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Update: Sumeria’s Unique Ability was tweaked between the recording and release of the official spotlight. A quote by a Firaxis employee has been included.

Another week, another spotlight for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI! This time around, we’re given a look at Sumeria led by the enigmatic Gilgamesh. 

Gilgamesh was the semi-legendary king of Sumeria and starred in the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh‘, a literary piece which is often regarded as the first great work in our history and lionized the prominent monarch, forever making turning him into a mythical figure with godlike abilities. While relatively little is known about Gilgamesh, his name features prominently on relics found in more recent years and historians generally agree that he was a real person and not a fictional one. 

Sumeria’s Epic Quest Ability gives you a tribal village reward when you clear out a Barbarian encampment, giving you a headstart with an already somewhat developed city. 

civilization-vi-war-cart Sumeria’s Unique Unit is the War-Cart, which may have been used to ferry soldiers from one place to the next, and was maybe also used as an instrument of war (history isn’t really clear on its intended function although we do know that the vehicles existed). This unit can dominate the early game with its relatively high strength for the time and suffers no penalties against enemy spearmen and anti-cavalry units and has extra movement when your turn starts with one on open terrain. 


Sumeria’s Unique Improvement is the Ziggurat. These buildings are similar to the Pyramids except for one big difference: a terraced structure as opposed to the smooth design seen in Egypt. This building provides you with science and a bonus to culture when it’s built next to a river. The Ziggurat can’t be built on a tile that’s on a hill.

Gilgamesh’s Unique Ability is ‘Adventures with Enkidu’, a reference to one of the other main characters in the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’. This Unique Ability allows your units to share pillage rewards and share experience with friendly military units that are 5 or less tiles away from the unit winning the battle. 

A developer at Firaxis clarified this ability in a Reddit post, explaining the Unique Ability a bit more clearly: 

Hey guys! I have an update from Gilgamesh! Apparently he was in over the weekend with some “recommendations” for his Leader Ability, and Ed has implemented them. As of today it has 3 parts:

  1. He can declare war on anyone at war with one of his allies without any warmonger penalties.

  2. When at war with a common foe, Sumeria and its allies share pillage rewards and share combat experience gains with the closest allied unit within 5 tiles.

  3. Gilgamesh can levy City-State military forces at 50% of cost.

Hope this helps! Please upvote this! it is hard to type when Gilgamesh has me in a hammerlock

Sumeria is very powerful in the earlier stages of the game and is uniquely tailored to erecting and training an army. Their Unique Unit and Unique Improvement will be available to you from the moment you start the game and you’ll be able to research the Joint War diplomatic option in the Ancient Era. 

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is scheduled to release on October 21 for PC. 

What do you think of the civ and its leader? Let us know in the comments below!

Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as assistant news editor and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.