Haudenosaunee (Iroquois): In Concept and Practice

Do you have any base for that claim? That sounds pretty presumptuous to me, especially considering how strongly natives here feel towards their ancestries.

Thing is, natives here arguably have it even rougher than up there, but I haven’t seen anyone complain about misrepresentation of their own cultures in media except for maybe a few privileged Twitter users, and there’s a ton of it.

Pretty much everything you say also applies to natives here, and without any hard evidence that “misrepresentation” makes the lives of natives in North America concretely worse as opposed to South America, I can only see this issue boiling down to subjective takes, which taking my own country as a standard, makes all these complaints sound completely irrational.

There may be similarities with other ancestral people in Central and South America (probably Peru and Bolivia in particular), but compared to the major baseline cultural disconnect between Anglo-Americans and their (largely European) ancestors, it’s incredibly obvious if you’ve ever spent much time in America. TBH I don’t really have the patience for a long discussion of something so tangent to my civ design ideas, but I suspect AnaWinters would be able to back me up extensively on why it’s appropriate for Native Americans to care so much about their representation. Then again, I’d really prefer not to further clog this thread with something like that.

That’s unfortunate of course, but I don’t see why it should be a reason for America to not respect its First Nations peoples, even if the issues they contend with seem minor compared to what happens in other countries. If anything I see that as the governments of those other countries needing to be more helpful to their indigenous populations. There’s always someone somewhere who’s worse off, and focusing only on the worst situations is just a race to the bottom.

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Because we still heavily practice the spirituality and livelihoods of our ancestors; I refuse to add things like specific dances to the Lakota because we still practice those dances and those are closed to non-tribal members. It is inappropriate to portray things like those in a game when cultural standards bar discussion of those activities outside specific religious activities within the tribe.

I am an Oglala Lakota tribal member, from my tribe’s reservation, who has been voicing complaints about the Natives in this game series for the last two years. If you largely focus on the AoE2 part of this forum, you won’t have seen me - I am most active in the AoE3 section, followed up by the AoE4 and AoM sections. I don’t make many appearances in the AoE2 section because I don’t personally see any possible method for any Native American civ to be represented within this game in a non-harmful and non-stereotypical way due to the game’s unavoidable heavily Eurocentric design and foundation, but when I see talk of it, I try and poke my nose in and see what’s up.

I do heavily care about how the Lakota are represented in this game franchise because that isn’t just my ancestors being put into the game - that is my own, living culture being made palatable for gamer’s consumption. It frustrates me that a lot of people on this forum don’t seem to realize this - I am not being “some woke warrior” trying to make my ancestors look good, this is literally the culture I live in being portrayed in the game - the only real differences are that we don’t follow the bison anymore, and we live in static communities.

We still speak this language. We still perform these dances. We still make these foods. This is a living culture, it’s not one that’s long-dead like the Teutons or the Byzantine Empire.


Back to AoE2 balance, though, the Mantlet idea is super cool. I’m modding the Mohawk into AoE3 and I’m using the Mantlets for this exact purpose - to tank ranged attacks and buildings to allow the strength of the Mohawk’s units to excel at a range, while making the civ overall fairly weak into sudden rushes. It makes for a really fun and cool turtle design that slowly advances across the map in an unstoppable march.

I’d imagine that something similar for AoE2 would work as well.


That’s fair, but how does that prove that your ties to your culture are stronger than those from other natives?

Again, why should I see this as a valid complaint when natives from my own country who share these same traits don’t feel the need to complain themselves?

I want to respect that OP doesn’t want more parallel discussions, and it doesn’t seem like you are understanding what I mean anyway, so I probably won’t reply anymore, but I’m still open to counterarguments.

Because the natives from your own country aren’t me and my tribe? Just because one group isn’t complaining and another is doesn’t invalidate the complaints of the group that is voicing their opinion.

This is a strawman fallacy - you’re disregarding the points I’ve made in favor of a point you want to push that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I am not the natives of your country - I couldn’t even hope to understand their thoughts on the matter at hand because they haven’t voiced any.

On the other hand, my tribe did voice concerns and complaints because this has a very real impact on life on the reservations.

Here’s an example - if the gov’t of Germany reached out to the devs and requested to be called Deutschland, do you think the devs would ignore them?
Then why is it weird when the tribal gov’ts reach out and request change, and what makes it so you can’t listen to anything they’re asking for?


European natives proud of their history and who want proper representations get cancelled :joy:

If the discussion is this sensitive its better not to add NA natives to aoe2.

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Eh, it’s really not so complicated. Since it’s been brought up, it’s worth addressing thoroughly once. Beyond that I will expect people to either be caught up on the representation discussion, or just to not quibble further about it, whether they understand/agree with it or not. Anything beyond that is just petty and distracting.

