GWJ Strategy Club Game 3: Age of Wonders Planetfall

Good point. As the club organizer I want to try and finish. Maybe I’ll complete another game or two and call it good. It’s a fun game but like you guys it’s not grabbing me full on.

So many good games in the pile, there's no need to try to force one.

I would probably think of 'done' as either completing a single planet (either as a standalone skirmish or as part of the Galactic Empire mode), or completing the campaign (which I don't know how many will do). Finishing a single game was enough for ES2, so I would assume the same is true here.

So if you've finished a couple planets as part of the Galactic Empire, that seems like it would qualify as done under that framework.

I got 6 1/2 hours does that count? I don't feel the original game but want to try the expansions and maybe not be so disappointed. I like provinces, I like the mods. I find positive things in the main game and still find it unfocused and slow.

Aarggh the Dvar campaign is driving me nuts. First, I took out like 5 doom stacks (which in and of itself kind of sucks given how hard it is to maneuver around them). Took some heavy casualties but figured the enemy has to be hit hard. 10 turns later, another 5 doom stacks show up. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong or why it seems the AI is so far ahead unless it's cheating like a MOFO.

Sorry for the double post but wanted to say I’ve learned some tricks from playing the campaign. First, I’ve learned to spam cities early till you have 3-4. Secondly, some of the scenarios have a certain puzzle feel to them where you have a good chance of losing the first time. I restarted the second Dvar level and knew exactly who to knock out first. That allowed me to start steamrolling.

Played through a couple of tutorial scenarios before getting completely out of my depth in the Galactic Empire mode. It was daunting but suddenly became an easy sell after choosing a Biggs Darklighter lookalike complete with cloak, aviators and 70s porn-stache.


Here are a few of my takeaways

- Don't try to paint the map. There doesn't seem to be scarcity of resources or territory in favor of positioning across a limited number of super-advantageous tiles. i.e. This ain't Civ.
- Per the above, don't piss off your neighbors by surrounding them with Forward Bases unless you've got several alpha stacks ready to muster when they finally get tired of your sh*t and declare war. ( I made this same mistake with GalCiv 3 and cultural stations )
- Stupid choices during tactical combat against quest objectives can set you back dozens of turns
- I need a Story Mode or something after losing on easy

I do plan to retry. I finally got into a 'Just one more turn' groove after a couple of sessions with this mode, so I know there's something there. Just need to invest some time to learn the mechanics and be more patient and deliberate about expansion.

Looks like Pedro Pascal from his days on Narcos.

My update is I’ve beaten almost all the class intro levels in the campaign. Playing with all the different factions has been a lot of fun, but the final story missions are a drag. Think I’m going to put a fork in it since I’ve played about 8 maps and just can’t bring myself to do the final missions.

Sadly, I think there’s a lot to love about this game but in the end it just doesn’t seem to have a stickiness to it that other series like Civ or Total War do. I still had a blast exploring the various factions and their toys.

I’m still stuck into it. Scratches the Civ itch with the addition of tactical fun.

I started a little late but I'm enjoying my first run-through. Plenty of tech-tree choices and fun tactical battles, so far I'm doing ok picking my battles and alliances. Plenty more to explore so I'll definitely be putting a few more hours in.

Neutrino wrote:

I started a little late but I'm enjoying my first run-through. Plenty of tech-tree choices and fun tactical battles, so far I'm doing ok picking my battles and alliances. Plenty more to explore so I'll definitely be putting a few more hours in.

Glad you’re enjoying it Neutrino. I got burned out about halfway through the campaign and moved it to my “completed” list. That being said, it was a great ride. I just got frustrated with the higher level campaign missions essentially being puzzles that I had to play several times to beat. (I always ended up either getting blindsided by surprise events or moving too cautiously and falling behind).

But overall I still had fun with it a little more than Endless Space 2. Being able to tactically control my guys made a huge difference.

I've dipped back into this, and played an "easy" campaign as the Vanguard just to remind myself how to play it. I really want to move on though and play as the latest faction with the enormous robots, as they look kinda cool. I'll keep you posted.

So I completed my "refresher" map from the campaign and remember just what a good game this is - certainly a lot better than the time and attention I've given it.

it manages that rare treat of having fairly simplistic mechanics provide a much deeper strategic system witha tactical combat layer that's really the best I've come across in any 4x type game. Factions really are different, and play differently too on the map. I'm really going to have spend more time with this game soon, I'm fairly sure I've underrated it a little in the past.

The new "Empire" systems looks more than worth exploring too (where you pick which every faction and hero you choose but the game then gives a top layer strategic "campaign" for you to follow and bring your galactic empire to victory) and give the game some focus and goals to reach beyond just "winning" the game. I can't help thinking that alone is an innovation a lot of other games could be taking a long, hard look at and wondering what they could do with that sort of implementation.

Might give it another try this weekend. The campaign frustrated the heck out of me with the number of gotcha events that forced me to reload way too many times. Ok so I need to go north with my main force to secure this temple/factory/biolab in 10 turns. I’ll leave a small force to stop raiders... Surprise! Here come six doom stacks from the opposite direction.

It could of course be that I could never win battles where I’m heavily outnumbered. I’m wondering if that’s a big part of my problem.

So long Planetfall. I never really got into you, but your battles sure are pretty.


So, since I completed that refresher game I've gone on to explore the Empire mode, and I've now played through one complete campaign as the OathBound, because who doesn't love gigantic walking robots pretending to be Knights of the Round Table (that's how I've been playing it) and I have had an absolute blast.

Once you start to get your head around all the different damage types and "secret" research types, and start to get a feel for how they all interact with each other the game really starts to live and breath more. It also allows you to get a much feel for the strategic layer and how all the resources and sector exploitations work as well. I managed to complete the first planet by finishing the special empire objectives - eradicating the map of those evil, evil penguins and putting the promethean flammable weapons out of reach of everyone else.

Where it fails is that it really, really doesn't explain itself very well at all. The campaigns are a great way to break yourself in gently, but I'm coming up on 100 hours in this game and only now do I feel like I've got a grip of how it all works, how to build out from your starting base and how to get all the tactical options and operations to integrate and syngerise with one another.

I do think this is one of the best 4x's I've played in quite some time though. It's not the standard 4x model - it's focus is much more at the tactical level rather than the strategic, but then again there is enough in both layers to work with and makes for a compelling experience across the board. It's game more than worth the time required to learn it properly, but you really do need to be prepared to sink that time into it.

I wonder if we need to give a little more time to our games. I've already started a new game on a new planet to continue my empire - I love me some robotic knights - it's certainly got it's claws in me at the moment!

Definitely true that strategy games are not turn and burn. We've already lengthened the period for Imperator. Maybe we should consider that, as you say, for the long-form choices.