My African civ ideas

The African dlc:

In short:

  • Zulu civilization
  • Kongo civilization
  • Morocco civilization
  • 8 new maps
  • 6 new minor civilizations

This is my concept and idea for an African themed dlc, at which I look at the previous dlc’s and see if I can manage to make some unique gameplay and mechanics for a new culture, but still keep the feeling of AoE III game. Most names are placeholder names and are easily changeable.

Overarching civilization mechanic:

As the other dlc’s did, was to add an overarching mechanic for the new civilizations. If you look at the Warchiefs for example it was the firepit, but also the warchiefs (their explorers), having other mechanics than the European explorers. The dlc’s also introduced a new age up mechanic, for the warchiefs that you can choose which one you want first and for the Asian Dynasties it was a wonder.

Seeing this overarching theme, it is only logical in my opinion the African civs also go according to this.

Age up mechanic:

The African civilizations age up, like Europeans, but will have European advisors. These advisors give access to European buildings, weapons and units. For example in to age to age 5, you could have an advisor for a factory wagon.


The unique explorer of the African civilizations will be called the reconnoiterer (best name I could find, without being already in the game, like chief or scout). Of course like the explorers, warchiefs and monks, will the reconnoiterer have a civilization specific name set.

The unique ability of the reconnoiterer will be the ability, a bit like the Portugueze spyglass, to see all military buildings on the map for a few seconds.

Next to this they will also have the ability to instant kill a treasure guardian like the explorers and warchiefs.

Unique building:

The introduction of the gun had a major impact on warfare in Africa. This is why I thought it might be a good/cool mechanic to have for the unique building.

The unique building of the African civilizations will be the gunpowder tradehub. The building can best be compared to a sort of market, consulate and foundry in one.

Within the gunpowder tradehub, players can trade resources like coin, food and wood for gunpowder weaponry, this will be a new resource for the Africans, just like export is to the Asians. With gunpowder weaponry, African players can purchase artillery, gunpowder units and upgrades for gunpowder type units.

There will be cards which improve the gunpowder tradehub, just like cards for the consulate.

Additions to the existing civilizations:

The dlc’s also added content for the already existing civilizations, think of the saloons, horse artillery, petard, new cards and more. I thought because we have revolutions for European civilizations, it might be interesting to have something like modernization for the other civs, which would be similar for the revolutions, but then for the Natives, Asians and Africans.

Minor civilizations:

As for the minor civilizations some possible tribes/villages may be:

  • Ethiopians
  • Malians
  • Boers
  • Caravan
  • Tunisians
  • Sotho

General civ cards:

  • Mass military: All non gunpowder tradehub units cost 1 pop and +10 extra pop.


The Zulu civilization is based around the unique building “isibaya”. The isibaya is a livestock type building for the Zulu mixed with defensive elements. Besides the original purpose of the livestock pen and thus cattle gathering at it, villagers can also be tasked at the building to increase the fattening of the cattle and 15 animals can work at it instead of 10. The building also has economic upgrades for the Zulu. Instead of the sheep, the Zulu have cows because of the historical economic importance of cows for the Zulu. It also is kind of meant to be a better alternative for a farm. Isibaya also has a ranged attack and has a build limit of 5.

The Zulu have also multiple cards for the isibaya. The following card names are just placeholder names. (I translated english to Zulu, so I am very sorry for any Zulu speaking people if it doesn’t make any sense)

  • Umnotho wezinkomo: Instead of food cows will produce a smaller amount of coin. (Instead of having 500 food cows have 400 coin, also enables goat at the livestock pen if you still want to have a food possibility)
  • Okunonisayo: Cattle will fatten 25% faster.
  • Ukuzalela okukhethiwe: Cattle has +25% food or coin.
  • Advanced isibaya: +50%, Izinkomo hp +5 cattle gather space and cattle tasked at the isibaya fatten 20% faster.
  • (couldn’t think of a name): Cattle have a small coin, wood or food tickle. (selected at the isibaya, food has 0.7 tickle, wood has 0.7 tickle and coin has 0.5 tickle)
  • Defensive isibaya: Isibaya gets increased ranged attack and can train military units besides animals. Also gains +30% hp.
  • iQukwana: Isibaya provide +10 population and add +3 build limit.

