Chilly's AOEIV Civilization Concept - The Khmer Empire

What makes this faction stand out?

It’d be the first faction to have a Zerg-like creep mechanic via “Wetlands”. Additionally, has access to the Siege Workshop in the Feudal Age, and can build Ballista and Ballista Elephants.

Notes on the concept:

  • “Kombuja” (from which we get the modern word “Cambodia”) was a hugely powerful empire in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, in spite of their significant size and influence, not much is known about them today. Much like the Majapahit, it is an empire lost to time. When it fell, a lot of its magnificent works fell to ruin, absorbed into the jungle/wetland environment.
  • 30% of Cambodia is made up of wetlands. The region is covered in large rivers, lakes, and marsh. Monsoons and floods occur frequently. In order to prosper, the Khmer had to fight nature first. Their most lasting impact on the environment were vast canal networks, dikes, and reservoirs known as “Barays”. Many of these still stand to this day. This aspect of the empire really stood out to me while I was doing my research, and it inspired me to make the “Wetlands” mechanic a core part of the Khmer faction identity.
  • The “Wetlands” mechanic is reminiscent of “Zerg Creep” from Starcraft or “Gaia Lush” from Age of Mythology. A growth that changes the terrain around their buildings. It would be the first time we’d see such a mechanic in AOEIV, but I think there’s a lot of design potential here since it’s such a proven mechanic from past successful games.
  • I want to emphasize that there’s a fine line here. Although I want the Khmer to take gameplay inspiration from the Zerg, I don’t want to associate Khmer culture to Zerg/Creep. For this reason, I see Wetlands being visually represented more as Lush than by Creep.
  • The Khmer Ballista is an interesting unit. It shoots 3 bolts per shot, and functions as a cross between a Mangonel and a Springald. Making it a very powerful early game siege option when protected. However, this also means the Khmer lack a dedicated Springald unit, making them more reliant on fielding multiple Ballistas to perform anti-siege duties.
  • I gave the Khmer access to War Elephants and Tower Elephants assuming that these units would now be “general” unit types that certain factions would have unique access to, similar to how the English, French, and Ottomans get access to the Ribauldequin.
  • Khmer Elephants differ from Delhi ones by being less tanky, and more mobile (they lack Delhi’s armor and crossbow tech, but have access to speed techs). This is especially useful for the Ballista Elephant.
  • The Ballista Elephant is a crazy strong unit. It’s way more mobile than the regular Ballista, and can kite as it has no setup time and can reload while moving. It’s potentially OP. But it’s such a cool historical unit that I think it deserves to stand out.


  • Art is generated through Midjourney with some heavy modifications made by me (The guy in the image is carrying a sword, referencing the Preah Khan Reach. A legendary symbol of Khmer sovereignty - a Cambodian Excalibur if you will.)
  • Flag comes from Seisig of the AOE4 forums.
  • Shoutout to Kameho88v2’s Khmer Concept which served as inspiration

More Concepts


Hey are they the Zerg why do they have such ancient structures resembling aliens? XD, Nice civilization concept really well done, maybe they could have less siege machines like cannons, so to make them not too strong but very good, given their tendency and having many springald units, it would be easy for them to eliminate siege enemy units, this would allow him to not have them and create fewer units such as cannons. the zerg mechanic is very interesting and unique, i hope we can have it one day.

this is very well presented they should def do this for the next civ releases!!

Huh, do Khmer structures resemble aliens? What makes you say that?

They are magnificent and complicated structures, it is spectacular to think how they built them.