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A city-state is one of several small, independent political entities with which all players in the game may interact. After being introduced in Civilization V, they make a comeback in Civilization VI.
Civilopedia Entry Edit
City-states are the smaller political entities. They cannot win a game, as they're not competing against you, but they can greatly assist or impede your progress towards victory. You can befriend city-states and gain a number of important benefits, you can ignore them and concentrate on bigger and more important foes, or you can conquer them and take their stuff. It's up to you.
What is a City-State? Edit
A city-state is an AI-controlled entity that represents a small nation or sovereign territory. It is present at the beginning of the game along with the standard AI- and player-controlled civilizations, but it cannot build new cities and does not compete for victory in the game. Instead, it interacts with all civilizations in the game and confers special benefits to those with which it has friendly relations.
City-State Relations Edit
Gaining influence with city-states has changed significantly in respect to Civilization V. The Influence meter is gone and the game time doesn't affect your influence with city-states anymore. Instead, you can improve relations by assigning special units known as Envoys to each city-state you want to befriend.
Envoys are diplomats which specialize in city-state relations. There are three ways to earn them:
- Envoys are earned over time for free, as a result of your government activity. The more advanced your Government is, the faster you earn them (see "Influence Points" below).
- Special desires of each city-state (we may call them "quests" to liken them to the old system) will be posted upon meeting the City-State, or upon Era transition. Any player that can fulfill the request earns one free Envoy with that city-state.
- Many Civics grant free Envoys upon completion.
Additionally, the first player to meet a city-state earns one free Envoy with them. There are also certain Policies which speed up the process of gaining Envoys. Some Great People also create envoys upon activation.
Envoys may be earned directly with the City-State (when you complete their quests), in which case you have no control over where they get assigned. But more often Envoys are "trained" by your government officials, and then you choose where exactly to assign them. After earning Envoys, you may choose to delay their assignment, or assign them immediately - both approaches are valid and have uses in the game.
Note that, once assigned, Envoys stay in their City-States forever. You never the influence points of one city-state unless you yourself declare war on that city-state. (Being drawn into war with a city-state due to warring with its suzerain does not remove your influence points.)
Influence Points Edit
The main way to earn Envoys is through accumulation of Influence. We said earlier that the influence meter is gone, but that's not exactly true: there is an Influence meter, but it is a general one, and all it does is to serve as a generator system for Envoys. Each government type grants certain amount of Influence points per turn, and a different Influence meter maximum; upon reaching that maximum you gain certain amount of Envoys. Look at the upper right corner of the Government to check the exact details. There are three different 'levels' of influence gain, depending on how advanced the Government is:
- Level 1 (Oligarchy, Autocracy, Classical Republic): 3 points per turn; 1 Envoy granted at 100 points.
- Level 2 (Monarchy, Theocracy, Merchant Republic): 5 points per turn; 2 Envoys at 150 points.
- Level 3 (Democracy, Fascism, Communism): 7 points per turn; 3 Envoys at 200 points.
The initial Chiefdom government earns only 1 point per turn, and grants 1 Envoy at 100 points.
As mentioned above, certain abilities and Policy Cards may speed up the accumulation of Influence points.
Relations Degrees Edit
Relations bonuses now depend both on the number of Envoys a civilization has with the particular city-state, and whether or not other civilizations have more Envoys than the player.
Special benefits are conferred to any player that has a particular number of Envoys:
- One Envoy: confers a bonus yield to the player's Capital.
- Three Envoys: confers additional bonus yields to cities wth a particular kind of District.
- Six Envoys: doubles the previous District-based bonus.
They types of the yields confered depend on the type of the City-State. Check the table below for more information on that.
As for diplomatic relations, the only possible statuses a city-state may have with a particular civilization are Neutral and Suzerain. A player becomes the Suzerain of a city-state when he/she has a minimum of three Envoys with it, and more Envoys with it than any other civilization.
