The Macedonian people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They are led by Alexander, under whom their default colors are gray and yellow. They are available with the Persia and Macedon Civilization & Scenario Pack, which was released on March 28, 2017.
The Macedonians' civilization ability is Hellenistic Fusion, which provides them with boosts based on the kinds of Districts present in the cities they capture. Their unique unit is the Hypaspist (which replaces the Swordsman), and their unique building is the Basilikoi Paides (which replaces the Barracks).
Starting bias: None
Throughout the history of the Civilization franchise, whenever you see Alexander as a leader, you'd better expect he will lead his people into an endless war. In Civilization VI, there is no difference; Macedon under Alexander will charge into conflicts and never look back.
The Macedonian civilization ability highlights the importance of war. This is a decent civilization ability, but there is just not much strategy you can plan around it, since it relies on what Districts other empires build, not on you. Your job is to go to war and conquer their cities, which is what you want to do as Alexander anyway, regardless of whether this ability exists or not. Often, early wars are quite costly, since you have to dedicate Production to build an army, thus leaving you lagging behind in terms of Science and Culture. Hellenistic Fusion alleviates these limitations, allowing Macedon to start waging wars really early without any hesitation. Of course, an Inspiration or a Eureka is relatively equal in value, but considering that you constantly need to upgrade your units to gain an edge in combat, you most likely want to target cities with Encampments and Campuses. The Basilikoi Paides also helps you earn extra Science just by putting troops on the field as well.
Although there is little you can do to control what Districts other empires would be building, sometimes certain civilizations would gear towards some Districts more than others. Out of the 4 Districts, Hojo Tokimune can build 3 of them at half cost, so Japan may want to erect those quite early. Korea with their early Seowon is guaranteed to give you Eurekas when you conquer their cities, just like how Greece is likely to reward you with Inspirations thanks to the Acropolis. Depending on these insights and the fact that you will start your conquest very early, you should target these civilizations first, giving time to other late-game oriented civilizations to develop what you need.
The Eureka and Inspiration you receive will belong to the earliest era where you still have techs and civics whose boosts haven't been triggered yet. For example, if you are in the Medieval Era but still have a few techs/civics in the Classical Era whose boosts haven't been triggered, the Eureka and Inspiration you receive will be Classical. Techs/civics of different cost in the same era have the same chance of being given for free. If you truly want to be make the most out of this ability, try to complete all boosts of the previous era before capturing cities, so the boosts you receive will belong to the next era, which are more expensive in terms of Science and Culture, and also harder to trigger.
Each District in a city will only give you the appropriate boost once. For example, you manage to capture a Korean city with a Seowon in it, that Seowon will give you a free Eureka. Afterwards, the city flips independent and back under Korea's control, when they build an Encampment. Now, if you manage to capture that city again, you will still gain 1 Eureka from the newly-constructed Encampment, but the Seowon will not grant you an additional Eureka, since it already did before. This mechanic is in place to prevent Free City exploits where Macedon used to be able to gain an unlimited number of Eurekas and Inspirations when they keep letting their cities flip independent and reconquer them.
To the World's End
Immune to war weariness
To simplify what war weariness is, basically, after every battle your units fight (regardless of whether they initiate the battle or not) and for each unit of yours die, you will accumulate war weariness points. Enough war weariness points will turn into negative Amenities that will affect newly captured cities and cities near the sites of the battles/deaths. Every player with an aggressive playstyle knows how annoying, sometimes devastating, war weariness can get. Newly captured cities with negative Amenities receive an additional layer of negative Loyalty, so holding onto them is even harder than normal. Too much war weariness can spread negative Amenities to cities founded by you, making them less productive and giving you a difficult time maintaining the war machine.
Alexander's ability truly makes the Macedonian troops terrifying, especially in long, drawn out wars, as Macedonian cities under Alexander do not incur war weariness. He can, therefore, delay the Loyalty flipping of conquered cities for quite a bit longer, while keep his home cities content. This is also great because your enemies suffer from war weariness just like normal, so the longer the war goes, the more likely it will be in your favor. The Basilikoi Paides can keep pumping out military units so you can always keep up technologically, whereas your opponents will struggle to keep their cities at productive levels. Also, since you are incentivized to produce more military units than needed thanks to the Science earned, feel free to send those units you don't need to their death, as you don't incur any war weariness from these sacrifices. Be careful not to give the enemies to much free experience though, make sure you use those units to focus fire one target if possible.
