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Convince Me Kongo Isn't Top Tier

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by kamex, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. kamex

    kamex Emperor

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    In a lot of forum threads when the best or top-tier civs are discussed or ranked, Kongo never seems to be mentioned much, or reach the top tiers. This really confuses me, because to me at least Kongo has a set of extremely powerful bonuses and is capable of having the best economy of any civ, and in my opinion the best civ for cultural and science victories. I'll explain why below.

    Before going further, I just want say that I'm only considering single player. I understand that a powerful mid-game economy won't do too well in multiplayer if theres a Sumeria or Scythia nearby ready to trample on you in the classical era.

    So, Kongo is famous for not being able to build Holy Sites or found a religion. Its the only civ completely locked out of a victory condition. However, I think its bonuses way more than compensate for it. So, in no particular order:

    Bonus 1: Relic, Sculpture and Artifact Bonuses - Each GW of these types produce +2 Food, + 2 Production, and + 4 Gold. This is fantastic because it means you get these extra yields without having to work tiles. A lucky start will give you a relic hut, and an invaluable + 2 Production in the first few turns. The Food and Gold are always useful at any time. Kongo is much more likely than anyone else to get the Sculptures due to its double Great Artist points bonus, so there is natural synergy there. The best part about this bonus is that themed Sculpture Art Museums and themed Artifact Museums give double the bonus yields: Meaning you get +12 Food, + 12 Production, and + 24 Gold without even working a damn tile! That's a truly amazing bonus that require only a small amount of effort to set up.

    Bonus 2: Double Great Merchants and Great Artists (all three types) - Commercial District is already the best district in the game so you'll want to build lots of them any. With Kongo you get twice the Great Merchant points, and Great Merchants are one of the best Great Person types in the game and are always useful, and some of them synergise really well with cultural victory which you're likely going for anyway. Double GWAM points means you will soar above most other cultural civs. The only hard part is having enough slots... Even if you don't want to go for cultural, and fancy say science, you can sell the excess GW for lots of GPT or other goodies. This bonus over all is so powerful it makes Brazil look like a joke in comparison.

    Bonus 3: Mbanza - A medieval era +5 Neighbourhood, still easy to place despite its supposed restrictions, and also gives + 2 Food and + 4 Gold without working the tile. Makes Kongo indisputably the best civ for going tall.

    Bonus 4: Starting Bias: Rainforest is really good in Civ VI. It offers a balance of yields, defensive tiles, and seems to give more than average number of amenities.


    Yet despite all these bonuses, Kongo is rarely mentioned as being top tier... Why?
     
    Morningcalm, Karmah and Kyro like this.
  2. Kyro

    Kyro Prince

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    The only reason why people say Kongo isn't top tier is specifically because it is barred from a Religious Victory. It's that significant a downside because people are adverse to the lack of a choice as significant as a victory condition.

    Then again everybody tends to focus on only one or two victory conditions anyway so I don't see what's the big deal.

    Apart from that I don't see how Kongo isn't OP because the Double Great People points bonus, explosive population and bonus yields are very formidable.

    I daresay Kongo is the most challenging AI opponent because of its tendency to conquer, aggressive expansion, absurd culture growth and science focus as well.
     
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  3. Scaramanga

    Scaramanga Brickhead

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    They're unwieldy because of their religious "handicap". But really it's a bonus that multiplayers don't understand: try to spread a Crusade religion to MP Kongo and they don't understand they could theoretically crusade me back.
     
  4. kamex

    kamex Emperor

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    Its the most common AI runaway I see yes.
     
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  5. Karmah

    Karmah King Supporter

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    Same here, they tend to force me to 'open a path' so I can crush them before they get too strong.
     
  6. Eliminator_Sr

    Eliminator_Sr Prince

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    Kongo is a polarizing civ. I would rank them in the bottom 10 but some people love them. I do agree that they are one of the strongest AI civs.

