Introduction: What is an Apostle?
Apostles are a new type of unit introduced in Civilization VI that can be used to spread your religion and culture. Apostles cannot be built; they can only appear due to spreading your faith and fulfilling certain quests.
Different religions have different requirements for appearing as apostles. For example, Buddhist apostles require you to build a Buddhist temple, and Hindu apostles need you to complete a Hindu temple. Once those requirements are met, the next time those religions spread to other cities (through your missionaries or apostle), they will spawn an Apostle when completed.
Apostles are the religious head of your civilization. They generate faith, which is the most critical resource in Civilization 6. Apostles can be used to spread your religion and culture. Unlike other units, Apostles cannot be built; they can only appear as the result of spreading your faith and fulfilling certain quests.
A common concern with Civilization 6 is that the game lacks any real goal. The more you play, the more you realize that the game’s real goal is to maintain your civilization’s faith. They generate faith, which gives you access to more advanced buildings and abilities. If your civilization’s religion gets too low, it collapses, and you lose the game.
More successful apostles generate more faith than less successful apostles. A successful apostle generates two faith per turn for every city they share a religion with. Unsuccessful apostles only generate one faith per turn for every city they share a religion with.
The cost of generating a new apostle depends on how many cities you have and how much culture you have stored up.
An apostle is a unique unit that offers a new way to play the game. The apostle is the only unit that can heal nearby units and convert enemy troops. The player can summon apostles by using faith points, which can be earned by capturing shrines.
This article will provide you with the necessary information to decide whether apostles are worth recruiting for your civ and how to play as an apostle in Civ 6.
Faith points are the fundamental building blocks of anything to do with religion in Civ 6. You gain faith by building holy sites, temples, other religious buildings, or tile improvements like Spain’s mission. Relics and natural wonders can also give you faith per turn. And some great people can give faith bonuses too. Spending faith is where it counts, though. You can use faith to buy religious units, rush any great person and in some cases, even purchase districts.
Pantheons are different from religions and sort of act like proto religions. You get to choose from a list of bonuses for your civilization. Nothing to stranger compared to Civ 5, but this time you keep your pantheons throughout the game even if cities are converted to another religion later on. They remain ingrained in your cities as an integral part of their culture.
The next step up from pantheons are actual religions. There’s only one way to found a religion in Civilization 6, and that’s to get a great prophet who founds a religion and makes a city a Holy City for that religion. Great prophets are limited in each game, and once you get one, you can’t get another. As for your religion itself, you can still customize the name and icon of your religion. However, for mechanics, you choose beliefs that are more bonuses of some kind and building type, such as a church, mosque, synagogue, meeting house, and so on. And depending on your choice of building, it will give different bonuses. Religions start with two beliefs but can be upgraded to four using an apostle.
We have four different kinds of bonuses when it comes to religion in Civ 6. First, we’ve got pantheon bonuses, which are early religious bonuses that you can get before founding a religion and, as mentioned earlier, throughout the game in your cities, even if the majority religion changes. Then we have the founder beliefs, which are bonuses that you get if you found your own religion. There are follower beliefs which are bonuses anyone following the religion will get. Then there are worship beliefs which are the bonuses you get from the holy building associated with your religion.
In Civ 6 there are a number of lenses that you can activate that act as information overlay to your map. The religious lens shows relevant religious data and automatically activates when you select a religious unit or manually select it using the lens button over the mini-map. This lens shows the different religions using colors. Then a few things over cities such as a pressure radar pulse showing how much pressure that city emanates for that religion and a number and radial bar showing the ratio of how much the population is following which religion. The religion lens tells us what’s important when playing a religion game. Increasing pressure and converting the population seems to be objective.
Spread of Religion
The religious spread works similar to Civ 5. Other cities pressure cities within ten tiles to accept their religion, and Holy Cities exert additional pressure. Build Holy Sites or Cathedrals for your religious missions. Build Monasteries and Convents for Religious orders. That’s for passive spread.
As for actively spreading religion, missionaries are best suited for just spreading religion. But apostles can do it too. Though at a higher cost. Both those units are bought using faith. You can also capture cities using religious fervor alone, making religious conquest a thing in Civ 6.
Technically there are four religious units:
- Missionaries spread religion. They can’t attack but can defend against other religious units and has two spread charges.
- Apostles also spread religion. They can add new beliefs to your religion. Start an inquisition and engage in theological combat with other religious units. They also have two uses, but you can spend the whole unit adding beliefs or starting an inquisition. Apostles are much more expensive than missionaries, but they get an extraordinary promotion power which we’ll discuss in a bit.
- Inquisitors use them to stamp out competing religions. They are stronger in theoretical combat compared to apostles, and if you’re going for a religious game, these are going to be what’s put you in the lead. Still, you must use an apostle to launch an inquisition first before building inquisitors at all.
- Great prophets are us to found religions and make the city it’s in a Holy City. You can only recruit one because that’s all they do, and you can’t found two religions.
