Heroes & Legends is the fifth game mode in Civilization VI, introduced in the Babylon Pack. It includes twelve unique Hero units from the world's myths and legends, each with their own special abilities, which can be discovered by diplomacy and exploration.
The twelve Heroes are based on mythological heroes from various cultures, such as King Arthur and Sun Wukong. These Heroes can be discovered during standard gameplay, as well as via the special Heroic tales city project. Each Hero can only be claimed by one civilization, but one civilization can own multiple Heroes. Though Heroes only last for a set number of turns (referred to as their Lifespan), they have quite extraordinary special abilities and are besides mighty warriors. Besides that, they leave behind Heroic Relics which continue providing benefits to their home civilization throughout the game.
Later, Heroes can be called upon in times of great need using Faith in their home city. Recalling Heroes refreshes their Lifespan and charges, but the Faith cost increases with each appearance, and each Hero can only be recalled once per era.
Discovery of Heroes
Before you can attract Heroes, you have to first discover their existence. Besides running the Heroic Tales project, you can discover a new Hero by doing any of the following:
- Becoming the Suzerain of a city-state (100% chance)
- Discovering a natural wonder or a continent (50% chance)
- Visiting a Tribal Village (15% chance)
- Sending an Envoy to a city-state (10% chance)
Summoning and using Heroes
The process of getting a Hero (referred to as 'summoning') is quite different than attracting Great People, and is much more simple. When Heroes are discovered, every city with a Monument can run a special Devotion project dedicated to this Hero - when the Project finishes, the respective Hero will appear in this city. The very first Devotion project you run is cheap (20 Production cost on Standard speed), while subsequent Devotion projects are quite a bit more expensive. One civilization can claim many Heroes, but each city can claim only one Hero. A city which is already home to a Hero cannot summon any other heroes! The relevant Projects in this city won't appear anymore, because the citizens there have already given their spiritual allegiance. Once a Hero is claimed, they will consider the city that summons them their home.
When a Hero dies or their Lifespan expires, they will leave behind an Epic Hero Relic, which will be displayed in the city's Monument. They will also leave another hidden symbolic object (which also counts as a Heroic Relic), which will remain buried in the tile where they die until it is excavated by an Archaeologist. After that, this Relic will also be displayed in their home city, if there is still free space in the Monument. That's why you should always remember the spot where the Hero dies the first time, and put a map pin on it so you can excavate it later. You can excavate Heroic Relics of Heroes belonging to other civilizations as long as there are enough Heroic Relic slots in the Monuments. Archaeologists will not consume a charge when digging up Heroic Relics. Only when a city completes a Devotion project to a Hero will the Monument of that city gain the two Heroic Relic slots. Each Heroic Relic grants 2 Culture, 2 Faith and 6 Tourism.
Just like wonders, Heroes are unique - each Hero can only belong to one civilization, and if another civilization claims a Hero first while you are running the corresponding Devotion project, you will be refunded only a fraction of the Production cost.
Once summoned, Heroes will not change their affiliation. They have to be recalled by the same civilization within their home city. If the ownership of the home city changes, the Hero can still survive until they expire or die, but the Hero can never be recalled until the city returns to its original owner. If the home city is razed, the Hero is dead forever. A Hero can only be recalled once per era, at the cost of Faith. When recalled, Heroes will have all their Charges and Lifespan fully restored. Unlike other units that have to be purchased with Faith, Heroes can move, use their abilities, or attack in the same turn they are summoned or recalled.
All Heroes belong to a specific unit class - Anansi is a ranged unit, Mulan is a ranged cavalry unit, Hercules is a melee unit, and so on - and they will function just like a normal unit of that classification. (The only exception is Himiko, who is classified as a civilian unit but functions more like a Great Person, since she cannot be captured like Builders and Settlers.) However, the Hero classification does give them an edge over normal military units, apart of superior Combat Strength or Ranged Strength. All Heroes can instantly travel from City Center to City Center, like Great People. Furthermore, since Heroes cannot change their affiliation, abilities that allow units to be captured are ineffective against them (i.e. Genghis Khan cannot capture Mulan and Arthur when he kills them, the English Sea Dog cannot capture Sinbad, and Hunahpu & Xbalanque cannot resurrect other players' dead Heroes). Finally, all Heroes add 1 Loyalty per turn to any city within 2 tiles.
