Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, the second expansion to Civ 6, is set to bring a number of new gameplay dynamics, in addition to 9 new leaders and 8 new civilizations.
Our previous reports highlighted Hungary, Inca, Canada, and Māori as the first civilizations to be announced for the new expansion. Now, Take-Two (TTWO) has revealed that the fifth new civilization will be Mali, led by Mansa Musa, arguably the richest man who has ever lived. This addition makes us 4 for 5 when it comes to new civ predictions.
According to the official announcement, the Mali Empire is an adaptable civ well-suited for any victory condition. Mali’s unique ability, “Songs of the Jeli,” provides city centers with additional faith and food for every adjacent desert and desert hills tile. Additionally, mines provide less production to the city but grant additional gold output.
Mali’s unique district, the Suguba, replaces the commercial hub, can be purchased with faith and allows Mali to purchase units, buildings, and districts at a reduced cost, with either gold or faith. To balance this addition, Mali does suffer an overall production penalty when constructing buildings or training units.
The civ’s unique unit, the Mandekalu Cavalry, is a Medieval-era replacement for the knight that can prevent traders from being plundered as long as it’s within four tiles. Adding to Mali’s gold theme, combat victories provide gold equal to the defeated unit’s base combat strength. The Mandekalu Cavalry will be familiar to fans of the series as it was the Songhai’s unique unit in Civ 5.
Mansa Musa also has his own unique ability, Sahel Merchants, which enhances international trade routes based on the number of desert plains tile in the originating city’s borders. The ability also grants a free trader slot whenever Mali enters a golden age.
Gathering Storm is set to release on February 14 for Windows. The new expansion will feature a number of new and improved game elements, including advanced technologies, engineering projects and the return of the World Congress. Notably, Gathering Storm will be the first game in the franchise to introduce a living world ecosystem that “showcases natural events that could enrich or challenge your growing empire.”