There are many different types of terrain in Age of Wonders 3. Most prominently, the kind of terrain influences Movement cost, City Happiness or Unit Morale. Terrain type exists of Climate and Terrain Features...
For more information, see Movement.
The base Movement cost of terrain depends on the Climate, after which a modifier is added based on the terrain features. Basically, over flat land costs 4, where penalties are applied to movement based on terrain features and Movement Abilities.
Climates are the general type of terrain, like volcanic, temperate, or arctic. By default, climates can only be disliked by races, the only exception being Humans, who like Water. For every climate, there is a spell that will make a single city like that climate, and a spell that will spread that climate through your domain (except Subterranean).
Arctic Terrain is dominated by snow and ice. While not technically arctic, it is usually combined with the frozen terrain feature on water. While livable, few races enjoy arctic conditions, and the sparsity of good farmland means few large populations can survive in them for long.
Units with Arctic Walking have a -1 cost modifier (this ability has no effect when traveling on roads).
Races that dislike arctic:
Races that hate arctic:
Domain of Winter makes a city like Arctic terrain, and will remove Arctic from the dislike list. Having a Heart of the Arctic in your domain will remove Arctic from the disliked list in all your units and cities. Arctic Empire will slowly transform all your domain into Arctic.
Units with Arctic Concealment are Invisible on Arctic Terrain.
Units with Path of Frost will transform surface terrain they pass through into Arctic.
Volcanic terrain is blasted, scorched wasteland characterized by rivers of molten lava and high blackened crags. Barrens are common, and dragons and draconians can be commonly found in these areas.
Races that dislike volcanic:
Races that hate volcanic:
Domain of the Sun makes a city like Volcanic as well as Tropical terrain, and will remove those from the Hated/Disliked terrain list. Having a Heart of the Volcano in your domain will remove volcanic from the hated list of all your units and cities.
The blight is the slow corruption that has been rotting the world in its presence since long ago. All races except goblins have a natural, base aversion to the wrongness of blighted lands, and hideous beasts make their homes there. Huge forests of mushrooms and gnarled vines, swamps smelling of death, and cracked wastelands are all you can expect to find in blightlands. The great tomb-cities of the Archons are surrounded by blight as a rule.
There are no races that like blighted.
Races that dislike blighted:
Races that hate blighted:
Domain of Corruption makes a city like blighted terrain, and will remove it from the Hated terrain list. Having a Heart of the Blight in your domain will remove Blighted from the hated list in all your cities. The Blight Empire spell slowly transforms tiles of the caster domain into blighted tiles.
Units with Blight Concealment are Invisible on Blighted Terrain.
Units with Path of Decay will convert surface terrain they pass through into Blight.
Temperate lands are ideal for life, ranging from sparse plains to dense forests but always containing the building blocks of agriculture and civilization. Humans have built empires on the green plains, while the elves have long watched from the forests.
There are no races that either dislike or hate Temperate.
Domain of Life makes a city like temperate terrain. Having a Heart of the Glades in your domain would remove Temperate from the disliked/hated list of all your units and cities, but there is no race to dislike it.
Units with Path of Life will convert surface terrain they pass through into Temperate.
Tropical lands, as a rule, are hot. Some are arid, baking deserts, while others are steaming, choking jungle, but all are hot and teeming with life of one kind or another.
Races that dislike tropical:
Races that hate tropical:
Domain of the Sun makes a city like Tropical as well as Volcanic terrain, and will remove those from the disliked/hated terrain list. Having a Heart of the Tropics in your domain will remove tropical from the hated list of all your units and cities. Can be generated by the Tropical Empire spell.
Races that like water:
Subterranean Athla is riddled with enormous cave systems, allowing for great exploitation of the earth's riches, if you can handle life without the sky--and the things that live in the depths. Dwarves are exceedingly comfortable underground, and goblins thrive there. Underground, units without Night Vision have a -2 sight range.
Units with Cave Crawling have a -1 Cost Modifier (this ability has no effect when traveling on roads).
Races that dislike Subterranean:
Domain of Earth makes a city like subterranean terrain, and will remove it from the disliked terrain list. There is no way to remove the happiness penalty from units.
Units with Cave Concealment are invisible underground.
In Age of Wonders 3, there are many Terrain features that make up the shape of the lands. They will affect gameplay in a couple of ways, most notable through increasing City Happiness and Unit Morale and impeding movement. Once Terraformer is researched, some of these terrains (barrens, fertile plains, dense vegetation and wetlands) can be changed into another of those terrains at the cost of 12 Mana per hex. This can be done with the intention of increasing city happiness, impeding movement of possible invading enemies, or because you like how it looks.
Barrens are bare, rocky lands that won't grow much, but they allow for fast travel and simplicity in battle.
Units with Barrens Running have a -1 Cost Modifier (this ability has no effect when traveling on roads).
Races that like Barrens:
Fertile plains are the fields where farmers grow their food. Easy to traverse, they are extensively farmed, and battles within the range of a city are often impeded by farmhouses and fences.
Units with Plains Running have a -1 Cost Modifier (this ability has no effect when traveling on roads).
Races that like Fertile Plains:
From deciduous woods to dense tropical jungle to bizarre blight-mushroom groves, dense vegetation is the all-encompassing descriptor for forests in Age of Wonders, light vegetation not warranting a hex descriptor. Battles in forests are often heavily hampered by terrain, favoring those who have higher mobility, or those who have an advantage when fighting at range.
Units with Forestry take no penalty.
Races that like Dense Vegetation:
Units with Forest Concealment are invisible when on terrain with dense vegetation.
Wetlands are the swamps. Because you have to watch your step, movement cost is increased. Swamp battles are surprisingly simple affairs, the only impediments being deep pools between the solid ground.
Units with Wetland Walking take no penalty (this ability has no effect when traveling on roads).
Races that like Wetlands:
(Coastal) Mountains cannot be changed into another terrain type. Their extreme movement costs make them a natural barrier against your enemies. Battles taking place there occur on high, rocky plateaus, featuring plenty of rocks to hide behind.
Mountaineering reduces Movement penalty by 8 Cost, taking only a penalty of +2 .
Races that like Mountains:
Mountains do not exist in subterranean areas.
Units with Mountain Concealment are invisible when on mountains.
Dirt Cavern WallEdit
Dirt Cavern wall is solid dirt and unpassable, but it can be dug out by a unit with Tunneling at a movement cost of 6 . When this is done, the terrain changes to barrens. This change cannot be reversed.
Dirt Cavern Walls do not exist in surface areas.
Races that like Dirt Cavern Wall:
Rock Cavern WallEdit
Rock Cavern Wall is solid rock and unpassable, and can never be dug out.
Rock Cavern Walls do not exist in surface areas.
Races that like Dirt Cavern Wall:
Frozen terrain exists only on water. Since it's a solid surface a Walking is enough to traverse this terrain.
Frozen terrain can be created on water by Freeze Water spell (the effect of this spell lasts only for 3 ). When the effect of this spell ends, the units on the water drown.
Units traversing the Water can not cross Frozen Water terrain.
Lava Pools exists only on volcanic terrain, and can never be altered.
Races that like Lava Pool: