All units in Age of Wonders III gain experience through participation in combat, as well as through some other means. The way experience affects units is different based upon what type of unit it is. Heroes and Leaders gain levels which grant them skill points which can be used to buy upgrades that increase the stats and add more abilities to their arsenal. Some of these abilities can even affect all units in an army that the hero is leading.

Normal units gain experience as they participate in battle but do not gain levels like a hero or leader; they instead gain rankings which gives them increased statistics or in some regards new abilities or traits. Units gain in experience from attacking a unit, killing a unit, engaging in combat, casting a spell or using an ability. They are limited to gaining only one rank per battle, but they can continue to gain experience until they reach the threshold for the next rank. Reaching elite rank causes some units to evolve into stronger units.

If a unit retreats from combat, they lose any Experience that they gained during the battle.

Exp Values[edit | edit source]

Attacks that can trigger 3 times[edit | edit source]

Each attack grants the user it's own tier's worth of Experience.

Note that attacking inanimate objects (e.g. city gates) DOES NOT award XP.

Example: A Priest firing 2 shots of the Spirit Ray.png Spirit Ray will give it 4 Experience, 2 Experience for each shot.


Most Other Abilities[edit | edit source]

Each use of an ability awards 2x Tier of the unit using the ability. This includes all single shot ranged attacks, but not area of effect attacks. Note that some abilities do not award Experience such as War Cry.png War Cry, and most movement abilities like Sprint.png Sprint or Shadow Step.png Shadow Step.

Example: An Evangelist using Healing.png Healing awards the unit 6 Experience, and no Experience for the target (unless target is self).


Being Attacked[edit | edit source]

If a unit is attacked with a melee attack. It receives Experience equal to the tier of the attacking unit. This affects retaliation attacks and attacks of opportunity.

  • Note that this only happens with melee attacks other abilities do not award Experience for being hit by them.

Example: Suppose a Crusader (tier II) attacks a Titan (tier IV) 3 times, but the Titan can only retaliate 2 times. Both units are awarded 3*2 + 2*4 = 14 Experience.


Killing Blows[edit | edit source]

Landing the killing blow should replace the expected Experience with 5x the Tier of the killed unit. This includes damaging abilities as well as normal melee/ranged attacks.

Example: Consider the crusader/titan case above where the Titan kills the crusader on the second retaliation. The awarded Experience is 2*2 + 4 = 8 Experience for the Crusader (before it dies) and 2*2 + 4 + 5*2 = 18 Experience for the Titan.


Area of Effect[edit | edit source]

Area of Effect attacks behave similarly to attacks that can trigger 3 times. The user receives Experience equal to its tier for every unit hit with the attack. Killing a unit replaces the expected tier Experience with 5x the tier of the dying unit.

Example: Suppose a Blight Elemental (tier III) is using Gas Breath.png Weakening Breath on 5 units (that can be affected) and kills one T3 and one T1 among these 5 units. It would have received 5*3 = 15 Experience if none of them die. As two were killed, it receives instead 3*(5-2) + 5*1 + 5*3 = 29 Experience.


Spells[edit | edit source]

Spells award Experience based on their mana cost: basically 1 Experience is awarded for every 5 Mana used starting at 1 Experience for 0-4 Mana spells (then 2 Experience for 5-9 Mana and so on). The maximum awarded is 11 Experience for 50+ Mana spells.

Special Cases[edit | edit source]

Heroes[edit | edit source]

Heroes and Leaders behave like T3 units with respect to all Experience that they gain. Heroes behave like T5 and Leaders like T6 for the experience they award when they die, granting 25 and 30 Experience respectively for the unit that lands a killing blow on them. 5 Experience is added to this killing blow for every 5 levels the killed hero or leader had. Heroes and Leaders also passively gain 1 to 4 Experience per strategic map turn: 1 Experience by default, plus 1 Experience for each 3000 Knowledge the player has researched.


Spell Killing Blow[edit | edit source]

Killing a unit with a spell seemed to award the hero Experience for using the spell as well as 5x the tier of the killed unit.


Aura Abilities[edit | edit source]

The damage inflicted by aura abilities like Static Shield, Frost Aura, etc., behaves like a retaliation strike (with respect to Experience).

Example: Suppose that we have the same case as in the Being Attacked example, but the Titan has Static Shield.png Static Shield. The Crusader has no new abilities. Both units receive the same Experience, but the total value is 3*2 + 3*4 + 2*4 = 26 Experience. Each static shield check after the Crusader attacks awards both units +4 Experience (since the Titan is a T4 unit).