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Feeling offended because someone wants to immortalize aspects of history from long ago? I don’t and never get why people are offended, regardless of culture, of stuff that is half to a full millennium ago?

Example. Already you chat online and Long distance while the people in whatever medieval era North America had to communicate… didn’t. They certainly didn’t have travel methods akin to you today with our gasoline fed “pack animals”.

Pride is a a dangerous thing implying you are better than somebody because you were born somewhere or have a certain lineage. Don’t care which continent it’s on, hubris and boasting for something you didn’t do but your ancestors did is lazy. Like if you did a thing be proud of that but just because it’s in your blood doesn’t mean you also did the accomplishment.

I agree about the Mississippians. Evidence in Cahokia and Spiro (Oklahoma) indicates they had some pretty powerful polities, not to mention Tuscaloosa’s battle with De Soto at Mabila

I have not, however, see much evidence that the Taino would have been a formidable civ, organized or capable enough to take on or conquer other contemporary civilizations of their time like the Spanish, China, or anyone. Is there any that spurs you to believe them worthy of joining the game?

And finally, some IROQUOIS questions lol. I wish I had a question or criticism of your description, but overall, I like it! What do you think are the chances a civilization like the Iroquois could join Age of Empires 2? And, additionally, what other “Northeastern American” civs do you think would be worthy of joining the ranks of other great medieval powers?

I don’t think they need to be in the game. It would be cool to have a few Taino, Carib and Tupi/Guarani units or buildings in the Editor.

I think the chances are low TBH. With the devs already planning to put lots of effort into things that don’t add traditional AoE2 content (platform outreach and AoE1 port), the rate of getting new AoE2 civs comes into question. And while I think Haudenosaunee would be a viable civ, they’re right on the fringes in terms of timeline and there are at least a dozen civs I think devs would make before considering them.

Not a lot to work with given that geographical limitation, but as far as civs north of Mexico, I’d say Hauds, Mississippians, and Hisatsinom (or Mogollon or some other “cliff dweller” group). Don’t think Inuits are necessary, but again, a couple of units or buildings would go a long way.

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and Understandable :frowning:

A Pueblo civ would be pretty neat! But, when you say “Hauds”, do you mean like the Haida in Alaska/British Columbia?

That would be pretty nifty. I love the other local cultures up there like the Tlingit too. Probably wouldn’t deserve a spot as a civ either - but some scenario editor buildings and units would be neat.

Inuits, however, I’m a bit less opposed to lol. I believe Sandy Peterson (former AOE2 designer) once mentioned that they kicked the Vikings out of Greenland. While I was able to find evidence of clashes and the Inuit take most of Greenland, I wasn’t able to find anything definitive on organized conquest - mostly just a popular theory in the realm of possibility. You could get some cool game mechanic ideas from them? Probably a better fit for the dusty ole scenario editor shelf.

Anyways, Iroquois, Mississippian, and Pueblo civs would be awesome. What are your thoughts?

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Yeah, I made a concept for them here:

I’m particularly enticed by the architecture, which would add a lot to the game (even if only as Editor objects), being able to represent groups the Spanish encountered in New Mexico, or peoples north of the Tarascans and Aztecs (who at least had trade connections with the Southwest, although probably through intermediaries).

I just used it as shorthand for Haudenosaunee, which I’ve seen AoE3 players do.

True, but even as an American civs enthusiast, I struggle to come up with something that I think approaches an accurate design for them, while remaining competitive. TBF I think the only viable way of representing them apart from Editor units would be as an umbrella civ that included Mi’kmaq and related groups, or even as an Algonquian umbrella civ that has 1 aspect inspired by the Inuit. They’re in an awkward place where I don’t think a full-fledged civ should be made for them, but it would be nice to have some representation. Similar case with the Tlingit and the Potlatch cultures, which could have some interesting units and buildings, but I can’t make the case for them having a united kingdom/empire on par with most of the AoE2 civs.

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A very fair assertion.

I find your pueblo concept interesting. that half-stone cost for buildings would be pretty hardcore for the demands of most players me thinks lol.

Maybe someday… we’ll all join that big potlatch in the sky! (Scenario editor)

Anyways, I was wondering your thoughts on some Iroquois architecture I designed for AOE2?

Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) medieval Architecture AOE2

I like the main concept and particular points you’ve come up with on the civilisation here. I just think it needs to be a bit more varied… for example ‘agriculture’. It’s a point about agriculture that it was so easy for species of plants to move ‘East-West’ in Asia, Africa, the Middle East & Asia, which could then adapt to local climates and move North/South from there. It’s much harder for plants to move directly North/South, but that’s exactly what happened ‘albeit more slowly’ from the Mountains of Peru to the Mayan jungles and Mexico valleys. I think there needs to be a bit more focus on agriculture in AoE II Civilisations from the Americas. The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) could have the Three Sisters [although many unique cultures used multi-crop farming techniques] as one of them which gets discussed a fair bit (giving -30 wood cost for farm and/or slightly faster gather speed), the Incas usually have their terraces which maybe should create a hill even (or change their farm’s image and give a bonus such as ‘UNITS on FARMS gain +#/+# armours and/or move faster’), the Mayans could have jungle herbs & spices (giving villager movement speed or health, as in healing ailments/better general health or something).

