A Dark Age in Civilization 6 is a challenging phase players might face, often occurring at the start of the game, sometimes as a stroke of bad luck.
The primary factor triggering a Dark Age is the era points mechanic. Notably, with the Rise & Fall expansion, this mechanic becomes even more pertinent. To be precise, if a player’s Era Score falls below a certain Dark Age threshold, they enter this period.
Dark Ages introduce negative ramifications into gameplay. The most evident consequence is the decline in a civilization’s loyalty. Border cities are at high risk of revolting, necessitating players to either retrieve them forcibly or utilize cultural pressure for retention. Another layer of complexity arises when other civilizations attempt to seize a city in revolt without declaring war, threatening your path to domination victory.
Timeline of Error Score Accumulation
World Wonders: Being the first to spot a world wonder can fetch you three error score points, but if you lag behind and come second, you gain a point. Additionally, should you decide to establish your civilization near a wonder, you earn three more points.
Exploration: Scouting is pivotal in Civilization 6. For every village you unveil, you’re rewarded with an error score point. Similarly, meeting other civilizations while you expand your empire also boosts your score.
Strategic Actions: Venturing into boat construction can elevate your error score, more so if you pioneer in this domain. Other strategic feats like progressing to the Classical Era, altering governments, and earning prophets when creating a religion also add to your tally.
City-State Interactions: Being proactive in completing city-state quests can crown you as their sultan, subsequently increasing your error score. Leveraging certain governors, who count as two envoys, can amplify your influence in city-states, further propelling you to that sultanship.
Various Ages and their Mechanics
In Civilization 6, the game’s dynamic is influenced by different age types such as Dark, Golden, Heroic, and Normal ages. Each brings its unique challenges and advantages.
Heroic ages represent a beacon of hope. If, during a Dark Age, a player amasses enough era points equivalent to a golden age, they transition into a heroic age.
Every age type offers dedication choices, allowing players to mold the trajectory of their civilization. These choices primarily revolve around maximizing era points in the prevailing age.
The Strategic Approach to Dark Ages
Interestingly, some adept players might intentionally plunge into a Dark Age early in the game. Such a move can set them up for a Heroic Age in the subsequent eras, especially if they’re steering leaders who dominate in the medieval era.
Dark Ages, while challenging, unlock distinct policies. These policies have both advantages and setbacks. For instance, adopting the Monasticism policy could double science in holy site cities, but at the cost of a 25% cultural reduction across all cities.
For those achievement enthusiasts, Dark Ages present unique opportunities. Players can unlock achievements like “Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures” upon deploying a Dark Age policy or “Dark Horse” if they conclude the game amidst a Dark Age.
Prevention and Mitigation: Avoiding Dark Ages
A plethora of strategies exist to accrue era points: from constructing wonders, global circumnavigation, forming specialized units or structures, establishing trade routes, to dispatching spies and more.
Dark Age Triggers: Being cognizant of the Dark Age threshold and ensuring your Era Score doesn’t plummet below it is vital.
Loyalty Management: During these tumultuous times, loyalty is paramount. Cities near the fringe of your empire may rebel, and it becomes imperative to employ tactics to prevent defections and disintegration.
Dark Age Policy Cards: Dark Ages bequeath players with unique Dark Age Policy Cards, which can aid in navigating these challenging times, albeit sometimes at certain expenses.
Achieving Heroic Age: Should a player surpass benchmarks and complete the Golden Age meter during a Dark Age, they’re set on a trajectory towards a Heroic Age.
Visual Indicators of Dark Ages When immersed in a Dark Age, players will discern notable visual shifts. The globe icon indicating the subsequent turn morphs into a black hue, and the game map assumes a dimmer tone, signaling the pressing challenges of the age.