Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

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Zigzagzigal's Guides - Nubia (Vanilla)
By Zigzagzigal
Nubia is a straightforward civ with some of the game's best early-rushing potential and strong city development - especially around floodplains. Here, I detail Nubian strategies and counter-strategies.
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This guide is no longer updated, but will remain for the sake of those without the Rise and Fall expansion.
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.

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

Ours is a realm of iron and gold; of military might and opulent palaces. Our archers are skilled and mobile, ready to strike down the enemies of Nubia, while our cities grow into metropolises worthy of the gods. If we strike early, we may build ourselves a rich and productive empire without equal. But remember - our cities should be for the living, not the dead. We can commemorate our past without being overwhelmed by it. By carefully planning our use of land, we can balance form and function.

How to use this guide

This guide is divided into multiple sections explaining how best to use and play against this specific civ.

  • The Outline details the mechanics of how the civilization's unique features work and what their start bias is (assuming they have one at all).
  • The Victory Skew section describes to what extent the civ (and its individual leaders where applicable) are inclined towards particular victory routes.
  • Multiple sections for Uniques explain in detail how to use each special bonus of the civilization.
  • Administration describes some of the most synergistic governments, civic cards, pantheons, religious beliefs, wonders, city-states and Great People for the civ. Only the ones with the most synergy with the civ's uniques are mentioned - these should be given more consideration than they would be for other civs but are not necessarily the "best" choices when playing as the civ for a given victory route.
  • Finally, the Counter-Strategies discusses how best to play against the civ, including a consideration of leader agendas if the civ is controlled by a computer.

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


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.
Outline (Part 1/2)
Start Bias

DesertDesert HillsAluminiumCoalCopperDiamondsIronJadeMercuryNitreSaltSilverUranium

Nubia has a tier 1 start bias towards desert and desert hills, making them extremely likely (but not certain) to start there. That's useful in conjunction with the Nubian Pyramid UI.

Furthermore, Nubia has tier 5 start biases towards the eleven resources in the game that can be improved with mines (aluminium, coal, copper, diamonds, iron, jade, mercury, nitre, salt, silver and uranium). This works well with the civ ability, which offers bonuses to mines on resources.

Civilization Ability: Ta-Seti

  • +50% production when constructing ranged land units
  • Land ranged units receive 50% more experience from combat
  • Mines over bonus resources (copper) or luxury resources (diamonds, jade, mercury, salt, silver) provide +2 gold
  • Mines over strategic resources (iron, nitre, coal, aluminum, uranium) provide +1 production

Amanitore's Leader Ability: Kandake of Meroë

  • All districts can be constructed 20% faster, or 40% faster if the city has a Nubian Pyramid adjacent to the city centre.
Outline (Part 2/2)
Unique Unit: Pítati Archer

An ancient-era ranged land unit which replaces the Archer

Upgrades from
Upgrades to
Resource needed

Ancient era

Medieval era

(60 Gold)

(170 Gold)
70 Production
280 Gold
140 Faith*
1 Gold
*Purchasing units with faith requires the Theocracy government, which in turn requires the renaissance-era Reformed Church civic. This number does not take into account Theocracy's 15% discount on faith purchases.

Ranged Strength
Negative Attributes
Positive Attributes
17 Strength
30 Ranged Strength
3 Movement Points
2 Attack Range
  • Unable to capture cities
  • -17 Ranged Strength vs. city defences
  • -17 Ranged Strength vs. naval units
  • Does not exert zone of control

Negative changes
  • Costs 70 production, 280 gold or 140 faith, up from 60, 240 and 120 respectively (+17%)
  • Costs 60 gold to upgrade to from a Slinger, up from 45 (+33%)

Positive changes
  • 17 melee strength, up from 15
  • 30 ranged strength, up from 25
  • 3 movement points, up from 2
  • Cheaper to upgrade to a Crossbowman

