CIVILIZATION VI: RISE AND FALL - GENGHIS KHAN LEADS MONGOLIA

Genghis Khan once demanded two Tug (“Spirit”) Banners: One made of white horse hide for times of peace, and another of black horse hide for all the other times. Upon his death, his soul was alleged to live on in the black banner. This is how the feared “Universal Ruler” of the Mongol Empire lived – and died.

At his birth in 1162 CE, legends tell of a boy clenching a blood clot at birth – a sign that he would one day be a great leader. Born Borjigin Temujin (the later translates as “blacksmith”), scholars say he was named after a captured tribal chieftain as a taunt. At 9, he was betrothed to marry Borte, the daughter of the neighboring Konkirat tribe’s chieftain. Within a year, the boy would be ostracized by his tribe, his father assassinated by the Tartars and by 16 he would kill his half-brother. All the while, his mother Hoelun coached Temujin in statesmanship, influencing allies and controlling enemies.

Temujin began amassing troops in his 20s. It started with his brothers as a fighting unit going on raids of their own. He would gradually build his army until it became a feared 20,000-strong force. Next, he'd go on to defeat the Tartars and exhibit the brutality he would become known for in avenging his father. It didn’t stop there. He ordered the death of every Tartar male above three feet tall.

By 1206, Temujin united the tribes of the steppes. This is when he received the title 'Genghis Khan'. He then proceeded to issue the Yassa, a collection of divine laws governing everything from property to marriage to civil service designating its execution to his second son, Chagatai.

The Yassa would do away with the common causes of tribal warfare, banning the kidnapping of wives and doing away with inherited titles. It also granted religious tolerance to his followers (as long as they recognized Genghis Khan as the final authority).

As he lay dying in his 60s, it has been said that Genghis Khan asked to be buried in secret with his six cats, hoping their purrs would guide him to the afterlife. Legend has it that the funeral escort killed anyone and anything that crossed their path to conceal his final resting place. After the tomb was completed, soldiers had 1,000 horses trample any evidence of his burial site and to this day, it remains hidden. Khan’s black spirit flag continued waving as his third son, Ogedei, would inherit and expand an empire stretching from the Caspian Sea in the west all the way to the East Sea.

UNIQUE UNIT: KESHIG

The Mongolian Keshig (loosely translated as “The Favored” or “The Blessed”) were the elite imperial guard of the Great Khan. Split up into daytime (Torguud) and nighttime (Khevtuul) based troops, these mounted warriors were originally comprised of Genghis Khan’s most loyal fighters. The Keshig were well-equipped, using their composite bows and mobility to harry opponents from a distance. As horse archers, they were second to none. The Keshig served as bodyguards and they are the perfect escort for slower-moving civilian and support units – and can get them to travel at a faster movement rate.

UNIQUE IMPROVEMENT: ORDU

“Ordu” means “palace tent.” However, an ordu was something much more than just a simple tent—it was the center of the tribe for the nomadic Mongolians.

An ordu served as the mobile headquarters and main encampment for the Khan and his warriors. Though built for travel, it had style, from simple decorations to carefully sewn patterns. The ordu moved with the Khan and his warriors as they went on campaign, ensuring they always felt at home no matter where they traveled. That’s why ordus grant a movement bonus to light and heavy cavalry.

UNIQUE CIV ABILITY: ÖRTOO

Because the Mongol hordes were so quick, the messengers had to be even quicker. The Örtoo served as a supply route system widely used by Genghis Khan and the Khans to follow him. These relay stations provided support for messengers to help speed up the delivery of intelligence information. Think of it as a combat-focused trading route, so take advantage of the Örtoo ability to get a boost in Combat Strength and Diplomatic Visibility over your opponents.

UNIQUE LEADER ABILITY: MONGOL HORDE

Genghis Khan’s feared Mongol Horde – and his reputation for utterly destroying enemies – made him legend. With Genghis Khan’s unique ability, all Mongolian cavalry class units gain a combat bonus and a chance to capture enemy cavalry class units to further grow his horde.

Genghis Khan returns in Civilization VI: Rise and Fall. There are a total of nine leaders and eight civilizations coming when the expansion releases on February 8, 2018.

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