The Incas' civilization ability is Mit'a, which enables their citizens to work Mountain tiles (each of which provides +2 Production (increasing to +3 Production when they reach the Industrial Era), and +1 Food for every adjacent Terrace Farm). Their unique unit is the Warak'aq (which replaces the Skirmisher), and their unique tile improvement is the Terrace Farm.
The Incan empire under Pachacuti returns to Civilization VI with a very similar concept to its previous iteration: an isolationist civilization who prefers to go tall with Terrace Farms and hide itself behind a bastion of sprawling mountain ranges. With a massive Food bonus from Trade Routes, Mountains and Terrace Farms, Inca can sprint quickly towards a Scientific Victory, or even a surprising Religious Victory.
The entire Inca empire mounts on the shoulders of this improvement - without the Terrace Farms, the Inca have very little going for them. Terrace Farms, if employed correctly, can give an enormous early game boost to the Inca player. They will significantly boost Food production, while also increasing Production, the two yields that are required for every prosperous empire.
Make sure to place your Terrace Farms next to Mountains and, if possible, Rivers, Lakes, or Aqueducts to gain the greatest Food and Production yields possible. This will give you both populous and productive cities, and many Terrace Farms will provide you with Housing to support the enormous Population that your cities might have if situated near Mountains. Don't forget that each Terrace Farm will also improve the yields of the adjacent mountain tile. Since Terrace Farms are the engine of the Incan empire, all Hills tiles next to Mountains should be reserved for them, Districts that gain adjacencies from Mountains (Campuses, Holy Sites, also Theater Squares, Industrial Zones and Commercial Hubs if you have Machu Picchu) should only be built on flat tiles.
Without Mountains, Fresh Water or Aqueducts, Terrace Farms are just basically regular Farms (with twice the Housing) on Hills that you can build from the beginning of the game instead of after researching Civil Engineering, which is handy but nothing too extraordinary. Since you cannot control the map generation of Mountains, you should rely on placing Terrace Farms next to Aqueducts, which will give you a large amount of Production. Considering you are playing as the Inca under Pachacuti, his leader ability will guarantee your empire will never starve for Food, and since your Housing is only slightly better than a regular civilization if you own a lot of Hills, it is more beneficial in the long run to focus on maximizing the Production output of Terrace Farms. When settling, your City Center should allow a good Aqueduct spot, which, ideally, should be totally surrounded by Hills that can be improved with a Terrace Farm later. If there is a flat tile next to your Aqueduct, reserve it for a future Industrial Zone. Aqueducts are so important to the Inca that every city should get one, since your empire will definitely run into Housing problems with your massive Food influx, and also Engineering is a prerequisite technology for Machinery, the technology that unlocks the Warak'aq, so it is not like you have to go out of your way to build these Aqueducts anyway.
A less prominent feature of the Terrace Farm that the regular Farm does not have is that Terrace Farms can be built on Desert (Hills), which allows Inca to thrive in hilly Desert areas. If you spot a Desert area that has a lot of Hills, you can send over a Settler to establish a city there, improve all the Hills to grow the city as quickly as possible and then try to rush for Petra. Thanks to the fact that an Incan Desert city can grow incredibly quickly if there are enough Hills, the construction of Petra is a lot smoother than other civilizations.
Note that Terrace Farms also enjoy adjacency bonuses with Feudalism and later with Replaceable Parts; however, these are triggered only by other Terrace Farms, not normal Farms. Also, Terrace Farms do not provide adjacency bonuses to normal Farms, nor can they unlock the Inspiration for Feudalism (either alone or in combination with normal Farms).
Lastly, each mountain tile adjacent to a Terrace Farm will get +1 Food, along with the inherent ability of the Inca to get +2 Production from mountains. This works great with Earth Goddess, allowing your mountains to provide great yields throughout the game.
The idea of having a unique Recon unit is often scoffed at, due the underwhelming impressions made by the Okihtcitaw and the Highlander. However, the Warak'aq is surprisingly potent at dishing out a huge amount of damage, making them a reliable tool for the Incan to advance towards a Domination Victory if they wish so. This is the only unit in the game that can attack multiple times per turn without any Promotion, so it has basically twice the firepower of the Crossbowman, the premier military unit of the Medieval Era and a lot higher maneuverability, at the cost of its Range. With a little bit of preparation, the arrival of the Warak'aq can be the harbinger of downfall to all unwitting neighbors of the Inca.
