civ 6 germany guide

Civ 6 Germany Guide: A Complete Overview

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In Civilization 6, when you are at war with another civilization, there are two crucial aspects that you must consider to have the tides turn in your favor: your Production and Gold output. Our Civ 6 Germany Guide will see how a big part of the Civilization games is the number of turns it takes to make something, whether it be a unit, a building, a world wonder, etc.

If you can make units faster, the more effective your military is. You can overwhelm your enemies by sheer number. That is where Production comes into play. The more Production your city can put out, the fewer turns it takes to make a unit. Gold, on the other hand, also plays a significant role in putting out military units.

You can also buy your army if you need to focus on building something such as a district or a wonder. When both of these are strong, a military victory is in your favor. Yet which civilization can utilize both of these using their abilities?

One of the most well-known ones can also be one of the most influential civilizations in history. Which is it? Germany. How can Germany do all this? Read on further to find out.

Civilization 6: Germany Background

“Heroic Frederick, King of the Germans, your task is to forge the independent states that surround you into an empire. You are blessed to be a great military leader – use those skills to bring these cities under your sway so they may develop into commercial and industrial powerhouses.

Surely then the bards will sing of mighty Frederick with the red beard, the great Holy Roman Emperor.” – Civilization 6 Germany Introduction

Germany Background

Civ 6 Germany

Present since the first Sid Meier’s Civilization game, Germany is a playable civilization in Civilization 6. This time, Frederick I, better known as Frederick Barbarossa, is the leader of Germany.

He was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until he died. Germany has a rich history spanning back to the Germanic tribes that roamed the land. This civilization is worthy of having a seat on this game due to how influential it is to have shaped the world it is now.

In Civilization 6, its default colors are gray and black. You can see it in its territorial borders, unit icons, and more. Germany’s civilization symbol is their iconic Iron Cross, a military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia and later in the German Empire.

Frederick Barbarossa Background

Frederick Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor leads Germany. At age 30, the people crowned him as the King of Germany at Frankfurt. Three years later, he was crowned King of Italy in Pavia and emperor in Rome.

His most distinct visual feature is his red beard which the last name derives from; Barbarossa means “red beard” when translated from Italian to English. Historians remember Frederick Barbarossa as one of the Holy Roman Empire’s greatest medieval emperors.

When you go against Frederick Barbarossa in Civilization 6, he has a few voiced lines spoken in Middle High German, one of the main languages of the Holy Roman Empire. Below is a list of his quotes translated into the official English translation.

  • “I commend you on your prudence. To aid that city-state is to invite death.” – when Frederick Barbarossa approves of the player’s actions based on his agenda
  • “I will destroy my enemies, and if you continue to help them, I will destroy you as well.” – when Frederick Barbarossa disapproves of the player’s actions based on his agenda
  • “I have defeated enemies ten times as powerful as you. You will be just one more for the historians.” – when you attack Frederick Barbarossa
  • “Let it be known: you are an enemy of Germany and must be destroyed. May God have mercy on you, for I will not.” – when Frederick Barbarossa declares war
  • “We were the august and glorious… but no, never mind that. You are victorious. May your reign be more peaceful than mine ever was.” – when you defeat Frederick Barbarossa
  • “Greetings. I am the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick, King of Germany, Italy, Burgundy, and many others. I trust that you will rule your lands as I do: through might.” – Frederick Barbarossa’s greeting
  • “The might of Germany will live forever.” – Frederick Barbarossa’s quote in Civilopedia

Germany and Frederick Barbarossa Abilities

Civilization 6 Germany

Germany’s Ability: Free Imperial Cities

Germany’s ability is called the “Free Imperial Cities”, which describes actual cities during the Holy Roman Empire. In Civilization 6, Free Imperial Cities grants each city the ability to build one more specialty district (i.e., Holy Site, Campus, Harbor, Commercial Hub, Entertainment Complex, Theater Square, Industrial Zone, and Aerodrome) than the Population limit would usually allow.

For example, a city that has 4 Populations can usually build only two specialty districts. However, if you are playing as Germany, you can have one more. So, you can have three specialty districts with the same Population.

