|Movement Point Cost||
|Possible Minerals (Arcanus)|
|Possible Minerals (Myrror)|
Grassland is a type of Terrain in the world of Master of Magic. It is considered the "default" Terrain type for land tiles, and in many ways is indeed the most basic.
Grassland tiles are abundant on both Planes and on almost all latitudes of the map - though continuous, wide-open Grassland regions are rare.
Grassland tiles are excellent for farming. They increase any nearby town's Maximum Population by 1.5, and the town's Maximum Food output by the same amount. As a result, areas with plenty of Grasslands are prime locations for large food-production centers. On the other hand, Grassland tiles do not contribute to either Production or Gold.
For the majority of units, movement through Grassland tiles costs 1 Movement Point. Construction of Roads on Grassland tiles is very quick too.
Grassland tiles can contain a wide variety of Terrain Specials, mostly Sorcery Nodes and various other Encounter zones. Grassland tiles also sometimes contain Minerals normally found in Hills or Mountains, but this is rare, and may be unintended.
With the Change Terrain spell, it is possible to turn Forests, Deserts, Swamps and Hills into Grassland. The same spell turns Grassland into a Forest. The Gaia's Blessing spell will turn Deserts into Grassland automatically, over time.
Over millions of years, mountains were worn down by the steady beating of the winds, rains carried away entire hills, and fire cleared away the forests. The resulting flat-lands quickly became overgrown by a hardy weed known as "grass", which further assisted in this flattening process by drawing in animals that grazed upon it - and stomped the ground into a gentle, rolling countryside.
Grasslands are covered almost completely with grass, giving them a soft and smooth appearance. Though the grass on Arcanus is green and lovely, and that on Myrror is brown and drab, both types of Grassland are equally fertile. The flat nature of this terrain also makes plowing and tilling the land much easier, prompting people over the eons to turn these open areas into great farms, where more nutritious plants are grown in large masses.
Grassland tiles therefore look simple, but hold a great potential for development. New towns constructed in their vicinity can utilize this open space to grow food for many citizens or military units.
On the other hand, these empty plains rarely offer anything but open space and fertile ground. They barely ever contain any useful minerals, and (since windmills do not exist) no source of energy or great strategic advantage.
Grassland tiles are considered the "default" type of land terrain. It is assumed that, when the game builds a new game world, it randomly creates large swaths of Grassland tiles - the continents themselves - which are only then covered randomly by other types of land tiles.
As a result, continuous concentrations of Grassland tiles are rare. There are few open areas covered entirely by Grasslands, and when this does occur the landscape can be expected to be dotted with other types of tiles.
Town Development Edit
Grassland tiles contribute much to the growth and development of nearby Towns. Though they do not aid directly with either Production or Trade, they provide a rather large boost to a town's Maximum Population, and thereby to its overall potential. Towns in the vicinity of many Grassland tiles are often assigned to produce Food in large quantities.
Maximum Population Edit
- Main article: Maximum Population
A Grassland tile within the catchment area of a town will provide +1.5 to that town's Maximum Population. In other words, if a town were to be surrounded entirely by Grassland tiles, its Maximum Population would be 31.5. This scenario is of course highly unlikely, and in any case a town can never exceed 25 population - but the principle is the key here.
Since +1.5 is a relatively high bonus (exceeded only by River, River Mouth and some Shore tiles), it means that a town built adjacently to many Grassland tiles will have a high overall Maximum Population.
Maximum Population dictates the absolute maximum number of citizens a town can have. Once it reaches this many citizens, it will simply stop growing. Maximum Population also determines the town's rate of Population Growth: the larger the gap between the town's current population and it's maximum population, the faster the town grows.
Furthermore, Maximum Population also determines how much Food can be produced in a town before inefficiency sets in. Once this limit of Food production is reached, additional citizens assigned to Farmer duty will produce much less Food - thus being inefficient. Higher Maximum Population means a higher Food production efficiency threshold, thus allowing more Farmers to be assigned and still have full efficiency.