Unique Improvement: Nubian Pyramid

Terrain requirement
Constructed by
Pillage yield

Ancient era
Must be constructed on
one of the following
in your own land:


Desert Hills


25 Faith

Defensive bonus
Direct yield
Adjacency yields
Miscellanious bonus
Maximum possible yield*
1 Faith
1 Food if a city centre is adjacent
1 Faith per adjacent Holy Site
1 Science per adjacent Campus
1 Culture per adjacent Theatre Square
1 Gold per adjacent Harbour or Commercial Hub
1 Production per adjacent Industrial Zone
1-7 Faith
0-6 Science
0-6 Culture
0-6 Gold
0-6 Production
0-1 Food
*The maximum yield always adds up to 7. Having the maximum value for any yield except food means having the minimum value for all the other yields.


Direct bonus
Adjacency bonus
Miscellanious bonus
New maximum yield*

Modern Era
Culture yield added to tourism
1-7 Faith
0-6 Science
0-6 Culture
0-6 Tourism
0-6 Gold
0-6 Production
0-1 Food
*Excluding tourism, the maximum yield always adds up to 7. Having the maximum faith, science, gold or production means having the minimum of all other yields.
Victory Skew
In this section, the civ is graded based on how much it leans towards a specific victory type - not how powerful it is. Any score of 3 or above means the civ or leader has some kind of advantage to the victory route above a hypothetical civ with no unique features. A score of less than 2 means some kind of aspect of the civ actively discourages a particular victory route. All values are subjective and may be edited in future.






Nubia is most effective at domination, and has considerable early advantages to aid them in such a path. Pítati Archers combined with faster production and more experience gain make Nubia one of the best civs around for early rushes, so you should always start from there before working out which victory route to stick with. Considering extra mine gold and production goes well with supporting a military, and there's still bonuses to ranged units beyond the obsoletion of Pítati Archers, you'll often do well sticking to domination.

Cultural victory is a possible path, though not one that Nubia's exceptionally strong at. Desert and floodplains regions tend to be low on tile appeal, though Nubian Pyramids can offer a small alternative source of tourism and fast district construction makes it easy to piece together lots of Theatre Squares.

Religious victory is Nubia's second-best option, especially when combined with the Desert Folklore pantheon. Fast Holy Site construction makes it easier to secure an early religion. Nubian Pyramids don't offer masses of faith, but any bonus helps.

Finally. Nubia can perform reasonably well at scientific victories thanks to cheap Campuses and Spaceports as well as science from Nubian Pyramids. Extra production on strategic resources can aid with space project construction.
Civ Ability: Ta-Seti

Slingers in a mere 8 turns, and have barely over 3 production.

Starting Out

Get ready for intense early warfare as Nubia, right from the start of the game. Unless you're starting on a tiny island, build a Slinger first in your capital. It'll be cheap, can explore, keeps Barbarians away and can be upgraded into a Pítati Archer soon enough.

Killing a Barbarian with a Slinger gets you the eureka for Archery. Once you have it, you can upgrade your Slingers and start building Pítati Archers. Although Nubia doesn't have a reduction to the cost of upgrading ranged units the way they have a reduced production cost of training them, you can still save a little time on launching an attack against another civ. The sooner you do it, the more effective it'll be. More details on that can be found on the unique unit section.

Faster Land Ranged Unit Production

Nubia receives a 50% production bonus to all standard ranged units, including:

  • Slingers (Ancient era, unlocked from start)
  • Pítati Archers (Ancient era, Archery technology)
  • Crossbowmen (Medieval era, Machinery technology)
  • Field Cannons (Industrial era, Ballistics technology)
  • Machine Guns (Atomic era, Advanced Ballistics technology)

A 50% production boost does not mean it takes 50% less time to construct the units. Instead, it means every point of production that goes towards the units is worth 1.5 each. That cuts production time by a third.

