|Town Bonuses||+3% Production|
|Movement Point Cost||
|Possible Minerals (Arcanus)|
|Possible Minerals (Myrror)|
Hill tiles mix mild bonuses to Maximum Population with small bonuses to Production. Towns built in Hilly areas are not going to grow too large, but will still be rather productive and useful.
Hills can contain a very wide array of Minerals, particularly those that give Gold output or Production bonuses. Gold Ore is especially common in Myrran Hills. On Arcanus, Iron Ore is more common. A Hill tile with a Mineral on it is significantly more beneficial to nearby towns than a plain Hill tile.
Hills may not be as steep as Mountains, but they are still difficult to scale. Walking units may spend many Movement Points entering these tiles.
The Change Terrain spell may be used to flatten a Hill tile, turning it into Grassland. Restoring a Hill tile is a more complicated process, and would require the use of Raise Volcano. The Gaia's Blessing spell has no effect on Hill tiles adjacent to the affected town.
The formation of Hills can occur in many different ways. Most often, they are simply the curvature of the land around Mountains, caused by the pressure of tectonic plates - The Mountain is the place where the pressure was highest, with Hills representing outlying low-pressure areas. In other cases, Hills are simply the remains of Mountains, which have been worn down over millions of years by wind erosion.
Hills are often rocky, and may or may not retain enough water to become verdant. On the other hand, many species of plants and animals have adapted to life in such conditions. In fact, many plants require the sunny slopes of hills to survive, benefiting enough from the ample sunlight to make up for the lack in ground water. Thus, Hills make good places for hunting, collecting various fruits, and growing specific kinds of crops.
Furthermore, Hills tend to accumulate deposits of Minerals over the ages. Though they are less rich than Mountains in such minerals, the minerals are easier to excavate and reach - thus making Hills a good place to look for precious metals.
Hills are strewn all across the planes of Arcanus and Myrror. There is no real pattern for their distribution: they can appear as isolated patches amongst other types of Terrain, or even form short ridges across the landscape. Though rare, it is possible even to encounter a region covered in Hills. This occurs most often on Myrror, if at all.
Town Development Edit
Hills provide a little bit of everything - but excel at nothing. They allow some foraging, hunting and agriculture, and provide a small amount of building materials and metals. As such they are generally useful for nearby settlements, but will not make a town exceptional, unless of course the Hills contain valuable Minerals.
Construction of a town in a very Hilly area will generally lend itself to creating a good production center for units (again, especially if Minerals are present). Still, in order for the town to grow to a good size, a nearby River, Grassland area, or Forests with Wild Game are essential.
Maximum Population Edit
- Main article: Maximum Population
A Hill tile within the catchment area of a town will provide +0.5 to that town's Maximum Population. In other words, if a town were to be surrounded entirely by Hill tiles, its Maximum Population would be 10.5 (21 tiles * 0.5 = 10.5).
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.
As a result of these factors, it is not usually wise to place a town in a very Hilly area unless it has access to at least a few River and/or Grassland tiles. Nearby Forests containing Wild Game can also be beneficial.
Production Bonus Edit
This 3% is calculated based on the total amount of Production yielded by the town's Farmers and Workers. For example, if the town's population gives a total of 100 Production, each Hill tile in its vicinity adds +3. Note that total production is rounded down to a whole number, but only after all bonuses have been added together. For reference, point the survey tool at a town or proposed site for settlement to see the total Production bonus given by all tiles within its catchment area.
Though Hills don't give a very large Production bonus compared to Mountains, it is nonetheless a respectable bonus and - coupled with the Maximum Population bonus described above - a good overall boost to a town's proper development.
Common Minerals Edit
Hill tiles can contain a wide variety of different Minerals - similar to those found in Mountains. The distribution is different however, with Iron Ore being common on Arcanus Hills, and Gold Ore very common on Myrror.
Hills containing Minerals are very desirable places for a new Settlement, especially if nearby tiles provide the Maximum Population bonuses that Hills only provide in modest quantities (see above). Even if such tiles are lacking, it may still be a good idea to try and capitalize on these resources - particularly Gold Ore, Silver Ore and/or Mithril Ore.
