The Vietnamese people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They are led by Bà Triệu, under whom their default colors are yellow and dark magenta. They are available with the Vietnam & Kublai Khan Pack, which was released on January 28, 2021.
The Vietnamese civilization ability is Nine Dragon River Delta, which restricts land specialty District placement to Rainforest, Marsh, and Woods tiles but causes their buildings to yield extra Science, Production, or Culture, depending on the type of features they are on. They can also plant Woods with Medieval Faires instead of Conservation. Their unique unit is the Voi Chiến (which replaces the Crossbowman), and their unique District is the Thành (which replaces the Encampment).
- 1 Strategy
- 1.1 Nine Dragon River Delta
- 1.2 Drive Out The Aggressors
- 1.3 Voi Chiến
- 1.4 Thành
- 1.5 Victory Types
- 1.6 Counter Strategy
- 2 Civilopedia entry
- 3 Cities
- 4 Citizens
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Videos
- 8 Related achievements
- 9 External links
- 10 References
Hidden behind luxuriant swathes of forests, Vietnam is patiently biding their time for the opportune moment. Once the Medieval Era comes, they can either morph into the most defensive civilization of the game, or emerge from the deep jungles and trample all unsuspecting enemies beneath the feet of their elephants. Under the leadership of Bà Triệu, Vietnam can swing from one extreme to another with such agility that all their opponents will be constantly kept on their toes.
Nine Dragon River Delta
All land specialty Districts can only be built on removable features
Strictly speaking this is more of a liability than an ability, as it greatly limits where you can put down your Districts. The additional yields to buildings inside these Districts are small and do not scale for higher tier buildings, they are there to compensate the low adjacency bonus of Vietnamese Districts due to limited placement rules. This ability comes with a few notable quirks that players should remember when they place down Districts.
(This rule applies only to land specialty Districts. Since the Thành is not considered a specialty District and does not require Population, it is not subject to this rule and does not adhere to the following mechanics.)
First and foremost, specialty Districts will preserve whatever features they are on, just like how the Mbanza and Chichen Itza preserve Rainforests and the Mahabodhi Temple preserves Woods. The features underneath will continue to function like normal, meaning they will still give adjacency bonuses, defensive modifications, Bà Triệu's bonuses, and are vulnerable to certain types of disasters. Therefore, Vietnam is the only civilization for whom Forest Fires can pillage Districts, and makes Vietnam particularly vulnerable to Soothsayer attacks if Apocalypse mode is turned on.
This also means that Desert and Floodplains will be your worst enemy, since removable features can never be upon them whether by world generation or planting, thus you cannot build specialty Districts on these tiles, ever. Technically, Snow is also the bane of Vietnam, but to be fair, almost every civilization in the game, with a few exceptions, hates Snow. Inability to have Districts on Desert, while a bit unfortunate, is not too difficult to work around since Vietnam normally doesn't encourage Desert settlement anyway, but inability to build on Floodplains means Vietnam will face more difficulties in developing riverside settlements, especially with Commercial Hubs (potentially losing out on the major adjacency bonus towards rivers that other empires are almost guaranteed to get), and makes it much more difficult to optimally place Industrial Zones next to Aqueducts and Dams. It is worth noting, though, that not every tile next to a river is a Floodplains tile; thus it is recommended that before you settle new cities on rivers you should check- one, how many tiles are Floodplains in the city, and two, if you have enough places to construct these Districts in tandem, and they are not blocked by luxury and/or strategic resources.
Extra yields for buildings on removable features
For the Vietnamese, their early start can be slow. Their Districts may have low adjacency bonuses and they are forced to expend Production to build tier 1 buildings if they want to leverage the extra yields. Again, these yields are minor and do not scale, so they are only meaningful in the early game, but fall off rapidly in mid- and late game. The best District to make use of this bonus is the Holy Site. The Holy Site has amazing synergy with Vietnam for a number of reasons:
- The Holy Site has all three of its buildings unlocked by the Classical Era - at least 3 eras earlier than other Districts - making it the best District to leverage the Vietnamese building bonus. Also, Vietnam wants to reach Medieval Faires as early as possible to gain the ability to plant Woods, so the extra Culture from building Holy Sites on Woods is precious.
- Vietnam can plant Woods 3 eras sooner than any other civilizations, and Holy Sites gain extra adjacency bonus from Woods.
- Vietnam is a Cultural/Domination civilization, both of which can benefit from high Faith generation. Faith can be used to purchase Naturalists and Rock Bands for a Cultural Victory and units can be purchased (with the Grand Master's Chapel) for a Domination Victory. The Grand Master's Chapel and tier 2 Government timing coincides with the Voi Chiến and the ability to plant Woods, giving Vietnam an incredible power spike.
- Holy Sites provide additional Appeal to surrounding tiles, which works even better when it is placed on a Woods tile.
With that being said, this aspect, most of the time, feels like nothing but a flytrap that baits players into unnecessarily expending Production on tier 1 buildings. New players are especially vulnerable to this, since they always try their best to leverage all possible bonuses of a civilization without taking into account whether the results are worth the investment, which is why, in terms of gameplay difficulty, Vietnam is very similar to Poland, another civilization notorious for tough decision-making by leveraging its disparate bonuses with unequal focus.
A strong Vietnamese empire requires a decent flow of both Science and Culture in the first two eras, with Culture outpacing Science, since you need to reach Machinery and Medieval Faires with good timing, and it is easy to beeline Machinery but a lot harder to beeline Medieval Faires. To get the best bang for your buck, Science and Culture should be provided by your Campuses and Thành, not this pathetic bonus. Only build tier 1 buildings because you need to, like a Shrine to found a Religion, or a Market for an extra Trade Route. Do not waste crucial early game Production going out of your way to try to make the best out of this bonus. Not only is it not worth it, but for a civilization that requires precision in timing so it can hit a perfect power spike in Medieval Era, this can set you back a lot or even cost you the game by narrowing the opportunity window of your very powerful unique unit. For more information on early game District planning for efficient Science and Culture output, read below in the Thành section.