All units heal fully when capturing a wonder
Whenever you capture a city with a wonder inside, all Macedon units will be fully healed, regardless of where they are on the map, including religious units. This is helpful for two major reasons. One, you don't need to waste time healing your units before moving to the next target. Two, cities with wonders will be incredibly hard to be recaptured by the original owner once you take them. Later in the game when your army is large enough to be divided to create a multiple prong attack, you can attack many cities at once, and save the ones with wonders to be captured whenever your army is in need of healing support.
Grievances against you decay twice as fast
Interestingly enough, although this is part of Alexander's agenda, it still works against you in multiplayer games or single player games where Alexander is controlled by human players. Any Grievances committed Alexander decays twice as fast. As a warmonger, you don't care too much about generating Grievances against other people, but having their Grievances against you decaying faster means you are less likely to take advantage of foreign transgressions to take their cities without repercussions. This makes Macedon exceptionally terrible at the diplomatic game, as the Diplomatic Favor penalty resulted from excessive Grievances will always be sky high. Think of it this way: the transgressions you make will be remembered, but the transgressions others commit against you will be quickly forgotten, so you more or less cannot justify your retaliation. However, Grievances only decay during peace, so if you stay at war permanently against someone, they cannot benefit from this.
Although the Hypaspist wields a spear, it's not an anti-cavalry unit: it's a melee unit that functions best when adjacent to other friendly units or attacking a district. The Hypaspist often has to live in the shadow of the Hetairoi, considering how powerful the other unit is, but it is still an above average unit. It sports 38 Combat Strength, slightly higher than the standard Swordsman, with only a marginal cost increase (10 Production). The best part about the Hypaspist is that it only requires 5 Iron to be trained, a quarter that of a Swordsman, meaning Macedon can still quickly churn out quite a few Hypaspists when only having one Iron source. With 38 base Combat Strength, 4 Combat Strength from Oligarchy, 5 Combat Strength from a Great General (which Macedon is overwhelmingly likely to have thanks to all the Encampments, Basilikoi Paides, and Hetairoi), and 5 Combat Strength when fighting a District, you are looking at a Swordsman that can fight defensible Districts at 52 Combat Strength. A mixed force of Hypaspists and Hetairoi will prove very difficult for other civilizations to fight off in the early stages of the game, as they are well-equipped to fight against both units and Districts alike.
The Hypaspist's increased support bonus means they benefit more from support, but they are not better at providing such bonuses for other units. For example, a Hypaspist and a friendly Warrior both flank an enemy unit to form a triangle; when attacked, the Hypaspist will receive a +3 Combat Strength support bonus from the Warrior but the Warrior will still receive only a +2 Combat Strength support bonus from the Hypaspist.
With the introduction of the Man-At-Arms in the April 2021 Update, the prowess of the Swordsman and its replacements gets significantly reduced. Although the Hypaspist is no exception, its power level does not get hit as hard as the Toa's. You can still have a meaningful domination rush with this unit in combination with the Hetairoi, thanks to its 75% Iron requirement discount, allowing you to churn out Hypaspists a lot faster than your opponents can build Men-At-Arms. Remember that Combat Strength of District defenses depends on the highest Combat Strength of a unit you have built, so the moment the first enemy Man-At-Arms is built, the Hypaspist will be worse at besieging Districts; however, thanks to the ability to earn Great Generals quickly, the innate extra Combat Strength compared to the Swordsman, the potential number advantage coupled with extra support bonus, the Hypaspist won't struggle too much against Men-At-Arms.
Alexander brings another domination vessel to Macedon, arguably even more powerful than the Hypaspist, the Hetairoi. Unlike the Horseman it replaces, the Hetairoi is classified as a heavy cavalry unit, which means they can be upgraded into Knights. allowing them to stay relevant for much longer, and equipped with a Promotion line much more suited for conquest. Also, they start with a free Promotion, so you can choose either Charge (which increases damage against fortified defenders), or Barding (which increases defense against ranged attacks). Generally, since you will have a lot of Hetairoi for the purpose of domination, it is a good idea to mix and match the Promotions, but it is worth noting that Marauding is a strong tier II Promotion that can increase damage output against defensible Districts, if those Districts have a garrison unit, and Marauding requires Charge.