You can boost this production bonus to 100% by taking an appropriate military policy card:

  • Agoge (Ancient era, Craftsmanship civic) - Slingers and Pítati Archers
  • Feudal Contract (Medieval era, Feudalism civic) - Crossbowmen
  • Grand Armee (Industrial era, Nationalism civic) - Field Cannons
  • Military First (Atomic era, Rapid Deployment civic) - Machine Guns

Note that these production bonuses don't affect gold purchasing. Generally, you should use gold for upgrading existing units rather than purchasing new ones.

Ranged units are excellent against slower enemy units (with the exception of Machine Guns, which only have a range of 1), but suffer from a -17 strength penalty against cities. Their attack range can make up for that penalty if you have a lot of them, and thankfully Nubia's civ ability helps you do just that. Ranged units can't capture cities, so bring something with a melee attack like a Warrior, Spearman or Scout.

50% faster experience gain

All Nubian land ranged units gain experience faster, letting you get the better promotions sooner. Let's have a look through them all.

+5 Ranged Strength vs. land units
The left-hand side of the promotion tree for ranged units focuses on bonuses against units. This bonus is versatile in attack, and especially strong for the mobile Pítati Archers, but offers nothing in defence or against cities.
+10 Strength when occupying a district or fort
Excellent if you're trying to hold off a city against attackers, and leads into a crucial promotion for when you're attacking them - Incendiaries.
Arrow Storm
+7 Ranged Strength vs. land and naval units
A considerable step up from its prerequisite, Arrow Storm gives ranged units a total of +12 strength against land units. For Pítati Archers, that makes them better than a new Crossbowman! Furthermore, the bonus against naval units makes ranged units even better in situations where you don't have a good navy of your own.
+7 Ranged Strength vs. district defences
Cuts the -17 penalty against city defences down to a more respectable -10. Land ranged units still don't do a huge amount of damage against cities in each attack, but in large numbers, they can tear down city defences in as many turns as surrounding a city with Siege Tower-supported melee units would.
Arrow Storm or Incendiaries
Exercise zone of control
Usually, ranged units do not exercise zone of control, making them vulnerable to being flanked. This promotion is particularly valuable to Pítati Archers, who can use their high mobility to keep blocking the path of enemy units. If there's few enemies in the area, you're usually better off with Emplacement.
Arrow Storm or Incendiaries
+10 Strength when defending against city ranged attacks
Although fairly narrow in scope, once enemy units are cleared, city ranged attacks may well be your only remaining obstacle. A +10 strength bonus against them leaves them much weaker.
Expert Marksman
Suppression or Emplacement
+1 attack per turn if this unit has not moved.
By attacking twice in a turn, you can more than double your damage output (considering injured units and cities are weaker in combat) at the cost of some mobility. This is by far the best ranged promotion and well worth trying to get as soon as you can. Attacking twice also gives you two loads of experience, so don't put it off!

Mine bonuses

I'm rich!

Mines over resources create better yields for Nubia, which is most effective for supporting armies with.

Bonus and luxury resources are revealed from the start of the game, and offer +2 gold each. While that's a great bonus to have, you should generally seek out floodplain spots over those that contain more resources you can mine because of the district production bonuses offered by having a Nubian Pyramid next to the city centre. Use the extra gold to support more ranged units, or to rapidly purchase buildings in completed districts.

Strategic resources are revealed at the following technologies:
  • Iron - Bronze Working (ancient era)
  • Niter - Military Engineering (medieval era)
  • Coal - Industrialisation (industrial era)
  • Aluminium - Radio (modern era)
  • Uranium - Combined Arms (atomic era)

Getting +1 production each makes it even faster to build districts and ranged units in particular, but it's a general bonus which can help you no matter what your aims are. Uncovering strategic resources is useful for domination-inclined players anyway, so you don't necessarily need to change your strategies to take that into account.


