It’s only been a few short days since we were formally introduced to the Egyptian civ in Civilization VI, but that doesn’t stop Firaxis from quickly moving on to another civ. The new spotlight shines on the Japanese civ and its leader Hojo Tokimune.
Hojo Tokimune, born in 1251, was the eighth Shikken (de facto ruler, or Shogun-regent) of Japan. He is chiefly remembered for leading Japanese forces to victory against the invading Mongol Empire, as well as spreading Zen Buddhism throughout Japan and championing the Bushido way of life.
Tokimune was a leader who ruled Japan with an iron fist and was actually a contemporary of the Mongols. While the Mongol horde managed to steamroll over several Chinese dynasties, the Mongols (led by Kublai Khan) did not have such an easy time with Japan under Tokimune’s rule. Tokimune was also a huge proponent of Zen Buddhism, which he spread to the far reaches of his domain. He is also responsible for popularizing Bushido, which became a cornerstone of the Samurai way of life.
Japan’s special ability in Civilization VI is Meiji Restoration, which gives your cities bonuses when you build your districts next to each other. This makes this civilization a perfect choice for players who like to keep their cities, and empires, compact. Their military bonus is Divine Wind (or Kamikaze), which gives your military units an advantage over your enemies when your land units fight next to a coast and your naval units get a combat bonus when engaging enemies on shallow water tiles.
The civ’s unique unit are, of course, Samurai warriors and are trainable once you research the military tactics technology. Samurai warriors don’t lose combat strength when they get damaged by enemy units, which means they’ll be a force to be reckoned with as long as there is a warrior that still draws breath.
Japan’s unique building is the electronics factory. This building replaces the regular factory available to all civs and gives you bonus production and culture to cities close to it, regardless if that city is the city the factory is built in.
The way to play Japan is to build dense cities that use the various bonuses you get when you build districts next to each other. Their unique bonus make them the perfect civ for expanding their territory along coastlines or on islands. War-minded players will find the Samurai units a boon in the midgame, allowing you to establish military dominance or root out civilizations that might pose a threat.
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