Civilization VI, the newest entry in the venerable strategy game franchise, is out today. In it, you’ll guide one of 18 civilizations through the ages, aided by historical figures like Gandhi and Teddy Roosevelt. During each game campaign, you’ll come into contact with other civilizations, and you’ll have to decide whether you want to peacefully engage with them…or go to war.
So if you’re feeling bellicose — which, admit it, is the more fun route — here are six epic historical battles you can recreate in your Civilization VI campaigns.
Battle of Thermopylae
Greece vs. Persia
Gorgo was the wife of the legendary king Leonidas I. Leonidas I was credited with successfully uniting an alliance of Greek city-states against the invading Persian forces. Leonidas I led his men to the pass of Thermopylae to choke off the advance of the Persians. Grossly outnumbered, Leonidas I and his men fought for three long days to defeat the Persians.
The battle is a wonderful example of patriotic warfare and the advantageous use of terrain — something that should be familiar to veteran Civilization players.
War of 1812
America vs. England
It’s hard to pick out just one battle from the War of 1812 to put on this list. The war spanned three years and several theaters — the Atlantic, Great Lakes/Canada, and the South.
Starting off as a naval war with both sides attacking merchant ships belonging to the enemy, it soon escalated to land with infantry. The British fleet was already stretched thin with the Napoleonic Wars, and coupled with America’s poorly constructed and commanded army, the war lasted longer than it should have.
Battle of Otumba
Spain vs. Aztec Empire
Cortés was initially well-received by the Aztec leader, Montezuma II, son of Civilization VI leader Montezuma I. However, the commander that Cortés disobeyed was furious with his insubordination and sent men to fetch Cortés and bring him to justice.
Fast-forward a couple of days, when a series of unfortunate events, misunderstandings, and rebellion culminated in the Battle of Otumba. Fought on a vast plain that heavily favored the Spanish forces of less than 1,000 men, the Spaniards slaughtered the Aztec army that was estimated to be over 100,000 strong.
While Spanish Civilization VI leader Philip II was not in power at the time this battle occurred, he took over as King of Spain 36 years later and continued the empire’s expansion into the Americas.
Battle of Stalingrad
Germany vs. Russia
One of the largest, bloodiest, and longest battles to ever take place in history was the Battle of Stalingrad.
Fought between the Russians and the German Axis, Stalingrad was perhaps the most important battle of World War II. The German Axis had planned to break through Stalingrad to continue their sprawl throughout Europe, but Russia knew they had to win at all costs. Operation Uranus was put into action by the Russians as a flanking mission to attack the weaker Hungarian and Romanian flanks. The operation was a success, and it caused the German Army to become encircled and suffer heavy casualties.
After unsuccessful attempts to breach the Russians encirclement, the Germans ran out of food and the remaining members of the army surrendered.
The number of casualties was insurmountable for the Germans and caused them to pull troops off the Western Front to compensate for their losses, weakening their stronghold there.
Mongol Invasion of Japan
Mongol Empire vs. Japan
Roughly six notable battles occurred during each invasion. The Mongolian’s first efforts were thwarted by Japan’s ability to counter-attack and provide reinforcements. Then, the ocean separating Japan and mainland Asia proved to be the downfall for the Mongol Empire in more ways than one as their second invasion attempt was ruined by a typhoon that destroyed the Mongolian fleet.
During the invasions, Tokimune was reportedly nervous and sought his Zen master for counsel. Tokimune was told he needed to meditate to understand where his fear and cowardice came from. After his meditation, he had a life-changing moment that allowed him to understand his purpose and no longer fear his enemies.
Battle of Waterloo
France vs. England
Napoleon‘s defeat at Waterloo marked the end of his reign as Emperor of France.
Upon Napoleon returned to power in March 1815, his opponents started to mobilize forces in fear of being attacked themselves. As predicted, Napoleon planned to attack the Seventh Coalition Army on the northern border of France to put an end to their dissenting ways.
Unfortunately for Napoleon, his men were outnumbered when the English army decided to join forces with the remaining Prussian forces that Napoleon was attacking. Their joint defense at Waterloo officially put a stop to Napoleon’s antics and concluded the First French Empire.
Can you think of some other battles that might be possible to recreate in Civilization VI? Let us know in the discussions!