Civilization Idea: Inuit

The Inuit represent the Thule people of North America and Greenland, including the Skraelings who attacked the Norse settlers in Canada. They have a unique architecture set; the Feudal Age architecture is sod-based and represents the fall dwellings of the Inuit, while the Castle Age architecture is made of snow and represents winter dwellings, like igloos; the Imperial Age architecture, as well as the Monastery and Castle, is made of piles of stones, with the occasional whale bone, and is largely inspired by inuksuit. The Inuit Wonder is Inuksuk Point, the largest group of inuksuit in the world.

The Inuit are an archer and naval civilization, which is justified by them having independently developed crossbows and other types of advanced bows, and using ships to navigate and fish.

Let’s talk about their civ bonuses.

Civilization Bonuses

  • Start with 3 Caribou

Caribou, or reindeer, would be a new type of huntable animal in snowy maps, and the Inuit would start with three under their TC in addition to normal huntables. In a Nomad start, the Caribou would spawn after the TC was built.

Caribou live in the northern parts of North America and Siberia, and they were probably frequently hunted by the Inuit and other Arctic peoples.

  • Archer line upgrades free

As mentioned before, the Inuit independently developed crossbows free of contact with anyone else, and while they were mostly used for hunting, they could also be used for combat.

  • Fishing Ships and Galleys take -50% bonus damage

The Inuit were skilled shipbuilders, and mostly built them for fishing, but they could presumably also be used for combat. They knew how to make robust ships that held up under pressure.

  • Careening, Dry Dock, Gillnets free

This, of course, further references the Inuit skill with shipbuilding and their typical usage of ships for fishing.

  • Team bonus: Ranged units and Town Centers can safely hunt animals

Most Inuit ranged weapons were designed as hunting weapons first, but they could double as combat weapons in times of need.

Unique Unit 1: Qimmiq

  • The Qimmiq is a mounted archer riding a dogsled. It is the only mounted option for the Inuit, and the only hit-and-run archer available. This alone gives the unit an important role in raiding, but it also has high pierce armor and 3 archer armor (5 for Elite). This means that even Elite Skirmishers will do very little damage to the Qimmiq. Pikes are the best counter, since the Qimmiq does not have a bonus against them and the Inuit do not have Parthian Tactics.

  • Like all the other Inuit units aside from their ships, the Qimmiq is tanky and expensive, and perhaps exemplifies their archetype the best. Without the proper units to handle pike counters, the Qimmiq will be difficult to deal with, as skirmishers are woefully ineffective. Sheer numbers alone, or high pierce damage units like Conquistadors and Arambai, are the only options against it.

  • Qimmiq is the Inuit word for “dog.” The Inuit and other North American native peoples have a long heritage of using dogs for transport. Riding dog sleds for sport or transport is still popular in snowy regions to this day, and is known as mushing.

Unique Unit 2: Kayak

  • The Kayak is a combat ship that possesses high pierce armor and a high attack bonus against other ships. It is maneuverable and easy to micro. However, it does not have as much HP or attack as other ships.

Unique Techs
Bone Armor: Swordsmen, Eagle Warriors, and Crossbowmen take -50% bonus damage

  • Cost: 500 food, 500 gold

  • This technology makes swordsmen, eagles, and the archer line significantly more tanky against their counters. The Inuit do not have an especially good counter to swordsmen, so their eagles being more tanky against them is useful, and helps them last longer.

  • The Inuit did not have a lot of wood available, being residents of arctic regions with basically no trees, so when they didn’t use the little driftwood that washed ashore, they used the bones of large ocean creatures like whales and walruses. They created a form of laminar armor just using bones, and it probably had similar protection as European plate armor or Asian lamellar armor.

Cable-Backed Bow: Arbalesters, Qimmiqs, and Kayaks fire 25% faster

  • Cost: 750 food, 450 gold

  • This technology essentially grants a second Thumb Ring, but only to three units. With this tech, Inuit Arbalesters become the fastest-firing archer unit in the game, Elite Qimmiqs gain a significant attack boost, and Kayaks become a truly threatening naval unit. Although Bracer is missing and therefore so is one range, the DPS boost granted by the tech is substantial, and Inuit Arbalesters become truly top-tier, especially since they’re upgraded for free and instantly.

  • The cable-backed bow is a type of bow which is reinforced by a cable in the back, which seems fairly obvious based on the name. This cable increases the bow’s tensile strength and makes it less likely to break. In the case of the Inuit, they used animal sinews as the cable, which not only reinforced the bow, but also increased its power.

Tech Tree

Missing Units: Halberdier, Elephant Archer, Cavalry Archer, Hand Cannoneer, entire Stable, Siege Ram, Siege Onager, Bombard Cannon, Demolition Raft, Cannon Galleon.

Missing Techs: Supplies, Parthian Tactics, Redemption, Atonement, Heresy, Sanctity, Block Printing, cavalry armor, Bracer, Architecture, Keep, Bombard Tower, Arrowslits, Crop Rotation, Gold Shaft Mining, Stone Shaft Mining.

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“If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all” - Charles Colton
With that in mind, here is my critique of the civ:

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Um, did you mean for it to be completely blank?

@Apocalypso4826 he’s saying he has nothing nice to say about your civ design. So he’s “saying” a whole bunch of “nothing”.

I was afraid of that…

Look, if you hate my idea, blame Sandy Petersen. It was his idea!

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He was making a joke.

Sure didn’t sound like one to me.

