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What is new for leaders in Civilization VI?

Civilization VI: Qin Shi Huang
Civilization VI: Qin Shi Huang

With new unique abilities and the concept of leader agendas, Civ VI promises the deepest leader experience yet offered in the famous series

For veteran Civilization players, the leaders of the various Civs are all important.  And that's mostly because we know we'll be listening to their offers and declarations in the wee small hours of morning during some marathon game.

[2K Games]
Civilization VI Leader Gandhi 2K Games
Civilisation VI features Gandhi as one of the leaders

"Would you like to make a trade agreement with England?" can suddenly haunt you, even in the queue at the local supermarket, let's face it.

However, Civilization VI takes the concept of leaders, and makes them more than just the sum total of their respective civilisation's traits.  The first such difference in Civ VI from Civ V is the new Leader Ability

Terrain reveal has changed.
Terrain reveal has changed.

Taken from a historical reading of a particular leader's character and conduct, this concept makes each Civ that little more specialised and different to the others. Using the unique ability to its best effect will clearly make an important contribution to whatever victory you are aiming for.

So for instance, we welcome back the strangely nuke-happy Mahatma Gandhi from Civ V back to Civ VI. We think he's put down the ICBMs now, but instead his unique ability allows the player all the follower beliefs of every religion present in their cities. 

That's pretty powerful. And could have a benefit through pretty much through the entire course of a game.

Elizabeth I has been ousted in Civ VI for Queen Victoria. And for her unique ability, she brings the British Museum - which I'm sure you will agree is a suitable celebration of Britannia's global looting ways, all done in the interests of the betterment of mankind, of course.

Lovely city districts.
Lovely city districts.

British Museum provides museums will extra slots for artifacts and increase the production of archaelogists. Which is a nice bonus.

All the various leaders have such niche abilities, and these look set to add an interesting dimension to Civ VI gameplay.

Another new leader element to Civ VI is the Leader Agenda, or Goal.

This is primarily aimed at bringing a new - and frankly welcome - level of depth to AI play.

So for example, the new American leader Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt gets the Big Stick - the Civ VI embodiment of his famous "speak softly, and carry a big stick" foreign policy. We understand this to mean that America will undertake some casual bullying and be happy to use brute force where required.

Or let's take Tomyris, the leader of the new Civ Scythia. Old Tomyris is Backstab Averse - meaning forgiveness for any Civ fond of making unexpected declarations of war with not be forthcoming.

Some of these agendas are more subtle than others, but all add to making the behaviour of AI Civs much more interesting.