Civ Concept: The Seven Fires

The Oceti Sakowin: AKA the Seven Fires

The Seven Fires are a confederacy of Plains Natives in North America. Y’all probably know them by the incorrect name Sioux. Oceti Sakowin is their endonym, while I’ve elected to use “Seven Fires” since that is what it translates to in English.
Yes, I am aware that the Lakota are in AoE3 - However, the Lakota are only one of the three nations that make up the Seven Fires, and, for those of you counting, the Lakota are only one of the Seven Fires. Each Council Fire is a different major tribe, although the other six are roughly the same size as the Lakota are on their own. So, despite only being one of the seven fires, the Lakota are roughly half the population of the Seven Fires.
Regardless, that’s still half the population of the confederacy not being utilized within the game, which I think opens up a very interesting direction for the Seven Fires to be taken in AoE4.

Base Differences

The Seven Fires, being Native, are going to have a few differences in their foundation. Here’s an outline of the most basic.

Gold/Stone -> "Merit"

The Seven Fires, due to religious beliefs, cannot mine gold or stone directly. In return, however, they would be able to build a Market Workshop in Age 1, and their aging-up costs would be changed to Food+Wood rather than Food+Gold. The Market Workshop would combine elements of the normal Market with that of the Siege Workshop and tie in closely with the Blacksmith (maybe rename it to Armory just for consistency), and would generate Dog Caravans for free, over time. The downside is that Dog Caravans would move faster, have less health, and gather less Merit over time than a normal Trade Caravan would gain in gold. Merit would have similar uses to gold, but not quite the same - Merit would be used to gain technology related to metalworking and siege, and be usable by a unique unit similar to the Mongolian Khan and the Egyptian Pharoah - the Seven Fires’ Heyoka may use Merit as a special ability when in-combat to instantly gain technology otherwise unavailable to the Seven Fires. (More on the Heyoka later.)


As there is a need to replace two resources instead of just one, the second replacement would be for Horses. Horses would be gained slowly through trade from the Market Workshop, but killing cavalry units from the enemy would also grant the Seven Fires Horses as well. Cavalry for the Seven Fires would require at least one Horse, and upgrading Villagers into Khuwa - a mounted villager that requires no drop site - would require a horse as well. (The entire civ is aiming to become nomadic as the game progresses, the villagers need the ability to be nomadic as well.) The Heyoka would also be upgradeable into a mounted unit at some point in the game as well.
Stables would require X Horses to build, but would offer technology to slowly generate Horses over time. I would suggest putting a build limit on Stables for the Seven Fires to avoid people building a dozen at a time to explode their Horse amount.


Much shorter. The Seven Fires would be able to research a technology that would allow them to passively replant trees over time, or some other similar way to regenerate wood. As Merit and Horses are both going to be less plentiful than Gold or Stone, it stands to reason that the Seven Fires’ focus would shift heavily onto Wood/Food.


The Seven Fires would begin with a high food gather rate from berries and the ability to construct farms for free, but have no way to improve the gather rate from farms or berries. However, they would have the ability to construct a Lure-type building that would allow the map to generate One bison per square on the map, with a per-square cooldown of something like 10 minutes. (I don’t know if this is possible, but it’s a cool idea.) This, combined with their high food necessity, would force the Seven Fires to become nomadic over time to improve their economy.

More Specific Things

the Heyoka

Heyoka are a religious figure in the culture of the Seven Fires - they are meant to be the best of us, a high-standing figure in a tribe… that is also an outcast. They are known as the Contrarian Clowns, and are an important figure in a tribe. They are leaders, and well-respected, but they are not in any official position of power. They are just respected and well-known. For the game, the Seven Fires would start with an infantry-type Heyoka, a fast-moving scout-type unit. Over the game, different age-up choices would allow the player to customize the usage of the Heyoka, although all would require eventually investing into making the Heyoka a mounted unit.

the Blacksmith (the Armory)

Deceptively simple. The Armory would require Merit to research items more directly and quicker, but when connected to a Market Workshop, Dog Caravans would passively slowly train Armory techs over time for free, similar to the Delhi Sultanate slowly being able to research all techs for free.


