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Matthias Corvinus and Hungary in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

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Matthias Corvinus as leader of Hungary in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm
Civilization VI Gathering Storm: Hungary's leader Matthias Corvinus

Hungary becomes the first officially announced new Civ for the Civilization VI: Gathering Storm expansion. Primarily focused on production and military power, it's led by Matthias Corvinus and will be strong for the new Diplomacy victory

Hungary is the first new officially confirmed of eight new Civs in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, with Matthias Corvinus as its leader - the first of nine new leaders we've been told to expect for the epic strategy game's new expansion, due in February next year.

We do love a Civilization leader reveal, and this one is no exception. We're being treated to some interesting exclusive abilities, and one that certainly feed into the new diplomacy dynamic and win condition that the DLC will introduce.

First off, there's the Pearl of the Danube unique ability. Any building or district constructed across a river from a city center will be built faster than normal. Think Budapest. Think Buda and Pest. Consult a map if you don't get that reference. This will require planning, and with the environmental catastrophes Gathering Storm will bring, you'd better hope those rivers are benign. So, this boost puts Hungary firmly in the production game, somewhat like Germany for example. In most circumstances - a city along a river, rather than in a bend - this will mean a maxium of three districts get the time-to-build boost.

Then - and most interesting - there's the unique ability of Matthias Corvinus himself, The Raven King. The Raven King sees units levied by Hungary from a city state with an extra movement bonus, a combat strength boost, and ungradable with no cost in either gold or resouces. Currently, the levy ability on city states you have suzerainity of is seldom used by most players. It's simply too expensive, except in an emergency. Well, enter Matthias Corvinus. If you've playing against Hungary, battles for diplomatic control of city states will become much more important. If the AI hasn't conquered all of them anyway, or you have. Oh, and levying a unit also gives an extra couple of envoys to the city state.

2kA thermal bath improvement to the Entertainment district in Civilization VICivilization VI Gathering Storm: Hungary

Next we have a unique improvement in the shape of the Thermal Bath in an Entertainment district. Replacing the Zoo, this gives Amenities and Production and if built in a city with the new Geothermal Fissure geographical feature within its borders, there's a boost to Tourism and further Amenity.

Finally, we come to the units. And here's a departure from previous Civ VI unique units - Hungary gets two, with the first upgradable to the next. That's right. First there's the Black Army, a medieval-era light cavalry unit that replaces the also-new Courser light cavalry unit Gathering Storm is introducing. Black Army gets additional +3 strength for each adjacent levied unit, so this ties in nicely with the unique leader ability. And to our mind, is verging on the over-powered for the era. We shall see.

A medieval cavalry unit for Hungary in Civilization VI Gathering StormCivilization VI Gathering Storm: Hungary's Black Army light cavalry unit.

Then comes the Huszár, an industrial-era light cavalry unit that is upgradable from the Black Army. And all the experience bonuses you've earned from the medieval unit too. Which could make them pretty strong. Stronger still will be the additional combat strength gained from active alliances that Hungary has. This is a stacking bonus. Again, we're seeing the expanded diplomacy game feeding into some of the mechanics of Gathering Storm.

What we don't know is how strong the standard new units - such as the Courser - will be. So it's tough to make a claim of OPness.

2kHungary's light cavalry unit the Huszár in Civilization VICivilization VI Gathering Storm: Hungary's Huszár unit

While there's bound to be a little controversy over another European civ being added, unfortunately you can't milk history without at least some source materials. And given Europe's long legacy of advanced hatreds, religious wars and territorial conquests, it's Europe that has the most variety of potential civs and recorded leaders to draw from.