In Germany’s history, Free Imperial Cities refers to the self-ruling cities with some degree of autonomy in the Holy Roman Empire. Furthermore, these cities had representation in The Imperial Diet, a deliberative body of the Holy Roman Empire.

Frederick Barbarossa’s Ability: Holy Roman Emperor

Germany’s leader Frederick Barbarossa has the ability called the “Holy Roman Emperor”. This ability offers an additional Military policy slot and is applicable in all Government types.

So, for example, when you are playing as Germany, and you are in an Oligarchy government, you would have 3 Military policy slots instead of just 2. Furthermore, when fighting against city-states and their units, all of Germany’s units gain a +7 Combat Strength.

The ability is a direct reference to the leader himself, as Frederick Barbarossa. He was famously known as being the Holy Roman Emperor. Shortly after he became the German King, he tried to unify Germany.

He did this by unifying its 1600 individual states. He then led a campaign against Italy. He was successful in his campaign, and the ruling body bestowed the title King of Italy. Later on, he met with Pope Adrian IV, and the pope crowned him as the Holy Roman Emperor.

Germany Unique Unit and Infrastructure

Germany’s Unique Unit: U-Boat

Germany’s Unique Unit: U-Boat

The U-Boat in Civilization 6 is a unique naval raider unit. Only Germany can build these in the Modern Era. It replaces the Submarine unit and is unlocked by researching Electricity in the Tech Tree.

It costs 430 Production when constructed, or 1720 Gold when bought. It has a maintenance cost of 6 Gold. It has a movement of 3, and a Sight range of 3. Since it is a naval raider unit, it can do both melee damage (65) and range damage (75).

Like the Submarine, it is invisible among other civilizations except when the unit is within Sight range of City Centers, Encampments, Destroyer units, and other naval raiders. Other adjacent units can also detect it.

It reveals other naval raiders within its Sight range. It can perform coastal raids, and it ignores an enemy’s zone of control. However, it does not exert a zone of control as well.

It gains a +10 Combat Strength boost when fighting enemies on Ocean tiles.

On the contrary, the Submarine does not have this. Furthermore, it has a higher Sight range of 3 compared to the Submarine unit’s Sight range of 2, a lower Production cost of 430 compared to the Submarine unit’s Production cost of 480, and it does not require any strategic resource to build or maintain.

Below is a summary of its properties as well as a comparison between it and the Submarine unit.

  U-Boat Submarine
Unlocked by Electricity (Tech Tree)
Resource N/A 1 Oil to train (Gathering Storms)


1 Oil per turn to maintain (Gathering Storms)

Cost 430 Production


1720 Gold

480 Production


1920 Gold

Maintenance 6 Gold
Movement 3
Sight Range 3 2
Range Attack 2
Melee Damage 65
Ranged Damage 75
Attributes It is invisible unless spotted by City Centers, Encampments, Destroyers, other naval raiders, and other adjacent units.
It can reveal other naval raiders within range of Sight.
It can perform coastal raids.
It ignores the enemy’s ZOC but does not exert ZOC.
Special Attribute +10 Combat Strength when fighting its enemies on Ocean tiles N/A

Germany’s Unique Infrastructure: Hansa

Germany’s Unique Infrastructure: Hansa

Only Germany can build the Hansa, a unique district in the Medieval Era. It replaces the Industrial Zone, and you can unlock it by accomplishing the Apprenticeship tech in the Tech Tree.

It still shares the same traits as the Industrial Zone. It is a special district. The Population of a city applies its limits to the Hansa. Yet it is different in terms of Production cost and its adjacency bonuses.

To build it, you need 27 Production. When built, it has a maintenance cost of 1 Gold. Compared to the Industrial Zone, it would take 54 Production to construct it, which is twice more than the Hansa.

As mentioned before, the Hansa’s and the Industrial Zone’s adjacency bonuses are different. The  Gathering Storms expansion pack redefines these bonuses.

However, the Hansa still has common attributes shared by the Industrial Zone. Both have a +1 Great Engineer point per turn, +1/2 Production yield for all other adjacent districts, +2 Production yield for each specialist, +1 Production trade yields in domestic and international destinations, and -1 appeal to the tile where they are constructed.

Furthermore, the Production from Factories and Power Plants extends to cities having their City Centers within six tiles of the district.