  1. Spearman. I don’t think the Seven Fires should have a dedicated spearman. We didn’t fight cavalry on foot, we fought cavalry with cavalry. The weapons available were ill-suited to fighting cavalry as well.
  2. MAA. Visually, just give them a ballhead warclub. Less armor than most MAA units, but much faster. Like the Palace Guard taken to an extreme. Not a unit the Seven Fires can upgrade very heavily.
  3. Archer. Even children had to be competent with a bow from a young age. Archers should be heavily upgradeable and powerful.
  4. Crossbow. We did not have crossbows. However, we did use javelins. Replace Crossbows with Javelineers, make them a UU, and name them Igluwinyan. Javelins are, from a cultural standpoint, uniquely a woman’s weapon. The Igluwinyan would be an all-female UU, and heavily upgradeable.
  5. Horseman. Make them heavily upgradeable, and give them higher stats than normal, due to the requirement of having Horses alongside food+wood to train Horseman. Also, rename to Wahukheza, as the entire Seven Fires’ military would be mixed gender. War is not uniquely a men’s job. Women can do it just as well. These should be somewhere between a Knight and a Horseman in stats and job.
  6. Knight. Replace them with a mounted Igluwinyan. Rename them Sunkayanka Win if you like.
  7. UU - Akicita. These would be a generic cavalry unit with the ability to switch between melee and ranged mode, giving them the ability to respond to many situations. They would be expensive.

And just to reiterate, all military units should be of the ability to be male or female. War is not only a men’s job. Women could go to war, and often did.

Unique Buildings

House: Tipi. These would double as resource drop-sites and increase the amount of food/wood gathered from resources nearby them. Encourage players to move around with them, even after upgrading all villagers to Khuwa.
Market Workshop: Explained above.
Armory: Explained above.
Stable: Explained above.
Thipasotka: Tower-type structure that can be placed on Gold Mines and Stone Nodes to claim them for the Seven Fires player, generating Merit over time. Units may be garrisoned within to fire. They do not have to be placed on nodes, but only generate Merit when on a node.
Lure: Buildable by a Heyoka. Generates Buffalo on all available squares within the vicinity of the Lure.
Walls: Palisade and Strong Palisade, similar to the Rus.


Ngl, this is the most difficult part of the civ’s design. Deliberately not building massive structures was sort of religious, so “Landmarks” would be more akin to just the ability to do certain things with natural resources. I’ll have to think more on this particular one.

Anyway, that’s about all I got. If you read this far, good job! I have no idea how I kept my attention on this one particular topic long enough to actually write this much down.


@Darkillermon @HolyArtifact92 @Szaladon
I pinged you three because I know you three are the most interested in this. Read if you like.


nice post mate, looks neat AF

This game ends in 1550, 1600 max dude. There were no horse units for seven nations in that time and when we are at it there was no unified confederacy for most of AoE 4 timeframe.

If we want to add Indians Aztecs, Incas and Tlaxcalans make much more sense.


Again, wow. I can’t help it that I keep forgetting that we didn’t exist until the Europeans found us.
Forgive me, I can’t remember this fact. Ever.


You should remember it by this point I told you several times in last few days already :smiley:

Still using straw man and not answering my points. There was no 7 fires cavalry before 1650 and that’s generous. Whole confederacy only started to exist in some form in 14 15 century etc. Its out of a AoE 4 scope.


Thank you for this post and respect to your heritage :relaxed:

What would the campaigns be like? I’m curious to know :relaxed:

Maybe for landmarks you could do bigger and more intricate tents? Compared to the rest. Like how in AOE II their wonder is just this giant tent.

The designs don’t have to be 100% accurate. As long as it doesn’t disrespect the culture and religion.

I’m not sure about any sort of campaign, NGL. The lack of a written language, unfortunately, doesn’t leave much trail for exact people and things that happened.
Might be interesting to have some instances fighting the Spanish in the south for horses, and that being a way to introduce the player to the whole Horse mechanic, as you have to steal horses from the Spanish to advance in the campaign.

EDIT: Landmarks. If anything, I think it’d be great if the Landmarks are literal landmarks, like the Black Hills and Bear Lodge (Devil’s Tower). One that can produce buffalo constantly would be an excellent one, as well, maybe relating to the long-grass prairies.
Otherwise, things like the Badlands might actually make for an interesting strategic landmark. For the Seven Fires, it might not be so much about the landmarks being destroyed so much as the Seven Fires losing control of the landmarks.

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Oh I see what you mean.

It’s similar to the Aztec campaign in AOE II when the Aztecs stole the horses and siege from the Spanish.

