New African Civs Poll

Hi, guys! With South Asia finally getting some love from the developers I was wondering which region might be next. Africa seems like one of those under-represented parts of the world, and I think an expansion might be due. I’ve compiled a poll with the most frequently requested African civs, so have your say in which two nations you think should be added.

My choices are the Songhai as they formed the largest empire in Africa, and are linguistically distinct from Malians, and Somalis as their maritime presence allowed them to interact with civs outside Africa as well (Ottomans, Portuguese, even the Maldives). Moreover, both provide local rivals for the existing Malians and Ethiopians.

  • Nubians
  • Somalis/Kushites
  • Swahilis
  • Zimbabwe
  • Congolese
  • Edo/Benin
  • Ghana
  • Songhai
  • Hausa
  • Kanem

0 voters

P.S. I have not uncluded Bantu as it’s too much of an umbrella civ, covering Swahilis, Zimbabwe, Congolese and Edo/Benin.

This would help to understand the civis better.


My thoughts on the civs. I have tried to rank them on their longevity, distinctiveness and interactions with other civs. Hope it helps with your choice. I’d be happy to correct mistakes, if you spot any.

Longevity: definitely the longest lasting kingdoms spanning all the middle ages. However, they spent much of that time in a semi-vassal state to the dynasties in Egypt: 6.5/10
Distinctiveness: entirely different from any civ in the game. The Ethiopians definitely draw some inspiration from them as a christian orthodox african civ, though: 9/10
Interactions: spent the entire middle ages only ever interacting with the saracen dynasties up north. Possibly a contact with the Ethiopians: 1.5/10
Average: 5.7/10

Longevity: earliest sultanates appear in the late 9th century and their power only increases through the ages: 6/10
Distinctiveness: definitely influenced by its saracen and Ethiopian neighbours, while preserving a unique culture and language: 7/10
Interactions: often fought the neighbouring ethiopians and came into contact with the saracens. Had a famous alliance with the Ottomans during the Adal-Ethiopian war where they also fought the Portuguese. Had an extensive maritime network reaching as far East as India and the Maldives where they established their own dynasty. Quite impressive for the relatively isolated Africa, but still nowhere near staples like the Mongols: 4/10
Average: 5.7/10

Longevity: first states were established by Arav traders as early as 11th century: 5/10
Distinctiveness: No curent civ even remotely resembles them: 10/10
Interactions: only ever had contact with Arab and Indian ocean traders and a Portuguese maritime mission: 1.5/10
Average: 5.5/10

Longevity: early settlements developed in the 10th century, but were completely abandoned by the 15th: 5.5/10
Distinctiveness: completely distinct: 10/10
Interactions: no contact with other civs whatsoever, only a late Portuguese mission: 0.5/10
Average: 5.3/10

Longevity: states started developing as late as 14th century: 2/10
Distinctiveness: completely different from other civs: 10/10
Interactions: nothing to speak of, except late Portuguese missions: 0.5/10
Average: 4.2/10

Longevity: first true kingdoms appeared around the 12th century: 3.5/10
Distinctiveness: yet again, 10/10
Interactions: possibly with the Malians: 1/10
Average: 4.8/10

Longevity: the earliest West African empire arose in the Antiquity, but had completely declined by the 12th century: 6.5/10
Distinctiveness: Cultural, linguistic and geographical predecessor of the Malians, but nothing in common with any other current civ, so 6/10
Interactions: definitely with the Malians and according the legends with the berber dynasties as well: 1.5
Average: 4.7/10

Longevity: the kingdom of Gao was established in the 9th century as Ghana started to decline. After a brief conquest by Mali, the Songhai empire overthrew the them and conquered them themselves allowing them to form the largest empire in Africa’s history : 5.5/10
Distinctiveness: fairly distinct, especially linguistically from the Malians, but still share some similarities: 9/10
Interactions: mainly the Malians, who the conquered, and the Berbers: 2.5/10
Average: 5.7/10

Longevity: only started to gain prominence in the 13th century: 3/10
Distinctiveness: fairly distinct from the current civs, though they share similarities with the Malians: 9/10
Interactions: only ever with the malians: 1/10
Average: 4.3/10

Longevity: records point to the kingdoms existance as early as 8th century: 6.5/10
Distinctiveness: share some similarities with the Malians by still fairly distinct culturally and linguistically: 9/10
Interactions: only ever had contacts with the Malians: 1/10
Average: 5.6/10


I think kanem would have contact with Berbers Saracens and Turks too.not sure if they fought any of them.

1 Like

It’s a little bit painful, knowing that we will probably never get all of those…

I think you should add a 4th category: Campaign potential. All of the factions that have been released had Campaigns, so if some factions whose history hasn’t been properly recorded loses some points, while those with long, recorded histories can gain a higher score.

1 Like

I don’t enough about any specific African civilization to request them, but I know Gbetos were Fon and not Malian, so I think there could be a Fon civ which gets the Gbeto while Malians get a new UU.

1 Like

After the Forgotten, every DLC have a civ that start with “B”. So Benin or Bantu is confirmed if we get another African DLC.

Point is what will be the other one or possibly other two.

1 Like

I think you should also take into account which of the civs there interacted wit other possible civs.

Also, what @Mahazona about Kanembu is right

Maybe that helps a little. It’s a comment of mine from another thread that I’ll paste here showing how many civs have potential for the game:

  • Northeastern: Nubians (Nobatia, Alwa and Makuria);
  • Central: Kanembu (Kanem-Bornu and minor sultanates);
  • Central-Western: Kongo (+Ndongo, Luba, etc);
  • Southeastern: Shona (Zimbabwe, Mutapa and Rozwi).
    Perhaps Swahili, Songhai and Benin.

Pros and cons of each:

  • Nubians (Archery civ)
    • Little info, but enough for tech tree
    • Good visual material (architecture and units graphics)
    • It has names of leaders and I think it would make a campaign
    • It has connections with Saracens, Turks, Berbers and Ethiopians
  • Kanembu (Cavalry and Gunpowder civ)
    • Little info, but enough for tech tree
    • Reasonable visual material (units but not architecture)
    • It has leader names, but I think it’s only for a historical battle
    • It has connections with Berbers, Malians and Ethiopians (if both are considered umbrellas too), Turks and Nubians (if added)
  • Kongo (Infantry and Gunpowder civ)
    • Too much info
    • Reasonable visual material (units but not architecture)
    • It has names of leaders and you can run campaigns
    • It has connections with Portuguese and Dutch (± Burgundians)
  • Shona (Infantry and Defensive civ)
    • Very little info, but enough for tech tree
    • Reasonable visual material (architecture, but not units)
    • It has names of leaders, but I think it’s only for a historical battle
    • It has connections with Portuguese and Swahili (if added)


  1. Kongo and Shona can be used to represent kingdoms not included in each other’s campaign/ historical battle. Both have architecture sets made by Abejin in Steam Workshop.
  2. The lack of architecture or unit is graphics has not stopped other civs from entering and not all civs have campaigns (Huns, Mayans etc)
  3. As for the last three (Songhai, Benin and Swahili) perhaps to add them. My personal choice would be Benin because it has more visual stuff (it would be an infantry civ). Swahilis have architecture and a differentiator of being a naval civ, but have very little info. Songhai, cavalry civ, one could argue that they are represented by the Malians (I disagree though).

Of all of them, only Kongo scratches the game’s period limit. But ironically, it’s the one with the most info for campaigns.


I don’t know which of these were Cavalry, archer or cavalry archer specialists. But please vote for those. It would be nice to see new archer unique units with special abilities. Please don’t vote any infantry or navy civs and please NO more elephant civs.

I do not like adding civs with ‘little info’, that would be a horrible choice imo

1 Like

Honestly outside of Kongo, Benin and maybe Songhai I think Kanembu have the most information here. We know enough to have two or three campaign options even (Idris Alooma, Ali Gazi and Dunnama Dubbalemi)

Also we have one or twoconstruction to draw inspiration from (Djado city and the Dikwa fort) who arent great, but are something

Also, for the Shona a campaign about the founder of Mutapa (Niatsymbe mutota)


Do campaigns have to be based on real documented history though? I think one could create a campaign or a historical battle using (say) legends or myths as a basis, or maybe even make up a whole new speculative story (as long as it’s made clear that the story is fiction).

(post deleted by author)

All of them would have access to the Wheelbarrow tech.

Wheelbarrows didnt become common in Europe until the 12th century, should we then call all Europeans before the 12th century uncivilized dumb people because China had them since the 5th century BC? The obvious answer is no. These African peoples created massive empires with weapons of iron without barely using the wheel, whats the problem with that?

Just a dumb and out of place comment from your part honestly.


Zimbabweans are a popular request in threads like this but I’m really not feeling them. Other than the ruins of Great Zimbabwe itself we know almost nothing about them. Forget a lack of historical records; we don’t even know what culture built the city, what language they spoke, or how large their kingdom was, let alone anything more detailed that might allow for a campaign or thematic civ bonuses. For me, they’re like the Mississippians: A popular pick because they fill in a large chunk of blank space on a world map, but otherwise not really fitting with the time period of the game.

I’d probably go for the Nubians and either the Kongo or another West African group to reduce the area coverage of the Malians.


We know that the Shona built the city pretty sure, we know that their state was bigger than Mutapa and we know the story of the founding of Mutapa to use as a campaign.

We also know enough about Zimbabwean warfare


Fine, have it your way.