Age of Wonders

Name: Age of Wonders
Genre: Strategy
Designer: Lennart Sas
Developer: Epic Megagames
Publisher: Gathering of Developers
Copyright: Epic Megagames
Year: 1999

Rating: 2.9

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Review - Wikipedia
Originally entitled "World of Wonders", the game incorporated several RPG elements that were dropped when simultaneous turns were implemented. The game was released by Triumph Studios, a Dutch game developer, in 1999.

Units within the game have a limited number of movement points, which are replenished at the beginning of each turn. Two turn systems are used - sequential (or "Classic") turns, where players take their turns in order, or simultaneous turns, where all players can move units at once. In practice, actions are added and executed via a FIFO stack system. Simultaneous turns are only available in single player and live multiplayer games; PBEM and Hotseat games, and all combat, use the sequential turn system.

Units are arranged into groups (also known as "parties" or "stacks") of up to eight units on hexagonal tiles on the map, which can have up to three layers (surface and two underground). Cities occupy between one and four tiles (or "hexes") and structures generally occupy a single hex. Players have an isometric view of the map.

Combat is initated by one player attempting to move a stack onto a hex occupied by another player. If the players are at war, the attacker has the option of selecting tactical combat, where the players move individual units on a small map representing the battlefield, or automatic ("fast") combat, where the computer determines how the battle would have taken place. Tactical combat is only available on single player maps, against independents in PBEM games, and (optionally) against human players in live multiplayer games. Both forms of combat use the sequential turn system.

The first "mod" released was known as "Warlock's Ruleset", after the forumer who created it. The mod changed some in-game costs and added new units and structures. Since the accidental release of the developer's editor (DevEd), many more mods have been made by the fan community (notably at HeavenGames), including the very popular "Lighthawk's Rules". However, there are some aspects of the game that can only be changed by use of a hex editor.

The game has a single-player campaign, playable from two sides (more campaigns have been made by the community since release), and many maps, both included and user-created that can be played over a LAN or the internet, or by email (PBEM). Up to 12 players can participate in a single game, depending on the map.

The game had two sequels, Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne, and Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic. The game mechanics have changed in several areas, so a number of people actually prefer the original game to its successors.

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