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Civilization VI: Rise and Fall - title

Civilization VI's first expansion, Rise & Fall released a couple months ago, and it introduced a few leaders and civilizations that are making their first appearance in the franchise. I hope to be able to write strategies for every one of the expansion civs and leaders, but I'm going to start with the ones that are new to the franchise, and the ones that most utilize the expansion's new features (Era Score, governors, loyalty, and so on). The first civilization that I will tackle will be the Georgian civilization, lead by Queen Tamar.

The feuding Georgian kingdoms in the Caucusus were first united under Bagrat III between 1008 and 1010 AD, after he tricked his cousins (the heads of feuding houses) into a false reconciliatory meeting, only to throw them into prison and ensure that his son would become heir to the kingdom. A few years later, however, that son would become a prisoner of the Byzantines as part of a peace deal after Bagrat's failed attempt to reclaim the ancestral city of Tao from the Eastern Roman Empire.

The Georgian empire reached its height under the rules of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 12th and 13th centuries. These monarchs took advantage of the decline in Byzantine power and filled the power vacuum by claiming lands lost by the Byzantines. During this time, art and literature flourished, and Georgia developed its own architectural styles. Ecclesiastic art was dominant, but this period also saw some of the first major secular works of art and literature. This period would eventually become known as the Georgian Renaissance (or "Eastern Renaissance"). The renaissance continued under Tamar's rule, who proved adept at statecraft. She mediated internal tensions within her kingdom, and even thwarted a coup by her Russian husband, all the while protecting her kingdom from Turkish invasions and claiming Muslim lands to the east and south.

The Kingdom of Georgia's golden age would eventually come to an end at the hands of invading Mongols in the 13th century. The kingdom would be fractured, and the ensuing Black Death would ensure that Georgia would never again reach its former glory.

DISCLAIMER:
Civilization VI is still very early in its life-cycle (particularly the Rise & Fall expansion. Strategies for the game (and for specific leaders and civs) may change as Firaxis applies balance patches, introduces new features, or expands the game through further DLC or expansion packs, or as the Civ community discovers new strategies or exploits. As such, the following strategy guide may change from time to time. I will try to keep it up-to-date, and will make notations whenever changes are made. I'll also post links in the official 2K forums and CivFanatics, where I'll also report any changes made. If possible and practical, I will try to retain the original content of the strategy for posterity.

I welcome any feedback or suggestions that readers wish to offer. Feel free to post on the linked forums, or by posting a comment at the bottom of the page.

This guide is up to date as of the March 2018 patch (ver. 1.0.0.229)

In Civilization VI: Rise & Fall, Georgia is a defensive and religious civilization that thrives in its golden ages. Tamar is a bit of a religious world policewoman who builds strong relationships with city states that share her faith, and who will aggressively protect her city state allies.

Civilization VI - Tamar of Georgia

Tamar's uniques in Civilization VI: Rise & Fall

Georgia's capital start bias: none.

Civilization VI - Georgian flag

Georgian civilization unique: Strength in Unity

"When making a Dedication at the beginning of a Golden Age, receive its Normal Age bonus towards improving Era Score, in addition to its Golden Age bonus."

Georgia is a civilization that chains Golden Ages together. Normally, when you achieve a Normal Age (or a Dark Age), you are given a bonus that gives you Era Score points towards triggering your next Golden Age, but the Golden Age itself gives you a bonus that does not contribute towards further Era Score. Georgia receives the Normal Age Era Score bonus on top of its Golden Age bonuses. This means that while you are in a Golden Age, you will continue to receive extra Era Score points towards earning another Golden Age, based on your chosen dedication. The end result is that Georgia has greater potential to string multiple Golden Ages in a row, and is less likely to fall into a Dark Age following a Golden Age.

This bonus also applies to Heroic Ages, which grants three Golden Age bonuses in addition to earning all three of the Era Score bonuses as well! This makes it especially easy to earn another Golden Age after receiving a Heroic Age (you can't spam multiple Heroic Ages in a row, since Heroic Ages are only triggered after coming out of a Dark Age).

