Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

Yesterday, 2K announced that Persia, led by Cyrus the Great, would be one of two new civilizations added to Civilization 6 in upcoming DLC. Today, it unveiled Cyrus' partner in that expansion, and he's pretty great too. His name is Alexander, son of Philip, and he's the ruler of Macedon. 

Macedon's unique Hypaspist units are elite, shield-bearing soldiers who carry a spear and short sword into battle, while the Hetairoi—better known as the Companions—are a fast, heavy cavalry unit that's "widely regarded as the world's first shock troops." For a unique building, Macedon gets the Basilikoi Paides, where noble sons and young boys taken as political hostages are raised to "serve, honor and protect the king, and to serve Macedon’s interests above all else," and the unique "Hellenistic Fusion" ability grants it a bonus every time a city is conquered.   

As for Big Al himself, he's all about the fight. His ability, To the World's End, grants reduced war weariness, so that Macedon can stay at war with its neighbors for longer stretches without suffering unduly for it.   

Ironically, in the same sense of the term as Tomyris' appearance in the Persia teaser, Alexander was ultimately unable to reach the world's end: His army refused to follow him into India, and he was forced to turn back at the Beas River. He died three years later, in Babylon, at the age of 32. 

Macedon and Persia will be available together in an upcoming Civilization and Scenario Pack, scheduled to come out later this spring.   

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - Hinkle2K

Alexander the Great, born in 356 BC, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known. Alexander’s military campaign stretched from Greece on through Asia and northeast Africa, subsequently overthrowing Persian king Darius III and dispatching the Persian Empire in its entirety – all before his 30th birthday.

While undefeated in battle, Alexander met his end during his decade-long campaign. After pushing his war-weary and homesick soldiers into India in 326 BC, they implored him to turn back and he acquiesced, passing away three years later in the city he had planned to make the capital of his empire: Babylon.

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Alexander’s tactics are taught in modern military academies to this day, and he is considered one of the greatest military commanders and most influential human beings to have ever lived.



Unique Unit: The Hypaspist

The Hypaspists, shield-bearing soldiers wielding a long spear and short sword, were among Macedon’s soldier elite. Similar to Hoplites, these units were differentiated by their more ornate equipment and were usually positioned on the flanks of the phalanx – a singular group of soldiers moving in close shoulder-to-shoulder formation. The Hypaspists’ job was to guard the flanks of the pikemen comprising the majority of the phalanx, as these pikemen wielded massive spears between 18-22 feet long and were quite vulnerable to attacks from the side.



Unique Unit: The Hetairoi

The Hetairoi, Alexander’s unique replacement for the Horseman, is a fast Heavy Cavalry unit widely considered the greatest cavalry of the ancient world. Additionally, the Hetairoi are widely recognized as the world’s first shock troops – a military unit designed to penetrate enemy defenses and attack vulnerable rear flanks. Chosen Hetaroi were elevated to the status of elite guard for the king, and would ride atop only the best horses.



Unique Building: Basilikoi Paides

Throughout Macedon’s conquests, often young boys would be taken as political hostages and raised as Macedonians. These boys, along with Macedon’s noble sons, received education and training at the Basilikoi Paides, which is roughly translated as “royal page school.” No expense was spared in securing the best tutors for the Basilikoi Paides, where boys were taught to serve, honor and protect the king, and to serve Macedon’s interests above all else.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

It seems a little odd to me that the Persians weren't in Civilization 6 right from the start, but better late than never, and today 2K announced that the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire, with Cyrus the Great at its head, will be added to the game in an upcoming Civilization and Scenario pack. 

The Persian unique unit is the famed Immortal, a replacement for the Swordsman unit, which boasts a ranged attack and strong defense in combat, while its unique improvement, the Pairidaeza—Persian Gardens—provides culture, gold, and appeal, with bonuses for adjacent tiles. I won't even try to spell its unique ability (related to satraps, as best I can make out), but it gives Persia a free trade route, and bonuses to internal trade routes, when Political Philosophy is unlocked. 

As for Cyrus, he brings the Fall of Babylon ability to the table, which provides bonus movement to Persian units following the declaration of a surprise war. He also suffers reduced diplomatic penalties for declaring surprise wars, a handy trait if you're the sort of ruler who gets along well with others but really can't be trusted. 

