Here’s a quick Setup Guide for Terra Mystica.  If you need a rules refresher, watch my How to Play Terra Mystica video.

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from nights Around a Table. Here’s how you set up Terra Mystica.
Put the main board on the table and the cult board nearby. Stack the favor tiles in an array like this. Put an action token above each of these spaces. The worker cubes, money, and town tiles go nearby.

Now, each player has to pick one of the 14 factions. The rulebook recommends a beginner setup for different player counts, along with specific bonus cards and scoring tiles to use. It even tells you where to place your first dwellings. The first player is whoever has most recently been digging around in their garden. That person takes the starting player marker.

If you’ve played Terra Mystica before, then in turn order, each player can take turns choosing a faction board and figuring out which side to use. Or, you can distribute them randomly. Some high-level players like to hold a faction auction, using their starting victory points as bidding currency. More on those starting victory points in a second.

Shuffle the scoring tiles and place them on the board randomly, from the top down. If you wind up with a spade on the left side of one of these tiles in either of these top two spaces, get rid of it, randomly place a different tile, and then shuffle the spade tile back in with the rest, and keep going. Then, block off the rightmost side of the round 6 tile.

Randomly set out player-count-plus-3 bonus cards.

Take the wood pieces that match your faction, and cover up all the spaces on it with your dwellings, your trading houses, your temples, your stronghold, and your sanctuary. Add the correct number of tokens to your power bowls according to what’s printed on your board. Put your priests and bridges next to your board to form your supply.

You’ve got 7 cylindrical markers. Put them on your lowest spade ratio, your weakest shipping spot, and at the bottom of the four cult tracks. Of course, keep in mind that these setup steps can vary depending on which faction you chose. The dwarves and fakirs don’t even have a shipping track. Your last marker goes on the 20 victory point space.

Terra Mystica has an active player base that plays by tournament rules, and they’ve tracked stats for tens of thousands of games. They’ve discovered that not all factions are created equal, and so the publisher has released a table of starting victory point counts for all of the factions, to handicap the statistically stronger ones. I’ll post that table in the description below the video for your reference.

The top right section of your board depicts your starting income, so grab all that stuff. Some factions get a head start on various cult tracks; if that’s you, move your marker up accordingly.

Beginning with the starting player and going clockwise, each player places one dwelling on any tile matching their native terrain. Then, in reverse order, everyone places a second dwelling. If you’re playing the nomads, you get to place a third dwelling after everyone else has picked. If you’re the chaos magicians, you only get one dwelling, but you get to wait until everyone else – including the nomads – have placed their starting dwellings.

Starting with the last player and going counterclockwise, each player chooses a bonus card.

Once all that’s done, it’s time to start the game! Take stock of all the income you’re due from the uncovered spaces on your player board, and maybe on your bonus card, and bring it all home!

Well, does it sound interesting? If you want to learn more about the rules of the game, click the link at the end of this video or in the description below to watch my complete How to Play video, which includes the overview segment you just watched. And if you like what i’m doing, click the badge to subscribe, and the bell to get notifications. And now, we dance!

Get Your Own Copy of Terra Mystica

Chances are good that you’re watching this video because you already own a copy of Terra Mystica. In case you don’t, and you’d like to, shop for your own copy using the Amazon link below, and i’ll receive a small commission!

Terra Mystica


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