Strategy[edit | edit source]
For a long time, the Kurgan was, by a wide margin, the worst unique improvement in the entire game. Its pitiful yields made it a total waste of a citizen slot, and its only use was to secure an early pantheon. Thankfully, the April 2021 Update breathed new life into the Kurgan. Now, it is a tool for Scythia to be swimming in some of the most important yields in the game.
The Kurgan's base yield of 1 Faith and 3 Gold is fantastic for the early game - it practically ensures that Scythia will have the highest Gold output of any civilization until Commercial Hubs are available. This is fine support for Scythia's horde-based gameplay, allowing them to support an army of many units, and also lets them get their infrastructure up with great speed. If you research Animal Husbandry as your first technology, you will immediately be able to see every Pasture resource in the game, and this allows you to choose the best positions for your Kurgans. Kurgans formerly had comically bad scaling - +1 Gold with Guilds and with Capitalism - but now, with Stirrups, Kurgans next to two Pastures will produce 5 Faith per turn, which also translates directly to Tourism later on. Even Kurgans next to just one Pasture with Stirrups produce 3 Faith and 3 Gold, and Kurgans can be placed next to each other, so the theoretical maximum from just one Pasture (although achieving this is impractical) is 18 of each. And this is just the strategy to maximize Tourism! If you just want to be rich, you can carpet the land in these improvements and generate +3 Gold per turn on all of them from the very beginning of the game.
Civilopedia entry[edit | edit source]
For some reason, some of civilization’s greatest feats of engineering and construction are mausoleums and tombs, and, for some reason, these great piles are usually reserved for military and political leaders. For the Scythians these piles were great mounds of dirt, now called kurgans, from the Turkish word for “mound.” It appears that a number of the barbarian nomads of the steppes of Central Asia began interring their leaders in these mounds sometime around the 4th Century BC. By the Early Iron Age, the kurgans of the Scythians and other tribes were truly impressive mounds, some as much as 500 meters (1600 feet) across at the base, and might stand as high as 27 meters (89 feet). So, these tended to stand out on the rolling open terrain of the steppes. And then the Scythians decorated the tumuli with the bodies of slaves and horses, just to insure it got everyone’s attention that here lie a great man (or perhaps woman).