2K said Persia "can be very successful with sneak attacks," but it also used an image of Tomyris of Scythia when talking about Cyrus' military acumen, and she, you may recall, reportedly cut the man's head off and dunked it in a bucket of blood when he messed with her. Kind of mixed signals on that point, then. On the other hand, Persia can also be grown into a wealthy and powerful nation through the more peaceful application of Wonders and the Pairidaeza, so maybe that's a better way to go. 

A release date hasn't been announced, but 2K said Persia will be one of two nations included in an upcoming Civilization and Scenario Pack. Based on previous releases, you can expect it to set you back $5, and it will be free if you own the Civ 6 Digital Deluxe edition. 

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - Hinkle2K

Cyrus II of Persia, more commonly known as Cyrus the Great, founded the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire. Prior to the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Persian Empire was the largest the world had ever seen.

He built his empire through a series of brilliant military campaigns, starting with the surprise invasion of his Median grandfather, Astyages, followed by conquest of the lands of the Lydians, Elamites, Babylonians, Syria, Judea, and Patrea, after which he felt comfortable enough to declare himself “King of the Four Corners of the World.”

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Although he has something of a reputation for ruthlessness, even by the standard of the ancient world (some of his conquests had been against one-time allies or distant family), Cyrus was also known for respecting the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. His call for the repatriation of Jewish people following his conquest of the Babylonian Empire is easily one of the more famous examples of this.

His death is given in a story by Herodotus at the hands of Tomyris of Scythia, so you may want to go back and check out our entry on the Scythian queen to refresh your memory.


Unique Unit: The Immortal

Persia’s elite heavy foot soldier, the Immortal, served as both guard of sovereign and state. It is said that Persia’s army consisted of 10,000 Immortals, and that each Immortal was equipped with both long-range and short-range armaments.


Unique Improvement: The Pairidaeza

The Pairidaeza, or Persian Gardens, are closed collections of exquisite foliage meant to convey the feeling of paradise on Earth. Persian Gardens are represented throughout Persian literature and culture as places of relaxation, both in the sense of leisure and spirituality.

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We’ve got two new civs coming soon for Civilization VI! The first is Persia, led by Cyrus, and you can check it out here. Persia is a civ perfect for the player who wants to build a rich empire, but isn’t afraid to launch a sudden, unexpected military strike. This DLC pack will be unlocked automatically for everyone who purchased the Digital Deluxe Edition of Civilization VI.

In addition, the Spring 2017 update to Civilization VI will come with balance changes, multiplayer changes, and bug fixes for everyone who owns the game!

Stay tuned as we share more details on the upcoming Double Civilization & Scenario Pack and the upcoming update!

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Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

Whenever a developer decides to throw Australia into the pool of cultural insensitivity that videogames can sometimes be, I get a little scared. The trepidation is caused as much by patriotism as it is by the opposite of that: I don’t want my glorious nation to be represented by a slouch-hatted cattle drover whose key trait is ‘mateship’, but on the other hand, leave us alone we’re boring!The latest Premium DLC for Civilization 6 brings the great southern land into the fray for the first time in the series’ quarter-century history. At the helm is our 14th Prime Minister, John Curtin, who’s perhaps best known for leading the country in its defense against the Japanese during World War II, and having been the only PM to go to jail. He was no doubt chosen due to the former of these two facts, as Curtin’s unique ability triggers a production boom whenever war is declared on Australia, or when it liberates another civ’s city.

I ll wait all day for my game to load if it means I get to gaze into Curtin s agreeable face.

The Aussie portrayal in this game preys on both my fears: it is at once dripping with stereotypes, and grossly incongruent with the history books. There is something unnerving about sending your ‘Diggers’, fresh from bumming around an ‘Outback Station’, to storm the beaches of a distant land at the request of an overly-powerful ally. On the other hand, it’s even more peculiar to play as some Anglo-looking brutes romping around Canberra in the year 4000 BC, eventually researching mass production, signing off on extensive foreign trade agreements, and rising to the height of modernity well before Australia was even due to be colonised in 1788. However, this goofy dissonance is a cornerstone of the Civilization series and shouldn’t be taken personally. The joy of this game doesn’t have to come from some attempt at a realistic play-by-play of historical events—atomically-aggressive Gandhi should have made this clear by now. Instead, it can be found in the forging of your own civilization from a melting pot of randomised events and bad decisions, and the specialities that come with your chosen civ can just as easily be exploited as ignored. In fact, it’s fair to say that the region in which your first settler is randomly plopped is probably going to be a more significant factor in your complete annihilation at the hands of Montezuma (that leafy bastard) than your civ’s strengths and weaknesses will be.The perks and uniquities of any particular civ is more akin to the playable races found in Skyrim, where there are obvious advantages to choosing a sneaky Khajiit if you want to pickpocket your way across the province, but with a tiny bit more effort you can become a cat with a battleaxe. See what you miss out on when you play by the rules?

