Terrain Terms

From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki

Standard Definitions for Terrain Terms

Discussions of changes or improvements to the terrain engine are often hindered by the fact that people often use the same terms to mean very different things. This list is provided to allow everyone to use the same words to mean the same thing.


  • Alias: a terrain withMV/Def values that are derived from another terrain(s). A terrain may be Aliased to multiple terrains.
  • Advanced Aliases: a system that can provides a unit with MV/Def values by different means. For instance Bridges use Best MV, Best Def, while other terrains use Worst MV, Best Def. Other combinations are possible but not recommended.
  • Alphabet: all possible character or character combinations that can designate distinct terrains.
  • Archetype: A fundimental kind of terrain with unique MV/Def values. Terrain Archetypes do not appear directly in the game, but are the concepts behind all visible terrains. If a Terrain Modifier system was implemented some Archetypes would be replaced by Modifiers.
    • Impassable (cave wall)
    • Unwalkable (chasm, lava)
    • Underground
    • Mountains
    • Hills
    • Forest
    • Mushrooms?
    • Castle
    • Village
    • Frozen (snow, ice)
    • Flat (grassland, road, etc.)
    • Sand
    • Swamp
    • Shallow Water
    • Deep Water
  • Base Terrain: A terrain referenced by an Alias.
  • Base Layer: The graphic that is rendered at the bottom of a Overlay Terrain. Water is the base layer for the bridge. Often does not effect MV/Def.
  • Basic Terrain: See Standard or Archetype.
  • Hybrid: a terrain with MV/Def values that are created from 2 or more archetypes.
  • Letter: A single or multi character combination that designates a unique terrain.
  • Modifier: A visbile Modification to a Terrain that also modifys MV and/or Def values. Also a proposed system for creating more varied MV/Def values without creating more Archetypes. Unlikely to be implemented
  • Overlay: A terrain with graphics are built from multiple layers. Or more specificly the upper graphic of such a terrain. The upper layer doesn't fill the hex and/or is partially transparent. Usually the upper layer is meant to appear taller than the ground. Forests, Villages, and Bridges use overlays.
  • Standard: a terrain that is the typical and original representative of an Archetype. Grassland is the standard terrain of flat.
  • Variant: a terrain that is visually different from the Standard version of the Archetype, especially one that is meant to represent the same kind of thing. I.E. the basic castle has many variants. Not all Archetype currently have any Variants, but that will probably change.
This page was last modified on 25 February 2008, at 10:42.