Analysis of the potential new civs

Greetings, been a while since I made a post, but latest announcement of the upcoming DLC has reignited the my passion for AOE4 again. Well, When it comes out.
Right know I’m pretty invested into everybody’s mainstream CRPG game.

But I Digress.

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about what the new civs could possible be that has been shown.

So far, what has been shown in game is at least 2 new Civs in my eyes.

  1. The Japanese.
  2. The Crusader States

And as a small warm-up digging into history archives and research, because I do want to cook up some new civ concepts if I can just find some time. (Work, Family, and well a certain other Games that is squishing whatever left of time I have).

But let me explain why I am pretty convinced why this is so.

Let’s start with the one most obvious.

The Japanese.

I see a lot of vtubers, i mean Youtubers talk a lot of about the new Granary that has been shown.

r/aoe4 - The Upcoming DLC CIV's

Here are some IRL samples of historical japanese Granaries:
Elevated Granary:
r/aoe4 - The Upcoming DLC CIV's

Closer look to traditional japanese tatch-roof:

And here is a shinto shrine of similar architecture:
r/aoe4 - The Upcoming DLC CIV's

Why are the Granaries elevated? Well this was a rather common practice, not just in japan, but all over the world.
But you would see this most often in the East Asian buildings, especially with the extra height. While European Elevated granaries tended just be a few cm above the ground.

Why the elevation? Quite simple, keeping critters and insect away that might find their way into the grain storage and spoil it.

But also to help preserve the stored foodstuff.

The elevation would allow better ventilation and thus less humidity inside, causing a more dry and cool environment for the foodstuff stored ###### ############## You see this especially in South east asian rice-granaries, that tend to be more in sub-tropical areas where moisture and hot humidity is an issue.

Why do I not think this might be koreans? Well quite many factors.

1 is the architecture in general. Overall many of the buildings seems very early era Japanese style, with their unique tatched roofing that tended to be build similarly to the Gassho-zukuri style, which is rather distinct to the japanese, a denser more solid tatched roof able to hold off heavy snowfalls.

2 is the fact a lot of koreans buildt their granaries underground as they perfected the technology of Ice-houses called Ondol, which pretty much functioned as a fridge, which kept things cool and had far greater preservation abilities.

3 koreans were masters of stone architecture, so they would emphasize more on stone-buildings rather than wooden and tatch ones. (not saying they didn’t have these, but korean stone architecture would make them quite unique among east asian civs).

The Crusader States

The Crusader states are intersting, and would perhaps be represented by the Kingdom of Jerusalem. or as its entire entity aswell.

These consister of various states along the levant vying for controll of the holy city, Jerusalem.

r/aoe4 - The Upcoming DLC CIV's

r/aoe4 - The Upcoming DLC CIV's

Another intersting thing is when taking a look at the screenshot is the notable architecture of the walls.

r/aoe4 - The Upcoming DLC CIV's

Those towers and walls are very remniscent of the architecture style of the fortress of Acre.

From some artwork illustrating the castlewalls of acre:

Also the fact we are seeing actual crusaders, makes it very unlikely that we are seeing the byzantines.

Crusaders and Byzantines didn’t really mix well, Not only because Byzantine is orthodox christians and Crusaders were mainly catholic holding fielty towards the holy see.

These 2 didn’t go along well, and had a few fights and sacking between them.

So yeah, sry byzantine fans. the weebs takes priority. But next expansion hopefully.

But who knows, we only see and can confirm 2 civs or at least unique units and architecture.

But if there is more than 2 civs for this DLC then hopes for Byzantine is still big.

For the arabs? Tbh, they are just abbasids. I don’t see any new unique unit other than the sultan “hero” unit.

This does beg me the question, are we going to see more “hero” units in the form of the Khan and english King.

As we see with the french one, we do see what looks to be a female knight. But that might just be a campaign thing.

But we’ll see.

BUt at least from my knowledge, the 2 Civs that I can at least confirm quite confidently, is the Japanese and Crusader States (Kingdom of Jerusalem)


Oh my god “the Crusader States” as a name would be such an inartful mistake.


Crusaders will most likely just be a mix of French, English and HRE, and only present in the campaign.
For the campaign it seems like it will be a Abbasid Dynasty campaign where you control Saladin and try to take control of Jerusalem, while the enemy AI are the crusader and are just a mix of reskinned existing European units.

The only confirmed new PvP civ seems to be Japanese. There may be more announced later. I don’t think the new pvp civs will be in any way related to the new campaign so it could be anything.


I hope there’s more. Only being the 2nd expansion, saying it’s the biggest is a strange claim and we don’t have any evidence yet that it will actually be true.

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I hope there’s more. Only being the 2nd expansion, saying it’s the biggest is a strange claim and we don’t have any evidence yet that it will actually be true.

They only need to make 1 new campaign and 2 new civs for it to be true.