Considering certain levels of volcanic eruptions can destroy features, they can strip off the yields provided to your buildings by those features, but since this yield bonus is very little, this is not exactly a huge setback. If there is a piece of land where a nearby Volcano has erupted multiple times, feel free to take advantage of those yields by putting down a city there, but watch out: Woods cannot be planted on Volcanic Soil, so those tiles will never be able to host any District.
Reaching Medieval Faires
Medieval Faires is the all-important civic for Vietnam, as it allows them to wrest control of their own fate, instead of leaving it up to the mercy of map generation. Therefore, if this civic can be timed to coincide with your unique unit (unlocked at Machinery), you will have a huge momentum in the mid game. Culture generation, hence, is crucial in the early game for Vietnam. The three types of specialty Districts you would want to build in the early game as Vietnam are Holy Sites, Campuses and Commercial Hubs. Unless there are obvious spots with really high adjacency bonuses, prioritize placing these Districts onto Woods or Rainforests, with Woods have a little bit higher in priority. Your goal is to unlock Machinery and Medieval Faires at relatively the same time. Machinery is very easy to beeline (only build 3 Archers), so one or two Campuses should do the trick, but Medieval Faires is a different story. That is the reason why placing Districts onto Woods should have high priorities. Thành should be placed in every single city possible, ideally next to at least 2 of the 3 types of Districts listed above. Although it is said that Woods should be prioritized over Rainforests, 1 Culture from a building is nowhere near enough, while the Thành is an incredible, much more efficient option.
Regarding Marshes, unless there is a good District spot, feel free to clear Marshes immediately to receive a Food burst. You need a little bit of early growth to unlock a few District slots quickly and more Population to work tiles and shorten the District building time. Not only do Marshes lower your Appeal, each building on Marsh tiles only gives 1 Production, which is borderline meaningless, considering how much Production you need to invest just to get that 1 Production back. If there are a lot of Marshes around, which can be the case for Vietnam considering their starting bias, maybe aim for the Etemenanki. This Wonder can take care of your Science generation, so that you can completely focus on your Culture. It combines really well with the Lady of the Reeds and Marshes pantheon, which will give you a huge Production foundation. If the Etemenanki is not on your agenda, again, get rid of Marshes.
After researching Political Philosophy, you need to pick up Games and Recreation, Defensive Tactics, and Feudalism before reaching Medieval Faires. Regarding the Inspirations required for these 4 civics, it is easy to trigger them for Feudalism and Medieval Faires, but not so much for Defensive Tactics and Games and Recreation. Considering how important Medieval Faires is to Vietnam, this beelining tactic is required when the map generation is not favorable to you. If you have a hard time generating Culture or the Production of your cities is low so that you cannot build many Districts to surround the Thành, don't waste your time and resource with many detours on the civic tree. If you start with more Woods than Rainforest and Marsh, and your land has decent Appeal, make just one small detour and pick up Mysticism to unlock the Preserve and Grove, they can boost your early Culture output significantly.
Above all, prioritize building Monuments in all cities as fast as possible after the Thành, as it only requires 60 Production to build a Monument and start gaining +2 Culture per city, making it an incredibly cost-effective building, and you want this bonus to reach Medieval Faires ASAP.
Woods can be planted with Medieval Faires
For any other civilization this bonus would be of little consequence, but given how Vietnam interacts with Woods it becomes crucial to unlock Medieval Faires as soon as possible. This opens up District placement beyond what the bounty of nature has granted you, which allows Vietnam to expand into featureless areas. However, it is worth noting that new cities on these terrain types will still need to train a Builder in order to build Districts, so it is advisable to build the Ancestral Hall when playing as Vietnam. Remember, Woods cannot be planted on Volcanic Soil, Floodplains, Desert, Snow, and on top of resources, but anywhere else is free game. A few worthwhile notes:
- Vietnam has a tier 1 starting bias towards Woods, Rainforest and Marsh, so you'll most likely start with a lot of these features, more than you will ever need to construct Districts on. Therefore, even from early stages, it is still recommended that you chop whichever features you do not intend to put a District on to speed up early game production. This ability simply gives you more freedom in deciding where to put what and even more freedom in chopping. You shouldn't chop everything at once, of course, but since you will start planting Woods as well, the two types of Woods can get mixed up with one another. Since second-growth Woods give nothing when chopped, and only old-growth Woods give Production, remember to check before chopping.
- There is not many differences between Rainforests and Woods, except for the type of yields they grant your buildings, and it has been discussed multiple times above that these yields are insignificant. For this reason, unless certain Rainforest tiles are giving adjacency bonuses to a Campus, or you picked Sacred Path pantheon combined with Work Ethics belief, feel free to replace all Rainforests with Woods, the Appeal difference going from Rainforests to Woods is +2. Also, get rid of Marshes. Once you can plant Woods, there is virtually no reason to keep these worthless tiles around. The only time you want to keep Marshes around is when you have a lot of them around your starting location, and you succeeded in building Etemenanki and chose the Lady of the Reeds and Marshes pantheon.
- Since you can start planting Woods so early, your Appeal ratings will be very high, so Earth Goddess can be a great pantheon choice. The thing is your Appeal in the first two eras can be dreadful due to Rainforests and Marshes, so this pantheon may give you nothing early on. It is your call whether you want that or not, but keep in mind, all these Woods and this pantheon work incredibly well with the Preserve and its first building, the Grove. As stated in the previous paragraph, Sacred Path and Lady of the Reeds and Marshes are also Pantheons that can take advantage of tiles you are predisposed towards. It ultimately depends on whether you want smaller Production yields in the moment or can wait for much greater Faith yields, and how many of those tiles you see around you.
- Normally, with Conservation, tiles with an old-growth Woods gain 1 Appeal, differentiating them from second-growth Woods (second-growth Woods add 1 Appeal to all surrounding tiles, but not the tiles they are on). Since Vietnam gains the ability to plant Woods at Medieval Faires, their old-growth Woods also gain this extra Appeal for their own tiles with this civic.