  • Build Slingers early on to help with the Archery eureka
  • Look for policy cards with further production boosts for ranged units
  • Don't forget to bring melee units with your ranged units to capture cities with
  • The mine bonus is particularly helpful for war, and it's not hard to use.
Unique Unit: Pítati Archer

It's fast. It's strong. It's built quickly. It's your ticket to a strong, early empire taken off someone else. Pítati Archers are devastatingly powerful early in the game, so be sure to build plenty and send them along with a melee unit to whichever civs are unfortunate enough to start near you. Warriors resist damage a bit better, but Scouts are more mobile and don't have to be in range of a city's ranged attack to take it the following turn.

Like regular Archers, Pítati Archers are a bit vulnerable in defence and can't do a lot of damage each turn against cities. That makes speed crucial. Make sure you keep building Pítati Archers even beyond the start of war so you can overwhelm enemy cities, and you can keep on moving to the next one. Neglect to reinforce your army, and you'll cut through cities at a slower pace, leaving your units vulnerable to counter-attacks. While Warriors shouldn't give you too much trouble, promoted enemy Archers or Horsemen can be a pain to deal with.

If you need to retreat, Pítati Archers can move two tiles away (or one tile into rough terrain) and fire in the same turn. That's really helpful for dealing with melee infantry units, as you can deal damage without the threat of taking damage back.

Aside from warfare, the high mobility of Pítati Archers makes them great for tracking down Barbarians and for scouting. In fact, it might be worth keeping a couple of non-upgraded units around even beyond their obsoletion as their high movement speed can save more time when getting to Barbarian Encampments than would be saved from having a stronger unit.

Ultimately, this is a straightforward unique unit to use which should form the core of a powerful early rush. Hang on to the cities you capture and you'll have a powerful base to support whatever path to victory you want.
Unique Improvement: Nubian Pyramid

Nubia's a pretty straightforward civ on the whole - aside from this distinctive unique improvement and the interaction it has with Amanitore's leader ability. While you should be focusing on getting a Pítati Archer army up and running at first, be sure to look around for good floodplain-heavy spots to settle later on.

Nubian Pyramids can be constructed on flat desert, desert hills or floodplains, but unless you have the Petra wonder, you'll usually want to stick to the latter type of tile at first. Floodplains offer 3 food each by default, while flat desert has no yields and desert hills only offers 1 production. By placing a Nubian Pyramid on floodplain next to a city centre, you'll get a yield which is basically like a farm with a faith bonus (though without the housing bonus).

You can boost the yields of these city centre-adjacent floodplain Nubian Pyramids further with additional districts. Floodplains block construction of districts, but you should be able to find some non-floodplain spots next to them. Be careful not to sacrifice good adjacency bonuses merely for the sake of getting a slightly higher yield for Nubian Pyramids. Instead, look where you can easily get both (Commercial Hubs get +2 gold if next to a river, so it's usually not too hard to find a spot where they can get that and boost adjacent Nubian Pyramids as well, while Industrial Zones tend to have a reasonable variety of decent spots) or for districts which have difficulty getting adjacency bonuses (typically Theatre Squares).

Once food and housing becomes less urgent concerns, and you begin to fill out the districts in your cities, you can start placing Nubian Pyramids to exploit intersections where there may be a large number of districts adjacent to it. Flat desert Nubian Pyramids without Petra aren't particularly strong tiles to work, but a little extra bit of science or culture can still be useful.

Faith is the only yield Nubian Pyramids offer by default, though the overall quantities can be fairly small unless you have a Desert Folklore-boosted Holy Site surrounded by them. While it can complement a religious playstyle moderately well, there's a few other uses of faith. For a domination-centred playstyle, try using faith to purchase units with via the Theocracy government or to buy Naturalists in order to create National Parks (aside from their typical purpose of offering tourism, they also boost amenities, making them useful for supporting warfare).

