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 +30% 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.
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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.
Nubia's civilization ability lends itself toward a focus on Production and military (and especially ranged units).
Extra Production and Gold from Mines over resources
To take full advantage of their unique improvement and this aspect of their unique ability, Nubia 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).
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.
Boosts to ranged units
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.
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
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.
While not one of the most powerful unique improvements in the game, the Nubian Pyramid, when used correctly, can be extremely useful. Because of Kandake of Meroë, Nubia already gets 20% extra Production towards Districts, and that rises to 40% Production when a Nubian Pyramid is adjacent to the City Center.
Prior to the April 2021 Update, Nubian Pyramids were terrible, as they offered only +1 Faith as an inherent yield (and usually +1 Food as you would build them adjacent to your City Center). The extra yields gained from placing them adjacent to other Districts were pitiful, as Nubia's desert cities could never reach a high enough Population to build that many Districts.
After the update, Nubian Pyramids now inherently provide +2 Faith and +2 Food (+3 if you build one next to your City Center, which you should always do), making them a workable tile that can actually contribute to Nubian Population growth. As +2 Food on each tile is still not amazing, Nubia should still look to settle on the edge of deserts and not completely within them, unless the city has many Desert Floodplains which can be improved with Farms.
The Nubian Pyramids can only be placed on Desert, Desert Hills, and Desert Floodplains. As already mentioned, Desert Floodplains should be turned into Farms, not Pyramids tiles; this will protect any Pyramids from flooding damage and simply provide more Food. The price of settling near these unfavorable tiles is slightly offset by both the extra Production and Gold from Mines provided by Nubia's ability.
It would be remiss to not mention the other part of the Nubian Pyramids' ability, which is gaining +1 yield of every adjacent district (based on their respective yields). You can think of this as a Government Plaza in reverse: instead of granting +1 adjacency to all the Districts around it, it gets adjacency itself based on the Districts around it. However, due to the general lack of adjacency bonus opportunities in deserts, Nubian Pyramids should be used as a fallback plan. Nubia's Districts should still aim for their individual highest possible adjacency rather than creating huge clusters of Districts like Japan.
Remember that the Nubian Pyramids can be placed adjacent to one another and there is no limit on the number of Nubian Pyramids a city can have. For the Nubian Pyramids, quantity > quality, so instead of trying to get the "perfect" Nubian Pyramids tile surrounded by every unique District, place multiple Pyramids tiles next to each District to get the specific yield you care about (e.g. gaining extra Science by surrounding a Campus). In fact, in a situation where you are in need of Science but have no Mountains or Reefs, it is better to place a Campus with 0 adjacency and surround its 6 adjacent tiles with Nubian Pyramids, as that is equivalent to +6 Science. The same goes for Theater Squares and Holy Sites.
Desert tiles without any adjacent Districts are probably better left unimproved; the Builder charges spent on improving tiles with Nubian Pyramids are better spent elsewhere. Furthermore, any invaders who pillage Nubian Pyramids will gain much more Faith in one turn than Nubia will probably gain from an individual Pyramids tile over the course of an entire era.
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.
The Nubian Pyramid's bonuses are flexible: with a free 40% Production towards Districts, Nubia can pursue any victory type by focusing on Campuses (and Spaceports), Theater Squares, or Holy Sites. However, 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.
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.
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.
- Main article: Nubian cities (Civ6)
|Males||Females||Modern males||Modern females|
- 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.
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.
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