The first step is to accrue Gold and train Scouts en masse from the Classical Era to prepare for the arrival of the Warak'aq. Scouts are the cheapest units in the game with no maintenance cost, standing at only 30 Production, combined with the growth and early Production power of the Inca, this should not be a problem. The problem is how to save enough Gold to upgrade all of them, since at this point, you most likely have not researched Mercenaries yet. A Warak'aq is 135 Production more expensive than a Scout (equivalent to 540 Gold), but it only takes 280 Gold to upgrade a Scout into a Warak'aq! Although Pachacuti's ability incentivizes you to send internal Trade Routes, it is recommended that in the first two eras before the Warak'aq, you should dedicate all of your Trade Routes to generate as much Gold as possible, since your Terrace Farms will do a much better job than you ever need in growing your cities. It is also recommended that you establish Victor with the Embrasure title in the main Scout-producing hub, so that all of these Scouts will start with a Promotion to boost their ability to traverse terrains. Since in the Classical Era, you probably have explored every Natural Wonder and Tribal Village around you, and Scouts do not fight Barbarians, so this is important to get them off to a good start. Meanwhile, you should beeline Mercenaries to get access to Professional Army, which is not very hard, since it only has 2 immediate prerequisites, one of which is Feudalism, an important civic that you would want to beeline anyway as the Inca.
With the Survey policy card and the fact that the Warak'aq can attack twice, it mathematically benefits from 4 times more XP than an average Recon unit, helping it reach the Ambush Promotion quickly and reliably. With a 60 Ranged Strength unit with a 40 Combat Strength defense, combined with 3 Movement and advanced maneuverability from his Ranger and Alpine promotion that can run far away after attacking, a high-level Warak'aq is no longer a glass cannon, but now simply a maneuverable cannon that is impossible to deal with. Just for a better visualization, this is a unit that is unlocked at the same technology as the Crossbowman, a standard unit with much notoriety on the Medieval battlefield, and a Warak'aq with the Ambush Promotion has twice the damage output of a Field Cannon, the upgrade of the Crossbowman that comes 2 eras later. A timing push with an army of Warak'aq can be deadly, even to the most aggressive civilization who focuses a lot on building an army, so even if you have no plan to win a Domination Victory as the Inca, make sure to claim some crucial neighbor territory. Like it is mentioned above, as long as your Warak'aq can earn the Ambush Promotion, which is very easy to do with the Survey card, its cheap price (compared to units of later eras) and its ridiculous firepower mean its relevance can last until you are done with conquering and not because your enemies manage to research a way to deal with it.
The Incas thrive near Mountains and Mountain ranges. This ability allows your Citizens to work Mountain tiles, each Mountain tile is worth 2 Production, which is, frankly, worthless on its own. The only time you would want to work a 2 Production tile is when your cities are too big and you have so many leftover Citizens that you do not have any other stronger tiles to work, which can happen with the Inca but this is not something you would want to go out of your way to take advantage of early on. However, the yields of Mountain tiles can be augmented in a couple of different ways. First, as mentioned above, Terrace Farms benefit tremendously from being built next to Mountains, and Mountains also benefit from adjacent Terrace Farms: Mountain tiles receive 1 extra Food for every adjacent Terrace Farm. With that being said, Terrace Farms and Mountains are like an inseparable couple, they mutually benefit a lot from one another; therefore, again, Hills tiles next to Mountains should always be reserved for Terrace Farms, and only flat tiles should be used for District. If there is no flat tile next to Mountains, fill them all with Terrace Farms, it is understandable to sacrifice good adjacency bonuses for Terrace Farms, as the entire Incan civilization is mounted on how many Terrace Farms you manage to fit into your empire.
A surprising and unorthodox way to make use of the fact that the Incas can work Mountains is to aim for the Earth Goddess pantheon. Since Mountains perpetually have Breathtaking Appeal which cannot be lowered by surrounding features, coupled with the fact that the Incas can work Mountains, every Mountain tile inside Incan territory will always grant 2 Production and 1 Faith, with potential Food from adjacent Terrace Farms. Considering that the Incas have starting bias towards Mountains, their Holy Sites can gain very high adjacency bonuses, and since Mountains grant bonus Appeal to adjacent tiles, the Earth Goddess pantheon can truly work its magic and grant the Incan empire a huge amount of Faith from very early on, which then can lend itself to an unexpected Religious Victory or augment the Scientific and Cultural path.