Overall, Nubian Pyramids make floodplains offer a variety of yields rather than being focused purely on food. While not focusing on any particular yield (except to a limited extent with faith), the bonuses for science and culture in particular can help Nubia to stay up-to-date in the technology and civics trees.
Amanitore's Leader Ability: Kandake of Meroë

Every Nubian city builds districts 20% faster - without any catch. Add a Nubian Pyramid adjacent to a city's centre, and the bonus for that city doubles to 40% - even if that Nubian Pyramid is on a flat desert tile with poor yields. That represents quite a lot of saved turns in production, especially in newer cities. As such, finding city spots next to deserts can be worthwhile even if there's just the one tile.

Fast district construction encourages you to build your cities up to the district limit before filling out buildings. You can then use gold (or faith with certain districts and certain bonuses, like Campus and Theatre Square buildings with the Jesuit Education belief) to buy your way to the buildings you want. If you're after a domination victory, you can rapidly build an Encampment, buy your way to a Military Academy and then quickly build ranged unit armies at a low cost.

Aside from getting speciality districts out the way sooner, faster district construction also helps with Aqueducts and Neighbourhoods - especially useful considering Nubian Pyramids don't offer housing. Late in the game, you can build Spaceports at a rate exceeded only by Australia and the Aztecs, which is ideal if you find yourself unable to complete a domination victory.
Administration - Government and Religion
The administration section covers the policy cards, pantheons, religious beliefs, wonders, city-states and Great People which have particularly good synergy with Nubian uniques. Be aware that these are not necessarily the best choices, but rather options that you should consider more than usual if playing as Nubia relative to other Civs.


Classical Era Governments

Seeing as Oligarchy's strength bonus doesn't work on ranged units, try Classical Republic for extra amenities to help support your early war efforts, or Autocracy. Autocracy works well for Nubia as most cities you capture won't be adjacent to deserts and thus won't be able to make use of Nubian Pyramids and the faster district construction associated with them. As such, your capital will often be stronger than your other cities.

Medieval/Renaissance Era Governments

Merchant Republic lacks military policy cards but cuts the cost of gold purchases (great for rapidly developing freshly-built districts) and offers additional trade routes.

Modern Era Governments

If you're still on the warpath, go for Fascism as it offers a helpful strength bonus to all your units.

Policy Cards

Ancient Era

Agoge (Military, requires Craftsmanship) - Build Pítati Archers at an even faster rate, helping to overwhelm your foes.

Conscription (Military, requires State Workforce) - Eliminates the maintenance cost for Pítati Archers, allowing you to build vast quantities of them.

Ilkum (Economic, requires Craftsmanship) - Nubian Pyramids add yet another thing for your Builders to construct, so it's useful to cut down the time it takes to train new ones.

Urban Planning (Economic, requires Code of Laws) - An extra point of production in every city goes a lot further with Nubia's civ ability or Amanitore's leader ability.

Classical Era

Insulae (Economic, requires Games and Recreation) - Nubian Pyramids offer food if next to a city centre, but not housing. As such, it's important to seek out alternative sources, like this one. Seeing as you have a strong bonus to district production, this is one of the better alternative sources of housing around.

Veterancy (Military, requires Military Training) - You can get Encampments up very quickly with this policy card, and then spend some gold to get your way to Military Academies (with the Military Science technology). Finally, use your bonus to land ranged unit production to build some ranged unit corps or armies.

Medieval Era

Feudal Contract (Military, requires Feudalism) - Construct Crossbowmen in half the time it'd take for a different civ without this policy card.

Medina Quarter (Economic, requires Medieval Faires) - Use your fast district construction to get additional housing, letting you work more Nubian Pyramids.

Meritocracy (Economic, requires Civil Service) - Get lots of culture out of Amanitore's leader ability! Great if you want to build districts other than Theatre Squares.

Professional Army (Military, requires Mercenaries) - Fast ranged unit production means you'll end up with a large army which costs quite a lot to upgrade. Use this card to minimise that problem.

