Dominions 4 is a game of provinces. Movement from one province to another depends on several things: the movement speed of the unit(s), the terrain in the province, and whether or not the province is friendly or enemy. In general, you can only move from one province to another if they are connected. To see a province's connections, hit the  key.
The basic concepts regarding movement are as follows:
- A province is either friendly or enemy. A province occupied by independent forces (white flag) is still enemy.
- Entering an enemy province triggers combat, unless all entering units are Stealthy (like scouts).
- A unit entering an enemy province may only move one province that turn, unless it is flying.
- Units may move multiple provinces if all the provinces entered are friendly, up to the limit of their movement.
- Armies with multiple units move at the speed of the slowest unit.
- Only commanders may move. Armies may not move if they are not led by a commander.
- Movement into or out of difficult terrain (forest, mountains, swamp) is affected by units' survival abilities.
- Underwater movement is one province at a time. You can’t fly over water, either.
If you understand that, the rest is just the details. Which are discussed below.
General rules governing movementEdit
Movement in Dominions 4 occurs from province to province, and is determined by a unit's map movement factor. If you right-click on any unit, you will see this factor next to the word "Move" in the unit attributes. A unit with "Move 2 / 10" can move two provinces on the strategic map, and has 10 Action Points in combat. Even if a unit has a movement greater than 1, however, it is subject to certain restrictions.
Each terrain has an associated movement cost:
Provinces with more than one difficult terrain (cost 2+) will travel in the easiest of those terrains for purposes of movement calculation, and if they have the appropriate survival ability (see below) that terrain will be used. The cost of movement from one province to the next costs is the higher of the two movement costs of the starting province and the ending province. There are two special terrain types which are properties of the borders between provinces rather than the provinces themselves: rivers and mountain passes.
Rivers may not be crossed unless the Cold scales in the provinces on both sides of that river border are +1 or greater (the river is frozen). Flying and floating units may cross rivers without penalty regardless of scales, as may units with the ability to enter water.
Mountain passes may be crossed if the Heat scales in the provinces on both sides of that mountain border are +1 or greater (the passes are open). Flying and floating units may cross mountain passes without penalty regardless of scales, as may units with the Mountain Survival ability.
Additional details about movement are listed below.
- No unit may move more than one province if it is moving into or through an enemy province.
[Exception: flying units]
- If a unit has a survival ability, such as forest , swamp , waste , or mountains it can treat that terrain as having a movement cost of 1. Units always preferentially move through terrain for which they have the survival ability, allowing them to bypass more difficult terrain in the same province.
- Unless a unit is amphibious or aquatic it cannot enter an underwater province. [Poor amphibians are included, but differ from amphibians in combat.] Amphibians (poor or otherwise) may cross rivers without penalty.
- Aquatic units cannot enter land.
- A unit may only move through one underwater province per turn, regardless of movement factor
[Exception: units with sailing ].
- Flying units treat all provinces as movement cost 1. They may fly over intervening enemy provinces. Flying units may not cross water provinces, but may cross rivers.
- A unit with the sailing ability may cross water provinces, but may not remain in such a province at the end of the turn. It may cross rivers. Commanders are the only units which can be given orders to move.
All units (both the commander and his or her troops) must have the abilities listed above in order to take advantage of them. Just because a commander can fly doesn't mean his troops can. [Exception: some commanders can give their troops water-breathing abilities, and commanders with sailing can transport non-sailing units.]
Entering an enemy province triggers combat. [Exception: Stealthy units]
Armies move at the speed on the slowest unit in the army. Thus, forming armies composed of units with widely varying speeds will slow the whole group down.
Movement Phases Edit
There are four phases that are relevant for movement commands.
- Stealth phase. Stealthing will occur before any other form of movement. Therefore, other units will not be able to force stealthy units into combat if the stealthy unit opts to "hide" that same turn.
- Magic phase. Units that are placed in a province via a magic ritual will do so before other units can react. This can occur via teleport spells or via remote summons. Note that an attack by a stealthy unit to the same province it is currently occupying will resolve in the magic phase, not the movement phase. Moreover, allied units attacking into a province during the magic phase will all appear together, regardless of their method of conveyance Consequently, a stealthed unit from Nation A, in Province X belonging to Nation B, will attack alongside another Nation A unit told to teleport to Province X. This combat will resolve before any mundanely moving units enter the province, which will sometimes have tactical benefits. Note that units told to "patrol" will be present for battles in that province, but units told to "move and patrol" into that province will not, as the movement phase has not yet occurred.
- Movement/Combat phase. This phase is resolved via ordinary movement.
- Discovery phase. Any stealthed units discovered will fight in independently resolved combats after all other movement is resolved.
Example: if Sid the Elf teleports three thugs into province B, and orders four commanders, each with their own troops, into province B. Like many elf players, Sid is a Scrub, and tells forgets to tell two of those commanders to sneak. His opponent, John the Jotun, tells the First Army, already in province B, to patrol, and The Second army, in a nearby province, to move and patrol into province B.
The three teleporting thugs will arrive with one another, and they will fight the First Army (along with any PD). If there is no fort, they will fight any other present troops, not just patrollers and PD. Afterwards, the magic phase is concluded, and all ordinary movements resolve.
Sid's two non-sneaking commanders will arrive simultaneously, as will the Second Jotun Army. The two commanders and their troops will then fight the two jotun armies, all in one big battle.
The two stealthed commanders will be discovered by patrolling, but the discovery and combat will happen independently. Thus, first one stealthed commander will have to fight both jotun armies, and then the other will fight both jotun armies.