As dry as a dead dingo's donger

Now that we’ve dealt with historical purists who only play videogames to get off on the gritty realism, let’s talk details. Australia’s unique unit is the Digger, a burly alternative to the standard infantry of the modern era, who excels at fighting on foreign soil and coastal tiles. This makes for some supreme Gallipoli-style shore assaults (except more successful), as well as a pretty handy boon when defending your own coastal cities—which you will have a lot of due to the extra housing Australia’s unique ability provides. 

Darwin hasn t changed much in the last 3,000 years.

While there are rich rewards for founding a city on the coast, especially if it happens to be surrounded by sheep, cattle, and horses, Australia is also able to make use of its vast sunburnt plains thanks to the Outback Station tile improvement. This dusty domicile is at its dinkum-est when within range of a cluster of pastures (which themselves set off a ‘culture bomb’ when improved—much better than it sounds) or more outback stations. So when you see some precious resource in the middle of the desert surrounded by shit-all else, it may still be a viable settling location. Alongside conquering the globe with your regime of mateship, there’s a new scenario to play that goes by the name ‘Outback Tycoon’ (okay guys, we get it). This is a purely peaceful scenario and is surprisingly fun in spite of this. It was a pleasant change to be forced to focus on economics and expansion and not even be given the option of conflict, considering my generally bloodthirsty approach to the game. You can choose to play as the premier of Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, or Western Australia, and each have their own leadership bonuses like any other civilization, although they are a little less powerful. You set off from New South Wales in the year 1814 AD and immediately begin the process of exploring and settling the vast continent—and it truly is massive, complete with aptly located natural wonders and resources. You then have 60 turns to blossom into a booming business state, with the dollars that you rake in every turn counting as your score.Generally I find that you’re either a scenario person or you’re not, and even though I’m in the latter camp, this was by far one of the better and more involved scenarios I’ve played in strategy games over the years. It felt genuinely specialised and non-tokenistic, with relevant civic policy, research, worker units, and even these adorable messages that would pop up and tell me that my explorer has permanently lost a movement point because he was “harassed by dingoes”. 

The pleasure you get out of this DLC will boil down to how seriously you take it, and how seriously you already take the Civilization franchise. For some of us, it may be a little ‘too real’ having to decide if 2017-Australia should support and expand its mining industry in order to satisfy international trading partners, even if it means sacrificing some of the globe's last remaining national parks and all hope at conservationism—all while a fiddle and a didgeridoo slowly drone through a somber rendition of Waltzing Matilda. But for others, they’ll just nuke France then go to bed.Oh, and the flag is a kangaroo.

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

Since its arrival last October, Firaxis and 2K's Civilization 6 has launched a host of updates, a catalogue of player-made mods, and its Australian Summer DLC—which sees the land Down Under enter the fold for the first time in the entire Civ series. If you're yet to experience any of that, it's also now launched a free demo. 

Downloadable via Steam, players who do so will assume control of China's Qin Shi Huang and play out 60 turns in charge of The Red Dragon. World domination can be levied by way of the Crouching Tiger Cannon, a ranged gunpowder unit; and the Great Wall improvement, where early game defence and gold transitions to culture and tourism—however you should consult Civ expert T.J. Hafer's full rundown over here

Here's how T.J. summed up Civilization 6 in his review last year: "Sight, sound, and systems harmonize to make Civilization 6 the liveliest, most engrossing, most rewarding, most challenging 4X in any corner of the earth."

Alongside the free demo, 2K is running a Publisher Weekend Sale which will net you discounts on Civ 6's full release, as well as the likes of XCOM 2 and Mafia 3. More information on that can be found this way.

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We’ve released a free demo today for Civilization VI, available to download for all PC Steam users. To download the demo, simply head on over to the Civilization VI Steam page and click the “Download PC Demo” button on the right.

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You’ll have the option to play as Qin Shi Huang on a fixed map with America, Egypt and Sumeria. You will also have the option to play the Civilization VI tutorial, which features Sumeria and Egypt. Both options are locked at 60 turns, and once you’ve reached the conclusion of the demo you will have the option to purchase Civilization VI or you can play the demo or the tutorial again. There is no limit to how many times you can play the demo.

