The Envoy is a diplomatic representative of your civilization that acts as your agent in city-states that you've met. It is the focus of the brand new City-State Influence system in Civilization VI, which is suited to all the major changes which happened in this aspect of the game.
Earning Envoys Edit
There are many ways to earn Envoys:
- Envoys are earned via Influence points which come as a natural result of your government activity. The more advanced your government is, the faster you earn them (check here for more information).
- Additionally, the government Monarchy grants a 20% bonus to your influence generation, +1% every ten turns on Standard speed (in Rise and Fall this is replaced by a flat 50% bonus). The diplomatic policy card Charismatic Leader grants +2 influence per turn. This gets replaced by Gunboat Diplomacy that ups it to +4 per turn.
- Special desires of each city-state (we may call them "quests" to liken them to the old system) will be posted upon meeting the City-State, or upon era transition. Note that while in vanilla Civilization VI "era transition" means the individual Era progression for each civilization, in Rise and Fall the World Eras are considered "era transitions," and only then will new quests be assigned to players! Any player that can fulfill the request earns one free Envoy with that city-state.
- Many Civics grant free Envoys upon completion.
- The diplomatic policy card Diplomatic League doubles your first Envoy to a city state, regardless of how you earn it. To min-max this, you can store up Envoys until you have met a certain number of city-states, then activate the card and get the bonus for each one, and then deactivate the card since it no longer gives benefit.
- The diplomatic policy card Containment doubles Envoys to City-States whose Suzerain has a different government. This could be min-maxed in a similar way to Diplomatic League; just remember that you lose the bonus once you become Suzerain.
- Some Great General retirement and Great Merchants' powers provide Envoys.
- Building the Apadana will grant 2 Envoys once it is finished. 2 Envoys will also be granted anytime a Wonder is built in the same city.
- Liberating a City-state will earn you a number of Envoys with it; this number varies with the current game era: in the beginning of the game it is 3, in the middle - 6, in the late game - 9.
Most of the above ways to earn Envoys provide you with 'free use' agents, which you can then assign as you please; the only exceptions being performing a quest for a city-state and liberating a city-state. Both of these will earn Envoys directly with the city-state in question.
Using Envoys Edit
After earning an Envoy, you will receive a prompt to choose which city-state to send it to. This is done in the City-States tab, where you will see buttons next to each City-state with which to increase (or decrease) the number of your Envoys there. If you have multiple Envoys available, you may divide them between city-states as you wish. You may choose also to delay their assignment, in case you have no immediate use for them.
Declaring war directly on a city-state removes all Envoys you had there; the same happens also if the city-state loses its independence (gets conquered by another civilization). Being drawn into war with a city-state due to warring with its Suzerain does not remove your Envoys! This interesting state of affairs actually makes it possible for you to "flip" a City-State's allegiance in the middle of a war! If you assign or otherwise gain enough Envoys to at least equal its current Suzerain, that nation will immediately lose its Suzerain status, and the City-State will make peace with you automatically. This is actually worth a Historic Moment.
Otherwise, Envoys stay in the city-state permanently. Envoys at a city-state are visible to all players, and placing them may have diplomatic consequences. The bonuses earned are based on how many Envoys you have present, regardless of who else has Envoys there. City-states of a type all share the same type of bonuses. They are cumulative, so that as a player places more and more Envoys on a city-state, they stack with the bonuses from before.
The bonuses you earn from a city-state depend on how many Envoys you have sent to the city-state. For more information on what exactly the benefits of Envoys are, head here.