With the Hetairoi, Macedon is also incredible at grabbing Great Generals. Each kill performed by a Hetairoi results in 5 Great General points, on top of the fact that Macedon already loves building Encampments more than a normal Domination civilization, since they have a strong replacement for the Barracks that can be used for Science, the Basilikoi Paides. Hetairoi also benefit twice as much from Great Generals compared to other units. Besides the normal 5 Combat Strength and 1 Movement, a Hetairoi also receives 5 extra Combat Strength when attacking a unit adjacent to a Macedonian Great General. This is the awkward part, since the bonus doesn't function in the way the in-game tooltip describes. If the Hetairoi and the Great General share the same hex, this shouldn't be a problem, since the Hetairoi's attacks are melee. However, if the Great General stands behind the Hetairoi, and the Hetairoi attacks a unit in the front, since that enemy unit is not flanked by the Great General, the Hetairoi only receives 5 Combat Strength from being near the Great General, but cannot activate its special bonus. Note that this special bonus of the Hetairoi can be activated by any Great General, not necessarily a Classical one. Therefore, a Hetairoi can receive 5 Combat Strength when attacking a unit flanked by a Medieval Great General, but, as expected, will not receive the normal 5 Combat Strength and 1 Movement from standing within 2-tile of that Medieval Great General.
Overall, the Hetairoi is an incredibly powerful unit, and they will form the heart of the Macedonian army. With a potential Combat Strength of 46, by far the highest in the Classical Era, 5 Movement, a free starting Promotion with boosted experience gained from the Basilikoi Paides, this unit can be a nightmare to defend against. Also, in Gathering Storm, the Hetairoi uses Horses, instead of Iron like other heavy cavalry units, which is great since it won't compete against the contemporary Hypaspist in the same resource pool.
The Basilikoi Paides provides all the same benefits as a Barracks, but it also affects Hetairoi and yields Science equal to 25% of a unit's Production cost when it is trained. That's already better than the Science on offer from Campus Research Grants, aside from the lack of Great Scientist points. Still, while district projects have relatively few ways to boost Production towards them (the main one being Hong Kong's Suzerainty bonus), there are quite a lot of powerful boosts to military unit production. Here are some key examples:
- The God of the Forge Pantheon belief offers +25% Production towards Ancient and Classical Era units.
- The Great Admirals Themistocles and Chester Nimitz grant +20% Production towards naval ranged and naval raider units respectively when retired.
- The Statue of Zeus offers 50% more Production towards anti-cavalry units.
- Agoge, Feudal Contract, Grande Armée and Military First all offer +50% Production towards melee, ranged and anti-cavalry units of specific Eras.
- Strategic Air Force offers +50% Production towards all air units.
- Maritime Industries, Press Gangs and International Waters all offer +100% Production towards all naval units except Aircraft Carriers. Letters of Marque offers an additional +100% Production towards naval raider units.
- Patriotic War offers +100% Production towards the Supply Convoy, Observation Balloon, Anti-Air Gun, Drone, and Mobile SAM.
- Militaristic city-states grant Production bonuses towards units in certain buildings.
- The Warlord's Throne grants +20% Production towards all military units for 5 turns after capturing an enemy city.
- The To Arms! Dedication grants +15% Production towards all military units during the Age.
- Adopting Fascism grants +50% Production towards all military units.
For example, consider training a Quadrireme in a city with a Basilikoi Paides. If you slot Maritime Industries, grab God of the Forge, and recruit Themistocles, you'll have an additive 145% Production bonus toward it, which equates to 145% more Science for your Production. This Quadrireme will net you 73.5 Science - almost half of a Classical Era technology, and 61.25 Science per 100 Production, a little more than 4 times more than Campus Research Grants!
This offers Macedon an odd but powerful tool granting potentially tremendous Science output without too much investment in scientific infrastructure at all. The same Production focus that this strategy requires is, incidentally, also needed to get a quick Spaceport and rapidly finish your space missions to win a Science Victory. Or you could use your advanced technology to dominate even faster- who could blame you?