I think having a native civ nof buildings not made of stone or wood would be such an amazing asymmetry idea.

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The Mongols already have Stone but use it for something completely different.
I think that could work here as well.
Gold and Stone are not mined and serve a different purpose but are still called Gold and Stone.
Kinda like giving them two different Ovoo.

The Bison could also work similar to the Mongol Sheep just that they are Gaia instead of being controlled.

Same could be true for the Landmarks. What if Landmarks could be captured instead of destroyed because they are not buildings.
They need a monk to be captured like secret sights.

I also think that Horses should be limited to Imperial Age. Else this would make them very anachronistic.
But because the game rarely reaches Imperial Age it’s hard to design this civilisation well.
The early ages should to be more designed as the Mississipian civilisation.
That means that more none cavalry units are needed.

Turning nomadic would be the opposite of my idea for the Turks and Hungarians which could make for interesting gameplay.

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Love Native American history and cultures but most of them simply do not fit in the timeline of AOE4, mostly because we know relatively little about their history. The only acceptable American civ imo is Mayans.

I’m happy with the representation of the Lakota and Iroquois in AOE3 and I would love to see more fully playable Native American civs in AOE3 (as unlikely as that is unfortunately) but shoehorning them into AOE4 is no answer.


I don’t agree.
AoE4 is probably the best possible game in the series.
We don’t know much about Ancient America and during colonial times they had a huge population and technological disadvantage.

The Aztecs and Inca don’t make much sense in AoE3 because they predate basically everything else in the game.
They would fit perfectly into AoE4 because they did come into power at the end of the Middle Ages.
On the other side the Maya where mostly in decline during that time.
But there are other civilisations that would make sense like the Chimu that got conquered by the Inca around the time Constantinople got conquered by the Ottomans or enemies of the Aztec like the Mixtec or Zapotec.

I think the Inca and Aztec could easily added in combination with 1-2 neighbouring civilisations in one DLC each.


Wow. You’re incredibly well-studied on the Seven Fires. As a European, I wish I was taught more things like this. Here we mostly consider Native Americans as an abstract part of history, but this definitely says otherwise.

On my trip to the Americas to study wildlife my guide was Cherokee. He would tell us incredibly oral stories that I couldn’t have even fathomed beforehand. The culture is incredibly rich and different to other parts of the world.

I hope they add civilizations like this in the close or distant future. European civs dominate the numbers in all Age games unfortunately. Realistically, most European countries were insignificant compared to nations such as China back then. What kicked them off was trade and colonizing in the 1600s-1900s. Don’t get me wrong, there were significant Europeans, but they were few at the time. Including my homeland Ireland, where we have never been too powerful, but we have an in-depth culture.

The whole ‘who is more powerful should be in’ argument is useless anyways. Look at Shogun 2 Total War. There’s like 20 factions, and none of them are that powerful at all besides the one that rules Kyoto. That’s how historical games should be, representative as possible. I’m not saying we should only have tiny nations, but usually the most abstract civilizations have the most interesting cultures because of how unknown they are to us. We should be exposed to more cultures and traditions than just the European ones. Every single part of the world has a historic value of it’s own.

Edit: Packing for a flight. Can’t respond for a bit.


In case it wasn’t clear, I am of the Oceti Sakowin myself. It’s not hard to study yourself :joy::joy:


Hmm. NO. Really? What a surprise.

Imo the Cuzco and the Chimu have plenty of history that could find their way into AOE4, especially since they had metalworking.

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I don’t know how Incas can’t be in the game tbh. They build an empire (fit perfect in age of EMPIRE), they had huge population and huge impact in south america, they had their own technology (fit perfect in term of asymetry) and they ended arround 1530 (and for if it matter, they are connected with the old continent). Moreover, we have a decent amount of knowledge about them.

Objectively speaking there are not better civ designed to be in aoe4 coming from americ, and i have zero connection with their culture (it’s not even a civ i want play)


Fr. Incans make a lot of sense for a game like this. They had technologically advanced irrigation and architecture, and it was on mountains. Their economy rivaled even those overseas.

By all qualifications they are an empire.


By some qualifications, it was the largest empire on the planet at the time.

Here’s the rough area of the Inca (modern day Peru and Chile) superimposed on AoE4’s present neighborhood. (you can play along at


Holyyyy ■■■■, I didn’t even realize how big it was. Ireland is incredibly tiny compared to that!