Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

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Zigzagzigal's Guides - Civ-specific tricks, secrets and clarifications (Vanilla)
By Zigzagzigal
Every civ has interesting lesser-known tricks and features. This guide compiles them, so if you want to get more out of your favourite civ, or to find new reasons to play other civs, here's a good place to start.
   
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Legacy Guide
If you have the Rise and Fall expansion, click here for the updated guide.

This guide is no longer updated, but will remain for the sake of those without the Rise and Fall expansion.
Introduction
Note: This guide only covers content released prior to the Rise and Fall expansion. Content from any DLC pack released between the base game and Rise and Fall is marked as such.

All of the game's civs come with unique advantages. Some are obvious, like Russia's faith bonus making them good at religion, but some are less well-documented or lesser-known, like Brazil's appeal bonus from rainforests. Some features can be unclear, such as which adjacency bonuses can be stacked and which can't. And some features have interesting applications or strategies that aren't always well known.

This guide is about compiling those little interesting details about civs, free from the discussion of general strategies. Find out more about your favourite civs, or discover something about a civ you may have previously written off.

If you want to know more about certain civs, there's links to full guides for every single one at the end of this guide. They're generally intended for singleplayer below deity difficulty.

How to use this guide

This guide has a section for each Civ, divided into tricks, hidden features and clarifications.

Tricks are interesting and/or unusual things you can do with a civ's uniques or starting bias.

Hidden features are unique features civs have which aren't described or explained in-game - both positive and negative.

The clarifications section clears up features of civs sometimes (or often) believed to be true but aren't, or those often not understood.

Note that all costs (production, science, culture, gold, etc.) mentioned within the guide assume a game played on the normal speed settings. To modify these values for other game speeds:

  • Online: Divide by 2
  • Quick: Divide by 1.5
  • Epic: Multiply by 1.5
  • Marathon: Multiply by 3

Glossary

Terminology used in this guide and not in-game is explained here.

AoE (Area of Effect) - Describes bonuses or penalties that affect multiple tiles in a set radius. Positive examples include Factories and Stadiums (which by default offer production and happiness respectively to cities within a 6 tile radius unless they're within range of another building of the same type) and a negative example is nuclear weapons, which cause devastation over a wide radius.

Beelining - The strategy of obtaining a technology or civic quickly by only researching it and its prerequisites. Some deviation is allowed in the event that taking a technology or civic off the main track provides some kind of advantage that makes up for that deviation (either a source of extra science/culture or access to something necessary for a eureka or inspiration boost.

CA (Civ Ability) - The unique ability of a civilization, shared by all its leaders. Unlike unique units, buildings, districts and improvements, civ abilites do not have to be built.

Civic cards - Another name for policy cards; you fill up your government with these for additional bonuses and can switch them for free every time you unlock a civic.

Compact empires - Civs with cities close together. This is useful if you want to make use of districts that gain adjacency bonuses from other districts, maximise the number of copies of the same district in the same area, or to maximise the potential of area-of-effect bonuses later in the game.

Dispersed empires - Civs with cities that are spread out. This is useful if you want to ensure cities have plenty of room for both districts and tile improvements. Civs with unique tile improvements generally favour a more dispersed empire in order to make use of them, as do civs focused on wonder construction.

GWAM - Collective name for Great Writers, Artists and Musicians. All of them can produce Great Works that offer tourism and culture, making them important to anyone seeking a cultural victory.

LA (Leader Ability) - The unique ability of a specific leader, which like civ abilities do not have to be built. Usually but not always, they tend to be more specific in scope than civ abilities. Some leader abilities come with an associated unique unit on top of the standard one every civ has.

Start bias - The kind of terrain, terrain feature or resource a civilization is more likely to start near. This is typically used for civilizations that have early bonuses dependent on a particular terrain type. There are five tiers of start bias; civs with a tier 1 start bias are placed before civs of tier 2 and so on, increasing their odds of receiving a favourable starting location.

Complete information on start biases within the game can be found in the Civilizations.xml file (find the Civ 6 folder in Steam's program files, then go through the Base, Assets, Gameplay and Data folders to find the file). If a civilization is not listed as having a start bias there, it does not have one, even if you feel like you keep spawning in the same terrain when playing as that civ.

Tall empires - Empires that emphasise city development over expansion, usually resulting in fewer, but bigger, cities.

Uniques - Collective name for civ abilities, leader abilities, unique units, unique buildings, unique districts and unique improvements.

UA (Unique Ability) - A collective name for leader abilities and civ abilities.

UB (Unique Building) - A special building which may only be constructed in the cities of a single civilization, which replaces a normal building and offers a special advantage on top.

UD (Unique District) - A special district which may only be constructed in the cities of a single civilization, which replaces a normal district and offers some unique advantages on top. In some cases, there may be minor disadvantages as well, but these are always outweighed by the positive features. All unique districts cost half as much to construct relative to the regular districts they replace.

UI (Unique Improvement) - A special improvement that can only be built by the Builders of a single civilization. Unlike unique buildings or districts, these do not replace a regular improvement. Some require a technology to unlock, and many have their yields improved with later technologies. "UI" always refers to unique improvements in my guides and not to "user interface" or "unique infrastructure".

UU (Unique Unit) - A special unit that may only be built by a single civilization, and in some cases only when that civilization is led by a specific leader. These usually replace an existing unit and offer extra advantages (and occasionally minor disadvantages as well in exchange for bigger advantages).

Wide empires - Empires that emphasise expansion over city development, usually resulting in more, but smaller, cities.
Clarifying Start Biases
A common area for confusion or incorrect assumptions concerns start biases. There can often be a tendency to assume that just because someone tends to start near the same terrain when playing as a civ, that means they must favour starting there. That's not necessarily true - although some civs are more likely to start near certain terrain or resource types, that doesn't mean they all are.

Start biases have tiers ranked from 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest). Civs (and city-states) are placed based on this priority order. Civs with a tier 1 start bonus are extremely likely (but not guaranteed) to start near the particular terrain, while civs with a tier 5 start bias have a slight edge over civs without that start bias.

