The Nubian people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They are led by Amanitore, under whom their default colors are light yellow and brown. They are available with the Nubia Civilization & Scenario Pack, which was released on July 27, 2017.
The Nubians' civilization ability is Ta-Seti, which provides them with +50% Production toward and extra combat experience for ranged units, +1 Production from Mines over strategic resources, and +2 Gold from Mines over bonus and luxury resources. Their unique unit is the Pítati Archer (which replaces the Archer), and their unique tile improvement is the Nubian Pyramid.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Nubia is one of the most powerful and newbie-friendly civilizations in the game, as their abilities allow flexible yet easily executed strategies. In war, their army of fast-moving, hard-hitting Pítati Archers will quickly take care of the enemies. In peace, their expertise at city planning allows efficient District construction.
Ta-Seti[edit | edit source]
Nubia's civilization ability lends itself toward a focus on Production and military (and especially ranged units). To take full advantage of their unique improvement and ability, they should found cities near Deserts, Floodplains, and resources that can be improved with Mines: Copper, Diamonds, Jade, Mercury, Salt, Silver, and land-based sources of Amber (and, as they research the technologies needed to reveal them, Iron, Niter, Coal, Aluminum, and Uranium). By discovering Craftsmanship and getting the Agoge policy card early on, they can rapidly raise an army of Pítati Archers that can be used to stage lightning raids on their neighbors' cities. They should try to keep their Pítati Archers alive for as long as possible - if they do, the quick Promotions that they earn will allow them to form the core of an extremely deadly assault force as they upgrade to Crossbowmen and beyond. In all but the final eras of the game, three or four ranged units with Incendiaries, Expert Marksman, and melee or cavalry support mitigate the need for siege units.
As their empire grows, the Nubians should build Industrial Zones adjacent to their Mines and Encampments in the cities they plan to use as unit training centers. This will allow them to keep their army large and strong as they push forth to conquer new lands, and the XP bonuses from Encampment buildings and their civilization ability will allow their ranged units to catch up to their veteran units in short order.
Nubia should have little trouble founding a pantheon thanks to the Nubian Pyramid's Faith bonus, but may have difficulty founding a religion without cutting back on its military. Desert Folklore, Religious Idols, and God of Craftsmen are all good choices for pantheons, and beliefs that strengthen military units or boost Production or Gold all play to the Nubians' strengths.
Kandake of Meroë[edit | edit source]
Under Amanitore, the Nubians have an increased incentive to build multiple Districts in each city. Industrial Zones and Encampments, as mentioned above, should be high priorities when pursuing the fast, aggressive playstyle that their civilization ability supports; other cities should have Campuses, Theater Squares, and either Commercial Hubs or Harbors to increase their Trade Route limit and pay the maintenance cost of their growing army. Nubia can also build highly specialized desert cities by building one or two districts in a city and surrounding them with Nubian Pyramids, though the benefits of doing so fall short of those they gain from settling in more productive terrain.
Nubian Pyramid[edit | edit source]
Were it not for Amanitore's District Production bonus in cities that have a Nubian Pyramid next to the City Center, this might well be the worst unique improvement in the game. Extremely restrictive placement, paltry yields that require a lot of investment, zero scaling potential - this improvement has just about every drawback imaginable. Even if your cities are large enough to support many Districts, it is never worth forgoing locations with good adjacency bonuses for the sake of this improvement. Moreover, the Nubian Pyramid has to be placed on a Desert, Desert Hills, or (Desert) Floodplains tile, and cities located here are unlikely to grow large enough to start erecting Districts everywhere.
Due to their uselessness in terms of yields, using Nubian Pyramids effectively is incredibly simple: try to settle next to a Desert tile and build one next to your City Center to activate Amanitore's bonus, and then forget that this improvement exists. Desert cities struggle with growth and Production, and an extra 20% toward Districts when your Production is already low just isn't worth the trouble, so don't settle in the middle of a vast desert just to leverage the Nubian Pyramid's bonus.
Since flat Desert tiles cannot be improved, you can put this improvement down on those tiles if you want, although this should be at the bottom of the priority list when using your Builders. If those tiles are not adjacent to any District, it is probably better to save your Builders' charges for something else. An invader may gain more Faith from pillaging this improvement than it can ever give you, especially when you have to assign a Citizen to work its pathetic base yield of 1 Faith on a flat Desert tile with no other yields.
