A city is the basic unit of a civilization. It houses its people, it advances its science, culture, faith and other stats, it expands its territory, and finally - it produces everything else the civilization has.
Cities are vital to your civilization's success. They allow you to build units, buildings, and wonders. They allow you to research new technologies and gather wealth. You cannot win without powerful, well-situated cities.
Cities in Civilization VI are far different than in previous games. They now have a City Center - the original tile where the city was founded - and additional neighborhoods called "districts," which are found in nearby tiles.
Cities contain an empire's population, which is represented by the number of citizens in the city. Cities normally begin with a population of 1 and grow based on available housing and food output. The size of the city determines the total workforce that can work the land surrounding the city. Additional districts may only be built once the population reaches a certain threshold.
As in previous games, the main population growth factor is Food. If a city has a food surplus, its population will gradually increase, whereas a food deficit will cause its population to gradually decrease. That's why it's always important to consider the food resources in nearby terrain when founding a new city - these will allow it to grow fast and become more useful to your empire.
City growth is controlled by Housing, which affects the total population capacity. The amount of Housing is somewhat dependent on fresh water access, but mostly dependent on the existence of tile improvements, buildings and districts (that is, facilities inside the city which have no relation to nearby terrain). This puts an additional constraint on growth beyond food supply - now a city which has reached its Housing limit will grow extremely slowly, even if it has plenty of food.
"Housing is a representation of the maximum amount of Citizens or Population you can have in each city. The base source of Housing is a water source."
"Many buildings grant Housing. After researching Pottery, every city is able to build a Granary, which adds 2 Housing, and later they can build Sewers, which also adds 2 Housing. Buildings in other districts sometimes add Housing, such as the Barracks in the Encampment district, the University in the Campus, and the Lighthouse in the Harbor. The Palace building in your capital city also adds 1 Housing."
"Each Farm, Pasture, Plantation, or Camp supports a small amount of Population - 1 Housing for every 2 such improvements. Supporting rural Population in this fashion will allow for slightly larger Populations prior to the Industrial Era, when the Neighborhood district becomes available." -Civilopedia
The final growth factor of a city's population depends not only on food and Housing, but also on a number of other factors, including available Amenities.
City Defenses Edit
Being a civilization's main manifestation, a city is always a target for military action. That's why it's also important to consider how a city can defend itself from enemies.
In Civilization VI early cities are quite weak, because they lack any defensive structures. Unlike in previous games, without defensive structures a city cannot use a Ranged Attack to damage invaders.
But there are additional vulnerabilities to cities in Civilization VI: because their districts are now physically located on other tiles, cities may now become severely crippled by invading armies, even if they don't attack the City Center. Invaders now are able to pillage nearby districts, crippling other aspects of the city production, and setting an empire back even without taking its territory.
Where to Construct Cities Edit
Cities should be constructed in locations with plenty of Food and Production and with access to Strategic, Luxury, and Bonus Resources. It is often a good idea to build a city on a River or coastal hex, as sources of water are very important to a growing Population. Cities constructed on Hills gain a defensive bonus, making it harder for enemies to capture them.
With a Settler selected, ideal city locations will be shown on the map with an icon. Additionally, every Settler after your first will show the Settler Lens, giving you an idea of where on the map will provide the best source of water for your city, and indicating unavailable tiles.
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