Age of Wonders 4 – Terraforming / Megacities Strategies

Terraforming / Megacities Guide

All credit goes to Harris !

I’ve been trying various terraforming/megacities strats, and here’s what I think.

The ability to build only 1 guild per city really encourages specialization – i.e. making most (all?) your provinces have the same improvement.

We have Farmers (10 food/farm), Mages (10 mana/conduit), Merchants (10 gold/mine), Scholars (10 knowledge/research post), Seafarers (3 of everything but knowledge and mana/fishery), Smiths (5 food 5 draft/forester) and Workers (10 production/quarry)

We can’t build research posts, conduits and mines reliably, and fisheries are very dependent on the map and whether you have the relevant society trait for it. So I’m just gonna throw all the associated guilds out of the window. We are left with food for farms, food and draft for foresters and production for quarries. Now we can talk.

1) Farms

Farms are weak in that they only provide food. And food is only useful for having high population. And to be honest, there’s not must point/benefit of having high population at the moment. For example, if you have 30 pop Temple of Fertility gives you 30 food 30 draft – absolutely irrelevant by the time you have population like that. Tribunal gives you up to 30 knowledge, Astral Attunement gives 30 knowledge and 30 mana. This bonuses are nice, but far from being overpowered when you consider the investment.

Furthermore, sometimes it might be beneficial to have more cities, as you can build city structures in every of them – or benefit from province adjacencies with multiple tightly-placed cities.

For the purpose of adjacencies, farms are versatile – with them you can get knowledge from Abbey, gold from Tithe Collector, draft from Bountiful Fields/Carnival of Flesh, or simply even more food with Levy fields.

However, farms require either grasslands or the “adaptation” to specific terrain. There is a way to get some grassland on demand with Tome of Fertility, and Tome of Paradise lets you convert 10% of that useless food income into mana with Garden of Bliss as well as gives you +2 food and production for every grassland tile.

The problem is both bonuses are kinda bad for the point in the game when they arrive. If you heavily focus on farms without a single quarry, even +60 production won’t make much difference for you in the late game. And mana from farms is nice to have, but this bonus only kicks in with a tier 4 tome – and if you playing a mana-hungry build that could potentially benefit – where are you supposed to get mana before that?

Farms sounds good if you’re into map control and the relevant victory, but is mostly about pure population growth without being good at much else.

2) Forestries

Forestries give smaller amounts of food and production, even though the city structures are mostly focused on food and draft. So in the end you up having lots of food and draft, and a bit of production. Meaning you’re able to build structures faster than farms build, but your city is growing slower, providing you’re not building units. What does this mean? 25% of your idle draft is getting converted into food. That said, food is not the best resource to have, for the reasons described above.

Forestries adjacency mostly award draft (Forest of Spikes, Wildlife Sanctuary) and mana (Herbalist, Ritual Pyre). To plant forests on demand you’ll need a t2 Tome of Glades.

So forestries sounds good if you’re an aggressive chaos barbarian or a necromancer and will commonly be fielding mixed armies with gold/mana upkeep.

3) Quarries

Quarries give only production, but also a bit of gold with Great Builders, which quickly piles up if you’re focused on filling the map with quarries. You get tons of production, which will enable you to build every city structure you want much faster than you’ve got any business to. And it doesn’t stop at that – 25% of idle production is converted into gold.

Quarries adjacencies mostly offer even more production with Builders Quarters, Central Quarry and Golem Mine, but also mana with Runecarvers Camp and even draft with Dark Forge. However to be able to build quarries everywhere you’ll need the t3 Tome of Terramancy.

Both gold and production (that eventually turns into gold) are the most versatile resource in the game, so quarries possibly offer you the most if you focus at them (especially when we consider it’s one of the only two improvements to have a related society trait).

The best use for all that gold is probably fielding large, gold-upkeep armies with the focus on powerful elite units like golden golems.

4) Dedicated Cities?

I don’t know how viable it is, but nothing stops you from grabbing both Tomes of Glade and Terramancy and having a dedicated city with forestries for spamming units and then other cities for gold income. But the opportunity cost, not to mention it might be better to just have 2 cities with quarries instead.

But the real question is if specialization/terraforming/huge cities even worth it? I mean, instead of all the effort to reach it, you could just get a horde of t1 creatures/animals and go conquer your neighbour.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13981 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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