There are many races of creatures in Age of Wonders 3, from the stalwart dwarves to the careful goblins to the industrious humans. Besides the races that you can choose to lead from the beginning of each game there are other minor races who live in dwellings instead of cities, they are different from your own troops and do not have any leader class specific units but make up for that by being more powerful and flexible than normal rank and file troops.
Racial differences in the game are represented by various effects with elemental resistances and base statistic differences being the most common. This also carries over to the class specific units which leads to very different styles among different race and class combinations. Below are links to the main pages for each race.
There are also a number of races that have been left out of Age of Wonder III that were present in previous Age of Wonders installments.
Note: Most links go to the same page for now
Each race gets different bonuses that apply to their units. Below is a table with all of the bonuses that apply only to units. For other bonuses for cities and terrain see each of the race pages.
These bonuses are already included in the racial units, but they are not included for class units. So to determine the final stats of a base class unit, just add the following abilities to units of the corresponding race.
|Race||Cost||Cost||Melee Str.||Ranged Str.||Abilities|
|Draconians||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||Fast Healing, 20% Protection, 20% Weakness|
|Dwarves||--||+1||+1||+10%||+10%||--||--||Mountaineering, Cave Crawling, Night Vision, 20% Protection|
|Frostlings||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||Fast Embark, Arctic Walking, 60% Protection, 40% Weakness|
|Goblins||-5||--||--||-10%||-10%||--||--||Cave Crawling, Wetland Walking, Night Vision, Wetland Foraging, 40% Protection|
|Halflings||--||--||--||--||--||-1||+1 *||Forestry, Lucky, 20% Weakness|
|High Elves||--||--||+1||--||--||--||+1,+1*||Forestry, 20% Weakness|
|Orcs||+5||--||-1||--||--||+1||-1 *||Night Vision, Victory Rush|
|Tigrans||--||--||-1||--||--||--||--||Athletics, Predator, Barrens Running, Night Vision, 40% Protection, 20% Weakness|
In addition to bonuses to units, some races get bonuses to their cities. These bonuses only apply to a city of that particular race, and is not dependent upon the leader's race. Almost all of them are income bonuses, with the exception being the Halflings' happiness bonus.
As an example, a Human leader with 3 High Elf and 2 Human cities will receive no production bonuses for the High Elf cities but will receive the +3 bonus for each of them. On the other hand, the Human cities will still receive the +10 bonus with no research bonus.
|Race||Bonus per City|
|Dwarves||Siege Workshop costs -50|
|Frostlings||War Hall costs -50|
|High Elves||+3 , -10%|
|Orcs||Barracks cost -50|
Each race has their own preferred Terrain type(s) and climate(s). These preferences affect both the happiness of a city that encompasses hexes with the corresponding terrain and/or climate as well as the Morale of units on those hexes.
|Draconians||Barrens, Lava Pool||Arctic||Blighted|
|Dwarves||Mountains, Dirt Cavern Walls, Rock Cavern Walls||Tropical||Blighted|
|Frostlings||Fertile Plains||Subterranean, Blighted||Tropical, Volcanic|
|Halflings||Fertile Plains, Dense Vegetation||Subterranean||Arctic, Blighted, Volcanic|
|High Elves||Dense Vegetation||Tropical, Subterranean||Blighted, Volcanic|
|Humans||Fertile Plains||Subterranean||Blighted, Volcanic|
"When the Human race rose to power, the race of dragons, especially the young dragons, suffered a terrible price. Among the Humans, dragons were more valuable dead than alive, hunted for glory, sport, money, and to mix in their foul-smelling potions. With no regard to the intelligent creatures that dragons might become in time, the humans devastated the dragon kin. The Dragons turned to Wizards of Evermore, using powerful magic to create a new breed of followers. They sacrificed their remaining young for the power to keep the humans at bay. The dragons unleashed the powers in their eggs, vowing that once they achieved supremacy they would reform themselves into ancient dragonkind again."
Like their dragon ancestors, draconians have a strong affinity to Fire – many of their units have high resistance or even immunity to fire, all of their inherent ranged units have fire-based attacks, and their priests have the ability to add significant additional fire damage to the attacks of other draconians. Even spellcasting class units often have the ability to project fire in addition to their regular abilities. While draconians eschew artificial armor, their ability to bombard enemy fortifications and formations with area-of-effect fireballs makes them effective at taking enemy cities, particularly when combined with flying units later in a game. Having initially been created by magic to serve as an army, draconians heal injuries rapidly and can quickly recover after a battle, and draconian cities generate more magical energy than those of other races. Draconians thrive best in hot, dry environments, including barren volcanic and subterranean regions.
"Dwarves are hardy mountain kin which live in the earth or rugged places of the land. They value strength and hard work. Their minds are slow to the ways of diplomacy, preferring to strike their enemies with the force of their blows over spending inordinate amounts of energy in lengthy, sleep-inducing talk. They love to create things and find great satisfaction in creating vast structures adorned with the treasures discovered deep within the earth. Dwarves are strong fighters, some preferring to forego armor and shields to wield two axes and pure rage. Their sure-footed strides carry them over the high slopes they revere."
