Age of Wonders: Planetfall Operations Guide – How to Unlock, Operation Types, Doctrines

Age of Wonders: Planetfall Operations Guide

Moving from a fantasy motif to one of science fiction brings with it many changes. In Age of Wonders: Planetfall, rather than casting spells to alter the state of the battlefield, you execute operations, which do pretty much the same thing. As they say magic is only unexplained science. Therefore, let’s dive into what operations are and the different types available in Age of Wonders: Planetfall.

Age of Wonders: Planetfall Operations

Operations are a set of specialized actions that can be utilized to change the flow and balance of a game state. They are used to support your Armies in the field, to increase the efficiency of your Colonies and to allow you to spy on your enemies.

They can vary from airstrikes to missile systems to a more magic-like ability such as psionic effects and to edicts for your people called Doctrines.

How to Unlock Operations

Operations are mainly unlocked through research and are dependent on which faction you have selected and secret tech taken on the tech tree as your civilization grows during the game.

How to Start Operations

To start/execute Operations, you will be required to spend Energy and operation points and at times additional resources such as Influence.

Operations that target enemies have a success or failure based on the attacker’s Operational Effectiveness and the target’s Operation Defense. Operational Effectiveness and Operation Defense are upgraded globally by researching empire upgrades and enacting/creating Doctrines.

Operational Defense, on the other hand, can also be buffed through local colony effects – which can stack. Operations first need to be geared up/primed using Strategic Ops points and Energy. After the operation is ready/primed, it can be launched at any target within your civilization’s vision range.

Strategic Operations
Strategic operations are used on the strategic map. The types of Strategic Operations available to a player depending on which race and secret tech the player picked.

Strategic operations can be used to, for example, weaken enemy Armies by bombarding them or to boost your Colonies among other things. Operations targeting enemies have a chance of success and failure based on your Operational Effectiveness and the Enemy’s Operation Defense. They can be of the following types:

Direct Damage Effects
Such as missile strikes and orbital cannons.

Instantly summons characters on the world map.

Colony Buffs
Boosts various types of defenses of and economic effects.

Colony Debuffs
Weakening enemy defenses and economies.

Stop enemy buffs and debuffs.

Doomsday Weapons
Form from the Tech Victories.

Do note that multiple strategic operations can be primed at once but only one of each type. Priming can be paused and resumed at a later point.

Covert Operations
Covert Operations allow non-warring players to interact by scheming, spying and sabotaging – ideally, like every good spy without getting caught. The main palette of operations is shared between players and work closely with the diplomacy systems.

Covert operations mostly target other players as a whole rather than focusing on a specific army and/or colony. Covert operations make use of Operational Effectiveness and if you happen to fail a Covert Op the targeted player will be notified of your foiled plans.

Covert operations are also utilized on the strategic map. These operations have a 60% base probability of success. A difference of a point between the attacker’s Operational Strength and the defenders Operational Defense will add or subtract 5%.

The upper and lower cap on the success rate for Covert Ops is 10% and 90%. The higher the strength, the better the success chance. The higher the defense, the lower the chance of succeeding and remaining undetected.

Covert ops are unlocked by advancing through the Operations Tech Group on the Tech Tree, and cost energy and Strategic Ops Points to prime before they can be launched.

Certain Covert ops require more strategic operation points than you have available at a given time. In such circumstances, the operation will consume strategic ops points on every following turn until it has accumulated enough to be primed.

Covert operations can be detected and grant the targeted commander a casus belli. Successful covert operations have a 25% chance of being detected while unsuccessful ones have a 75% chance of being detected.

Tactical Operations
Tactical operations can exclusively be used during tactical combat, and allow you to create massive changes during battle which is always in your favor.

Your tactical operations take one turn to prime at the start of each combat before you can launch them, and you will first need to have enough Tactical Operation Points, energy and Operational Coverage to prime them. All tactical operations are primed in one turn although certain factions can remove this delay.


Doctrines are operations that have a global effect on your entire empire and provide strategic focuses for your empire’s military and society as a whole. To activate a doctrine, you must spend Strategic Operation Points and energy to prime it.

Once primed, it becomes active until turned off (It will continue indefinitely unless you manually change it). Every Doctrine takes up one of your Doctrine Slots and when all of your doctrine slots are filled, you will be unable to activate any more until an active Doctrine has been turned off.

New doctrines can be obtained by Researching the Doctrine Tech Group Buying them from NPC Factions Annexing gold and silver Landmarks.

Hopefully, this helps you in getting to grips with one of Age of Wonders: Planetfall’s core mechanics, now go forth carve out the length and breadth of your empire as you see fit!