Apart from that idea/those ideas, the cost of the upgrades seem fairly cheap (unless I’ve just been watching old videoes on factions lately). Then I’m not sure how this idea would go for anybody, but instead of fortified villages as castles, just make town centres have a fortified village upgrade that essentially makes them ‘part castle part town centre’. Then just make something like the kreposts where it’s a village outpost or something.

I like to make things fairly historically accurate and of course there are always things that we’re going to miss or which have been misrepresented in history. The population of peoples of these tribes probably was reasonably large as the process of adopting intensive agriculture developed over 500 years or so I think before European colonials brought smallpox (a few hundred more years and they would probably have had a relatively large populace with quite efficient farming techniques). So to keep it within these two bounds, I like the idea of keeping them away from castles & the greater architectural builds. But we can realise that they were absolutely not a minor populace either, having only reduced in number after successive plagues such as 1634 (where we think 50% of the population of England dying is bad, but I’ve seen 63/64% as estimates in many places, but where the earlier ones were 90% essentially).
That’s why I’m liking the concept that they are a populous enough peoples to be added into the game, but don’t have the wonder & architectural based history that others do. They have functional towns which are guarded, but also then outposts which were usually used for economic & military reasons alike - and so they would have krepost-like structures beyond their ‘upgraded town centres’.
One final thing I think is maybe MEDICINE MEN, monks for the Haudenosaunee or other like tribes. Would have medicine men, both as a way to show some reverence towards an oft-forgotten part of their culture. But also as a reasonably Flush/Seamless alternative to the Monk. One which perhaps could do basic farming/berry picking (as in picking herbs for healing)… maybe they can be upgraded to spend food to heal allies more quickly. A lot is possible here I’d argue.

I’ve also seen people argue about WONDERS for civs like this or at least this one in particular. And I think the Native war to get a HOME during the War of 1812 by Tecumseh/Tekoomse, where the various tribes of the area & other abouriginal peoples displaced by the U.S.'s Manifest Destiny & Wars came together and created a capital of mixed tribes to organise their peoples better against the encroachment & even organise taking the fight to the States themselves.

Would love feedback or further discussion, so anyone can get in touch and we can chat about it. Just as I hope you’ve enjoyed my perspectives/feedback.

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Where is the wonder suggestion here?

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The idea is that your wonder would/could be essentially a ‘Tribal Gathering’ sort of building… Whether it’s like a Town Centre only better or it’s just a wonder as is. But I’m thinking of either the Great Law of Peace and the planting of the Tree of Peace on Onandaga land (IT WAS kind of a shit show for a bit, because of their leader pressuring/bullying Dekanawida & Hiawatha - giving the Onandaga the ‘Capital or Flame-/Peace-keepers’).

Or instead something like the eventual tribal villages where many tribes were forced to coalesce together for defence, productivity or just because of population decline. Whether that’s in the form of Bark Creek & Tecumseh or of something like the 6 Nations Reserve we have here in Ontario.

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Perhaps something like this?
(Bottom Right)

(Based on this)


I really like it actually. It’s similar in size ‘real world to relic’ that many other wonders are. Having the scale brought to the right proportions, but with this one it’s not as tall. It isn’t full of the Qubba/Domes or the Minarets, Spires & Steeples of many religious buildings in Europe, the Middle East, etc. It takes an expansive dimension rather than a tall/grandiose one which feels quite appropriate here!
I know your main focus for me was the wonder, but I was just going to go into the rest of the image-file too & just throw some general ideas out if that’s alright.

  • Fortified Walls probably shouldn’t be in their tech tree (it isn’t in the one at the top), but it’s always nice for more options so they look good at least.
  • I like the lumber-mill style progression through the ages, alongside the T.C. & towers.
  • This has little to do with the images here, but would love to see a civilisation like this get to use a 3x3 house or maybe 3x2 here. Would make walling different, but maybe make it overall a bit less tanky so it’s cheaper & yet also still useful for quickwalls (Haudenosaunee/Native tribes could be a bit stronger (even just defensively in earlier ages).
  • I was wondering what the name should be, whether it’s an actual city/town or maybe instead call the wonder just a few basic works/word-phrase such as the Great Peace Home (the home of the Great Peace) Skennen’kó:wa for example meaning Great Peace.
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