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Frederick Barbarossa leads Germany in ‘Civilization VI’

From its humble origins as disparate barbarian tribes, picking away at the crumbling Roman empire, Germany rose to be one of the most enduring global powers from the middle ages onward. A mainstay of the Civilization series, Germany returns for Civilization VI under the stewardship of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor for the latter half of the 12th century.

Also known as Frederick Barbarossa (“red beard” in Italian), historians consider Frederick one of the medieval period’s greatest rulers. He was ambitious, charismatic, and widely respected for his political and battlefield acumen. Like England’s Arthur, legend has it that Barbarossa did not in fact die during the Third Crusade, but is actually asleep with his knights beneath a mountain, eventually to return and restore Germany’s glory. He last appeared in the series as Germany’s leader in Civilization II.

Famously adept as a general, Frederick gets an extra military policy slot for the government. He was specifically noted for capturing numerous Italian city states, so like Ghengis Khan in Civ V, Frederick’s army gets a bonus when fighting city-state units.

Related: Pre-order ‘Civilization VI’ and get Montezuma and the Aztecs as a bonus

More than just a great military power, Germany is also famously industrious and productive. The civ’s overall unique ability is to build one more district per city than the population cap would usually allow. One of these can be the Hanse, which replaces the Industrial Zone. It gets bonus productivity for being next to commercial hubs, resources, and other districts.

Lastly, as a nod to Germany’s dominant role in World War II, the German unique unit is the U-boat submarine. Notorious terrors of the North Atlantic for Allied military and commercial ships, the U-boat is cheaper to produce than standard subs, and receives a combat boost in deep water.

Germany’s set of abilities is another great example of how the designers of Civilization VI want to push players towards that nation’s historical reality, while still allowing for a great deal of strategic flexibility in practice. Germany is primed to forge an early empire out of city-states, and then can potentially become a powerful military force in the modern era. However, its broader productivity bonuses allow Germany to pursue any type of victory in addition to Domination.

Civilization VI hits PC on October 21, 2016.

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