Pítati Archer[edit | edit source]
The Pítati Archer is a superb replacement for the Archer: it's stronger, quicker, and earns Promotions 50% faster thanks to the Nubians' civilization ability. Its one drawback is its higher Production cost, though the Nubians' bonuses toward training ranged units help offset this.
All things considered, the Pítati Archer is hands down the best ranged unit until the Medieval Era:
- It becomes available at the same time as the Maryannu Chariot Archer of the Egyptians (which is nominally the strongest early ranged unit), but it has only a slightly weaker ranged attack and just over half the Production cost.
- It is much stronger than and almost as mobile as the Saka Horse Archer of the Scythians, though it may get outnumbered by them.
- It becomes available much earlier than the Immortal of the Persians, so may be used in battle much earlier. Besides, it is still stronger at a distance and cheaper than the Immortal.
The Nubians can gain a military advantage early on by training several Pítati Archers, which they can use to launch lightning raids on barbarian outposts and unsuspecting neighbors.
Victory Types[edit | edit source]
The Nubian Pyramid's bonuses, despite being flexible, are far too meager to dictate the Nubians' path to victory. A Domination Victory is the most logical choice for them: their Pítati Archer is extremely strong in the early eras, and their ranged unit Production and XP bonuses aren't restricted by available terrain and apply throughout the game. Their high output of Production and the ability to build Campuses and Spaceports faster also help them with a Science Victory to some degree.
Counter Strategy[edit | edit source]
Being anywhere near Nubia is very dangerous in the early game. Pítati Archers can handily defeat pretty much any other unit that becomes available before the Medieval Era, and Nubia's various Production bonuses let them get infrastructure up quickly. Try to satisfy Amanitore's agenda and stay in her good graces, but if it comes to war, the best strategy is to build Walls in all your cities and keep normal Archers garrisoned in them. Pítati Archers can shred units, but they're a lot worse at directly assaulting cities, and enough bombardment will eat through their modest HP.
Even once Pítati Archers are irrelevant, Nubia can still be a threat, since they keep their bonuses to ranged units. Always watch out for them.
Civilopedia entry[edit | edit source]
Situated along the Great Bend of the Nile River in northern Africa, Nubia served as the gateway between the Red Sea and the Nile Delta—a locus of trade that could have spanned from the source of the Nile River to its mouth in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately for Nubia, the Egyptians directly to Nubia’s north had other ideas. The two civilizations would exchange roles as wary neighbor, conqueror, and vassal for millennia, until a series of invaders from distant lands permanently ended their rivalry.
The earliest Nubian civilization began in what is today Sudan. The city-state of Kerma was located in a fertile basin just south of the Nile's Third Cataract. Kerma's ideal position beside the Nile made it a center of trade as accessible by land as it was by water. The discovery and exploitation of extensive mineral wealth such as ebony and gold cemented Kerma's ascension. With trade came wealth, and that led to raids from those who wanted wealth but were not entirely convinced that trade was the way to get it.
Kerma fortified its city and its routes, slowly extending its influence along the Nile until its allied villages, forts, and trading posts stretched nearly 800 miles (1287 km)—roughly the distance between the First through Fifth Cataracts. At that time, they were a match for Egypt in size and influence.
Very little of Kerma has survived since the Second Millennium BCE. If its people had a written language, it was long since lost. Most records of the kingdom exist in Egyptian texts—notably, of various minor conflicts with their Nubian neighbors. They described Kerma as a highly centralized state, but managing extensive territory without a written language is a daunting task.
Despite the constant conflict between neighboring kingdoms, Egypt called Nubia "the Land of the Bow” after the formidable Nubian archers who formed the bulk of Kerma's forces. To understand how strong an impression these warriors left upon their opponents, one Egyptian fort subsequently built in Nubian territory was called “Warding Off the Bows”—both proclamation and aspiration.
Kerma's strength reached its height in 1580 BCE, but an ill-fated alliance with the Hyksos led to its eventual downfall. The Hyksos were invaders from the east who seized portions of Egypt in the middle of the 17th Century BCE but found great difficulty with a rebellious populace and a surviving Egyptian dynasty based in Thebes. Kerma sought to carve up what remained, crushing Egypt once and for all.
It almost worked. For thirty years Kerma cut deep into Egyptian territory, taking religious and cultural artifacts for themselves, until Egypt finally overthrew and expelled their Hyksos overlords. So extensive and painful was Kerma's invasion that the Egyptians subsequently purged all records of it, along with any mention of the Hyksos "15th Dynasty." What they could not do was erase the accumulated Egyptian treasure in Kerma.