Retainers (Military, requires Civil Service) - When you're not actively at war, use your large army to keep your amenities high. Alternatively, quickly build some units to keep in your own lands to handle war weariness.

Serfdom (Economic, requires Feudalism) - Extra Builder actions means sparing a charge for Nubian Pyramids is less of a problem.

Renaissance Era

Liberalism (Economic, requires The Enlightenment) - Getting to two districts in a city is easy as Nubia, and the amenity boost helps to deal with war weariness.

Industrial Era

Grand Armée (Military, requires Nationalism) - Allows you to train Field Cannons faster.

Public Works (Economic, requires Civil Engineering) - Fast Builder training and additional build charges make it easier to get those last few Nubian Pyramids built, or late-arriving strategic resources mined.

Modern Era

Levee en Masse (Military, requires Mobilisation) - Makes a large Field Cannon or Machine Gun army more manageable.

New Deal (Economic, requires Suffrage) - Put that luxury resource mine gold and fast district construction to good use, with a strong bonus to housing and amenities.

Atomic Era

Military First (Military, requires Rapid Deployment) - Build Machine Guns faster. Machine Guns aren't as effective as earlier ranged units are in their respective eras, but a quicky-constructed army is still a quickly-constructed army.

Information Era

Ecommerce (Economic, requires Globalisation) - A huge boost to production from international trading, which bonuses to ranged unit or district production can magnify.


City Patron Goddess - Develop your first district in a city even faster - which can create a stronger Nubian Pyramid sooner.

Desert Folklore - Nubia's encouraged to settle near desert, and so it's easy to generate a lot of faith out of this pantheon.

Divine Spark - Bonuses to district production make it easy to get lots of Great Person Points from this pantheon.

God of Craftsmen - Make strategic resources even stronger! You can end up with a massive amount of production on each strategic tile, which is useful no matter your goals for victory.

God of the Forge - Construct Pítati Archers at an even faster rate.

Lady of the Reeds and Marshes - Nubian Pyramids are best-placed on floodplains, and this pantheon makes them offer production as well. A Nubian Pyramid adjacent to a city centre with this pantheon offers 4 food, 1 faith and 1 production - an excellent yield this early in the game.

Religious Idols - Get 2 extra faith from mines over bonus and luxury resources, on top of the +2 gold bonus from Nubia's civ ability.

River Goddess - Nubian Pyramids are most effective on floodplains, which are always adjacent to a river. River Goddess encourages you to place Holy Sites on rivers as well for an amenity bonus, and by placing the two next to each other, you'll get an extra point of faith as well.

Religious Beliefs

You can have one founder, one follower, one enhancer and one worship belief.

Jesuit Education (Follower) - If you're not after a religious victory, you'll need some other use for Nubian Pyramid faith. This belief is great for that - use your fast district construction to put together Campuses or Theatre Squares, and spend faith to fill those districts up.

Pagoda (Worship) - More housing allows you to work more Nubian Pyramids.

Religious Community (Follower) - An alternative source of housing.

Stupa (Worship) - Excess faith can be used to purchase these, and the amenity helps you handle war weariness.

Warrior Monks (Follower) - Got some spare faith from Nubian Pyramids? Get some Warrior Monks to complement your strong ranged units.

Zen Meditation (Follower) - Helps you deal with war weariness by offering an amenity in every city with at least two districts.
Administration - Wonders, City-States and Great People

Hanging Gardens (Ancient era, Irrigation technology) - The faster cities grow, the sooner they can construct more districts.

Oracle (Ancient era, Mysticism civic) - Puts the faith from Nubian Pyramids to good use, while also offering extra Great Person Points from the districts in the city the wonder's built in. Considering Nubia aims to fill their district limit faster than other civs, you'll get more out of this wonder than most.