Dwarves are a straightforward race, eschewing fancy maneuvers in favour of a good, honest fight. As a result, their higher-end units have less mobility than those of other races, but are capable of inflicting and receiving considerable punishment, while some of their melee-based class units have developed greater resistance to enemy projectiles to assist in surviving a headlong charge towards enemy lines. Their archers represent an exception to this rule, often acting more as irregulars with their heavy crossbows than conventional archers. Forge Priests can provide them with healing and the blessing of fire, and share an 100% Protection with the most powerful dwarven units, the Firstborn. While dwarves generally lack flyers, their mountaineering and caving skills allow them to quickly traverse terrain that can pose problems for other races. Dwarves are at home in arctic terrain as well as underground, although their cities are most productive nestled among mountain peaks on the surface than beneath the ground.
Frostlings are a race of frigid humanoids that emerged from the frozen north in an age before recorded history. Pale and flue, like the ice they shape into dwellings, they can weather the most extreme cold.
When the Commonwealth came to power, the Frostlings had to retreat deep into the frozen north. They blamed the Elves for the loss of their goddess, Artica, and devoted themselves to the preservation of powerful female beings that could trap the power of ice and snow. Their Ice Queens and White Witches chose the heartiest Frostlings to be their mates, and a new matriarchal society was forged.
Now, Frostlings are bold and barbaric, directed by their cold hearts. They embark on frequent raids to the warmer lands. Their seafaring skills, offensive fighting style and frost magic spread fear among the coastline villages they pillage.
But Frostlings are even more deadly in their home arctic clime, where they build big cities carved into the very glaciers they hope will someday grow to cover the earth.
The Frostlings, master raiders and Frost magic users have a number of interesting units and abilities. Two of their low tier units have movement restricting abilities, something that keeps them useful even into the late game. Sieges are also less of a problem for them, as the Frostling Raider has both Demolisher and Improved Wall Climbing, while the Frostling Mammoth Rider has Wall Crushing. Lastly, the Frostling Ice Queen, their highest tier unit, is actually a Support unit, but suited to be in the middle of the fight with Dome of Frost and Ice Nova instead of a ranged attack. This is also enabled by the Frostling Royal Guard, which has Pledge of Protection to help them survive.
"Goblins squirmed forth from the bowels of the earth, far before they were supposed to, so says a myth. Goblins are filthy sadistic creatures, which delight in destruction and chaos. They bubble from the earth as a filthy mass. They desire to reclaim all dark caves from any other living thing. Goblins are short and skinny, hunched over with lengthy arms that dangle near to the ground. Their skins are typically faded orange and brown, matching the earth. They have considerable eyesight underground, and are seldom taken by surprise."
Centuries of oppression, combined with their small size, has made them masters of otherwise uninviting blighted wetlands and underground terrain. Goblins can heal themselves by living off the land (so to speak) in swamps, and both are resistant to and make use of poisons frequently found therein – as well as their unique units, goblin crossbow-using class units frequently poison their bolts for increased potency. This is augmented further by the ability of Untouchables and Blight Doctors to sap the Resistance of their foes before delivering the lethal dose. They are particularly known for the ability of their Swarm Darters to strike enemies from afar regardless of obstacles in their path, and their Big Beetles give them a fast cavalry force capable of digging through underground barriers and enemy walls alike. Goblin cities grow faster than those of other races, and their troops fight for less gold (if only out of desperation).
"To Halflings every day is an idyllic dream, filled with the possibility of simple pleasures and prosperity. Halflings are masters of happiness. They seek the path to everlasting joy. As a result, there are many factions among the small folk, from the pious priests who seek joy in service and doing good to others, to the eccentric pranksters, and celebrant revelers filled with any brew that might bring them closer to a stupor of laughter and song. Halflings are extraordinary cooks, and eat well. They enjoy music, and telling stories. Adept at trade, they spend their wealth as quickly as they earn it. They are content to work the land and harvest its bounty, but at times they are carried away to waste and silliness that separates them from the more proud faerie folk and Elven kin."
While often poor in melee, Halflings have a number of tricks to make up for this. Their signature countermeasure is the Lucky feature, giving them a chance to avoid all of the damage from an enemy strike – however, the luck of the halflings is dependent on their morale, making keeping morale up particularly important for halflings. To assist in this, many halfling class support units have the ability to boost the morale of their army, and their Brew Brothers are excellent healers capable of raising the health of friendly troops above their normal maximums, although their physical-based attacks leave halflings with few answers against incorporeal foes. Meanwhile, their fast but fragile Eagle Riders have an ability that allows them to attack enemy troops without retaliation, potentially reducing the damage they receive, while the fireworks of Jesters can dazzle enemy troops, allowing the rest of the army to attack them without fear. However, halflings still prefer to keep their enemy at a distance when possible, with their Adventurers providing a cheap but effective archer-like unit with little infrastructure, and their Farmers able to break up and slow down an enemy advance with some well-aimed livestock.