So far we know there will be an Abbasid campaign (Saladin) and that there will be Japan as a new civ. So they need to announce at least 1 more new civ.


Yeah, you’re right. I know it’s all marketing but if that’s it, man, they are masters of making small achievements sound monumental.


tbf their statement is evidence. I agree with you the disjointment of announcing an announcement falls somewhere between annoying and manipulative. But they seem to think it’s a good idea because they do it all the time so idk


Yeah, it was weird how he framed it being the biggest expansion to date. Umm…it’s the only expansion to date so technically not wrong but I don’t count the two free civs last year as an expansion though I suppose that means something different to everyone. Sultans feels more like the first proper DLC to me.


Yeah, sadly you’re kinda right. I want to get excited, but I’m looking forward to the complete announcement before getting too excited. We’ll see soon.

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One thing that drives me up the wall with their marketing is this constant loop of announcements of announcements of announcements. I guess that’s how marketing for these kinds of things is done nowadays. Hype sells.

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The Crusader States are likely to appear as a campaign-only civ while the Byzantines and Japanese are expected to appear.

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Well, since I did a Japanese concept earlier (, I think I have some ideas what the Japanese teaser could mean:

Japanese ######## v1.1

JAPANESE UNITS.- Although when I made the Japanese concept I was scared by the amount of possible unique units, apparently it was a self-founded fear, and it seems that it will be an infantry civ with several unique units:

  • 1.- Samurai with naginata: from the armor it seems so, I suppose a substitute for the men-at-arm (or is it like the Russian militia?).
  • 2.- Spearman or Samurai with Yari?: He appears with samurai armor, he must be the veteran version of the spearman, or is he the theoretical samurai with yari?
  • 3.- Horsemen: Our beloved horsemen but Japanese. Good, Japanese have light cavalry in feudal.
  • 4.- Archer Yumi: Curiously with the model of the Sohei Archer. Note: If you remember my model, the Sohei were warrior monks, their featured weapons were the naginata and the bow. That being the case, either it is a special unit or it is the design of the feudal archer. Note 2: Japanese samurai archers preferred to fight on horseback, so it makes sense that the feudal archer was a Sohei and not a samurai or achigaru (peasant).

IS THE SAMURAI WITH A KATANA DISCARDED?.- Nah, it’s impossible. It is likely that if the naginata samurai exists in feudal and castles, the katana samurai is an Imperial Age unit and is very broken. Historical trivia: Although katanas were invented around the 12th century in Japan, they did not have much of an impact on the internal wars of the Kamakura and Ashikaga period, whose samurai favored the bow, yari, and naginata, and were not popular until they began. the Sengoku Period (1470-1615). I guess that would be Imperial Japanese age, so my theory is that it will be a 3rd heavy infantry unit (if not the naginata samurai is light infantry). Another possibility I see is that the katana samurai acts as a replacement for the Spearman or Knight, and has a Yari to charge and then switch to using katana to fight. Although this possibility avoids the possible attack of IaI or battojutsu of my model, but anyway, the thing is that we finally have Japanese.

Possible other units: Samurai horse archer (early feudal unit), General, Umamawari (heavy cavalry), Samurai with Katana (maybe in Imperial), ########### gunner (His handcannoner of his but with Arquebus). Ninja?

ABOUT THE NINJAS: I don’t know if they’ll get it. I would make it the replacement for the scout, but we would have to consider if the devs consider creating Aoe3-style Shock Infantry (with the same advantages and weaknesses as Cavalry), or as light infantry with high speed. Other names for Shock infantry could be Run##### As an additional note, in my Aztec model, the Aztec would have about 4 runner units, including the Scout, Runner Warrior, Guerrero Aguila, Coyote Priest.

4X4 BARN.- About the 4x4 barn, I don’t think it’s a landmark, it’s practically a repetition of 6 small barns. It’s probably a unique Japanese building, I have reason to think this:

  • 1-. Have you noticed that there is no windmill in the image?
  • 2.- The farms are not next to the mills, but next to the houses.
  • 3.- There are too many farms attached to one house… all of them… it’s strange.
    That only makes me think of one possibility: there is a mechanic between houses and farms, and the raised barns are a unique Japanese building unlocked in feudal, perhaps with some similar mechanic to the Chinese dynasty of unlocking buildings.

