Terrain refers to the different types of tiles found on the map (a.k.a. "the square"). Each map is randomly generated and unique, containing different types of terrain in varying proportions and arrangements.

The primary terrain types are mountain, forest, and field for land tiles and shallow water and ocean for water tiles. Terrain type impacts which resources can be spawned and which buildings can be built. In addition, certain terrain types may hinder movement by requiring a technology for units to move to them and/or preventing units from moving through them altogether.

Each tribe has a unique set of spawn rates for terrain and resources on land. During the initial map generation, the land is distributed roughly equally between all tribes in the game. The look of different terrain types and resources will by tribe. These varying designs are purely cosmetic and do not impact gameplay. Terrain generation and starting technology are the only differences between regular tribes.

Tribes that start with a technology allowing them to use a resource (namely Bardur, Imperius, Kickoo, Zebasi, and ∑∫ỹriȱŋ) are guaranteed to spawn with least two of those resources in the territory of their capital.

Spawn Rates

Standard Spawn Rates

The standard spawn rate for land tiles are listed in the table below. "Inner city" refers to tiles adjacent to a city or village, while "outer city" refers to those not adjacent to a city or village.

Inner City Outer City
Mountain (Total) 20% 20%
Metal 17% 3%
Empty Mountain 3% 17%
Forest (Total) 34% 34%
Animal 17% 6%
Empty Forest 17% 28%
Field (Total) 46% 46%
Fruit 20% 6%
Crop 20% 6%
Empty Field 8% 34%

The standard spawn rate for fish is 50% among shallow water tiles. The spawn rate for whales is 33% among ocean tiles; this rate does not vary by tribe, unlike those of other resources.

All resources spawn only within two tiles of cities or villages. This fact can be used to locate villages and enemy cities.

Tribe Spawn Rate Modifiers

  • Xin-xi: ++mountain +metal
  • Imperius: unchanged
  • Bardur: ++game +fruit --crop
  • Oumaji: --forest (--water)[note 1]
  • Kickoo: -mountain +fish ++water[note 2]
  • Hoodrick: -mountain +forest  
  • Luxidoor: -game ++fruit 
  • Vengir: ++metal --game --fruit +crop --fish  
  • Zebasi: -mountain  -forest -fruit
  • Ai-Mo: +mountain --crop
  • Quetzali: ++fruit --crop
  • Yădakk: -mountain -forest +fruit (-water)[note 3]
  • Aquarion: -forest +water[note 4]
  • ∑∫ỹriȱŋ: -mountain +crop 
  • Polaris: “alien”
    • Polaris is unique in that it has neither its own specific resource spawn rates nor any terrain allotted to it during world generation. Instead, other tribes in the game determine the land and resources, and Polaris simply freezes its territory in the same way as the freeze area unit ability. (When a Polaris city is captured, the city's terrain will be converted to the capturing tribe's terrain.) If all players play Polaris, Imperius land, which has the standard spawn rates for all resources, is used.

Notes

  1. Reductions to the amount of water are found in the source code but are not actually translated into the world generation and do not actually impact the water rates.
  2. Kickoo has 40% of its tiles replaced with water.
  3. Reductions to the amount of water are found in the source code but are not actually translated into the world generation and do not actually impact the water rates.
  4. Aquarion has 30% of its tiles replaced with water.

Map Sizes

  • Tiny: 121 tiles, 11x11
  • Normal: 256 tiles, 16x16
  • Large: 324 tiles, 18x18
  • Huge: 400 tiles, 20x20
  • Massive: 625 tiles, 25x25

Perfection games are on a normal map. In Domination, the map size changes depending on the number of opponents: Games with one opponent are on a tiny map, two opponents on a 196-tile (14x14) map, three opponents on a normal map, and four or more on a large map.

In multiplayer, map size is set by the host when creating a new game. Tiny maps support a maximum of nine players, while other maps support up to 15.

List of Terrain Types

Image Name Resources Information Buildings
Clouds.png
Cloud N/A
  • Covers all unexplored tiles. Players cannot see the terrain of any tile underneath a cloud (although ∑∫ỹriȱŋ can see ruins through clouds).
  • Disappear when in the line of sight of a friendly unit.
  • Units cannot move onto cloud tiles until they have been explored.
N/A
Grass.png
Field with Fruit.png
Field with crop.png
Field Fruit, crop
  • The default terrain. Most buildings can only be built on field tiles.
  • Ruins can spawn on this terrain, although resources beneath a ruin will be hidden until the ruin is cleared.
  • The grow forest ability turns a field tile into a forest tile, but it will remove any resources present.
  • Crop is hidden until either Organization or Farming has been researched.
Farm (requires crop), Windmill, Forge, Sawmill, Sanctuary, Customs House, Ice Bank, Temple, monuments, road
Imperius ground with forest.png
Imperius ground with forest with wild animal.png
Forest Wild animal
  • This terrain blocks movement. Land units cannot move through this terrain without stopping unless roads has been built.
  • Ruins can spawn on this terrain, although resources beneath a ruin will be hidden until the ruin is cleared.
  • The clear forest ability turns a forest tile into a field tile and provides a bonus of two stars, but it will remove any resources present.
  • The burn forest ability turns a forest tile into a field tile with crop, but it will remove any resources present.
  • Forest tiles provide a defence bonus once Archery has been researched.
Lumber Hut, Sanctuary, Forest Temple, roads
Imperius ground with mountain.png
Imperius ground with mountain and metal.png
Mountain Metal
  • Units cannot move onto mountain tiles until Climbing has been researched.
  • This terrain blocks movement. Land units can never move through this terrain without stopping.
  • Land units on this terrain have a vision radius of two tiles instead of one.
  • Ruins can spawn on this terrain, although resources beneath a ruin will be hidden until the ruin is cleared.
  • Mountain tiles provide a defence bonus once Meditation has been researched.

Mine (requires metal), Sanctuary, Mountain Temple

Shallow water-1.png
Shallow water with fish-0.png
Shallow water Fish
  • Water tiles that share one or more edges with land tiles are shallow water tiles.
  • Ruins normally cannot spawn on this terrain.
Port, Water Temple, monuments
Ocean.png
Ocean with whale.png
Ocean Whale
  • Water tiles that do not share any edges with land tiles (e.g., those diagonal to land tiles) are ocean tiles.
  • Ruins can spawn on this terrain, although resources beneath a ruin will be hidden until the ruin is cleared.
  • Units cannot move onto ocean tiles until Navigation (or Free Diving for Aquarion) has been researched.
  • Ocean tiles provide a defence bonus once Aquatism has been researched.
Water Temple
Ice-0.png
Ice Fish, whale
  • Provide double movement to units with the skate skill and +1 movement to land units once Polarism has been researched.
  • Units may use the Break Ice ability when adjacent to ice tiles, unfreezing all adjacent ice tiles.
  • This terrain is unique in that it is an alternative (frozen) form of another type of terrain (shallow water or ocean). Ice tiles retain their resources, buildings, and structures when they are frozen and unfrozen.
  • It is possible to build monuments on ice tiles, even those that were originally ocean. If the ice is broken, the monument will remain on the ocean tile. This is the only case where a monument can be on an ocean tile.
Outpost, Ice Temple, monuments


Game Mechanics
AI Relationships, City Connections, Combat, Movement, Population, Ruins, Score, Stars, Technology, Terrain, Tribes, Unit Abilities, Unit Skills, Unit Stats


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