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Civ VI Rock Bands

Rock Bands
Last updated from the september patch 2019

  • Rock bands are primarily used for speeding up a cultural victory but do have other more general uses.
  • You gain the ability to purchase rock bands which you discover the Cold War civic.
  • You purchase a rock band for 600 faith + 100 faith for each previous rock band purchased. Theocracy gives a 15% discount to both the purchase and escalation cost.
  • You need to name the rock band before you use it which can be done at any time before use.
  • You cannot move or promote a rock band the turn purchased.
  • A rock band can only play concerts at other Major Civilizations venues as specified in the Venue section below.
  • Rock bands have no ZOC, 4 movement points and a 2 tile sight range and are considered civilians.
How to use a Rock Band and Concert Effects
After naming and promoting a rock band you move it to a venue in another civ it can play at and you click on the units guitar button to activate the concert. A graphic plays which you may close when you wish and the result of the concert will then be shown as a number of stars. The following table shows the effects of the concert.

Probability of Success
The following probabilities has been tested and are based on a 3d6 random generation.

The advertised tool tip chances of success are.
Level 1 = 50% chance of failure
Level 2 = 37% chance of failure
Level 3 = 26% chance of failure
Level 4 = 16% chance of failure
Level 5 = 9% chance of failure
Level 6 = 4% chance of failure

Tourism Value
The amount of tourism created by a rock band is based on the venue it plays, the album sales the band has had in the past, the level of the band and a random factor for how well the band plays on the day. This can be specified as the formula

Tourism Produced = Venue Tourism + (Venue tourism * (tourist Bomb Value/100)) + (Venue Tourism * (Album Sales/100))

You can only perform a rock concert at certain venues and different venues give you a different Venue tourism value as follows. Note these are not districts but specific buildings.

1000 - World Wonder
750 - Stadium, Broadcast Center, Film Studio, Aquatics Center
500 - University, Madrasa, Shipyard
250 - Arena, Ferris Wheel, Amphitheater, Marae, Tlachtli

Album Sales
Album sales are guaranteed additional tourism bonus which is added to the outcome of future concerts as it is cumulative. For example, a band that has 350 album sales plays at a wonder. Regardless of the outcome of the concert the band will gain and additional 3500 tourism (1000 * 3.5) which is quite significant.

  • A rock band can have a maximum of 3 promotions including the one it starts with which makes it level 4 (although the shield says level 3 on the unit)
  • When a Rock Band is created it is given a free promotion. The system randomly chooses 3 promotions from the 12 available for you to choose between
  • You do not have to promote a rock band to use it, it will function at the right level but it will only retain 1 possible promotion, you cannot store them up.
  • The Hallyu (Cultural Hegemony) civic card allows you to choose which promotion a rock band has from all 12.
  • A rock band created before the Hallyu civic card is in play also gets a free choice if not already promoted

Album Cover Art -Performs as if 1 level more experienced on wonder tiles.
Arena Rock - Performs as if 2 levels more experienced on Entertainment Complex district tiles.
Glam Rock - Performs as if 2 levels more experienced on Theater Square district tiles.
Goes to 11 - Civilizations within 10 tiles receive 50% of the Tourism from this concert.
Indie - Performing a concert causes that city to lose 40 Loyalty.
Music Festival - Performs at National Parks or Natural Wonders for expected 1000 Tourism and 1 level more experienced.
Pop Star - Earn Gold equal to 25% of the Tourism generated.
Reggae Rock - Performs as if 2 levels more experienced on Water Park district tiles.
Religious Rock - Performs a concert that converts the majority religion of that city to the religion founded by the player.
Roadies - +4 Movement.
Space Rock - Performs at Spaceports and campuses for expected 500 Tourism and 1 level more experienced.
Surf Band - Performs at Seaside Resorts and Harbours for expected 500 Tourism and 1 level more experienced. (Shipyard harbours will be 1000 tourism)

Stopping opposition rock bands
  • The Music Censorship civic stops rock bands entering your territory but any cities with more than 10 pop gain -1 amenity.
  • Placing a friendly unit of any type except religious, on a target tile stops the rock band using it for a concert.
  • When an enemy (at war) moves onto their tile, the rock band is sent back to the nearest friendly city.
  • Rock bands are destroyed by nukes.
If I promote 3 rock bands on the same turn, do they get the same promotions?

No, fully tested. Because there are only 12 choices they can feel similar or be the same 3 but this is random.

The oppositions foreign tourism is not going down when I use rock bands, why?
Because as well as the standard culture per turn, they also get large bursts of culture for inspirations (often multiple in 1 turn) or pillaging. In certain situations, like the moon landing they can suddenly get 50 domestic tourists. Try and win a CV before the opposition gets to land on the moon.

What is better, to always play in wonders or to play where +2 promotions give more chance of survival?
Both have their benefits. Playing wonders gives you 4x the tourism for roughly 4x less chance of surviving. If you are close to winning a CV then playing wonders will give you the tourism faster which is important but if further away or you want OP rock bands then playing the +2 venues gives a better chance.

What is the best way to use rock bands for a CV?
Play concerts at the civ with the highest domestic tourists is normally the best way as this reduces their domestic tourism and therefore makes it a lot faster for you to win. It is roughly 4x as strong as playing at another civ. Be aware each turn that another civ’s domestic tourism may become higher.

