In any Civilization 6 Gathering Storm religious victory game you need to earn a Great Prophet as soon as possible. There are 4 ways to do it:
- Build a Holy Site and earn great prophet points over a number of turns
- Play as Saladin and get a prophet no matter what
- Play as Pericles and use the wildcard slot for the Revelation card
- Build a Stonehenge and get a Prophet upon wonder completion
In this gameplay guide I am going to explore the last option. The Stonehenge earns a Great Prophet upon completion, it provides an early +2 faith. Lastly, it boosts Theater civic that we need to unlock on the way to Theology.
The rest of the strategy follows a blueprint for any religious victory: building and upgrading Holy Sites, upgrading the religion to 4 beliefs, building Mahabodhi Temple wonder to get the free Apostles, upgrading Moksha governor to Patron Saint title and finally reaching Theocracy government, all the while spamming Apostles left and right.
I am using standard settings and a standard size Pangea type map. But any map will work, it just would take a different number of turns to win. Shorter time for smaller land-locked maps or longer time for larger maps that also have oceans to traverse.
What Leader to pick
Technically, it does not matter what civ you pick for this strategy. Naturally faith leaders like Peter, Jay, Saladin, Menelik, Mansa Musa, Gitraja or Gandhi would work best. Or even wonder-building civs like Qin of China or Cleopatra could be great. But at the end, you want a civ that has traits and abilities that have an impact in the early eras, as you are not going beyond the Industrial at most.
I decided to go with Gandhi, early faith from meeting civs and on deity they establish religion quite fast. And because I hope to send Missionaries out early, as well having extra 2 charges would be awesome. International Trade routes would be important as well to build up the pressure.
The Starting location must have stone, flat tiles, woods.
- Stone and flat tile are required to build the Stonehenge.
- Woods are required for another paramount wonder – Mahabodhi Temple that provides two Apostles and has to be built on woods adjacent to the Holy Site. Another reason to have woods, deer or stone is to be able to chop to rush wonder production.
Researching Astrology as early as possible is huge in making this strategy successful. As it unlocks both Stonehenge and Holy Site district. It is probably best to beeline to it, as it costs 50 science. Ideally though you would want to boost it by finding a Natural Wonder in the first 15 turns, at least on Deity.