Medal Gains[edit | edit source]

Regular units[edit | edit source]

Units gain experience as they participate in battle but, unlike Heroes or Leaders, they gain medals and not levels. Medals give them improved statistics and sometimes new abilities. Units gain in experience from attacking a unit, killing a unit, engaging in combat, casting a spell or using an ability much like heroes or leaders. Units are limited to gaining only one rank per battle, but they can continue to gain experience until they reach the threshold for the next rank (beyond that point experience is not gained until the next battle). Reaching elite rank causes some units to evolve into stronger units. The amount of experience required to gain a new ranking is dependent on the tier of unit as shown by this table:

Tier TrooperTrooper VeteranVeteran ExpertExpert EliteElite
I 10 Experience 25 Experience 45 Experience 70 Experience
II 20 Experience 45 Experience 75 Experience 110 Experience
III

30 Experience

65 Experience 105 Experience 150 Experience
IV 40 Experience 85 Experience 140 Experience 200 Experience

After getting Elite Elite, units can keep getting Experience Experience. For every time they gain a multiple of the Experience Experience necessary to become Elite Elite, they gain a Champion rank. Every Champion rank raises Hit Points Health by 10.

Heroes and Leaders[edit | edit source]

Level Cumulated Experience required Per level Experience
1 0 0
2 50 50
3 100 50
4 150 50
5 200 50
6 275 75
7 350 75
8 425 75
9 500 75
10 600 100
11 700 100
12 800 100
13 900 100
14 1050 150
15 1200 150
16 1350 150
17 1500 150
18 1650 150
19 1800 150
20 2000 200
21+ +200 200

"Experience counter" and limit of experience gains per strategic turn[edit | edit source]

Each unit has a counter which counts how often it’s giving out Experience for interacting with other units. Whenever one of the following happens, that counter goes down by 1:

  1. The unit uses a touch ability, giving itself Experience.
  2. The unit is damaged by another unit, giving Experience to the unit that damaged it.*
  3. The unit damages another unit with a melee attack, giving Experience to the unit it damaged.
  4. The unit is killed, giving 5x its Tier Experience to the unit that killed it.**

* In the case of #2, if the damaging ability is not an ability that triggers multiple (3) times per round, then the counter goes down by 2 (because twice the amount of Experience is being given out).

** #4 (the kill) is a mandatory "count" of the Experience counter; in other words, if the initial value of a counter is 10, it is actually only 9 with regards to #1-3, because #4 is essential.

The counter resets each turn on the strategic map, so if you do multiple combats in the same strategic turn, the counter will be kept from one combat to the next.


"Experience Counter" Values[edit | edit source]

Values of Experience counters depend on unit Tier. (For modders, they are defined in Title.RPK in the Tier resources, except for Leader/Heroes.)

Vanilla Game[edit | edit source]

  • Tier 1: 10
  • Tier 2: 10
  • Tier 3: 12
  • Tier 4: 14
  • Leader/Heroes: 12

PBEM & Single-Player Balance Mod[edit | edit source]

Values of Experience counters are different in the PBEM & SP BM, and may be subject to change. The following are current, as of v1.28:

  • Tier 1: 6
  • Tier 2: 8
  • Tier 3: 9
  • Tier 4: 10
  • Leader/Heroes: 9

Notes on Experience maximization[edit | edit source]

Caution! Use the following advice at own discretion, and only if you enjoy min-maxing. Have fun!

Managing the counter of your own units[edit | edit source]

  1. The counter is to limit the amount of Experience farming by restricting the Experience each unit can give, and it does not prevent the unit from gaining Experience from other units even after its own counter reaches 0. For example, after a hero stops giving Experience to enemy through taking damage from previous battles this turn, he can still gain Experience by attacking newly encountered enemys whose counter is still fresh.
  2. It is very easy for a high level hero to exhaust its own counter, so using self-cast ability early on would award the hero Experience, but not after the hero's own counter become depleted. In short, use self buffs such as Iron-Heart as early as possible, and use healing abilities as soon as you take damage. It will help your hero level up faster.

Managing the counter of enemy units[edit | edit source]

Though the "number of times" that enemy unit gives Experience is fixed, the total amount of Experience is not fixed.

For example, a tier I unit taking damage from another unit would generate only 1 Experience per counter if the other unit is also tier I, but 4 Experience per counter if the attacking unit is tier IV.

  1. When facing enemy unit that is equal or lower tier than your own, it's better to let your high tier units attack until the enemy unit's counter is nearly empty while:
    • not taking melee retaliation from the enemy unit since it would also deplete enemy's counter while giving fewer Experience;
    • not killing the enemy.
    • Then, the killing blow gives the same amount of Experience to whichever unit you choose.
  2. When facing an enemy unit that is higher tier than your own, you can theoretically get the max Experienceby taking melee attack from them while:
    • not retaliating with your own melee attack (often difficult or near impossible)
    • not dying from the attack (very difficult)
    • giving the killing blow to whichever unit you choose.
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