FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

This FAQ was put together primarily by Daidalos. Thanks!

Index over the sections on this page:


What is Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic?

Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic takes the acclaimed fantasy strategy series to new heights. This new stand-alone game enhances the series’ praised fusion of empire building, role-playing and tactical combat with the eerie Shadow World and battle with races never before seen, across new and diverse landscapes. Combined with the option of creating a totally unique environment with the map editor and rewriting the history of this world through the enhanced campaign editor, you are ensured a constant stream of completely new game experiences.

What are the system requirements?

Processor: 100% PC Compatible
Operating System: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
CPU: Pentium II 450 MHz processor or equivalent
RAM: 128MB RAM (minimum); 192MB recommended
CD-ROM: 8X Speed
Hard Drive Space: 900MB
Graphics: DirectX 8.1 compatible 16MB 3D video card
Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card
Keyboard & Mouse: Microsoft compatible

Is there a demo?

No, there isn’t. But you’ll find a demo of Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard’s Throne through our Demo Page. It’s not the same game, but similar enough to give you a good idea about the “real thing”.

Is there a patch?

Yes! You’ll find the information you need, and links to places where you can download the latest patch, on our Patch Page.

Where can AoW:SM be bought?

You can buy AoW:SM and at the same time support HeavenGames by purchasing the game through any of these links: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

Recently, the game has become availble digitally. These copies are identical, but require no cd to be played. You can get the game from GoG, Impulse, or Steam

How do I take screen shots?

Hit the “Print Screen” button. A bitmap of your whole screen is now saved to your clipboard. If you want a shot of only the active window, hold down the “Alt” key when you hit the “Print Screen” button.
Open a graphic program like MS Paint, Image Composer, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, etc. and hit “PASTE.” Remember that it’s a bitmap image (xxx.bmp), which is a HUGE file!
Convert the file (or choose to “Save As”) to JPEG (xxx.jpg) format, which compresses the image size but retains (most of) the quality.
A 1.4MB bitmap image can be compressed to a 50k JPEG image this way.


How to use teleportation gates?

The game automatically finds the shortest path you can take, so if you click somewhere, it will automatically use the teleporter if that is the quickest path. However, you can only teleport from a city that has a teleporter to another city that has at least a basic tower.

How to pick up production resources?

The same way you pick up anything else, by moving a party on top of them. You can’t do so until you have a town. You will then be given the option of selecting which of the two structures offered is to be built immediately. You have no furthur choice in this, and you cannot save them to be used later.

Do I have to “Produce Merchendice”?

No. When a town is on “Idle” status, it’s actually Producing Merchandise as a default.

What does the “Magical Mount” ability do?

Magical Mount makes a mounted unit immune to Control Animal.

What’s the difference between Flying and Floating?

Floating units can go anywhere Flying units can go on the global map. Neither one of course can pass through Earth or Rock. Floaters however cannot pass over/through walls in TC as Flyers do, and they can be attacked by ground based units. That makes Floating a significantly less powerful ability than Flying.

Is there an option to see enemy moves?

Yes. In classic mode at any rate. Turn on the “Observe” option [Hot key “O” on the keyboard]. Does not work in simultaneous turn mode (of course) nor does it work in Hot-Seat MP games even for CPU controlled positions.

Can I destroy Wizard Towers in tactical combat?

No, but after you capture the city you can raze it or sell the tower. IMHO, it is better to sell the tower first then raze the city (if you have the time to do so) since once rebuilt, it will have that tower again (plus, the extra cash is nice).

Does the mastery spell convert all nodes in your domain, or all nodes on the map?

It will convert all nodes on the map, including those owned by another player and/or occupied by player or independent troops, transfer your flag to them, and establish your domain around them. In the case of occupied nodes however, control immediately reverts to that of the occupying force. The domain remains yours but the node itself may not.

What does changing the “difficulty level” do?

It changes the aggressiveness of the AI, and also reduces the number of extra gold/mana/xp points the enemy gets each turn.

