Civ Concept: Malinke (Malians)

This would be my sketchy design for the implementation of a Malian civ into AoE IV. I would appreciate suggestions on how to make this civilization more balanced as well as any other feedback.

The Malinke are a Mande-speaking people native to the Sahelian region of West Africa. They are most famous for establishing the empire of Mali, one of the wealthiest empires not only in the region but also in the entire medieval world. Some scholars have even estimated that its most famous Mansa (Emperor), Mansa Musa, was the richest man to have ever lived, with a net worth equivalent to $400 billion today (for comparison, Elon Musk, the current richest man, has “only” $288.9 billion).


  • Malinke villagers mine gold at a 25% faster rate.
  • Malinke traders return 20% more gold and move faster.
  • Malinke archers and crossbowmen have enhanced attack due to poisoned arrows.
  • Malinke can build a special structure called the Ranch, which is similar to the Mongols’ Pasture, except they raise cattle instead of sheep. Cattle cost about 15 gold each and cannot be herded in from the wilderness, but they provide 400 food each instead of the sheep’s 250.
  • Malinke fortifications cost ~33% less stone, although they have fewer hitpoints.

The Malinke landmarks are all based on the caste system ubiquitous among Mande-speaking societies in West Africa, with each representing one of the professional castes (or nyamakala) in Mande society.
Nyamakala of Blacksmiths (Age II): A special Blacksmith that heals surrounding units and provides technological upgrades at a 20% discount.
Nyamakala of Leatherworkers (Age II): Raises all unit armor by 10%.
Nyamakala of Djeli (Age III): Allows you to train the Djeli.
Nyamakala of Potters (Age III): Raises building hitpoints and allows villages to carry 5+ of any resource.
Nyamakala of Hunters (Age IV): Reduces the cost of archer and gunpowder units (e.g. the Dozo) by 20%.
Nyamakala of Scholars (Age IV): A special University with accelerated research speeds.


  • Cattle, special livestock that must be raised at the ranch.
  • Djeli (or griot), a traveling musician who increases unit speed and attack rates within his surrounding radius.
  • Dozo, a huntsman armed with a primitive firearm that has superior range and speed to the default Hand Cannoneer.
  • Farimba, a replacement for the knight with both ranged and melee capabilities.

The Malinke wonder will be the Great Mosque at Djenne, as pictured below.


good concept and malians would be great addition, but i think well have to wait a bit… also would need some extra unique techs

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I mean, I don’t expect this to be made overnight or even that soon. I just wanted to get something out there for the civ I’d like to see most in a DLC.

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How would you balance the lack of gunpowder units?

Some interesting ideas, you can elaborate. Hausa / Mali definitely is one of the coolest civs in AoE 3 (AoE 2 civs are all the same), very unique and distinct architecture. I strongly support 1-2 African civs in AoE 4.

Mansa Musa was one wealthy dude indeed, kinda liked the focus on long-distance trade, cattle raising, professional castes, longbows with poison arrows, and the traveling musician idea.

The notion of music to boost morale and motivation is not exotic at all.

Including in the military. It would be awesome in AoE 4.

Actually the idea of official army bands (mehter in Turkish I think), that every single nation on Earth has today, was invented in the 11th century by the Turks and they used it extensively, even more so in the great superpower Ottoman Empire.

Heck, it is even used nowadays in things like holidays or football matches.


Hmm…maybe the Dozo could be a gunpowder unit of sorts, with a primitive rifle or musket? Their modern-day equivalents in the region today use firearms.

I asked because they didn’t have gunpowder, thats the reason they were conquered by the Saadis.

You’re thinking of the Songhai Empire, which conquered the Malians and were in turn conquered by the Saadis.

OP has been updated with a few refinements.

Thank you for updating this really cool concept man! Keep refining it if possible. I support this Topic. :muscle:

I think the idea of using traveling musicians to boost villagers and the overall Mali economy is one of the best DLC civ concept ideas in the Forum.


Don’t expect accurate representation or just a mere presence of civs from these devs, who didn’t even bother researching the difference between Kievan Rus and Moscovia, and lumping them together into one blob like every other aoe dev before them. It’s really disappointing

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