In Humankind, it is not unusual for Empires to go to war. It usually involves many battles between armies in different terrains until one side is wholly depleted of War Support, peace is declared by both sides or someone surrenders.
However, there’s a far more aggressive option than attacking other Empire’s units: taking over an enemy City. If your Military Power is high enough compared to your opponent, you can siege their City with them and take control of it.
To begin a siege, you must move your army to within range of their City and then click to attack. A siege will give you time to build weaponry that will help you invade.
In case you successfully invade another Empire’s City, you will occupy it, but that’s not how you capture a City in Humankind. Occupied cities will not do your bidding, so they’re not truly yours. Not yet.
Capturing Another Empire’s City
If you know how to attack in Humankind and you successfully defeat your enemy’s defenses, you might be occupying their City. Occupied Cities provide visibility and even have their colors changed, but they do not work as a fully operational city.
In order to have a city, your enemy must surrender and give you a city as part of the Surrender terms.
Note that Surrendering Empires do get to dictate their own Surrender Terms, but if you deplete them of War Support completely, they are forced to surrender, and you’re the one who dictates the terms there.
So, if you really want a specific City, not only must you capture it first, but you also need to make sure you deplete your enemy’s War Support entirely.
Please note that before attacking a City, unlike when you attack someone else’s unit, you must declare war first, and you will need to know how to get War Support before doing so. That is because wars cannot be declared in Humankind until War Support has reached a certain number.
“Whether a siege is an attritional campaign or a direct assault, effective tactics can be the difference between success and failure.“
Siege tactics is a technology that can be researched in Humankind after the players have researched Conquest. This is a technology upgrade that costs 960 Science and allows players to use a unit called Ballista, which looks like a giant crossbow.
“Evolved from heavy crossbows like the Greek gastraphetes, the ballista is more accurate than the catapult.“
Ballistas are genetic units that players can use in sieges to defeat the units at a City’s walls more effectively.
They can only be built right before a siege starts after players research the Siege Tactics technology. Ballistas are available during the Classical Era, and they provide a formidable advantage to invaders.
Since you must occupy a City before demanding it, make sure you have these on your side so you can have the City before the adversary’s War Support drops to zero.
Having Other Empire’s City
You cannot force your adversary to surrender the only City that they have in case they’re defeated. You can ransack their City, though, and eliminate that Empire entirely from the game.
Either way, capturing a city in Humankind ends up being a matter of just being in the City that you want and asking for it once the adversary is defeated.
There is a downside, though. Once the City is yours, you will have to deal with Civics, Stability, Food, and everything else as much as you would with any other. You might even face some Influence issues here and there.
After all that war effort and resources spent, having one more City to take care of might not be the best idea. In the end, you should be aware of why you take each action in this game.
Knowing how to win the game of Humankind and what to do to get it done is important to avoid unnecessary conflicts and pointless actions.
Remember, it is not by attacking others that you win the game. You might gain Fame by attacking other Empires — depending on the context — but it is by earning Fame that players win the game, and there are many different ways to do it.