Commanders are the avatars of the players in Age of Wonders: Planetfall. Commanders are tasked with building an empire from the ashes of the Star Union. At the start of a game, the commander can be customized by choosing their race, appearance, secret technology, perks and faction banner. The chosen race and secret technology unlock unique research paths and are therefore the defining choices for the empire the commander will create.
During gameplay, commanders are their own unit on the planet: a hero. They have the same features as heroes: they can get new equipment, and they can be upgraded. However, instead of having to be revived when defeated, commanders return from recuperating automatically.
Commanders are also the representative when engaging in Diplomacy. The diplomatic choices the player makes will reflect in their opinions, popular support and reputation. These can vary greatly, depending on how the player decides to rule their empire.
- Main article: Perks
The hero can choose between 4 perk types in the start of the game.
- Main article: Skills
Every level above 1 grants a hero 5 skill points to use on hero upgrades.
Next to the main faction, players select a secret technology at the start of the game. Secret Technologies are experimental, forbidden research projects that originated from the collapsed Star Union.
These Tech groups unlock additional Units, Mods, Ops and Doctrines, as well as powerful Doomsday Weapons, which form the Tech Victory of the game.
The Celestians are an ancient order of psionically-gifted individuals that strive to achieve inner enlightenment and create balance and harmony in the universe. They believe psionic power comes from the Stars and use this power to protect their ideals and teachings.
The Celestian Order was founded a long time ago when psionic abilities first started to awaken in the human race. They believed this was a new stage in human evolution, and advocated a path of inner peace and enlightenment.
- Sway enemy soldiers and colonists to your cause
- Strong moral buffing and damage reflection
- NPC diplomacy bonuses
- Uses the psionic and thermal damage channels
Star Union deployed the Promethean Division to cleanse worlds of empire-destabilizing threats. Its PyrX was originally developed to immolate planets infested with Xenoplague, but it was rumored the tech was also used to quieten dissenting worlds. Once a planet had been cleansed, the Prometheans would send engineers and colonists to rapidly recolonize the ruins. The Promethean emblem instilled terror in all who saw it.
- Create weapons of mass destruction
- Settle in inhospitable places
- Employ powerful incendiary weapons
- Shield units and colonists from Armageddon
- Uses the thermal and kinetic damage channels
The Psynumbra employ dark psionic powers to tear holes in reality and summon devious entities from the Abyss.
The Psynumbra was a counter-psionics project tasked with stemming the rise of psychics among the population and fighting Outlander psi-agents. Invoking negative emotions allowed them to suppress and dominate their subjects. The project was shut down when Psynumbra leaders began using psionic powers for their own dark agendas, drawing powers from beyond the Void.
- Summon ethereal beings
- Shatter reality to terrorize the populace
- Break enemy’s minds
- Uses the psionic damage channel
Synthesis was developed by the Omega group, a dark subculture of hacktivists within the Spacer faction of the Star Union. The group rebelled against CORE’s oppression by hacking into NexusNet and turning its systems against CORE and the Star Union. They developed technology to manipulate the AI’s within NexusNet going as far as transferring their own consciousness into the network, merging with AI.
- Deploy AI daemons in battle
- Hack and override enemy mechanical units
- Bolster strategic operations
- Integrate the populace into the network
- Uses the arc and kinetic damage channels
Voidtech was developed by a covert division of Star Union’s main science institute. It was created in order to find new applications for W Travel hyperspace technology. Dimensional Manipulation was used to successfully transmit matter and energy, leading to the construction of cataclysmically powerful weapons.
• Command highly mobile units that can teleport and pass through obstacles.
• Create temporal clones of units.
• Destabilize and decelerate enemies.
• Uses the arc and kinetic damage channels.
Centuries Ago, an expedition discovered an alien creature that came to be known as Alpha Strain. It was a parasite capable of incorporating the DNA of its host into its own body, collecting traits from thousands of species over its lifetime. The Star Union used it both to improve the physiology of their elite soldiers and to infect enemies with horrifying mutations.
The bio-weapon they designed was highly aggressive. The parasite injected cells into hosts that consumed the bio-matter around them using a corrosive bile. This process resulted in an exponentially-growing force of nightmarish monsters named Xenoplague. After Xenoplague outbreaks turned some planets into throbbing bio-hells, further development was forbidden.
• Spawn and evolve special units after battle
• Heal and enhance biological units.
• Deploy infectous bioweapons.
• Uses the biochemical and kinetic damage channels.