Terrain was launched at UK Games Expo 2014 (watch a video of Dave at the Expo explaining how Terrain plays to UK Gaming Media Network).
The basic game is aimed at younger players and families (the game’s first playtest was with kids aged between 5 and 10) and is a simple tile-laying game which encourages subtlety and being mean to each other!
Each player has a type of land to collect (this is secret at the start of the game) and the aim is to get as many of those land pieces placed adjacent to each other as possible. Connected land tiles are called Regions and Whoever has the largest region (most connected tiles of the correct type) at the end of the game wins.
Play starts with each player taking a secret tile at random from a selection of the five land types. Unused secret tiles are replaced into the bag and play then proceeds by each player talking it in turns to choose a tile at random from the bag and placing it next to an any existing tile on the playing surface.
At any time, instead of choosing a tile from the bag, a player may choose to play their secret tile instead. This gives away what land type they are collecting but can be very useful, as this is the only time a tile may be placed on top of another tile already on the map. This means a player could connect two separate regions of their tiles, stop their tiles being blocked in by the other players, or cutting an opponents region in half!
A more advanced variant is included in the rules for older players where the game is split into rounds and in each round a player gets to draw a “hand” of tiles and choose their secret tile for that round from their hand. The round is then played out and players score as they place their secret tiles. Scores are totalled over the rounds to produce a winner. This gives more scope for strategy and the map literally “builds-up” as secret tiles are placed on top of existing tiles.