Sid Meier’s Civilization 6: The Leaders

Recently, we have written an article about Civilization 6 gameplay and release date. As the game launch day is closer, Firaxis Games reveals more details such as new civilizations, leaders and their unique abilities every week. Today, I will show you some of the news and features of civilizations we know about so far.

Each of the Civilizations has its own leader, Civilization ability, Leader ability, unique unit or even a couple of units and a unique building, district or tile improvement. Over the summer months, we have been seeing new videos showing us the civilizations and their leaders that we will be able to play upon the release of the game and here they are!


Theodore Roosevelt will be leading America in this Civilization: he has a leader ability called Roosevelt Corollary which gives +5 combat strength to units on America’s home continent and +1 appeal to all tiles with a National Park. He also brings a unique unit, Rough Rider, which is unlocked when you discover Rifling. The unit gains combat bonus on hills and gains culture for units killed on America’s home continent. It also has reduced maintenance cost.

America’s civilization ability is Founding Fathers, which earns all government legacy bonuses in half the usual time. There is another unique unit, P-51 Mustang, which is an air unit that has an extended range and bonuses against fighter air crafts. In the modern era, you can build America’s unique building, Film Studio, which replaces the Broadcast Tower. It is built in the Theater Square and it boosts tourism. Check out the video below to see more of America and let us know if they will be your first civilization to win the game with.


Victoria has been picked to lead the English civilization to victory. Her ability is Pax Britannica, which gives you a free melee unit if you settle on a different continent than your home continent. When you discover the Military Science technology, you unlock the unique gunpowder unit Redcoat. These get a bonus when fighting on different continents and can disembark without using a movement point. England’s ability is British Museum; each archaeology museum holds 6 artifacts instead of 3 and can support 2 archaeologists at once. There is another unique unit, Sea Dog, which replaces the naval unit Privateer, allows you to bully weaker units and can capture enemy ships.

Royal Navy Dockyard is a unique district of the English civilization. It replaces the Harbor, providing bonus gold on other continents and Great Admiral points. All Naval units built in this district will have bonus movement points. See the video below to decide if England will be the first civilization that you want to conquer the world with!


The Egyptian civilization is led by Cleopatra. Egypt’s unique ability is called Iteru. It gives a bonus where districts and wonders are built and is +15% faster if placed next to a river and if the floodplains do not block the placement of districts and wonders. Egyptian unique unit is Maryannu Chariot Archer. It’s a mounted raged unit, which gains bonus movement when their turn is started on open terrain.

Cleopatra’s ability provides +4 gold for Egypt for trade routes to other civilizations and, when another civilization has a trade route to Egypt, it provides +2 food for them and +2 gold for Egypt. Their unique building is the Sphinx; it provides culture and faith. When Sphinx is placed next to a wonder, it provides additional bonuses. For more information, see the video below! Will Egypt be your first civilization to take on the world?


Hojo Tokimune is the leader of Japanese civilization. His unique ability is Divine Wind, which gives +5 combat strength to units in land tiles that are next to coast and +5 combat strength to naval units that are in shallow water tiles. He also allows building holy site, encampment and Theater Square in half the time.

The unique ability of Japanese civilization is Meiji Restoration; adjacency bonus is given to all districts when a district is placed next to another one. Japanese unique building is the Electronics Factory; it replaces factory and provides bonus production and culture to nearby cities. Samurai is a special unit of Japanese army, which is unlocked with Military Tactics. When the unit takes damage, it doesn’t lose any combat strength. Check out the video below and let us know if an army of Samurai will be your way to win the first game of Civilization 6.


The leader of China in Civilization 6 is Qin Shi Huang. His unique ability is called The First Emperor. When building Ancient and Classical wonders, you can spend builder charges to complete 15% of the original wonders cost. Chinese builders receive one additional charge. Their unique building is actually a tile improvement – Great Wall. It provides defence and gold and also provides tourism and culture bonuses in the later eras.

The Chinese special ability is Dynastic Cycle. Their Eurekas and Inspirations provide 60% of the cost of their technologies and civics, instead of 50%. Crouching Tiger is their unique unit. It is a short ranged unit with high power and it doesn’t require any special resources to be built. To see more on how the Great Wall is built, check out the video below!


Montezuma leads the Aztec civilization. His unique ability is called Gifts for the Tlatoani and the luxury resources in Aztec’s land provide an amenity to 2 extra tiles. Military units receive +1 combat strength for each different luxury resource improved in Aztec territory. Legend of the Five Suns is Aztec’s special civilization ability. It allows you to spend builder charges to rush construction of districts; 1 charge provides 20% of the original district production cost.

Their unique unit is Eagle Warrior; it replaces the warrior and it can turn defeated enemy units into builders. Aztec’s civilization won’t be available for everyone at the launch day of Civilization 6. It is included in any pre purchase version of the game and it will be unlocked for free to all players after 90 days since the release date. Check out the video below to see if Aztec might be the civilization you want to prevail with.


The French leader is Catherine de Medici. Her ability is called Catherine’s Flying Squadron and it allows you to gain 1 additional level of diplomatic visibility with every other civilization you meet. When the castle technology is discovered, you can recruit an extra spy. Grand Tour is the unique ability of French civilization – it gives +20% production towards Medieval, Renaissance and Industrial era wonders. Tourism from wonders of all eras is doubled.

The French unique unit is called Garde Imperiale, which earns Great General points from killing enemies and gets a bonus when fighting on the home continent. France has Chateau as it’s unique tile improvement but it must be built adjacent to a river. When it’s built near wonders, it provides culture and special bonuses. To see more about the power of French in civilization 6 check out the video below. Will this be your favourite civilization to play?


