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Civilization 6 returns October 21 with cities that sprawl across the map and semi-stackable units

Civ 6 cities

Civilization VI is happening and it’s a return to the series’ roots – we’re back on Earth, we’re running through history, and Gandhi’s still trigger happy with his nukes. The most notable changes to the formula are around cities, which now grow physically on the map rather than being restricted to a single tile, and how armies, while not returning to the doom-stacks of the past, can now combine with themselves or support units to create more powerful versions.

Want to know more? Here’s our massive feature on everything there is to know about Civilization VI.

First: cities. You can read the full breakdown at the link above, but the basics of it are that it’s no longer about stacking wonder after wonder on a single tile. You’ll have to find space in the hexes around a city’s central point for what you want – a Granary here, a Library there. Similar to how armies in Civ V were no longer allowed to all sit on top of each other with a thousand tanks, planes and men, Civ VI’s cities are also expanding out and covering more ground. This makes them harder to defend, as you can imagine.

Speaking of which, some amount of those unit changes are being reversed. While you still can’t have your entire military might concentrated on a single hex, there have been changes made to unit definitions to facilitate larger armies sprawling a little less. There are now support units which can be stacked with and essentially equipped to other units. This is things like siege towers and battering rams, anti-tank guns, the things that armies use to do damage, not actually the bulk of the army itself. On top of this, units of the same type can now be combined into larger, more powerful forces – you’ll be able to look at a unit on the map and know it’s tanks, but that no longer means it’s just the one.

Those are the biggest changes, but there’s much more to come. Firaxis doubtless have more to say, and check our Civ VI preview for how research and besieging are changing, as well as the latest attempt at a workable, exciting and unpredictable diplomacy system in a 4X. Most importantly, it’s out October 21 – just a few months away. Here’s the first official trailer, with lovely Sean Bean telling us how wonderful it is to be human: