Civilization Idea: Ghanaians

The Ghanaians represent the Ghana Empire, which predated the Mali Empire. Despite this, they have access to Hand Cannoneers and Cannon Galleons as a nod to the kingdoms succeeding them embracing gunpowder. The Ghanaians have the African architecture set, which is extra fitting given that the Monastery for that set is based on Larabanga Mosque in Ghana. Their unique Castle is an original one inspired by the rough stonework and adornment of the traditional village of Ouadane, the old tower of which is also the Ghanaian Wonder.

The Ghanaians primarily focus on camels and monks, though they have full infantry and foot archers as well. Due to their powerful aggression, their defenses are quite poor, lacking several key technologies.

With all that said, let’s delve into their civ bonuses:

Civilization Bonuses

  • Selling food gains 25% more gold; buying food costs 25% less

This is a little confusing, so let me explain it. Basically, the displayed cost for buying food is 25% higher than it actually is, and the displayed gain from selling food is 25% lower. So while the base commodity trading fee remains at the normal rate, the Ghanaians have a better food-to-gold exchange than any other civilization except the Saracens.

This bonus references merchants having to pay an extra tax of one gold dinar on imports of salt, and two on exports.

  • Heavy Camel Rider upgrade available in Castle Age

The Ghana Empire quickly embraced the camel and it became important to their economy and trade with North Africa. While they probably didn’t use it in combat so much, it was undoubtedly important to their growth.

  • Trade units cost no gold, but cost 50% more wood

The Ghana Empire had a large network with not only other West African nations, but also North Africa, and grew very rich as a result.

  • Monks take 33% less bonus damage

While the Ghana Empire was never fully Muslim, it did have a relationship with Muslim scholars. However, Ghana itself had traditional African beliefs.

  • Team bonus: Camel units +2 LOS

Of course, this further references Ghana’s embracing of camels for transport and trade, as well as possibly combat.

Unique Unit: Mazalim

  • The Mazalim is essentially a medium cavalry unit with only 8 attack (9 for Elite). However, its main feature is that it gains extra attack for each kill, up to +7. This means that a fully-buffed Elite Mazalim can have 20 attack. However, this comes with the drawback of each individual unit being buffed separately, rather than all at once, meaning that veteran Mazalims need to be kept alive until they can gain full strength.

  • Mazalim is an Arab term for a particular form of justice. In the Ghana Empire, this term was used, at least by Arab sources, for court officials surrounding the king that could also be princes or nobles.

Unique Technologies
Camel Caravans: Camel Riders +2/+2 armor

  • Cost: 300 food, 150 gold

  • This technology gives Camel Riders essentially the same armor stats as Knights. However, they still have significantly less attack, so are not a full replacement for the Knight line. They just become better at tanking arrows than normal Camel Riders, and also take less damage from melee units. Combined with Heavy Camel Riders being available in the Castle Age, Ghanaian Camels are top-tier.

  • Camel caravans, or camel trains, were an important aspect of trans-Saharan trade, as well as the Silk Road and the Muslim hajj. The Ghana Empire was an important center of trade in West Africa during its peak, and many camel caravans would’ve traveled back and forth through the empire.

Madhhab: Monasteries generate gold without relics; Monks ignore conversion resistance

  • Cost: 1000 food, 800 gold

  • This technology is situational in terms of the economic impact of Monasteries generating gold, since it is only 15 gold per minute for one. Considering the cost (same as Imperial Age), it will take a while to pay back the gold cost alone, even with multiple Monasteries. It does stack with Relics, though, and this can make a slight difference. However, the impact the technology has on Monks is substantial. The effects of Faith and First Crusade are completely ignored, as well as any conversion-resistant units. This means that Heresy alone is enough to deter a full force of Ghanaian Monks, particularly since every single technology is available. Monks also take less bonus damage, so even if a Hussar can get close, it will probably not be able to kill a Monk before it’s converted. While the technology is expensive and difficult to get going, its impact is enormous, giving the Ghanaians the best late-game Monks out of any civ, except for possibly the Aztecs.

  • A madhhab is a school of thought in the Islamic world. There are four main madhhabs in Sunni Islam; the Maliki branch is popular in North and West Africa. While the Ghana Empire itself was not Muslim, it interacted greatly with Muslim scholars, and became Muslim after it was conquered.

Tech Tree

Missing Units: Eagle line, Elephant Archer line, Heavy Cavalry Archer, Paladin, Battle Elephant line, Steppe Lancer line, Siege Onager, Bombard Cannon, Fast Fire Ship, Heavy Demolition Ship, Elite Cannon Galleon.

Missing Techs: Parthian Tactics, Hoardings, Plate Barding Armor, Architecture, Keep, Heated Shot, Bombard Tower, Arrowslits, Crop Rotation, Gold Shaft Mining, Shipwright.


If you’re gonna give them camel los then NOT giving the camel scout is an economic slap in the face especially with a rather muted Saracens market as their only early bonus otherwise. And in the end it feels like it falls off a cliff later in the game. Like an Aztec or Viking Post imp late game is a better situation to be in. The only unit they have a bonus for is camels which ends up as +1/0 armor in the long run. And everything else is kinda generic otherwise. Compared to other camels the only bonus is getting heavy earlier. Do they get imperial? It feels likea place that it would be okay

Then again generatinf gold without relics can be scary if you just build a bunch of holy gold only feitorias…

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I guess not giving them Plate Barding Armor was a bit of a mistake.

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Sorta. 5/6 armor is pretty scary but its the only real unit the civ sorta encourages outright. That said the only bonus they can fall on is a food only market bonus hence I recommend camel scout if only because of tge otherwise meager team bonus for non Gujara

Some boni are cool like monks ignoring conversion resistance and heavy camel one age earlier would make them the Burgundians of camels kinda.

I think Ghana empire is an exonym derived from their ruler called a “Ghana”. Something derived from Ouagadougou would make more sense.
Also if the civ just represent the Ghanian empire it’s basically a dark age civ since the empire fell between 1000 and 1200 to leave space to Malian kingdoms like the ones of sundjata and sumanguru. So they shouldn’t have hand cannons and cannon galleons I guess unless you want to represent Ghana in a more wide sense but that would probably step on current Malians foot.

Sicilians but limited to Monk only? Or Sicilians monks don’t have the extra armor?

Otherwise, very cool bonuses overall.

Correct. The Sicilian bonus does not apply to Monks.

Hello Apocalypso, I do not know much of the history of the Ghana Empire or the Soninke. But it would be cool for them to be added and represent the Sosso dynasty in the Sundjata campaign. So I will just comment on the civ design:

Another market bonus that is similar to the Saracens, but limited to food only. It would be good for delaying farms for a very Fast Castle, and also great late game when gold runs out in 1v1s. I believe 25% is the same as Saracens since the commodity trading fee is 30%, and the Saracens is only 5%; therefore they are buying resources 25% cheaper and selling for 25% more. I like this, but maybe bump it to 30% to differentiate it more.

Similar to Burgundians, but for Camels. Along with the Castle Age UT, this will completely shut down any cavalry play and cavalry civs. It might be too strong, my suggestion to balance is to move the Camels +2/2 UT to Imp Age.

Nice trade bonus. I believe this also means “Trade units’ gold cost replaced by wood” ?

This is a powerful bonus for monks, and would make them great for relic control.

Ok bonus, strong when teamed with gurjara camel scout.

Interesting mechanic, but maybe also provide other stats of the unit to better assess its strength. They can potentially be really strong since they are cavalry and can easily disengage, although challenging to micro. I like it.

I believe that this is too strong for Castle Age considering they can also get Heavy Camel. My suggestion is to move it to Imp Age like the Gurjara Frontier Guards.

I believe this tech is too powerful on both ends.

Monasteries generating 15 gold per minute is just too high, and easily exploitable in many situations considering you can easily spam Monasteries late game due to them costing only 175W. A safe/pocket player can easily create 30 monasteries behind his base and can generate 450 gold per minute which is bonkers. Resource trickles is tricky to balance so such bonuses is better to be limited behind a building that costs stone or to workers (Burgundian Vineyards, Paper Money) which take population room, or the trickle is significantly toned down. Additionally, since your civ has access to guilds, and a great food selling profit by late game, which is already very good on its own, this civ will be swimming in gold even without gold mines. Balance wise, I think you only should only have one of the other.

As for the Monks ignoring conversion resistance, this will effectively eliminate all counters to your Monks, which is broken. With access to all Monk techs, your Monk-Siege-Halb push will be unstoppable. A civ without Heresy will have no answer for this. Such mechanics that nullify counterplay is unhealthy and frustrating to play against, so I suggest a redesign for this tech.

The lack of many important techs in their tech tree is quite too crippling considering this civ only excels at Camels and Monks. Lacking Plate Barding Armor, this means your Camels will only have 1 melee armor ahead of vanilla ones, and will be weak compared to other Camel civs, so they must get this tech, otherwise you are pretty much just cancelling out the effect of their UT. Also, they must get more ship techs since they are not absurdly strong on land, and more of the defensive techs since their siege isn’t great either. My suggestion is to also gain Fast Fire Ship, Hoardings, Heated Shot, and Crop Rotation(to synergize well with your food selling bonus).

So that’s it for my suggestions. It would be nice for this African civ to be also added in the future. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I think the Monastery bonus is fun on paper, but nightmarish in practise. I’d compare it to Feitoria, however they are significantly cheaper (only wood cost), take NO population space (so you can just start spamming Monasteries at some corner of the map and buy back the wood for new ones). This needs to be limited to for example only X amount of Monasteries and tech made cheaper, in my opinion.

The trade bonus is fun, though it feels a little awkward as a civ bonus, since it only affects team games. Similar team-game only bonuses have been also criticized in the past (f.e. Silk Road) as having no relevance in 1v1 games. I’m also not sure about the market trade bonus, it feels a little contrived.

The Imperial UT also feels very important for the civ, to the point where if they don’t get it, they’ll likely die, as the other bonuses they get are just for Camels, so you’d want to play like, Arb + Heavy Camel (or Xbow in Castle), and outside of that… you have just Monks. Usually monks are paired with a Fast Imp strategy, where the tech is too expensive to get immediately, but hey - you can buy food cheaper! And then it just shuts down all other counterplays. And you have Halberdier + Camel to take out any Scout-line that tries to go for snipes anyway.

I don’t think I’m a fan of the ‘unit no longer ignores conversion resistance’ bonus, it feels like a straight upgrade from Inquisition, though slightly different. :person_shrugging:

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Didn’t know that.

Anyway, your market bonus, as pointed out, just a worse Saracens bonus.

The Mazlin can be taken advantage at high level play because a smarter enemies will look at the first see one turn to hit their in the red unit and press delete. Who grtd the bonus then. If anything I think maybe all Mazalin who are in proximity of an enemy who was hit by you or an ally in the last 15-20 seconds could be more fair as at this point you can have the troop grow together

I love it, Great Idea.

I was hoping for something like that for all units in the game, where individual experience counts for something… maybe faster movement for siege weapons, faster firing for missile-throwing units, or as you suggest more attack for veteran units.

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As someone who doesn’t have any knowledge on Ghanaians history, here is a Camel and monk civ without a market bonus so that it won’t feel like a Saracens spin off.

Team Bonus : Camel Rider +2 LOS

Civilization Bonus :

  • TC techs are 50% cheaper.
  • Redemption is free (Yes, I know).
  • Camel Rider +1 PA.

UTs :

  • Camel Rider +5 attack bonus vs Archer. (200 food, 200 gold, 40 seconds)
  • Monk can be garrisoned inside monastery and generate 10 gold/min. (600 food, 500 gold, 50 seconds)

Tech Tree :
Barracks : No Supplies, Halbedier,
Archery Range : No Elite Skirms, HCA and Parthian Tactics
Stable : No Paladin, BE, SL
Siege Workshop : No SO, HS
Blacksmith : No last armor for archer
Eco : No last farm and stone upgrade, guild
University : No BT, Treadmill Crane, Arrowslit, Architecture, Heated Shot, Keep
Dock : No Heavy Demo, Fast Fire Ship, Shipwright
Monastery : No Heresy
Castle : No Hoardings

This civ is actually WORSE! The lack of Eskirms and final armor means that your 5 PA camels will not cost effectively kill death balls of archers. Half cost TC techs by itself is okay but probably isnt enough. The only good units they get are arbs hand cannon and apparwnt Ele archers missing last armor. And champions without supplies and therefore gambesons as well

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I know. Free Redemption stopped me from making the civ any stronger. Maybe I’ll add another PA to Camel Rider in Imperial Age. Ever since Gurjaras, I want someone else joins Turks in the rest case - no E.Skirms. But right after posting this civ, I realized I just can’t make a civ not having E.Skirms nor Knight. That is even worse than Dravidians design. 11

But a Viking who gets those important TC techs for free is going to be all over you with Archers or crossbows befoee you can even think of redeeming his structures.

Your window against him is to hope you can grab his mangonel before the xbows or it can flatten your monks and because no knights or eskirms things only get harder from there

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What’s wrong with this kind of bonus? It’s what I gave to the Georgians in my concept, and I feel like they weren’t that strong.

I kinda agree that ideally another market bonus shouldnt go for a camel civ and the bonus to me seems quite gimmicky but sure.

This gimmick at least to me kind of sucks. Not in tge semse that is bad but in the sense thats way too hard to use properly partixularly since the unit is probably not tanky nor that strong either

It would be fine if it wasnt for it being in castle age alongaide the early heavy camel.

Nah a building that you can build as many as you want and generates eesources doesnt fit the game.

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Why not put a cap on the gold you get from monasteries?

It’s probably better to not give them that bonus at all, this is just an alternative.