It is quite clear that the entire toolkit of Macedon points towards war- declare it nonstop and never look back. A Domination Victory as Alexander is quite simple, as there is not a lot of true counter strategies that can be thrown back once his march starts. However, as detailed, the Basilikoi Paides also offers an unorthodox, surprisingly effective Science Victory tool.
Against Alexander, research Masonry and Archery quickly, as you will need the extra defense to repel him. Alexander does not gain war weariness, so don't expect him to want to surrender on his own. You'll need to build an army of your own and push him back. In fact, a little warmongering of your own may save you from the clutches of an AI Alexander, who loves warmongers.
According to legends generally accepted by the ancient Greeks and hardly anyone else, Macedon was founded by Hellenic emigrants from Argos who gradually expanded in the region around Mount Bermius. Perdiccas, one of the original colonists, was acknowledged as the first king of Macedon in founding the Argead dynasty. More likely, the original Macedones were barbarians from the north, distinct from the Hellenes, Thracians, and Illyrians around them, who happened to find a stretch of unoccupied terrain suitable for their goats.
We know that Caranus, Macedon's first recorded king, began his rule in 808 BCE. Although exact details are hazy, the next three centuries saw the rather ruthless and brutal Macedones master Pieria and Bottiaea, cross the Axius to conquer Mygdonia and Anthemus, dislodge the Eordi tribe, and deal similarly with the Almopes. Eventually they came to control all the lands between Thrace and Thessaly. Unfortunately for them, the Persian advance into Greece was a sudden check on their golden age of prosperity and slaughter.
After wisely submitting, the Macedones became Persian subjects in 492 BCE, and were allowed to retain their own laws, customs, and kings. Alexander “Philhellene” played a minor part in the great invasion of the Persian king Xerxes, but quickly resumed the family business of conquest once the Persians were repulsed. Crestonaea and Bisaltia were reduced, and Macedonian control pushed eastwards almost to the river Strymon. A number of older Macedonian hill tribes submitted—the Lyncestis, the Eleimiots and others—but retained their own kings, who paid tribute.
Despite their differences, Macedon became progressively involved in the politics of the squabbling southern city-states of Greece during the 5th Century BCE. Macedonian palace culture was more Mycenaean than Hellenic, while the Greek city-states possessed aristocratic or democratic institutions. Alexander Philhellene’s son Perdiccas II spent his spare time inciting a war between Sparta and Athens, created his own Olynthian League from Greek colonies neighboring Macedon, and switched sides during the Peloponnesian War whenever such perfidy looked advantageous.
The next tyrant, Perdiccas’s bastard son Archelaus, transformed Macedon into a regional economic power and thus laid the foundation for its later military fury. He built roads and scattered fortresses all over the land. Since “barbarians” such as the Macedones were forbidden to compete in the Olympic Games, Archelaus founded a competing competition. He encouraged his people to develop a taste for Greek literature, even welcoming the controversial playwright Euripides into his court. Unfortunately, Archelaus was treacherous and licentious. He was assassinated, supposedly by one of the victims of his lust.
The murder of Archelaus in 399 BCE brought a long period of “disturbance” both internal and external. With a direct line of succession broken, the Macedonian court became the scene of plots and assassinations while a seemingly perpetual civil war raged throughout Macedonian territory. Numerous pretenders to the throne sprang up, backed by Illyrians, Thebans, Lacedaemonians, and even Athenians. It seemed for a time that Macedon might disappear entirely into the morass of history, bits being absorbed by its various greedy neighbors, until stability was re-established by Amyntas III.
Amyntas had three sons. His first, Alexander II, turned to an expansionist policy to solve Macedon’s problems. He invaded northern Greece, placed Macedonian garrisons in Thessaly's cities, and refused to withdraw them. Unfortunately for Alexander, the Thebans eventually forced their removal and took his brother hostage to ensure compliance. Upon Alexander II's death, Perdiccas III took the throne … until he managed to get 4,000 Macedones killed in a battle with the Illyrians, himself among them. The infant heir to Perdiccas was swiftly deposed by Amyntas’ third son, Philip II—a turning point in world history.
