Civilization Idea: the Dians/Bo/Baipu (2023 Update)

This is an update to my previous 2022 civ crafting about the Dians (please check this for reference: New Civ Concept: The Dians - Age of Empires II: DE / II - Discussion - Age of Empires Forum ). There are things that I’ve kept and also things that I’ve changed.

I haven’t decided on a specific name for this civ. It represents the medieval Nanzhao/Dali kingdoms which spanned from the 8th to the 13th century as well as other native tribes of South China (Li, Raeuz, Bo, Man/Hmong, etc.). Dians/Bo/Baipu all three names would work for this civ. I wouldn’t want to call this civ Yi/Lolo/Nuosu as someone else has suggested, mainly for 2 reasons: 1. To avoid unnecessary political troubles for this game since names like Yi/Lolo/Nuosu are still used by extant peoples whereas the names that I’ve suggested are all ancient and vague and aren’t used by any modern ethnic group. 2. Wanting this civ to represent a wider range of peoples not just the Yi, since South China was quite a diverse region at that time with many native tribes and also the exact ethnic origins of the Nanzhao/Dali ruling elite are still somewhat controversial.

Without further ado, let’s begin.


Archer and Monk civ

Civ Bonuses:

  • Mills can train water buffaloes that cost no pop space for 50 food each, starting from the Feudal Age

  • Monastery provides automatic healing for units within a radius of 5 x 5 from it (if too OP we could tune the radius down)

  • Foot archers move 5%/10%/15% faster in Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age (only applies to the archer line and not to skirmishers. The base speed for an archer is 0.96, and after speed boosts in the Imperial Age it will have a speed around 1.1, but judging by the fact that we have some infantry units going 1.2 and 1.3, I don’t think this will break the meta)

  • Have access to the unique production/gathering/defensive building called a Mbanj (will elaborate on this later)

Team Bonus:

  • Gains +10 gold for each successful conversion (pushes for aggressive monk play in the Castle Age)

Unique Techs:

  • Lacquered Leather Armor (Castle Age UT): team unique units +1 melee armor

  • Tea and Horse Road (Imperial Age UT): team players can train trash Knights at their markets for 100 Food and 0 Gold (can only train Knights at their markets and not Cavaliers or Paladins, and the Knights trained at the markets have basic stats and are not affected by Blacksmith upgrades, so don’t expect to defend your trade lines with these trash Knights only). A secondary effect is that after researching this tech, the player will receive a small trickle of gold (the rate remains undetermined). The rate will depend on the number of markets that the player has at the time of researching this tech, more markets means higher rate. However, to keep this tech from becoming too OP, the effect is no longer stackable after 3 markets, meaning that even if you have 10 markets built at the time of researching this tech, the rate of gold you’ll receive per minute will still be identical to 3 markets.

Unique Units

Castle Unique Unit: Luojuzi, a skirmisher with the speed akin to an Eagle Warrior and with a small bonus attack against cavalry, and unlike normal skirmishers this one costs gold to train.

Luojuzi Stats

  • Cost: 40 Wood 30 Gold

  • HP: 35 / 40 (elite)

  • Attack: 4 / 5 (elite) pierce

  • Attack bonuses: +2 / +3 (elite) vs Cavalry ; +1 / +2 (elite) vs Camel ; +1 vs Cavalry Archer

  • Rate of fire: 3.05

  • Frame delay: 20

  • Range: 5

  • Minimum range: 1

  • Accuracy: 95%

  • Projectile speed: 7

  • Melee armor: 0 / 1 (elite)

  • Pierce armor: 4

  • Armor classes: Archer, Skirmisher, Unique Unit

  • Speed: 1.25 (not affected by the civ bonus as it is a skirmisher)

  • LOS: 6

2nd Unique Unit: Raeuz tribesman. Major redesign for this unit compared to my civ crafting a year ago. This unit will no longer be trained at the Barracks but will only be trained at the Mbanj, which is a production/gathering/defensive building unique to this civ. To better represent the gender equality that had existed among the South China natives and the fact they’re part of a tribe, Raeuz tribesman now comes with a male and female version just like the Villagers, and whether you’ll get a male or female Raeuz tribesman is also completely random similar to how the Villagers are trained. This unit is now a 2-mode unit, it has an infantry mode and a gatherer mode. The default mode is infantry, but you can manually change it to gatherer. The change involves stats changes (see the stats below) so it’s not automatic. In the infantry mode, it fights just like any other infantry in game; in the gatherer mode, it can gather all resources similar to Villagers, but with two major differences: 1. it cannot build anything, not even the Mbanj, so to construct a Mbanj you’d still need Villagers. 2. it won’t drop resources to TC, mining camp, lumberjack, or mill like the Villagers do, the only resource dropping point for this unit is at the Mbanj, and it drops all types of resources there. This unit does not have any elite upgrade.

