Civ 6 errects winter update, gets Polish & Viking DLCs

Merry Civmas, everyone! Sidta Claus has arrived with bulging Sid Meier’s Sack full of Sid Meier’s Presents for Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 [official site], giving all of Sid Meier’s Players a big update with Sid Meier’s Fixes and Sid Meier’s Tweaks, while Sid Meier’s Flush Sid Meier’s Players can Sid Meier’s Buy new Sid Meier’s DLC. The most exciting of the two new DLC packs adds Poland as a playable civilization, ruled by Jadwiga, while the other adds viking-y scenarios. But first, the foundations: let’s rap about AI improvements.

The Winter Update’s patch notes call out these AI improvements:

  • Improved AI Deal negotiations and analysis
  • Improved AI handling of Promises; including that they are more likely to agree if they like you, and also will consider how trustworthy a civ is by whether they’ve kept previous promises
  • Improved tactical handling of Great Admirals and Great Generals
  • Improved AI interest in Terracotta Army
  • Improved handling of leaf techs
  • Improved building of Forts
  • Improved resource grabbing in late game
  • Improved Last Viking King agenda’s analysis for who is in bottom percentage of navies
  • Improved handling of several complaint or kudo messages from AI
  • Rebalanced Catherine’s evaluation of the ‘no spying’ Promise
  • AI will not try to convert unconvertible cities

I know some players haven’t been best pleased with Civ 6’s AI so, if that’s you, do these changes cheer you much?

The patch notes also detail changes like a new Earth map, an ‘Alert’ ability for units making them sit and wait for enemies, a sound effect for quicksaving so you can be sure you’re safe, new art for National Parks, and plenty more. Get stuck into them for the full picture.

As for DLC, the Poland Civilization & Scenario Pack will cost you £3.99/4,99€/$4.99. Jadwiga brings with her Winged Hussars wearing Overwatch cosplay on horseback, the Sukiennice unique building to boost trade routes, and the ability to swipe land off other nations. The DLC also packs a 60-turn Scenario to defend Poland, Prague, and Vienna from folks like the Teutonic Knights and Ottoman Turks who are up to no good.

The Vikings Scenario Pack, for £3.99/4,99€/$4.99, offers six new City States, a 100-turn scenario to explore and raid, and new Natural Wonders in the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, Norway’s pretty Lysefjord, and Northern Ireland’s hexy Giant’s Causeway.


  1. MiniMatt says:

    Can’t recall when the pre-order only Aztecs were supposed to unlock for those who, you know, don’t pre-order – thought it should be round about now?

    • kabill says:

      “Approximately 3 months after release”. So I guess some time towards the end of January?

      • MiniMatt says:

        Ah, thanks, I guess the blood sacrifices will wait another month :o)

  2. distantlurker says:

    Well sentry (which the one thing I really, really wanted) doesn’t seem to work. & you can’t even try with ships.

  3. Someoldguy says:

    Not sure when I’ll have the time to try it out, but AI improvements will certainly be welcome.

    • klops says:

      The AI improvement seems to be towards diplomacy by the patch notes.

      So it seems that the AI still moves its units like a braindead and doesn’t understand the difference between 20 slingmen and 20 tanks. Or have these been already addressed? I uninstalled CIv6 after first weeks so I dunno.

      • Smoof says:

        This is what I also want to know. I’m pretty disappointed with myself that I fell for the hype of Civ 6, only to discover those praising the game must be absolutely clueless, given how awful the AI was/is.

        I’d like to go back to the game, but I want to know if the leaders are still basket cases and if they’ll still surround your cities with garbage units that they’ve just been cranking out.

      • carewolf says:

        The fix to AI handling of units is to remove the one-unit-per-tile idiocy. I had hoped they would fix that in this release, but it is still bugged, and the AI naturally still can’t cope with a retarded design decision.

  4. f4stjack says:


    • Landiss says:

      It was so weird, the intro had winged hussars (by the way, was it somehow different for Polish version?), but then the game itself didn’t.

      • carewolf says:

        Well they had to cut something out to release in DLCs, right?

  5. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Jadwiga is a bizarre choice of monarch for Poland. All she’s famous for is marrying Wladisław Jagiełło and giving birth to the Jagiełłonian dynasty. I would have gone with one of the more colourful characters, like Piłsudski or Jan Sobieksi.

    • RuySan says:

      It’s pretty evident there’s a female quota for leaders ever since Civ V. It makes sense sometimes (Victoria, Elizabeth, Catherine), while other times it’s just plain silly and forced (Catherine de Medici, Gorgo, Maria I of Portugal)

      • RedViv says:

        Why exactly is the Queen who kept Sparta alive while the rest of Greece nearly died, and Actually Historic Cersei, “plain silly and forced”?