Some other general cards:

  • Scavenging: Killing units now give gunpowder weaponry in greater amounts instead of xp.

Technologies at the isibaya:

  • Massed cattle: cattle fattens 25% faster.
  • (also couldn’t think of a name): Villagers gather from livestock 100% faster. (Age 2)
  • (I am now just gonna name it placeholder): Villagers gather from livestock 100% faster (Age 3)
  • (placeholder): Villagers gather from livestock 150% faster (Age 4)
  • Ukungena kwenkomo: Every isibaya spawns 3 semi-fattened cows.
  • (placeholder): Cattle cost -40%


  • Hut (8 pop instead of 10, but costs 70 wood instead of 100, the maximum is 25, instead of 20)
  • Isibaya (already explained)
  • Umsamo (Church type of building with similar types of tech, also mixed with capital elements)
  • Training field (barracks type of building)
  • Farm (same as the native american mill)
  • Plantation (idem)
  • Market (also same as the others)
  • Gunpowder tradehub (also explained already)
  • Dock (also similar to already existing building)
  • Towncenter (obviously)
  • Tower (defensive platform like outpost but weaker and cheaper)
  • Trade post (normal one)


All units except for the impi have low base attack, but excel in the category they are good at. For example a spear unit would have 8 base attack but *6 against cavalry.

  • Impi (A sort of melee musketeer. It has decent to high base damage with a multiplier against gunpowder units. It is also faster then normal infantry. It has high range resistance)
  • Assegais (Range type spear thrower, good against infantry in general)
  • Ox-hide bearer (Tanky type infantry, similar to the manlet hp and resistance. Good at cavalry)
  • Oshayasibhamu (Gunpowder unit good against ranged cavalry and heavy infantry, trained at the gunpowder tradehub)
  • Inganono (Cannon, similar to the Iroquois light cannon, also at the gunpowder tradehub)
  • European mercenary army (6x renegado and 1x gatling gun, also at the gunpowder trade hub)


The Kongo is focused on the sea snail economy and a mix of African troops and European (in particular Portugal) aid.

They have a unique town center called the “mbanza”. The mbanza is a town center, house and economic building in one, with upgrades available in the home city.

The mbanza provides 20 population, it has fortification upgrades and extensions improving the building. It is a sort off mini town in one.

mbanza improvement cards:

  • Fortified mbanza: mbanza doesn’t need to be garrisoned to fire, also increases hp with 25% and does +20% range damage.
  • Wene system: mbanza provides +10 pop and allows to train barracks military units.
  • Mbamba: mbanza fortification and extensions upgrades 20% cheaper.
  • European artillery: fortifications do +25% damage and now do area damage (fires cannons)

Some other cards I have thought about:

  • Awene: reconnoiter has +50% hp and the ability cooldown is 25% shorter.
  • mwene: reconnoiter has +30% damage and they get access to healing.
  • Portuguese expedition: ships an explorer (portugueze one) and 4 bosteiros.
  • Sea snail farm: upgrades the plantation into the sea snail farm, which improves building hp and allows the training of sea snails, which increase the gather rate per snail and generates a small amount of xp(automatically tasked at the sea snail farm)
  • Portuguese support: allows the training of bosteiros and pikeman at the barracks.
  • Portuguese settlement: allows the training of Portuguese settlers costing 70 food. (build limit of 20, does not add on top of the regular villager build limit)

Mbanza fortifications and extensions:

  • Tower (max 4), adds a tower to the mbanza, doing range damage, if you build multiple it will shoot multiple projectiles. Before sending the fortified mbanza card it will only fire when garrisoned.
  • Marketplace (max 1), adds a market to the mbanza, giving access to the economic upgrades and trade.
  • Village extension (max 2), adds +10 population to the mbanza.


  • Mbanza (explained earlier)
  • Church (normal one but African themed and mixed with capitol elements)
  • Farm (normal one)
  • Plantation (already explained)
  • Gunpowder tradehub (already explained)
  • Barracks (normal but then African themed one)
  • Dock (normal one)
  • Trade post (normal one)


Same like the Zulu, the units have a small base damage but excell at the bonus damage and are very cheap.


