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Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - 2kschug


Master strategist.  Respected diplomat. Honored student. Chandragupta Maurya of India was all of those things and became legend amongst his people because of it. In his time, he toppled a corrupt empire, then succeeded in pushing the boundaries of his kingdom and worked to better the lives of his subjects. Then he voluntarily walked away from it all.

Born sometime in the 3rd Century BCE, Chandragupta’s early life remains somewhat of a mystery. Though some accounts speak of his connection to a family with a noble warrior tradition, other accounts claim he was born a commoner, orphaned at an early age. Regardless, Chandragupta earned a reputation as a clever and charismatic man – so much so that the great Chanakya mentored him. Thanks to the legendary politician and philosopher, Chandragupta received a crash course in politics, the arts, and military tactics.

Ever the masterful strategist, Chanakya had a plan: he hoped his pupil could challenge the Nanda dynasty, a government widely perceived as corrupt. Chandragupta proved worthy of his tutor’s confidence, for he soon raised an army. By 322 BCE he overthrew the Nanda, installed himself as ruler of the kingdom of Magadha, and established the Mauryan dynasty.

Chandragupta next turned to the lands held by the successor-states of Macedon. Although Alexander the Great had perished before Chandragupta’s ascent to the throne, his conquest of the Indus valley needed to be addressed. Chandragupta kept extending his kingdom until he pressed against the newly-formed Seleucid Empire. The Seleucid-Mauryan War, lasting from 305 to 303 BCE, would end with Seleucus ceding Macedon’s Indian satrapies to the Mauryan king. To show there were no hard feelings, and knowing Seleucus cared more about his successor state rivals to his west and south, Chandragupta gifted 500 war elephants to the basileus.

Chandragupta’s empire extended all the way from modern day Afghanistan to southern India. Yet conquest was not Chandragupta’s only strength. Throughout his reign, Chandragupta proved himself a canny ruler who cared for his people. He built roads, irrigation systems, and expanded trade routes to improve the lives of his people. He was also clever enough to ensure the loyalty of his soldiers by providing them finery and servants in their garrisons.

Chandragupta met the sage Bhadrabahu near the end of his life, who taught him the precepts of Jainism, a religion promoting spiritual enlightenment and nonviolence through ascetic living. Following this new code, Chandragupta abdicated his throne to his son, Bindusara. He sought enlightenment, going on a pilgrimage to a cave in southern India. There he meditated until his death, fulfilling his ultimate goal of spiritual purity by giving up literally everything—his throne, kingdom, riches, and even food.

Chandragupta’s death was not the end of his dynasty, though. The Mauryan Empire would last another century. Inspired by his actions, Chandragupta’s successors—especially his grandson, Ashoka—followed his combined examples of expansion and spiritual enlightenment.
 
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.

Chandragupta is one of the nine new leaders coming with Civilization VI: Rise and Fall when the expansion releases on February 8, 2018.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

In what you might call a study in contrasts, last's week announcement of the upcoming addition of the Netherlands to Civilization 6, led by the Mary Poppins-esque Queen Wilhelmina, has been followed up by word today that the rapacious Mongol horde is on the way too, headed up by the mighty Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan united the tribes of northeast Asia, ushering in an era of unified law, religious tolerance, and relative peace between the tribes. But he's better remembered for the brutality of his campaigns: Following his victory over the Tatars, who had assassinated his father some years earlier, he ordered the killing of every Tatar male over three feet tall; after defeating the Taichi'ut, he had its leaders boiled alive. His grave has never been found, according to legend because his funeral party killed everything it saw on the way to his final resting place, so nobody would know where was buried. 

Harsh, but fair. 

The Mongolian unique unit is the Keshig, fast-riding horse archers with the ability to make civilian and support units move at a faster-than-normal rate. Its unique improvement is the Ordu, a "palace tent," which grants a movement bonus to light and heavy cavalry, and its unique Civilization ability is the Örtoo, a sort of "combat-focused trading route" that confers bonuses to Combat Strength and Diplomatic Visibility.   