Raeuz Tribesman Stats:

  • Cost: 40 Food 25 Gold

  • HP: 45 (for both modes) / 50 ( for both modes after researching the tech Bronze Drums, will get to it later)

  • Attack: 8 melee (infantry mode) / 3 melee (gatherer mode)

  • Attack Bonuses: +2 vs Building and +2 vs Eagles (for both modes)

  • Rate of Fire: 2 (for both modes)

  • Melee Armor: 0 (for both modes)

  • Pierce Armor: 0 (for both modes)

  • Speed: 1.2 (infantry mode) / 0.8 (gatherer mode)

  • Armor Classes: Infantry / UU

  • LOS: 4

Now onto their unique building the Mbanj. First of all there’s the name change. Before I used to call it a Zhai, which is a Sinitic name for villages/settlements, particularly those built on a hill. To be more in line with the nature of this civ, I decide to change its name to Mbanj, which is the native South Chinese Tai-Kradai name for villages or settlements. It might be a distant cognate to the Austronesian Maori word Pā, which also means villages or fortified settlements.

The Mbanj costs 120 Wood and 60 Stone to be built. It has a base HP of 1800, and will have a full HP of around 2200 after Masonry and Architecture upgrades. It’s available to be built in the Castle Age, and only Villagers can build it. It trains the Raeuz Tribesmen (the 2nd UU of this civ), serves as a gathering point for the gatherer mode of this unit, and also serves a defensive purpose by shooting arrows at the passing enemy, with only one arrow shot each time. The range is only 6 and min range is 1, which is shorter than Towers. This building cannot be garrisoned. In terms of its purposes, I think the best approximate would be the Blockhouse in AoE 3, which is where I took the inspiration from. Once reaching Imperial Age, the building will have a unique tech of its own called Bronze Drums, which gives +5 HP to the Raeuz Tribesmen and shortens their training time by X% (training time and percentage remain undetermined).

Tech Tree

Barracks: missing Eagles

Archery Range: missing Hand Cannoneers and Elephant Archers

Stable: missing Steppe Lancer, the Paladin upgrade for their Cavaliers, and Camel Rider; have access to Battle Elephant but without the elite upgrade. Have access to Hussars.

Siege Workshop: missing the Siege Onager upgrade for their Onagers, also missing Armored Elephant and Bombard Cannon

Castle: missing Hoardings

Dock: missing Fast Fire Ship, Elite Cannon Galleon, and Heavy Demo Ship

Blacksmith: missing the last archer armor upgrade and also missing Bracer (so that their speedy foot archers won’t be too OP)

Monastery: missing Heresy and Redemption

Market: missing Guilds

University: missing Bombard Tower and Treadmill Crane

Mining Camp: missing Gold Shaft Mining

Mill: full

1 Like

Please give me some feedback, I’d genuinely want to hear some feedbacks about this civ, thanks.

None of the three Civ names gives any result when searched on Google…

Perhaps these names are not well-known in the English-speaking world, but in Chinese they are written as Dian (滇), Bo (僰), and Baipu (百濮). And I’m sure that these names would sound familiar to someone who knows Chinese history especially South/Southwest Chinese history.

I don’t think the inclusion of a civ should be solely based on its popularity. For instance, I doubt that a lot of people who play this game know anything about the Gurjaras before the release of Dynasties of India.

This isn’t an eco benefit. You’d have to invest 50 food instead of 60 wood for getting ~130 food instead of 175 food. Wood is much faster compared to food and collection rate from farm vs herdables is very similar.

Radius won’t be a problem if the rate of regeneration and stacking with multiple monasteries is balanced.

Quite solid when teamed with civs like Portugese, Turks, Koreans and a few other foot archer uu civs.