Golden Ages grant the Era Score bonuses that you normally receive during a Normal Age.

Tamar's leader unique: Glory of the World, Kingdom, and Faith

"+100% Faith for 10 turns after declaring a Protectorate War. Each Envoy you send to a city-state of your majority Religion counts as two Envoys. (Must have a majority Religion.)"

Civilization VI - Tamar portrait

Similar to John Curtin of Australia, Tamar receive a yield boost when she comes to the aid of city states. However, her boost only applies to Protectorate Wars (rather than liberating captured cities), and she receives 100% faith instead of production. This faith can be used for spamming out Missionaries, Apostles, Inquisitors, or holy buildings.

This ability can be difficult to use, as Protectorate Wars require multiple conditions to be met, some of which are beyond your control. First and foremost, the Protectorate War casus beli is not available at the start of the game. It requires the late classical civic Defensive Tactics. It doesn't take that long (Protectorate Wars used to be unlocked by the renaissance Diplomatic Service civic), but it still might be too late to be useful. Further, this casus beli can only be used if a rival civilization declares war on a city state that you are the suzerain of (though the casus beli is available if you become the suzerain of the city state after it is declared upon).

Civilization VI - Defensive Tactics
Protectorate Wars are not available at the start of the game, and require the Defensive Tactics civic.

Fortunately, Tamar does have an edge towards becoming the suzerain of city states. Her envoys count as double when sent to city states that follow her religion. If you are aggressive about spreading your religion to city states early in the game, you will have a very strong likelihood of being able to out-compete other civs for control of those city states, as long as the other civs don't use Amari the Diplomat Governor. This ability does not require that you have founded a religion, only that the city state shares your empire's majority religion.

The faith boost comes a bit late to be used to establish your religion. If you did a good job of spreading it to your neighbors earlier in the game, then getting +100% faith from a protectorate war could help you spam out some extra Missionaries or Apostles to convert an extra civ or two and hopefully give you an edge in competing for a religious victory.

Unique building: Tsikhe

Game Info:

"A building unique to Georgia. Lower Production cost than Renaissance Walls. Raises the strength of your outer defenses to the highest possible level. Provides 3 Tourism after advancing to the Conservation Civic. Provides 3 Faith."

Civilization VI - Tsikhe

 

Requirements: Siege Tactics technology,
must be placed in City Center,
city must already have Medieval Walls.

Cost: 265 Production [Standard speed] (-40 from Renaissance Walls).
Replaces: Renaissance Walls.
Obsoleted: Steel technology.

Effects: +3 Faith, +50 Defense,
+3 Tourism (with Conservation civic),
+3 Housing under the Monarchy government.

 

Georgia's Tsikhe is a Renaissance Wall that doubles as a faith building. It generates 3 Faith, which puts it right in between the Shrine and the Temple in terms of output. This can be a useful bonus if Georgia is pushing for a religious victory. The Tsikhe also has a lower production cost than the regular Renaissance Walls, so it's less of a burden to build.

Having a unique wall is kind of an underwhelming feature of Georgia, especially since they are Renaissance Walls (rather than Ancient Walls). Being able to build your Tsikhe requires that you already have invested in building Ancient Walls and Medieval Walls. If your opponents put you on the defensive throughout the game, then this is something that you may build anyway. But in general, walls are rarely needed. Even when they are necessary, it's usually sufficient to build the Ancient Walls (in order to enable bombardment from the city and Encampment) and not bother upgrading to Medieval or Renaissance Walls. This investment takes time and production away from training units (that you can use on defense and offense), building districts and buildings, or constructing wonders.

Civilization VI - Khevsur icon

Unique unit: Khevsur

Game Info: "Georgian unique Medieval Era unit. +7 Combat Strength bonus when fighting in hill terrain. No Movement penalty in hill terrain."

Civilization VI - Khevsur unit portrait
 

Requirements: Military Tactics technology.
Replaces: N/A.
Obsoleted: N/A,
Upgrades to: Musketman.

Cost: 180 Production / 180 Gold [Standard speed].
Maintenance Cost: 3 Gold per turn.

