Civilization 6 First Look: India

We have most of the Civilizations announced that are coming out with the Rise and Fall expansion for Civilization 6. The next leader I will discuss, is another leader for an existing Civ. Chandragupta will also lead India with the new expansion, and he does things quite a bit differently from Gandhi. You can read about Korea, The Dutch, and Mongolia by clicking the links. Click this link to see the announcement video.

As an additional leader, he will still get India’s Dharma ability. Which states that India gets the follower belief of any religion with at least one follower present in their cities.. This means that India welcomes other religions, just not too much of them. This helps a normally passive India expand their religion and all around be friendlier to everyone else. For Chandragupta it is just a benefit to the grand conquests he will want to undergo. He will use India’s Varu unique unit to do so. The Varu replaces the Horseman. It has higher strength at 40 at the cost of half the movement at 2. Not only are they powerful, but they inflict a -5 strength on adjacent enemy units. Something that stacks for each adjacent Varu. He can use India’s Stepwell to help his conquered cities grow.

Chandragupta’s leader ability is Arthashastra which is dependent on unlocking the Military Training Civic. Once unlocked, you can declare a War of Territorial Expansion. Once Chandragupta does so his units will get 2 additional movement and a combat bonus during the first 10 turns after it is declared. This will help the Varu led army to quickly pounce on neighboring civilizations.

Chandragupta allows you to play India far more aggressively than you ever have been. With one leader ability, you have turned a passive and religious nation into a domination master. Chandragupta will flourish on most map types, being hindered only by maps heavy on islands and mountains. TSL Maps will pose an interesting challenge for India. They have China to the East, Khmer to the Southeast, Persia to the West, Scythia to the Northwest, and Mongolia to the Northeast. Gandhi was always adept at staving off China, but they should be able to easily neutralized now. Persia should also have their fair share of problems with India now as well. The Khmer are well suited as they will be in on the religious game and likely provide your empire with much beneficial follower beliefs. Then they should be quickly crushed. Mongolia and Scythia all field faster ranged armies. They all poise problems but Chandragupta’s unique ability will help them stabilize against them.

There are only 2 more unannounced Civ’s, as the Cree and Georgia are both making their first appearances to the franchise with the expansion. Keep a look out for their first looks soon.


Civilization 6 First Look: Mongolia


Genghis Khan is back! Mongolia is officially in Civilization 6 with the upcoming Rise and Fall expansion. As we all expected, they are good at killing people. Let us look at just how well they do so. To see my previous First Looks, you can read Korea and the Netherlands by clicking through. You can view the complete release video here.

The Mongolian unique ability is actually very different than you would expect. It is called Ortoo. Trade Routes automatically create a Trading Post in the cities they are sent too. Mongolia also gets increased Diplomatic Visibility. This all sounds very passive doesn’t it? Well the ability goes even further. Mongolian unites get a +3 combat bonus for each level of Visibility they have. That means that a single Mongolian Trade Route to anyone will allow them to attack them without mercy. The Mongolian ability packs quite a bit into it, and generally seems to have more going for them than several other Civs. Their Unique Building is the Ordu, which replaces the Stable in the Encampment District. Any Cavalry unit trained in a City with this building gets an additional point of movement. So Mongolia, who already specializes in Horse based combat, can make them even faster. This leads right into their unique unit, the Keshig. The Keshig is unlock-able with the Stirrups technology, but does not replace the Knight. The Keshig is a ranged cavalry unit that can pass on its excellent speed. The video demonstrates them at a movement of 6, but we don’t know if that already factored in the Ordu benefit. 5 base speed is great, but 6 is exceptional. Finally we get to Genghis Khan’s unique ability, Mongol Horde. Just in case you thought Mongolia couldn’t get any stronger, here this is. All cavalry units get +3 combat strength and have a chance to capture enemy cavalry units after you defeat them. So not only will they be stronger than your opponents horse units, but they have a chance to capture them instead of killing them. This includes units like Scythia’s Horse Archers and Russian Cossack’s. Both very powerful units that you can now employ in your Mongolian Horde.