Except for Himiko, all Heroes are military units with combat statistics that scale according to era, but are always slightly higher than other units' that belong to the same Era. This gives them an edge against all current units; but does not make them immortal! Keep in mind that since all Heroes have a limited Lifespan, and their combat statistics will depend only on the era they are summoned/recalled (those statistics will not be adjusted when the era changes), it is a good idea to refrain from summoning them at the end of an era.
All heroes have some special ability granting them movement bonuses - most ignore certain type of terrain obstacles, and some ignore all terrain obstacles. They also have increased Movement, compared to other units.
Besides basic combat abilities, almost all heroes also have active abilities, which each Hero can use only once per turn. Some abilities are limited by the number of charges, but some can be used by the Hero every turn until they die. For example, while Maui may create brand new resources a maximum of 4 times per Lifespan, Hippolyta can activate her ability without the charge restriction! Note that special actions may be used only while charges remain to the hero; however, afterwards the hero will not disappear, like it happens with other units with action charges. A Hero unit disappears only when it is killed in battle, or when their lifespan ends.
Base-game mechanics changed
- Gilgamesh gains a new leader ability granting a Production increase towards claiming Heroes and a buff to their Lifespan.
- The Shrine grants Heroes summoned in cities with it 10% more Lifespan.
- The Temple (and Prasat) grants its owner a 15% discount on purchasing Heroes with Faith.
- The Hanging Gardens grants all Heroes belonging to its owner 10% more Lifespan.
- The Oracle grants its owner a 15% discount on purchasing Heroes with Faith.
This mode has two basic layers which affect gameplay:
The first is the access to superunits right from the start of the game - units with superior combat strength which may almost singlehandedly defeat Barbarian raids, clear their Camps and even engage other civilizations! Considering how easy it is to get your first hero, it is not uncommon to have it within the first 30 - 40 turns. All you need is a Monument, couple of turns, and luck to discover a hero which fits your gameplay style sufficiently. Of course, if you decide to go after a civilization you should be aware of the risk of their having claimed a Hero as well - you will then have lost the extra military edge.
The second layer is the Heroes' special abilities. These vary wildly, with some abilities which are truly game changers. Among these are Maui's ability to Create resources out of nothing; Anansi's ability to consume resources, granting you instantly huge amounts of Science and Culture, Hercules' ability to instantly finish Districts. Needless to say, if you have the instincts to use such abilities correctly you will gain a significant edge over your competition in the early and middle game. Note that many of these abilities lose their power in the late game - for example Maui can hardly find any unclaimed tiles where to activate its ability. So, it all comes to using Heroes the right way, in the right moment. Which means that, if you intend to use this mode, the very first thing you should do is get familiar with most Heroes' special abilities and try to devise strategies including them. The Heroic relics can also be immensely useful, especially if you have little other sources of Great works.
|Hero's name||Folklore origin||Movement||Number of charges||Abilities||Unit class|
|Ghana||3||6||Ranged (1 Range)|
|Britain / Scandinavia||3||6||Melee|
|Greece / Rome||3||6||
Hunahpu & Xbalanque
|China||5||N/A||Ranged cavalry (2 Range)|
- Armor of Mulan
- Chalice of Arthur
- Club of Hercules
- Compass of Sinbad
- Crown of Himiko
- Drums of Anansi
- Epic Hero Relic
- Girdle of Hippolyta
- Knife of Oya
- Mantles of the Hero Twins
- Staff of Sun Wukong
- Sword of Beowulf
- Torch of Maui
Clash of the Titans
Kill an enemy Hero with your Hero.
The Dream Team
Claim 5 Heroes in a single game.
|Civilization VI Game modes |
|Apocalypse1 • Barbarian Clans • Dramatic Ages1 • Heroes & Legends1 • Monopolies and Corporations1 • Secret Societies1 • Tech and Civic Shuffle • Zombie Defense1|
|1 Requires a DLC|