Genghis Khan himself boasts the unique Mongol Horde ability, which gives a combat bonus to all Mongol cavalry-class units, as well as a chance to increase the size of his army by capturing enemy cavalry units. 

The Mongolians will join Civilization 6 in the Rise and Fall expansion, scheduled to come out on February 8.   

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - 2kschug


Genghis Khan once demanded two Tug (“Spirit”) Banners: One made of white horse hide for times of peace, and another of black horse hide for all the other times. Upon his death, his soul was alleged to live on in the black banner. This is how the feared “Universal Ruler” of the Mongol Empire lived – and died.

At his birth in 1162 CE, legends tell of a boy clenching a blood clot at birth – a sign that he would one day be a great leader. Born Borjigin Temujin (the later translates as “blacksmith”), scholars say he was named after a captured tribal chieftain as a taunt. At 9, he was betrothed to marry Borte, the daughter of the neighboring Konkirat tribe’s chieftain. Within a year, the boy would be ostracized by his tribe, his father assassinated by the Tartars and by 16 he would kill his half-brother. All the while, his mother Hoelun coached Temujin in statesmanship, influencing allies and controlling enemies.

Temujin began amassing troops in his 20s. It started with his brothers as a fighting unit going on raids of their own. He would gradually build his army until it became a feared 20,000-strong force. Next, he'd go on to defeat the Tartars and exhibit the brutality he would become known for in avenging his father. It didn’t stop there. He ordered the death of every Tartar male above three feet tall.

By 1206, Temujin united the tribes of the steppes. This is when he received the title 'Genghis Khan'. He then proceeded to issue the Yassa, a collection of divine laws governing everything from property to marriage to civil service designating its execution to his second son, Chagatai.

The Yassa would do away with the common causes of tribal warfare, banning the kidnapping of wives and doing away with inherited titles. It also granted religious tolerance to his followers (as long as they recognized Genghis Khan as the final authority).

As he lay dying in his 60s, it has been said that Genghis Khan asked to be buried in secret with his six cats, hoping their purrs would guide him to the afterlife. Legend has it that the funeral escort killed anyone and anything that crossed their path to conceal his final resting place. After the tomb was completed, soldiers had 1,000 horses trample any evidence of his burial site and to this day, it remains hidden. Khan’s black spirit flag continued waving as his third son, Ogedei, would inherit and expand an empire stretching from the Caspian Sea in the west all the way to the East Sea.



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.

Genghis Khan returns in Civilization VI: Rise and Fall. There are a total of nine leaders and eight civilizations coming when the expansion releases on February 8, 2018.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

The Netherlands is a nation with a long and storied history, but it will steered into Civilization 6 by a ruler of a relatively recent vintage. Queen Wilhelmina ascended to the throne in 1890, when she was just ten years of age, and led the nation through both World Wars before abdicating in 1948—a reign of nearly 58 years. 

Wilhelmina's unique leader ability is Radio Oranje, named for her broadcasts to the Dutch resistance during the Second World War, which confers a loyalty bonus to cities originating trade routes to the Netherlands, and also a culture bonus for trade routes established with foreign cities. The Netherlands' unique ability is "Grote Rivieren," which grants major bonuses to Campuses, Theater Squares, and Industrial Zones when built near a river, and its unique improvement is the Polder, a man-made flood plain separated from the sea by dikes that provides food, production and housing from water tiles. 

On the military side of things (because it always comes to that, doesn't it?) the Netherlands brings to bear De Zeven Provinciën, a powerful, 80-gun ship of the line that helped make the nation a legitimate naval power in the 17th century. (Historical side note: It's also the name of a class of advanced air defense frigates that recently went into service with the Royal Netherlands Navy.) 