Mongolia is well suited for any type of map, as long as they can find a resource of horses. That will definitely be key. On TSL maps they look poised for great success. They will have the passive but defensive Korea to the South, the peaceful China to the South West, and Scythia to the North West. The only enemy they would have immediate problems with would be Japan. Makes sense. Horses can’t walk over the oceans, and historically they failed to do this twice.

We have just 4 more Civilizations to go. Chandragupta was revealed as the second leader for India, turning the passive Civ into an aggressive one. Today it was announced that Poundmaker would lead the Cree. While I am happy to get another Indigionous Civ into the game, and it will help balance America’s power on TSL Maps, I am disappointed it isn’t Canada.

Civilization 6 First Look: The Netherlands


Once again this post comes after the next Civilization is announced (Mongolia!) but I am going to delve further into The New Dutch Civilization. Much like I did with Korea, I will look at all of their unique benefits as well as how they work on normal randomized maps as well as TSL maps. The Netherlands are led by Queen Wilhelmina, one of their most well regarded leaders. This not only helps ring true to their lead designers goal, but helps get more bad ass ladies into the game. That is all good by me.

You can watch the full release video here.

The Netherlands unique ability is Grote Rivieren, which grants an adjacency bonus when Campus, Theatre Squares, and Industrial Zones are built next to a river. This benefit appears to be a plus 2 addition, which considering no other Civ is gettting that type of bonus, it is a very excellent ability. It also likely means that they will have a river/coastal starting bias. In addition to this bonus, they gain a culture bomb whenever they build a Harbor district. The term culture bomb refers to a situation where you grab tiles adjacent next to something. This ability is also possessed by Civ’s like Poland and Australia. Meaning the Dutch gain an excellent benefit from just about every District type, which is definitely a nice bonus. It’s with their unique improvement this ability really shines. The Polder can be built on specific water tiles with sufficient coastal tiles. The Polder grants production, gold and food. The food output is increased as you progress through the game. Similar to Indonesia, they can make use of water tiles in a way that few other Civilizations can. Their unique unit, the De Zeven Provincien, appears to be a replacement for the Frigate. It not only has more range and combat strength, but gets a specific benefit when attacking defensible districts. Finally Wilhelmina’s leader benefit is Radio Oranje. Internal trade routes gain plus one loyalty, which is one of the new mechanics in rise and fall. This will help keep Dutch cities, Dutch. Foreign Trade routes (including those your opponent sends to you) grant you 1 culture. This is a handy benefit too.


The Netherlands look to be an excellent tool box Civ. They have all the tools to make tall, thriving cities, even with just a few land tiles. Their inclination to be towards rivers will help guide you on where to settle further cities. If you can hit the jack pot with a coastal city with a river near by, you will have one of the best cities in the game. Their trade routes provide excellent utility and help protect against enemy influence. Their unique unit will be one of the most feared units on the sea. The one down side would be advanced settlement by an opponent. Similar to Brazil, who gets a massive benefit from Rain Forest tiles, cutting them off from their tiles is devastating. However, with benefits from both river and ocean, they will find success some where.

TSL is a different story. I expect True Start Netherlands to be a force in games. They will likely have their capital start next to a river and ocean, helping tremendously. Their Districts will be better than those of their opponents, and their Polder will allow them to maximize little space to great effect. You will need to make sure you have some early defenses, or Norway will be a quick adversary in the North. With their unique unit, they will be able to keep up with Britain to the West. It is your land adversaries to the West, East, and South that will be problematic. Germany, Russia, and Poland will be your biggest problems. Germany will be aggressive, but you can cur some early favor with them by avoiding City States. Poland has the ability to cut into your land with their culture bomb ability. Russia naturally grabs more land. You will likely need to either look at early aggression towards them, or hope that they attack each other. Or you will find yourself cut off from the rest of the European Continent. That said, once the Viking Longships are obsolete, you could conversely conquer Norway. It is also very likely that you will have an edge on the fight with England.

