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Terrain plays a vital role in combat, as it can provide tremendous bonuses and maluses to both the attacker and the defender. Effective use of the landscape is an intrinsic part of victory on Gladius Prime.

Each map tile has a terrain type, any number of possible features and rarely also contains one special feature. A tile gets its individual resource effects from its type, its features and from adjacent special features. These effects influence the output of buildings built on it. The exception are the yellow percentages on top of special features, which are city wide bonuses. Some factions, Space Marines and Necrons, get slightly different resources from tiles.

Features may reduce the amount of BuildingSlots.png Building Slots on the tile or increase the amount of Movement.png Movement points required to enter the tile as well as break line of sight. Buildings can't be built on tiles with special features at all.

When a non-Flyer unit enters a tile containing a special feature, an outpost will instantly be erected and the tile's resource production will be added to the player's. In order to make use of a special feature's percentage boost effect, the tile needs to be acquired by a city. Space Marines, instead of having to acquire the tile, are able to obtain the percentage boost for their city by constructing a Fortress of Redemption on an adjacent tile.

Tiles also have a height value ranging from 1 to 4. When mousing over a tile, the third number that is displayed is the tile's height. Any unit can travel from one tile to another that is 1 level below or above it, but when two tiles are next to each other with a height difference of 2 or more, then that creates an impassible cliff that can only be traversed by Flyer units. Height differences can also break line of sight.

Terrain Types[]

Name Special rule Tile Resources Description
-20% Food.webp
+20% Research.webp
On most human-habitable planets, the icy, treeless 'arctic' climates are located towards the poles of the planet. On Gladius Prime, however, ancient climate management means the frozen regions are less predictably-distributed.
Here sits the ruin of an Imperial fishery; there, the abandoned summer villa of a ranking Imperium bureaucrat; there, a camp of desperate, feral human survivors, eking out an existence from the ocean's bounty.
-20% Food.webp
+20% Energy.webp
In these bare regions, precipitation is so low as to make life impossible, save for slow-growing extremophiles and the most alien anhydrous lifeforms. The clear land and skies are perfect for solar-capture devices, however.
+20% Food.webp Whether natural plains or once-inhabited regions scoured clean by unholy warp energies, these rolling fields are the most fertile places on the planet, perfect for Imperium-approved crops.
Who knows what treasures have been swept into Gladius' mighty seas? What long-lost artefacts lie crusted with coral amidst its deep-ocean smokers and light-fearing sea aberrations? Given the richness of the land, no-one has ever explored these questions.
+10% Energy.webp Mixed woodland and grassland proliferates here, atop the inevitable human and xenos ruins, making for a landscape that's both fertile and home to the planet's unique ore-rich 'trees'.
+10% Research.webp A stark landscape dominates here, where short growing seasons and low temperatures offered only a bitter existence for the erstwhile human settlers. Food can still be found here, but hydroponic or intensive systems are required for survival.
-20% Food.webp
+20% Ore.webp
Here, the massive sub-surface pressure triggered by the warp chaos has created seismic eruptions on the surface. For those races willing to risk their lives (or their slaves' lives), it's a rich area for ore exploitation.

Terrain Features[]

Name Special rule Tile Resources Description
+10% Food.webp This low scrubland is scattered with the detritus and debris from human habitation, and xenos invasion. It might not be attractive to the eye, but it's fertile enough for basic subsistence.
  • Min 33% ranged DamageReduction.png Damage Reduction for infantry units
  • Breaks line of sight and hides units unless they attack or there is an adjacent enemy

For friendly units:

  • Min 33% city DamageReduction.png Damage Reduction
  • +100% x15px Healing Rate
  • Movement.png Max 1 movement cost
  • Max 2 BuildingSlots.png Building Slots
  • Movement.png +1 movement cost to enter
  • Min 33% ranged DamageReduction.png Damage Reduction for infantry units
  • Breaks line of sight and hides units unless they attack or there is an adjacent enemy
+10% Ore.webp Gladius' fast-growing forests persist all year around, the vegetal growth stretching to the sky, and blocking lines of sight. Gladius' plants may seem treelike, but they're actually iron-hard, as they draw ores from deep under the planet's surface.
Imperial Ruins
  • Max 2 BuildingSlots.png Building Slots
  • Movement.png +1 movement cost to enter
  • Min 33% ranged DamageReduction.png Damage Reduction for infantry units
  • Breaks line of sight and hides units unless they attack or there is an adjacent enemy
+10% Ore.webp The pre-invasion human colony was built for defense and mineral exploitation. Nothing was designed to stand the tectonic shifts and warp-born horrors that came with the Ork invasion, and hence very few structures weathered it. This ruin is a rare survivor.
Necron Tomb
Feature that allows Necrons to found a city on the tile. Deep beneath this innocuous patch of land lies a Tomb City, where the Necrons have slept away the long millenia. To one who knows the correct protocols, it's a simple matter to begin the procedure of awakening it and its inhabitants from their dreamless sleep...
Orkoid Fungus
+1 Hitpoints.png Hitpoints for Ork ground units +20% Food.webp for Orks Feature that increases the food output and healing rate for Orks.
  • Claims special features
  • Min 17% city DamageReduction.png Damage Reduction
  • Min 17% ranged DamageReduction.png Damage Reduction for infantry units
  • +50% x15px Healing Rate
Feature that grants the controlling player a small resource bonus.
Movement.png +1 movement cost to enter. +10% Food.webp This freshwater watercourse wends its way to the sea, concentrating the wealth of mountains and fields as it does. Infantry regiments are less interested in the river's bounty and more in its capabilities as a natural defensive line.
Max 2 BuildingSlots.png Building Slots. +20% Ore.webp Thrust up by the planet's seismic hell, these freshly-revealed crags might be bare of organic life, but are a superb source of the rare minerals at Gladius' heart.
Wire Weed
  • No BuildingSlots.png Building Slots
  • Movement.png Consumes all movement
  • Deals damage each turn when standing on it: 3 Damage.png Damage, 1 Attacks.png Attacks, 2 ArmorPenetration.png Armour Penetration, 2 Accuracy.png Accuracy, Blast, Ignores Cover
Woe betide anyone who wanders into these thickets of brambles. Slowly at first, but faster and faster, the living weed draws its razor-sharp filaments tighter around the hapless intruder.