This ability can also combine with Bà Triệu's ability to create an impenetrable empire. Enemies will be slowed to a crawl while receiving extra damage from your units, city shots and endless layers of Encampments. On offense, you can bring along some Builders; whenever you manage to capture a city, put down some Woods on the border of that city and your next target, turning this newly conquered city into the stepping stone for your army, especially your Voi Chiến. They will start with 5 Movement on these tiles and can move back and end their turns on Woods after attacking, effectively allowing them to repeat this cycle until you deplete the health of the city and capture it with a melee unit. Feudalism is a prerequisite of Medieval Faires, so thanks to Serfdom your Builders should have 5 charges by now, meaning this strategy can be very cost effective. However, you cannot plant Woods in neutral territory, so you cannot use this strategy for the first target, but your elephants are so incredibly strong they can take care of this easily enough. Keep in mind that your enemies cannot remove features in neutral territory either, so it is not possible for anyone to completely nullify your war bonuses, except for a handful of civilizations who love settling on Desert or Snow.
Drive Out The Aggressors
To truly understand this aspect, you need to understand that in Civilization VI, the battle occurs on the tile of the defender, so this bonus will apply when you attack into or defend on a tile covered with Woods, Rainforest or Marsh, similar to how Menelik II's ability, Hojo's ability, the Digger or the Highlander works. This bonus is a common bonus trope in the game, but it is especially powerful in the hand of Vietnam. With the strong starting bias, Vietnam is incredibly hard to invade. It is inarguable that Vietnam hits an incredible power spike in Medieval, but by no means invading them in Ancient and Classical to hamper their progress is an easy task. A measly Warrior fortifying on a Hills tile with Woods or Rainforest can reach a staggering 42 Combat Strength on defense, and exerts zone of control to nearby tiles. And since you will only be too happy to build Archers en masse to prepare for the arrival of your unique unit when playing as Vietnam, just this small military can most likely fend off invasions with ease. The enemies will be bogged down by rough terrain, hindered by the zone of control, and take extra damage when ending their turns on removable features. In fact, it may be ideal to get invaded as Vietnam in the first two eras, so that you can earn fast and easy experience for your Archers. If your Archers can reach Incendiaries, the Voi Chiến they are going to turn into will be intimidating. An additional reason why this ability feels a lot more impactful than the Combat Strength bonus of Menelik II and Hojo is that with Vietnam's ability to plant Woods early, you have a lot more flexibility to create a suitable environment for you to fight in, where as Japan and Ethiopia, you rely on your starting bias and your enemy's foolishness to end their turns where you want them to be.
This bonus synergizes incredibly well with units with a defensive nature, like anti-cavalry units, or ones with ranged attacks, since they have low defensive Combat Strength (including your unique units and siege units). When combined with the fact that Vietnamese specialty Districts have to be built on features, the Garrison Promotion suddenly becomes overwhelmingly powerful for all Vietnamese ranged units. For more details, read below in the Voi Chiến section.
Bonus Movement when beginning turns on removable features
Inarguably the better aspect of this ability, the extra Movement you will receive has such a wide scope of application that you can feel it putting in the work right from the very first few turns of the game. Remember, you cannot control where the enemies will end their turn to leverage the Combat Strength bonus, but you can have higher degree of freedom to decide where your units will end theirs.
Exploration is significantly improved with Bà Triệu's ability, since your Scout (kind of) receives a free Ranger Promotion right off the gate. As long as you prioritize Woods and Rainforests to end the turn, your Scout can move through swathes of jungles very quickly. With the Ranger Promotion, your Scout will zoom through the land, since Woods and Rainforests don't cost extra Movement to get on to, but boost Movement next turn. Again, don't bother with Marshes unless you really have to, since getting on Marsh costs 3 Movement in the first place. Your starting Warrior also benefits a lot from this ability. You can move your two units farther away from your cities than normal, since the jungle road can help your units get back in time in case there are aggressions from your neighbors. Overall, this is just an improved version of the Iroquois' ability in Civilization V, since Bà Triệu's ability can be leveraged in hostile and neutral territories as well.
Not just military units, your civilian units also benefit heavily from this, especially your Builders. In the same vein as the Gran Colombia's bonus, extra Movement for Builders means they can get your improvements up a bit faster, which allows your cities to put those extra yields into work sooner. This may not sound like much, but since the bonus can apply to your very first Builder to your last, it can create a huge ripple effect throughout your entire playthrough without you noticing it. Also, when Medieval Faires is unlocked, your Builders will take no time to cover your entire territory in Woods, since they are guaranteed to end their turn on the Woods tiles that they just created. To a lesser extent, your Settlers can race toward unclaimed land a bit faster as well. Also, with an extra Movement, beside the fact that they can navigate rough terrains better, Settlers can avoid getting captured by Barbarians more easily, if you want to live your life on the edge and do not want to escort your Settlers.
What makes Vietnam a lot more fearsome than other Cultural civilizations is that they are not only extremely sturdy against invasions, but they can also become an incredibly menacing aggressor if they wish to. It is hard to deal with Vietnam proactively, but it is even harder to do so reactively. The combination of the ability to plant Woods, the Voi Chiến, Bà Triệu's ability, and a healthy Great General point generation and boosted combat experience gained from the Thành's buildings can be totally overwhelming for anyone to deal with when the game hits Medieval.