Pyramids (Ancient era, Masonry technology) - Extra Builder charges help you to build more Nubian Pyramids without neglecting farms, mines and other key improvements.

Jebel Barkal (Classical era, Iron Working technology) - Like Nubian Pyramids, this is a source of faith without you needing to build a whole load of Holy Sites. Best-used in conjunction with something like Jesuit Education or the Oracle.

Petra (Classical era, Mathematics technology) - A very powerful wonder for Nubia, especially in desert hills-heavy areas. A Nubian Pyramid on desert hills adjacent to a city centre with this wonder offers 3 food, 2 gold, 2 production and 1 faith - and that's before you add any other adjacent districts. Resources you can mine become especially powerful.

Terracotta Army (Classical era, Construction technology) - A large Pítati Archer military can become an extremely powerful one thanks to the free promotions this wonder offers.

Ruhr Valley (Industrial era, Industrialisation technology) - Extra production is always welcome, especially when it makes your already-strong mines even better.


Kabul (Militaristic) - Gain promotions for your ranged units at a really rapid rate.

Kumasi (Cultural) - Cities with a lot of districts can output a lot of culture with help from this city-state.

Palenque (Scientific) - Faster-growing cities can fill their district capacity sooner. Requires the Vikings scenario pack.

Stockholm (Scientific) - A very powerful city-state for Nubia to be suzerain over, seeing as Nubia favours building new districts before filling up the existing ones.

Valletta (Militaristic) - You can use Amanitore's fast district production to build Encampments, excess Nubian Pyramid faith to fill it with buildings and the bonus to ranged units to build cheap Field Cannon armies.

Great People

As usual, I'm only covering Great People with particular synergy with Nubian uniques. All Great Generals can be helpful, but it would be redundant to list them all.

Medieval Era

Note: El Cid, the Great General which allows you to form an early corps, might look like a good one to go for, but using him to boost Crossbowmen is far more effective than creating a single Pítati Archer corps.

Bi Sheng (Great Engineer) - Extra district capacity can be easily filled via Amanitore's leader ability.

Hildegard of Bingen (Great Scientist) - Best-used in conjunction with the Desert Folklore pantheon for a strong boost to science.

Renaissance Era

Mimar Sinan (Great Engineer) - Extra housing helps you grow a city to handle more districts, and more amenities deals with war weariness.

Atomic Era

Ada Lovelace (Great Engineer) - More district capacity for you to rapidly fill up.

Dwight Eisenhower (Great General) - Produce ranged units that little bit faster. Emphasis on little - the production bonus on offer here is very small.

Jane Drew (Great Engineer) - More housing and amenities.

John Roebling (Great Engineer) - Even more housing and amenities.

Information Era

(Cultural) Jamseth Tata - Fast district production makes Nubia well-positioned to exploit the huge tourism bonus on offer here.

(Cultural) Masaru Ibuka - Also offers direct tourism boosts from districts, only in this case, it's Industrial Zones instead of Campuses.
Nubia's straightforwardness also makes them predictable opponents, and in that their greatest vulnerabilities lie.


Ranged unit bonuses

Nubia's armies will be heavily weighted towards ranged units. Ranged units are strong at attacking units, but have limited strength against cities, cannot capture cities alone and can be vulnerable in defence. Cavalry units are probably your best bet, but promoted melee infantry can work as well - use both the Tortoiseshell and Battlecry promotions together for maximum impact.

Better mines

Nubia may have to choose between good mine spots and desert locations. If you don't mind a military retaliation, you can try forcing their hand by taking the mines before they can.

Otherwise, remember that mined resources are generally your best pillage target when fighting Nubia (even more so than Nubian Pyramids seeing as they offer you science when pillaged).

Amanitore - Kandake of Meroë

This leader ability leads Nubia to have lots of districts per city, but that might be at the cost of buildings. Keep Nubia away from per-district bonuses like the Stockholm city-state or the Oracle, and they may struggle to be particularly strong generating any specific Great Person.