In the early game, spend Builder charges to harvest and clear features off Hills tiles and construct Terrace Farms to catapult Production and Food output. This allows the Incas to bring basic infrastructural improvements online much faster than any other civilization. Settlers can also be hard-produced (the loss of Population offset by massive Food yields from Terrace Farms), making expansion straightforward. Along with their impressive city Production, harvesting resources and removing features can be utilized to construct the strong early game Wonders like Apadana, Colosseum, Oracle, and Temple of Artemis to further their early-game edge. While the Incas lack inherent Science and Culture advantages, they can quickly construct Campus and Theater Square districts as well as their respective district buildings. Their Population advantage can also be used to work these districts as Specialists and maintain steady, impressive Science and Culture outputs throughout the game.
Besides the obvious thematic association, you may think that the Inca have a great incentive to build Machu Picchu, since it boosts Districts adjacent to Mountains, which the Inca can find in great number. But the opposite is actually true. When playing as the Inca, Machu Picchu-boosted Districts compete for space not only with Campuses and Holy Sites but also the Terrace Farm and the Preserve. What's more, the Inca have phenomenal Production output and Population growth, so they have little need for Industrial Zones and they can rapidly build low-adjacency Commercial Hubs and Theater Squares elsewhere. As a result, there are few civs who would be better off avoiding Machu Picchu.
The Preserve and its synergy with the Incas
The Vietnam & Kublai Khan Pack brought a new addition to the list of District: the Preserve. With the possible exception of Bull Moose Teddy, Inca has to be the civilization that can make the best use out of this District, since they can work Mountains and all Mountain tiles are guaranteed to be permanently Breathtaking. It also requires no expertise to use this District efficiently with the Inca. You can just treat it as a Campus or a Holy Site: you put it on a flat tile (so it will not compete for space against your Terrace Farms) next to as many Mountains tiles as possible. Combined with the Earth Goddess pantheon and the Grove, each Mountains tile can generate 2 Production, 2 Food, 2 Culture and 3 Faith as early as the Ancient Era, and that does not even count possible Terrace Farm adjacency. If there is a good spot next to a lot of Mountains, even if it is a Hills tile, don't be afraid to put this District there, as it will give you far superior yields to anything one Terrace Farm can ever manage. Therefore, Mysticism should be heavily prioritized, maybe even before Political Philosophy. With such great yields this early into the game, Inca's path to victory is a lot wider and more versatile.
Qhapaq Ñan (ability)
Incan cities will rarely run out of Population to support additional districts, making Commercial Hubs an easy choice for new Incan settlements, especially if surrounded by Mountains. Domestic Trade Routes can be augmented by Triangular Trade and Qhapaq Ñan improvements for rich Gold and Food yields in the mid-game. However, one cannot help but feel that this aspect of Pachacuti's leader ability is a bit redundant: considering that Incan cities can already grow massive on the shoulders of the Terrace Farms, adding extra Food on top of it does not help cities grow any faster, since the Inca do not have any bonus towards Housing. As outlined above in the Warak'aq section, considering the Food yields from Terrace Farms are more than enough to sustain your cities (unless you deliberately settle in an area with no Hills for some reason), getting Gold from international Trade Route is better for your mid-game military rush should you choose to do so.
If there are cities in a region without any or few Hills for other strategic reasons (to secure Strategic Resources, a coastal city to facilitate trade, etc.), you can pick a city with a lot of Mountains in its territory to send out internal Trade Routes from there, to ensure fast growth for all cities in your empire.
Qhapaq Ñan (improvement)
The effects of the Qhapaq Ñan are identical to those of a Mountain Tunnel. It can be placed in neutral territory, providing permanent vision on that Mountains tile and every adjacent tile to the civilization that builds it, even if later that Mountains tile gets taken over by another civilization. With Qhapaq Ñan, land units are able to traverse through Mountains at the cost of 2 Movement. Remember, Qhapaq Ñan allow units to pass through Mountains, not to stay and end their turn on Mountains, so in cases where the units do not have enough Movement left, or the other side of the Qhapaq Ñan is completely blocked, the Tunnel cannot be used. If there are more than one Qhapaq Ñan placed on the same Mountain range, these will act as connected portals, allowing units to go in and out from any of these gates, again, as long as they are on the same Mountain range, still at the cost of 2 Movement. Since units cannot stop on a Mountains tile, this improvement cannot be pillaged, but it can still be removed by volcanic eruptions and nukes.
