The golden era of turn-based strategy games like Heroes of Might and Magic and Kings Bounty may have passed, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost their charm, especially to older generations. Although Generation Z might not be as interested in these classics, Age of Wonders 4 has managed to attract a dedicated following. This game combines 4X-style overworld map exploration with turn-based tactical battles, providing an engaging experience that keeps players hooked.
Economy and Resource Management
There are four primary resources you need to manage to drive your empire’s development: food, production, draft, and gold.
Food: Essential for cities to gain new population and maintain existing ones.
Production: Used for constructing new city structures.
Draft: Required for recruiting new units in your cities.
Gold: Used for recruiting new units and constructing new city structures.
Buildings and Their Importance: Buildings play a crucial role in your empire’s economy, providing resources, city stability, research, defense, and more. Choose the right buildings that align with your overall strategy and the resources you need. Additionally, structures like mines and farms can be built in a city’s domain to improve its output.
Boosted Buildings: Boosting buildings can reduce their production costs, making it more efficient to develop your empire. For example, by constructing three farms in a city, you can boost the production of a mint, allowing you to build it at a significantly reduced cost. Focus on building synergies and take advantage of boosted buildings to maximize your empire’s economic growth.
Imperium and Empire Development
Imperium is a measure of your empire’s development, based on the size and prosperity of your cities. You can use Imperium to settle new cities, attract new populations to existing ones, or interact with neutral states. Imperium is also essential for unlocking new empire development options that grant powerful ongoing or one-time bonuses.
Settle New Cities: Use your Imperium to expand your empire by founding new cities.
Attract New Populations: Increase the population of your existing cities by spending Imperium.
Interact with Neutral States: Engage in diplomacy and other interactions with neutral states using Imperium.
Age of Wonders 4 – Diplomacy
Keep an eye on your Imperium level to stay ahead of your rivals and ensure your empire’s continued growth and success.
City Management and Expansion
Managing your cities is crucial for maintaining a strong economy and military. City growth and stability are essential factors to consider. The higher tiers of stability increase production, draft, and food output by 5% for each tier, while lower tiers reduce resource production by 10%, 20%, and 50%, respectively, and increase the likelihood of provinces being lost.
Upgrading the city to tier 2 and building structures like the tavern and bathhouse can counter the escalating reduction in stability over time. Late-game buildings like the Temple of the Exalted can also help. When a city reaches the highest level of the town hall, its stability will increase based on population, so boosting food production and population is essential.
Creating and Commanding an Army
Building and managing a powerful military force is crucial to achieving victory over your rivals. In this section of our beginners guide to Age of Wonders 4, we will discuss how to prepare your armies, use hero units effectively, and engage in various types of combat, including sieges. Mastering these aspects of military strategy will help you dominate the battlefield.
- Hero Units and Their Importance: Your hero units act as the leaders of your army, bringing powerful abilities and buffs to your troops. As your heroes level up, they will gain talent points that can be used to improve their martial prowess and spellcasting ability or grant buffs to the entire army under their command. It is important to have an army led by a hero, as certain actions require their presence, such as entering an ancient wonder or initiating a siege.
- Initiating Combat: To engage in combat, simply move your army onto an enemy force. If you have other armies within three tiles of the battlefield, they will join the engagement as reinforcements. The enemy can do the same with their nearby armies. Once engaged, you will enter the turn-based tactical combat phase.
Age of Wonders 4: Faction Creation and Customization Guide
- Tactical Combat and Positioning: In tactical combat, each unit has three action points per turn that can be spent on movement or abilities. Positioning is crucial in Age of Wonders 4, as certain units can attack multiple times without moving, while others can flank enemies for extra damage or establish zones of control to protect your backline. Utilize the terrain to your advantage and plan your moves carefully.
- Combat Spells: Starting from the second round of combat, both sides gain access to their arsenal of spells. These combat spells, researched through your tomes of magic, can be used to buff or heal your units, apply negative effects to the enemy, or deal direct damage. Be strategic with your spell usage to maximize your chances of victory.
- Morale and Its Impact on Combat: Each unit has a morale level, which represents their optimism in battle. High morale increases the chance of critical hits, while low morale increases the chance of fumbled attacks and dealing half damage. If morale drops too low, the unit may attempt to disengage and flee the battlefield
- Siege Warfare: On the strategic map, you may choose to initiate a siege on an enemy city. Only an army led by a hero can start a siege, although reinforcements can be brought in from nearby armies. Breaking enemy fortifications is crucial to succeeding in a siege, and you can speed up the process by purchasing siege engines or activating siege spells unlocked through your tomes of magic.
- Assaulting a City: Once the enemy’s fortifications have fallen, you may commence the assault on the city. The defender will start within the city, with some walls and defensive structures still intact. The attacker must charge through the breach in the walls and destroy all enemy units to win the engagement. If the attacker is victorious, they can capture, vassalize, or raze the city.
As you start in a new realm, the majority of the world will be unexplored. Begin by scouting into the fog to reveal key resources needed for your empire’s expansion. As you explore, you’ll discover points of interest such as gold or mana stashes, resource nodes, magical materials, and ancient wonders.
- Resource Nodes and Magical Materials: Unguarded resources can be picked up immediately; however, most valuable resources are guarded by neutral armies. Use your leader’s army to clear out nearby resource nodes, which will help develop your city and provide experience for your hero and units. Magical materials are rare and offer unique bonuses, which can be traded with other players or free cities.
- Ancient Wonders: Ancient wonders provide powerful bonuses for your domain but are always guarded and can only be attacked by an army led by a hero. Wonders come in three difficulty levels, so choose your battles wisely.
- The Underground: The underground is a secondary map that offers new terrain and opportunities to explore. Use the excavation ability to uncover treasures or dangerous foes, and always keep an army nearby to deal with new threats.
- Outposts and City Expansion: As your heroes explore, they can plant down outposts in neutral regions, claiming the region and gathering resources for your empire. Outposts can be upgraded into full cities, allowing you to expand your domain and control more territory.
- Infestations and Free Cities: Infestations are independent monster camps that spawn enemies to harass empires. Clear them quickly to prevent their growth and to claim their resources. Free cities are minor independent factions that can be friendly or hostile. Improve your relations with friendly free cities to make them willing vassals or conquer hostile cities to expand your empire.
In Age of Wonders 4, you can pursue victory through military, expansion, or magic. Each path offers unique challenges and strategies. Focus on building a strong army, controlling valuable resources, and unlocking powerful spells to ensure your triumph.
- Military Victory: Defeat all rival leaders on the map through combat. Build a strong army, research advanced military technologies, and strategically engage your opponents. Use diplomacy to form alliances and weaken your enemies.
- Expansion Victory: Dominate the world map by exploring, settling new cities, and expanding your empire’s borders. Focus on controlling valuable resources and strategic chokepoints, and use diplomacy to maintain good relations with neighboring factions.
- Magic Victory: Unlock the ultimate arcane power by researching powerful spells, controlling magical resources, and using your magic strategically. Build your magic infrastructure and amass the necessary resources to fuel your magical prowess.
Age of Wonders 4 Cheat Codes and Console Commands
Age of Wonders 4: Victory Conditions
Age of Wonders 4 – Tomes: What You Need to Know