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Scenario Design

Making Extreme Mountains and Kewl Waterfalls

(Part I)

by Talon-Thorn

So you want to make some really tall mountains, or have a waterfall on your map? This primer will show you how to do just that.

To start out, make a map that is covered with water, or use an existing map that has a place which is covered with water. The location must be on the surface level, since this technique does not work on the underground level.

Next, select the 'Caverns' tab, and choose one of the cavern wall tiles. It doesn't matter which one, just as long as it is one of the impassable wall tiles.

Using the cavern wall tile, click anywhere on the water and it will create a steep raised tile. Clicking again near the first tile may cause the first tile to lose its height.


To make your starting terrain, just place several tiles across the area. You should even click on top of already-placed cavern wall tiles, to cause some of the tiles to rise up while others drop down. Experiment to get the look you want. You may have to work at it to get most of the tiles raised.

Below is a "before and after" snapshot of the map. I have added a red "x" on two matching cavern tiles in each picture to make it easier to compare them. Note how the cavern wall tiles have changed elevation after several more tiles were added.


Here is the completed section I was working on, full of cavern tiles (see below). The next step is to get rid of these cavern tiles. Painting grass (or almost any other terrain) on top of a cavern wall tile will remove them. To do this, I've used the medium-sized paint brush with the grass terrain. You can start off using the small paint brush, but any raised cavern wall tile with another raised cavern wall tile directly in front of it can not be selected. The medium paint brush indirectly paints over the unselectable tiles.

You need not worry about keeping the water terrain. I'll show you a trick for changing terrain back to water without disturbing the elevation. Using the "Strong current" tile on the "Place" tab, any terrain can be changed to water. Once the terrain is converted, just delete the "Strong current" tiles from the map. (This trick was first reported by Magog).

As you try to select hexagons, you'll notice that it can be difficult to select the ones you want. In the left picture below, the large, stretched hexagon is selecting the towering elevated terrain. If you move your mouse down just a bit from where you selected this hexagon (yes! Down, not up!), you will be able to select the hexagon tile just behind (above) the elevated hexagon (the squished hexagon highlighted in the picture on the right below).

Thus, if I try to place a mountain tile on this elevated hexagon, I'll get a bit of a surprise. In the first picture below, I have placed a mountain over the elevated peak. The second picture below shows the mountain on top of the peak.

In the first picture, the mountain is actually on the hexagon located directly behind the elevated hexagon. That's right! The mountain tile shows through the elevated hexagon, even though it is being placed behind the elevated hexagon. My mouse pointer is positioned right around the mid point of the peak.

If I then move the mouse pointer up just a bit (not down), it will be positioned on top of the peak. Yes, this is the odd and unexpected thing about it: Since this is a 3D map, the hexagon behind the peak really is below the peak hexagon.

It may be very useful to turn on the grid (function key F4) to make it easier to see what you are doing.

Note the hexagon in the picture above outlined in red. The hexagon just above the red hexagon cannot be selected. This is a situation where there were two cavern tiles, one in front of the other. Whenever there is a row of raised cavern tiles (up and down row), the first tile in the row (upper-most) can not be selected directly. It is possible to place some terrain on the tile by using the medium paint brush (which will allow trees, flowers, and a few other terrain tiles to be placed). Mountains can never be placed on such a tile, and I think (although not certain) a player cannot enter such a tile during gameplay.

On to Part II: Extreme Mountains and Kewl Waterfalls...


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