A typical Vietnamese offensive campaign should start in the Medieval Era when your unique unit is available. Since it is extremely difficult to generate Culture at such a pace that you reach Medieval Faires before Machinery, feel free to wage wars before you gain the ability to plant Woods. The longer you wait, the narrower the window opportunity of the Voi Chiến will be. The Voi Chiến is your key player to get your snowball rolling, as they are much more important than the ability to plant Woods, when it comes to aggressive skirmishes, so do everything you can to empower them. Bring a few melee or cavalry units with you to block tiles, exert zone of control to protect the Voi Chiến in the backline and deal the last hit to capture cities. The hardest part of your conquest will be the first city of the first civilization you wage war on. You would like to choose a city that is close to your empire so you can have an easier time exerting Loyalty after you conquer it, ideally with some features in its territory or right outside its border. Your Voi Chiến can take turn shooting the City Center then one by one move to the backline to avoid counterattacks. If you can, make sure your Voi Chiến will end their turn on a tile with a feature to increase their defensive Combat Strength and their maneuverability next turn. Once you manage to capture the first one or two cities, assign Victor with the Garrison Commander title to alleviate all Loyalty issues you may have. These cities will then be leveraged to take down the rest of the empire, which is especially effective once you have the ability to plant Woods. Assign your Builders to put down a few Woods tiles on the border next to the next target city so that your Voi Chiến will always have a safe space to end their turn. Considering that these newly planted Woods are still inside your territory, your Voi Chiến will start with 5 Movement, a Great General will bring it up to 6, allowing the Voi Chiến to close any gap from the border to the City Center to attack and move back. Bring some Builders with you on your conquest, rinse and repeat. By the time the Voi Chiến phases out of relevance, this tactic can still be employed consistently, and you already have a vast empire behind you to support your decision on whether to continue the war or retreat to protect what you have achieved. However, be aware that large-scale conquest indirectly makes a Cultural Victory harder by limiting your sources of Tourism and causing heavy diplomatic penalties against you. While Vietnam can be a prime candidate for a Domination Victory even on large maps, if you don't want your gameplay to be too repetitive and still want to aim for a Cultural Victory instead, remember that you can hamstring your opponents severely by taking most of their territories, but don't kill them off completely. Leave them one or two cities to send Trade Routes and immediately ask for Open Borders after making peace before they get the chance to Denounce you.
It is also worth noting that although in the mid-game you may use your Voi Chiến as the replacement for siege units, later down the road your siege units are also a lot stronger than normal since extra Movement from Bà Triệu's ability and potentially many Great General, Vietnamese siege units can move and shoot from the get go. To learn more about how to effectively make use of this mechanic, head here.
Like it is mentioned above, your conquest will start when you have your unique unit, which is before you can freely put down Woods. For that reason, civilizations who are incentivized to keep their features instead of chopping them, like Brazil, Kongo, the Māori, or America under Bull Moose Teddy (no Vietnam War reference intended here) are prime candidates to be invaded first. However, unlike Civilization V, it is not possible to remove features in neutral territory in Civilization VI. As long as you can spot out a few Woods or Rainforest tiles near the borders of an enemy, there won't be anything stopping your elephants from trampling them. Again, Domination is just a game of snowballing, meaning that the smoother the beginning goes, the easier the end will be.
Since it is analyzed above that Vietnam has a nice synergy with the Holy Site, Bà Triệu's ability also makes "a religious Vietnamese civilization" quite a viable strategy. Nothing can be said that has not been mentioned above, Vietnamese religious units benefit fully from the leader ability, making them stronger and faster than normal. However, since you cannot plant Woods in neutral or enemy territory, there is no way this ability can be taken advantage of by religious units as efficiently as military units in a Domination game. Therefore, these religious perks are best used as a supplementary for a Domination Victory (like a Religion with the Crusade belief) or for a Cultural Victory (defend your Religion against conversion attempts while accumulating Faith), especially on a Standard map or larger. Vietnam is entirely dependent on Holy Sites and their buildings to generate Faith, so it is very difficult for them to shoulder the ever-increasing Faith cost to spam Missionaries and Apostles. The Missionary Zeal belief, which allows all religious units to ignore terrain costs, has amazing synergy with Bà Triệu's ability. Your religious units will have easier time to find and get onto removable features to end your turn, effectively boosting their Movement next turn.
Just in case the Vietnamese vast swathes of Woods are insufficient in slowing down enemies' advance in the Medieval Era, they also have the Voi Chiến, a unique Crossbowman. As if the Crossbowman itself is not already the heart of any Medieval battle (read more here), the Voi Chiến has its own set of bonuses, combined with Bà Triệu's leader ability, catapulting it to become an absolute menace.
The most outstanding factor of the Voi Chiến is the ability to move after attacking, reminiscent of the Camel Archer's reign of terror in Civilization V. This simple ability can have many applications, but above all, it lets the Voi Chiến to (almost) ignore zone of control. Contrary to popular belief, in Civilization VI, zone of control does not force you to stay on the same tile until the next turn, it only forces you to carry out an attack. Therefore, units that can move after attack can weave in and out of a hostile zone of control within the same turn. This is not as strong as completely ignoring zone of control, but it is close to it, since the Voi Chiến can always free itself by attacking the unit or District that is currently exerting control on it. There are currently two other units in the game with this ability: the Russian Cossack and the Guerrilla-promoted recon units. While Cossacks ignore all zone of control, and recon units barely do any fighting (with the only exception of the Warak'aq), the Voi Chiến is undoubtedly the biggest winner with this ability. Another popular application of this is the unparalleled capability to focus-fire. With a Range of 2, high innate mobility and extra Movement from Bà Triệu's ability if starting in appropriate features, legions of Voi Chiến can nimbly take turn moving in and out to shoot down a city. Even wounded units can still contribute their damage and then manage to safely retreat to the backline. That is not all, a Voi Chiến can attack to earn experience, and if it is eligible for a Promotion, it can promote and heal within the same turn.
