In the base version of the game, there are 7 player-boards, each with a Faction on each side, for 14 Factions (or Races) in all.
However, each Faction does not play the same way, and a winning strategy for one Faction does not often work with another.
This Terra Mystica guide highlights the different approaches you need to take to this board game, based on your chosen race, and why you might choose that race in any particular game, given the bonus tiles and round tiles available.
Choosing a Faction:
These general rules will help you choose your faction quickly:
- Do the Round Tiles match the order in which I want to build things with this race? (e.g. I want to build an early Stronghold? Is there a Round Tile that gives me points for doing so?)
- Do the Bonus Tiles complement my Faction? (e.g. do I need the Priest tile available to me, to do well with this Faction?)
- Has another player already selected a Faction with the same priorities as the one I was going to choose, or with similar terrain preferences or similar advantages? (e.g. both the Mermaids and Fakir can skip terrain squares, and the Darklings and Fakir both need priests quite badly)
Each Faction board has a faction on either side of it. Thus, some factions will never play against each other (those that have the same colour):
Chaos Magicians (red)