water. It's terrific for conserving your troops, and personally I just like the idea of an orc wizard.

Pity we're not playing the Keepers, though. The dwarves in this game are as expected.

Snugglecakes
Dec 29, 2008



Orc Commander Let's build an evil army!

Digital Jello
Nov 2, 2012

Now I have a machine gun. Ho! Ho! Ho!


I'm up for a Dark Elf Wizard with Life and Fire Spheres, you can have my third vote. No real reason other than to see it.

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


Lizard Wizard, pure water.

KnoxZone
Jan 26, 2007

And if I die before I Wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.


Orc Brawler with all Air

I love the AoW franchise with all my heart, so you better not screw this up.

President Ark
May 16, 2010

Looks like you got a good deal there!

Orc Commander, Earth-earth-fire. Our enemies will be crushed beneath our endless tides of steel.

madmac
Jun 22, 2010


Lizard-Wizard, Water

BioTech
Feb 5, 2007
...drinking myself to sleep again...

I still play Age of Wonders every few months. The big 12 player map, Fall of Men, I think it was called, go Highmen, kill everyone.

I vote Orc Wizard. There will be so many items boosting your stats and options such as Extra Strike and Charge compared to the rare casting improvements that everybody ends up a great fighter anyway. Whatever you do for magic, take one or two Air to get Chain Lightning. That spell is absolutely great.

SaDiStz0r
Mar 9, 2007


BioTech posted:

Whatever you do for magic, take one or two Air to get Chain Lightning. That spell is absolutely great.

I second this but with LIZARD WIZARD!

Soak the poo poo out of 'em and deep fry 'em!

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Oh man I played this one so much but managed to never clear the Cult of Storms, it'll be good to see how that goes.

Gotta go with Wizard with domain over Life, three times. Easily has the best enchantment if you have plenty of time. Let's go Dark Elf because nothing says hateful and brooding like life magic, right?

Zabrien
Jul 31, 2011


Wizard with 3 death.

Crowsbeak
Oct 9, 2012



Orc Commander, although I wouldn't be opposed to a focus on death magic.

Crowsbeak fucked around with this message at Mar 22, 2013 around 17:32

Servetus
Apr 1, 2010


Goblin Wizard

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


Current Count

Race:

Dark Elf - 6
Orc - 6
Lizard - 3
Goblin - 1

Class Archetype:

Wizard - 11
Brawler - 3
Commander - 3

Spheres

(If the votes were for two spheres in non-specified amounts I gave 1.5 to each. One sphere mentioned was 3 votes for that sphere)

Life - 5.5 (13%)
Air - 16 (38%)
Earth - 2 (5%)
Water - 7 (17)
Fire - 2.5 (6%)
Death - 9 (21%)

Total Sphere choices so far: 42

Currently looking at a Dark Elf Wizard with 2 Air and 1 Death

Still got some time left!

my dad
Oct 17, 2012

this shall be humorous


I'm just going to add my sphere vote, since I voted before I saw the additional clause: 2 air, 1 death

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


As a note I love air in SM because I run ranged-heavy troops. Seeker is so much fun.

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TinfoilHate
Nov 19, 2003

What the hell is wrong
with you people?

Voting Lizard, Wizard, Air.

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