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 XP Text that they gained during the battle.

Exp ValuesEdit

Attacks that can trigger 3 timesEdit

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

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

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

Most Other AbilitiesEdit

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 XP Text such as War Cry War Cry, and most movement abilities like Sprint Sprint or Shadow Step Shadow Step.

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

Being AttackedEdit

If a unit is attacked with a melee attack. It receives XP Text 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 XP Text 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 XP Text.

Killing BlowsEdit

Landing the killing blow should replace the expected XP Text 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 XP Text is 3*2 + 4 = 10 XP Text for the Crusader (before it dies) and 3*2 + 4 + 5*2 = 20 XP Text for the Titan.

Area of EffectEdit

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

Example: Suppose a Blight Elemental (tier III) is using Gas Breath 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 XP Text if none of them die. As two were killed, it receives instead 3*(5-2) + 5*1 + 5*3 = 29 XP Text.


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

Special CasesEdit


Heroes and Leaders behave like T3 units with respect to all XP Text that they gain. Heroes behave like T5 and Leaders like T6 for the experience they award when they die, granting 25 and 30 XP Text respectively for the unit that lands a killing blow on them. 5 XP Text 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 XP Text per strategic map turn: 1 XP Text by default, plus 1 XP Text for each 3000 Knowledge Text the player has researched.

Spell Killing BlowEdit

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

Aura AbilitiesEdit

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

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

Medal GainsEdit

Regular unitsEdit

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 Iron Medal TextTrooper Bronze Medal TextVeteran Silver Medal TextExpert Gold Medal TextElite
I 10 XP Text 25 XP Text 45 XP Text 70 XP Text
II 20 XP Text 45 XP Text 75 XP Text 110 XP Text

30 XP Text

65 XP Text 105 XP Text 150 XP Text
IV 40 XP Text 85 XP Text 140 XP Text 200 XP Text

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

Heroes and LeadersEdit

Level Cumulated XP Text required Per level XP Text
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 turnEdit

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

  1. The unit uses a touch ability (gives XP Text to the unit itself)
  2. The unit is damaged by another unit (gives XP Text to the unit that damaged it)
  3. The unit hits another unit with a melee attack (gives XP Text to the unit that it struck)

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 XP Text is being given out). Once the counter is at zero, then the unit will stop giving out XP Text for those things, though it will still give XP Text to the unit that kills it.

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.

The counter’s starting value depends on the tier of the unit:

  • Tier 1: 10
  • Tier 2: 12
  • Tier 3: 16
  • Tier 4: 20
  • Heroes and leader: 9

(for modders, it is defined in Title.RPK in the tier resources, except for heroes and leaders)

Notes on XP Text maximization Edit

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

Managing the counter of your own units Edit

  1. the counter is to limit the amount of XP Text farming by restricting the XP Text each unit can give, and it does not prevent the unit from gaining XP Text from other units even after its own counter reaches 0. For example, after my hero stops giving XP Text to enemy through taking damage from previous battles this turn, he can still gain XP Text 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 use self-cast ability early on would award the hero XP Text, but not after the hero's own counter become depleted. In short, use self buffs such as Iron-Heart as early as you can, and use healing ability as soon as you take damage will help your hero level up faster.

Managing the counter of enemy units Edit

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

For example, a tier I unit taking damage from another unit would generate only 1 XP Text per counter if the other unit is also tier I, but 4 XP Text 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 to attack until the enemy unit's counter is empty while:
    • not taking melee retaliation from the enemy unit since it would also deplete enemy's counter while giving fewer XP Text;
    • not killing the enemy.
    • Then, the killing blow gives the same amount of XP Text to which ever unit you choose.
  2. When facing enemy unit that is higher tier than your own, you can theocratically get the max XP Textby 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)
    • After the enemy counter is empty, give the killing blow to which ever unit you choose.

The path to XP Text maximization is not an easy one. As with many things in life, higher risk and/or more effort = higher reward.