Firaxis Games have revealed a few new leaders for Civilization VI’s new expansion Rise and Fall over the holiday break.
The new civilization leaders include Queen Wilhelmina from The Netherlands, Genghis Khan from Mongolia, Chandragupta from India, and Poundmaker from The Cree.
Here’s a rundown on each new civilization leader and what to expect from their exclusive features:
- UNIQUE UNIT: DE ZEVEN PROVINCIEN
The Dutch-built De Zeven Provinciën (“The Seven Provinces”)-class ships were not only devastating to enemy ships, but could lay siege to harbor cities. These powerful ships of the line were nearly half the length of a football field (either variety), armed with a minimum of 80 guns spread across two gun decks. They served as the naval backbone of multiple battles in the Anglo-Dutch wars—battles nobody expected a mercantile power to win. Nevertheless, these ships proved the Dutch could hold their own against other (presumably) mightier naval powers.
- UNIQUE IMPROVEMENT: POLDER
The Dutch are respected not just for their trade empire, but for their ingenuity as well. Polders are low-lying land tracts encircled by dikes. The only way water enters the area is through manually operated devices. They result in land reclamation efforts, creating flood plains separated from the sea and drainable marshes. While there are obvious benefits like extra land to grow food and increased production, Polders also served a military purpose. As Wilhelmina alluded to Kaiser Wilhelm II, opening the sluice gates at high tide and sealing them at low tide created an inaccessible swamp the German army couldn’t cross during WWI.
- UNIQUE CIV ABILITY: GROTE RIVIEREN
Literally translated – “Great Rivers” refers to waterways that have been a natural dividing line across the Netherlands. These rivers formed the boundaries between states and even served as a way to mark the edges of empires. The navigable rivers and canals built around them were the foundation upon which the Dutch built their culture – and massive mercantile fleets. That’s why the Netherlands gain major adjacency bonuses for Campuses, Theater Squares and Industrial Zones if near a river.
- UNIQUE LEADER ABILITY: RADIO ORANJE
Wilhelmina broadcast a voice of resistance for the Dutch during WW II – “Radio Oranje” – inspiring her people from afar. Since the Dutch are world-renown for their trade routes and merchant ships, put them to good use with Wilhelmina’s ability. After establishing trades routes to and from foreign cities, you’ll gain Culture bonuses.
- UNIQUE UNIT: KESHIG
The Mongolian Keshig (loosely translated as “The Favored” or “The Blessed”) were the elite imperial guard of the Great Khan. Split up into daytime (Torguud) and nighttime (Khevtuul) based troops, these mounted warriors were originally comprised of Genghis Khan’s most loyal fighters. The Keshig were well-equipped, using their composite bows and mobility to harry opponents from a distance. As horse archers, they were second to none. The Keshig served as bodyguards and they are the perfect escort for slower-moving civilian and support units – and can get them to travel at a faster movement rate.
- UNIQUE IMPROVEMENT: ORDU
“Ordu” means “palace tent.” However, an ordu was something much more than just a simple tent—it was the center of the tribe for the nomadic Mongolians. An ordu served as the mobile headquarters and main encampment for the Khan and his warriors. Though built for travel, it had style, from simple decorations to carefully sewn patterns. The ordu moved with the Khan and his warriors as they went on campaign, ensuring they always felt at home no matter where they traveled. That’s why ordus grant a movement bonus to light and heavy cavalry.
- UNIQUE CIV ABILITY: ÖRTOO
Because the Mongol hordes were so quick, the messengers had to be even quicker. The Örtoo served as a supply route system widely used by Genghis Khan and the Khans to follow him. These relay stations provided support for messengers to help speed up the delivery of intelligence information. Think of it as a combat-focused trading route, so take advantage of the Örtoo ability to get a boost in Combat Strength and Diplomatic Visibility over your opponents.
- UNIQUE LEADER ABILITY: MONGOL HORDE
Genghis Khan’s feared Mongol Horde – and his reputation for utterly destroying enemies – made him legend. With Genghis Khan’s unique ability, all Mongolian cavalry class units gain a combat bonus and a chance to capture enemy cavalry class units to further grow his horde.
- UNIQUE LEADER ABILITY: ARTHASHASTRA
This ancient Sanskrit treatise is often translated as “The science of politics,” Arthashastra covers much more ground. It’s the Indian framework for how to conduct statecraft, but also economic policy and military strategy. Credited to Chanakya – Chandragupta’s mentor – this is a template for the Mauryan dynasty. Take advantage of these lessons as you declare a War of Territorial Expansion. You will gain Movement and Combat Strength bonuses as you march into battle.
- UNIQUE UNIT: OKIHTCITAW
Roughly translating to “warrior,” the okihtcitaw had a much more important role within Cree society than merely serving as combatants. The sons of chiefs, they protected the tribe when it traveled and kept order when it settled. They also policed buffalo hunts to ensure that no one hunter began before any other. They make for excellent scouts as well, serving as an early, strong reconnaissance unit. The Cree considered these seasoned warriors incredibly brave and skilled in combat, a step above their peers—often charismatic and clever, allowing them to serve as effective leaders in times of war and peace. That’s why they start with one free promotion.
- UNIQUE STRUCTURE: MEKEWAP
Made from birch bark, the mekewap was a long-term shelter for the Cree intended to lodge many people. The Cree carefully laid out the wood into a dome shape, then wrapped wooden strips around the shelter. They then wove the strips together for warmth, further securing it from the elements. This careful construction prevented rain from permeating the shelter. The mekewap were not portable, but thankfully, they were relatively easy and quick to build. Because it’s relative easy construct and design, the mekewap gives an early advantage to the Cree. When placed near Bonus or Luxury resources, the Cree get Production, Resources, Food and Gold benefits.
- UNIQUE LEADER ABILITY: FAVORABLE TERMS
Poundmaker’s goals of living in peace with surrounding tribes – and governments – benefits all his allies. All Alliance types provide shared visibility. However, Poundmaker also directly benefits with bonus food and gold from establishing trade routes.
- UNIQUE CIV ABILITY: NIHITHAW
Depending upon the community, the Cree identify themselves with several different names. Among them, the Nihithaw (or “Woodland Cree”). They had an extensive network of fur trade. As the Cree people explore, they start with an extra trade route and an opportunity to gain control of nearby unclaimed tiles.
The game’s new expansion, Rise and Fall, launches February 8th of this year. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is currently available for PC. In case you missed it, you can find my thorough written / video review of the game here (I highly recommend it!).