How can I escape away from battle when someone attacks me?

You can`t escape from battle when being attacked. Only the attacker can flee from the battle.

How to build the level 4 unit?

You need to build the Champions Guild, Sanctuary and Masters Guild.

Can I rename cities?

You can only rename new cities (which are built by the pioneer unit) once.

What is “Tower Guard” and how do I build it?

Tower Guard is a building that shoots magic bolts from the wizard tower at attackers at the start of every combat round (the first five combat rounds). To build the Tower Guard, you need at least Wizard Tower I in that city.

Where can I find gameplay strategy articles, tips, tricks etc.?

Since AoW:SM’s engine is very much similar to AoWII’s, most of the things still apply and you can see them here – Library – Strategy Also check the “sticky” topics in the Forums

Single-Player Campaign

How do I stop the AI from kicking my ass in the first scenario?

Set the difficulty level to “easy” or “beginner”.


How to play Hotseat games?

There’s not a specific menu option for it, as it’s covered under the “Scenario” >> “Single” option on the main menu. Single in this case meaning Single Computer as opposed to a network, rather then Single Player. The only restriction is that you must be in “Classic Turns” mode. Once you have selected a scenario, you are presented with that option on the Wizard Selection screen. Once you do that and you can (for most scenarios) set more then one Wizard to “Human” and the game will cycle through their turns on the same computer.

How to play PBEM games?

This page is useful for both AoW:SM and AoW2, since the PBEM functionality is almost identical – Play By E-Mail Guide.

Are there any special rules for Play By E-mail AoW2H Wizards ladder games?

Yes, there are some special rules.

How to play Online games?

This page is useful for both AoW:SM and AoW2, since the Online games’ functionality is almost identical – Online Multiplayer Guide.

Scenario Editing

What do the different AI settings in the Unit Properties window mean?

AUTO – The unit stack is affected by what is set in the Independent AI settings on the map settings tab.

Off – all units garrison
Easy or Normal – units garrison, scout, or patrol (random)
Aggressive – units garrison, scout, patrol, raiders, berserkers (random)

More of this in AI Behavior Settings and How They Affect The Game.

PATROL – Army stack stays in range as it moves around the area taking structures. However, this army stack may be hired.

GUARD – Army stack sits on hex until killed. The party cannot be hired.

GUARD AREA – A stack in guard will attack any stack that comes into range of the hex it is standing on. After destroying the intruder, it would return to its original hex.

SCOUT – The army stack may move out of range and attack cities and armies. They may also capture mines and other structures. This setting is ideal if one wants the enemy AI to explore. They may be hired by the player if the race alignment is favorable.

REFUGE – The army stack sits on the hex until a player comes along and hires it. The stack joins the player’s side for free if hired.

RAID – The stack goes out of Range. It will attack armies and raze structures belonging to the opposition when it has a good chance of winning the fight. The stack cannot be hired. Be wary that a powerful raiding party can go around razing everything to the ground.

BESERK – Goes out of Range. Attacks no matter what the odds.

*Range is the movement ability of the stack in one turn plus visual range.

For more details on how to set up AI properties for unit stacks, please refer to the Army Properties page.

What do I do if I want to customize my Wizards?

You can access the Wizard’s Properties windows to customize your Wizard the way you want by going to: Options –> Map Settings –> Click on ‘Players’ Tab –> Click on “Customize” button.

Is there a random map generator?

Yes, there is a random map generator. Just go to [main menu]-[scenario]-[single] and click on the button labeled “Generate Scenario

How do I set up event triggers?

Note: The following links are useful for both AoW:SM and AoWII, since the functionality is almost identical.

The basics of setting up events is covered in great detail and clarity in the Events Scripts sub-section of our AoW2H Scenario Design section.

Cherub Talon-Thorn’s guides are indispensible and a must-read for anyone who wishes to learn how to built their own event scripts.