As if it is not already a tall order to kill just one Voi Chiến due to their mobility, there are other factors in the Vietnamese arsenal that also play into the power of this unit. A Voi Chiến that ends it turn on a Woods or Rainforest tile outside Vietnamese territory, ignoring the fact that it will gain extra mobility next turn, can gain a massive 8 Combat Strength, elevating to 11 Combat Strength if this is a Woods or Rainforest Hills tile. Combined with the fact in Medieval Era, Vietnam is almost guaranteed to have a Great General (since they are the only civilization in the game incentivized to put down Encampments in every city), their defense strength can reach an astonishing 51 Combat Strength, and none of these conditions are far-fetched or hard to align with one another. That does not even count if the tile the Voi Chiến is on is inside Vietnamese territory, the defense strength will reach 56. The strongest Medieval unit is the Malian Mandekalu Cavalry, with Combat Strength at 55, a Mandekalu Cavalry with no additional Combat Strength is incapable of pushing the Voi Chiến around when it is on full defense mode, and remember, this is a ranged unit. The best Promotion line for the Voi Chiến is Garrison, Incendiaries and Suppression, to maximize their damage against cities and to hinder enemy's Movement with their presence. They are so tanky that the tier III Promotion Emplacement seems like an overkill, especially when your Voi Chiến will retreat to safe spots outside of the City Center's reach after attacking anyway.
On a side note, Garrison is an extremely overpowered Promotion for all Vietnamese ranged units, especially on defense. Normally, that Promotion grants 10 Combat Strength when the unit defends on a non-defensible specialty District, and 10 Ranged Strength when attacking out of one. Considering that Vietnam has to build their specialty Districts on removable features and Bà Triệu's ability, a Vietnamese ranged unit gains a massive 20 Combat Strength when defending on a specialty District, before taking into account possible extra Combat Strength from terrain modifiers. When attacking out of a specialty District, it can gain 20 Ranged Strength if the enemy is standing on a removable feature. On offense, it is slightly weaker, but still effective. Foreign Districts are not built on features, and tiles with features in other empires may not be as dense as inside Vietnamese territory, so it will only gain 10 Combat Strength on defense and 10 to 15 Ranged Strength, as long as it can find a District (doesn't have to be a specialty District in this case) to occupy. This Promotion plays so well into the Voi Chiến's inherent tankiness and superior mobility, especially when the leader and civilization abilities are brought into the equation.
A really powerful tactic that is often employed in multiplayer games that you can use in your single player games is to spot out an open area next to the target of your conquest where there are some Woods and Rainforest tiles and put down a city right there. Next, assign a Governor, and run both Limitanei and Praetorium to hold on to this city and use it as a base to launch your attacks. Your Voi Chiến can now wage an offensive war with 6 Movement per turn, more than enough for them to move, attack and come back, and with maximum Combat Strength on defense. This tactic allows you to start conquering before researching Medieval Faires and still be able to unlock the fullest potential of your leader ability, and there is no obvious counterplay to prevent this, since unlike Civilization V, it is impossible to remove features in neutral territory.
A bit less important, but extra Sight is also nothing to scoff at. The idea of having a Sight bonus is often underestimated, since most units with extra Sight or Sight Promotions in the game are units with melee attacks, not the best classes to make use of this statistic. On a ranged unit like the Voi Chiến, however, it can make a difference between whether you can get your attacks in this turn or have to wait until next turn.
The best way to make use of this unit is to pre-build Archers and let them fight early to earn some Promotions on them. Upgrading an Archer into a Voi Chiến costs 290 Gold, as opposed to 250 Gold when upgrading into a regular Crossbowman. It is quite pricey, especially when you are still far away from the Professional Army policy card, but the investment is definitely worth it. Vietnam's starting bias towards Woods and Rainforests means they likely will start with Plantation and Camp luxury resources that grant a lot of Gold, so make sure if you save up when you are about to unlock Machinery. In order for a Voi Chiến rush to be successful, try to save enough to upgrade at least 3 Archers, if you want to build more, you can pick up Feudal Contract (unlocked with Feudalism), which is convenient because it is on your way to Medieval Faires. Once you have Medieval Faires, bring a few Builders with you so they can put down Woods in your territory next to the enemy city you want to conquer and use these tiles as the stepping stones for your elephants. A Voi Chiến starting on these Woods tiles will have 5 Movement, 6 if next to a Great General, 7 if the Logistics policy card is run, they can shoot, then move back onto those tiles to end their turn and repeat this cycle until that all cities fall like dominoes.
The most obvious downside of the Encampment is that it takes up a District slot. No matter which Victory you are pursuing, there is no situation in which building Encampments in every city is a good strategy. The most bloodthirsty warmongers, including the Zulu with their Ikanda, do not need the defensive capability of the Encampment, and civilizations who do not pursue a Domination Victory always have higher priorities in other Districts, which, all in all, leaves the Encampment in a bad position: no one can benefit completely off of every aspect of this District when it is taking up space of other more influential Districts. The Vietnamese Thành eliminates this completely. First and foremost, the Thành does not require Population, which means it can be placed down in every city without normal repercussions. Even before taking into account the massive Culture and Tourism generated by a good Thành placement, just this change alone turns the Encampment on its head and reshapes the way it should be played with. Vietnam is a Domination/Cultural civilization, and just the sheer number of Thành can give them an unbreakable multilayered shield for defense, and with some buildings inside the District, a good flow of Great General points for offense. Enemies who are foolish enough to invade Vietnam will get bombarded from all sides by multiple Thành, while having to crawl painfully slowly through rough terrains.
The Thành also serves another crucial purpose for Vietnam: being the Culture and Tourism generator for the civilization. It gains a major adjacency bonus for every District nearby, so it is natural that you would want to turn the Thành into a mini City Center and surround it with Districts. One notable placement rule to keep in mind is that similar to the Encampment it replaces, Thành cannot be placed next to City Centers, so you will not get an easy +2 Culture without having to dedicate Production to erecting Districts. Therefore:
- Non-specialty Districts are great with Thành, since they are not restricted by Population. They are even more amazing for standalone cities (cities that are not close to any other cities in your empire), since these cities cannot make use of Districts built by other cities to alleviate the Population requirement. The best non-specialty District for this purpose is obviously the Aqueduct, as it not only is the earliest engineering District unlocked, but also fits the Thành placement requirement perfectly. For standalone cities, you would like your Thành to be situated in the second ring of tiles (1 tile away from the City Center), since you can surround it with Districts built in the first ring and the third ring. Your Aqueduct can fit snugly in between the Thành and the City Center.