Although the effects of the Qhapaq Ñan and a typical Mountain Tunnel are identical (they both allow rapid movement through mountain ranges), the Qhapaq Ñan has some superior traits to Mountain Tunnels. First, this improvement is available in the Ancient Era, while its counterpart becomes available in the Modern Era. This makes Trade Routes sent to and from the Inca much more fluid and effective, and also facilitates exploration since they cannot be blocked off by a long mountain range. Remember that Qhapaq Ñan and Mountain Tunnels can be built on Mountains in neutral territory, but since the Qhapaq Ñan is available much earlier, as the Inca, you can utilize this to declare a surprise attack on civilizations who mistakenly believe they are safe because they are protected by mountains. Even when Chemistry is unlocked, there is no reason to build Mountain Tunnels over Qhapaq Ñan, since the Qhapaq Ñan is built by Builders rather than the more expensive Military Engineers. However, it is worth noting that the cost of a Builder scales upward for every Builder you have trained, while that of a Military Engineer stays constant, so a Mountain Tunnel built by a Military Engineer always costs 85 Production, while a Qhapaq Ñan built by a Builder may cost more depending on how many Builders you have trained that game and how many build charges each Builder starts with, so if you want to be really efficient, that is something to consider.
Also, similar to the Mountain Tunnel, Trade Routes going through Qhapaq Ñan will have increased yields in Gold. A Qhapaq Ñan tile grants 15 "efficiency" points to any Trader passing through, which is a lot more substantial compared to other facilitating methods, like water tiles, Railroads or Canals. Read more here for more details.
Bear in mind that your opponents can use Qhapaq Ñan/Mountain Tunnels built by you, which means that they can use your bonuses against you if you go overboard with this improvement and put it everywhere. When wars are declared on you, immediately place your military units to block entrances and exits that lead to your core territory; otherwise your cities may fall in one fell swoop.
The Incan civilization is one of the more versatile ones: their bonus is geared towards building populous and productive cities, which can lead to any Victory type. However, the most obvious route for them is a Scientific Victory with ease. Surrounded by mountains, high Population and decent Production output, a Scientific Victory seems to be written in the stars.
However, as outlined above, high Population allows you to work more tiles and even assign more Specialists, a rather forgotten aspect of Civilization VI. Depending on which types of District you build the most, these Specialists can give you a lot of corresponding yields, leading your empire to another Victory route. If you manage to get the Earth Goddess pantheon and grab a lot of Mountains, your outstanding Faith output can put you as a frontrunner for a Religious Victory, or give great assistance to a Cultural Victory.
Also, if the map size is Standard or below, the sheer power of the Warak'aq can lead you to a Domination Victory; nevertheless, this is a lot less reliable. Civilizations with an incredibly powerful unique unit but no other bonus towards wars like the Incas have to rely on their ability to snowball off of the time window of their unique unit, so whether or not you can pull this off depends on how well your first few conquests go, and also, the smaller the map, the better. On larger maps, experienced players can still manage to edge out a Domination Victory, considering how powerful the Warak'aq is, and you can use that unit to build a huge momentum to roll over anyone else. Aim for the Earth Goddess pantheon as usual, but pick Crusade as your Enhancer belief with the Grand Master's Chapel as your tier 2 Government Plaza building to assist you on your quest to conquer the world.
The Inca Empire was one of the last, largest, and powerful indigenous American nations. Its name in Quechua was “Tawantin Suyu”: The Four United Regions. It encompassed people speaking a variety of languages, had a strong central administrative body centered on the court, sophisticated public infrastructure and roads maintained by a system of compulsory labor, taxation and food distribution, and it did all of these without widespread use of written records, the wheel, or animal labor. As such, it presents students of history with a fascinating counterfactual case for evaluating claims linking political systems and technologies. In short, they're perfect to include in a game where you can build the Pyramids of Giza in Washington.
The Inca home territory was the Kingdom of Cusco, frequently described as a city-state. There are a series of origin myths for Cusco, most featuring the legendary founder Maco Capac or the sun god, Inti. In 1438, under the reign of Pachacuti, the Inca began a systematic process of diplomatic and military expansion, absorbing or conquering nearby peoples, including the coastal Chimor and the Aymara in modern Bolivia. Pachacuti's conquests gained the Inca a substantial portion of the Andes mountains, and his heirs continued to add territory and population through conquest and diplomacy.