      • Haplo says:

        Maria I was a bad choice, but Catherine de Medici is so so so so so good though!

        To a certain extent, Civ looks for that perfect mix of personality and competence- you want your leader to be someone who actually did an at least okay job, and you also want someone who catches the imagination. Someone storied.

        Catherine de Medici is pretty much perfect by that criteria. She had that mix: she was competent enough to hold her dying dynasty together amidst horrific religious turmoil and she was -the- image of the crafty, dangerous queen spider who used a mix of compromise, diplomacy, intrigue and propaganda to protect her child-kings and thwart her enemies.

        I mean, she’s a fairly decent run to be a (somewhat more competent) inspiration for Cersei Lannister, which is exactly the sort of pop that Civ looks for when it comes to its leaderheads.

        • Wulfram says:

          I’d think Cersei is mostly inspired by Margaret of Anjou, what with the whole Hundred Years War thing.

        • RuySan says:

          France is the country of Napoleon, Charlemagne, De Gaule and Louis XIV and you think a person who was queen for 12 years, and very few of those as actually a regent, is a good choice? Really?

          Same as Gorgo. She was a queen, but not a queen regent. Ok, so she had influence, but that doesn’t make her a ruler.

          Maria I was probably the worst. The intro text mentions her two “accomplishments”. Fleeing to Brazil when Portugal was conquered by Napoleon, and witnessing Brazil’s independence.

          • Sian says:

            Oh good grief, how often does it have to be said? Accomplishments mean nothing. The devs pick leaders they find interesting (and some fan favourites, of course).

          • RuySan says:

            Ok, Sian, I get that leaders don’t necessarly need to be the most famous one.

            The problem is that as a Portuguese i find offensive that they chose a religion fanatic that brought the country back to the dark ages and undid all the social and scientific progress of her predecessor.

            For a game that aims to me inspiring, I don’t buy that “interesting leaders” thing.

          • Haplo says:

            I’ll try to change the tack a little so you understand what I mean.

            By and large, when discussing whether a leader is appropriate or not for a civilization in Civ, it’s fine to have favourites, but there’s really no reason why a country should only be limited to a few personalities. France (to use the going example) is a big enough country to be able to sport a whole bunch of personalities who can be worthy of the position.

            That’s kind of the thing- it’s more constructive to work on this from a ‘is this person worthy (of a baseline level of worthiness)’ approach, instead of a disqualifying approach (especially when one of those disqualifications is ‘I don’t think they’re as good as XYZ, which is always going to be subjective’).

            To give an example, these are some of the issues I have with the disqualifying approach- not seen here, but I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere (a quick google search can verify):
            * Gandhi, India’s ruler (almost always!) despite never actually being in a position of official rulership/power
            * Victoria, England’s ruler even though the UK was pretty firmly a constitutional monarchy by the time with limited royal power
            * Frederick, Germany’s ruler even though he never ruled all of Germany
            * Oda, see above but for Japan

            Yet I don’t have any problem with any of these personally, I think they’re all good choices.

            That’s kind of the thing with Napoleon, de Gaulle, Louis and Charlemagne- they’ve all been leaders before too (Napoleon five times, de Gaulle and Louis twice, Charlemagne once- but of the Holy Roman Empire, not France), and that’s all great. Love ’em all. But there’s plenty of room for Catherine to be among them as well- after all, she was queen for twelve years as you say, but she was queen mother for 30, and it’s that period where she exerted a great deal of control over France and the French monarchy. She even through huge dollops of resources at the arts and building crap, which I think pretty much anyone who’s played Civ can attest is a very Civ thing to do. The question isn’t really whether she’s better or worse than Napoleon, Louis, etc, but whether or not she’s worthy on her own merits. I think she does, if you don’t, then that’s fine too, but my answer is still ‘yes, really’.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Thing is, there’s a dozen more recognizable and important rulers throughout France’s history that are just as colorful if not more so. Choosing Catherine makes it fairly obvious that they were specifically looking for a woman there.

          I’m not against trying to get some diversity in there, but sometimes they’re stretching it. I’d much rather have Napoleon or Charlemagne here.

          • Sian says:

            Napoleon’s been done several times already and Charlemagne was as much German as he was French; neither country existed at the time and he’s nowadays counted among both countries’ kings.

            Again: It’s not about fame or merit, but about who the devs think is interesting.

          • Shadow says:

            Yeah. The devs ultimately do whatever seems profitable in one way or another at the time. Brazil had never been a Civ, but in recent years the country became a growing gamers market so pop! It appeared on a Civ5 expansion and Civ6 vanilla since inroads had to be made into this new market.