The adjacency bonus that stands out about the Hansa is it gets a +2 Production from each adjacent Commercial Hub. As for the other adjacency bonuses, below is a summary. The table also notes the comparison between the Hansa and the Industrial Zone.

  Hansa Industrial Zone
Unlocked by Apprenticeship (Tech Tree)
Yield when plundered Science
Cost 27 Production 54 Production
Maintenance 1 Gold per turn
Adjacency Bonuses and effects (applicable to all) +1 Great Engineer point per turn
+1/2 Production from other adjacent districts each
+2 Production from each specialist
-1 Appeal to the tile it is built on
Production produced from Factories and Power Plants extends to cities having their City Centers 6 tiles near it
+2 Production from each adjacent Commercial Hub N/A
Other Adjacency Bonuses and effects (Base Game and Rise and Fall only) +1 Production from each adjacent Resource +1 Production from each adjacent Mine or Quarry
Does not affect the appeal of adjacent tiles -1 Appeal to adjacent tiles
Other Adjacency Bonuses and effects (Gathering Storms only) +2 Production from each adjacent Aqueduct, Dam, or Canal +2 Production from each adjacent Aqueduct, Dam, Canal, or Bath
+1 Production from each adjacent Resource +1 Production from each adjacent Strategic Resource or Quarry
N/A +1/2 Production from each adjacent Mine or Lumber Mill

How to Win with Germany in Civilization 6

Utilizing Free Imperial Cities

Germany in Civilization 6

Germany’s Free Imperial Cities help develop its cities by allowing one extra district than the Population limit would usually allow. This is always helpful no matter which victory type you are going for since having more districts earlier than usual means better yields to strengthen the city.

It is advisable to have a lot of cities, either by conquering existing ones or founding new ones. If you found a new city with only 1 Population, you could already build two districts.

The districts you will choose, however, can become a significant decision. It will affect the growth of your empire. Generally, it is best to utilize Germany’s unique infrastructure, the Hansa coupled with the Commercial Hub.

When you build the two, and they are close to each other, the Hansa can reap the benefits of having a Commercial Hub next to it, leading to large Production yields and steady Gold.

However, you can unlock the Hansa during the Medieval Era. So it is not available in the early part of the game. Thus, the Hansa becomes a handy district during the midgame to boost a city’s Production output. New cities tend to suffer from low Production output.

A better strategy is to focus on a particular focus for your city’s output yield, a specific victory type, or a goal. From there, build the districts that will help your intention.

For example, if you are playing as Germany and you’re aiming to conquer your neighboring civilization, even having only an Encampment and a Commercial Hub in your least developed cities can help a lot. If you aim for a cultural victory, a Theatre Square and a Holy Site can do wonders.

Utilizing Holy Roman Emperor

Germany in Civilization 6

Frederick Barbarossa’s ability Holy Roman Emperor is prominently domination-focused, making conquering other cities easier, especially city-states.

Because of this ability, Germany shines to be the expert for world domination, focusing on the conquest to expand its empire. Yet it is best to understand how to utilize this properly so that you can get the best it can offer. This ability has two distinct effects, which are each detailed below.

+1 Military Policy Slot

Firstly, it grants Germany an additional Military policy slot whatever government the civilization may be in. mThism is what Germany to become a civilization meant to conquer, as Military policy slots, more often than not, strengthen one’s military. Having a +1 Military policy slot means that you will always have such a slot no matter your government type.

When you reach Political Philosophy in the civics tree during the Classical Era, you choose a government between Autocracy, Classical Republic, and Oligarchy. If you want to focus on strengthening your army through policy cards, Oligarchy is a good pick. This would result in 3 Military policy slots instead of 2.

However, if you want to balance things out, you can choose Autocracy or Classical Republic. Autocracy grants one policy slot for each type. Meanwhile, Classical Republic gives no Military policy slots but instead has two Economic policy slots.

For Germany, one of the most advantageous policy slots is Craftsmen. Craftsmen is a Military policy slot unlocked after reaching Guilds in the Civics tree. It doubles the adjacency bonus of Industrial Zones. The Hansa already has massive adjacency bonuses in comparison.

+7 Combat Strength vs. City-States

The other effect that the Holy Roman Emperor grants are the +7 Combat Strength when fighting against city-states and their units. Paired with the first effect, you can effectively conquer city-states. However, when you wage wars, you may accumulate Grievances from other civilizations (assuming you are playing with the Gathering Storms expansion pack).

The civilizations affected by this are the ones who have envoys in the city-state you are conquering. Also, the city-states you take over might go to another civilization if you do not put enough Loyalty pressure on them.

To combat these issues, you can use the Limitanei, a Military policy card unlocked after accomplishing Early Empire in the Civics Tree. It offers +2 Loyalty per turn for your cities that have a garrisoned unit within its City Center.

In the Medieval Era or later on, conquering a city-state might trigger a city-state emergency. When this happens, civilizations that are not your friends or allies may join a coalition against you. These civilizations also must have an envoy in the city-state you took over. When they form a coalition, they will wage war against you.

If the coalition can liberate the city-state you took over, the game will reward them. Each member receives 100 Diplomatic Favor, and they gain +1 Gold per turn for each envoy they have in the newly liberated city-state.

However, if you can manage to hold them off for 30 turns, you win instead. You receive 200 Diplomatic Favor. You also gain +2 Gold for all trade routes with other city-states. So, be sure to have a strong army with you.

Lastly, the city-states that you choose to conquer matter. In some instances, having them as an ally is more beneficial than taking over their city. If you are suffering in a specific area such as Gold or Science, taking over city-states that boost these might hurt you. So, think carefully about which city-states you want to conquer.

Utilizing U-Boat

Germany in Civilization 6

The U-Boat is a total upgrade from the Submarine, and it shows. Although it shows up during the Modern Era, it can help a lot in a war in the late game. Since it does not require oil, you can beeline for the Electricity technology. Then, you can build the U-Boat even without Refining. This gives Germany an edge on naval combat as they tend to get this unit earlier than usual.

One of the U-Boat’s greatest strengths lies in its upgraded Sight range. It has a Sight Range of 3, and when upgraded, it turns into a Nuclear Submarine. The Nuclear Submarine only has a Sight Range of 2, so the U-Boat is superior in this sense. It might be wise to keep some U-Boats to retain the Sight Range. This is useful for scouting the surrounding areas.

Spread out your U-Boats so that you can have a larger area of sight. When an attacker is near, you can hit them and then run away so that they would have a hard time finding you. Be careful, however, if your target is another Submarine or a Destroyer. These units can see where you are within their Sight Range.

Utilizing Hansa

The Hansa is arguably the most significant strength Germany has in its arsenal. With the proper district placement, it can generate large amounts of Production for your cities.

Your cities can also generate large amounts of Gold due to the Commercial Hubs that the Hansa benefits. For a quick summary of how the Hansa operates, refer to the “Germany’s unique infrastructure: Hansa” section.

To reach Hansa’s ultimate potential, you need to make your cities close to each other. This ensures that your districts can get close to each other. An effective district planning with four cities near each other would be to line each of their Commercial Hubs in a zigzag form.

One of the Commercial Hubs should be at the top, then going either left or right downwards. The next Commercial Hub goes downwards again to the other side, then the final one to the other side once more.

Next, you should place each Hansa where it is adjacent to at least two Commercial Hubs. So, if your Commercial Hub zigzag goes from the top, right, left, then right, you must place the top Hansa to the right of the top Commercial Hub.

This way, the top Hansa gets into contact with two Commercial Hubs. Place the next one to the right of the second Commercial Hub. This Hansa benefits from three Commercial Hubs.

In general, utilize the Hansa and the Commercial Hub together. The best way to go about it is to gather your cities closely. Then, place the districts adjacent to each other.

How to Win Against Germany in Civilization 6

Germany in Civilization 6

When fighting against an AI, each leader has their agenda. This paves how the AI will perceive you, whether you are a friend to them or a foe. Below is Frederick Barbarossa’s leader agenda.

Frederick Barbarossa’s Iron Crown

Germany’s AI is aggressive against city-states. He will try to conquer as many city-states as he can. Because of this, he hates other leaders who are Suzerains of city-states. He also hates other leaders who have conquered city-states.

He would rather become friends with a leader who does not associate themselves with any city-state at all. If you want to befriend Frederick Barbarossa, be sure to stay away from city-states.