Attack Type: Melee, Promotion Class: Melee,
Melee Strength: 40,
Movement Speed: 2.

Bonuses: +7 combat strength on hills,
No movement penalty on hills.

 

The Georgian Khevsur is basically a medieval era sword unit. It does not replace any unit and is available with Military Tactics (same technology that unlocks Pikemen). The Khevsur has higher strength than a Swordsman (40 versus 36), but slightly lower base strength than a Pikeman (40 versus 41). However, since the Khevsur is a melee unit, it gets an automatic bonus against anti-cavalry units that will give the Khevsur a decisive advantage against a Pikeman. Khevsur are also weaker than Japanese Samurai (45 strength), which is a similar unique sword unit available with Military Tactics. Khevsur will dominate over any classical era enemy units and are good against Pikemen, but are not particularly effective against other contemporary medieval units.

Though the Khevsur's base strength is not particularly impressive, they do excel in fighting on hills. They have no movement penalty on hills and get a +7 combat strength bonus when fighting on hills. With this bonus, they are almost on par with Knights (47 versus 48). You'll still be at a disadvantage though, and will need ranged units to soften the Knights up, or strength in numbers.

The movement bonus is probably the more interesting feature, as it allows the Khevsur to have more mobility and versatility. You don't necessarily want to fortify your Khevsur on hills. Instead, you should try hiding behind hills (outside of line of sight) in order to lure your opponent onto hills, and then move to ambush them. If you can catch them in the middle (or far side) of a large expanse of hills, then they will be unable to retreat, and you'll be able to clean them up. If things go south, you can also retreat your own Khevsur onto and past hills in order to get them out of the range of most pursuing units and ranged attacks.

Civilization VI - Khevsur on hills
Khevsur are competitive with Knights when fighting on hills.

Since the Khevsur is not a replacement for any unit, there is no unit that upgrades to the Khevsur. Georgia must train (or buy) all its Khevsur from scratch after researching the prereq technology, which means you have to wait a few turns before you can effectively field them. They do upgrade to Musketmen, and this upgrade is a bit cheaper than going from Swordsman to Musketman. Since they do not replace Swordsmen, you can still build Swordsmen normally (if you have the iron to do so). On the upside, the Khevsur gives you access to a sword unit that doesn't require iron...

The Shining City on the Hill: A General Strategy for Tamar's Georgia

It can be difficult to really use the strengths of Tamar's Georgia. A lot of her uniques are very conditional, have a high cost to bring them into play, or have a narrow window of opportunity. Almost all of her uniques are focused around religion, so if you fail to found a religion, then you'll be at a significant disadvantage. The Tsikhe can often be too much of a burden to build (even with the Limes social policy enacted), and has the high opportunity cost of preventing you from building other more useful things. If you need the extra faith, then the Tsikhe does act, effectively, as an extra religious building, but you still have to put in the time and effort to build the Ancient and Medieval Walls first.

Your fancy medieval sword unit, the Khevsur, is not an upgrade to any unit, and so it must be trained from scratch. They also are not particularly strong against the other contemporary medieval units that they will likely face off against.

Civilization VI - Tsikhe and Khevsur
Tsikhe and Khevsur are burdensome to bring into play, and aren't particularly strong.

If opportunities present themselves for you to use these uniques, then by all means, use them. It probably isn't wise to try to build an entire strategy around them due to them often being more costly than they are worth.

Your protectorate war bonus also won't come into play until mid-way through the game, as it requires the late classical Defensive Tactics civic. On high difficulty, this likely won't come into play until its too late to be useful, as the A.I.s are hyper-aggressive against city states and will conquer many (if not most) city states within the first 20-100 turns -- which is long before you'll unlock protectorate wars.

Spiritual envoys

The only reliable uniques of Tamar and Georgia involve golden ages and religion, so you should focus your strategy on using religion to earn Era Score. Build a Holy Site very early in the game in order to get dibs on founding one of the religions. Train some early Missionaries in order to convert any nearby city states (that you don't intend on conquering). Try to convert the city state to your religion prior to investing any envoys in them, in order to get double envoys. You may also have to keep some units on-hand to deter or block rivals from being able to conquer the city states that you intend to ally with.