Unlike Korea, the utility the Dutch have will allow them to survive a TSL map easily. This same utility will allow them to escape the pitfall’s other resource specific Civilization’s. Their clearest victory option appears to be Culture, but their benefits and strong Maritime focus mean that you could conquer your enemies by sea. I for one cannot wait for my chance to play with the Netherlands, and find out how ridiculously tall I can make my cities. Stay tuned, my look at the Mongolian’s are next.

Tales From Civ 6: South Asia TSL Part 2


I set out where I left off, trying to win a Culture victory and prevent China from securing the Culture and Science victory that they were hurtling towards. You can read part 1 here.

I picked up the game in 1585, less than a decade later my coalition with the Khmer, Scythia, and Japan fell apart. I was able to secure Hojo’s favor, and convince him to send his forces to attack China’s Eastern front. I mustered my newly minted Bombards and Musket Men and marched south. It would be known as the 70 years war, and neither Hojo nor I was able to accomplish much of anything during that time. My war angered Gandhi and decimated Japan’s forces. After peace was declared, I began covert operations in an attempt to steal Cultural artifacts away from China.

This was initially successful as I was able to get away with both Frankenstein and the Mona Lisa. This attracted the attention of the other world leaders, who were quick to offer me all sorts of treasures for these cultural works. I rejected the proposals as I attempted to change the Cultural tide in my favor, sadly I was unable to make a dent on China’s Culture output. I knew there was only one way I could win the game. I would have to eliminate China. In 1740 I marched my troops across the border and laid siege against China’s southern most city. My good friend Hojo had no army to muster, and I was in the conflict alone. My initial siege went well, and my Bombards were able to destroy the cities defenses as my Musket men hunkered down for the siege. I was initially hopeful that my siege could force Qin Shi Huang to come to a peace agreement.

Instead the opposite happened. Marching from the north were several units of Rocket Infantry. How Emperor Huang had this technology in the 1820’s while the rest of the world was so far behind, was a frightening sight. From the West came a unit of Gatling Gun’s. Within moments my army was torn asunder. I was able to capture the city I was laying siege too, and as it turns out, it was originally founded by the Khmer. I gladly gave it back to them. This was to appease Gandhi and create a buffer between myself and China. Despite this maneuver my army was scattered and easily destroyed by China’s awesome fire power. Peace finally came in 1845 and by then it was clear. China has rebuilt its military and with more tech and might than I could I muster. With a cultural victory imminent, it was clear. I had failed to lead Indonesia to victory. Within a few turns Qin Shi Huang would unite the world with his superior culture and my empire would only be a footnote in history.

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Curse you and your pretty buildings!

Notes about the Map:

South Asia TSL is a very challenging map. China, Khmer, and Japan all have clear advantages as they start real close to the middle of the map.

Indonesia is fantastic. Despite my loss, I experimented with the different ways I can build cities. I was able to build several cities to 8 or more population with just 1 or 2 pieces of land. The Kampung’s are awesome. They provide you with so much utility and allow you to build in normally unattainable places. I look forward to playing Indonesia again, and I hope that I can lead them to victory in a different setting. Maybe one where China doesn’t fire Bazooka’s at me in the 19th century.

Until the next time!

I also promise I have other content other than Civ stuff planned. Even if it doesn’t look like it.

Civilization 6 First Look: Korea


This content was announced about a week ago. I planned on doing a write up for them much earlier, but I got busy with work and then my internet went down. So now, a week late, you get my look at Queen Seondeok of Korea. Before I get into it, here are a few things to note. We haven’t seen all the new mechanics coming in the Rise and Fall Expansion next February. Because of this it will be impossible to make an accurate review of most things relating to their new mechanics. So anything specifically featuring Governors, Ages, or Emergency Powers, I can only speculate on now.

You can see the full release video here.

I expect by the time is posted, we’ll see another expansion announced, as it appears these things will happen on Tuesday’s. It is my hope to be more thorough with getting these put up. That said, let’s get too it! I will be doing these reviews two fold. Analyzing the Civ on the whole, and analyzing them based on their projected True Start Location (as discussed in my previous post). As TSL maps often vary in strategy from the normal maps and depending on location can provide major advantages or disadvantages. Unfortunately it looks like Korea will be one of those Civ’s that are disadvantaged by their starting location.

Korea’s Unique Ability gives Mines and Farms additional Science and Food yields when built next to a Seowon District. The Seowon replaces the Campus District and provides a large, fixed amount of Science. However this yield is decreased by 1 for every adjacent district built next to it. If I recall the video correctly it looks like it starts at 6. Additionally the Seowon must be built on a hill tile. This makes it more likely to be adjacent to either other hills or plains tiles, further powering up the Civilizations Unique Ability. Korea’s unique Unit is the Hwacha. Which is described as a renaissance era ranged unit. That makes it a little unclear on which unit it replaces, as there is not currently a ranged unit for that era. However my guess would be that it replaces the Crossbowmen, which slot in at 40 ranged combat strength. I expect Korea to get the Hwacha a little later than the Machinery Tech, but at the exchange for a 10 point buff in strength. Additionally the Hwacha cannot move and shoot, in a similar manner to most Siege Units. Finally, Seondeok’s Unique leader ability provides a plus 5 bonus to Cities with an established Governor. Again, little is known about this mechanic so far, but it appears that most cities will want a Governor, so this looks like it gives an additional bonus for having one.

In Games with normally generated maps, Korea looks like a really strong Civ. They should be able to excellently place Seondok Districts and maximize their mine and farm outputs their Civ gives them. The Hwacha should be an excellent defensive unit, and with the correct army built around it, be an excellent offensive option. As stated earlier, Queen Seondok’s leader ability looks to be a great buff to a new mechanic. Governors look like a must have, and providing a further benefit on top of them should allow a greater flexibility in choosing them.

TSL maps get a little trickier. Penalties against the Seondok District should be more noticeable on the tiny Korean peninsula. It also makes it less likely for the capital city to benefit from Korea’s unique ability. I expect in most games, the Seondok will be built adjacent to the Capital, preventing any of the great Civ benefits from happening. Expansion should be another problem with Korea. They are on a peninsula surrounded by Japan to the East, Indonesia and Australia to the South, and China to the West. The current roster of Civilizations makes a northward expansion the easiest mode of expansion. That said, I expect the Genghis Khan to be represented, and that would add a dire threat to the North of Korea. The one advantage the Civ has is their Hwacha. If they can hold off until the Renaissance era, they can muster a few Hwacha’s they should be able to defend their borders from several would be invaders. Korea’s only option may be to muster an early military and attack a City State such as Hong Kong to give them some land to grow. Adjustments to the TSL map happen, changing the map and making Korea larger, but we won’t know until that actually happens.

Korea looks to be a very interesting nation to play. TSL should be about as challenging, if not more so, than Japan currently is. But I love a good challenge. I look forward to seeing what else is announced in the coming days. What do you look forward too about Korea? Are there any Civilizations that you would like to see added to the game? Let me know in the comments if you do.

Tales from Civ 6: South Asia TSL Part 1

What, you thought I was going to relaunch my blog with a simple introductory post, and then not talk give you actual content? Silly you. I recently downloaded the newest DLC for this fantastic game. It included a TSL map just for South Asia. For the uninitiated, TSL stands for True Start Location. In this map type you are spawned on an approximated map of the world, and your starting location is where your Civ started historically. Currently this map can only hold 6 of the many Civilizations in the game. I started with the one of the two newest Civ’s, Indonesia.


Indonesia is led by Gitarja. She is a naval focused Civ, and those are my favorites. I love exploring the world with boats and deterring land invasion with a superior navy. Her unique improvement is the Kampung. It is a unique improvement you can put on water tiles adjacent to coasts. It gives you extra benefits if built around fishing boats. As Indonesia is all about the ocean, it makes sense for them to make use of otherwise desolate tiles. This is especially helpful as she starts on the fractured lands of polynesia. Most Civs would struggle in such circumstances, not Giraja. As an added benefit you get to listen to Sean Bean (of Game of Thrones and much more) accurately nail down the intricate pronunciation.

