The Mongols' civilization ability is Örtöö, which causes their Trade Routes to instantly create Trading Posts in the destination city, as well as an extra level of Diplomatic Visibility for having a Trading Post in another civilization's city and an additional +3 Combat Strength for each level of Diplomatic Visibility they have on an opponent. Their unique unit is the Keshig, and their unique building is the Ordu (which replaces the Stable).
The Mongolian civ is very focused on combat bonuses, particularly for Light and Heavy Cavalry units. At the beginning of the game, it is important to focus your scientific and cultural research towards Military bonuses and Cavalry units. Of particular importance is Animal Husbandry ---> Archery ---> Horseback Riding (to gain access to Horsemen and the Ordu) and Mining --> Bronze Working (to build Encampments). Foreign Trade is also important to research early. Örtöö essentially makes your Trader units into a fifth column within the cities of your future victims--er, "neighbours," so it is important to get your Trade Routes up before you begin going to war.
Mongolia is fairly simple and one-dimensional. Focus completely on Domination. There is little need for districts other than an Encampment early in the game. Focus on building 1-2 Encampments, setting up Trade Routes to your first targets, and start building Ordu and Horsemen as soon as possible. You will get plenty of the other stuff from your conquests later!
Oligarchy is the goal of your early policy research. Once you have finished researching Political Philosophy, your Ordu should be finishing up. Slot in your Maneuver card and start pumping out Horsemen like there's no tomorrow! The +4 Combat Strength bonus from Oligarchic Legacy sadly doesn't apply to Cavalry units, though.
Feudalism is likely to be your next civic tree target after researching Oligarchy (for the Stirrups Eureka), although Divine Right is also important (the Military Policy slots from Monarchy will come in handy). It should go without saying that you should get your Government Plaza up as soon as possible and build the Warlord's Throne. You won't be settling many cities after Turn 70 or so, and you certainly don't need the -2 Loyalty modifier from the Audience Chamber!
Horsemen will be the backbone of your Military. The Horseman unit is very powerful on its own, and the bonuses that Genghis Khan gets to cavalry units make them nearly unstoppable. Later, once you research Stirrups, you will gain access to your unique unit, the Keshig. Keshig in Civilization VI are not nearly as impressive as their counterparts in Civilization V, but they are still strong and are very helpful for transporting your non-combat units (like Great Generals and Battering Rams) across the map. Otherwise it would be difficult for these units to keep up with your horde of Horsemen. If you have not conquered the entire world before the Renaissance Era, then accessing Printing for its Diplomatic visibility boost followed by Military Science becomes a priority, so that you can promote your Horsemen to Cavalry. In the meantime, spying on your next targets to further elevate your combat advantage from Diplomatic visibility is a good idea. You should then be able to finish off your last few rivals with a Cavalry timing push.
The Ordu is also very important for Mongolia's dreams of conquest. It is a unique building that replaces the Stable, and grants a +1 Movement bonus to all cavalry units trained in the city. By stacking this movement bonus with other bonuses you get from Great Generals and Pursuit, your cavalry units become incredibly nimble and deadly.
When choosing your next target for conquest, make sure that you have opened up a Trade Route with them before going to war. By doing so, you will immediately create a Trading Post, which will give you one level of Diplomatic Visibility - even during the war. This will generally activate Örtöö and grant your units a Combat Strength bonus versus your target civ. For every level of Diplomatic Visibility difference (their Access Level on you vs. your Access Level on them), Mongolia gets a +6 Combat Strength bonus instead of +3 like other civilizations. This can scale up to the maximum of +24 Combat Strength bonus for you (if their Access level on you is None and yours on them is Top Secret), which pretty much guarantees an one shot kill between units with similar base strength. Thus, trying to maximize this difference is important. Sending delegates, establishing embassies, sending trade routes to other civilizations while refusing foreign delegates and embassies in the early and mid game helps quite a lot. Why would you need a small sum of gold from them when you can just take their cities instead?
World Domination has become slightly more difficult with the Rise and Fall expansion. The further away from your homeland you get, the more you will feel the pressure from the Loyalty mechanic. Try to achieve a Golden Age during the Classical Era, when you will do a large amount of conquering. Getting a Golden Age in the Medieval Era should be relatively easy - remember that completely wiping out a rival civ is worth a +5 era score. Once you've conquered a city, make sure to start a Monument for that +1 Loyalty bonus. Finally, remember to use policy cards that provide additional Loyalty to prevent your recent conquests from revolting.
Although generally one of the weaker Governors, Victor can be particularly helpful for Mongolia in the loyalty department. Victor provides few relevant bonuses other than Loyalty and he only takes 3 turns (rather than the usual 5) to establish himself in a recently conquered city.
Beyond Encampments, Commercial Hubs and Entertainment Complexes are important districts for Mongolia. Commercial Hubs will give you more Trade Routes, thus making Örtöö easier to activate and will help with paying for your massive horde. Entertainment Complexes will help provide your sprawling empire with Amenities and assist with Loyalty. As far as wonders go, the Colosseum is the most important. The rest you can pretty much ignore, although the era score from a wonder can be very helpful in achieving your next Golden Age, and thus, maintaining loyalty throughout your empire.