City-State Benefits Edit
The benefits of befriending city-states have changed substantially since Civilization V. City-states still have types, such as Religious, Cultural, etc., but instead of having bonuses based only on their type (e.g. bonus food if Maritime, bonus faith if Religious), each city-state now provides a unique bonus. Players who desire specific bonuses will have to compete with other players to get them instead of searching for another city-state that offers the same bonus.
Most of the bonuses conferred are additional yields of some kind, according to the type of the city-state; for example, bonus Faith from Holy Sites, bonus Culture from Theater Squares, etc. However, each city-state also has a unique Suzerain bonus, which is usually related to its type. See below for a full list of effects.
Additionally, the Suzerain of a city-state gains a number of other benefits:
- The city-state follows you into war and peace with other civilizations.
- Your units may enter city-state territory.
- Your Builder units may improve city-state tiles.
- You are given vision of 3 tiles around the city-state.
- You can pay Gold to temporarily take control of the city-state's military.
- Gain ownership of all the city-state's resources.
Types of City-StatesEdit
|Type||Color||1 Envoy||3 Envoys||6 Envoys|
|Trade||Yellow||+4 Gold in the Capital||+4 Gold in every Commercial Hub district||Additional +4 Gold in every Commercial Hub district|
|Religious||White||+2 Faith in the Capital||+2 Faith in every Holy Site district||Additional +2 Faith in every Holy Site district|
|Scientific||Blue||+2 Science in the Capital||+2 Science in every Campus district||Additional +2 Science in every Campus district|
|Cultural||Purple||+2 Culture in the Capital||+2 Culture in every Theater Square district||Additional +2 Culture in every Theater Square district|
|Industrial||Brown||+2 Production in the Capital when producing wonders, buildings, and districts||+2 Production in every Industrial Zone district when producing wonders, buildings, and districts||Additional +2 Production in every Industrial Zone district when producing wonders, buildings, and districts|
|Militaristic||Red||+2 Production in the Capital when producing units||+2 Production in every Encampment district when producing units||Additional +2 Production in every Encampment district when producing units|
As in Civilization V, City-States are a very important part of the game, which could become the difference between winning and losing. Compared to the previous game, however, the competition for influencing City-States is both more targeted and more broad. It is more targeted because of the unique Suzerain bonuses of individual City-States (which may suit one player's goals better than these of another player); it is more broad because there is no Diplomatic victory anymore, and influencing City-States is more a question of gameplay aid, than a crucial element of victory.
In order to make the best use of the City-State bonus system, you must first understand how exactly it works. We could separate the City-State benefits in two classes: General (which is the yield bonuses to the Captial and all cities with a particular District) and Specific (which is the Suzerainty bonus). General bonuses, once earned, stay with you throughout the game (unless the City-State is conquered by a nation, of course). Special bonuses you will have to fight for, by competing constantly with other nations. Of course, both depend mostly on your sending out your Envoys.
Earning Envoys is comparatively easy, and it happens naturally as you progress through the game (especially if you're strong in Culture - many Civics grant free Envoys). But how are you going to spend them - here is the nub of the question. Sometimes it could be more beneficial to spread them around different City-States so that you earn their General bonuses, instead of concentrating them in 1 - 2 specific States in an attempt to earn their Suzerainty.
The first General bonus of each City-State activates with a single Envoy. Which means that if you manage to be the first to meet a City-State, you will already earn that first bonus (because of the free Envoy). This could help immensely in the early game, when your Capital is your only city - every single City-State you meet first will already boost your capital's yields! This is one of the reasons exploration is so important in the beginning.
The other General bonuses, however, only work in cities with a particular District. Which means that if you don't have this district anywhere, there is simply no use to rush and get 3, much less 6 Envoys with a City-State. Better send out to other City-States and earn their first General bonuses. Only later, when your Districts are up and running, you should go for the higher General Bonuses - each of them will work on every city with a particular District, even without Suzerainty.
But, if you could already make use of a particular State's Special bonus early in the game (which activates at only 3 Envoys, if no other nation is influencing it), then you should go for it! Analyze well the bonuses of the City-States' you've found, and see if you have use for them. Some, as Toronto's, for example, will only become useful much later in the game; while others, like Brussels' or Geneva's, can be useful right away.