Until Philip II's ascension in 359 BCE, the most outstanding qualities of the Macedone kings had been their rude valor and their opportunistic cunning concerning diplomatic relations. Philip added "military genius" to the mix when he set out to restore the reputation of Macedones as mighty warriors—no easy task after recent events. Besides his deposed infant nephew, there were at least five pretenders to the Macedonian throne, two of whom were supported by foreign troops. The Illyrians, flushed with victory after Perdiccas III's defeat, had invaded Macedon and occupied most of the western provinces. Paeonia to the north and Thrace to the east rattled their spears.
Philip spent two years reorganizing and reforming his own military. He introduced a number of variations to the normal hoplite organization and its use. Among other things, he lengthened the spear and reduced the size of the shield. He added armored heavy cavalry called hetairoi and created more light infantry units to use as skirmishers. Once satisfied, Philip proceeded to introduce all who threatened his kingdom to his new hammer-and-anvil tactics. He drove back the Illyrians before turning on the Paeonians, annexing the regions of Pelagonia and southern Paeonia after slaughtering their armies. But Philip wasn't content to merely conquer his neighbors.
While the Athenians were distracted by the first Social War in 357-355 BCE, Philip laid siege to their ally Amphipolis. Having taken the city, he proceeded to capture the Athenian possessions of Pydna and Potidaea, then overran the entire coastal areas between the Strymon and Nestus to gain access to the Thracian gold mines—from which Macedon soon claimed an annual revenue of 1000 talents.
With the occupation of Nicaea, Cytinium and especially Elateia, the Athenians finally decided to do something about the upstart Philip, only to be smashed flat at the battle of Chaeronea by the irresistible Macedonian phalanxes. Macedon’s control of Greece was formalized at the Congress of Corinth in 337 BCE, attended by all the city-states except the Spartans, who Philip was content to ignore. With Greece conquered, Philip turned his attentions to Persia … but found himself decorating the sword of Pausanias, one of his seven bodyguards, during his own daughter’s marriage celebration. He died at the age of 47, having reigned for nearly half of his life.
Philip’s son Alexander III promptly continued his father's plans to invade Persia, and ended up forming the largest empire known to the ancient world. Though Alexander the Great's story is detailed elsewhere, the aftermath of his untimely demise was Macedon's own death knell. Nearly all Alexander's arranged marriages between Greeks and Susa noble families dissolved, and the Greek city-states rebelled. Various claimants crawled forth for the crown of Macedon itself.
After a decade of bloodshed, the terms of the peace treaty in 311 BCE were that each surviving general should keep what he possessed, that all the Greek cities should become independent, and that Cassander—son of the general Antipater—would retain power in Macedon until Alexander’s son by his wife Roxana came of age to rule. This led to the murder of Roxana and young Alexander IV on the orders of Cassander, who proceeded to found the Antipatrid dynasty when he declared himself King of Macedon in 305 BCE.
Cassander’s untimely death from dropsy in 297 BCE saw the Antipatrid dynasty fall to the Antigonids. As the dynasties fought, the whole country slipped into anarchy and the remnants of Alexander's empire went their own various ways. It wasn’t until Antigonus II that Macedon regained stability. Under his successors, Macedon even began to reassert its military prowess.
The Romans had other ideas. Their legions roundly defeated Philip V's vaunted Macedonian phalanxes. His son Perseus was forced into a losing engagement with the Romans near Pydna in 168 BCE, after which the fallen king fled to Samothrace with some 6,000 talents, the bulk of the Macedonian treasury. The conquered kingdom was itself divided into four distinct “provinces” by the Romans, who were content to receive half the tribute Macedones previously tithed their king. Consequently, few were upset by the demise of Macedon as an independent nation.
- Main article: Macedonian cities (Civ6)
|Males||Females||Modern males||Modern females|
- The Macedonian civilization's symbol is the Vergina Sun, a historical symbol of Macedonian royalty.
- The Macedonian civilization ability references the spread of ancient Greek culture and religion to conquered peoples, especially through Alexander the Great's conquests.
- Macedon is also playable in the Conquests of Alexander scenario.
Greatest Is As Greatest Does
Never Lost a Battle
Win a regular game as Alexander
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