Vietnam is the latest Civilization to join the ever-growing roster in Civilization 6. Being added alongside Kublai Khan of China and Mongolia, as well as a new Monopolies and Corporations Game Mode, Vietnam is led by Ba Trieu and has a slew of abilities that make them one of the most defensive Civilizations to date.
However, despite being incredible at defending their own territory, Vietnam can also use their abilities to push the offensive in other territories or sit back and let Vietnam’s rich culture drive them toward a Culture Victory. Vietnam is easily one of the most defensive, yet most versatile civilizations in the game.
Ba Trieu, commonly referred to as Lady Trieu, was a fierce rebellion leader in her time. She is commonly cited as saying, “I’d like to ride storms, kill orcas in the open sea, drive out the aggressors, reconquer the country, undo the ties of serfdom, and never bend my back to be the concubine of whatever man.” Her ability reflects that mentality well, as well as the fighting style Vietnam is often known for. Her ability is aptly called Drive Out the Aggressors. Trieu’s units gain +5 Combat Strength when fighting in Rainforest, Marsh, and Woods tiles, and her units also gain +1 Movement if they begin their turn on those tiles. Both the Combat Strength and Movement bonuses are doubled if the unit is within Vietnam territory. This ability alone makes Lady Trieu one of the most powerful defensive leaders in Civilization 6.
What makes Drive Out the Aggressors so special is that it can still be useful even outside of Vietnamese lands. So long as players are aware of the tiles in the battlefield then they can get some powerful Combat Strength and Movement bonuses. This can also be applied when fighting an enemy near to Vietnamese territory, as the extra Movement from starting in Vietnamese land will allow them to move even farther to initiate combat. This ability is very much designed to be a defensive safety net to help keep Vietnam from falling to other Civilizations, but if players plan their movements correctly, they can easily forego a Diplomatic Victory and lean into heavy Domination. After all, once a player captures cities, those are now Vietnamese-owned tiles, so they gain the double bonus. It can snowball really quickly if players can just secure one city from another Civilization.
Vietnam’s Civilization Ability is Nine Dragon River Delta. This ability makes it so Vietnam can only build unique Districts on Rainforest, Marsh, and Woods tiles. However, to make up for this, the Districts will gain bonus yields depending on which type of Feature the District is placed on. Woods grant +1 Culture, Rainforests grant +1 Science, and Marsh grants +1 Production. Additionally, Vietnam can plant Woods on tiles with the Medieval Faires civic, much earlier than most Civilizations can. This allows Vietnam to focus on several different potential win conditions, but with Woods being the easiest to manipulate, Cultural Victory seems most likely for Vietnam (especially when factoring in Vietnam’s unique building which we’ll cover next).
For players to get the most out of this ability, they should likely never tear down any Feature, at least not until they can plant forests. Not being able to place districts where they want them may sound like a big hindrance, but the benefits are worth the hassle, especially after players research the Medieval Faires civic. The bonus production from chopping Rainforests is nice, but ultimately, players going to want the freedom to place Districts in more places in their Civilization for adjacency bonuses. The only time it would make sense to tear down a Rainforest or Marsh would be if planning on immediately planting a Forest to fully lean into Culture.
Otherwise, the bonus yields to Science and Production would outweigh the immediate payout of Production toward whatever is being constructed. Players could potentially forgo placing Campuses or Industrial Zones early on to focus on other Districts if they plan their placements accordingly. Depending on how the city is settled, those Feature tiles could very well give Vietnam an early edge on some other players no matter what Victory Condition Vietnam is pursuing.
As with every Civilization, Vietnam comes equipped with a unique Infrastructure and a unique Unit. Starting with the unique unit, Vietnam gains access to the powerful Voi Chien ranged unit. This unit replaces the Crossbowman, and is more expensive than the Crossbowman. However, the Voi Chien is stronger, has better sight, can move after attacking, and is more powerful when defending. The Voi Chien sounds like the perfect unit for defending Vietnam thanks to its many bonuses, especially when combined with Lady Trieu’s Leader Ability. All in all, the Voi Chien could rise through the ranks as one of Civilization 6‘s best unique units.
Moving on to the Thanh, Vietnam’s unique Infrastructure. The Thanh replaces the Encampment, is cheaper to produce, and is not considered a Specialty District for the purposes of requiring Population to produce. The Thanh provides +2 Culture for every adjacent District, so make sure to plan District placement accordingly. Once Flight is researched, the Thanh provides Tourism based on Culture adjacency bonus, making it perfect for helping Vietnam secure a Culture Victory. Outside of the Culture benefits, it also does provide the same combat benefits as an Encampment does, so players don’t have to worry about losing out on those special bonuses.
Overall, Vietnam is a powerful Civilization that is a strong addition to the game thanks to the New Frontier Pass. There is one more round of DLC planned after the Vietnam and Kotun Khan DLC releases later this month, but Vietnam sure sets the bar for what fans expect for the final DLC. Now fans are just eagerly awaiting the Kotun Khan first look to see what this dual-Civilization leader is bringing to the Civilization 6 meta.
Civilization 6 is available now for Linux, Mobile, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.