An Alternative Pitch for turning the USA, and others, into Primary Civs

I, personally, would have prefered to keep the USA as part of the “Revolution” mechanic, and add more content to the Revolutions instead. But since the devs already went ahead and made the decision of promoting the USA to Primary civ, we have to work with that.

I don’t think that the USA as a Primary civ is a bad idea per se, I just think that the release should have been handled differently. If the US was announced as part of a new “Colonial”/“Revolutionary”/“American” Civilization category with some shared mechanics instead of being this one-off unique civ, maybe people would have handled the news a bit better.

I’m not a game dev, I’m not trying to tell the game devs how to do their job, I’m just sharing some ideas of how I think this new content could look like from the top of my “Armchair Game Developer” wisdom. Anyway, here we go:

Starting with: What should be the new civs? Since new civs usually comes in packs of 3, I’m going to pick three: USA, Brazil and Gran Colombia(Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Canada, Australia, Egypt could also be viable alternative or additions to those three)

Adding this new class of American Civs means that, unfortunatelly, we will need to scrap the Revolution mechanic. We can’t have our cake and eat it too. The unique bonuses and units unlocked by these revolutions can be turned into cards or mercenaries and be made available to relevant european and american civs.

Shared mechanics for the American Civs: I’m going to adapt some of the mechanics that the devs already made for the USA while trying to rebalance them a little bit and add some ideas of my own.

  • States/Provinces Age-Up Mechanic and Cards: I really liked the idea of having States(or Provinces depending on the country) replace politicians as an age-up mechanic, however I think that some rebalancing is needed. Firstly, American Civs can only have up to 20 Normal Cards in their deck. The other 5(not 8) cards are added gradually everytime you age-up(1 in Age II, 1 in Age III, 1 in Age IV and 2 in Age V) for a grand total of 25 cards!

  • Settlers and Immigrants: I also liked the idea of immigrants bringing in some bonuses and units from other nations, kinda like the Asian Consulate, but if we’re giving these American civs access to those bonuses, we will need to add penalties elsewhere. I propose the following: American settlers cost 125 food and are, at first, limited to a cap of 60. In order to expand their economy further and be competitive with other civs, they must bring in immigrants. Immigrants can be accessed with either cards(normal or state/province cards) or trought some unique church upgrades. Different groups of immigrants will give different units or bonuses and it’s up to the player to pick which ones work best with their play-style.

  • Generals and Surveyors: I like the idea of the American Heroes being really military focused with their abilities, but being worse at exploring. I wouldn’t change much here, but I want to add a new unit that can fill in the Explorer’s other roles. The “Surveyor” would be a weaker, non-hero, version of the Explorer. It has a good LOS, decent speed, can gather treasures and has a combat bonus vs. treasure guardians, can build Town Centers and Trading Posts, but it’s awful at combat, rather expansive and can’t build forts or outposts. You start each game with 1 Surveyor and can train up to 5 of them at a 200 food and 100 gold cost. Unlike the Explorer, once they die, they die, you can’t rescue them.

  • Military: Generally, I think that American Civs should be very gunpowder and infantry focused, with cheap and weak defense and harassment units in the commerce age and gaining more firepower as they age-up. I also think that their mercenaries should be weaker than european mercs, but instead they have better and cheaper outlaws to complement their forces. Of course, each individual civ will have their own unique units and their own strong points and weaknesses.

  • Other Considerations: Besides that, they shouldn’t play too differently from european civs. With some creative unique cards and flavor, we can make them feel fresh and new without going too crazy with new gimmicks.

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Some Ideas for a hypothetical Brazil civ:


  • Brazilwood Dyes: (Available at Age I) Trees last 20% longer and for every 10 Wood your settlers produce, you also gain 1 Gold.

  • Bandeirantes: (Available at Age I) Upgrades your Surveyors to “Bandeirantes”, they gain +5 LOS, +100% extra damage against Treasure Guardians and Native Warriors, and they have a 15% chance of converting defeated treasure guardians into a friendly unit.

  • The Sacramento Settlement: (Available at Age II) Costs 500 Gold to Send. Ships 1 Town Center Wagon(and increasesTC build limit by 1) and 1 Outpost Wagon.

Colonial and Imperial Brazil’s history is marked by major economic cycles in which the economy revolves mostly around a certain good. I tried to represent that with the following group of cards. They can only be summoned once and their effects last only for a limited time and you can’t use two at the same time, so if you want to use them, you need to time them properly.

