Weekend Gaming: Terra Mystica

Joe, Kevin and Louis joined Gina and I Saturday for a game of Terra Mystica.  Louis was playing as the Chaos Magicians, Kevin the Mermaids, Joe the Witches, Gina the Hobbits and I had the Darklings.

Gina got off to a very fast start taking advantage of her digging bonuses and the round bonus for building dwellings.  Louis and I were lagging behind a fair bit, but we were getting power from Joe on the left side of the board.  I went straight for a Temple to start powering my terraforming.

I wasn’t able to really take advantage of the round bonus, as the second and third rounds rewarded building the big buildings.  I just didn’t have the income until the fourth round.  Then I really got moving.  I was able to get two towns built, and then upgraded to the big buildings on the second to last round.  I then started heavily using my priests to take over the cult board.

Joe had managed three towns by the end, and spent the last round positioning himself on the cult tracks, which he had ignored for the rest of the game.  He didn’t have enough to get ahead of me in any but water, but he was second in the rest.  Louis took the earth track, while I held fire and air.

The final scores were rather close.  Kevin had the biggest empire, but Gina and I tied for second.  I had enough on the cult track to overcome her lead, and was able to score the win by just a few points.

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Gina and Louis called it quits, so Joe, Kevin and I played Eminent Domain.  Joe and I were pressing the Survey and Colonize fairly heavily early, while Kevin was going the Warfare route.  Once I had a couple planets colonized, though, I was able to get into the Produce/Trade business.  I was drawing cards perfectly, and rarely missed a chance to score with my goods.  At the end of the game I had 15 points from goods along with my 15 from my four planets.  Kevin and Joe each had 27; Kevin from Planets and research; Joe from mostly planets, though he did have a few from trade.

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I finished the weekend off with a game of Trajan with Joe and Louis.  It was my first time playing, so there was definitely a learning curve.  I was working the legionaires and the senate for my bonus tiles.  Louis was grabbing up trajan tiles and the shipping tiles, while Joe was left to run free in the workman area.  That was a big mistake, as Joe pulled in 40 points of bonuses just from the workmen.  I did end up in second with a strong endgame and finished a couple points ahead of Louis.

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Until next time, happy gaming!

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2 Responses to “Weekend Gaming: Terra Mystica”


  1. 1 ianthecool July 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Okay, so what would you compare Terra Mystica to?

  2. 2 Rkik July 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    That’s a tough one. There’s a lot going on in Terra Mystica.

    There are 14 different races with unique powers, somewhat like Small World. The powers are fairly well balanced, and each race definitely feels different and while there are preferred methods of playing each races, I haven’t noticed a “you must play Race X this way to win” kind of experience.

    The economy/engine building aspect feels a bit like Eclipse or Hansa Teutonica. As you build stuff on the board, it will open spots on the player board that provide more and/or different resources for the upcoming turns. Those resources power the various actions that can be performed.

    The placement and building is a bit like Through the Desert or Kingdom Builder. Each race has a terrain that they must build on, and you must build adjacent to your existing buildings. To do this, you can change the terrain type of the adjacent hexes. There are bonus tiles that reward the building of certain buildings in a given round, but the availability and order of those bonuses changes from game to game. The top three players with the largest empires are then rewarded at the end of the game.

    There is also a Cult Track with four cults (Fire, Water, Earth, Wind). By taking various actions or building certain buildings, the power in the four cults is increased. The top three players in each cult are rewarded at the end of the game, plus there are bonuses each round for having a specified amount of power in a given cult.

    Ultimately I can’t think of a game that is a great comparison. Terra Mystica takes so much from so many games and then blends it together to form something new and different.

    Considering how much we’ve been playing, I really should do a comprehensive review.


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