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Downloads Home » Modpacks » SlowGrowth Mod v1.10

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SlowGrowth Mod v1.10

Author File Description
SlowGrowth Mod for Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic
Last update 3/26/07 v1.10


One of the biggest problems I have always had with AoW2 was the rate of city growth.

Some 5 years ago when Age of Wonders 2 came out, the first major gameplay difference
I noticed over the venerable AoW1 was the fact that suddenly *all* of your towns could
turn into those ultra valuable 4-hex cities. Cities did not grow in Age of Wonders.
Part of the strategy of the entire game was finding, and then protecting, those valuable
centers of commerce (+gold) and military production. If you wanted level 3 units,
then you had to find a level 3 city.

The change to AoW2 took some getting used to. Suddenly a crucial strategic element was
missing. On the whole, AoW2 (and then later AoW2SM) was so much better than the original
on so many other levels, that I never looked back. But all the while, this one problem
irked me. Over the years I've gone through phases of AoW2, where I'd get rehooked on its
beauty and lose countless hours in the RMG with friends on LAN, or simply pounding the AI.
And at some point during these episodes I always yearned for that missing element, and
found myself digressing back to the original AoW.

It wasn't necessarily the growth itself that was the problem, it was the rate. On a
medium map with 4 players, sometime around turn 50-60, nearly every town on the map that
you own is of 'City' class. Everything is a mega-commerce center, and a level 3
unit-pumping factory. On the otherhand, the default rate of growth seemed to fit well on
small maps, because they only lasted so long. But what if you wanted to play an Epic game?
A Large or XL map? Inevitably, it would turn into a map chock-full of Cities. Some friends
and I tinkered with the 'Disable Growth' option in RMG setup to alleviate this problem, but
this never seemed to be the right solution. Having one City and (maybe) one Town with a
half dozen Outposts isn't fun, either.

Enter this mod.

I created this initally some years ago solely for LAN games with friends, with the strict
intention of simply halving the universal rate of growth of all races. After uPatch 1.4
came out, I updated the mod and considered polishing it off to publish to HG. I have
been methodical in making sure that this mod stays as true to the core game as possible,
only changing the pace at which it progresses.

At the center of this mod is one thing: All racial base growth rates have been cut in half.
All Outposts, Villages, Towns, etc grow at 50% of their vanilla AoWSM rates. On average,
it will take 35-40 or so turns for a Village to 'naturally' grow into a Town, and another
40+ to grow into a City. This makes cities special. Unless you are playing a truely epic
game that is going to last 150+ turns, not everything on the map is of going to be
Cities anymore.

The net effect is this: Cities (unless you start with one) are now meaningful, just like
those 4-hex Towns from the original AoW. If you want one early in your average game, then
you are going to have to work for it by producing housing. This focus on infrastructure
adds a totally new strategy element to the game. Since buildings like the Champions Guild
are not tied to city size (as in Dwiggs, BNW, etc), you don't *have* to spend turns
building housing, but the option is always there, depending on your strategy.

There are no extra units, no fancy new spells, nothing of the core 1.4 gameplay has been
changed unless it affected growth rates (with one cosmetic exception). Base growth for all
races has been halved, and any building which provided a bonus/penalty has been halved as
well, so that the overall ratios do not become unbalanced. Produce Housing, however, has
not been changed; it still provides the +10/+20/+30/+40 pop growth bonus of a default game.
This means that producing housing is now much more economical, in that instead of doubling
base growth per turn, it effectively triples it.

The only other important thing of note is the Expander skill. I have pondered, tinkered
and play-tested various settings until I'm blue in the face. In the end, I felt it best
to simply disable the skill entirely. This is to avoid that 'no-brainer' syndrome some
people may have when it comes to choosing their skill picks. The bonuses in growth it
provided (unlike Gobliln bonuses) are hard-coded and cannot be changed. This simply made
the skill too powerful within the scope of this mod, even if I raised the research value
or doubled its point value. If you want faster growth, then pick a town and focus on housing.

Or play goblins.

Understand that this is *not* AoW:SM in slow motion. After you play it, you will see that
it doesn't simply slow the entire game down. Many elements, namely unit movement rates, are
still the same. So while your cities are growing slower, *tactically* everything else is
still happening at the original rate. This effect somewhat shifts the focus to the lower
level units, giving them some much needed attention. You are more likely to see an increase
of level 1 units mixed in stacks throughout a much longer portion of your typical game.