Basic Map Events – How to make an event trigger.

Events Guide

Triggers Guide and How Triggers Work.

Conditions Guide

If there are specific type of events you wish to create, you can also look through our Event Scripts Database, which contains detailed formation on how to create specific types of event triggers.

How can I edit units, spells, wizards etc.

Open AoWSMSetup.exe and under the General tab, check the box labeled “Custom Resources”. Now open the map editor and you’ll see a new menu, called “Resources” in the upper left of the screen, right next to the “file” menu.

Where can I download more Scenarios ?

Check out the Scenario Downloads section.


How do change my cursor/colors.

You can change these and may other options from the “aowsmSetup.exe” file.

What ports need to be opened to play AoW:SM Online games behind a firewall?

Windows XP’s internal firewall does not require any ports to be opened. Other Firewalls need ports 6073 and 2302. Note that AoW:SM may not work reliably on a shared Internet connection.

How can I increase the frame rate?

Close all the other applications/programs. Make sure, that you have the latest drivers.

AoW:SM fails to install, and/or fails to run when reading my CD-drive.

Disable all background tasks before running the installer or game. Some programs will interfere with the CD drive. Zip Magic appears to be VERY BAD about this.

Why does the game run so “choppy”?

This is likely a hardware/driver issue. You could try any of the following:

  • Make sure DirectX9.0a or later is installed. See Microsoft’s DirectX Home Page.
  • Make sure you have the latest drivers for your video card. You can search for new drivers at DriverGuide.com or your video card manufacurers site. Directions for uninstalling your drivers can be found at rage3d.com or guru3d.com.
  • Using aowsmsetup.exe, you can:
    • Turn off Direct3D (Hardware rendering)
    • Turn off Resolution Switching
    • Switch to Windowed Mode

General problems while running the game

You might check for new video drivers, turn off Resolution Switching, turn off Direct3D, turn off Direct Sound, changing the screen resolution, and/or change your Windows Display to 16-bit color, and/or try playing the game in Windowed mode to see if any of those help…

When I play, the interface graphics become corrupt.

If you have antialiasing enabled in your video settings, turn it off.

When I start up the AOW:SM editor and load a landscape, then go to the lower right hand side boxes to choose things, all the graphics go wierd and dissappear, only to flicker when I hover on them. Why?

Restart the machine. I think this problem only appears immediately after the installation of the game.

I have a perfect gaming system. Lots of other games run perfectly, but AoW:SM doesn’t. This can’t be a hardware/driver issue!

What other games do is largely irrelevant. If that meant something, then every game would either run perfectly or poorly on all systems, which of course is not the case. Every game’s code can access the hardware slightly differently, and can still be doing things properly. Drivers having small glitches that affect only some programs, is exactly the reason why we see so many revisions.

If you’re still having trouble running the game properly, please try the solutions offered. If nothing works, then start a new thread in the forums or respond to the proper one to get further help.

Sound problems!

Update your drivers, and/or try turning off DirectSound.

Music keeps playing after I quit.

AoW:SM can take a long time to shut down if your system is low on resources. Given enough time, it should shut down properly. If you are impatient, killing the task shouldn’t cause any problems, but Windows will just take AoW:SM’s place in releasing those resources…

Where to send save games when reporting a bug?

Send it to arno (at) triumphstudios.com or josh (at) triumphstudios.com (triumfeed (at) triumphstudios.com is no longer available). Also, when the problem happens, close the game, and check aowsmlog.txt to see if any errors are reported.


Where can I find the complete hotkeys list?

The complete list of hotkeys is here – Library – Hotkeys.

Wher can I download the manual?

The official word is that it is copyrighted material, and it may not be distributed.

How can I toggle the “Hex Grid” on/off in game?

Use the hotkey Ctrl+H.

How does the Adjacent Hex Rule work?

Adjacent Hex Rule Info.

Other questions

Visit our Forums The community will be glad to offer help to those who are new to the game.