Civ
Start Bias
America
None
Arabia
None
Australia
Coast (3)
Cattle (5)
Horses (5)
Sheep (5)
Aztecs
None
Brazil
Rainforest (2)
China
None
Egypt
Floodplain (3)
River (5)
England
Coast (3)
France
River (3)
Germany
None
Greece
Desert Hills (3)
Grassland Hills (3)
Plains Hills (3)
Tundra Hills (3)
India
None
Indonesia
Coast (2)
Japan
None
Khmer
River (3)
Kongo
Woods (2)
Rainforest (2)
Macedon
None
Norway
Coast (3)
Woods (5)
Nubia
Desert (1)
Desert Hills (1)
Copper (5)
Diamonds (5)
Jade (5)
Mercury (5)
Salt (5)
Silver (5)
Aluminium (5)
Coal (5)
Iron (5)
Nitre (5)
Uranium (5)
Persia
None
Poland
None
Rome
None
Russia
Tundra (3)
Tundra Hills (3)
Scythia
Horses (2)
Grassland (5)
Plains (5)
Spain
Coast (3)
Sumeria
River (3)

In addition to full civs, these (and only these) city-states have a start bias:

City-State
Start Bias
Lisbon
Coast (1)
Nan Madol
Coast (1)
America


Tricks

Theodore Roosevelt's Leader Ability: Roosevelt Corollary
  • The strength bonus works offensively, so you can use it to help with an early rush against another civ on the same continent.
  • Settle next to mountain chains if possible as mountains produce positive appeal and can be incorporated in National Parks without taking tiles you need for other purposes.
  • Plant forests adjacent to National Parks to boost their appeal and hence tourism.

Clarifications

Theodore Roosevelt's Leader Ability: Roosevelt Corollary
  • The combat bonus is based on where combat is taking place, so attacking a land unit on your continent with a ranged naval unit will work, for example. However, naval units when defending cannot receive the +5 bonus as water tiles do not count as being part of a continent.
  • The combat bonus does apply to theological combat!
  • The appeal bonus from having a National Park present in a city only applies once; having a second National Park won't make a +2 appeal bonus.

Theodore Roosevelt's Unique Unit: Rough Rider
  • Like Roosevelt's leader ability, the home-continent culture bonus from kills is determined based on where the combat is taking place. If a Rough Rider starts on your home continent but is attacking a unit on a different continent, you will not receive any culture.
  • The culture on kills is equal to 50% of the defeated unit's melee strength, rounded down.

Unique Building: Film Studio
  • The tourism bonus stacks multiplicatively with other tourism modifiers (so if a tile produces 10 tourism, and you have both a trade route with a civ and the Film Studio boost applies, you'll get 25 tourism rather than 22.5)
Arabia


Tricks

Civilization Ability: The Last Prophet
  • Although you need a Holy Site or Stonehenge to found a religion, you don't need to build them - just capture one with a Mamluk and set your free Great Prophet to relocate to the captured city.

Unique Unit: Mamluk
  • Abu Al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi is a Great Scientist arriving in the medieval era, which heals units on the same or adjacent tiles for 20HP per turn, which goes brilliantly with the ability of Mamluks to heal every turn.

Unique Building: Madrasa
  • Because scientific city-states can end up boosting your faith output via Madrasas (see the Hidden Features section), the Papal Primacy belief will go further than it does for most civs!

Hidden Features

Civilization Ability: The Last Prophet
  • If Arabia is in a game at the start, a Great Prophet will always be reserved for them - even if they're eliminated from the game!

Unique Building: Madrasa
  • Bonuses from scientific city-states for having 3 or 6 envoys present count as adjacency bonuses, and hence will be added to faith via the Madrasa.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: The Last Prophet
  • You need Stonehenge or a Holy Site to found a religion, regardless of how you receive a Great Prophet.

Saladin's Leader Ability: Righteousness of the Faith
  • Your worship building is 90% cheaper for other civs, but the 10% boosts to science, culture and faith will not work for them.
Australia

Note: To play as Australia, you must have the Australia Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Tricks

Civilization Ability: Land Down Under
  • The Eiffel Tower wonder will boost you entire empire's appeal by 2, giving you considerably better district yields.

John Curtin's Leader Ability: Citadel of Civilization
  • Defensive buildings are not considered in combat strength calculations, so constructing walls instead of military units is a good way to appear weaker than you really are, encouraging other civs to declare war on you.

Unique Unit: Digger
  • Bonuses on foreign coasts make Diggers particularly good at liberating city-states, which often spawn next to the sea.

Unique Improvement: Outback Station
  • Because Outback Stations can be built on desert, they work very well in conjunction with the Petra wonder.

Hidden Features

Civilization Ability: Land Down Under
  • District bonuses from high appeal count as adjacency bonuses for the purpose of modifiers such as policy card boosts.

Unique Improvement: Outback Station
  • With the Steam Power technology, all pastures gain +1 production per adjacent Outback Station. Civs other than Australia can benefit from this!
  • Pillagers of Outback Stations are healed to full health.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Land Down Under

Coastal Housing
  • The housing offered separate from the housing provided based on access to fresh water, and stacks with it.

Pasture Culture Bomb
  • Culture bombs have the following rules:
    • Only tiles that are within the workable range of the tile's city will be granted (in other words, they must be within a 3-tile radius from the city centre).
    • This includes tiles from other civs, but will incur a diplomatic penalty if you steal tiles off them this way. Taking land from city-states has no penalty.
    • Tiles stolen containing non-unique tile improvements will retain them.
    • Tiles containing completed districts, wonders or national parks will not be stolen, but incomplete ones will be, destroying them.

John Curtin's Leader Ability: Citadel of Civilization
  • Turns of increased production cannot accumulate; liberating a city will reset the turns to 20 regardless of how many turns of double production you have remaining. If you have fewer than 10 turns of double production remaining, being the target of a declaration of war will reset it to 10
  • Unlike the inspiration boost to Defensive Tactics, being the target of a war declaration by a city-state won't trigger the production bonus.
  • The production boost stacks additively with other percentage bonuses, so a city with the Ruhr Valley wonder will have a 120% production bonus, not 140%, for example.
Aztecs


Tricks

Civilization Ability: Legend of the Five Suns
  • If you use all but one Builder charge on other things, you can rapidly rush a district by moving in a succession of 1-charge Builders and using their final charge.
  • You can switch production from a district to something else before you end your turn and switch back the following turn so you can use Builder charges. This essentially allows you to build two things at once.
  • Training Builders and then using their charges to rush districts will be more efficient than directly building districts if the former costs less than 60% of the latter's price.
  • This ability works for all districts - including Spaceports, which are otherwise extremely expensive.

Unique Unit: Eagle Warrior
  • Because city strength is tied to your strongest unit, and the Aztecs start with an Eagle Warrior, Aztec cities will defend slightly better in the first few turns relative to cities of other civs.

Hidden Features

Montezuma's Leader Ability: Gifts for the Tlatoani
  • The strength bonus affects religious units in theological combat. On larger maps, this can give the Aztecs a bigger theological strength bonus than any other civ.

Unique Unit: Eagle Warrior
  • The probability of turning an enemy military unit into a Builder depends on the strength difference between the enemy unit and the Eagle Warrior. Scouts for example have a very high chance of being turned into Builders when defeated.
  • The higher cost of Eagle Warriors means they're less expensive to upgrade to Swordsmen.