Special Features[]

Name Special rule Tile Resources Description
Fermentation Pool
Special feature that increases the growth rate of the city when acquired.
Adjacent tiles get +20% Food.webp and -10% Loyalty.webp
+2 Food.webp
+20% Growth.png Growth
This apparently-natural water source looks welcoming to any wildlife -- but woe betide any thirsty Grox that wanders by. The pool's unusual bacteria rot down the planet's plant life and concentrates the runoff into something lethally-intoxicating. More advanced races can collect and refine the liquid, for trade or entertaining consumption.
Grox Pasture
Special feature that increases the food or requisitions output of the city when acquired.
Adjacent tiles get +20% Food.webp
+2 Food.webp
+20% Food.webp
Around heatstones alien storytellers muse about the Grox -- the dangerous herd animal that is ubiquitous throughout human lands. Wherever man goes, the hardy Grox travels with him or is there before him. Some joke that the Grox was the Old Ones' most successful creation.
Jokaero Trader Encampment
Special feature that allows a hero unit on the tile to purchase and sell items as well as increases the influence output of the city when acquired.
Adjacent tiles get +20% Influence.webp
+2 Influence.webp
+20% Influence.webp
If you have little regard for your life and seek excitement, visit the Jokaero. Imbued with an instinctive technical creativity that exceeds even that of an Ork Mekboy, these orange-furred aliens resemble a great Terran ape but can create wonders beyond imagining -- the challenge is in acquiring them and safely working out what they do...
Ore Field
Special feature that increases the ore or requisitions output of the city when acquired.
Adjacent tiles get +20% Ore.webp
+2 Ore.webp
+20% Ore.webp
Few places on an inhabited world still have mineral-rich rocks simply lying around on the surface. Yet here, the ruptures of the warp storm have torn great chunks from the planet's surface, allowing for easy exploitation by whichever faction finds it first.
Promethium Relay Pipes
Special feature that increases the energy output of the city when acquired.
Adjacent tiles get +20% Energy.webp
+2 Energy.webp
+20% Energy.webp
These heavily-armoured ducts once carried energy-rich promethium to the planet's extensive human cities from deeply-buried auto-refineries. Now, with the cities in ruins from war and chaos, the surviving pipes can be exploited by whichever race claims them first.
Recaf Leaf
Special feature that increases the loyalty of the city when acquired.
Adjacent tiles get +10% Production.webp
+1 Food.webp
+1 Influence.webp
+20% Loyalty.webp
These humble fields of wild herbs hide a secret -- a rich food and narcotic stimulant that allows organic races to go without sleep or rest for great periods of time. Called 'Recaf' by humans, it's collected, processed and distributed to factory workers and slaves to greatly improve their output.
Ruins of Vaul
Special feature that provides a reward to the first unit that enters the tile and increases the research output of the city when acquired.
Adjacent tiles get +20% Research.webp
+2 Research.webp
+20% Research.webp
It's unclear what this is -- some time-worn structure rearing up from the shattered surface, made from the same impenetrable material as the rare artefacts that dot the planet. Much can be learned merely from studying it -- and perhaps it still houses some secrets itself.
Shard of Vaul
Special feature that increases the ore or requisitions and energy output of the city when acquired.
Adjacent tiles get +10% Production.webp
+1 Ore.webp
+10% Ore.webp
+1 Energy.webp
+10% Energy.webp
Before the warpstorm, when man ruled the planet, these great outcrops were a curiosity and an attraction, like Cadia's pylons. Yet whilst the warpstorm rages overhead, they tremble with an unkind power that foolhardy races may seek to tap.


  • When deciding where to build a new city, it's a generally a good idea to pick a spot where multiple special features will be in city radius. Not just because of the special features' city wide bonus, but because the tiles adjacent to special features have fantastic resource yields for buildings.
  • Deciding when and when not to clear forests is an important strategic decision. Forests provide cover, break line of sight and potentially slow down an invading enemy's movement. Units inside forests are hidden from enemies until they start shooting or an enemy enters an adjacent tile. You will have to judge where and when the forests will be more useful to you than your enemy. In cities you might want to remove forests to get access to more building slots, but you will lose the +10% Ore bonus in the process.