Iron Ore is the most common Mineral found in Arcanus Hills, though it is also present on Myrror Hills. A town built close to an Iron Ore deposit can produce units at a faster rate than normal. In game terms, the cost of Normal Units in a town is reduced by 5% for each Iron Ore tile within its catchment area.
Coal presents a more valuable variety of the same bonus that is granted by Iron Ore - decreasing the cost of Normal Unit construction in nearby towns by a factor of 10%. Towns built next to this mineral can produce units very quickly, especially if the town also benefits from the Production bonus of several nearby Hills and/or Mountains.
Mithril Ore can also be found on Hills occasionally - and is fairly common on Myrror Hills. By default, it provides nearby towns with +1 Power, augmenting the magical prowess of the town's owner by a small amount. Furthermore, if the town can build an Alchemists' Guild, it can start producing units with Mithril Weapons, making them stronger in both attack and defense properties.
Finally, Myrror Hills (only) can sometimes contain Adamantium Ore. These provide a bonus of +2 Power to nearby towns - twice as good as Mithril Ore. Again, with the construction of Alchemists' Guilds in those towns, all new Normal Units built there will be equipped with Adamantium Weapons, which greatly boost these units' combat performance!
However, units possessing the Mountaineer trait, as well as any other units stacked with them in the same army, will only take 1 Movement Point to enter a Hill tile.
Flying units treat Hill tiles like any other tile. They take only 1 Movement Point to enter it. Similarly, Pathfinding stacks (e.g. Non-Corporeal units) can enter this tile for their usual cost of 0.5 Movement Points.
Roads and Road Construction Edit
Constructing a Road through a Hill tile is quite difficult. A single unit of Engineers will take 6 turns to construct a Road on a Hill tile. Each additional unit of Engineers reduces this by about 50% (rounded up). Therefore, 2 units will take 3 turns, 3 units will take 2 turns, and 4 or more units will take only 1 turn to build this road. Additional Engineers (beyond 4) 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 Hill tile in only 3 turns, and 2 or more Dwarf Engineers will only take 1 turn to complete construction of a Hill road.
Once a road has been constructed, the cost to enter this Hill 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 Hill tile. When this spell is cast on the tile, it will turn this tile into Grassland. This increases the tile's Maximum Population bonus to any nearby Town to +1.5. However, at the same time the tile loses its +3% Production bonus.
Note that the change causes no damage to any Mineral present in the tile. Thus, a town located near such Minerals can utilize this spell to increase its Maximum Population without hurting the bonuses from those Minerals.
It may also be worth remembering that the Miners' Guild requires at least one Hill, Mountain, or Volcano tile in a Town's catchment area. Care needs to be taken by Races that can build this structure not to remove all such tiles in their quest to grow larger settlements. Of course, this does not matter that much for Wizards with Raise Volcano, or if the Miners' Guild has already been built in the city.
Changing tiles into Hills Edit
It is possible to flatten Mountains with Change Terrain, turning them into Hills. This is exceptionally useful when a town in a mountainous region does not receive sufficient Maximum Population bonuses, leaving it stunted. Turning a few Mountains into Hills may alleviate this problem. If this is not enough, it may be worth considering turning all of the Mountains into Hills, and possibly even turning some of the Hills into Grassland!
Note of course that turning a Mountain into a Hill reduces that Mountain's Production bonus by almost half.
Changing any other type of land Terrain to Hills requires the combined use of both Raise Volcano; and either Change Terrain or Gaia's Blessing. However, even so, certain tiles (most prominently Rivers and Nodes) are not eligible for being altered at all. That being said, Gaia's Blessing may exhibit some unexpected behaviour around Chaos Nodes (see below).
Gaia's Blessing Edit
The Gaia's Blessing spell will not affect the Hills surrounding the enchanted Town. On the other hand, it does provide a 10% chance at the start of each turn for any Volcano to turn into a verdant Hill tile instead. The chance is separate for each Volcano in the catchment area, and works on all Volcanoes regardless of their origin. In fact, a peculiarity of this effect is that it can actually transform the Volcano under a Chaos Node too! This is the only way in the game to change the terrain tile of a Node, and it is also entirely permanent. However, this no longer applies in the Unofficial Patch 1.50, as it prevents Gaia's Blessing from affecting Chaos Nodes altogether.