In any case, you should always adjust your strategy on-the-fly. Do you lack Gold income? Look to influence a Trade City-State! Are you going to war, do you need units? Go for a Militaristic City-State! Or, you could adjust from the oposite side: have you befriended many Cultural City-States? Then go ahead and construct Theater Squares so you could use their bonuses! If you are influencing many Trade City-States, construct Commercial Hubs, etc. etc.
Another way to influence City-States is completing their 'quests'. These are a tad more prosaic than in Civilization V, but they are still very diverse and will make you adjust strategy to complete them. You will have to decide wether this adjustment is worth it - sometimes spending time and resources just won't be worth the reward.
List of City-States and their Suzerain bonusesEdit
|City-state||Type||Unique Suzerain Bonus|
|Amsterdam||Trade||Your Trade Routes to foreign cities earn +1 Gold for each luxury resource.|
|Antananarivo†||Cultural||Extra 2% Culture with every Great Person ever earned.|
|Armagh†||Religious||Builders can construct the Monastery improvement, which provides Faith and heals religious units.|
|Auckland†||Industrial||Additional Production for Coastal tiles.|
|Buenos Aires||Industrial||Your bonus resources behave like luxury resources, providing +1 Amenity per resource.|
|Brussels||Industrial||Your cities receive +15% bonus Production towards Wonders.|
|Carthage||Militaristic||Each Encampment in your cities provides a extra trade route.|
|Geneva||Scientific||Your cities earn +15% bonus Science output when you are not at war with any civilization.|
|Granada†||Militaristic||Builders can construct the Alcazar improvement, which protects military units and provides Culture.|
|Hattusa||Scientific||Provides you with 1 copy of each strategic resource you have revealed but do not own.|
|Hong Kong||Industrial||Your Cities get +20% bonus Production towards city projects|
|Jakarta||Trade||Your trading posts at international destinations grant +1 additional Gold to all trade routes that pass through them.|
|Jerusalem||Religious||Jerusalem automatically converts to the Religion you founded and exerts pressure for that religion as if it were a Holy City.|
|Kabul||Militaristic||Your units receive double experience from battles they initiate.|
|Kandy||Religious||Receive a Relic every time you discover a new Natural Wonder, and earn +50% bonus Faith from all Relics.|
|Kumasi||Cultural||Your trade routes to any city-state provide +2 Culture and +1 Gold for every specialty district in the origin city.|
|La Venta||Religious||Your Builders can now make Colossal Heads improvements. (A tile improvement that produces +2 Faith)|
|Lisbon||Trade||Your Trader units are immune to being plundered on water tiles.|
|Mohenjo Daro||Cultural||Your cities all have full Housing from water, as if they were next to a river.|
|Muscat†||Trade||Bonus Amenities in cities with a Commercial Hub.|
|Nan Madol||Cultural||Your districts on or next to Coast tiles provide +2 Culture.|
|Palenque†||Scientific||Improved City growth for cities with a Campus.|
|Preslav||Militaristic||Your light and heavy cavalry units have +5 combat strength when fighting on Hill tiles.|
|Toronto||Industrial||Regional effects from your Industrial Zone and Entertainment Complex districts reach 3 tiles farther.|
|Seoul||Scientific||When you enter a new era, earn a random Eureka from that era.|
|Stockholm||Scientific||Your districts provide +1 Great Person point of their type (ex. Great Writer, Great Artist, and Great Musician for Theater Square districts).|
|Valletta||Military||Allows the Suzerain to consume Faith to purchase urban centers and military buildings in their cities. Reduces Faith costs.|
|Vilnius||Cultural||When you enter a new era, earn 1 random Inspiration from that era.|
|Yerevan||Religious||Your Apostle units can choose from any of their possible promotions instead of receiving a random promotion.|
|Zanzibar||Trade||Receive the Cinnamon and Cloves luxury resources. They cannot be earned any other way in the game, and provide 6 Amenities each.|
† Available with the Vikings Scenario Pack DLC.
|Civilization VI |