Given that its a civ with hussar and plate barding armor, knights without any smith upgrades for 100 food is a terrible option. In team game imperial battles, knights with base stats is worse than a Dravidian light cav. As far as the trickling goes, its a decent thing for 1v1 but quite similar to Vineyards, grand trunk road and paper money.

If they don’t get the bonuses that skirms get against archer units, its an extremely terrible unique unit that’s just going to run around without doing much. Terribly low damage output, rof and min range means they can’t be used against any units. Only good thing is they won’t die soon against other archers.

Very nice and interesting concept. Going to be particularly very effective against small army raids, steal unused enemy gold mines in mid game and an effective unit against eagle civs. Adds an extra layer of decision making between tc+vills vs mbanj+tribesmen. Usability of this depends on gathering rates and whether the unit benefits from eco upgrades.

Amazing tech tree balance.

Overall except the castle unique unit and the pseudo mill bonus, rest of the civ looks decent and interesting. If those are replaced with good options, its going to be a very nice and playable civ imo.


Well Gurjaras is just another name of the famed Rajputs and who doesn’t know about the Rajputs?

Is there a way to balance this concept?I like the idea of being able to train herdables.

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Unless you’re extremely into Indian history, I doubt you’ll know much about either.

For Rajputs I only know that they were famed warriors, but other than that next to nothing.

Thanks for the detailed feedback, much appreciated.


Should cost wood but more than a farm. Or should cost much less but there needs to be training limit. Or similar to market rates should increase as you keep training water buffaloes. These ways it will continue to be wood converted into food, beneficial in the short term because multiple villagers can gather from a water buffalo unlike a farm but eventually become unprofitable to prevent abuse.

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Name it Yunanese please . That would be better .
As Dian(滇) was only an ancient kingdom while Yunnan(云南) became the name of that land called by Tang and Song Dynasties (called the raja of Nanzhao or Dali the Yunnan King 云南王 云南八国都王), Yuan and Ming Dynasties (the Yunnan Provence) during most of the AOE2’s timeline . As well , Yunnan corresponds to Gandhara (妙香国) in Burmese and Persian languages , Muang/Moeng Ho(勐贺) in Tai , Lao , Dai , Shan languages .
Bo(僰) or Baipu(百濮) maybe more irrelevance than Dians because both of them are names of a part of Dians / Yunanese ethinic people since you also want this civ to represent a wider range of peoples not just one ethnic group.
I think Yunanese should be a civ of infantry and cavalry . Many Chinese literatures such as Manshu (book of barbarian 《蛮书》) Xintangshu(new book of Tang 《新唐书》) Jiutangshu (old book of Tang 《旧唐书》) Songshu (book of Song 《宋书》) and so on say corssbows in Yunnan aren’t strong as those in Hanese area , however Yunanese swords , leather armor and horse became contributes and goods at that time.

I’d like to call them Yunnanese, but the issue is this name is still used in contemporary Chinese and hence might incur unnecessary sanctions or bans on the game by the Chinese government.

Hence to play it safe I think calling them Dians or Bo or Baipu would be a better option, since those names are no longer used.

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I apologize. What you worry about should be possible. Well , I prefer Dians ,at least it became another name of Yunnan later and it can cover most of the Yunanese ethic groups while Bo or Baipu were both history and only represented a part of Yunanese. I also suggest Nanman(南蠻south barbarian in Chinese, well, berbers also mean barbarians , they call them self Amazigh), it was used to call people in Yunnan from Han Dynasty to Qing Dynasty, it is a insulting word, but still used in some games about Three Kingdoms (wether Chinese games or foreign games translated into Chinese such as Total War , Sangokushi etc), maybe some sensitive ones don’t care this——otherwise , why not add Bashus , Chus Wuyues , Hokkienish , Cantonese , Qins , Jins , Zhongyuans , Yanyous ,Qilus as new civs ……