    My reasons for downgrading Kongo are as follows:
    • No RV - this doesn't bother me that much but you have to consider it in their ranking and it's a disadvantage
    • IMO the Leader bonus is weak - many follower beliefs aren't all that helpful especially when you can't even pick them. I guess if you can manage to grab a lot of religions then it can be strong but that is entirely out of your control.
    • The civ bonus seems powerful but it doesn't really kick into full gear until late unless you can get some early relics which is dicey (I also would downgrade Poland for relic focus - though this one is more flexible). Double GP points are good but only for cultural victories.
    • Their unique unit and district are solid, but there are better (Macedon, England, Sumeria, Aztecs, Russia, to name a few)
    • Narrow focus - too specific to cultural victory (one of the main gripes I have with America and France who I also rate very low). They are great for cultural victories but their abilities aren't that well suited for other victory types. The production and population definitely helps for SV so you can pivot to that late, but likely not going to be way ahead on science early.
     
  7. Rosty K

    Rosty K King

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    I see the 'no RV' thing here as a blessing. It allows better concentration on other victory conditions, plus one district and 2(3) buildings less to build - can spend production on more useful things, like units, plus no 'what to do with faith' dilemma - just spend it on GP. Even the AI does better than average with Kongo, says a lot really.
     
  8. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Most of its stuff doesn't come until a bit into the game and its UU, while good, doesn't have quite the crushing early power as top military civs.

    That's not enough to bottom it out, but it's not going to beat Rome, Sumeria, Scythia type civs that way, nor is its long game quite as nasty as something like Germany.
     
  9. ShakaKhan

    ShakaKhan King

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    I DO rank them as top 7. However, I understand people who don't. Aside from what others have repeatedly scorned, that they're locked out of a victory condition, all of their advantages, while exceptional in most circumstances, have downsides.

    leader bonus: it's great that you can gain some religious beliefs without founding a religion, but you can't pick what those are (or rather, since you can make apostles with this advantage, it is difficult to arrange the bonuses.)

    unique unit: perhaps because of an oversight, Kongo has the swordsman unit with the lowest strength in the game.

    Mbanzas: I think they are awesome, both because they come an era and a half earlier and that they add more food (good) and gold (exceptional.) But even though they come much earlier, this is still a mid-game bonus.

    Nkisi: difficult to argue that this is a great bonus. Can't argue that extra great merchant and artist-class GPP are great. But.... The three types of great works that they get the extra bonuses from are more difficult to come by. Relics either come from huts (map-luck), Kandy (spawn-luck) or apostles with Martyr (apostle promotion luck, or Yerevan, spawn-luck.) Sculptures (vs. any of the other types of Great Artist GWoA) are based on the luck that the great artist provides that type of GW instead of the others. And artifacts come later than the other things that fill museums.

    So it's not the case that under the optimal conditions Kongo shines, but under most situations Kongo shines. Between the rare possibility that you can't take advantage of the yield advantage of Nkisi early, coupled with Mbanzas being a mid-game bonus and Ngao's being screwed by the most recent patch, I can see why some people don't rank them so high.
     
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  10. Abraxis

    Abraxis Emperor

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    You can build the wonder for guaranteed martyrs and use some of the gold you generate to buy the great works you need if you don't get them yourself. Luck might give you extras every now and then. but it's not to blame for you not getting what you need.
     
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  11. stormerne

    stormerne is just a Retired Moderator

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    As with so many things in Civ6, what's "top tier" is situational as well as personal preference.

    As an AI opponent, they're almost always top tier, and nearly always a cultural or scientific competitor.

    Playing as Kongo depends.
    • If you're like me or @Rosty K you won't mind the lack of religious victory unless you particularly want to get lulled to sleep one evening by its limited mechanics. :mischief:
    • If you're set on either a cultural or a scientific victory, yes it can be top tier. (Others have outlined the reasons, many of which are obvious anyway.)
    • If you're playing on a crowded map, perhaps one where you added extra civs or city states and where real estate is at a premium, Kongo's ability to go tall makes it top tier and you still have the option to take over neighbors (see next point).
    • It's not per se a top tier domination civ, but it can still hold its own. How so? Simply by going tall it can have a higher population and therefore a higher science rate than other civs and therefore be ahead in technology = better units.
     
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  12. VeronicaCardican

    VeronicaCardican Chieftain

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    How on earth would that be a blessing???

    You can play absolutely every civ that way by just not building any holy sites. Voilà! Every civ blessed with no effort at all.
     
