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The Holy Roman Empire under a wave of plague

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The Black Death is a scenario in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm.


The Black Death ravaged Europe and Western Asia in the mid-14th century, killing a greater share of the population than any other event in world history. The pandemic killed millions, ruined economies, upended political dynasties and transformed the face of the Western world.

Your task is to lead your nation through the calamity: keep your population alive, your economy strong, and your faith unshaken amidst a world of terror and desperation.


The scenario is set in the medieval times during the Black Death. There is a multiplayer mode in this scenario. The scenario can be won by researching the final technology, Invention, or the final civic, The Middle Class, before 85 turns have passed.

In The Black Death, a plague regularly sweeps over the continent, originating from port cities of different nations. If a unit ends its turn on a tile with the plague, it loses 20 HP. Cities with plague also have a high risk of losing Citizen Population.

By default, plague-stricken tiles cannot be worked, which makes cities lose a lot more of their Citizen Population and yields. The player is also regularly presented with events where one must usually choose between two bad choices, which usually have to do with cities losing yields.


You should focus on either producing enough Science Science or Culture Culture to research either the final technology or civic. While you may be tempted to attack neighboring nations if they are weakened by the plague, it is very difficult to keep your armies alive while the plague is spreading, and additionally it's difficult to produce more units with your cities crippled by the plague. So build either Campuses or Theater Squares early on while it is still possible - remember that cities with too few Citizen Citizens cannot build new District Districts. Fast units (namely, Knights) are, however, useful in pillaging enemy districts and improvements, as pillaging Campuses yields Science Science, pillaging Theater Squares yields Culture Culture, and pillaging Farms yields HP. Also, by using a Caravel, you can pillage each coastal city's Harbor and get an impressive amount of Gold Gold. And while on the subject of combat, note that in this scenario Encampments and City Centers cannot perform ranged attacks. Finally, as the Production Production yields of your cities will inevitably be crippled in the course of the scenario, you should be prepared to acquire your new units and buildings by some other means: either purchase them with Gold Gold or by Faith Faith, so be sure to keep a stockpile of one (or both).


Subsequent base game updates have introduced bugs to this scenario, reducing the difficulty:


Special Features[]





The Black Death Technology Tree. Click to zoom.


The Black Death Civics Tree. Click to zoom.


Policy Cards[]


The plague lens

  • Plague Lens - shows tiles infected by the Black Plague



Civilization VI Gathering Storm - Black Death Scenario (Pre-Launch Livestream VOD)

Sarah Darney, Dave McDonough, and Carl Harrison play The Black Death in a pre-launch livestream of Gathering Storm.

Related achievements[]

Aggressive Strain
Aggressive Strain
Win the Black Death after conquering five cities.
An aggressive strain is a variant of a microorganism which is more contagious than the common one; the territorial expansion is here compared to the spread of a disease.
Win the Black Death as Castile.
The Spanish word for 'blessing'.
Danse Macabre
Danse Macabre
Win the Black Death scenario on Deity difficulty.
Danse Macabre is a genre of art about how death comes for everyone eventually, regardless of who they are.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Win the Black Death as England.
A reference to several Bible passages (Isaiah 22:13, Ecclesiastes 8:15, 1 Corinthians 15:32, and Luke 12:19).
Win the Black Death as the Holy Roman Empire.
A German word that is used to wish good health to a person who has just sneezed.
I'm Not Dead Yet
I'm Not Dead Yet
Win the Black Death after turn 80.
A quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail during the famous 'Bring out your dead!' sequence.
Medieval Medicine
Medieval Medicine
Train 25 Plague Doctors during the Black Death scenario.
Plague doctors tended to victims of the bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the 14th century.
Santé Passe Richesse
Santé Passe Richesse
Win the Black Death as France.
'Santé passe richesse' translates to 'health is worth more than wealth' in French.
Civilization VI Scenarios [edit]
Ancient RivalsCavalry and CannonadesConquests of Alexander1Gifts of the Nile1Global Thermonuclear WarHallowed GroundJadwiga's Legacy1Outback Tycoon1Path to Nirvana1PiratesRed DeathThe Black Death GS-Only.pngVikings, Traders, and Raiders!1War Machine GS-Only.png
1 Requires a DLC

GS-Only.png Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.