Age of Wonders 4 is a turn-based, 4X, strategy video game created by Triumph Studios and distributed by Paradox Interactive. It is a fully customizable game that offers tons of options for world-building, factions, cultures, weapons, and even the traits you want your units to have. One of the custom options in Age of Wonders 4 is faction building, and this guide will help you through the process of customizing it.
What is Faction
At the start, while you’re building your game, you must decide which faction you want to play. This selection comes before you have chosen your Tome of Magic. Faction is basically the race of your people, which can range anything from humans to rats, with each having its own traits.
Once you get into this step, you’ll be able to see up to 20 premade options for factions already there. If you don’t like to spend a lot of time customizing the faction and can just roll with one of the ones there, go for it. This can save time and is a good option for people who are not too picky. Hover over the desired faction to see their traits and choose the one you want.
If you decide to custom-make your faction in Age of Wonders 4, here are the few steps you’ll need to go through.
- Physical appearance
- Body traits
- Mind traits
There are a total of 10 races you can choose from which determine the physical appearance.
For appearance, you can choose from any of the races without worrying about how your physical appearance would affect you in the game. This is because you can choose the body and mind traits afterward separately, then rely on the traits according to appearance. You can have any physical form and then any combination of body and mind traits. There are a total of 14 of each Body and Mind trait, and you can mix and match accordingly.
Once you select the appearance, you can see the default traits. If you click the change button, all of your available options will appear on the right side of your screen. Body traits are the main traits that help you in combat. They determine the physical strength of your units. Here is the list of all the body traits you can choose from.
|Bulwark||Buffs the defense mode with additional defense and resistance.||Defense +2|
|Fast Recuperation||Ability to regain additional HP each turn.||Heals +15|
|Hearty||Extra HP for all individuals.||Hit Points +10|
|Keen-sighted||Ranged attacks get more accuracy.||Accuracy +20% (Physical and Magic attacks)|
|Quick Reflexes||Makes enemy attacks easier to dodge.||Less accurate enemy attacks by +30%|
|Resilient||Resistance to status effects||Resistance +3|
|Resistant||Resistance to magical attacks||Resistance +2|
|Resolute||Resistance against multiple negative status effects||Status effects last -1 per turn.|
|Strong||Increases Physical damage||Damage +10%|
|Tough||Increases defense||Defense +2|
|Nightmare Mounts||Boost for mounted units (no effect on others)||Hit Points +10|
Gains Intimidating Aura (Enemy loses morale)
|Spider Mounts||Mounted units get spider abilities||Hit Points +10|
Gains Web ability
|Unicorn Mounts||A boost for mounted units.||Hit Points +10|
Gains Phase ability
|Wolf Mounts||A boost for mounted units.||Hit Points +10|
Gains Pack Hunter ability
Gains Enfeebling Howl
While selecting body traits, it’s best to consider what would help you the most in combat, which mental traits cannot do. For example, if you choose to go heavy on defense traits, you can counter the attack by choosing a comparative attack-heavy mind trait or vice versa. If you’re unsure, I’d advise you to choose something that is always good and commonly used. Those include Bulwark, Strong, Tough, or Hearty.
Next are mind traits. Mind traits are like assistance to the body traits. You can either use mind traits to enhance the body trait chosen or go with an entirely different one so that you have a balanced faction. Here is the description of all 14 mind traits found in the game.
|Adaptable||Faster rate of growth for units||Experience +30%|
|Arcane Focus||Magic damage is increased||Magic damage +15%|
|Cold Blooded||Less chance of losing morale||Morale loss -50%|
|Defensive Tactics||Better defense (Only when next to friendly unit that has Defensive Tactics)||Defense +1|
|Elusive||Best for mobile hit-and-run tactics||Defense +6|
Resistance +6 (Against retaliation and opportunity attacks)
|Fast Initiative||Units can move up to 4 hexes||6 hexes for first half|
4 for the rest
|Ferocious||Best for close combat||Retaliation and opportunity attacks deal +40% damage|
|Overwhelm Tactics||Attacks in groups to use this trait (Only when next to friendly unit)||Critical Hit chance +20%|
|Sneaky||Smart positioning is rewarded||Flanking attacks +25% chance|
|Tenacious||Units at low health will deal a lot of damage||Less damage due to Casualties|
|Arctic Adaptation||Best for moving around and navigating snowy areas.||Build farms on Snow areas|
Snow and Ice terrain move points cost -2
|Desert Adaptation||Best for moving around and navigating desert areas||Build farms on desert areas|
Desert terrain move points cost -2
|Underground Adaptation||Best for moving around and navigating underground.||Build farms on cavern floors, Mushroom Forest, Fungus Fields, and Rocky terrains. |
Cavern floors move points cost -2
|Water Adaptation||Best for moving around and navigating swamps.||Build farms on Swamp areas|
Swamp terrain move points cost -2
While selecting mind traits, keep in mind that they are not going to be completely what you are looking for, but rather an enhancement you can add on. If you can’t select one, you can go for Adaptable, Sneaky, and Tenacious. If you want to try a magic-based trait, go for Arcane Focus.
Once you’ve decided on the traits, you can finish custom-making the faction and play with it. Although this may be a long process, it can still be quite fun to mix and match and try to see what works for your type of gameplay.
Faction-making in Age of Wonders 4 may sound tiring, but it’s super simple once you understand how to match basic traits with each other or understand what works best for you. Hopefully, this guide helped in making it easier.