As a side note, some units work well with the religious play style. Such as Spain’s Conquistadors that convert a captured city to Spain’s majority religion if it’s in an adjacent tile when you capture it. Still, we won’t get into that too much.
Apostle’s Special Promotion Power
The apostle’s special promotion power is actually really important. When you build an apostle unit, you get a limited choice of specific promotion bonuses. Some examples are, for instance, the proselytizer, where religious spread eliminates other religions in the target city, which means that an apostle can spread faith two extra times.
Heathen conversion allows the apostle to convert all adjacent barbarians to become your own military units. These promotion powers could really turn the tide of things if you use them properly and add a lot of power to religious units. It has to be repeated, though, that apostles will cost a lot more than missionaries. If you’re just looking to spread religion, you should stick to missionaries.
Theological combat between religious units is a thing where apostles and inquisitors can attack other religious units. Missionaries can only defend. The interesting thing here is that the results of these fights have an on the surrounding cities. The defeated unit’s religion is reduced in all cities within ten tiles. While the victor’s units religion is increased in surrounding cities, winning theological combat could help quickly convert entire regions of the map into your religion.
Also, as a side on declaring war, there are now justified reasons to go to war. This is the casus belli system in which you state the reason for the war. One such reason is the holy war. Which means if you declare war after another civ has religiously converted one of your cities using religion. So you don’t get a lot of hate from other civilizations. You can go to war with them and only get half the warmonger penalty, so you don’t ruin your reputation with other civilizations as much.
To achieve a religious victory, your religion must become the predominant religion for every civilization in the game both for major and minor civilizations. What is meant by this is that the dominant religion needs to be followed by more than 50% of the cities in every civilization. Having actual victory conditions through religion means that you can commit to and focus on a religious game in Civ 6.
How does the Civ 6 Apostle Strategy Work?
The first step of the strategy is to make sure you can produce enough apostles. We recommend making sure you build the appropriate districts and buildings in your capital city to generate them quickly.
It’s essential to take the time to plan your strategy for producing Apostles. This includes making sure you’ve built the right districts and buildings in your capital city and that you have enough of the right resources.
The next step is to use your Apostle units as a vanguard force by sending them into battle as soon as possible, preferably against the nearest enemy district or city. This will help you control and eventually capture those regions.
How to Get Your First Apostle Early in the Game
If you’re new to civ and don’t know how to start as an apostle, this is the article for you.
There are several ways to getting your first apostle:
- You can get your first apostle by purchasing it with piety or faith. Or an apostle can be obtained through trade or diplomacy with other civilizations. The benefit of your apostles is that they bring bonuses to cities in which they are placed, and they can be used to found a Holy City.
2 You can also start with a prophet and convert him into an apostle by boosting his faith and conversion level with specific technologies.
Starting with a prophet is advantageous because they already have the talent “wonder builder,” which increases the chance of generating a wonder. One of the most important things to note is that you want to start with a prophet because they have a talent called “Wonder Builder,” which allows them to build one of the six wonders of the world.
The downside is that they will take up one of the five slots that apostles are allowed per civilization, which means you will not be able to obtain all five without conquering more cities and meeting more prerequisites.
Advanced Tips for Playing as an Apostle
There are many ways to play as an Apostle. This guide will cover some of the most common and advanced strategies for success.
- Build a strong defense
As an Apostle, you have a lot of tools at your disposal. You can use them to get inside your opponent’s territory and get inside their heads by destroying their bases and troops. Still, it is better to be prepared for all outcomes. The best way to play as an Apostle in civ 6 is to build a strong defense that is difficult for the enemy to penetrate.
The apostle provides a significant bonus for Faith generation if you have completed the Apostolic Palace improvement in your City Center District. Suppose you are having difficulty playing as an Apostle in Civ 6. In that case, you should focus on military strength and making sure that you have built up your Apostolic Palace. The military will allow you to take over other Civs easier than when you are just trying to peacefully take over Civs with missionaries. The Apostolic Palace will give you an economic boost as it gives +1 gold every ten turns.
- Carry many soldiers and different types of troops
However, before going to war in civ 6, ensure you have a larger and higher-tech army than your enemy’s. If your army is large but lower-tech than your enemy’s, your army is going loose. And lose horribly. Suppose you start a war with your 30 barbarians against 10 of the enemy’s swordsmen. Those swordsmen will easily cut your barbarian army down.
The new religious units in Civilization 6 can be very powerful on the battlefield. Still, once you found a religion, you need to spread it to get the most out of the new units. It’s even more critical than in previous games.
If you don’t want to go through the painstaking process of spreading your religion manually, here are some handy tips for how to win with your religion in Civ 6.
- You need to build Holy Sites or Cathedrals for your Religion’s Holy Missions
- Build Monasteries and Convents for Religious Orders
- Build Missionaries and Inquisitors for further conversion
After reading this article, you have all the knowledge needed to dominate any Civ 6 game with a religious victory. Good luck, and have fun with your next game.