A city is the cornerstone of any great civilization. A city's size is represented by its Population, indicated to the left of its nameplate. One of the core pillars of the Civilization VI experience is Unstacking Cities, a new feature that sees cities spread across their entire controlled territory. Now, districts (as well as all wonders) occupy full tiles outside of the City Center.
Why is Unstacking Cities important?
Unstacking Cities has implications that permeate the entirety of the Civilization VI experience and this change presents new emergent strategies to players. Choosing where to settle your city is now more crucial than it has ever been, as available tiles affect the potency of Districts and limit what Wonders can be erected in that particular city. This means players must adapt to their environment, consider greater city specialization and create more diverse empires throughout play.
In Civilization V, you'd simply queue up a build order, construct your Buildings and they all live as one enormous stack within the city screen. With Civilization VI, the cities have been unstacked, removing all of that clutter within the city screen. So not only do you need to weigh build order, but you also have to consider district adjacency bonuses and what Terrains around your city center are compatible with certain Wonders. There isn’t one template for success in Civilization VI, and players need to react to the environment around them as no two games will play the same.
Combat is also affected by the Unstacking Cities mechanic in Civilization VI. As cities spread across more territory and become more exposed, adept warmongers may target specific tiles to cripple a city’s infrastructure before going after the city center. Additionally, passive players who would choose to fortify cities in the past must now consider their city’s full perimeter when deciding to pursue this same tactic in Civilization VI. A city is so much more than just its city center now.
Finally, from a visual standpoint, Unstacking Cities presents great aesthetical changes to the Civilization experience. Cities now look more diverse and reflect their growth in more distinct ways. This change goes a long way, not only in making players feel more connected to their choices and progress, but also in keeping players immersed in the beautiful world of Civilization VI.
- Instead of taking up a single tile, cities can now expand across multiple tiles.
- Everything is now placed on the map, blowing the cities apart. All of the City Upgrades that you build are now spread across the landscape in the area of control of each city.
- Each City is now comprised of districts, and there are a total of twelve district types, each with a different role and different bonuses with the terrain, limited by population. The first 5-6 District types are available from the beginning of the game, but afterward, Districts aren't built for free. You first have to build / buy a district and then you can start placing buildings on it.
- Number of Districts a city can support is limited by its Population.
- Cities can still control up to 36 hexes (or tiles), but the number of Improvements that Cities will need to work the land has been reduced, with districts moving in to fill the gaps.
- The happiness level will be focused on a city level, rather than on a global basis across your civilization.
- The Harbor can be built on water tiles (additionally "If you do, you can't build something else in that tile, like a wonder"), so no Pyramids in the water!
- Districts can be containers for additional buildings (holy sites that will eventually house religious buildings such as churches or temples), and gain bonuses based on what terrain you place them on or surrounds them (eg. campuses gain bonuses for adjacent Mountains). Districts and improvements also provide additional housing which allows you to increase your Population Cap.
Each city claims the surrounding lands for exclusive control. These lands are indicated by the colored border surrounding the city. The unique features within the borders will have a profound influence on the potential strengths of each city.
Each city generates a variety of yields at the start of every turn. These are obtained from the hexes that the city controls. Each hex within the city borders can provide a number of yields to help advance the civilization. Food and Production are two of these yields.
- Food fuels city grown, increasing its Population. More Food, faster growth.
- Production is used to build new items, like military units and city upgrades. The more Production a city has, the faster things can be built.
Each hex will need to be worked by the Population in order to obtain the yield from that hex. Each Citizen can work 1 hex within the borders. Growing a city's Population is very important in order to take advantage of all the yields from the surrounding lands.
The city interface is displayed when selecting a city. It shows information on the Culture, Food, Production, Science, Faith, and Gold produced by the Citizens of the city. It also provides information on the city health, number of buildings, religious citizens, amenities, housing capacity, and population and growth. It also displays what is being produced and how many turns until completion.
The following options are available in the city interface: