Civ V’s AI-Only Battles Live on in Civilization VI

The team behind the upcoming Civilization VI today announced that fans will be able to check out the game with an AI Battle Royale a few days before launch. For those who haven’t heard of Civ Battle Royales, they’re AI-only matches (usually domination) in the series where numerous computer controlled civilizations are thrown together to see who will emerge victorious. The AI is generally set to Deity level, giving them such huge bonuses that they’ve invented things like firearms thousands of years before they would have in real life. The AI is also able to support massive armies, leading to epic, continent-spanning battles.

Though AI-only battles aren’t a new thing, they exploded in popularity in early 2015. In February of that year, work got under way to have an official AI only match of the /r/Civ subreddit. The effort was spearheaded by TPangolin, a moderator on the subreddit and head of Colonialist Legacies, which makes modded civilizations. After voting by the community as to who should get a prestigious spot among the 42 civilizations, the Battle Royale began. Unfortunately, it was a match that was doomed to prematurely end. The game was just too much for TPang’s computer to handle, and permanently crashed.

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Fortunately, the /r/Civ Battle Royale could not be put down. Soon after the crash of the end of the original, preparations began on the /r/Civ Battle Royale Mark II. The Mark II had some improvements over the original, including more stable mods and a decrease in unit quantity. Not only that, but the maximum number of competitors was increased, leaving a whopping 61 civs fighting to become champ. The battle, which began in August of 2015, is still raging on today, although there are certainly fewer than 61 civilizations remaining. While the hype has died down a bit in that time, conversations about new episodes still generate around a hundred comments.

Now, I don’t know if the official /r/Civ Battle Royales helped make the upcoming one happen, but they certainly expanded the popularity of the idea outside the community. In any case, we’re pretty excited about it, because well, we’re pretty excited about Civ VI. The Battle Royale will go live on 2K’s Twitch channel next Wednesday, October 19 at 3:30pm Eastern/8:30pm BST. Just a few days later on October 21, Civ VI will launch to the public. The match will include the Aztecs under Montezuma I, Brazil under Pedro II, England under Victoria, Greece under Gorgo, Japan under Hojo Tokimune, Rome under Trajan, Russia under Peter the Great, and Spain under Philip II. If you can’t watch the battle as it’s going on, it will go up on Civilization‘s Youtube channel soon after airing. For more info, check out the announcement on the Civilization website. Watch for that Babylonian sub.