AI names? Possible campaigns? I can come up only with Santa Claus but I’m not best at Inuit history tbh.
But I recognise the qimmiqs are a cool meme unit in Mamelukes fashion!

Even if we ditch the campaign and only have a historical battle its still hard to find one.

Obvious problem about adding and NA native people is the lack of AI names.

You have a similar problem for many aoe1 civs actually but in that case it’s more because of lack of info, here could just be lack of any impact.

While I think an Inuit civ could be interesting, I’m not sure about the bonuses.

Starting with 3 medium Hunt is okay (assuming they have 140 food), cool. Archer line upgrades free meaning they are researched instantly, or just cost nothing? I think right now, ‘x upgrade free’ means it’s instantly researched. This could be a very strong bonus in of its own, but if it’ll be the major bonus for the civ I guess it’ll be OK.

and the Dock techs being free… I feel like is a bit too much. I’m not an expert on water fights, but isn’t like, most of the actual behind-the-scenes damage revolving around bonus damage? So taking -50% bonus damage would be really important and that’s on top of already getting important Dock techs for free.

I’m not exactly sure how goofy the unit would look on non-snow maps. I’m also not sold on the description. If the counter is pikemen, but is a hit-and-run archer, it’ll be uncounterable. You also get free Archer-line upgrades, so dealing with Pikemen is really not a problem. I feel like the unit should be weak to melee in this case, so that Knights/Camels could reasonably well deal with it.

While true, I feel like this is just very awkwardly powerful. I’d somewhat have some other UT and have them get Bracer.

I think one of the issues of having an Inuit civilization is the fact that we’re talking about very small groups of people, even by Medieval standards. As far as I know, there were no Inuit states, only very small hunter-gatherer communities. There was a cohesive culture, sure, but each Inuit community was very small and insular, which makes them feel a little out of place when placed alongside other AoE2 civs - even the nomadic civs had confederacies with large armies, something you just wouldn’t see with the Inuit.

Also, I believe there is some debate over the identity of the Skraelings who attacked the Norse settlements in Vinland? The Norsemen called all native North Americans ‘Skraelings’ without differentiation. I know I’ve heard some people suggest that they might have been an Algonquinian people, rather than Inuit.

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I would rather see the Algonquinian as a civ and the Thule as a scenario only unit.
However the dog sled unit is visual very striking to me but might indeed look very goofy in the AoE II engine.

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They’re researched instantly, like the Bulgarian swordsman bonus.

Yeah, I think I overdid it with water bonuses. I was debating removing the free techs, especially since they already get archer upgrades for free. The intended playstyle of the Inuit is to have expensive but tanky units, but this is too much.

I was thinking that the Qimmiq has speed on the level of the War Wagon, so hit-and-run isn’t that easy. Maybe I can give it negative cavalry armor so it takes extra damage from pikes and Camels.

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Maybe I would’ve been better off keeping the Skraeling name for the civ, so it can at least be an umbrella.

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I think ultimately it’s just a civilization idea, so not necessarily something that has to make sense in the AoE2 timeframe or be considered as a reasonable civilization to be added.

If I had to pick and choose, I’d remove the bonus damage reduction, but that’ll leave them with two get free techs, which is not that interesting either (similar to how Italians have everything discounted as an example).

And how would the Qimmiq be distinct from War Wagon, which is also a tanky high-PA unit? Except, War Wagon is actually vulnerable to Skirmishers, so it’s just an even tankier War Wagon?

Maybe I should reduce it to 33% (same as Sicilians). The impact is obviously way bigger though.

Ummm, I don’t know. It is the only mounted unit available to the Inuit, so that alone kinda gives it a unique role. It’s a bit less tanky than the WW, but has higher damage output overall, especially after Cable-Backed Bow.

As a civ design, you’ve got a couple of nice ideas.
I love the team bonus, and I’d actually advocate giving it to Britons. (Because its very nice flavour and also rather weak.)

I’m not sure how this would play out as a (pure) archer civ, the closest comparison I could see is the vikings, and in that comparison looks roughly fair to me.

As others already mentioned, you’ve overdone it with the water bonuses. Also I’m a bit tired of every expansion having a new ship while the old AOK civs retain the same navy.

The UU is wacky, and the whole civ is rather fantastical. But we’ve got camels throwing flaming sabers already, so nothing new there.

Speaking of the UU, the way you’ve described it it almost sounds uncounterable for many civs. It would be natural to make is slower than knights, and making sure that knights have a decent matchup. Could also give it “eagle” armour, but that’s more for flavour.
But then eagle civs also need a good counter, and the civ needs a good answer to knights and you’ve cut halberdiers out of the tech tree.

I think the post imp eagles need a huge boost to remain relevant, reduced bonus damage doesn’t cut it.
What would you think of:
Bone armour: eagle gold cost is replaced by wood cost
+ remove some eagle (blacksmith) techs. (Because Inuit having blast furnace and Plate Armour feels rather silly)

What if there was something like getting x% of gold while getting fish, just to represent this part of your research (which is always fun and interesting)?

Well, that’s fitting, considering they actually fought the Vikings.

Yeah, I agree. I’ll probably remove the free techs one and reduce the bonus damage resistance.

Yeah, I think that’s a good idea. It gives the unit an actual counter, since skirms are useless and they can simply outrun pikes.

I dunno about plate armor. Bone armor itself is actually similar in construction to laminar armor, which is a series of vertical plates, and I imagine that bone is quite hard and protective, so it’s not as big of a stretch as you think.

I like this idea!