General Tips

If you are in a war against Germany, whether it be AI or human, here are some general tips that you should always keep in mind.

  • Focus on pillaging Germany’s city districts, especially the Hansa. Germany can build a lot of districts thanks to his abilities. This gives their enemies more tiles to pillage from and more benefits to reap. Pillaging its Hansa and its Commercial Hubs will badly hurt its Production output. When pillaged, their production of units might get slowed down.
  • Germany has a massive advantage in warfare early in the game. This is thanks to his extra Military policy slot. However, this additional policy slot eventually becomes less of a hassle to fight. You can get access to governments with many Military policy slots available, so choose your government wisely in taking down Germany.
  • Germany loves to conquer city-states, but you can use this to your advantage. Waging war against Germany can give you warmongering penalties. In the Renaissance Era, you can reach the Diplomatic Service civic. If Germany goes to war with a city-state that you are a Suzerain of, and you have unlocked this civic, you can wage war against Germany without acquiring warmongering penalties.
  • U-Boats are troublesome. If you are facing Germany in the Modern Era, be sure to have destroyers and submarines with you to fight them off.

Common Mistakes As Germany

Germany in Civilization 6

Playing as Germany is not for everyone. For those not accustomed to Germany’s abilities, it is easy to make mistakes. Here are common mistakes that players who play Germany tend to make. These common mistakes are most common among beginners. Thus, it is best to avoid them.

  • Germany is strong against city-states. However, a common mistake is to take all city-states that one meets. First, you can get a lot of warmongering penalties and get into wars with coalitions. Second, some city-states are more beneficial when allied rather than conquered.
  • Players tend to forget that the Hansa benefits from Commercial Hubs. It is advisable to have them next to each other. Without proper city planning, Hansa’s uniqueness can get put to waste.
  • Some players often get confident in waging wars against city-states. So, they become confident in wars against other civilizations. They tend to forget that the Combat Strength bonus applies to city-states only. When facing another civilization, they may find that they are not as strong as when they are fighting against a city-state.
  • Upgrades are tempting. Upgrading a U-Boat to a Nuclear Submarine may be a wise decision. However, it is wiser to not upgrade all U-Boats you own. U-Boats have a larger Sight Range than Nuclear Submarines. They may prove useful in battle as naval scouts. Leave a few of them intact until you can find better units for naval scouting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Which is Better in Civilization 6, Germany or Japan?

Answer: They each have their strengths and weaknesses. However, in general, Japan is a more versatile and adaptable civilization than Germany. They can aim for any victory route they would like.

Germany would struggle for a religious victory, for example. Still, when in terms of combat prowess, Germany can easily have a stronger army than Japan. Plus, Japan’s ability depends on the map.

Question: What is the Best Map Type for Germany in Civilization 6?

Answer: Germany can thrive in any map type. However, they may be best in a land-centric map such as a Pangea or Continents map.

Germany relies on having its cities close to each other so that they can best utilize the Hansa. Plus, discovering city-states is easier than compared to an Archipelago map. In an archipelago, Germany would have to research Shipbuilding to move its units in the shallow waters.

Question: What is the Best Pantheon for Germany in Civilization 6?

Answer: The City Patron Goddess pantheon can be extremely useful for Germany. It increases Production by 25% when building districts in cities that do not have a specialty district yet. With this, Germany can build districts faster. In the middle of the game, the newer cities can build the Hansa faster.

The Hansa will then contribute to the overall Production of the city. Another one would be the God of the Forge pantheon, which increases Production when training Ancient and Classical military units. This can help Germany’s army grow faster.

Overall Assessment and Conclusion

Germany is a fierce civilization in the game and is prominent in its domination victory. With its extra Military policy slot and its great Production yields from Hansa, the road to domination is open.

Alternatively, Germany can aim for a Science Victory due to its ability to make more districts than normal. This grants Campuses more adjacency bonuses when the districts are placed correctly.

A cultural victory can work too, following the same logic with their plausible science victory. However, they will suffer greatly from trying to achieve a diplomatic victory or a religious victory.

Its abilities are focused on conquering city-states, which is not helpful when trying to be diplomatic. Germany’s abilities do not benefit the religious victory route that much as well. If you are playing as Germany, set your eyes on domination.

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