Unique Building: Tlachtli
  • More poorly-documented than hidden, but the Tlachtli UB is 10% cheaper to construct than the Arena it replaces (135 rather than 150 production)

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Legend of the Five Suns
  • Modifiers to general production (e.g. the Ruhr Valley wonder) and district production (e.g. the City Patron Goddess pantheon) do increase the contribution of Builder charges beyond 20% of a district's cost.
  • You may only rush districts which are currently being worked on by the city. It is possible to switch production to the district, rush it, and switch back to something else all in the same turn.
  • You cannot use Builder charges to rush the repairs of a pillaged district.
  • If a Builder charge contributes more production than is needed to complete a district, it overflows to the next thing you build, avoiding any being wasted.

Montezuma's Leader Ability: Gifts for the Tlatoani
  • Special luxuries offered by Great Merchants (Cosmetics from Helena Rubinstein, Jeans from Levi Strauss, Perfume from Estee Lauder and Toys from John Spilsbury) count for purposes of this ability.
  • However, luxury resources from trading, city-states under suzerainity and the suzerain bonuses of Buenos Aires and Zanzibar do not provide a strength bonus.
  • The maximum number of luxuries in a map is equal to four multiplied by the number of continents in the game, plus the two sea resources. Not counting the four special Great Merchant luxuries, the maximum attack bonus for each map size is as follows:
    • Duel: 6
    • Tiny: 10
    • Small: 14
    • Standard: 18
    • Large: 22
    • Huge: 26

Unique Unit: Eagle Warrior
  • Enemy units which are captured and turned into Builders will gain +1 charge if you control the Pyramids wonder, but will not gain charges from the Serfdom or Public Works policy cards.
Brazil


Tricks

Civilization Ability: Amazon
  • Taking the Sacred Path pantheon allows you to receive +2 faith for every rainforest tile adjacent to a Holy Site - on a par with a natural wonder!
  • If possible, leave vertical diamonds of rainforests (1 on the top row, 2 in the middle row, 1 on the bottom) so you can place national parks there later, seeing as Brazil's rainforests add appeal rather than lower it.

Unique Unit: Minas Geraes
  • Assuming no promotions or other strength boosts on either side, Minas Geraes units will destroy naval units of earlier eras in a single hit most of the time. As such, forming fleets with them is initially unnecessary.
  • As city strength is tied to your strongest unit, your cities will defend considerably more effectively once your first Minas Geraes is built.

Hidden Features

Civilization Ability: Amazon
  • The in-game description of Brazil gaining +1 housing for neighbourhoods adjacent to rainforests is incorrect.
  • Instead, Brazil gains +1 appeal from adjacent rainforests rather than -1, which is a more versatile bonus as it affects national parks and seaside resorts.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Amazon
  • Brazilian Campuses only receive 1 science per adjacent rainforest, not 3 science from every two as you may expect.

Pedro II's Leader Ability: Magnanimous
  • The Great Person Points you gain after acquiring one is equal to 20% of the person you just acquired's cost - regardless of whether you used patronage or not.

Unique Unit: Minas Geraes
  • Because the Minas Geraes arrives in the industrial rather than modern era, its production is boosted by the Press Gangs policy card (available at the renaissance-era Exploration civic) rather than the International Waters policy card (available at the atomic-era Cold War civic).
  • The different era of the Minas Geraes relative to regular Battleships means renaissance-era Great Admirals can affect them, but modern-era ones can't.

Unique District: Street Carnival
  • When completed, the Carnival city project offers the following Great Person Points:
    • Half as many Great Merchant Points as Commercial Hub Investments
    • Half as many Great Engineer Points as Industrial Zone Logistics
    • As many Great Writer, Artist and Musician Points as a Theatre Square Festival
China


Tricks

Qin Shi Huang's Leader Ability: The First Emperor
  • If you use all but one Builder charge on other things, you can rapidly rush a wonder by moving in a succession of 1-charge Builders and using their final charge.
  • You can switch production from a wonder to something else before you end your turn and switch back the following turn so you can use Builder charges. This essentially allows you to build two things at once.
  • Training Builders and then using their charges to rush wonders will be more efficient than directly building wonders if the former costs less than 60% of the latter's price.
  • Because the source of your Builders for rushing wonders with doesn't matter, you can have your entire empire contribute towards the construction of a single wonder.

Unique Unit: Crouching Tiger Cannon
  • City defence is tied to the strongest unit in your civ. Crouching Tiger Cannons are the strongest units China can build until the renaissance era, so your first one will make all your cities defend more effectively.

Unique Improvement: Great Wall
  • Great Walls arrive earlier than other defensive improvements, so they can provide a distinct advantage against Barbarians and early-game warmongers.

Hidden Features

Unique Improvement: Great Wall
  • Great Walls yield 50 gold when pillaged.

Clarifications

Qin Shi Huang's Leader Ability: The First Emperor

  • Modifiers to wonder production do enhance the amount of production Builder charges contribute.
  • You may only rush wonders which are currently being worked on by the city. It is possible to switch production to the wonders, rush it, and switch back to something else all in the same turn.
  • If a Builder charge contributes more production than is needed to complete a district, it overflows to the next thing you build, avoiding any being wasted.
Egypt


Tricks

Civilization Ability: Iteru
  • Look for confluences (where two rivers meet), or where rivers branch off to maximise the number of tiles this bonus applies to.

Unique Improvement: Sphinx
  • If you can secure the Stonehenge wonder and surround it with Sphinxes, you can have one of the strongest religious starts of any civ, and could help you secure an early victory. Of course, this is a risky move to make.
  • Sphinxes can be constructed in flat desert land, unlike most tile improvements, making them especially strong in Petra cities.
  • Because Sphinxes can't be constructed next to each other, that will leave a gap - a perfect spot for a Seaside Resort. That's a good way to make use of the appeal bonuses of Sphinxes and wonders.

Hidden Features
  • Sphinxes yield 25 faith when pillaged.

Clarifications

Unique Unit: Maryannu Chariot Archer
  • Because Maryannu Chariot Archers are classed as ranged land units, they will be constructed faster with the Agoge policy card - not Manoeuvre, which boosts the production for regular Heavy Chariots.

Unique Improvement: Sphinx
  • Sphinxes only receive bonus faith from one adjacent wonder; they won't get more if they're adjacent to two or more wonders.
  • The owner of the wonder does not matter.
England


Tricks

Victoria's Leader Ability: Pax Britannica
  • Escort Settlers with your naval units. The moment you get Military Science, you can capture an enemy city, raze it, resettle it and get a free Redcoat.
  • You can use also buy a Builder to chop some woods down to quickly get a Royal Navy Dockyard in that city for a second Redcoat.
  • Hold off researching Replaceable Parts so you can continue to get Redcoats from new cities.

Victoria's Unique Unit: Redcoat
  • Military Science is a particularly easy technology to beeline, which makes it easier to have a military advantage over other civs.

Unique Unit: Sea Dog
  • Because units are more likely to be captured if they're weaker than the Sea Dog, forming fleets and armadas is a good way to improve your odds of capture.