So I began my journey. I had an idea of who I might find on the map, but it took me several centuries to find another player. It was none other than the other newest Civ, the Khmer. Led by Jayavarman IV, the Khmer are a cultural and religious powerhouse. As expected they pushed for a religion and ended up with Islam, as I snagged Hinduism first. They wasted no time in converting their part of the world to Islam, and that appears to be their main victory condition now. That and making me want to listen to the King and I sound track.


All that’s missing is Yul Brynner.

The next Civ is one of my favorites in the entire game, Hojo Tokimune of Japan. Japan is an excellent cultural Civ, and excels at making use of small spaces. The South Asia map gives them much more space than the normal TSL map, which allowed them to expand quite a bit. They grabbed Shintoism which is pretty natural for Japan. They expanded West to the main continent, which has put them in direct competition with China. As historically accurate, Hojo has been in many wars with China thus far. As of my last save the game just hit 1600 and the two nations have been to war 4 times. I guess they truly can’t get along.


Poor Hojo can’t catch a break though. He is at the middle of the pack victory wise. Not able to edge out the other Civ’s.

That takes us to Qin Shi Huang, the leader of China. China loves building Great Wonders of the World and is a specialist in winning Culturally. They are doing so handily in the game thus far. Taking the lead in both culture, and pulling far ahead of the pack Scientifically. I came to blows with him early as he is the pre-eminent leader of the game, and I enjoy playing a slow cultural game. He has been able to handle his multiple wars with Hojo well, using his Hidden Dragon Cannon’s to great effect. He also recently started constructing the Great Wall, which will no doubt just anger Japan more. China grabbed Confucianism, but hasn’t been able to expand it. In part because of Yul Brynner’s excellent religious expansion.

civ 6 china

He’s pretty proud of all his pretty buildings. Also none to happy about me building the Great Lighthouse. China has no water borders, so has no chance to build it, but was still mad I had a pretty building.

Next I met the Nuclear Warmonger himself, Gandhi. Gandhi grabbed a religion unusually late for India. Forcing him to settle with Protestantism. He hasn’t done a ton to impact the game. The Indian subcontinent is sheltered off from most of the map, and hasn’t impacted the game as much as the other 4. He has spent most of his time fighting Barbarians and shaking his stick at anytime another Civ goes to war. He also just got engaged in a nasty war with Scythia. Fortunately this means that Gandhi should be pretty tame by the time the Atomic Age comes about. As a reference to a glitch from the first game, Gandhi will always go for nukes when they are unlocked. It’s a fun homage, that can be devastating.


He may look peaceful, but in a few centuries he’ll bomb the shit out of you.

The final player in this game is Tomyris of Scythia. The nomadic warrior is in the far right corner of the map, and would have to get past India and China to get sea access. They have yet to do so. While normally a very aggressive early game Civ, she spent much of the early game contending with the same Barbarians that India was fighting. As soon as they were snuffed out, she turned her eyes to Gandhi. Saddly, this wasn’t until 1540, well past her prime for conquest. She grabbed Zorastrianism, but has struggled to convert her own cities, let alone other empires. She has had the poorest start in the game so far, which is a shame. Land based Civ’s appear to have a harder time on this map type. Unless they like to spam pretty buildings.