The Netherlands will join the Civilization 6 soiree in the Rise and Fall expansion, scheduled for release on February 8, 2018. Here's someone else you'll meet when it gets here, and everything else we know about it so far.   

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - 2kschug


Imagine knowing at four years old that you’re next in line to lead the Dutch. That’s exactly what happened for Queen Wilhelmina, whose rule of the Netherlands began when she turned 18. Queen Wilhelmina saw the dawn of the 20th century, the economic collapse of the 1930s and led through both World Wars.

Her nearly 58-year reign is often remembered for her role maintaining Dutch neutrality during World War I and inspiring the Dutch resistance during World War II. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom described the young Wilhelmina as pretty, polite, and intelligent, but Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany could attest to her wry wit. During a meeting prior to World War I, the Kaiser commented that his guards were “seven feet tall,” while Queen Wilhelmina’s were “only shoulder high.” She elegantly responded, “Quite true, Your Majesty, your guards are seven feet tall, but when we open our dikes, the water is ten feet deep!” The Netherlands maintained neutrality for the duration of World War I thanks to negotiations with the German Emperor—perhaps he remembered her threat. Despite Dutch neutrality, Wilhelmina supported a strong defense policy throughout the Great War.

The Dutch, well known for their trading, were blockaded by Allied forces by the close of WWI despite their claims of neutrality. Amidst all this, and around the wreckage of the world economy, Wilhelmina’s prudent investments would see her become one of the wealthiest people in the world. At least until Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10th, 1940.

Queen Wilhelmina declared a “flaming protest” at the attacks on her territory. She fled the Netherlands, taking refuge in England and sending her family to Canada for the war’s duration. Her departure was a calculated rather than cowardly move— if she remained, her people would assume collaboration. Wilhelmina’s departure declared her resistance. Her government-in-exile remained in London until the war’s end, and she encouraged occupied territories to remain strong on Radio Oranje. Spurred on by her words, the Dutch resistance fought on until her return in 1945. 


 
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.

Wilhelmina is one of the nine new leaders coming with Civilization VI: Rise and Fall when the expansion releases on February 8, 2018.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Fraser Brown)

korea

Today, Firaxis has been shining a spotlight on Korea, one of the new civs coming to Civilization 6 with the launch of the Rise and Fall expansion, due out in February. Korea s led by Queen Seondeok, who by all accounts was a pretty great ruler, heralding a renaissance in the historical kingdom of Silla. She did have to contend with dumb blokes who were scared of women rulers, however. Take a look at the first look video below.

(more…)

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

Korea is coming to Civilization 6, led by the formidable Queen Seondeok, the first Queen of Silla, which along with Baekje and Goguryeo made up the Three Kingdoms of Korea. As described by Wikipedia, Queen Seondeok's reign was not without its problems, including wars with with Baekje and Goguryeo and an uprising led by men who believed that women aren't fit to rule. But she reigned for 15 years, during which she put welfare policies into place, invested heavily in education, and is credited with encouraging "a renaissance in thought, literature, and the arts." 

Korea's unique district in Civ 6 is the Seowon, an upgrade to the Campus, which provides a fixed yield of science. That yield is reduced by districts built next to it, but Korea's unique ability, Three Kingdoms, grants bonus science to mines, and bonus food to farms, that are built adjacent to Seowon—an interesting (and worthwhile) tradeoff.   

The Hwacha unique unit is a mobile ballista mounted on a two-wheeled cart that's capable of rapidly launching 100 rocket arrows, or 200 Chongtong bullets, against distant targets. It's "much more powerful than its Renaissance-era counterparts," and enabled a small number of Korean defenders to repel an invading Japanese force of nearly ten times its size in the Battle of Haengju in 1593. 

The in-game queen reflects her real-life counterpart with the Hwarang unique ability, which grants bonuses to science and culture in all cities with an established governor. 