I really hope you enjoy playing it as much as my friends and myself do.

Happy Hunting,


Please note that this mod requires the unofficial patch v1.4 to play.

After installation, don't forget to select the mod as a custom resource in your AoW:SM Setup.
To uninstall, simply run the uninstaller utility located in your Age of Wonders directory.

For a complete list of anything and everything that has been altered, please see the
changelog below. More details can also be found in the 'SlowGrowth 1.10 Tables.PDF' file
that is located in your Age of Wonders directory.

A special note on rounding: In the event that dividing a growth bonus or penalty resulted
in a fractional number, as a rule all values have been rounded up.

If you have any questions or would like to report a bug, please see the HG thread at
or you can email me at



- Consider raising cost/lvl for pop affecting spells, eg. City Quake, City Plague
- Consider adding a racial re-builder unit (as in MP 1.x) to offset the negative effects
of 'scorched earth' tactics, due to Pioneers being more valuable

Private build, circa 8/04
Halved base growth values for all races
Disabled Expander skill for balance reasons due to hard coded restrictions

Initial internal build for release 2/07
Updated data for uPatch v1.4
Stock Wizard changes for now defunct Expander skill
Fixed Wizards missing skill picks in uP1.4 (see XLS)
Fixed Fairy Dragon unit as indicated in official uP1.4 bug/annoyance thread:,4636
Changed RMG map graphic for Subterranean Entrance
Created XLS documents, up to date as of 1.01

Halved values for all racial pop growth buildings, war shrine penalty, nature shrine bonus,
etc. Updated string values if required
Great Garden +5 (was +10)
Shrine of Nature +15 (was +30)
Shrine of War -3 (was -5)
Stone Wall +3 (was +5)
Verified no compatibility issues with adjusted Growth rates and Hurry Prod/Nomad Slave Pit

Updated string descriptions for ALL buildable city structures to reflect any bonuses or
penalties applied, regardless of whether their values have been changed
Corrected uP1.4 typos in buildable structure string descriptions
(Invalid carriage returns and capitalization inconsistencies)
Shrine of Magic now states "Worships Spirit of Magic"
Updated description of Produce Housing to be less vague

Removed Resurgence as a possible Hero upgrade (known bug, unrelated to mod)

Initial release, verified data before packaging
Updated XLS documents and created PDF
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
martinecek Hello,
I have a problem getting your mod running. I installed it yesterday, changed the settings in the AOWsetup program but whenever I choose any scenario (either made for 1.4 patch or those older ones) I won't get to the map itself. The "Start Game" button ignores clicking on it and I am still in the same screen. So what can be wrong with the mod or my AOW settings? Thanks for your answer.
File Author
Hey martinecek,

I made this mod mainly for random map games in multiplayer with friends, but it still should be possible to play with other custom maps.

The problem isn't just with this mod; it's with all mods unless they've had their CRCs recalculated. The way AoW handles custom resources prevents you loading any saved games or custom maps (or campaigns) that aren't 'tagged' to be used with that particular set of resources you have selected in your AoWSetup. PawelS made a handy utility a few years ago that allowed you to circumvent this, though, and play any map with a custom resource set.

Just remember that this could potentially cause anomolies like invisible units/missing stacks/invalid structures if the mod you are trying to play has replaced some default values that the map you are trying to play currently uses.

You can get his Resource.ahr validating utility here:

Theoretically there should be no conflicts between SlowGrowth Mod and any other custom maps (or even the campaign) made for vanilla AoWSM, because I haven't added/deleted any units or spells or other important resources. I did change one map graphic (for cosmetic reasons only); I'm not sure how a default map/scenario/campaign will handle this, though. I never tested it. But it *should* work just fine.

Like I said this Mod was mainly created for RMG games. If I ever update it, I'll be sure to go ahead and pre-validate the resources.ahr so that players can play the original campaign and default maps without having to do this step on their own.
(id: Roger the Rampant)
All he needs to do is load the map in the editor and save it under a new name before playing it
martinecek Thanks you guys for your help, I've just tried the Validator utility you suggested to use, and the mod seems to work fine now. Plus I've also tried opening the given map in the editor and save it under a different name, which did not work because the editor was unable to access it (with custom resources set to SlowGrowth mod).

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