Those are the players and some of the details of the game so far. But here is the best recap. I have played a peaceful game, but quickly built up the worlds strongest navy. After establishing an alliance with the Khmer, Scythia, and Japan, I set my trap. I initiated a massive coalition war against China, in hopes of setting them back. Tomyris was of little help, being sheltered away from the conflict. The Khmer never mobilized forces, but China did send troops that were quickly defeated. Japan, being immediate neighbors had the biggest impact. They were quickly invaded, in what was the fourth conflict between the two nations. Despite being technologically inferior, they were handling themselves well. Meanwhile I mobilized my massive navy and invaded the Independent state of Hong Kong. Despite being a City State, they were allied with China and providing them a large industrial boost. They fell quickly, and I was able to establish a foothold in Chinese territory. A little further away in the Korean peninsula, Seoul was hounding Japanese forces. Another independent state allied with China, they were helping China lead the Science race. They fell in an equal amount of time, giving me another striking point into China. Afterwords, I sent my boats to bombard the coast Japan, successfully killing off the Chinese troops. After this China gained peace from the coalition and wasn’t forced to capitulate any territory.

This is where I was forced to save and start my normal day as a mild mannered citizen. When I reload I will attempt to steal away a cultural victory from China and Japan. I have a foothold in China, and have just discovered gunpowder and ballistics. With my muskets and cannons I should be able to take advantage of China’s weakened military. Other than that, who knows what fun thing lie in store for me and Indonesia in the next installment.

I hope you enjoyed, and stay tuned for more content.

Ravingnerd Rebirth


“This is Garnet, Back together”

Probably not the best way to start things off, but hey, that song is always stuck in my head. Hello internet. It has been several years since my last post. Time and time again I tried to revive this blog, and failed every time. Part of this was due to my exhaustion at work. Spending 40 hours a week working at my local comic store made me a bit jaded and tired of escapism. Comics, Games, and all matter of nerdy things no longer provided me the same comfort that they used to. Thus, trying to come up with the thoughts to engage the fantastic audience I had, never came to me.

In the years I have been a way, quite a bit has changed. Namely, I have gotten older. I have a tougher skin and because of this have found enjoyment in many things I used to. 2017 has been a tumultuous year for me (hasn’t it been for everyone?) and one thing that I have found that really relieves the stress and calms me down is writing. In my free time I write for a fantastic site covering the Toronto Blue Jays. That has helped, but even then that feels like work. Word Counts, topic assignments, editing, re-editing, and word counts can all make it a bit stressful. So I thought I should find a space where I didn’t feel pressured by any of things and could talk about things I love. I toyed with doing something else, but at the end of the day I wanted to do that here.

So with that out of the way. Ravingnerd is back! At least in someway. I can’t guarantee scheduled times for posts, but I do plan on re-engaging with the blog and hopefully engaging with some of the brilliant followers and friends I made when I ran this in its prime. The blog will be similar to what it once was, plenty of conversations about nerdy things, but less focused on news and reviews. If this is a feature people particularly care about, I will consider adding it again. So lets talk about what I am thinking about writing about.

  1. Intellectual conversations about hot topics in comic books. This includes the rise and fall of Marvel (much to my dismay, which is a sentence that should surprise any long time reader). What Brian Michael Bendis could do for DC, and other similar topics.
  2. In my free time I love to play Civilization. With the new expansion coming out in February, I will be playing as much as I can before everything changes. For anyone who plays the franchise, you will know that remaking history is fun. Seeing some of the things that the AI does can be exciting, and often hilarious. I would love to share some of my experiences. If anything, it will allow me to keep track of some of my games, and look back on them.
  3. Star Trek Discovery. I have long Star Trek, and the new series is no different. I love the show, and highly recommend it for anyone curious. The show is on a hiatus right now, and CBS All Access is running a month free for December. Anyone who wants to dip their toes into the show now has nothing to lose.
    I love you Cadet Tilly.
  4. Star Trek Adventures. It is a fantastic RPG system from Modiphus Games. I run a campaign for the staff of the store. I love the game, and I love the world I created. With HarmonQuest and other D&D shows coming out, I thought covering this great game might not be a bad idea.
  5. Plus anything else I might come up with. Or perhaps something someone wants me to talk about.

I fully expect to rebuild this blog from the ground up. I know I have attempted this several times, but I am fully invested in rebuilding this from the ground up. If there are any old followers out there who read this, leave a comment, I’d love to hear back from you!

Until next time,

Ravingnerd out

Also here is my cat. His name is Phoenix.

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