- For cities that are close together, use the knowledge you have when playing Japan and Germany regarding how to build a compact empire with many groups of 2 to 3 cities. For Thành, building them in groups of 2 is more feasible, because they only gain adjacency bonuses from Districts, and Vietnamese specialty Districts are limited to where they can be placed. Also, Woods and Rainforests are very likely to host luxury resources on them, thus will block the placements of Districts. Being able to find a chunk of land big enough, covered in features and without luxury resources to host Districts of 3 to 4 cities is just impossible. For city building ideas and mega District complex inspirations, head here.
Theoretically, a Thành can reach a maximum of 12 Culture, but this is easier said than done. Vietnam, with their tier 1 starting bias with Woods and Rainforests, is prone to receive strategic, and especially luxury resources, on these tiles, not to mention their unique ability limits where specialty Districts can go. Even with Medieval Faires, there are tiles that Woods cannot be planted on, like Desert, Snow and Floodplains, effectively further restricting the type of Districts that can go on those tiles to non-specialty only. The strength of the Thành is that it can be placed in any city, for it does not require Population, so there is no need to bend over backward to reach this maximum number.
Speaking of the all-important Medieval Faires civic, the Thành is a crucial player in helping Vietnam reach that feat with a respectable timing. As mentioned above, although the Thành is so different from the Encampment it replaces, most players still tend to forget about it when they finish researching Bronze Working, since the Encampment has never been a priority so high that it has to be placed down immediately after unlocking. The Thành for Vietnam, however, is such a priority. The Culture Vietnam gains from having buildings on Woods is pathetic, that "bonus" is a flytrap more than anything. The cheapest building that can leverage that bonus is the Shrine (70 Production), while your unique District has the base cost of 27 Production, even after the scaling due to civic and technology progression, the ratio of Production per extra Culture is still heavily in favor of the Thành. In the first two eras, all your cities should have a Thành, a Campus and a third specialty District in a triangle (this District can be a Holy Site for a Cultural game, or a Commercial Hub for a Domination game). By the virtue of this, you will have a good Science and Culture flow to beeline Machinery and Medieval Faires simultaneously. This can easily be achieved, since all you need to do is to find two tiles with features next to one another, and place the Thành adjacent to both. A Thành is not a specialty District, so it is not subjected to the feature-only placement rule, which also means a Thành will clear out the feature on its tile when get placed down.
After the April 2021 Update, the Thành was nerfed so that it no longer provides 1 Great General point. However, considering how important the extra Movement provided by the Great General is to your Voi Chiến timing push, being able to get at least 1 Great General before Medieval Era hits is still a must. There are a couple of ways you can do this. The least efficient way to generate Great General points is to build more Barracks. You still need at least 1 Barracks in the early game to boost the experience gained by your Archers/Voi Chiến, but building any more Barracks than that feels like a waste, since this building is as expensive as a Library, doesn't give you anything more than just the Great General point, and it doesn't benefit from the Vietnamese civilization ability, since the Thành is not a specialty District. The better ways to do this are either to run the Strategos policy card (you have to sacrifice a Wildcard policy slot for this), or to complete one or two Encampment Training projects, which is more efficient in terms of Great General point received per Production spent, and you will get some Gold back that can be used to upgrade your units later. If you insist on building a few Barracks, make sure you research Military Training civic to unlock the Veterancy policy card. The Inspiration for this civic is to build an Encampment, which is something you want to do anyway, and all of its prerequisites are civics you have to research regardless in order to reach Medieval Faires. Veterancy is an incredible policy card for Vietnam, so you would want it sooner or later, since it makes the Thành even cheaper, along with all buildings inside.
A hidden benefit of the Thành is that it makes counterespionage simple and efficient. One Spy, when placed on a Thành tile, is able to protect all Districts around it, allowing Vietnam to easily protect their properties against sabotage. Also, since Vietnam is the only civilization incentivized to build Encampments in every city, they are the best to make use of the otherwise lackluster Consulate, making spying against Vietnam even harder.
A pitfall that many players often get caught into is to put yields above anything else. Remember, this is still an Encampment, its defensive capability is also something should be taken into consideration. A huge Thành formation right in the core of your empire connecting Districts from multiple cities can be satisfying in terms of Culture output, but it does next to nothing against an invasion from outside. Hence, cities on the outskirt of your empire should be treated as standalone cities, their Thành should be prioritized for defensive purposes and help shield your core cities from outside aggressions. These core cities, thus, can safely use their Thành for Culture and Tourism pursuits.
Like the Māori and Babylon before it, a game as Vietnam will change the way you think about gameplay. If played effectively, Vietnam is a decidedly strong civilization with an inclination towards a Culture Victory, through the great Culture generation of their districts on Woods and the Thành's Tourism output, and a Domination Victory, through the mighty Voi Chiến and Bà Triệu's bonuses to warfare.
However, Vietnam is secretly a jack-of-all-trades civilization. A Science Victory is also a serviceable backup, as plentiful district placement on Rainforest can generate quite a lot of Science. A scientific civilization benefits heavily from a good Culture flow (as proven from your experience with Babylon), and Vietnam is so much better than any regular scientific civilization at generating Culture reliably. A Religious Victory is arguably even better than a Scientific Victory as Vietnam, if your playstyle often revolves heavily around founding a religion. As mentioned above, Holy Sites have great synergy with the Vietnamese civilization ability, plus the massive amount of Faith you can earn from Earth Goddess and the Preserve, all of which allow Vietnam to train a lot of Missionaries and Apostles. Not to mention, Bà Triệu's leader ability applies to religious units, and Vietnam's offensive and defensive prowess in the Medieval Era can be proven unstoppable when spreading and defending their religion. Diplomacy is the worst Victory condition for Vietnam, but that does not mean they have nothing going for them on that path. Vietnam's strong starting bias towards Woods and Rainforests can mean their starting luxury bonuses are likely to be improved by Camps or Plantations (or Diamonds!), which can give them a good flow of Gold in the entire game. Woods can be planted early and turned into Lumber Mills instantly, granting all of their cities high Production output much earlier than other civilizations, so they can reliably run all the Competition projects.
