Age of Wonders: Planetfall is the next iteration of the long-running civilization building / tactical combat game, and this one is giving players a serious challenge. If you’re used to playing Civilization, prepare for a rude awakening when it comes to battle. Even at the easiest setting, the AI can put up a serious fight. If you’re struggling with the earliest rounds and need help beating the odds, we’ve got a series of beginner tips to help you become a true world-conquering force.
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Start With The Vanguard
The Vanguard faction is the easiest to pick-up and play. They have incredibly useful abilities, like units with Overwatch, so you can simply wait and let your opponents walk into your line of fire. Keeping your early units alive is really important, so Overwatch and Flanking are a good way to overcome those early game opponents.
Purchase The First Hero You Get & Create Two Armies
Heroes are the bulwark of your civilization. If you want to survive for long, purchase the first hero you can and start conscripting a secondary army. You’ll want two forces to explore and conquer the nearby terrain. Your home base might be vulnerable while your heroes are out exploring, but that’s okay! There are ways to improve defenses.
Build Military Infrastructure To Increase Defenses
Your civilization starts with a garrison of soldiers. This weak garrison is your only line of defense if annoying enemies sneak by your regular armies and attack your HQ. Build Military Infrastructure buildings to increase your garrison — and eventually unlock automatic defenses that can shred opponents. Usually, only small enemies will attack your base at a time — focus on the large stacks with your heroes.
Hunt Down Enemy Spawners
When you first start your map, you’ll want to start growing your civilization right away. Expanding territory isn’t your only goal — you’ll also want to track down enemy stacks. These stacks will grow in strength if you don’t take them down early. You start with an army, so don’t be afraid to use them! Send them out, complete some quests, and you’ll be able to defeat these spawners before they completely overwhelm you.
Auto-Combat Can Teach You The Basics Of Combat
Want to get a quick primer on combat? Fight an enemy your troops can easily defeat in a tactical battle, then let the AI handle it. Select ‘Auto-Combat’ and the AI will take over. It’s actually very good. It isn’t perfect, but it does show you how units should be used, and fights just like the enemy. There’s a lot you can learn from the AI.
Use Smart Tactics To Defeat The AI
Combat is a lot more advanced in Age of Wonders: Planetfall. When you enter a tactical battle, you’ll be able to use a variety of special commands — you can Overwatch, use special items, and Flank. These are all important for victory. Flanking gives you a damage bonus on enemies, and enemies can flank you too. Turning around enemies in combat, or using grenades to destroy cover, is a great way to overwhelm an entrenched opponent.
For Vanguard, I recommend keeping your units spread out and using Overwatch. Create kill-zones to keep out of melee range. As attackers move in, they’ll both enter your Overwatch range, and immediately get themselves surrounded if you’re spread your troops out evenly.
Focus On Production & Population First
Your starting armies are enough to handle early threats. It’s better to let your troops gain experience in the first few rounds. Instead of producing lots of units, upgrade your city — improve production and population before focusing on war upgrades. Increase your technology tree, but don’t bother producing advanced units, even if they’re unlocked. You’ll need a lot of resources to keep them going, and lower-tiered troopers can handle things just fine for the early game.