If there were times when I’d end up scratching my head when revising a tier list, it would be whenever Firaxis decides to push a major update. That’s what we’ll have today now that the April Update — also known as the Antarctic Late Summer Update — for Civilization VI: Gathering Storm has gone live. If you missed out on some of the upcoming changes for this update, you can check out the video below:
New Features And Switch Cross-Save
As mentioned in our previous article, Civilization VI: Gathering Storm’s April Update will have some cool and exciting features:
- Map Tacks – This is an improved version of Map Pins from a mod created in the Steam Workshop.
- Map Text Search – You can now use a search box to type names of specific resources or units, allowing you to find them on the map faster.
- World Builder – There are improved tweaks to the World Builder when you’re making custom maps; in case it’s not enabled in your game, head over to Documents/My Games/Sid Meier’s Civilization VI and open the AppOptions.txt file, look for the “EnableWorldBuilder” line and change the value to “1.”
These features are present for all game versions, even the base game without the expansions. Also, for those who own Civilization VI for the Nintendo Switch and PC, you’ll be glad to know that cross-platform cloud saves are now possible! Although do note that the Switch only has the base game, so that’s too bad for your Rise & Fall and Gathering Storm saves.
— Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (@CivGame) April 2, 2019
Civilization VI Buffs And Nerfs
As for buffs and nerfs to civs, here’s a list of every civ that’s been affected by this update:
- Canada: Receives +1 Production from mines on Snow and Tundra (Including hills).
- China: Great Wall can only be pillaged (never removed) by natural disasters. +2 Gold for improvement itself. Add +1 Gold and +1 Culture to that received for each adjacent Great Wall.
- Egypt: Update the Egyptian Chariot Archer to not replace the Heavy Chariot.
- Egypt: Sphinx now provides +1 Culture if built on Flood Plains. Cannot be built on Snow, Snow Hills, Tundra, or Tundra Hills. +2 Appeal (since they are encouraged to build on Flood Plains). Cannot be built next to another Sphinx.
- France: Château now provides 1 Culture for each adjacent wonder. 1 Gold for each adjacent Luxury Resource.
- Hungary: Mathias ability now only 75% resource and Gold discount to upgrading levied units (instead of 100%).
- India: Cities gain an Amenity for every Religion with at least 1 Follower. Missionaries have +2 spreads. +100% Religious pressure from your Trade Routes.
- India: Varu ability no longer stacks but maintenance reduced to 2.
- Mali: Nerf the Mali + City-State + Democracy Combo/Exploit. Democracy is now a 15% discount on purchases with Gold.
- Mali: Increase Mali desert weighting.
- Maori: Toa ability no longer stacks and Strength is reduced to 36.
- Maori: Reduce the Marae ability to +1 of each bonus yield, instead of +2.
- Netherlands: Add a Production bonus towards Flood Barriers and Dams.
- Norway: Allow Norway (only) to receive Science and Culture from pillaging improvements in addition to Gold or Faith.
- Spain: Mission: +2 Faith; +1 Food, and +1 Production if on a different continent than your capital. +1 Science for every adjacent Campus and Holy Site.
Well, technically, every civ has been affected due to several major changes:
- Convert Science and Culture from pillaging improvements to Gold or Faith.
- Reduce effectiveness of Raid and Total War policies so they are only +50% instead of +100% to pillaging
- Increase the cost of upgrading units (about 33%).
- Add Walls to City States on Diety and Immortal games.
- Add additional melee units to City States at higher difficulties.
First off would be the buffs to city-states. If you’ve been playing on Deity, you’ll know that the AI has a tendency to gobble them up. Thankfully, they’ve been beefed up immensely. The question now is whether the AI would waste their units on city-states or if they’d turn their eyes on your hapless cities that don’t even have walls yet.
As for Hungary, you know it was absolutely broken in Gathering Storm so the April Update nerfs Mattias’ abilities a little. You’re going to need some extra gold for upgrading levied units which can also be a problem since upgrade costs have been increased across the board.
Mali’s ultra-cheap unit discounts via the Suguba + Military Academy + Ngazargamu + Democracy combo is no longer possible. Democracy provides a smaller discount for units now. Still, Mali is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to gold-generation so it shouldn’t be an issue in the long run.
The Maori were hit hard by this update with the Toa nerf along with decreasing the Marae’s yields. Will a +1 instead of a +2 culture/faith yield drop them below Tier A? France and China, however, gained major boosts to their improvements (the Chateau and Great Wall respectively), helping them reach new heights in culture and gold generation.
Norway received an indirect buff since pillaging no longer provides science and culture for all other civs. Only Harald retains this bonus, which makes them a more worthwhile pick. But, then again, they’re still Norway.
The same can be said for Spain. The Mission improvement received buffs, but, come on, it’s still Spain. I can say the same thing for India’s buffs (amenities, religious pressure via trade, and missionary spreads), but Gandhi is still not a prime candidate for a Religious victory. Can three of the worst civs in the game shake off the cobwebs?
There are more changes in this April Update, such as tweaks to Climate Change, disaster yields, and QOL improvements. You can find all of those on the official website. For now, I’ll have to replay some more Civilization VI: Gathering Storm to see if the factions can stand the test of time, and the test of our tier list.