Civilization VI – Meet the Leaders – Part 2

Feature article

<–  Part 1

With Civilization VI quickly approaching its release, we once again turn to the illustrious leaders to seek their guidance and wisdom. Releasing October 21, Firaxis has been bestowing us with gifts in the form of videos that outline the game’s civs and their leaders. With the 19th and final civilisation now revealed we can finally examine each and every one of them to discover who our friends and foes may be.


 

Germany

Leader – Frederick Barbarossa
Unique Unit – U-Boat
Unique Structure – Hansa

The German civilisation is a fierce production focused civ who can pursue virtually any win condition. Germany’s armies gain a bonus to fighting City-State units, so don’t get too friendly with a City-State when Germany is in the game, unless you are willing to protect them. Whilst Germany’s City-State domination potential is nice, they really come into their own when it comes to production. Germany can build an additional district past the limit that their population would normally allow, and the German unique district (Hansa) is one that can generate them a lot of production if placed advantageously. This focus on production can allow Germany to build up a bustling science or culture hub, or allow them to create a large army quickly – take your pick.

 

Spain

Leader – Phillip II
Unique Unit – Conquistidor
Unique Structure – Mission

Spain is an oppressive religious and cross-continent settling force. The Spanish will want to build up an influential religion quickly and punish those who worship an opposing faith. Spanish Inquisitors can remove heresy an additional time, meaning they can fight off the spread of another religion better than anyone else. They also gain additional faith from cross-continent settling and their Conquistador unique unit gains significant bonuses when protecting a Spanish faith unit. Best of all though is that Spain gains a combat advantage when fighting a civ who worships a differing religion, so watch out for the vengeful fist of Spain if you end up religiously aligning yourself against them. Spain can also make fleets of ships faster than other civ and they gain trade route advantages when settling over different continents. Be careful of Spain as they spread their civilisation wide and their religion wider.

 

India

Leader – Gandhi
Unique Units – Varu
Unique Structure – Stepwell

Gandhi leads a very peaceful, religious civ who benefits and encourages non-warring and faith-based behaviour. India will gain bonuses to their faith for each non-warring, religious civilisation that they come across; meaning that India will want to keep other civs at peace in order to gain their bonus. India also benefits from being around other faith-based civs because India gains follower bonuses for any religion in their settlements, not just their own. The Indian unique unit (Varu) can help India in their quest for peace by reducing the strength of nearby enemy units, making it harder for other civs to roll in and lay down the pain. Other civilisations also gain additional happiness penalties when fighting India, so that may well be enough to keep everybody smiling and friendly – but probably not.

 

Kongo

Leader – Mvemba a Nzinga
Unique Unit – Ngao Mbeba
Unique Structure – M’banza

Kongo is a flexible civilisation who can build thriving cities with very few restrictions. Kongo can not build religious sites of worship themselves, but they gain all the advantages of another civilisations religion if that religion holds the largest influence in Kongo’s settlements. This means that Kongo doesn’t have to focus on religion themselves but can instead let other civs spread their faith while Kongo reaps the rewards. Kongo gains additional food, production and gold from artefacts, relics and sculptures and gains additional great artist and great merchant points every turn. Be wary of Kongo as a civ, they may not seem threatening on the surface but their advantages means they can focus on building happy and thriving settlements with potentially high science, culture or militaristic output. Kongo also gains no movement or sight penalties on forest tiles, making them a threat in dense forest-land.

 

Norway

Leader – Harald Hardrada
Unique Units – Berserker / Viking Longship
Unique Structure – Stave Church

The Norwegian civilisation is a powerful and aggressive civ with a strong, naval focus. Noway’s unique unit (the Berserker) gains bonuses when attacking but are more vulnerable when defending. This leaves Norway in a precarious position when facing a formidable foe, but allows them to decimate an unprepared civ. Norway’s naval melee units can perform coastal raids and their units have no cost when embarking on to water or disembarking on to land. Be very wary of a Norwegian army rolling up to your coastal town. Norway can also move into deeper water earlier than other civs, allowing them to expand and explore early.

 

Greece

Leader – Pericles
Unique Unit – Hoplite
Unique Structure – Acropolis

Greece as a civilisation focuses on diplomacy with City-States as they work their way towards a cultural victory. When playing as Greece you will want to ally yourself with as many City-States as possible because Greece gains cultural bonuses for doing so. The Greek unique structure (Acropolis) can also generate a large amount of culture if placed effectively. Greece can generate a lot of culture quite early and can ride that culture wave all the way to the end if other civs allow them to do so. The Greek unique unit (Hoplite) will get combat bonuses for being adjacent to other Hoplite units, so they make for effective sieging units or defending units against civilisations worried about your cultural output.

 

Rome

Leader – Trajan
Unique Unit – Legion
Unique Structure – Bath

The Roman civilisation is the unquestionable king of expansion. All Roman cities start with a trading post and gain an additional free building when settled. Newly found settlements will also immediately be built with a road already connected as long as it’s in trade-route range. With these advantages in mind, Rome will want to expand early and expand as wide as possible with closely clustered cities. Rome will also have a good amount of gold generation from their settlements which will be needed to deal with the upkeep of their many cities.  The Roman Empire also have access to their unique unit, the Legion. Legion units are powerful melee units that are also capable of constructing roads and fortes. Having easy access to fortes means that Rome is able to defend their multiple cities.

 

Sumeria

Leader – Gilgamesh
Unique Unit – War Cart
Unique Structure – Ziggurat

Sumeria is a strong, early game, warring civilisation who would like nothing more than to go into battle alongside an ally. When warring against another civ, Sumeria will share all pillage rewards and combat exp with their closest ally. This makes Sumeria a very enticing option to head into war with because there are huge bonuses for doing so. The Sumerian unique unit (War Cart) is a very strong early game unit. Use your War Carts (or any other unit for that matter) to take out a barbarian stronghold and you will gain benefits for your civilisation. When Sumeria is in your game – ally up with them, take them out or be wary of a dual-civ force knocking on your door.

 

Arabia

Leader – Saladin
Unique Unit – Mamluk
Unique Structure – Madrasa

Arabia is a religious and science based civilisation who can easily take either victory path. Their unique structure, Madrasa, provides additional faith and science for the civ. Arabia’s religious buildings also cost less faith and provide bonus science, faith and culture. The Arabian unique unit, Mamluk, are powerful horse riding knights who heal after every turn, making them strong and resilient enemies. Where Arabia really shines though is their unique ability that grants them a great prophet when the second to last great prophet is claimed. This means that Arabia has absolutely no fear of missing out on a religion and can focus their energies elsewhere in the early game.

 

Russia

Leader – Peter the Great
Unique Unit – Cossack
Unique Structure – Lavra

Russia is a territory based civilisation who wants to snatch up as much land as they can. When Russia settles a city their borders are initially larger then any other civs. Russia’s borders also expand by 1 tile every time they use a great person in a city that has their unique district – the Lavra. Combining these two unique traits means that Russia really is the territory hog of Civilization VI. Gaining extra faith and production from tundra also makes Russia a powerful civ in the colder regions of the world. Perhaps most impressive though is Russia’s ability to gain science or culture from trade routes with more advanced civilisations, giving them a strong resurgence if they fall behind. If playing near the Russian civ then prepare for a territory war.


With 19 Civilisation entering into the initial release of the game, there is a lot of diversity to the style of play you may want to utilise. A lot of diversity also means a lot of adapting to allow you to thrive in a chaotic world. Which leader/civ stands out as your potential go to? Is there any civilisation you would want to work alongside or be afraid of coming up against?