I made a silent promise to myself that I wouldn’t post every single new leader/civ reveal for Civilization VI [official site] because, really, do you need a video to tell you that France is likely to have some big cultural advantages based around museums, and that Japan might have its own warrior code, and cities that enjoy the benefits that come from island life and seafood? The Egyptian video is a good one though, teasing out some details of the new adjacency bonuses for improvements, and the ways that early game strengths might change through the course of a campaign.
Trade could turn out to be one of Civ VI’s secret weapons. The video explains how Egypt’s trading bonuses are mutually beneficial for both partners, making Cleopatra a good friend even when her civilization’s early wonder-focused boosts have faded. Ideally, I’d like Civ VI to create interesting decisions regarding useful trade partners, in that keeping them safe and strong might be more useful than conquering them or allowing them to decline.
As far as the new district mechanic goes, Egypt benefits from speedy construction provided they’re building near a river. It’s not much of a stretch to see how a focus on river-related religious ideas might create a certain character for an Egyptian civilization in the early game, and that emphasis on the importance of geography as well as technology is one of Firaxis’ goals with the game.
What they don’t tell you here is that Cleopatra has almost zero respect for anyone with a feeble army, which led to problems when I encountered her earlier in the year. The AI has one historical trait and one selected randomly, and if you’re not packing some serious military power, Egypt is likely to treat you with disdain or outright scorn going by my brief experiences. What’s interesting about that is how reactive the AI is, and how dynamic the reactions are, so if you’re coming off the back of a long but successful war and have suffered heavy losses, Cleopatra might identify your post-war reconstruction as a temporarily weakened state. On the flipside, if her own armies have taken a beating, she may be quick to bury grudges.
Maybe it’s just the over-expressive animations but watching the video was the first time I realised quite how much the leaders remind me of Sims.
Civ VI is out October 21st.