Civilization VI - founding Galapagosism
Religions can be a good source of Era Score.
Civilization VI - Valletta flag

If you happen to meet the city state of Valletta then you should try to invest some envoys towards becoming their suzerain. This will allow you to spend faith to build walls, and spares you from having to invest all that production. If you're very lucky, then someone will declare war on Valletta, and you'll be able to use a protectorate war to double your faith output to buy those walls. If you do end up having to spend production on walls, then be sure to enact the Limes policy, and take advantage of chopping and the Governor Magnus in order to get the walls built quickly.

A Golden Age of Faith

Georgia should also put particular focus on trying to earn Golden Ages whenever possible. Destroying barbarian outposts is a great source of early Era Score. Build one or two barb-hunting task forces (at least one warrior and one archer per task force) and send them out to any nearby barbarian outposts that spawn. Listen carefully between turns for the audio cue that tells you when a new barbarian outpost has spawned (since Firaxis still hasn't implemented a clickable notification to take you to the site of new barbarian outposts!).

Other reliable ways to get early Ear Score are to find new civs, find new natural wonders, settle cities near natural wonders, settling on inhospitable terrain (such as tundra, jungle, or desert), building the first of each type of district, becoming the first suzerain of a city state, training your first naval unit, or earning a level 4 promotion for a unit. On Archipelago maps, you also have a strong liklihood of being able to circumnavigate the globe if you get an early Galley out. Try to plan out your expansion and activities to that you can earn a classical or medieval golden age.

Civilization VI - Heroic Age
Deliberately falling into an early Dark Age can grant a strong Heroic Age.

You can also consider trying to deliberately restrain your early exploration and expansion in order to trigger a Dark Age, then go on a building and exploration boom in the classical era in order to obtain a medieval Heroic Age. This will grant you three dedication bonuses, including the associated Era Score bonuses for all three dedications! Early in the game, with few cities, loyalty is likely not going to be much of a problem as long as you aren't forward settling other civs or over-reaching to grab valuable territory.

Once in a Golden Age, you will continue to receive bonus Era Score from your dedication, which will make it much easier for you to chain together multiple Golden Ages in a row. If you invested in early religion, then a very easy way to earn lots of Era Score is to convert rival holy cities or convert enemy cities while you are at war with them. This is especially true if you took the Exodus of the Evangelists dedication.

Civilization VI - conversion Era Points
Converting cities while at war is a huge source of Era Points.

Wonders are another good way to earn Era Score, and most religious wonders are good for Georgia. Alhambra can also be a decent wonder to pursue, as it will allow you access to an additional military policy card slot. This can be used to adopt the Limes and/or Feudal Contract policies in order to help you get your unique building and unit into play.

Civilization VI - Kilwa Kisiwani world wonder

The Apadana and Kilwa Kisiwani are also excellent world wonders for Georgia to pursue. Both grant extra envoys, which (if you have converted the city states to your religion) can be doubled by Tamar's leader ability.

Lastly, the Taj Mahal is also an especially valuable wonder in the hands of Georgia. It provides extra era score, which will help Georgia to earn more Golden Ages.

Civilization VI - Taj Mahal world wonder

Having highly-productive cities that can build wonders will be a good way of generating mid and late-game Era Score. Building districts with an adjacency bonus of +3 or more will also grant Era Score (even if it is not the first such district that you have built). Creating your first military unit that uses a strategic resource (such as niter or oil) is also a source of Era Score. Being the first to circumnavigate the map and meet all other civilizations are also worth 5 Era Points each.

Emergencies are also a potent method for achieving Era Score. Remember that wars declared as a result of an emergency are not subject to warmonger penalties, and joining in an emergency alongside a former rival could be a way of building a positive relationship with that civ. Be very careful with emergencies however. Do not accept emergencies that you can't complete, and do not count on other civs to assist you. Even if other civs are eligible to join an emergency with you, you won't know whether they've accepted until after you've already accepted or rejected it. Even if they accept, the A.I.s are often very fickle about actually completing the objective. Be prepared to do all the heavy lifting yourself if you decide to pursue an emergency.