  • Levy bowman: good against heavy infantry.
  • Adargueiros: big shielded sword wielding heavy infantry, similar to the rodelero, but good at light infantry and artillery with higher hp.
  • Fidalgo: noble warrior with bonus damage against cavalry and buildings.

Gunpowder tradehub:

  • Kongo-mestiço: Skirmish type unit, cost more coin and food then levy bowman and also does bonus against light cavalry.
  • Portuguese bombard: cannon type unit.
  • Kasange musketeer: like the name states a musketeer type unit.


Morocco has more emphasis on the gunpowder trade hub, trade routes and technologies. Their units are more modern compared to the other African civilizations.

Gunpowder tradehub emphasis:

  • Access to the arsenal upgrades in the gunpowder tradehub.

  • Base 1.5 gunpowder weaponry tickle.

  • Start with a crate of muskets (100 gunpowder weaponry)

  • European gun trade: base tickle increased with +2.

  • Army reforms: Gunpowder tradehub units are 20% cheaper.

  • New age technologies: Unit upgrades are 30% cheaper.

  • Flintlock muskets: Gunpowder units deal +20% damage.

General cards:

  • Moroccan scholars: technologies are 10% cheaper and research 25% faster.
  • Al Qarawiyyin: Mosque xp tickle +200% and technologies are 15% cheaper.
  • French industry: Ships 1 factory wagon.
  • Ammo crate: Ships 300 gunpowder weaponry. (infinite)
  • Gun shipment: Ships 800 gunpowder weaponry. (infinite age 4)
  • Berber trade routes: trade posts at trade routes produce +25% income.
  • Meknes railroad: Allows the selection of gunpowder weaponry at the trade post with a +30% income.
  • Improved native embassy: Native embassy has ranged attack, +50% hp, and allows the training of the natives of the map without having to build trade posts.
  • Fort: Ships a fort wagon.


  • House (normal)
  • Tower (outpost like)
  • Military camp (combination of barracks and stable)
  • Farm (normal)
  • Plantation (normal)
  • Gunpowder tradehub (normal)
  • Mosque (normal)
  • Town Center (normal)
  • Market (normal)


Military camp:

  • Berber archer (already ingame)

  • Berber spearman (already ingame)

  • Corsair (already ingame)

  • Lancer (needs different name but similar to the unit also already ingame)

Gunpowder tradehub:

  • Berber arquebusier (already in game)
  • musketeer type unit
  • Horseman (dragoon type unit)
  • Cannon type unit
  • Mortar type unit.

So this is my suggestion, if you read it till here, thank you, it is a bit long and most likely unbalanced or not entirely historically correct but it was fun to think about.

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could call them warlords.

I think we will get Ethiopians & Somalians as 2 new african civs :thinking:


They will most likely go with Ethiopia, rather than Kongo or Somalia, both of which are more Medieval in relevance.


AoE III doesnt take place in the medieval age which thus wouldnt make a lot of sense. They are also kind off close to eachother and similar, when you have an entire huge continent of Africa it would be at least in my opinion weird to pick two so close. Unless you purely mean or.

Still think I rather have some more diverse and different civs than most civs already who were in Age games.

Kongo had a lot of trade with Europeans and converted to catholocism, it also used European mercenaries in their warfare. I know Ethiopia also managed to prevent getting colonized but they were already in Age 2 and continuasly having the same civ gets kindoff boring imo.

Tell that to China, which effectively is in EVERY “Age of -” game ever.
People do not seem to get tired of it either.

Heck, I would love it if Persia was also in ever “Age of -” game!

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Well some civs are just more important then others. China is one of those cases, but if you look at the Dutch and Portugueze, they dont have to be in another age game in my opinion. There are more like these.

This is wrong, a civ should be in every game in which it is relevant. Ethiopians are relevant for AoE3, far more than Kongolese and Somalians, which actually are requested on AoE2.

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I think Kongo is on part with the Ethiopians. More so than Somalians atleast.