Pedro II takes the lead of Brazil in Civilization 6. His unique ability is called Magna nimous. After patronising or recruiting a great person, 20% of the point cost is refunded. Amazon is Brazil’s ability. The rainforest tiles provide +1 adjacency bonus for Theater Square, Holy Site, Commercial Hub and Campus districts. They also provide +1 housing for Neighbourhoods built adjacent to them.

The Brazilian unique unit is Minas Geraes, it is a naval unit unlocked by the Nationalism civics and it has improved defence and ranged combat values. Street Carnival is a unique district of the Brazilian civilization. It replaces the Entertainment Complex and allows the city to begin the Carnival city project, which turns Production into extra amenities. Completing the Carnival city project provides extra great person points. See the video below for more information of Brazil’s game play and let us know if this will be your first civilization to play!


Scythian civilization is led by Queen Tomyris, whose unique ability allows troops to receive a combat bonus when they attack wounded units and heal upon killing an enemy unit. People of the Steppe is Scythian unique ability. When building a light cavalry or the unique Saka Horse Archers unit, you will receive two units instead of one. Saka Horse Archers is a highly mobile mounted unite; however, it doesn’t require horses to be built. The unique tile improvement for Scythia is called Kurgan, which provides faith and gold as well as additional bonuses if placed next to pastures. It can’t be built on hills or next to another Kurgan. Check out the video to see if Queen Tomyris will be the first leader you play as in Civilization 6!


Frederick Barbarossa is the leader of Germany in Civilization 6. His unique ability is called Holy Roam Emperor, which gives an extra slot for a military policy card. Units fighting city-state units will gain bonus combat strength against them. Free Imperial Cities is a German unique ability, which allows each city to build one more district than its current housing limit normally allows. German unique unit is U-Boat – a naval unit with low production cost and combat bonus when fighting in deep ocean. The unique district of German civilization is Hansa. It replaces the industrial zone and gains bonus production if placed next to a Commercial Hub, adjacent districts or resources. See the video for more information about Germany. Will German army be the way to win your first game of Civilization 6?


The Spanish civilization is led by Philip II. His unique ability is called El Escorial and it gives combat bonus against and city-states that follow other religions. It also gives +1 charge to inquisitors. Treasure Fleet is the civilization unique ability of Spain and it provides extra yields from inter-continental trade routes. It also allows Spain to combine ships into fleets earlier than other civilizations.

Their unique tile improvement is called Mission, which provides faith. When a Mission is built next to a campus, it also provides science. The Spanish unique unit is called Conquistador and it gains combat bonus when there is a Spanish missionary, inquisitor or an apostle on the same hex. When a city is captured and the Conquistador is adjacent to the captured city, it converts to Spain’s majority religion. Check out the video below to see some more of Spain and their power. Will religion be your weapon in the first game of Civilization 6?


The leader of India in Civilization 6 is Gandhi. Dharma is the Indian unique ability. Cities gain the follower beliefs of all religions practised within them. Gandhi’s ability Satyagraha gains faith per turn for each civilization he met  which has its own religion and is not at war. Civilizations at war with India suffer an additional happiness penalty. Varu is the unique unit of Indian army. It reduces combat strength of adjacent enemy units and penalties are cumulative for enemies adjacent to multiple Varu units.

Their unique tile improvement is called Stepwell, which provides housing and food. When placed adjacent to a farm, it provides additional food and when it is built adjacent to a Holy Site, it provides faith. See the video for more information on Indian civilization and let us know if Gandhi will be the first leader for you to try conquer the world!


The civilization of Kongo is led by Mvemba a Nzinga. His unique ability is called Religious Convert. It doesn’t allow building holy site districts, but receives the founder belief of his empire’s majority religion. Whenever M’banza or Theatre district is built he receives an apostle of the constructing city’s religion. M’banza is Kongolese unique district. It replaces the Neighbourhood district and it can be built earlier, which provides food and gold as well as housing. Nkisi is the Kongolese unique ability. Relics, artifacts and great works of sculpture provide production, food and gold. It gains an additional great artist and great merchant points each turn.

Ngao Mbeba is the unique unit, which replaces the swordsman unit. It doesn’t require iron to be built and does not suffer any movement or sight penalties in forests or jungles. When Ngao Mbeba fights against ranged units, it gains a defensive bonus against them. Have a look at the video below to see more of Kongo. Will this be your first civilization to win the first game with?


Harald Hardrada is the leader of Norway in Civilization 6. Norway has 2 unique units: Berserker and Viking Longship. Berserker is a melee unit, using one less movement to pillage tiles. It is weaker on the defence but stronger on the offensive. Viking Longship is a unique naval melee unit. It is able to heal while in neutral territory. Norwegian units have no movement cost to embark or disembark thanks to their unique ability, Knarr. It also allows naval and embarked units to enter ocean tiles upon researching Shipbuilding. Thunderbolt of the North is Harald’s unique leader ability. This allows melee ships to perform coastal raids to pillage improvements and districts on adjacent land tiles.

The Norwegian unique building is the Stave Church. It replaces the temple and provides additional faith adjacency bonuses from nearby wood tiles. Check out the video below and let us know if the naval army of Harald Hardrada will be your way to take on the world in Civilization 6.

That’s all the leaders that have been revealed so far. There will be another article with more specifics on remaining civilizations after they have been announced. Make sure to check our Gaming Page for more information about Sid Meier’s Civilization 6!

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