If you can keep Nubia away from deserts, they'll only have a 20% bonus here instead of 40%, though that's not always possible.

Amanitore - AI Agenda City Planner

Amanitore loves to build cities to the district limit, and likes other civs that do that. She's not a fan of civs that leave cities with lots of spare district capacity.

Constructing districts a fair bit of production, so if you really want to win Amanitore's favour, try switching the focus in your cities to it.

Pítati Archer

Pítati Archers look scary - and they can be - but thankfully they only defend slightly better than the unit they replace. Warriors with the Tortoise promotion can get in close, while Warriors with the Battlecry promotion can do reasonable damage against them. As long as you're using the Agoge policy card, you should be able to output Warriors faster than Nubia can build Pítati Archers.

Archers of your own with the Garrison promotion can deal plenty of damage against attacking Pítati Archers - or better yet, Nubia's melee units. Take out the melee units, and Nubia can never take your cities.

Horsemen have a good amount of strength and enough speed to catch up with retreating Pítati Archers, and once you have medieval-era units, they shouldn't be too much of a threat any more.

Nubian Pyramid

Nubian Pyramids are most effective on floodplain adjacent to a city centre. If Nubia can't settle next to floodplain, they can't get as effective Nubian Pyramids, so consider that if you start near them.

Like any unique improvement, they'll be destroyed if you capture a city containing one, so feel free to pillage them. You'll get 25 faith per pillage.
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Soggus Jan 29, 2018 @ 4:11pm 
Adam Jensen 007 Dec 13, 2017 @ 8:47pm 
great guides mate you spend so much time good job. I like tow rite guides myself
Zigzagzigal  [author] Nov 6, 2017 @ 5:49pm 
I haven't got enhancer/founder beliefs covered in this guide as none especially synergise with Nubia's uniques. Gold and amenity bonuses are reliable choices for warmongering though.
Yensil Nov 6, 2017 @ 5:17pm 
Tithe or Church Property are always good for warmongers to provide some extra funding. And the fast district construction means I might get more out of Stewardship or Lay ministry. I'm less certain about enhancer beliefs. Scripture is my usual fallback as it's useful for religious defence, or at least, recovering from religious attacks.
Yensil Nov 6, 2017 @ 5:13pm 
Any recommendations for Enhancer or Founder beliefs?
Yensil Nov 6, 2017 @ 2:35pm 
Well, I found Poland on the other side of my territory so maybe I'll just go after them first and save Egypt for after our unique units obsolete. Besides, it looks like Poland's sitting on some nice Iron resources and I could use those mines.
Zigzagzigal  [author] Nov 6, 2017 @ 2:26pm 
The method of building up a huge force first is definitely a good idea in this situation.
Yensil Nov 6, 2017 @ 1:42pm 
Hmm. Egypt's been irritatingly good at picking off wounded units with the Maryannu Chariot Archers. I sounds like the best bet is to build an overwhelming military before I start the war, rather than trying to trade production while fighting. Especially considering the AI production bonuses and the fact that they start bee-lining military techs when in a war. I've been taking way too long to capture cities and they just got crossbowmen...guess I'll go back to the save I made before starting the war and build up my army a bit more first.
Zigzagzigal  [author] Nov 6, 2017 @ 12:26pm 
If you're wondering where I got the damage numbers from in the Pitati Archer/Maryannu Chariot Archer matchup, it's from a table in the guide to the Aztecs. Damage values can vary by up to 25%, so results may vary.
Zigzagzigal  [author] Nov 6, 2017 @ 12:25pm 
Another thing to take into account is that Egypt's uniques demand production towards a number of different things, while Nubia doesn't have so much pressure there. As such, Egypt will have spent less time building up an army compared to you (though AI production bonuses might account for that somewhat). Once you start a war, however, Egypt will emphasise unit production, so you won't have that advantage any more.