For newcomers to Civilization VI and the Civilization franchise, we have put together a list of our top 10 tips that will help you build your empire and face early challenges like barbarians. You can access our Beginner’s Guide right here.

Today also marks the beginning of the 2K Publisher Sale on Steam. Should you enjoy your time with the free Civilization VI demo, you can purchase the full base game or Digital Deluxe version at a discounted price. This offer is valid through 10am PT on March 20, 2017.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - 2kasia*****01

With the Civilization VI demo now available, newcomers have the perfect opportunity to try out the latest entry in the Civilization series and start the expansion of their empire.
To help new players in their path to victory, we have compiled 10 basic tips on how to start a game of Civilization VI in the best way possible.

1. The first turn
You will start your game of Civilization VI with a Settler and a Warrior. The Settler will be the unit to found your first city so it is important that you find a suitable spot for it: source of water for the city’s growth, resources for food and production as well as landscapes (mountains, desert, rainforest) for bonuses. Send your Warrior out to explore but keep it close to your city in case of a Barbarian attack.



2. Take care of the Barbarian problem
Early on in a game of Civilization VI, Barbarians will be your main source of trouble. They will tend to send out Scouts to look for cities, so attack them when you see them because, if they report back to their camp, they will send more powerful units to attack your city. Build some Warriors and Slingers early to defend your city, and clear Barbarians camps so you can focus on the growth of your empire.

3. Know the map
The map is one of the most important features of Civilization VI and it is crucial that you understand and explore your surroundings. Look for Resources or sources of water, ideal city spots; find Mountains or Rainforest tiles for district bonuses; explore the seas for new settlements. Send Scouts around your empire and let them initiate first contact with City-States and Leaders so you can be aware of potential allies or enemies.

4. Plan your cities
Civilization VI allows you to organize your cities the way you want. Unlike previous games in the franchise, you now have the possibility to build districts around the city centre and placement will play a very important part in your strategy. For example, placing the Science district near mountains will grant you extra Science points every turns while placing the Commercial district next to rivers will bring more revenues. Plan your cities and specialize them to get the most out of your empire.

5. Make friends
You are not alone in this wide world. As you explore the map around you, you will encounter City-States that can be turned into powerful allies. Send Envoys to a City-State to get extra Gold, Science or Culture for example. You will also have the opportunity to become the Suzerain of a City-State and earn unique rewards that can greatly change the outcome of your game.



6. Learn about the Eureka moments
Science and Culture will allow you to unlock new Techs and Civics in order to grow your empire, all leading to new units, districts and Wonders for your empire. Specific in-game actions will trigger Eurekas, reducing the time needed to research some Techs and Civics. Settling a city on a coast will give you a boost for the Sailing technology, while defeating a unit with a Slinger will trigger the Eureka for Archery. If you want to know more about all Eureka moments, simply check the Tech and Civics tree.

7. Choose a leader that fits your play style
In the Civilization VI demo you can play as China, led by Qin Shi Huang. In the full game of Civilization VI there are 19 civilizations available to play, offering different bonuses, unique units, and buildings, districts, or tile improvements. Each of them play very differently and will fit into different types of playstyles. China, for example, can complete Wonders faster thanks to its unique bonuses and the ability of its Builders, while Rome will favour territorial expansion and trade to accumulate Gold. Spain will tend to play an aggressive Religious game with various military bonuses linked to fighting civilizations with different religions.

8. Know which victory to go for
There are different ways to win in Civilization VI and it is important to understand the requirements for the four types of victories: Domination, Culture, Science and Religious. The easiest one to start with would be the Domination victory that requires you to create a strong army and occupy all capital cities on the map. Be the first empire to start a space program and colonize Mars for the Science victory; have all civilizations adopt your religion for the Religious victory or attract the highest number of tourists for a Culture win. It is all up to you and your playstyle.



9. Adjust the difficulty
If it is your first time playing a Civilization game, a great way to start is to play on “Settler” difficulty. For beginners, it is a great way to learn the basics of Civilization gameplay without worrying too much about the AI controlled civs and Barbarians attacking you.

10. Check the Civilopedia
Here’s an important one: the Civilopedia is your best friend. Simply click on the “?” tab at the top right of the screen to get access to it. From leader abilities, to units, district bonuses, and details of each resource, you will find everything you need to understand the different aspect of the game and what is needed for you to build a strong empire through the ages.

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You are now prepared to get started in Civilization VI. Don’t hesitate to share your experience and tips with us on social media with the hashtag #OneMoreTurn, and be sure to follow the Civilization franchise on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and information on Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

         
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