In the vanilla version, the Suzerain of Preslav gains 5 Combat Strength of their light and heavy cavalry units when fighting on Hills tiles. A bonus cannot get any more conditional than that. Considering in Civilization VI, the site of the battle is where the defender stands, your cavalry units basically gain a net Combat Strength of 2 when attacking into Hills tiles (since the defender will gain 3 Combat Strength from the terrain modifier). Of course, this bonus makes your cavalry units a bit sturdier when they defend on Hills, but all the enemy needs to do is to avoid attacking these unit classes when they end their turn on Hills tiles. Overall, no one should go through troubles to vie for the Suzerainty of this city-state, just to get the bonus completely nullified if the enemy uses their common sense.
Considering how little Preslav's bonus is in vanilla, it is quite unbelievable that somehow Rise and Fall manages to rework it to be even worse. Loyalty bonuses are often negligible, since the only times you notice Loyalty bonuses being useful is when you are in deep trouble. You will not go out of your way to build Encampments to increase your Loyalty per turn for nothing. Also, whether this bonus becomes useful in conquest depends on if your enemies build Encampments with buildings in their cities, not on you and your decision, since you will never have enough time to construct an Encampment from scratch and put a few buildings in to raise the Loyalty pressure to keep your new territory in check.
No matter what version of the game you are playing, any non-free Envoy into Preslav is a bad investment. While Mogadishu, another city-state known to be almost useless, has some values on certain map types, the only amazing thing about Preslav is how it can stay consistently trivial across every game setting and version despite a major overhaul to its bonus and many changes to the landscape of the game over the years.
Until it was fortified in the early 9th Century AD, Preslav was just a sleepy little Slavic settlement. But by the time of the coronation of Boris I, with his capital in nearby Pliska, it was an important strategic center and the seat of the Bulgar 'Ichirgu-boil,' commander of the capital’s garrison and de facto head of the kingdom’s military. The town also became a religious center when the Bulgars converted to Christianity in 864 and built a number of churches there.
But Preslav’s primary business was war. Once a pagan revolt was finally defeated in 892 and Boris appointed Simeon I as his successor, the decision was made to move the capital from Pliska to the much-more Christian Preslav. For the next 80 years, not only did the new capital become the political and military center of Bulgaria, but its cultural, artistic, and religious center as well. The walls were expanded and reinforced, and its barracks became the training ground for Bulgar delusions of grandeur.
Until, that is, the Bulgars were defeated by the Kievan prince Sviatoslav Igorevich and Preslav occupied. The ensuing war between Byzantium and Kiev left the city ravaged and nigh razed by the liberating Byzantine armies. A lesson in being beware of one’s allies. The Byzantines carried off the Bulgarian treasury, the royal jewels and regalia, and most of the royal library.
Preslav recovered some of its military importance in the first decades of the “Second Bulgarian Empire,” c. 1185. Indeed, it was – along with the fortress at Tarnovgrad – one of the joint seats of the kingdom under the co-rulers. But the strategic defensive position of Tarnovgrad proved better able to withstand outside threats. The Tartar raids of the 1270s drove off what citizens in Preslav survived; they built a new village of the same name a couple miles away, plundering the once-mighty walls for building materials.
- Preslav's symbol is most likely based on the Pliska rosette.
|Civilization VI City-states |
|1 Requires DLC|