As the Quechua name suggests, the Inca divided their empire into four parts, with Cusco at the junction of all four points. The Inca used a codified system of mandatory labor called the mit'a, where able-bodied adults could be required to commit to agriculture or the military in exchange for the protection of the state and access to the public goods. The Inca built and maintained a massive network of excellent roads and footbridges through the rough mountain terrain. Surplus crops were housed in public storehouses in event of disaster.
All planning for the empire was done centrally, and a system of reciprocal responsibility between the ruler and his people governed the distribution of resources among the people. To this system of reciprocal responsibility, the Sapa Inca would add family ties through intermarriage of his family members with those of the regional nobles and ruling families of conquered people, in order to create an interlaced system of both familial and customary obligations with his vassals. Inspectors linked to the court of the Sapa Inca had responsibility to see the administration of customs, the maintenance of the empire, and the enforcement of the mit'a.
The Inca were skilled astronomers, architects, and surveyors. An ingenious mnemonic system of knotted cords called the quipu was used to convey information between the capital and the distant lands and store historical records. Even textiles could be used as ideographic or mnemonic purposes. Incan architectural masonry combined non-standard stones in tight-fitting, mortar-less structures that awed European observers. Terrace farms of considerable engineering sophistication turned otherwise-unplantable hillsides into productive, arable land.
Cloth was particularly prized by the Inca, and textiles were given as gifts. Textile work could be elaborately woven and brightly colored. Clothing served as both social class symbol and served as a form of conspicuous consumption among the upper classes. Cotton was common, as was the wool from the llama and alpaca, but only the Inca nobility could wear wool from the vicuna and the guanaco. The Sapa Inca never wore the same clothing twice.
In warfare, the Inca used their extensive public stores to supply armies, publically maintained armories to equip their troops, and road networks to move troops quickly from end to end of their empire. As military conscription was a prerogative of the state, the Inca could field much larger forces than their indigenous rivals in most cases. However, the Inca's advance to the south was checked by the Mapuche at the Maule River. The Inca honored the Mapuche by calling them the “purum awqa”—“the savage enemy.”
The Inca were brought down through a combination of internal strife and war with the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Under the reign of Sapa Inca Huayna Capac, the Inca had stretched their empire to a corner of what is today Colombia. The expansion was contested by the indigenous Americans, and the succession to Sapa Inca was hotly disputed as well. A succession war between sons of the recently-deceased Huayna Capac had broken out, and old world diseases such as smallpox were ravaging the population. Pizarro inserted his meager but well-armed force into this conflict and proceeded to completely destabilize the Inca Empire.
Pizarro captured one of the pretenders to the throne, Atahualpa, through deception and violating a flag of truce on a flimsy pretext. The Inca offered to ransom Atahualpa for enough gold to fill his cell, and twice that much again in silver. Pizarro accepted the offer, then reneged on his agreement after the ransom was paid. Huascar, the other pretender, was assassinated during this time, and Pizarro declared that Atahualpa was responsible for the crime, then had Atahualpa summarily executed.
Having worked meanwhile to divide the Inca nobility from the ruling house, the Spanish then put a puppet Inca on the throne of what was essentially a vassal state. The mit'a was expanded under Spanish control to include work in the state silver mines at Potosi, the traditional terrace farming methods were abolished, and the population still suffered the ravages of introduced diseases. The last Inca holdouts were conquered in 1572 when the last Inca ruler, Tupac Amaru, was captured and executed. The Inca Empire was at an end.
The Inca Empire's organization and technologies have undergone renewed study and interest in the present day. The allyu system of reciprocal obligation is studied by political scientists. Intricacies of the vertical archipelago system of agriculture suggest sustainable ways to grow food crops for the future. It may be that the greatest treasure the Inca convey to future ages is not in gold or silver, but in a better way to raise a potato.
- Main article: Incan cities (Civ6)
|Males||Females||Modern males||Modern females|
- The Incan civilization's symbol is the chakana, which is thought to represent Cusco and the Southern Cross.
- The Incan civilization ability is named after the mandatory public service in the Inca Empire.
Lord of Tahuantinsuyo
Win a game as Pachacuti
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