Civilization VI - conversion emergency
Emergencies can be a good source of mid and late-game Era Score.

If you can keep Georgia in a perpetual Golden Age, then you'll be able to select dedications bonuses that will contribute towards whatever victory you wish to achieve. It will also grant large loyalty bonuses for an extended period of time. This persistent increase in loyalty could allow you to pressure nearby rival cities into flipping alliegiance to Georgia, and it will ensure that your own cities do not revolt or declare independence. With high loyalty, you can even support more aggressive colonization or conquests, as long as you don't let yourself fall into a Dark Age.

Toppling the Walls of Georgia: Playing against Tamar

Tamar's A.I. agenda: Narikala Fortress

"Tries to put high level Walls around her cities and respects civilizations that follow her lead. Does not like civilizations that fail to fortify their cities."

Tamar has kind of a weird A.I. agenda. She likes civs that build walls around their cities. This means that if she's hostile to you, then building the walls to defend yourself from an imminent invasion from Georgia could suddenly cause her to like you.

Civilization VI - Tamar agenda
Tamar likes when you build walls, even if you were building walls to defend yourself from her.

You should expect Georgia to compete for founding a religion, and to aggressively spread their religion (especially to city states). If she is successful about spreading her religion into city states, then you can expect her to put a lot of envoys in those city states. It will be hard to keep up unless you can convert the city states to a different religion. If you are dragged into early conflict with her be wary of her city state allies. If her walls prove too strong for you to capture her cities, then pillaging her holy sites can cripple her ability to produce religious units and could help you to get the religious edge against her.

If you did not found a religion of your own, you might still want a couple Holy Sites, each in a city of a different religion. This way, if Tamar (or any other religious civ) starts to pull ahead in the religious victory, you can create your own missionaries and/or apostles to fight back. You don't want to be stuck on the sidelines watching another civ coast to a religious victory while you are unable to intervene.

Don't worry too much about Georgia's unique unit. It shouldn't be much of a problem unless you are Greece or another civ that has lots of hilly terrain. As long as you don't engage it on hills, you'll be fine. Either force them off the hills, or use ranged bombardment to soften them up or eliminate them. Stay out of the hills yourself in order to prevent Khevsur from ambushing you on hills. Move adjacent to the hills if possible in order to try to force the Khevsur onto terrain that is more favorable to you.

Civilization VI - Khevsur attacking off of hills
Khevsur aren't much of a threat as long as you can soften them with ranged strikes and force them off the hills.

Georgia is likely to generate multiple Golden Ages, including potentially a string of Golden Ages in a row. During this time, her loyalty pressure will be much higher. Try to avoid forward-settling near Georgia so that she doesn't flip your city's loyalty. If necessary, use governors in your border cities in order to help keep her loyalty pressure in check.

Discussions & Change Log

Thanks for reading. I hope this guide helps you to build a Georgian civilization that will stand the test of time!
Feel free to comment and share, or discuss this strategy in the CivFanatics forums at:
https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/
a-general-strategy-for-tamar.632326/

and I'll try posting a thread on the official 2K forums once I can remember what my password is...

[Show Change Log] [Hide Change Log]

8 July, 2018

Clarified that Tamar's "Glory of the World, Kingdom, and Faith" ability does not require that Georgia have founded a religion, only that the city state shar's Georgia's majority religion.

9 August, 2018

Added start bias.

Other Civilization VI Strategies

Amanitore of NubiaAmanitore of Nubia
(02/07/2018)
Gilgamesh of SumeriaGilgamesh of Sumeria
(02/19/2017)
John Curtin of AustraliaJohn Curtin of Australia
(12/01/2017)
Lautaro of MapucheLautaro of Mapuche
(08/07/2018)
Mvemba a Nzinga of KongoMvemba a Nzinga of Kongo
(08/08/2017)
Poundmaker of CreePoundmaker of Cree
(10/16/2018)
Tamar of GeorgiaTamar of Georgia
(05/03/2018)
Tomyris of ScythiaTomyris of Scythia
(05/14/2017)

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