Hidden Features

Civilization Ability: British Museum
  • English Archaeological Museums can only be themed by filling all six slots.
  • Capturing Archaeological Museums from other civs will give you the regular version, with just three slots and the regular theming bonus requirement.
  • Archaeologists will last until you fill their Archaeological Museum with artefacts. As such, one Archaeologist from an English-built Archaeological Museum can excavate up to six artefacts.

Unique District: Royal Navy Dockyard
  • Having both a Commercial Hub and Royal Navy Dockyard in a city provides +2 trade route capacity.

Clarifications

Victoria's Leader Ability: Pax Britannica

  • Cities may be founded, but not captured or received in a deal to get a free melee infantry unit.
  • The free unit will be the strongest melee infantry unit you can currently construct based on your technology and access to strategic resources.
  • The free unit will start will full health and can move and fight immediately.

Victoria's Unique Unit: Redcoat
  • After disembarking, the Redcoat cannot have more movement points remaining than its limit on land, minus one.

Unique Unit: Sea Dog
  • Sea Dogs can only capture enemy naval units if they are adjacent to them when destroying them.
  • The chance of capturing an enemy naval unit scales based on the strength difference between the Sea Dog and the unit it defeats. Weaker units are more likely to be captured.
  • Captured units will start at 25 health.
France


Tricks

Civilization Ability: Grand Tour
  • Wonders provide more tourism the bigger the gap between your current era and the era the wonder first becomes available. As such, once you have Military Science for Garde Impériale units, considering beelining Computers and then either Telecommunications or Robotics to rapidly advance through the eras and maximise your tourism output.

Catherine de Medici's Leader Ability: Catherine's Flying Squadron
  • Against computer opponents, you can reveal their secret agenda with just a delegation. That level of access also tells you when the civ has started construction of a wonder.

Unique Unit: Garde Impériale
  • Military Science is a particularly easy technology to beeline, which makes it easier to have a military advantage over other civs.
    • Neatly, the Printing technology is on the way, which increases your level of diplomatic visibility with all other civs.

Hidden Features

Unique Improvement: Chateau
  • Chateaux yield 25 culture when pillaged.

Clarifications

Unique Unit: Garde Impériale
  • The unit always contributes +10 Great General Points when it kills, whether attacking or defending.

Unique Improvement: Chateau
  • Chateaux only receive bonus culture from one adjacent wonder; they won't get more if they're adjacent to two or more wonders.
  • The owner of the wonder does not matter.
  • Although Chateaux can technically be constructed on flat desert tiles, in practice all flat desert tiles adjacent to a river automatically have floodplains present, which block the improvement from being built. You can still build a Chateau on desert hills adjacent to a river, however.
Germany


Tricks

Frederick Barbarossa's Leader Ability: Holy Roman Emperor
  • The powerful strength bonus against city-state units makes a war against one a good way of training up your units. If you declare war in the ancient era, you won't get any warmonger penalties, and you can just stay at war for the rest of the game to train.
    • Scouts in particular benefit from this. Promote them enough and they gain 20 points of strength. Once you upgrade them to Rangers in the industrial era, you can end up with a particularly strong army.

Unique Unit: U-Boat
  • With the Observation promotion, U-Boats have a sight of four. As they're invisible to most units, this makes them exceptionally good at spying on other civs or scanning oceans for incoming navies.

Unique District: Hansa
  • Hansas receive +2 production for every adjacent Commercial Hub. If you keep your cities close together and build a zigzagging line of Commercial Hubs, you'll end up with a lot of great spots to place high-production Hansas.

Hidden Features

Unique District: Hansa
  • The following aren't strictly hidden but aren't well-advertised:
    • Hansas don't provide a production bonus from adjacent mines and quarries, unlike regular Industrial Zones.
    • Hansas don't produce negative appeal in adjacent tiles, unlike regular Industrial Zones.

Unique Unit: U-Boat
  • The lower production cost of U-Boats make them more expensive to upgrade, though cheaper to upgrade into.

Clarifications

Frederick Barbarossa's Leader Ability: Holy Roman Emperor
  • You receive no strength bonus against levied city-state units. They have to be in direct control of a city-state to count.

Unique Unit: U-Boat
  • The strength bonus in ocean tiles is based upon where the defending unit is located, and it works defensively so long as the U-Boat is located on an ocean tile.
Greece


Tricks

Civilization Ability: Plato's Republic
  • As you have a wildcard policy slot from the start of the game, it's possible to pick up the Revelation (+2 Great Prophet Points per turn) or Inspiration (+2 Great Scientist Points per turn) cards at Mysticism. Any other civ except Poland would need to go to Political Philosophy first.

Hidden Features

Pericles' Leader Ability: Surrounded by Glory
  • The culture bonus does not take effect until the turn after gaining suzerain status in a city-state.

Clarifications

Gorgo's Leader Ability: Thermopylae
  • The culture you gain is based on the unit's melee strength, so for example, Archers are worth 7.5 culture rather than 12.5.
  • You can gain culture by destroying embarked units.
India


Tricks

Civilization Ability: Dharma
  • This ability is easier to use if your cities are larger and the cap on the number of religions in the game is higher (by default, larger map sizes have more religions).
  • The best way of getting a rival religion to your cities is by sending a trade route to a city with it present. It'll also help to spread your religion to them.
  • An alternative way to spread a little bit of a rival faith in your land is to have one of your religious units die in the area. Be sure to use all but one spread religion charge first to minimise wasted faith.

Unique Improvement: Stepwell
  • Stepwells adjacent to farms produce a superior yield to farms until the Replaceable Parts technology. As such, you should only really be constructing farms to improve bonus resources such as wheat, or to boost the yield of adjacent Stepwells.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: Varu
  • Varu have a sight range of 3, 1 more than most other land units. Placing a Varu unit on a hill is a good way to spy on enemies, prevent Barbarian Encampments from spawning or check of enemies approaching.

Unique Improvement: Stepwell
  • Pillagers of Stepwells are healed to full health.

Clarifications

Gandhi's Leader Ability: Satyagraha
  • Your own civ counts for the purpose of the faith bonus. If you've founded a religion and are at peace, you're guaranteed at least a +5 faith bonus.

Unique Unit: Varu
  • The strength penalty Varu offer stacks, so long as it doesn't reduce a unit below 0 strength. Completely surrounding a unit with Varu will make it 30 points weaker!
  • The strength penalty affects adjacent enemy naval units - not just land units.

Unique Improvement: Stepwell
  • The adjacency bonuses Stepwells receive do not stack.
Indonesia


Note: To play as Indonesia, you must have the Khmer and Indonesia Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Tricks

Unique Unit: Jong
  • Jongs can move formation units even if they have no movement points remaining. By using multiple Jongs, you can move an embarked unit or Great Admiral across any length of sea in a single turn if you have enough Jongs.