            In recent years, and forgive me for the controversy, showing diversity for diversity’s sake is seen as progressive, so there’s the Civ5/BE/6 gender quotas. Yeah, technically most any ruler that ever was qualifies as a civ leader if the devs wish it so, but sometimes it’s just about what’s popular. It’s likely the main reason Gandhi was picked as a leader for India since Civ1 (other Indian leaders are virtually unknown to most westerners and Gandhi practically became a series staple), and I’d say it’s the same case for Gorgo: I doubt she’d have gotten any consideration at all if not for the 300 movies. It’s simply nuts that she’d be considered before her husband, for instance.

            PS: It could be said Catherine was as Italian as she was French, so you can’t really pull that card on Charlemagne.

      • morganjah says:

        The obvious and simple solution is to just let the player choose the gender of Napoleon.

    • Landiss says:

      Yeah, that’s an unfortunate choice, I would say. She is famous in Poland, but she didn’t really take much part in ruling, focusing on charity (even though she was officially a king, which maybe sounds weird, but the queen title only meant king’s wife). She is, however, the only Polish ruler to be canonized, although that was finished only in XX century. So you could say she had good PR. I think lots of people in Poland believe she was one of the best Polish rulers.

    • Laurentius says:

      That’s a quite a downplay of this historical fact. This marriage was first step for union between Poland and Lithuania, event that shaped those countires history for a next at least 400 hunded years. Also giving a rich iconography and litertury works, at least in Poland, she certainly was considerd as one of more colourful. This whole romance with Willliam Habsburg? I mean if most famoue polish historic painter memorizes you on such picture?

      link to

  6. Mungrul says:

    There’s a note in the Viking DLC that I could use some clarification of:

    “Play as Harald Hardrada of Norway, King Canute of the Danes, or Olof Skotkonung of Sweden.”

    Is that specific to the DLC scenario, or does the DLC add King Canute and Olof Skotkonung as separate leaders available in the main game too?

    • AngoraFish says:

      The DLC does not contain a new civ or new leaders. In fact, it includes less content than most mods and is right up there with horse armor for uselessness.

      All you get are 6 extra names added to the city state random name generator list, three additional natural wonder tiles to possibly discover (but generally not), and a scenario that virtually nobody has any interest in playing.

      No new civilizations, no new wonders to build, no new units to research, no significant additions to the base game at all… just, no.

      • Flavour Beans says:

        For what it’s worth, the city states are more than “6 extra names”. They all have their unique powers as well, two of which give you new terrain improvements you can build if you’re their suzerain (like La Venta’s Giant Heads). The natural wonders are there, just added into the shuffle: You might as well explain a new Civ as one to “possibly discover (but generally not)” if we’re talking about this in terms of encountering in game.

        And while YOU might not be interested in the scenario, a lot of people are; the scenario approach makes the multiplayer in Civ6 much more palatable for people who can’t invest the time, and really lets Civ6 feel like a dynamic board game platform in addition to its normal game.

        It might not be what you want out of this, and I want to see other stuff, too, but don’t let me get in the way of your hatefest.

      • Nouser says:

        As a Vinland Saga fan, not being able to play the Vikings as Canute makes me really sad.

  7. mr.kock says:

    That akward moment when you accidently misstake Giants Causeway to be not in Northen Ireland but Northen Iceland.

  8. Stilts says:

    Northern Island’s hexy Giant’s Causeway

    Um, that would be Northern Ireland. And why are we included in a Viking pack?

    • conor says:

      Phew glad someone else caught nothtern island.

    • Drakhoran says:

      There were quite a few Scandinavians in Ireland back in the day. Wasn’t Dublin supposedly founded by vikings?

      • Stilts says:

        Yeah, a lot of Ireland was. But so was a lot of England.
        I prefer two explanations for this:
        1) As mentioned by Ghostwise above, some Icelandic Vikings stole it while we weren’t looking
        2) Norn Iron are now considered Vikings. That way at the next Euros we get to wear the silly horned hats like all Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish fans.

  9. Calculon says:

    Alice – your posts almost always make me laugh – nice work.

  10. Erithtotl says:

    “Fixed multiple crashes”

    from the patch notes. For those who haven’t been playing much lately, last patch introduced a pretty common save destroying crash bug that has dozens of threads on the steam forums about it. I stopped playing it after two long games were ruined. Hopefully its addressed with this.

    • McGuit says:

      They may have fixed multiple crashes, but seem to have introduced more.
      Zero sum gain.
      Looking forward to this being addressed in the short term.
      Until then, I’m out.
      Shame since I really do like the game.

  11. mpk says:

    I’d quite like Firaxis to release a patch that turns my copy of Civ 6 into the interesting, dynamic game that Adam seemed to be playing for his review.

    Civ 6 isn’t as dull as Beyond Earth, but it’s a close run thing.

  12. Hedgeclipper says:

    “the ability to swipe land off other nations”

    Were they trying for a joke?