It is incredibly tough to effectively strategize against Vietnam. Think about this: all four bonuses they have are so synergistic and versatile that they all have both offensive and defensive implications, allowing Vietnam to change their stance very smoothly. Normally, an aggressive civilization will lose a significant part of their bonus if they don't go for war, and a peaceful, defensive civilization will generally have a harder time trying to claim territory through warfare. Vietnam has neither of these issues.
If you are thinking that since their huge power spike is in Medieval Era, it is a good idea to invade them in the Ancient and Classical Era, you should probably think twice about it. A Warrior fortifying on a Woods/Rainforest Hills in Vietnamese territory can reach 42 Combat Strength on defense (46 if they have Oligarchy)- that is almost as high as a Knight! You will have plenty of time reconsidering your decisions when your units try to crawl past rough terrains (due to their tier 1 starting bias) and hostile zone of control of that one Warrior you can barely do anything about while Archers (pre-built Voi Chiến) rain arrows from above. You will almost never achieve anything besides giving easy experience to their Archers and making the inevitable Voi Chiến push more devastating. Even if Vietnam is ill-prepared and loses the war, their cities are unattractive targets: their Districts have low adjacency bonuses due to weird placement restrictions, and Encampments will be in every city. True to history, this civilization is unassailable on defense! Dealing with Vietnam requires other, more unusual tactics.
The key knowledge about Vietnam that is known by everyone is their huge power spike in Medieval, so unlike other early aggressors, you do have time to prepare against Vietnam. They are unlikely to attack you before the Voi Chiến is unlocked, since this is the time they require to build up the necessary infrastructure. In order to successfully defend against Vietnam, there are two main takeaways: one, remove your features in your territory, and two, focus on building cavalry units. The first one is quite obvious, since you don't want them to have a leg up fighting in your own territory, but if you play as a civilization who needs to keep their features, like Maori, Brazil or Kongo, you will need more defending units than normal. Cavalry units are crucial to your defense because they are the only class of units that ignore zone of control and are mobile enough to corner and kill Voi Chiến when they retreat to the backline. Vietnam's Domination path relies heavily on snowballing with Voi Chiến- Bà Triệu's ability is strong but by no means it can win a Domination game on its own. Therefore, if the world is past Medieval and Vietnam does not make their move, it means aggression is not on their agenda. Also, in order to bypass Bà Triệu's ability, naval units, aircraft and especially nukes (which remove features underneath Districts and the extra yields to buildings in them) are worth considering, so Vietnam is significantly weaker on a water map or in the late game against civilizations with strong Science output.
Vietnam has one of the oldest historical records in Southeast Asia, a record that reflects a constant struggle for independence and against foreign occupation – against Chinese emperors, European colonialists, and even the United States.
The early Vietnamese - "Kinh" - settled in the Red River delta and began cultivating the land with irrigated rice patties as early as 1200 BCE during the Hồng Bàng dynasty. According to legend, Lạc Long Quân taught the early Vietnamese farmers how to cultivate rice, and by the sixth century BCE, they’d harnessed the waterways around them and built irrigation systems, canals and dikes. Grain cultivation brings people together, and urbanization means the development of artisans and crafts. In Vietnam, this meant complex silks, copper, and bronze tools and weapons. Especially impressive during this time are the Đông Sơn bronze drums.
But where there is prosperity, there is war. Vietnam has had since its beginning a complicated history with its northern neighbor - the various Chinese dynasties. Vietnamese people incorporated East Asian Confucianism and Mahayana Buddhism (as opposed to the Theravada Buddhism of neighboring Laos and Cambodia), Chinese characters, Chinese concepts of land rulership, and – to the gratitude of historians – Chinese traditions of record-keeping. But this was all not just cultural exchange. Armies got involved.
Triệu Đà, or Zhao Tuo, was a Chinese general who conquered Northern Vietnam, but after the Chinese Qin Dynasty itself fell apart, he decided that he could become an Emperor himself. He founded the Nanyue or Nam Việt kingdom in territories that are now southern China and northern Vietnam. This raises the question: was Triệu Đà a Vietnamese emperor or a Chinese one? This is a good question – and a tremendously politically-loaded one. However, it is one for historians to solve, as Zhao Tuo's imperial ambitions came crashing down when the Han Dynasty defeated Nanyue and incorporated Vietnam into China. Whatever Triệu Đà had been, he wasn't it any more.
This was to be the first – but certainly not the last – period where the Vietnamese resisted an occupation. Chinese laws, especially ones that limited the power of women, chafed the Vietnamese, who had long incorporated the more matriarchal traditions of Southeast Asia. So it is unsurprising that women were the ones to rise up. In 40 CE, the Trưng Sisters stood up to the Han governor Su Dung. They led a successful revolt, taking sixty-five states in the name of an independent Vietnamese state. The eldest sister, Trưng Trắc, was crowned queen and the sisters maintained their power for two years before Emperor Guangwu finally had enough. He sent an army to recapture the lands and to take the sisters' heads. He never got those: following their defeat, the sisters committed suicide rather than be taken alive and humiliated by the enemy.
But the rebels persisted. In 225 AD, Triệu Thị Trinh, also known as Lady Triệu,or Bà Triệu, led a new rebellion. Although she was defeated, like the Trưng Sisters, her impact remained. Rebellions continued under leaders like Lý Bôn, although Vietnam was not to be independent until 938 CE. But in that first millennium CE, even under occupation, Vietnam flourished, and archaeologists have discovered trade goods extending all the way to Rome in Vietnamese sites.