Well, if there was to be a 4th African civ, then Kongolese would have my vote, but if it is 3 (like with all other expos), I think Moroccans, Ethiopians and Zulus are more relevant to the period, as Kongo was really dominated by the Portuguese and the Belgians, and is more of a Colonial Tragedy, than a success story.

Of course, an African expansion could also include the Omani as a 4th civ, which although not African, would still be more relevant to the timeframe than Kongolese.
You can perfectly have Kongolese, in this period, as a Minor Settlement.

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I dont know much about Ethiopian history except for their resistance on Europeans, so I would have to read into it. My main aim for the civs was searching for unique and or cool mechanics which we havent really seen before and give the civs some kind of unique feeling like the original expansions did.

I think some kind of unique town center is interessting we havent seen yet and a bit like age of mythology like fortifiy seems interessting to me. If Ethiopians had some kind off unique village system or something like the Kongo had I would give Ethiopia this.

Mechanics, in these games, are only ever loosely based on History, and they usually go to great extents to make AoE3 civs more gameplay varied, than a real civilization representative would play like.

For example: Germans and Dutch have no Musketeers, which does not make any historical sense, smae as with British lacking Skirmishers. This was done to increase gameplay variation between the most homogenous civ group in the game (Europeans) rather than following any sort of historical accuracy.

If the game was to be accurate, Incas would lack the Market entirely, for example.

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Thats not entirely true, yes some are not really based on history and more on gameplay variety, but civs like Ottomans, Asians and Natives do have unique mechanics more focused around their history.

All unique mechanics in base are also based on historical one. Like portugueze town center per age is roughly based on the many trade posts established by them (and yes more Europeans did this, but you want variety, thats why I say for Ethiopeans that if they have unique style villages I would give them those, because the current Mbanza I proposed is based on the Kongo village system). The dutch banks are based on the fact that the Dutch were generally the first to begin the stockmarket and were well off with money funding their army. The Spanish faster shipments is based on the fact the Spanish were first in the new world etc.

I want a Village-Barracks hybrid building. It would be a really cool concept, but perhaps more for the Zulus civ.

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I think the isibaya fits more for the Zulu and is already a type of military building I thought off. But what would you say Ethiopians would have as uniqueness? I know they had gunpowder early on and used it effectivly but just gunpowder units as uniqueness would be a bit blend in my opinion.

Mounted Javalineers, Shotel Warriors, Native African Boats, another Fort concept…
There is plenty that can be added to Ethiopians, besides the assured Gunpoweder they had (traded with Portugal, and the Ottomans, and I know Ports set up several Cannon Positions in Ethiopia, to help them keep the coast clear).

For example: I think it would be cool if they ahd a reference to AoE2, and had a Ballista as an early Artillery unit, as a reference to them being a Siege civ in AoE2.

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I think i rather then switch Morocco with Ethiopia and make morocco a revolution or something (which they kind off are already with barbay state although not really). Within my concept the heavy focus on the tradehub and trade routes could become Ethiopia.

Morocco as a Revolt makes no sense, since they were an actual Empire, unlike the other Barbary States, which were protectorates of the Ottomans.

Not only did the Moroccans keep their independence, but they also expanded into Africa, conquering the Mali and Songhai empires, and establishing colonies into them, and that was only at the beggining of the timeframe.

They are actually one of the most important free African powers of the period, only having been dominated at the end of it.


I dunno, I would like to see the Kongolese village system with sort of extensions. I mean if they are now developing the dlc then this wouldnt be picked anyways. Ethiopia and Kongo are both in my opinion good picks, but I understand if yoi rather have Ethiopia.

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I also have ideas
1.They have powerful Outlaws-unit cards to replace European mercenaries, or European rebels at the Guard level of Native American countries.
2.They can obtain unlimited wood from logging farms, just like farmland can obtain food.
3.They can collect food from hostile pets, animal treasure guardians, horses.
4. They have unique ways of using the treasures and guardians of the map.
5. Animals begin to migrate, and they will disappear when they reach the edge of the map, but new groups will also join.
6. The lions and cheetahs start to attack the singles. They will try to escape when encountering the army.
7.Military doctors and healers will become very important in this continent.

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