A list of Dians leaders
Cuan Baozi ,Zhenwei General ,chief of Cuan Clan, famous for his tablet
Cuan Longyan ,governor of Ningzhou, chief of Cuan Clan, famous for his tablet
Cuan Zan ,governor of Ningzhou, chief of Cuan Clan,Cuan’s territory in its zentih under his rule
Pi Luoge/Bei Loga , king of Nanzhao, united the 6Zhaos (tribes around Erhai Lake)
Ge Luofeng/Ga Lovu , king of Nanzhao, united Nanzhao and Cuan Clans , defeated army of Tang Dynasty
Yi Mouxun/Yi Mexuin , king of Nanzhao , returned to Tang Dynasty and reformed political system of Nanzhao
Wang Cuodian/Wan Codin, prime minister of Nanzhao , invade Chengdu City of Tang Dynasty
Shilong/Seilon , empire of Nanzhao , invade Bashu and Cochi of Tang Dynasty ,territory of Nanzhao in its zentih under his rule
Duan Siping/Duain Sipien ,1st raja of Dali
Duan Zhengyan/Duain Zenyain, raja of Dali , protype of character Duan Yu in Louis Cha’s noval
Duan Shi/Duain Si(Duan Xinju Ri/Duain Xienjui Si), governor of Qarajan , defeated Burmese army with Mongol ally of Yuan Dynasty
Mu Chu ,governor of Lijiang, defeated enemies of Ming Dynasty for many times
Mu Gon,governor of Lijiang, territory of Lijiang in its zentih under his rule
Mu Gao,governor of Lijiang, territory of Lijiang in its zentih under his rule

Look to veer away from too much history as we remember this is a GAME… the biggest issue I have is that both UTs are team buffs instead pf helping the civ itself stand on its own

The UU is just too weak. As anti cav id rather use pikes save my gold and not get flattened by Onagers before killing a bunch of horses unlike the Genoese xbow which not only has a higher base damage and cav bonus, it also fires faster and has no min range.

This unit… see the problem with min range anti cav is that unlike archers cavalry are FAST and close gaps! For skirmishers specially trained to murder archers they dont want to try cheeky get under your min range strata because they’re slow and getting brutally slaughtered which when paired with low health favors the skirmisher.

For cavalry? Min range! Not only will thry outrun the javelins because theyre fast they will trade cost effectively because they will force so much repositioning micro. Its just not worth training. The 1.25 movespeed is the only saving grace but you need to stand still eventually and knights will outrun it. Missing the last archer armor is painful though for a supposed arrow soak but unlike Goths this unit has a low base pierce armor AND bracer. Who cares if their archers are fast when they have no range to do anything!?

Also @dan1 no need to bump BOTH versions of this please

Nanman, as you mentioned, is insulting and derogatory, which is why I didn’t use this term.

Dian is probably the best term, though Bo and Baipu could work as well. Or maybe even the term Zangke (牂柯), which was used during the Tang and Song periods to refer to the natives of Guizhou and Eastern Yunnan.

The other Sinitic subgroups that you mentioned, while distinct from the main Sinitic group, had failed to achieve a long-lasting independence in history, unlike the region of Yunnan which was a de facto independent state for much of the medieval era.

It’s a game for sure, but it’s a game based on history. Hence we cannot completely veer off from history and create a chimerical unit.

I don’t think this UU would be outright flattened by Onagers, since they have a speed advantage and can easily outmaneuver the Onagers. Unless you use them as sitting ducks to soak up the damage, which isn’t their purpose. The civ has other units for that role, such as their Cavaliers, Hussars, Battle Elephants, and even their 2nd UU the infantry mode of the Raeuz Tribesman.

Either removing their min range or giving them a slightly higher bonus against Cavalry (like +3 / +4 when elite for instance) would do, no need to make other changes otherwise the UU would be too strong.

As for Guizhou, I also suggest Yina ,an/a Yi/Loloish language word used to name western Guizhou. Yi/Loloish people call river “yi” and black/big(great) “na” , so Yina means black/big(great) river. This word is translated into Chinese as Yelang(夜郎) , and word Yina in Yi/Loloish language shares the same meaning——black/big(great) river with word Qianjiang(黔江) or Wujiang (乌江) in Chinese language. Yi/Loloish people also call eastern Yunnan " Yina" which refers to Dianchi Lake .

Like I said I don’t wanna use any names of existing or extant ethnic groups in China, it’s better to just call them Dians if not Bo or Baipu or maybe Zangke.

Yina/Yelang is also the name of an ancient kingdom in Guizhou like Dian, and was also used to call western Guizhou during medieval time like Zangke , but it is no longer name of any existing or extant ethnic groups in China in Chinese language or any official documents .It is only used by a part of Yi/Loloish people in their own language which is low-sensitive.In their own language , Yi/Loloish people aslo call Guizhou “Guzhee” which is closer to Chinese language .So I suggest Yina as an alternate select .