In 2 player games of Factions: Battlegrounds, one of the advantages is known as the Terrain Tile Advantage. If you have this advantage, it means you get to place 5 home terrain tiles and your opponent gets to place 4. Terrain Tiles are each comprised of 4 spaces, and are usually a combination of water spaces and home terrain spaces (each faction has their own unique Home terrain). Home Terrain Tiles are very important for unit movement, attack opportunities, and generating resources. Having more spaces to move your units, more spaces to attack, and more opportunities to generate resources are all big positives.
TERRAIN TILE BASICS
INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO PORTION ON TERRAIN TILES: 1:20-2:43
While every faction has their own home terrain for most of their Terrain Tile spaces, every faction aslo has some water spaces mixed in as well- Water spaces on their surface can seem like an obstacle, but can actually be a key focal point of strategy in hindering your opponent.
RULEBOOK SCREENSHOT (Water spaces)
The Terrain Tile advantage can really benefit players who have a strategy in mind from the onset of the game, as well as those who know the strength of their faction. There are also some Terrain Tiles that really stand out as more useful than others.
The chart below shows the 9 locations that Terrain Tiles can be placed for 2 player games. The player with the Terrain Tile advantage always plays a Terrain Tile first. Let’s highlight a couple of locations that are solid places to leverage that advantage.
Looking at this as the player that has the basecamp (PLACE UNITS HERE – where units enter the battleground) adjacent to spot 6, there are a few “tone-setting” Terrain Tile placements that send a message. The middle column (spots 4,5,6) are all good options for a first Tile, but for very different reasons.
Placing a Tile in spot 6 gives you a solid, easy area to gather resources. You will always have clear access to the rest of the board and will be able to protect your half of the Battleground. On the other hand, placing your first Tile directly in front of your enemies basecamp (spot 4) would force them to have to find a way to adjust, and could significantly slow down their strategy. They’d have to move toward the sides or center in order to obtain resources, potentially making their units vulnerable.
Spot 5 is where one Gold Mine and one Mana Pool will be located. Having a home Tile occupy spot 5 can help accelerate your resources and gives you some great movement and attack opportunities right in the middle of the Battleground.
As your strategy and understanding of the units and factions grow, you will find that each spot, 1-9, has advantages and disadvantages. In some of your first battles, starting out in the middle column (spots 4,5,6) are great spots to start if you have the Terrain Tile Advantage.
NOTABLE TERRAIN TILES:
Doom Sand and Kragg are the only factions that have 2 separate Terrain Tiles with no water spaces. Kragg uses heavy melee attacks to overwhelm opponent units, so having a tile with all mountain spaces towards the middle of the Battleground where a lot of units tend to be can be helpful. Doom Sand likes to spread out the Battleground and dominate resources, meaning putting an all desert space tile on one of the sides of the Battleground can help them control the board from side to side.
Zermano’s 2 water space Tiles can cause major headaches for opponents, as the water spaces can serve as a moat, delaying their movement to Resource Centers or protecting Zermano’s fragile spellcasters. There is always the threat of Aquatic units with Zermano as well, so having more water spaces can actually be a good thing.
The Terrain Tile Advantage can be a major factor in your success and a major problem for your opponent right away. Understanding how to maximize your extra Tile (and the other 4 you get to place) when you have this advantage goes a long, long way! Drop a reply with your favorite Terrain Tile strats!