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  13. spfun

    spfun King

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    I've been saying they're top tier since release, I just think people aren't playing them properly and/or have a big bias towards religion.

    The inability to build Holy districts is a bonus that makes AI Kongo the biggest threat, unless you plan to go for a religious victory you're not going to win as fast as Kongo at science/culture by building holy sites and spawning a religion, ever. Even as Arabia. Holy sites are a trap that slows down your victory for non religious.

    Kongo's religious 'bonuses' can be ignored, those apostles are merely scouts unless you get a martyr. A tip with Kongo is to speed through the civic tree, and win by culture(though science is also very fast) Drama and poetry quickly, to grab the +2(+4 with Kongo) writer points card to gobble up all of those, use the 5 slots in palace for the first few. Make sure to get +1 GP pantheon. I concentrate on CH, Campus, and culture districts in every city. You want to rush to Archaeological museums and don't build a single art museum. Campuses will speed you too computers. Campus is usually my first district as I like to snag early GS. All your cities will have +12f/p 24g and will grow insanely fast.

    I play Kongo alot, and generally win before 1800AD either culture or science on standard map/settings. Don't even need many cities! 4-6 is enough. This is why they're my most played, they can do more with less! Anything over 6 cities bores me to an early exit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  14. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Top tier appears to be geared to early start agressive civs.
    Kongo is certainly not that and certainly does not equal the power of Aus
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  15. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Emperor

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    Kongo actually is the 2nd civ, a very good ranking. On condition that Egypt being 1st and you're ranking from worst to best.

    In fact, I treat Kongo as a negative Civ. All of its bonus do not make sense, or make sense in a limited condition with requirements you cannot control, (such as the first 3 tribals all give you relic and someone near you formed a religion with henge and he chose relic*3, then you're spread the relic*3 at T30 and won CV at T50, that's just lottery luck instead of common sense, since you cannot control anything. Relic*3 is actually better for Russia or Japan since they can control.), while the negative sides actually troubles a lot. I don't mean Holy Sites, they're just a little spare of the negative side of Kongo.

    I think once you skill level up you will find my words convincing.

    Hint: Try to figure out why Mbanza is a negative UD.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  16. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    So you are saying we are not as skilled as you?
     
  17. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    Kongo bonuses are strong, but they are targeted towards tall empires, which:
    - Aren't connected with any particular victory.
    - Generally worse than wide in Civ6.
    Yes, Kongo is really strong for cultural victory, but all the food, population and production bonuses barely help with it, since you need already developed cultural district to get them.
    Greece or Russia look more focused towards the goal.

    Also:
    - UU is relatively weak.
    - I'd say Neighborhood is nearly worst district to replace, since original doesn't count as speciality district already. Only aqueduct replacement is probably worse. And fixed Housing of Mbanza means it could give even less than original district in some cases.

    So, while Kongo is strong I wouldn't say it's top.
     
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  18. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Emperor

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    I'm not comparing skills with anyone. What I mean is that there are many issues you can only understand by playing, thinking and analyzing more. Don't be that offensive.
     
  19. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Well I won a game in turn 96 because I bought 2 other relics early off other civs for peanuts.

    In no way do I consider them top tier but the 5 slots is to me one of their better bonuses
    Their UU is situational but when everyone else is wading trough the jungle to take Brazil these puppies show their colours... they can see the wood for the trees but it is not super strong, no, but is early enough to make a difference.

    Their museums are handy but do come at a time that you are already rolling to victory so are underestimated.

    A few arch museums really can boost you, going 1 in every city is silly to me, a few just give you the ability to have good culture gold and production. So with culture covered you push science, no necessarily going high pop but it helps as do the specialists you can then afford to have.

    The 5 slot early ability combined with UU does give some flexibility at the start but the real power is being able to sustain strong culture and science meaning and advanced army using advanced cards if played right.

    Not the easiest to play but play it with balance rather than extremes and you can have a rather enjoyable Dom game.

    The main problem is if you push high pop then you are going to get weary in war easier so UD is ugh
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  20. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Sorry it just sounded condescending. I shall just shut up and quietly fume in future.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017

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