The Samoans are an empire which have roots tracing back to around 3000BC. While much of their history has been lost(due to being preserved orally) their are strong records of empires which stretched across dozens of islands, with massive war parties spreading the rule of the Tuʻi Manuʻa across swathes of ocean that would be impressive even to modern nations. Combat was frequent; John Williams, a European Explorer, recorded this:
“The wars of the Samoans were frequent and destructive…. The island of Apolima was the natural fortress of the people of Manono, a small but important island. These people, although ignorant of the art of writing, kept an account of the number of battles they had fought, by depositing a stone of a peculiar form in a basket, which was very carefully fastened to the ridge of a sacred house appropriated to that purpose. This basket was let down, and the stones were counted whilst I was there, and the number was one hundred and twenty-seven, showing that they had fought that number of battles.” - John Williams
The overall civ design is based around glass cannon infantry units supported by heavy skirmishers, an interesting twist from the usual approach! The mo’ai help protect the Toas from being converted and turning on each other. However, lacking the Elite Eagle Warrior upgrade, the civ as a whole will play more slowly than many civs, and when separated from the Toa, their vulnerability to archers will lead to their counterplay.
The Samoans are a naval-focused ‘meso’ civ, with a potent navy, Eagle Warriors, but no cavalry. They have two unique units and a unique building.
The first is a replacement for the Galley Line, the War Canoe(upgrading to War Catamaran), which can garrison units as well as fight; it can garrison archers to fire additional projectiles, or garrison infantry to move faster, similar to a Ram or Tower.
Stats: Slightly cheaper and weaker than Galley Line, unless garrisoned.
The second unique unit, produced from the Castle, is a unique Heavy Skirmisher unit, the Toa (Literally ‘spear’ and also ‘warrior’). It is unique in that, while it is focused on being anti-archer, it has heavy melee armor and high HP, protecting it from melee units.
Cost: 70W, 15G
Attack: 4(5)(Deals 2 damage to Knights and Paladins when fully upgraded, rather than 1.)
Attack Speed: 2
Bonus Attack: Same as Skirmisher.
The final unique option is the Mo’ai, an Outpost replacement with higher HP and armor, which also increases conversion resistance within its line of sight.
+2/2 Conversion time on all allied units in range.
Pā Puʻuhonua(Great Wall): Upgrades all Palisade Walls to Fortified Palisade Walls. Allows Fishing Ships to build Sea Walls.
Taiaha Spears: Eagle Warriors and Spearman Line have +8 Damage.
Note: This civ does not get Elite Eagle Warriors or Plate Mail Armor.