Three weeks ago, we did a preview on Civilization VI’s new expansion, Rise and Fall. Today, thanks again to the wonderful guys at 2k Games (and Firaxis), I’m here to review Rise and Fall proper.
Empire of the Sun
After having a go as Poundmaker of the Cree, I decided to try my second round as Seondeok of Korea. They’re primarily science based, with a pretty interesting campus effect, and so I thought that while they weren’t as exciting as Scotland or the recently revealed Shaka Zulu, I figured they’d be right up my alley.
In the second round, I feel like I got a better hand on the golden ages. It’s still hard to get there, but crank out enough wonders, districts and great people, and you’ll eventually get there. By the way, get the government district. It’s really powerful and the buildings you build really help to tailor your playstyle.
Back to golden ages. Golden ages are cool. Throughout the game, you try to rack up enough points in each age, a set period of time. Normal ages are… normal. Golden ages give you bonuses, and Dark ages, which occur when you don’t get enough points, grant you penalties. While a normal age gives you options for bonus points to help you to advance to a golden age, when you’re in a golden age itself, the bonuses you select boost your civilization itself, rather than the golden age points again. It makes sense; you’re already so far up the top, you wouldn’t want to widen your lead any more. (I also assume that the dark ages means that you probably get more dedications to perform, to help boost you back to a normal or golden age).
Besides, while it takes some sacrificing to get there (rushing wonders when you should be protecting your borders for example), the bonuses really rock. The science dedication skyrocketed Korea’s already awesome science (+4 science flat with a Seowon, Korea’s campus, is pretty amazing when you can build one per city), and have a look at some of the other dedications you can get!
One of the dedications I regret not getting is a war of the golden age. GET THAT: GOLDEN AGE WAR. I regret not figuring out how to get that. Any chance to decrease your warmonger penalty is always a good thing, and by the time I hit the renaissance I was riding high and ready to destroy my neighbour, the haughty Spaniards.
I was doing my usual strategy of turtling all the way until I got a decisive advantage in tech before unleashing hell, and let me tell you the hwacha does that in spades. A unique improvement (of the crossbowman I believe), it isn’t able to move and attack like other ranged units, but LOOK AT THAT ATTACK POWER. 60! When things in the same age are like 30-45! I mowed through Spain with my fusillade of fireworks.
I even got to see a smattering of the new loyalty mechanic at play. When I was demolishing Spain’s cities, and especially after I had conquered their capital Madrid, their whole civilization was thrown into chaos. Cadiz, their nearest city to me, even started rebelling, and eventually flipped into a free city. If I had a bit more time and patience, I would have waited them out and let them come to me on my own, since having cities defect prevents their population from decreasing or their buildings from being pillaged. However, I wanted to end the war quick (my own cities were getting unruly due to war weariness), so I decided to rain rocket-propelled death and destruction on them all. That being said, I like that you’re able to weaponize unhappiness now, and look forward to peaceably turning cities to my civilization in the future.
And that’s when the governors began to shine. Governors are people that you can only assign to a city, and that buffs that specific city. At that point already, I had already gotten the Educator, Surveyor, Diplomat and Financier to varying levels, so distributing them amongst my newly conquered cities allowed me to quickly bolster their loyalty, while simultaneously using their abilities to quickly rebuild all that pillaged land and districts. I think the steward might have made a better bet than the financier, but well… you play with what you got. One thing that was a bit frustrating was how long they took to set up in a city, but I guess you got to have that for balance purposes.
I’m only thankful that I had barely met the other civilizations at this time (I was playing on a small 4-civ map just to make sure things finished as quickly as possible), I can’t imagine what the emergencies against me would’ve been like.
Rise or Fall?
So, after all that time, whats the decision on Rise and Fall? I like it! For the price of an expansion, you get a pretty huge overhaul of the mechanics, and a whole bunch of new Civilizations. A LOT of militaristic ones, so if you’re of a conquering bent, I think this expansion is right up your alley. If you haven’t gotten Civ 6 yet, I think you’d do better to learn the base mechanics first, but then WHY HAVEN’T YOU GOTTEN CIVILIZATION VI YET??
Civilization VI: Rise and Fall releases today. And if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna go get my Mongol Horde all up in someone’s grill.