Can you win a CV just with Rock Bands?
Yes, you need to store up a lot of faith and push your culture to the Cold War civic as fast as possible to do this. The Maori is a good civ for this approach amongst others.

Should I be worried about Rock Bands in my territory?
Regarding a culture victory, no. As long as your culture is high enough (which is should be) then they are no real threat, rock bands do not slow your CV, just speed up theirs. Regarding the Pop star promotion I do not know, it may be you lose gold which could break your country but it seems not to. If you care about your religion then religious rock bands can be annoying but you would need a lot of them to keep your cities converted, normally the pressure from other cities flips them back fast enough. Indie bands are the big problem, 2 indie concerts will flip any city and with the Hallyu card in play your entire civ could be flipped in one turn.

Hello Cleveland
– perform a concert in Cleveland
One Tree Hill – perform a concert next to a marae
Rock God – Have no foreign cities following your religion and then convert one with a rock band.

Technical Analysis
We will use a standard speed, standard size situation but tourism does translate to some degree OK to other speeds and sizes with smaller and slower being advantageous.
Tourism. This is what your civilization creates at the top of the screen,
Domestic Tourists. For every 100 culture a civ accumulates they get 1 domestic tourist
Foreign Tourists. This is gained by applying your tourism and some modifiers to an individual civ to gain foreign tourist points, in this case 1600 foreign tourists from a civ = 1 foreign tourist point
Foreign tourist points. You need more foreign tourist points than any civ has domestic tourists.

For this example you need to get a CV by getting more foreign tourists than Greece who currently has 50 domestic tourists, everyone else have roughly 10 domestic tourists so they do not count. So you need 51 foreign tourist points to win.

If you are producing 1600 tourism and had no other modifiers each civ would be providing you with 1 foreign tourist point per turn. There are 7 other civs if none have died so you would be getting closer to your target by 7 foreign tourist points each turn but you got a foreign tourist point from Greece which reduced their domestic tourists by 1. So you got 7 foreign tourists but your target is not 49 not 50. Therefore you really got the power of 8 domestic tourists.
Translated your 1600 tourism (what your civ produces) produces on average 8 foreign tourist ponts per turn or 12,800 foreign tourists.

A rock band only plays at one civ and normally only affects one civ so really when it says a rock band produced 1600 tourism it really only produced 1600 foreign tourists which is 1/8 the power of tourism. That is why the amount of 'rock tourism' a rock band creates seems so high, because it is a much weaker figure than tourism. Normally at this stage of the game you may only be creating 200 tourism and a rock band that fails at a wonder may produce 1600 'rock tourism' which is roughly equavalent to a turn of tourism. Using a rock band later when you are producing 800 tourism is weaker and earlier when you are producing 100 tourism is stronger. Also other civs have less domestic tourism earlier in the game therefore making your target easier to meet.

If the rock band played at the civ with the highest domestic tourists this also reduces their domestic tourists making your CV target smaller. So a Rock band producing 1600 tourists here also reduces the taregt by 1 foreign tourist and so is now the power of 3200 'Rock tourists'. This is now 2/8 of tourism or 1/4 of tourism.Much better. much more powerful. People misunderstand some of the math behind CV, you can kill a civ early, the benefit from their cities is greater than the tourism you lose.

Using the Turn it up to 11 promotion means you affect all civs within 10 tiles which is normally 2-4 so let us say 3 and assume 1 of those is Greece. You are playing to 3 civs +1 for taking greece's domestic tourists = 4. so you are producing 4/8 of tourism or 1/2. Only twice as much as you were getting by playing at a Greece venue without this promotion.

We also have to assume in any culture game at this stage of the game we have not reached a tier 3 government and have open boders and a trade route with every civ. This means you gain +50% foreign tourists and is a fair assumption in my view. Even if you did have a tier 3 goivernment you would not want to use it because you would get -20% tourism from all civs.

So our 1600 tourism is more realistically 2400 tourism. While our rock bands gain nothing from open border trade router or different governments. Therefore any tourism argument we use should multiply the tourism value by 50% for modifiers but not alter rock bands.
REalistically at this stage of the game with 200 tourism you are generating 2400 foreign tourists per turn which is the equivalent to a rock band generating 2400 'tourism' from a concert.

Now funnily enough from my tests (I am not a statistician) my rock bands average around 4800 tourism before dying which is equivalent to 400 tourism or 2.5 tourists, 5 tourists with Greece, 10 tourists with Turn It Up To 11 promotion. This is 2 turns of a CV at this stage of the game. 10 rock bands therefore generate 20 turns of tourism and that is a significant amount of of extra power in a few turns. As Rock band power does not escalate with game turns so using them earlier is more powerful and later is weaker because of domestic tourism escalation.
Source thread
The source thread this guide comes from is https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/ok-so-what-do-rock-bands-actually-do.642572/ which covers a lot of the discovery process and inner workings.

Specific thanks to @DanQuayle @ggmoyang @Karmah and @Wandering_Dandelion
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Great information. I had no idea that "album sales" were of significance. Should have come here MUCH earlier!!!
this clears up some common misconceptions and helps immensely!
Excellent resource. It takes all of the guesswork out of using Rock Bands.
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