Still, the pharaohs remembered their humiliation. Thutmosis I repaid it a century later when he captured the city of Kerma. His successor Thutmosis III pushed even further into Nubian territory, eventually proclaiming the mountain of Jebel Barkal and the nearby city of Napata the new southern border of Egypt.
Nubia spent roughly four centuries under Egyptian rule. There were many rebellions, of course, but as time passed Nubian and Egyptian cultures intermingled. Kerma faded and the loyal province of Nubia eventually became the source of Egypt's gold, its route to the Red Sea, and its archers—now feared by Egypt's enemies.
By the 10th Century BCE, Egypt's focus on Mediterranean affairs (and the subsequent collapse of Egypt’s New Kingdom) left Nubia to its own affairs. Slowly, over the next few centuries, the Kingdom of Kush rose to prominence when Libyan princes subjugated an overextended Egypt.
In a strange twist of fate, the Kushite King Piye proclaimed divine mandate by the god Amun—an Egyptian god whose temple at Jebel Barkal was constructed by Egyptian pharaoh Thutmosis III—to liberate Lower Egypt from its Libyan interlopers. And with that, the Nubian king seized control of the Nile Delta, formed the 25th Dynasty, and sought to restore Egypt to its former glory.
For a time, it did. Piye and his successors made it a priority to rebuild the monuments, temples, and public works that had long since languished under foreign control. This revitalization of Egyptian culture was the 25th Dynasty’s greatest accomplishment—but not a lasting one.
No matter how small the wasp’s nest, it is rarely a good idea to give it a swift kick. This lesson was lost on multiple pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty who sought to extend their influence into the Near East. This put them in conflict with the powerful Neo-Assyrian Empire who considered the Near East its vassals. (Piye’s support of Canaan’s rebellion against their Neo-Assyrian overlords did not help matters.) Neo-Assyria’s King Esarhaddon made his position abundantly clear when he invaded Egypt in 674 BCE. In three short years, the invaders had deposed the 25th Dynasty, permanently ending Nubia’s flirtations with empire.
Nubia’s withdrawal from Egypt ultimately worked out in their favor—after Neo-Assyria’s example, other Mediterranean powers would find Egypt a tempting candidate for vassal. A prudent relocation of Nubia’s capital from Napata to the more distant Meroe provided access to the Greek traders on the Red Sea, then far more lucrative than trade along the Nile. It also discouraged invasion from the north—neither Persia, Macedon, nor Ptolemaic Egypt made any serious effort to extend into the Meroitic Kingdom of Kush.
Then, in 25 BCE, Nubia fell afoul of Rome. The Roman general Petronius repeatedly clashed with Nubia’s one-eyed Kandake (or “queen”) Amanirenas. After Roman forces sacked Napata and razed the Temple of Amun to the ground, Amanirenas’s resistance was ferocious enough to convince Petronius that peace was more favorable than conquest. Augustus Caesar signed a peace treaty with Kush that was surprisingly favorable to Nubia, treating them as a friendly protectorate rather than a former belligerent.
Following this period of Roman destruction came the dawn of the Meroitic builders, begun in 1 BCE by Kandake Amanitore (her story is detailed elsewhere). This time of rebuilding ended when the Beja dynasty to their northeast captured Meroe in the 1st Century. Despite attempts by the Beja to expand Nubia, internal rebellion and conflict with the Kingdom of Aksum led to their eventual and permanent conquest.
Cities[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Nubian cities (Civ6)
Citizens[edit | edit source]
|Males||Females||Modern males||Modern females|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- When the Nubians were first added to the game, their colors were light gray and dark brown. They were later changed to cream and brown, which now applies to all rulesets.
- The Nubian civilization's symbol is a disk with three sets of concentric rings at its bottom, inspired by the patterns found on Nubian baskets and other craftwork.
- The Nubian civilization ability is the name given to a region of Upper Egypt that bordered Nubia, and often used for Nubia itself by the Egyptians, which meant "Land of the Bow".
- Nubia is also playable in the Gifts of the Nile scenario.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Videos[edit | edit source]
Related achievements[edit | edit source]
As Nubia, earn six different adjacency bonuses on a Nubian Pyramid
The 25th Dynasty
Playing as Nubia, liberate the original Egyptian capital in a liberation war with the capital's conqueror.
[edit | edit source]
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