Terra Mystica review

Terra Mystica

Have you ever dreamed of making a journey to the fantasy world of adventures, magic and ancient fortresses? I think everyone of us wants to be a mighty wizard or a knight with sharp sword… Friends! Now everything is possible! Prepare to go into the fantasy world of «Terra Mystica»!

«Terra Mystica» was published in 2012 by «Z-Man Games» and developed by not so very well-known designers and artists team though very talented. These guys are Jens Drögemüller, Helge Ostertag and Dennis Lohaussen.

Inside the box

Here we can see required elements to play «Terra Mystica». There are many components like in most of the economical strategies so pay attention to the quantity.

  • One Game board;
  • One Cult board;
  • Seven double-sided Faction boards;
  • Fifty six Terrain tiles;
  • Sixty five natural-colored Workers (cubes);
  • Sixty five purple Power tokens (wooden circles);
  • Gold cardboard coins:
    • Forty small coins (value 1);
    • Twenty five medium coins (value 2);
    • Twenty big coins (value 5);
  • Five “100 Victory Points” tokens;
  • Orange Starting Player token;
  • Game End token;
  • Seventeen Action tokens;
  • Twenty eight oval Favor tiles;
  • Wooden pieces per faction color: (green, yellow, blue, brown, red, black and grey colours):
    • Eight Dwellings;
    • Four Trading Houses;
    • One Stronghold;
    • Three Temples;
    • One Sanctuary;
    • Seven Priests;
    • Seven Markers;
    • Three Bridges;
  • Ten Town tiles;
  • Eight rectangular Scoring tiles;
  • Nine Bonus cards (depicted as scrolls);
  • Five Action Overview tiles;
  • Rulebook;

Terra Mystica Gameplay

Gameplay

In «Terra Mystica» players have to choose one of 14 factions. The target is to develop the most successful faction. The inhabitants of «Terra Mystica» can transform the terrain they live in. Each faction is connected to certain terrain type. It can build the structures on its “Home terrain”. That’s why each faction has to develop its «Terraforming» ability.

During the game process players has to expand the terrains to build Dwellings.

There are also four Cults in this game: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. Progress in these will be displayed on the Cult board. If you develop this it will also provide the increase in Power and other rewards.

Terra Mystica is a game where you need strategic planning.

Players execute their actions on the resources they have. Different buildings allow players to develop a lot of resources. Dwellings provide you with more workers and trading houses allow players make money. Strongholds unlock the special powers of group and temples allow you to develop religion and your terraforming sea skills. You can upgrade your buildings – dwellings can be developed into trading houses; trading houses can be developed into strongholds or temples; one temple can be upgraded to become a sanctuary.

Terra Mystica Gameplay 1

Rules

For the first game it is recommended to play with predefined factions. Take those factions and share them among the players. For two players: Witches (green), and Nomads (yellow). For three players: Witches, Nomads, and Alchemists (color). Four players: Witches, Nomads, Halflings (brown), and Mermaids (blue). Five players: Witches, Nomads, Halflings, Mermaids, and Giants (red).

Game flow

Place one of your Dwellings on an existing Home terrain. Then place a second Dwelling in the same fashion and use the counterclockwise order.

Terra Mystica Crowded Area

Turn Phases

Phase I: Income

Collecting the Workers, Coins, Priests and Power.

Your income depends on the Structures you have built, on the Bonus card you have chosen, and (later in the game) on the Favor tiles you have. On all components, income is symbolized by an open hand.

Phase II: Actions

During the Action phase each player takes exactly one Action in clockwise order. Continue to do this until player do not wants to take more Actions. There are eight possible Actions. All Actions can be taken multiple times during the same Action phase (but only once per player turn).

Overview of Actions

This section explains the relations between the Actions. Action 1 is to build Dwellings on unoccupied terrain. Actions 2 and 3 provide building. At the end of the game, there is a special scoring for the largest connected area. Action 4 is to upgrade Structures. Action 5 directly affects the Cult scoring and provides additional Power via Priests and Cults. Power can then be used for special Power actions (Action 6). Action 7 explains the Special actions that you can unlock during the game. Action 8 needs to be taken when you cannot or do not want to take any more Actions in the current Action phase.

The player with the most Victory points wins the game. You can get Victory Points by building Dwellings (Action 1), Trading houses, the Stronghold, or the Sanctuary (Action 4). Additional Victory points may be awarded for transforming Terrain spaces (spade symbol) and founding Towns (key symbol).

The game ends after all players have passed in the Action phase of the final round. Afterwards, there is a final points scoring.

Terra Mystica Gameplay Yellow Town

Similar Games

Many players from boardgamegeek.com and other respectful sources say that «Terra Mystica» looks like «Caverna» and «La Citta». It’s a complex game with a lot of components but «Terra Mystica» has a lot resource management.

Expansions

Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice

Terra Mystica Fire and Ice

Fire & Ice has the original factions brace themselves for new competitors: Yetis – the masters of power, Ice Maidens – who adore their Temples, Acolytes – whose entire life is focused on the cults, and Dragonlords – who use their power to create volcanoes. Also there are two more factions – Shapeshifters and Riverwalkers.

Buy Fire and Ice on Amazon

4 town tiles

Terra Mystica 4 town tiles

This expansion allows you to get new town tiles.

Tile one: You get two Victory points with this tile and move 2 spaces forward on each of the four Cult tracks. This tile gives you two Town Keys.

Tiles two and three (double-sided): You get 4 Victory points. You can move the Marker on your Shipping track forward one space and get a number of Victory points as indicated on the Shipping space you move to.

As a Fakir, from now on, you may skip 1 additional space when doing a Carpet Flight.

Tile four: When taking this Town tile, get 11 Victory points.

Bonus card shipping value

Terra Mystica Bonus card shipping value

This Bonus card Shipping gives the navigation at the end of the round. When you pass with the Bonus card, you get a number of Victory points equal to your shipping value multiplied by 3.

FAQ

Q: Can I use Tunneling or Carpet Flight to a Terrain space that is adjacent to one of my Structures, to get the Victory Points?

A: No, you can only do so when needed.

Q: What about if I Tunnel or Fly from a Structure that isn’t connected to this Terrain space, even though the space is adjacent to one of my other Structures?

A: Still no. You can only do so when needed.

Q: How are Towns founded?

A: A Town is automatically founded when at least four of your Structures with a combined Power value of 7 are directly adjacent to each other. If one of the Structures is a Sanctuary, only three Structures are needed, but still a combined Power value of 7. However, the Favor tile “2 Fire” lowers the Power value requirement to 6. Taking this tile might mean that one or several Towns immediately are founded.

Q: Can I sacrifice Power during final scoring to get more to convert to Coins?

A: Yes.

Q: In Area scoring, can I score points for several areas of connected Structures?

A: No, each player only scores once, for his biggest area of connected Structures.

terra-mystica-gameplay5

Youtube

Conclusion

So, we have complicated though very exciting strategy! And of course, you will need some tactics to win. Every resource and every building is required for you if you want to win! You can buy this game following the link.