Common Minerals EditMinerals altogether. However, on a fluke, Grasslands occasionally contain Minerals that are otherwise found only on Hill and Mountain tiles. According to the author of the Unofficial Patch 1.50, this is a result of the game converting tiles to Grassland "due to an invalid way of joining the terrains". How or why exactly does the world generator do this is currently unknown. The program does not complain if these tiles are later altered into anything else by terraforming spells (although changing them into a Hill or Mountain requires Raise Volcano, which, in turn, erases the Mineral). However, there is no documented occurrence of either Nightshade, Wild Game, Gems, or crystals on Grassland tiles, suggesting that the original tiles are indeed either Hills or Mountains.
Given that the only evidence of this happening is Minerals showing up on Grassland, it is also not known how many such tiles get transformed on average during world creation (altering tiles without Minerals is generally unnoticeable). As such, it is not possible to provide an accurate breakdown of the types and frequencies of Minerals being present on Grassland tiles. In any case, this is an extremely rare occurrence, and generally no more than one or two such tiles will be encountered in a single game.
Grassland tiles are basic land tiles. The open terrain and lack of any serious obstacles allow almost all units to move through these tiles unimpeded.
Both Walking and Flying units can enter a Grassland tile for the cost of only 1 Movement Point. Pathfinding stacks (e.g. Non-Corporeal units) may also cross this tile for their usual cost of 0.5 Movement Points.
On the other hand, units with the Mountaineer trait, as well as any other units stacked with them in the same army, will take 3 Movement Points to enter a Grassland tile. This is the price paid for those units' otherwise-fast movement through Mountains, Hills and Volcanoes. However, if one of the other units stacked in the same army also has the Forester ability, then the stack will instead use Pathfinding movement.
Roads and Road Construction Edit
A single unit of Engineers will take 3 turns to construct a Road on a Grassland tile. If a stack of at least 2 Engineers units is given the order to construct a Road a Grassland tile, it will complete construction within 1 turn. Additional Engineers do not speed this up any further.
Dwarf Engineers work twice as fast as other Engineers. This means that a single Dwarf Engineers unit can complete a Road in a Grassland tile in only 1 turn.
Once a road has been constructed, the cost to enter this Grassland tile changes to 0.5 for all units, regardless of their movement type. Note however that Sailing units still cannot enter this tile, since they cannot move on land.
If the road was constructed on Myrror, or affected by the Enchant Road spell, movement costs to enter this tile are completely removed for most units. In other words, Walking and Flying units can enter this tile without spending any movement points. Non-Corporeal units cannot use this special road, and will still require 0.5 Movement Points to enter the tile.
Change Terrain Edit
The Nature spell Change Terrain can be cast on any Grassland tile that does not contain a Sorcery Node, turning it into a Forest. This reduces the tile's Maximum Population bonus to any nearby town to only +0.5. However, it will now also give a Production bonus of +3% to nearby towns instead.
Furthermore, if a town has no Forests within its catchment area, it is barred from building the Sawmill - a basic but very important structure. If the town has any Grassland tiles in its vicinity, it may be a good idea to change one of these Grassland tiles into a Forest in order to unlock the Sawmill.
Note that changing a Grassland tile into a Forest does not affect the Terrain Special in that tile, if any.
Change Tiles into Grassland Edit
The same spell may also be used to change Forest, Desert, Swamp and Hill tiles into Grassland. In all cases, the targeted tile ceases to provide whatever bonuses it used to give to nearby towns, and will now give them +1.5 Maximum Population instead. This is extremely useful when a town lacks suitable Terrain for growth. By changing nearby tiles into Grassland, it is possible to increase the town's Maximum Population to reasonable levels.
Remember also that it is possible change most types of Terrain type into Grassland by casting Change Terrain repeatedly on the tile. Even Volcanoes can be turned into Grassland - by changing them to Mountains, then Hills, and finally Grasslands.
Gaia's Blessing Edit
At the start of each turn, the game goes through each Desert tile in the town's vicinity, and rolls a random number between 1 and 10. If the number comes up "10", that tile is altered into a Grassland tile, and the game moves on to the next Desert tile (if any) and rolls again.
Note that if this spell is cast on a town that is benefiting from the Production bonuses from many nearby Desert tiles, prolonged use of the Gaia's Blessing spell will lead to that town losing much of this bonus - but gaining a large Maximum Population bonus instead. This can be either beneficial or detrimental, depending on strategy.