After the decisive Battle of Bạch Đằng in 938 CE, Vietnam was independent, but unstable. The country seethed with civil war for nearly twenty years until Đinh Bộ Lĩnh founded the Đinh dynasty. Under the Đinh, the country was renamed to Đại Cồ Việt, or "Great Viet Land." Đinh established strict laws and worked to form alliances with prominent families, but his rule would only last for eight years before both he and the crown prince were assassinated. Song dynasty China, watching the drama unfold, decided to take advantage of the situation and invaded. Rather than the assassinated king’s six-year-old son taking the throne, Lê Đại Hành married the boy’s mother and took over, thus beginning the Early Lê dynasty. He defeated the Chinese attack via clever tactics (which Chinese records do not specify, but which led to the execution of all of the commanders and generals involved in the loss). After that, China gave the region up (for the time being), but this was probably thanks to the arrangement of tribute that Vietnam paid them than out of real fear. Why go through the trouble of occupying when you're getting regular paychecks?
Vietnam would remain independent for nearly five hundred years. Vietnam spread, too, down the coast from the Red River valley (Hanoi region) towards the Mekong Delta. This involved a series of wars against and conquests of other ethnic groups, including the Cham and the Khmer (Cambodians); indeed, in the Mekong Delta there are many ethnic Khmer, practicing their own version of Buddhism and speaking Cambodian today.
The Lý dynasty that followed the expansion southward laid the groundwork for Vietnam as it is today. It was a prosperous period that lasted four hundred years and involved a focus inward. The Lý wanted their economy to thrive, and to do that, they started by investing in their population – establishing, for instance, the Quốc Tử Giám, or “the Temple of Literature.” Education wasn’t limited to nobility, and, in a Confucian meritocratic system that would be recognizable from Vietnam to China to Korea to Japan, commoners could take exams to try to rise to positions within the government. This wasn't just a male-dominated system, either: the tax system was reorganized with women in charge of the collection. Religion took on a greater role in society during the Lý dynasty, particularly Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.
This period was not without conflict, however. As the Lý dynasty gave way to the Trần dynasty, Vietnam faced both Mongol and (more) Chinese invasions, as well as a rebellion by the formerly conquered Cham people. These wars, coupled with the declining reputation of the Trần rulers, left Vietnam’s defenses open to betrayal. In the 1400s, General Hồ Quý Ly seized the throne and declared a set of bold and progressive reforms that weren’t popular with the feudal landlords. These nobles went to China’s Ming dynasty for help in restoring the Trần dynasty, and China once again took over Vietnam in 1407. Under Chinese law, Vietnam was once again pressured to adopt a more Chinese culture, and like before, Vietnam resisted. A wealthy farmer named Lê Lợi led the rebellion, ultimately succeeding and starting the new Lê dynasty (later succeeded by Tây Sơn and Nguyễn – this latter dynasty’s name was so popular that thousands of families changed their names to Nguyễn: now by far the most common Vietnamese last name!). The Lê dynasty was influenced by Confucian ideologies, which led to the introduction of new, more progressive laws. Education and expansion once more took precedence.
So, when Europeans began to appear in the 1700s, their efforts to spread Christianity was seen by many as a direct assault on the foundations of Vietnamese civilization. And, in a sense, they were not wrong - religion was indeed the pretext for Vietnam's colonial occupation. Because of the execution of French missionaries, the French (with Spanish allies) invaded southern Vietnam, took it, and held it. French advances persisted, and by 1887, France controlled all of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
French Indochina seemed to be constantly at war. France fought with Siam over claims to Laos, and when they weren’t fighting Siam, they were fighting Vietnamese rebels. And, just after the latest round of rebellions stopped, World War II began.
Here enters another figure on to the Vietnamese scene: Hồ Chí Minh. Hồ was educated in France, lived an early life working manual labor in the US and UK, and was an astute scholar of politics. Hồ began to sympathize with revolutionaries of all stripes: French, American, and Russian, and, in World War II, returned to Vietnam to fight against the occupying Japanese and Vichy French forces. After the war, Hồ read the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence, which begins with the oddly familiar line, “All people are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. Indeed, Hồ, who had been assisted in his fights against the Axis powers in World War II by the Americans, briefly thought that the USA would support Vietnamese independence from France. In this, he was incorrect, and US support for French colonial occupation pushed Hồ’s Việt Minh movement, based in Hanoi, closer and closer to the Soviet Union. Vietnamese forces eventually defeated the French in the battle of Diên Biên Phu and ending the French occupation in 1954.
But Vietnam at the end of the war was split between the Soviet-backed North and the US-backed South. This split moved into open war almost immediately after independence, leading to an exchange called by the US the Vietnam War and by the Vietnamese, the American War. Hồ and the northern Vietnamese forces were victorious in this, and he established the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which exists still today. But immediately after the war came another – Vietnam invaded Cambodia in an attempt to oust the murderous Khmer Rouge regime. The Khmer Rouge were Chinese allies, and the war thus prompted (yet another) Chinese invasion in 1979. Somehow, after nearly a century of constant war, the Vietnamese repelled the Chinese forces – yet another act of resistance.
- Main article: Vietnamese cities (Civ6)
|Males||Females||Modern males||Modern females|
- The Vietnamese civilization's symbol is the Kim Quy Turtle, a mythological creature featured in two popular Vietnamese legends: An Dương Vương and the magic crossbow, and Lê Lợi's mythical sword and his victory over Ming invasions.
- The Vietnamese civilization ability is the translation of the Vietnamese name for the Mekong River Delta, a geographical feature in southwestern Vietnam with great historical, economic and cultural importance.
|Civilization VI Civilizations |
|American • Arabian • Australian1 • Aztec • Babylonian1 • Brazilian • Byzantine1 • Canadian • Chinese • Cree • Dutch • Egyptian • English • Ethiopian1 • French • Gallic1 • Georgian • German • Gran Colombian1 • Greek • Hungarian • Incan • Indian • Indonesian1 • Japanese • Khmer1 • Kongolese • Korean • Macedonian1 • Malian • Māori • Mapuche • Mayan1 • Mongolian • Norwegian • Nubian1 • Ottoman • Persian1 • Phoenician • Polish1 • Portuguese1 • Roman • Russian • Scottish • Scythian • Spanish • Sumerian • Swedish • Vietnamese1 • Zulu|
|1 Requires a DLC|