Details about the coming Korean civ are up at civilization.com. Korea will be added to Civilization 6 in the big Rise and Fall expansion that's coming on February 8. Here's everything we know about it so far.   

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - 2kschug


Long before Seondeok was crowned Queen of Silla (now Korea), legends tell of her being incredibly clever. That insightfulness made her a diplomat to be respected and a strategist to be feared.

With no male successors, Seondeok became the rightful heir after King Jinpyeong’s death in 632. This lead to infighting and some outright rebellions – the notion of having a Queen instead of a King didn’t sit well with some factions.

One revolt leader claimed that a falling star signaled Seondeok wasn’t fit to lead. That it was a sign of the end of her reign. The Queen’s solution: Fly a burning kite high in the night sky to signal that the star is back in its place.   

All the while, she still set about major projects to improve the lives of the Sillan people. Welfare policies were put in place to help the most impoverished citizens. She invested heavily in education, allowing knowledge in the arts and sciences to flourish during her rule. Seondeok commissioned the Cheomseongdae, an astronomical observatory to be built in Silla’s capital. It’s no wonder that Seondeok’s big in-game bonus is for science. And while Buddhism was already the state’s religion, she integrated it further into society, refurbished old temples and broke ground on many new ones.

The Queen did all this during her 15-year reign while also fending off neighboring kingdoms. It was through her ability to balance shrewd diplomacy with threats of force when needed that she even accomplished what some would think impossible: Forging an unlikely alliance with Tang Dynasty China.

Seondeok not only managed to get China to support Silla militarily, she also rejected stepping down for them to rule in her stead. While she didn’t live to see it, Seondeok put pieces in motion to let Silla thrive by pitting neighboring kingdoms against each other…and getting one step closer to a united Korea.



UNIQUE DISTRICT: SEOWON
Replacing the Campus district, the Seowon is home to many academic endeavors. Built into the hills, they functioned as both Confucian shrines and scenic preparatory schools in 16th Century Korea. Seonbi (intellectual aristocracy during the Joseon Dynasty) sympathized with the commoners’ plights and this philosophy found its way into the Seowons – attended largely by aristocratic children. These academies became ideal places to discuss politics and explore new ideas regarding Neo-Confucianism, Korea’s contemporary culture and government.



UNIQUE UNIT: HWACHA
The hwacha is an unassuming two-wheeled cart, but this mobile ballista was deadly in the defense of Korea. A hwacha could launch a hundred rocket arrows against distant targets in seconds. Or, with a changeable module, fire off 200 Chongtong bullets.

Hwachas are considered to have turned the tide of the Imjin War. From 1592 – 1598, hwacha were widely used to aid in repelling Japanese invasions – roughly 50 units deployed in Hanseong (modern day Seoul) and another 80 along the northern borders. The most telling victory came during the Battle of Haengju where Korean soldiers beat back a force ten times its size thanks to 40 hwachas.

UNIQUE CIV ABILITY: THREE KINGDOMS
Korea’s unique ability is called “Three Kingdoms” and to make the most of it, be sure to build mines and farms adjacent to a Seowon. Mines receive bonus science and farms will yield bonus food from this placement.

UNIQUE LEADER ABILITY: HWARANG
Seondeok improved the lives of her subjects through education. Take advantage of that with Hwarang. It grants players a bonus to both science and culture in all cities with an established governor.

Seondeok is one of the nine new leaders coming with Civilization VI: Rise and Fall when the expansion releases in early 2018.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

The tail-end of Steam’s Autumnal sale sees a few old favourites lingering with the usual suspects in the charts this week. The discounts that got them here are all gone now, but it’s only a couple of weeks now before everything goes completely bonkers for the Winter Sale, and you can expect to see all the same names deeply discounted once more. (more…)

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - Valve
Save 50% on Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Also, the Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI: Rise and Fall expansion is now available to Pre-Purchase!

*Offer ends Thursday at 4PM Pacific Time
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