Hidden Features

Unique Improvement: Kampung
  • Kampungs gain +1 housing (for a total of 2) with the renaissance-era Mass Production technology.
  • With the modern-era Flight technology, Kampungs produce tourism equal to their food output, plus one if the city has a Lighthouse.
    • In other words, add up the number of adjacent Fishing Boats and add one for a Lighthouse to get the tourism yield.
  • Pillagers of Kampungs are healed to full health.

Clarifications

Gitarja's Leader Ability: Exalted Goddess of the Three Worlds

Purchasing naval units
  • All naval units may be purchased with faith, including naval melee, ranged, raider and carrier units.
  • Like other faith purchases, the cost of purchasing Jongs can be reduced with the Theocracy government.
  • As with gold purchasing, the Venetian Arsenal wonder will not give you double quantities of faith-purchased naval units and there is no discount to purchasing fleets/armadas in cities with Seaports.

Religious unit movement
  • Religious units always end up with fewer movement points remaining after embarking or disembarking regardless of whether or not their maximum movement points changed in the process.

Unique Unit: Jong
  • Because Jongs arrive in the medieval rather than renaissance era, no policy card can boost their production.
  • The different era of Jongs relative to regular Frigates means classical-era Great Admirals can affect them, but renaissance-era ones can't.
Japan


Tricks

Civ Ability: Meiji Restoration
  • Settling your cities close together makes it easier to use this bonus. Place the districts that gain adjacency bonuses in the middle of a group of cities for strong yields.
  • It's possible to get adjacency bonuses both from districts and the terrain they're on. A Commercial Hub surrounded by other districts and next to a river gets an impressive +8 gold bonus!

Unique Building: Electronics Factory
  • Electronics Factories are the only Unique Building that can be pillaged by Spies, via their Sabotage Production mission. As such, it's especially important for Japan to keep a strong counter-spy operation. The atomic-era Cryptography diplomatic policy card (requiring the Cold War civic) will really help.

Clarifications

Hojo Tokimune's Leader Ability: Divine Wind
  • The strength bonus is applied based on where the defending unit is at the start of combat.
  • While the bonus against units on land only applies if they're on a tile adjacent to the sea, the bonus against units in the sea works for any coastal (shallow water) sea tile, regardless of how close it is to land.
  • Lake tiles are treated as land tiles for the purpose of determining where the strength bonus does and does not apply.
  • The strength bonus has no effect on air units.

Unique Unit: Samurai
  • Units usually lose strength when injured at a rate of 1 strength per 10% of health lost, rounded up. A unit at 90-99 health will lose 1 strength, a unit at 80-89 health will lose 2, and so forth. As such, the ability of Samurai to retain full damage even when injured means up to a +10 strength bonus at 1-9 HP.

Unique Building: Electronics Factory
  • The culture bonus does not spread to other cities within six tiles, unlike the production bonus.
Khmer

Note: To play as the Khmer, you must have the Khmer and Indonesia Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Tricks

Unique Building: Prasat
  • Use all but one spread-religion charge with your Missionaries before sacrificing them in theological combat for relics in order to make the most out of them.
  • The Reliquaries follower belief makes relics three tiles as powerful. Combined with this UB making relic collection easy, you can potentially win an early cultural victory.
  • The Monastic Isolation enhancer belief ensures the Missionaries you sacrifice for relics won't hurt your religious spread.

Hidden Features

Jayavarman VII's Leader Ability: Monasteries of the King
  • The bonus food and housing for Holy Sites works even when they're pillaged.

Unique Building: Prasat
  • The bonus also appears to work on Gurus.

Clarifications

Jayavarman VII's Leader Ability: Monasteries of the King
  • Culture bombs have the following rules:
    • Only tiles that are within the workable range of the tile's city will be granted (in other words, they must be within a 3-tile radius from the city centre).
    • This includes tiles from other civs, but will incur a diplomatic penalty if you steal tiles off them this way. Taking land from city-states has no penalty.
    • Tiles stolen containing non-unique tile improvements will retain them.
    • Tiles containing completed districts, wonders or national parks will not be stolen, but incomplete ones will be, destroying them.
  • The Burial Grounds enhancer belief is useless to the Khmer as a consequence of having the ability inherently.

Unique Unit: Domrey
  • The Expert Crew promotion is useless to Domreys as they have that ability inherently.

Unique Building: Prasat
  • You will no longer receive relics from Prasat-boosted Missionaries once all the relics in the game have been exhausted. There are 24 in total.
Kongo


Tricks

Civilization Ability: Nkisi
  • The easiest way to obtain relics is to have an Apostle with the Martyr promotion die to a military or religious unit. If you have the Mont St. Michel wonder or are suzerain over Yerevan, you can guarantee every new Apostle will have it.
  • You can obtain Great Works of Sculpture from the following Great Artists:
    • Donatello (Renaissance era, 3 Sculptures)
    • Michelangelo (Renaissance era, 2 Sculptures)
    • Edmonia Lewis (Atomic era, 3 Sculptures)
    • Marie-Anne Collot (Atomic era, 3 Sculptures)

Mvemba a Nzinga's Leader Ability: Religious Convert
  • As you can't build Holy Sites, you'll need to seek out alternative sources of relic slots to make the most of the food, production and gold bonuses on offer. They are as follows:
    • Kongo's Palace (5 slots, but can only be in the capital)
    • The Apadana wonder (2 slots, but can only be constructed in the capital)
    • The Mont St. Michel wonder (2 slots)
    • Giovanni de Medici, a renaissance-era Great Merchant, creates a special Bank in one city (2 slots)

Unique Unit: Ngao Mbeba
  • With the Tortoise promotion, Ngao Mbebas have 55 strength when defending against ranged attacks - on a par with a Musketman!

Unique District: Mbanza
  • Mbanzas offer food without needing you needing to dedicate citizens to working the tile. If you build large quantities of Mbanzas, that can free up your citizens to work more mines instead of farms for a better production output.
  • With the modern-era Conservation civic, you may use Builder charges to plant new woods, allowing you to build Mbanzas on most land tiles. Woods produce positive appeal, so it may be a good idea to chop down rainforests and replace them with woods later in the game to maximise your National Park and Seaside Resort yields.
  • As you don't need to worry about appeal for Neighbourhoods, you can free up more high-appeal tiles for better National Parks and Seaside Resorts.

Hidden Features

Civilization Ability: Nkisi
  • Theming bonuses double the food, production and gold bonuses for Great Works of Sculpture and artefacts in addition to their usual effect of doubling culture and tourism yields.

Unique Unit: Ngao Mbeba
  • The more expensive production cost makes it more expensive to upgrade Warriors to Ngao Mbeba units relative to Swordsmen, while making it cheaper to upgrade Ngao Mbeba units into Musketmen.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Nkisi
  • The extra Great Work slots that Kongo's Palace has may hold any kind of Great Work.
  • The bonus to Great Person Points does not apply to points received from completing district projects.