Mongolia is almost completely focused on a Domination Victory. If for some reason, a Domination Victory will be difficult to achieve (perhaps playing on a Continents map), Mongolia can leverage their early conquests into a Cultural or Science Victory, as they should have a massive amount of territory and cities by the end of the Medieval Era.
At the height of their empire, the Mongols' wrath would be felt from East Asia to Western Europe, a dynasty which would live on well into the Twentieth Century. A true chronicle of their history must reconcile the horrors of the conquest with their skill in uniting the disparate parts of the empire from technology to culture.
What we now consider the Mongols were a collection of tribes emerging from disparate tribes of the steppes of Central Asia such as the Xiongu (beginning in 209 BCE) and the Khitai (making their presence known in the Fourth Century CE).
These nomadic, warlike tribes would develop a technique for shooting a target while riding on horseback which would make them formidable foes to settlements and kingdoms throughout the region.
These so-called barbarian hordes would occasionally consolidate into a more fearsome fighting force, only to be repelled (and in the case of the Xiongnu against the Han Dynasty) nearly face extinction. And by the Second Century BCE, along with the Tartars, the Mongols would prove to be such an irritant to the Chinese, the Han emperor would both order their extermination as well as the construction of the Great Wall.
What we know as the 'true' Mongol Empire would begin with Temujin, born on the steppes in 1162. He was the son of a Borjigin chieftain, who would go to war with his regional rivals and quickly defeat them through spy craft and building an army based on merit and skill rather than blood ties. By 1206, his fighting force would subdue and absorb the western Naiman tribe, the Merkits in the north, and the Tanguts in the south, and that year, Temujin would declare himself 'Genghis Khan,' as one does.
The first thing that the universal leader of the Mongols would do is establish a unified code of laws, or the Yassa. The Yassa provided civil structure to the newly-built Empire, holding king and commoner to account and focusing on the dispensation of property, brides, and require civil or military services.
Under Genghis's Yassa, all citizens were granted religious freedom, as long as they maintained strict loyalty to Genghis above all. Religious leaders were free from both taxation and both civil and military service to the Empire.
Under Genghis' third son, Ogedei, the Khans would become patrons of houses of temples and houses of worship for the Taoists, Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims of Karakorum. Later, the Empire would fund Christian churches in China, Buddhist temples in Persia, and Muslim schools in Russia. It was a handy method of respecting local tradition while making it subordinate to the law of the Empire.
By the time of Genghis' grandson Batu's expansion into the Balkans in the 1240s, the Empire would become known as the Khanate of the Golden Horde. Batu would establish its capital in the city of Sarai on the Akhtuba River near modern-day Slitrennoye in Russia. By the 14th Century, theirs would be the largest contiguous land empire in history, covering between 11 and 12 million square miles.
In conquest mode, Mongol fighters rode light, moving rapidly and collecting what they needed on the way in order to build ladders, bridges, and siege engines. Each man would be responsible for securing or making his own bow for combat. Instead of settling in villages or cities, they would camp under hastily assembled stretched felt, wicker-reinforced shelters.
Then, they would lay siege to even the most fortified of cities using weapons collected from cultures across the empire, using both technology and the sheer force of their reputation.
And while not responsible for much in the way of art in culture, the way their empire was constructed allowed art, culture, and technology from disparate corners to spread from one end to another. For instance, when Hulegu Khan began his campaign against Baghdad in the 1250s, he would bring 1,000 Chinese catapult engineers (and their entire households), utilizing these men's know-how against Baghdad's walls. Later, Syrians familiar with counterweight catapults from the Iranian Khanate would go to China to assist the Yuan against the Sung in the south.
The Mongols were formidable, they were feared, and the only enemy which could disrupt the Empire would be the Empire itself. The main body of the Empire would fracture with the death of Mongke Khan in 1259. Mongke had no chosen successor, so his sons and relatives each decided to fill the position—all at once.
By 1271, civil war would fracture the Empire, splitting into four Khanates: the Golden Horde, descended from Batu, would dominate Russia and the Western Steppes. In Western Turkestan, the Muslim Chagatai Khanate (descended from Genghis' third son, Ogedei) would flex its strength for five centuries across Central Asia, along with parts of what are now modern Russia, China, and Afghanistan. The Ilkhanate would stretch from Iran to large swaths of Central Asia while Genghis' grandson, Kublai Khan, would destroy the Song Dynasty in China and install the Yuan Dynasty.
The Empire would get a second wind under Tamerlane who, between 1380 and 1400, would conquer the area between Iran, Khorasan, Harat, Baghdad, India, Azerbaijan, and Anatolia, effectively reunifying the disparate Khanates (for a time).
Today, the Empire may be gone, but the Mongols still endure, with Genghis' last ruling descendant, Alim Khan, living well into the 20th Century and governing Uzbekistan, and the remaining people surviving Soviet purges, living on with their own (disputed) independent country.
- Main article: Mongolian cities (Civ6)
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- The Mongolian civilization's symbol is the flame from atop the Soyombo, a symbol that appears on the Mongolian flag.
- The Mongolian civilization ability is named after the Mongols' messaging route.