  • Brazilwood Cycle: (Available at Age I) For 5 minutes all villagers gather wood 50% faster.

  • Sugarcane Cycle: (Available at Age II) For 5 minutes all villagers gather coin from estates 100% faster.

  • Gold Cycle: (Available at Age III) For 5 minutes all villagers gather coin from mines 200% faster.

  • Cotton Cycle: (Available at Age IV) For 5 minutes all villagers gather coin from estates 150% faster.

  • Coffee Cycle: (Available at Age IV) For 5 minutes all villagers gather food from mills 200% faster.

  • Rubber Cycle: (Available at Age IV) For 5 minutes all villagers gather wood from trees 200% faster.


  • Portuguese Immigrants: (Available at Age I) Ships 3 Settlers(and increases settler build limit by 3), 1 Fishing Boat and gets the “Gill Nets” technology for free.

  • French Immigrants: (Available at Age I) Ships 1 Courier dus Bois and 2 Surveyors.

  • Dutch Immigrants: (Available at Age II) Ships 1 Estate Wagon(You can only buid one Estate in the Commerce Age, they’re fully unlocked at Fortress Age) and 4 Skirmishers(with no upgrades).

  • Spanish Immigrants: (Available at Age II) Ships 5 Settlers(and increases settler build limit by 5) and 4 Cows.

  • Italian Immigrants: (Available at Age IV) Ships 10 Settlers(and increases settler build limit by 10) and 2 Homestead Wagons.

  • German Immigrants: (Available at Age IV) Ships 4 Settler Wagons and 2 Homestead Wagons.

  • Japanese Immigrants: (Available at Age IV) Ships 4 Villagers, 2 Shrine Rickshaws and 2 Cherry Orchard Rickshaws.


  • Bahia: (Age III) Ships 250 of Each Resource(Food, Wood, Gold and Books).
    Province Card: Capoeira: Increases all Infantry’s hand attack by 20% and Unlocks the Capoeirista, an unique melee shock infantry unit that can randomly dodge attacks while fighting.

  • Rio Grande de São Pedro(or just Rio Grande do Sul): (Age IV) Ships 10 Cows and 1 Homestead Wagon.
    Province Card: Farrapos War: Choose a Town Center to start the Revolt. All cavalry units become 10% faster and gain +10% HP. The choosen TC will spawn 8 Gaúchos, a light ranged cavalry unit with similar stats to the Comanchero. Gaúchos can be trained at Stables, Livestock Pens and Mills and can gather food from livestock.

  • Cisplatina: (Age IV) Ships 10 Cows and 1 Homestead Wagon.
    Province Card: 33 Orientales: Choose a Town Center to start the Revolt. The choosen TC will spawn 11 Revolutionaries and 5 Gaúchos. Gaúchos can be trained at Stables, Livestock Pens and Mills and can gather food from livestock.

  • Minas Gerais: (Age IV) Ships 1 Gold Prospector Wagon.
    Province Card: Baroque Artists: Churches generate +200% XP per second and an adittional trickle of 0,50 Coin per second.

  • Grão-Pará: (Age IV) All houses and Town Centers spawn a tree nearby.
    Province Card: Cabanagem Revolt: Choose a Town Center to start the Revolt. The choosen TC will spawn 8 Revolutionaries and 8 Champion Tupi Blackwood Archers.

  • São Paulo: (Age V) Ships 1 Factory Wagon.
    Province Card: Paulista Locomotive: Factories and Trading Posts generate resources 20% faster.
    Province Card: Land of Immigrants: Ships 2 settlers for each “Immigrants” card that you have already sent. Settlers now cost only 70 Food.

  • Rio de Janeiro: (Age V) Ships 2 Ironclads.
    Province Card: Royal Military Academy: All Imperial unit upgrades are 33,3% cheaper and are researched instantly.
    Province Card: Imperial Dragoons: (Infinite) Ships 10 Dragoons. Dragoons gain +200% melee attack and +35% HP(only once).

  • Amazonas: (Age V) All houses and Town Centers spawn 2 trees nearby.
    Province Card: People of the Jungle: Build limit for all Native Allies units doubles and they gain +35% Attack and HP.
    Province Card: Rubber Monopoly: Trees last 20% longer and for every 5 Wood your settlers produce, you also gain 1 Gold.


  • Royal Refugees: (Available at Age III in The Church) Costs 2500 Food, 1500 Wood and 1500 Gold to research. Ships 1 Bank Wagon, 3 Military Wagons, 10 Guard Cassadores, 2 Organ Guns and a total of 500XP in books.