Mvemba a Nzinga's Leader Ability: Religious Convert
  • Building Stonehenge will not grant you a Great Prophet. Sorry.
  • Holy Sites you capture from other civs will be destroyed, freeing up the tile and the district capacity in the process.
    • Russia's Lavras will be converted to regular Holy Sites and kept, in what appears to be a bug.
  • Thanks to being unable to construct Holy Sites, the Great Scientist Hildegard of Bingen cannot be activated. As such, you should choose to pass if you have the option to recruit her.
Macedon

Note: To play as Macedon, you must have the Persia and Macedon Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Tricks

Alexander's Unique Unit: Hetairoi
  • You can get Great General Points fighting Barbarians. For that reason, it's a good idea to train some Hetairoi before Hypaspists, so you can get some extra Great General Points before starting a war.

Unique Building: Basilikoi Paides
  • While you can't get science by purchasing units, you can still chop down woods and rainforests for a quick burst of production to get the science bonus sooner.
  • If you want to maximise your science output, settle either on the sea or close enough that your city can support a Harbour, take a policy card that boosts naval unit production and keep building naval units. Policy cards that boost naval unit production offer a +100% boost rather than the +50% for land or air units.
  • Furthermore, you can boost your unit production with the envoy bonuses from militaristic city-states, helping you to get science even faster.

Hidden Features

Alexander's Unique Unit: Hetairoi
  • The higher cost of these units relative to Horsemen makes them cheaper to upgrade.

Unique Unit: Hypaspist
  • The higher cost of these units relative to Swordsmen makes them more expensive to upgrade to, but cheaper to upgrade.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Hellenistic Fusion
  • The free Eurekas and inspirations skew towards technologies and civics you can research before filling out the rest of the respective trees. In other words, you should expect to get the boosts that save you the least amount of science or culture first.

Alexander's Leader Ability: To the World's End
  • The immunity to war weariness overrides Gandhi's leader ability, so you still won't suffer any war weariness against him.
  • All of Alexander's units heal when you capture a city containing a world wonder, regardless of where they are actually located in the world.

Alexander's Unique Unit: Hetairoi
  • The unit always contributes +5 Great General Points when it kills, whether attacking or defending.
  • The strength bonus for having an adjacent Great General (or one sharing the same tile) does not stack if the unit is next to two or more (but it will still stack with the strength bonuses the Great Generals offer)
  • You can get the +5 strength bonus from being adjacent to a Great General or sharing its tile regardless of the Great General's era.
  • The free promotion works as if the unit got enough experience for the first promotion; subsequent ones are not any cheaper than they would be for other units.

Unique Unit: Hypaspist
  • How the support bonus works in a nutshell: units gain +2 defensive strength for every adjacent other unit you control, for Hetairoi, they provide +3 each instead.

Unique Building: Basilikoi Paides
  • You will gain science from training any kind of military or support unit in the city - not just the ones that are offered an experience boost from this building.
  • You will not gain science from units which are purchased in the city, whether through gold or faith.
Norway


Tricks

Harald Hardrada's Leader Ability: Thunderbolt of the North
  • Seaside Resorts have to be built adjacent to the coast, so they can always be subject to a coastal raid. They yield 100 gold per pillage - twice as good as pastures, camps or Commercial Hubs. Furthermore, pillaging them is a great way to reduce the target civ's tourism output.

Harald Hardrada's Unique Unit: Viking Longship
  • Viking Longships have high strength and speed at a low cost, making them exceptionally good rushing units on water-heavy maps. Keep some gold in your treasury so you can quickly purchase land units to reinforce your early conquests.

Unique Building: Stave Church
  • Take the God of the Sea pantheon and you'll have an impressive +2 production bonus on all tiles improved with fishing boats.
  • Using the Dance of the Aurora pantheon, a Holy Site surrounded by tundra woods, the medieval Great Scientist Hildegard of Bingen and the Scripture economic policy card, you could generate up to +30 science per turn from a single Holy Site.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: Berserker
  • The strength bonus and penalty for attacking and defending respectively works when the unit is embarked, as does the movement bonus for starting in enemy territory.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Knarr
  • The Auxiliary Ships promotion is less useful for Norway as Norway's naval melee units can already heal in neutral seas, but it's not useless as it still enables healing in enemy seas.
  • Land units always end up with fewer movement points remaining after embarking or disembarking regardless of whether or not their maximum movement points changed in the process.

Harald Hardrada's Leader Ability: Thunderbolt of the North
  • Coastal raids cannot be carried out if the unit is on a lake tile or a city centre.
  • Like regular pillaging, coastal raids use up three movement points.
  • Coastal raids can be carried out on the following tiles:
    • A tribal village without another unit present (this clears the village and gives you its reward)
    • An empty Barbarian Encampment (this clears the encampment and gives you gold)
    • A tile improvement or district (not a Harbour or Encampment) owned by a civ or city-state you're at war with which does not have a military unit present and has not already been fully pillaged (this gives you yields based on the district type)
    • An enemy civilian unit without any military unit escorting it (most civilians are captured and converted to your side, but Great People are returned to an enemy city instead.

Harald Hardrada's Unique Unit: Viking Longship
  • You can only use the movement speed bonus in coastal tiles if the unit starts its turn in one. Starting on a city centre tile does not count.

Unique Unit: Berserker
  • You can only use the movement speed bonus in enemy territory if the unit starts its turn in it.
  • If you capture the territory, Berserkers starting in that captured land will still have 2 extra movement points until the end of the turn.
Nubia

Note: To play as Nubia, you must have the Nubia Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Tricks

Unique Unit: Pítati Archer
  • An extra movement point allows you to retreat into hills, woods or rainforest and attack in the same turn, allowing you to deal damage without putting the unit at risk of counter-attack from slower units.

Unique Improvement: Nubian Pyramid
  • Nubian Pyramids are one of the only improvements that can be constructed on flat desert land, making Petra an especially powerful wonder.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: Pítati Archer
  • The higher cost of these units relative to Archers makes them more expensive to upgrade to (60 gold), but cheaper to upgrade (170 gold).

Unique Improvement: Nubian Pyramid
  • Nubian Pyramids yield 25 faith when pillaged.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Ta-Seti
  • The production bonus for ranged land units only works for the Archer to Machine Gun line of units.
  • Resources that gain from the +2 gold bonus are: copper, diamonds, jade, mercury, salt and silver.
  • Resources that gain from the +1 production bonus are: iron, nitre, coal, aluminum and uranium.
Persia

Note: To play as Persia, you must have the Persia and Macedon Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Tricks

Civilization Ability: Satrapies
  • Industrial roads (which Persia will get during the classical era onwards) offer a 25% reduction to movement costs. Usually, this would not make a difference to slower units, but Cyrus' movement speed bonus following the declaration of a surprise war allows units with a base movement of 2 to move five tiles per turn through industrial roads.