OTHER UNIQUE BUILDINGS.- No idea, but I have some suspicions:

  • 1.- Sanctuary-Monastery: Most likely, it would be a sanctuary and a Buddhist Monastery, due to the emperor’s orders to syncretize the Buddhist religion with Shintoism. The other option is that they are separate buildings but with an influence mechanic if they are built together. The Sanctuary part would have a similar effect to that of Aoe-iii.
  • 2.- Noh Theater.- The Japanese daimyo were fans of this theater. Does it give you passive money next to houses?
  • 3.- Tea House.- The Japanese daimyos were fans of drinking tea in extravagant ceremonies. Note: while the Chinese drank tea, they only drank tea, it was fun. The Japanese, on the other hand, complicated everything and created a whole system of etiquette and rigor for it. No idea with the bonus. Money if it is isolated from any building? (Usually they were isolated buildings in the woods, you see, the #### complicated everything)

POSSIBLE ECONOMIC MECHANIC.- There is a mechanic between houses and farms. You do not need mills because the houses supply that function. It could also be related to the lack of a mining camp, but if a smithy next to a mine, do some Japanese buildings completely replace others? That would be great. On the other hand, that leads us to an also terrifying idea:

  • 1.- Villagers collect sheep meat (meaning that livestock farming is still legal)
  • 2.- The curious number of houses attached to farms
  • 3.- The smithy attached to the villagers mining
  • 4.- No villagers are hunting (is hunting prohibited due to the Emperor’s feudal decree?)

Discussion: It is likely that each house will come attached to a farm and will allow you to gather food from the house itself, similar to the Aoe-3’s Swedish torpor that spawns a fodder bush. The unique raised barn building should be your mill replacement if you want to create clustered farms in one area, and you don’t want it to be anchored to a single house. If not, it’s a Landmark, although to my knowledge I don’t recall any historic Japanese high barn.

It is probably related to Japanese feudal politics in relation to the term Shōen. The Shōen were mansions and tracts of land in which a noble, or at least an official, was granted land for cultivation, “tax-free”. On the other hand, in certain areas, the peasants were “Owners of their lands” attached to their houses. Of course, these peasants still had to pay taxes and serve in the militia if there was a war. By the way, most of the taxes were in RICE (They weren’t that different from the Incas and Aztecs).


I can’t agree with you more there. When i was talking to a friend of mine who hinted to this.
I was like; “Rly? Are they seriously called just that? There must be a better name”
But after looking up and digging through information, actually no. They were just called crusader states.

Historically they were more referred to each of their states
Kingdom of Jerusalem, Principality of Antioch, County of Edessa, County of Tripoli.

But much like the how technically the US consist of several states, which have their own local government and regulations. They would all fall under a Federal Government that pretty much reigns over all states.

In a somewhat similar manner, the Crusader states did the same. But instead of a federal government, it was the Pope of the catholic curch, the holy see.
henche for why each the crusaders were such a mix of all christian european countries. Not just English, French and HRE. And still operated as one seperate entity from their origin countries.

But again, Crusader States is such a cheese name is why I am actually thinking they might be represented by the one that holds the name of the holy city, Jerusalem.
So the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Which does sound a fair bit better.
And based on the screenshot of the walls the Crusaders are defending and its particular looking tower, does seem to reflect the fortress of Acre, and the scenario being the Siege of Acre. which was located within the kingdom of jerusalem.

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Yes, I think they are going to be Samurai, Yumi archer, Yari horseman and Ashigaru cannonner and then add the 3 ships from the imjin wars (Fune, Atakabune and Tekkousen)

I hope we get to see the Horse Archer being also used by the Japanese (or at least a unique Horse Archer for the Japanese though either way, the Horse Archer needs to become a shared unit eventually).

the way aoe4 has handled unique units has been very strange. there are a number of fairly common units that apparently will be forever limited to one civ. horse archers, which were used in all sorts of ways in all sorts of places other than by the Rus, are a great example of feeling like the devs painted themselves into a corner. you gotta assume the game cannot keep expanding without this getting reversed

It has been strange. I do expect that other civs that historically used archers on horseback would also be having the Horse Archer and the Horse Archer would no longer be restricted to one civ, similar to what happened to the Imam when the Malians and Ottomans were added as that unit became no longer restricted to the Abbasid Dynasty and got to become available to other Islamic civs that aren’t the Delhi Sultanate.

I don’t think people would complain if they just made a new rus unique unit at the same time they made horse archer available to multiple civs.

I think the horse archer don’t need to be available to everyone but it should be available to like half the civs.

oh god the last thing the game needs is giving every civ the same units, especially horse archers.

it seems like the only way to make new civs would be to continually tweak existing civs to make room and create the right cohesion. that would certainly solve this strange situation, albeit it cannot possibly be efficient for the devs to have to keep changing their old content. I can’t think of any other games in this franchise where a civ wasn’t essentially complete the moment it was first released. but I know the aoe4 devs are new to the franchise and may not have anticipated these kinds of things that seem inevitable to us who have been playing the franchise all these years. idk but at least they are learning (and sticking around long enough to use that knowledge)

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I (and some of the AoE4 community) wouldn’t mind if they could design more symmetrical civs (like AoE2) and more asymmetrical civs (like AoE3), resulting in a set of semi-asymmetrical civs. The AoE franchise is forced to launch civs, so in order not to break the balance, I wouldn’t look down on that line.

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