"Elves are immortal, living a life without end. These delicate and graceful beings are the elders of this world. Elves have close ties to nature and life. They love music, lore and dance but are solitary, preferring to seek their pleasures away for the prying eyes of the world. When intruders come to their forests they rarely escape, and those taken from an Elven forest, after having dwelt among the elves, often die of broken hearts and unspoken remorse."
The High Elf military emphasizes mobility and firepower to defeat their enemies. Their Shock- and Physical-based ranged units deal more damage than their counterparts, particularly their longbows that are able to inflict full damage at maximum range – and which are issued to class units that may be equipped with regular bows or crossbows among other races. Meanwhile, phasing unicorns and flying gryphons can bypass enemy walls or exploit weaknesses in enemy formations. High Elves have no innate ability to speed their healing, relying instead on ranged and flanking attacks to bring a quick victory and minimize the damage they take. High Elves thrive best in temperate or arctic forests, being able to navigate dense vegetation with ease while finding high temperatures, blight, and underground regions difficult to tolerate.
"Humans are strange mix of all races. Some desire to invent and build things. Others desire to rule and wield power, while others are content to sit int the shade of the trees and tell stories to children. Some humans are deeply spiritual, while others show a knack for learning powers others had forgotten. Their governments are in a state of constant evolution, while every individual is of their own mind. Every man walks after their own pursuit with brazen disegard for the laws of nature or the order of life."
Human military forces have few special features, but are well- armored, practical and effective in most situations. They have an affinity for the water – human units can fight as effectively in naval engagements as on land, and some human class units are able to swim across water bodies where their counterparts of other races cannot. Their priests are capable healers, and the cultural ambition of many humans to achieve knighthood can allow basic cavalrymen to ultimately reach this pinnacle of martial prowess. Many lighter human class units carry nets, with which they entangle foes to render them vulnerable to allies or to allow an escape. Human cities are often more Productive than those of other races, particularly when located in warm environments with lots of fertile farmland.
"Orcs are creatures of destruction. They live to break things down, and so it is with great difficulty that a master of Orcs must gather the tribes together and form a city. They care little for magic, but prefer to trust in the power of cruelty and strength. Orcs hate things of beauty, unless that thing is cruel. When bored, they will just as readily destroy themselves as any particular race, but as a result, they are efficient workers when organized by powerful leaders, and they are accustomed to working under duress of harsh taskmasters."
Orcs favor the direct approach: They are stronger in melee than other races, have more hit points, and enjoy fighting such that the sheer thrill of victory can cause them to regenerate health. In fact, some of their melee units enjoy fighting so much that they are able to tirelessly strike back at all comers without forfeiting the ability to press their own attack. On the other hand, they field poor archers, and are more vulnerable than most to magic – particularly their elite Shock Troopers, which are otherwise probably the toughest of the racial special units in a straight-up fight. Their Black Knight cavalry is infamous for their skill at dispatching enemy cavalry, and their Spearmen irregulars more than make up for their lack of ranged accuracy through their mobility and the greater durability granted to them through their shields. Their Priests provide little direct support to their allies, but are masters of dark magic, able to curse their foes from a considerable distance. They prefer barren tropical and subterranean regions, but are noteworthy as being able to survive in blighted regions better than most, although they are still not entirely at home there.
"Tigrans are a race of feline humanoids, hailing from remote desert lands. Reclusive and mystical, they tend not to get involved in the conflicts of the populous northern lands. But when opportunity favors them, they pounce and kill without mercy. Their reclusiveness has given rise to some rather extreme religious sects. A large proportion of Tigrans worship a new incarnation of the ancient Fire Wizard-god Yaka as the Sun God. Tigran ferocity is legendary. The most devout strive to unleash their inner predator, seeing mercy as weakness. They worship the sun and track the cycle of day and night; life and death. Their natural curiosity about necromancy and the passing of regal souls into kingdoms of glory in the afterlife inspires them to construct massive tombs.
Tigrans are lean, muscular and agile. They are clever with magic and move quickly across the battlefield, able to avoid many obstacles in combat. Many are masters of the flame, which they believe pleases their god."
Tigrans are in a weird spot combat-wise. They deal a lot of damage, but they will also take a lot when their commander isn't careful. To assist in picking their battles, they have Athletics, making them extremely mobile in tactical combat. Unique, their Irregular, the Tigran Cheetah, has no ranged attack. It makes up for this by having Pounce, a powerful ability that doesn't take a retaliation strike, and having a chance to bleed, which they share with the Tigran Shredder, their Archer. This leads into one of the race's innate synergies, since some units, like their Tier 2 Infantry the Prowler, have Bloodthirsty, which gives them bonus damage against bleeding units. This synergy can often be spotted in the Tigran class units as well. This Prowler is available from the War Hall, instead of the other races recruiting the Infantry from the Barracks. In return, the Tigran Sun Guard, which is their Pikeman, can be recruited from the Barracks. This focus on melee combat can also be found in their Support, the Tigran Mystic, which has Were Panther, allowing them to morph into a Dire Panther. Doing this gives them a small heal, makes them melee only, and gives them Pounce just like the irregular. Lastly, the Tigran Sphinx is their Tier 3 unit, which is an Irregular with Lesser Flying and Sun Disc.