There was almost no Spanish Immigration to Brazil, they were simply not welcome.

Also, they should not reuse USA card names, unless they have the same effect.

Already a Portuguese card and the effect is a second Explorer.

“Orientales” is spanish language. Portuguese would be “Orientais”.
Please do not make the same mistake that the original devs made! Portuguese language is VERY different to spanish language.

Everything else looks fine. Probably would be a great civ.

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Everyone’s wanting Brazil but I think Mexico is more fitting.

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Actually, there was. Specially in border regions like Rio Grande do Sul there was a lot of portuguese and spanish(and later Brazillian and Argentinians) settlers moving around the pampas and trading.

The dutch Immigrants is a reference to the Dutch occupation of Brasil in the XVIII century. The French are a reference to very early French expeditions in Brazil and the Germans had a considerable of immigrants in the late XIX century.
I’m assuming that these cards would get rebalanced and adapted. And there is no problem with two cards having the same name, but diferrent effects for different civs.

I know, the Portuguese will need to find something else to replace it.

I know, I used the spanish name because that’s how the movement was known. Uruguay/Cisplatina was a brazillian province, but it spoke spanish

Mexico would be pretty cool as well, I still think that Brazil and Gran Colombia should come first.

Brazilian Empire was literally called the USA of South America. It was huge and in charge.
I do agree that Mexico probably makes more sense, because USA got in, and they had beef with them, but Brazil is one of the most important American civs in History.

Why would a civ that already exists, lose a card to a new civ?

That is literally not how the game works. Same named cards have equal or very similar effects.
Spice Trade or Economic Theory do exactly the same, for every civ that has them, for example.

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Well, because in this hypothetical case, the “Bandeirantes” name makes more sense for Brazil than it does for Portugal. Portugal can, and should, keep it’s “Bandeirantes” card, but with a different name.

Okay, fine, we can use a different name for the american and the brazillian versions of this card if it’s such a big issue.

It would be real interesting having a series of civs that are new world powers with the same shared age up mechanic of aging with states. Works for USA, Brazil and Mexico. Maybe an idea is to release them as small DLC/Challenge events. I know that AOE3 is popular in Brazil so providing fan service like they are doing for the USA seems logical.

A second tier could be Argentina, South Africa and Australia but might not work well with the same age mechanic. Plus also fall outside the games timeframe.


Canada should come first, before Argentina.

Maybe. Argentina was independent first. Was a bigger economic power than Canada. Why Canada first?

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Because Canada synergizes with USA a lot more, while Argentina probably has to wait for Brazil, to make sense in the game.

You could call this pack “The Nations from Down Under” pack! haha

Argentina became fully independent in 1863, if we include their colonial history, we can squeeze them in. Australia and South Africa only got theirs in the XX century, those will be more complicated to justify.

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Yeah I was thinking Southern hemisphere powers. Which is why I lumped Argentina in there, but really Argentina fits in with the first lot more, except lack of states (technically they regions in Argentina are provinces).

That shouldn’t be an issue. The Brazillian Empire also had provinces(they only became “states” with the republic) and countries around the world uses all sorts of different names for the same concept: States, Provinces, Areas, Regions, Departments, etc.

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Why do you always forget Peru? It was the last important stronghold of spanish power in colonial america, and after their independence they fought alonside other rev nations against an attempt from spain to reconquer the former colonies in their shores. Not only that, but for a time they were an important player in the continent politics, until they were defeated by Chile in the Pacific War, and their power was diminished, but that was almost ending the 19th century so they would fit with the others.

Also, they became independent in 1821 and defeated the spanish forces in their territory by 1824

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Yeah, there are so many interesting nations that could be included, Peru is definitly one of them. Unfortuntelly, due to the nature of game development, we can only realisticly choose a few.

If I had the power to order a new major expansion with 8 new Revolutionary civs, I would pick:

  1. USA
  2. Brazil
  3. Gran Colombia
  4. Mexico
  5. Peru
  6. Canada
  7. Chile
  8. Argentina

With South Africa and Australia(with some New Zealand elements) as somewhat anachronist extras for the African Expansion and a Pacific-themed expansion respectively.

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6 of 8 South American is a lot hahaha

There are plenty from Europe revolutions to add as well :slight_smile:

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Frankly, I think that the European minors like Finland, Hungary, Romania, etc. should either have their own mechanics or be much closer to the European majors than the American majors. The historical, and geographical, context behind these nations is too different and wouldn’t fit well with the post-colonial nations like the USA and Brazil.

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