Unique Unit: Immortal
  • The first line of promotions Immortals have generally has a more immediate impact than the first line of Archer promotions, so despite their higher cost they can still perform more effectively.
  • Unlike Archers, Immortals can benefit from Great Generals for additional strength and movement speed, giving them a notable advantage.

Unique Improvement: Pairidaeza
  • Pairidaezas provide 2 appeal and as such are the most effective improvements in the game for boosting it. Because you can't build them next to each other, fill the gap with Holy Sites, Theatre Squares or second-growth woods to maximise your tile appeal.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: Immortal
  • When using their ranged attack, Immortals have -17 strength vs. city defences, and the bonuses of Battering Rams and Siege Towers will not take effect.
  • However, this does not affect other inherent features of Swordsmen (see the clarification section).
  • As Immortals are more expensive than the Swordsmen they replace, they are more expensive to upgrade into from Warriors, but less expensive to upgrade to Musketmen.

Unique Improvement: Pairidaeza
  • Pairidaezas provide a yield of 25 culture when pillaged.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Satrapies
  • The bonus to roads works as follows:
    • Only roads within your territory are affected. Ones your Traders build outside your territory will still be of the normal era.
    • In the ancient era, your Traders will make classical roads in your lands (forming bridges over rivers)
    • In the classical era, your Traders will make industrial roads in your lands (reducing movement costs by 25%)
    • In the industrial era, your Traders will make modern roads in your lands (reducing movement costs by 50%)

Cyrus' Leader Ability: Fall of Babylon
  • The movement bonus does not take effect until the turn after you declare war.
  • The movement speed bonus applies to all units - including civilian and religious units.
  • Occupied cities grow at the rate of regular cities.

Unique Unit: Immortal
  • Despite having a ranged attack, Immortals still have these distinctions relative to Archers:
    • They use melee infantry rather than ranged land unit promotions
    • A +10 strength bonus against anti-cavalry units such as Spearmen
    • They can benefit from Oligarchy's +4 strength bonus
    • They impose zone of control
Poland

Note: To play as Poland, you must have the Poland Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Tricks

Civilization Ability: Golden Liberty

  • As you have a wildcard policy slot from the start of the game, it's possible to pick up the Revelation (+2 Great Prophet Points per turn) or Inspiration (+2 Great Scientist Points per turn) cards at Mysticism. Any other civ except Greece would need to go to Political Philosophy first.

Jadwiga's Leader Ability: Lithuanian Union
  • The easiest way to obtain relics is to have an Apostle with the Martyr promotion die to a military or religious unit. If you have the Mont St. Michel wonder or are suzerain over Yerevan, you can guarantee every new Apostle will have it.
  • Culture bombing converts a city to your religion. This is very powerful in conjunction with the Crusade belief, as you can convert cities from a safe distance while at war with the civ, then exploit the +10 strength bonus.
  • You can use the Burial Grounds enhancer belief for an alternative source of culture bombs.

Unique Unit: Winged Hussar
  • Winged Hussars ignore zone of control, like all cavalry units. This allows you to slip behind an enemy unit and use the knockback to drag it towards your other units.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: Winged Hussar
  • The knockback ability works even for amphibious (embarked vs. land) attacks.
  • Winged Hussars oddly obsolete at Rifling, even though Knights, which are weaker, don't obsolete until Combustion.
  • As Winged Hussars are more expensive than Knights, they may be upgraded to Tanks for a lower cost.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Golden Liberty
  • Culture bombs have the following rules:
    • Only tiles that are within the workable range of the tile's city will be granted (in other words, they must be within a 3-tile radius from the city centre).
    • This includes tiles from other civs, but will incur a diplomatic penalty if you steal tiles off them this way. Taking land from city-states has no penalty.
    • Tiles stolen containing non-unique tile improvements will retain them.
    • Tiles containing completed districts, wonders or national parks will not be stolen, but incomplete ones will be, destroying them.

Jadwiga's Leader Ability: Lithuanian Union
  • The faith bonus is not boosted by modifiers to relic faith such as the Reliquaries belief or the city-state Kandy.
Rome


Tricks

Unique Unit: Legion
  • Legions with the Oligarchy government and Battlecry promotion will kill unpromoted enemy Warriors and Archers in a single hit most of the time.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: Legion
  • As Legions are more expensive than the Swordsmen they replace, they are more expensive to upgrade to from a Warrior, but cheaper to upgrade to a Musketman.
  • Legions with a build charge remaining may repair pillaged tile improvements in friendly or neutral lands. This is very useful for cleaning up after a war.
  • Legions may use their build charge to clear woods or rainforests with, as an alternative to constructing a Roman Fort or road.
  • If you do not use up a Legion's build charge, it will be retained when you upgrade the unit.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: All Roads Lead to Rome
  • By default, the trade route range on land is 15 tiles. As such, cities founded or captured within 15 passable land tiles of your capital or a city connected to it will receive a free road connecting it.

Trajan's Leader Ability: Trajan's Column
  • The free building cities receive depends on your game's starting era:
    • In ancient or classical era starts, the free building will be a Monument.
    • In medieval era starts, the free building will be a Granary.
    • In renaissance or industrial era starts, the free building will be a Water Mill for cities adjacent to a river, or Medieval Walls otherwise.
    • In modern or atomic era starts, the free building will be a Water Mill for cities adjacent to a river, or a Sewer otherwise.
    • In information era starts, the free building will be a Water Mill for cities adjacent to a river. You will not receive any more free buildings relative to other civs otherwise.

Unique Improvement: Roman Fort
  • Roman Forts are functionally identical to regular Forts, except for the following differences:
    • Roman Forts are constructed by Legions, not Military Engineers
    • Roman Forts have no technology requirement (other than Iron Working for Legions)
    • Building Roman Forts will not trigger the eureka for the Ballistics technology.
Russia


Tricks

Unique District: Lavra
  • Use Russia's tundra advantages and this district together with the Dance of the Aurora pantheon for massive faith bonuses, especially if the district is also surrounded by unimproved woods tiles.
  • Lavras are one of the only early sources of Great Musician Points, meaning you're likely to have a significant advantage over most other civs to accumulating the first few.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: Cossack
  • The mildly higher cost of Cossacks relative to normal Cavalry makes them slightly more expensive to upgrade to from a Horseman, but slightly cheaper to upgrade.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Mother Russia
  • Founded cities start with eight additional tiles.
  • The free tiles are the same as the first eight that would be acquired by culture, so resources (especially strategic resources) are favoured.
  • The free tiles do not increase the cost of future tiles.

Peter's Leader Ability: The Grand Embassy
  • Trade routes grant you +1 science per three technologies the other civ is ahead by overall, and +1 culture per three technologies the other civ is ahead by overall.
  • You can get bonus culture or science by trading with city-states as well as full civs.
  • Trade routes from other civs to Russia will not grant you science or culture.

