2K Games has released a ton of information about their long-awaited followup to Civilization V and let’s just say Civilization VI is going to be quite the colossus. The game lands on Oct. 21, so you have plenty of time to sharpen your turn-based strategy skills.

Check out the announcement trailer:

Here are the three big things you need to know about Firaxis Games‘ latest:

Cities Unstacked

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In past games, players would stack multiple units and building types within individual cities. In Civilization VI, these tiles are now unstacked, creating large, multi-tile districts that span a more substantial portion of the map. This design decision will encourage players to be more strategic in how they design their cities and should make the game less predictable. Players will have to take advantage of the landscape to build tiles that require certain kinds of terrain, meaning players will have to build their cities — not just their civilizations — differently every time they play.

Strategic Warfare

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Unstacking cities also means that warfare will become more dynamic in Civilization VI. Players can now target individual districts, strategically taking out industrial centers, universities, or other tiles that might be principal to an opponent civilization’s progression. Targeting key tiles means players can more directly disrupt an enemy’s production or development — small decisions that can turn the tides of both the war and the game at large.

Active Research

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Research in Civilization VI will be much more dynamic than it was in previous games. Gone are the days of grinding through the tech tree. Firaxis has peppered the game with a variety of smaller objectives, the completion of which grants the player a sizable boost in an individual research pursuit. These sidequests will definitely affect the way players approach research.

The examples Firaxis provided reference different kinds of terrain — a city built alongside mountains may be able to develop its mining skills more quickly, and therefore have the resources necessary to construct defense technology. A city situated next to a river, however, might allow the player to build aqueducts and till the soil to advance food production.

Matthew Hadick