The War Machines engineered by the denizens of the Age of Wonders are truly worth note when planning to besiege an enemy castles' formidable walls. While not all the machines listed here are truly designed for war, their roles in a military campaign can be the difference between overwhelming victory, or crushing defeat.
Age of Wonders Units
Age of Wonders II/Shadow Magic Units
- Although mechanically different from crossbows, Ballistae function quite similarly. Ballistae are siege machines that are most effectively deployed at long ranges against other units rather than city walls. Their javelins are much more accurate and aerodynamic than the boulder of a Catapult. Several Ballistae can provide excellent cover for armies attempting to breach or protect a city's outer wall.
- The engineers responsible for the Repeater Ballista scoffed at the simplicity of the standard ballista. They consider firing a single javelin to be child's play, wholly inadequate when it is just as possible to fire three javelins in the same amount of time. A success nearly as large as their egos, the Repeater Ballista would have made its creators rich and famous, if they had not been buried in unmarked graves and had it stolen from them by less intelligent, but more resourceful inventors.
- One of the first siege machines developed, the Catapult is a crude yet effective tool for raining death down on the enemy from afar. The boulders it can fire do not have the precision to reliably hit a moving enemy, so are best used against slow or stationary targets, such as city walls or other siege machines. Their firebomb ammunition is equally inaccurate, but makes up for that failing by covering a wide area in flaming oil.
- Cannons are looked upon by the average foot soldier with a level of awe and fear usually reserved for Dragons and other magical beasts. But to anyone engaged on the field of battle, the harsh bellow of cannon fire is a sound unmatched by the roar of any creature of flesh and blood. A soldier can usually see a Dragon coming, but the high velocity of a cannonball means that by the time they hear the cannon fire, the fate of its target has already been sealed.
- The Tigran engineer Fwamb'ae who developed it claimed that the Flame Cannon represented the ultimate in cannon technology. Upon the base of each cannon he built, he would inscribe, 'Ice is for sissies.' Fwamb'ae was killed when he locked himself in his cold storage chamber and froze to death among slabs of ice and well-preserved meat. His son was last rumored to be collaborating with his wife on a new invention that fires metal pellets, known as the Irony Cannon.
- The Frostling engineer Uhrquark who developed it claimed that the Frost Cannon represented the ultimate in cannon technology. Upon the base of each cannon he built, he would inscribe, 'Fire is the tool of the lazy and unwashed.' Uhrquark was killed when he left a candle burning before bed, and his house burned down as he slept. His daughter was last rumored to be collaborating with her husband on a new invention that fires metal pellets, known as the Irony Cannon
- Transports are large unarmed ships used to move troops across bodies of water. These ships are fairly inexpensive and can be built quickly. A transport can hold up to seven other units at one time. Because Transports are unarmed, passengers take a high risk traveling within them. Many a soldier has losthis life, not in battle, but at the bottom of the sea after taking a boat ride.
- Galleys are large, armed ships. Thick wooden hulls enable them to withstand large amounts of damage and remain seaworthy. Galleys are outfitted with a standard ballista on deck for protection and can transport up to seven units at a time.
- Pioneers represent the hope a society has in finding a better life. Once part of the populace of another town, these travelers have left behind the safety of their former homes. They seek an inviting stretch of land to call their own, often at great personal risk from bandits and the enemies of their homelands. Their skill at construction allows them to build new settlements for their race, repair damaged buildings, and clear the way for new roads, as long as they can be protected long enough to do their work.
- Building a Pioneer reduces the population of the City by 250. Pioneers build new outposts of the Race of the City that they were created at.
- Strangely, this small floatation device was created after the far more complicated Air Galley first take to the skies. Its inventor was known to have commented, 'What we need is a weaker, slower Air Galley, with no offensive capabilities!' Although he was never considered brilliant enough for his name to be recorded anywhere, the Balloon did turn out to have a good amount of usefulness to many parties.