Unique Unit: Cossack
  • The strength bonus in friendly lands applies based on where the Cossack is at the start of combat, so attacking a unit in neutral or enemy lands can still give you the +5 strength boost so long as you attack it from a tile you own.
  • The ability to move after attacking also allows the unit to pillage or apply promotions.

Unique District: Lavra
  • The bonuses to Great Writer, Artist and Musician Points are not boosted by bonuses such as the Stockholm city-state or the Oracle wonder.
  • Gaining territory from expended Great People works as follows:
    • You will gain tile which would have been the next to be acquired by culture.
    • You will not gain a tile if all tiles within a five-tile radius of the city centre are already owned by you.
    • Great People with multiple charges add one tile per charge
Scythia


Tricks

Tomyris' Leader Ability: Killer of Cyrus
  • Healing on kills allows you to make riskier moves than normal. Healing 30 health reduces the strength penalty from having an injured unit by 3, helping it to last through the next round of combat.
  • Try to hit full-health enemies with ranged attacks first, before you finish them off with melee. That way, your melee units won't take as much damage from combat.

Hidden Features

Unique Improvement: Kurgan
  • Kurgans yield 25 faith to pillagers.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: People of the Steppe
  • If a city has an Encampment district and both the city centre and Encampment are free from units, when acquiring a Saka Horse Archer or light cavalry unit one will be placed on the Encampment tile and one on the city centre tile.

Tomyris' Leader Ability: Killer of Cyrus
  • These bonuses apply to religious as well as military units.
  • Your units will heal from scoring kills in defence.

Unique Unit: Saka Horse Archer
  • Saka Horse Archers are classified as ranged units, not cavalry. As such, they benefit from Barracks and the Agoge policy card, not Stables and Manoeuvre.
  • Unlike other ranged units, Saka Horse Archers ignore zone of control.
Spain


Tricks

Unique Unit: Conquistador
  • Keep some Conquistador armies around late in the game so you can still instantly convert cities you capture. Remember the Conquistadors only have to be adjacent to the city, they don't need to directly take it.

Unique District: Mission
  • Send your Conquistadors to take land in continents other than the one your capital is in at first, so you can get lots of high-yield Missions sooner.
  • Beelining Cultural Heritage isn't a bad idea if you want a really strong science boost sooner. It's relatively easy to beeline and Spain's early-arriving armadas means you can put off Mobilisation for longer.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: Conquistador
  • The higher cost of Conquistadors relative to regular Musketmen make them more expensive to upgrade to from Swordsmen, but cheaper to upgrade.

Unique Improvement: Mission
  • Missions yield 25 faith to pillagers.

Clarifications

Civilization Ability: Treasure Fleets
  • International intercontinental trade routes provide +6 gold
  • Domestic intercontinental trade routes provide +1 food and +1 production

Philip II's Leader Ability: El Escorial
  • The strength bonus works for military and religious units alike.
  • Civs with no majority religion do not count as having a separate religion for the purpose of the strength bonus, so if you have a majority religion and they don't, you won't get a +4 strength bonus.
  • City ranged attacks are not affected by the strength bonus.

Unique Unit: Conquistador
  • Conquistadors will convert a city they capture (or another unit of yours captures while the Conquistador is adjacent to the city) to your majority religion, which won't necessarily be the religion you founded. As such, be aware of the state of your religion within your own lands!
Sumeria


Tricks

Civilization Ability: Epic Quest
  • If you want to found a pantheon quickly, keep in mind you can't get faith from ancient ruins/Barbarian Encampment rewards until turn 20.

Gilgamesh's Leader Ability: Adventures with Enkidu
  • If you can't find any other full civs interested in a war, become suzerain over a city-state near to your enemy's land instead so you can still share pillaging/experience yields. Just be careful not to levy the city-state's units, or you'll lose out on that.

Hidden Features

Unique Unit: War-Cart
  • Because War-Carts are cheaper than Heavy Chariots, they are more expensive to upgrade to Knights. This is the only downside War-Carts have relative to regular Heavy Chariots.

Unique Improvement: Ziggurat
  • Ziggurats yield 25 science to pillagers.

Clarifications

Gilgamesh's Leader Ability: Adventures with Enkidu
  • Sharing pillaging rewards and experience does not apply when fighting Barbarians.
  • Units you have levied from city-states are considered to belong to you for the purpose of sharing pillage rewards and experience.
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13 Comments
Zigzagzigal  [author] Jan 8, 2018 @ 1:35pm 
That must have been a copy-and-pasting error - thanks for pointing it out!
Shadowdemon112/Gealden Jan 8, 2018 @ 4:32am 
Found missinformation. Rome's Legion doesn't replace the warrior. It replaces the swordsman since it becomes available when iron working has been researched
Zigzagzigal  [author] Nov 15, 2017 @ 6:58am 
For now it seems to be the case. I don't think it's intentional though.
mentally untouchable Nov 15, 2017 @ 1:35am 
Wait, so you mean that because there's a Lavra, there can be no other unique Holy Sites? I really hope I'm misunderstanding this.
Zigzagzigal  [author] Nov 5, 2017 @ 4:23pm 
I avoid discussing balance in the guides proper, but I like discussing it outside of them. Generally, Civ 6 has better balance between civs than Civ 5 did, but there's still a few buffs and nerfs that should be made.

I don't discuss mods in the guides because it would take too long as well as there being a need to constantly update guides as mods update. I will say there's a few mod civs out there with interesting designs, but unfortunately there's a few roadblocks that stop modders being able to achieve their full potential in Civ 6 right now. One of which is that certain bits of the game's code hasn't been released yet, and the other is that currently you can't have more than one unique district in the game replacing the same district.
HaroldClapsaddle Nov 5, 2017 @ 1:38pm 
Well done, I appreciate your evaluation of each civ. independently. It's an excellent resource for the beginning Civilization players to learn by and deciding which civ. they want to play with. It would be interesting to see what mods would be best to add to each civ. to make them more powerful and the coparisions to the other civs. when added, both with and without. :-))
Zigzagzigal  [author] Oct 10, 2017 @ 9:22am 
Thanks!
Fazzan Oct 10, 2017 @ 8:58am 
The best guide I've seen. All the good stuff and devoid of superfluity. Thank you so much. :steamhappy:
T2 Oct 8, 2017 @ 8:06am 
Fair enough, a summaries of selected mod civs would be useful when the game is more finalised.

Zigzagzigal  [author] Oct 8, 2017 @ 6:25am 
I decided back in Civ 5 not to cover mod civs in full guides because:

- It's a lot of additional work

- They're prone to changing at times other than patches

- I reference other civs within guides sometimes, but referencing mod civs in a civ guide from the base game would be confusing

Having said that, I'm not entirely ruling out something along the lines of Civ Summaries for a selection of mod civs, but it's unlikely.