Apocalypse is the first game mode in Civilization VI, introduced in the Maya & Gran Colombia Pack. It is focused on disasters and climate change, and includes a new unit, two new disasters, a new Scored Competition and an end-game Apocalypse phase. It requires the Gathering Storm expansion to play.
The Apocalypse game mode turns up the heat of almost all changes introduced by the Gathering Storm expansion, forcing the player to really take into account disasters and climate, especially towards the end of the game! In this mode, the Disaster Intensity is set to 4 (Hyperreal), with all disasters even more intense and frequent than the Hyperreal setting of a normal game. This means more frequent disasters, which inflict greater damage!
Next, the mode introduces a new Support unit, the Soothsayer, who can trigger disasters and comes with special Promotion. In order to earn additional promotions for the Soothsayers, players will compete in a new Appease the Gods Competition, which triggers randomly throughout the game independently of the World Congress. During the Competition, the Soothsayer will have a special ability to sacrifice nearby military units to an active Volcano! Using Soothsayer charges will add 50 units of carbon each time (the opposite of a Carbon Recapture project), damaging the climate even before coal is discovered.
Climate Change will start at Phase I instead of None (10% Ice is lost and sea level starts at 0.5 meters), making it more likely to reach the more severe stages. The global temperature increase starts at 0° despite 2 Climate Change points being accumulated when the game begins, and will therefore max out at +3.0° instead of +4.0° compared to a regular game.
|Phase||Points||Sea Level Rise||Coastal Lowland||Polar Ice Melt||Fertility
(Storm or Flood)
(Storm or Drought)
|II||3||+1.0 m||1 m tiles flooded||20%||Yes||No|
|III||4||+1.5 m||2 m tiles flooded||30%||Yes||No|
|IV||5||+2.0 m||1 m tiles submerged||40%||No||No|
|V||6||+2.5 m||3 m tiles flooded||55%||No||Yes|
|VI||7||+3.0 m||2 m tiles submerged||70%||No||Yes|
|VII||8||+3.5 m||3 m tiles submerged||85%||No||Yes|
When Climate Change reaches Phase VII, the world will enter the Apocalypse phase, where Comet Strikes will happen every turn until the end of the game. The other disaster unique to this mode, Solar Flares, will also occur much more often; this is the only disaster that affects the entire world at once. At this point, all other kinds of disaster becomes extremely unlikely (all four types of Storm, Forest Fire, and Drought stop completely, Floods and Volcanic eruptions become overwhelmingly rare), giving way to only these two types of disasters to wreak havoc all over the map.
This is one of the most extreme modes in the game, in which you run the very real risk of losing at the very brink of victory! The dynamics of the Apocalypse mode are different than other modes: in most of the game you will feel little, if any, effects. Yes, disasters are more frequent and destructive, but you can get this in a normal game as well (just set the Disaster level dial to max!). A more serious change is the introduction of the Soothsayer unit, with its ability to create disasters on-the-fly. Use this unit as an insidious way to attack your competition - just send it in their lands and start causing Disasters to wreak havoc on their economy. Note that the disasters caused by the unit are special - they only cause damage, without the usual fertility increase! The Soothsayer itself is immune to the destruction the Disasters cause to every other unit, however, it has limited charges.
The most challenging part of the mode comes when Climate change level VII kicks in. The comet strikes act as supercharged nuclear strikes - not only wiping out whole cities, but literally poking holes in the land,leaving lakes in their wake. The practical effect of all this is that the game sets a de-facto time limit for your achieving a victory. Depending on luck (the strikes aim randomly at land tiles), you may survive long, while your enemies get destroyed, or you may suffer the same fate as them. A simple probability calculation shows that the greater portion of the land you control at the moment comets start to fall, the greater the chance your own cities will suffer instead of the enemies' cities. However, it's much more complex than that: the completely randomized strikes may help you, or them, or neither; they may actually help you progress towards victory, or negate most of your progress! It's all chance, and there is little you may do, apart of trying to achieve victory as fast as possible.
One thing you may do is to try and slow down Climate change as much as possible. Of course, this means little or no power generation until you gain access to Renewables. And you may never be sure that your competitors will have the same behavior, and end up hopelessly outmaneuvered just because you had no power while others did have it.
Maybe the most challenging type of victory under this mode is Domination victory, because it requires you to exercise activity all over the map until the very last moment of the game. This makes you more vulnerable to comet strikes - just imagine the bad luck of having a comet strike your attack force just before you conquer that last capital! Also, the comets may wipe out just the cities you need to conquer. This will alter the target(s) for the Domination victory, and you will need to adjust your strategy accordingly. Finally, the new Solar Flare disaster is particularly destructive to advanced military units, which are the exact weapon a domination player uses! Maybe the only way you could approach victory at this junction is go all-in, and unleash your nuclear arsenal to decimate your enemies and achieve a victory at any cost, ASAP.
Conversely, the easiest victory type is the scientific victory. You should simply strive to launch your Exoplanet Expedition as early as possible, at which junction you just need to hold out until the required number of turns pass. Yes, the Earth will melt around you, but you will still be victorious!
The end of the world as we know it
Be the last person standing after comets begin falling.
|Civilization VI Game modes |
|1 Requires a DLC|