Cleopatra leads Egypt in Civilization VI—who else?

by: Randy -
More On: Civilization VI

If we're talking ancient civilizations that appear in Sid Meier's Civilization games, you pretty much have to start somewhere on or around Ancient Egypt. This video talks about the Egyptian empire and its forever famous pharoah, Cleopatra, and how her strategic role evolves in Civilization VI.

Egypt builds districts and Wonders faster if build along a river. Naturally, this mimics the progression of real-life Ancient Egypt. Which is fine, but kinda takes out some of the fun of starting in an ahistorical location for the sake of min/maxing your build strategy. I mean, along a river is typically a great place to start building any civiliization. But now you'll never want to start Egypt anywhere else, unless you're intentionally stunting your inherent bonuses as a civ.

Also, trade routes play a big role in Egypt's influence throughout the game. Egypt gets bonus gold if it starts a trade route with another civ. Egypt also gets bonus gold if another civ starts a trade route with Egypt. However, if you're an external civ, you also get bonus food for starting up trade with Egypt. This makes them a valuable trade partner for anybody, and bolsters the usefulness of steady trade. As opposed to just opening up a trade screen with a civ's leaders, where I personally never felt like the computer A.I. ever tried giving me a fair deal.

Egypt's unique unit is a chariot archer. They're fast, especially if starting in open terrain, but the video implies their movement is hindered in not-open terrain. 

And Egypt's unique tile improvement is The Sphinx. It provides faith and culture to your civ, and rakes in further bonuses when built next to a Wonder. So, obviously, you're going to want to build the Sphinx next to the Pyramids, to really start pulling in culture awards in the early game.

Again, I like the idea of tile-improvement crafting these kinds of bonuses, but they make it seem like your early game as Egypt will play out the exact same way every single time: 1) Plunk down on a river, 2) build the Pyramids at Giza, 3) build the Sphinx right next to the Pyramids. Sure, you could change up that process. Maybe your Wonder ends up being the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or whatever. But the early game largely seems a little too preordained, unless you intentionally or unintentionally get beaten to the punch on those Pyramids. Which would be difficult to do, since you, as Egypt, build Wonders faster than any other civ—if you started on a river, which you will do, of course, because it'd be silly to play as Egypt and not take advantage of those bonuses.

I'm talking myself in circles here. Boy am I excited to see Civilization VI in action. The series basically coined the "just one more turn" -itis of turn-based strategy gaming. And I'm excited to see what direction these strategic and logistic changes take the game.

Civilization VI launches on PC this October 21.

2K and Firaxis Games today revealed that Cleopatra will lead Egypt in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, launching on Oct 21st for Windows PC.
Born Cleopatra Thea Philopater in 69 BC, the Egyptian ruler set forth on a path to power that left many lives in her wake. At the age of 14, after many of her rivals had been poisoned or executed, she was made regent and deputy to her father, Ptolemy XII. Four years later, her father passed away, leaving Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIII (who was only ten years old at the time) as joint rulers of Egypt. Cleopatra, now married to her younger brother, had no intention of sharing power, and eventually had all mention of her brother erased from public records. Ptolemy XIII fled and she had become the sole leader and pharaoh of Egypt.
In the years to follow, Cleopatra would strike up romances with powerful Roman figures such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and ally Ancient Egypt with some of the most important figures of the time. Throughout her rule, it was these choices that would eventually cause the fall of the Egyptian empire at the hands of Rome.
Unique unit: Maryannu Chariot Archer
The Maryannu Chariot Archer is a hereditary class of nobles riding in two-man light chariots. This style of chariot offered a stable base for archers and more room for ammunition, but had its limitations when it came to terrain. Horses and chariots posed maintenance complications, especially during longer campaigns, but the Maryannu were ultimately one of the more elite units in the pharaoh’s army.
Unique Improvement: Sphinx
The Egyptian sphinx is a mythical creature comprised of a human’s head atop a lion’s body. The sphinx was a common theme for pharaohs obsessed with strength, eternity and wisdom, and ranged in size from small to great – the latter of which is seen in the oldest known monumental sculpture existing today: the “Great Sphinx” of Giza.  
For more information, please see 2K’s official Civilization blog: