New Civilization Concept - the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)

Here’s another take on what a civilization based on the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois Five Nations) could look like. I understand that the Iroquois are a pretty highly requested civ, and I think there’s a lot of potential for unique additions to the game. I decided to call them Haudenosaunee as that is what the Iroquois called themselves, but you certainly could go with the latter name if you wanted something more recognizable.

The Haudenosaunee
Infantry & Naval Civilization
North American Architecture (New architecture would be needed as the stone-based Mesoamerican buildings don’t fit with the largely wooden Native North American structures)

Rationale: North America is a region that has been largely neglected by Age of Empires II, despite the fact that it was home to multiple Indigenous civilizations, some of whom even established what could be called ‘empires’. The Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois) were one such civilization, whose confederacy of five different tribes extended from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. I decided to design them as an infantry civilization with a unique emphasis on raiding, a strong economy, and a powerful navy. The decision to give them a good navy (from what I’ve seen, this is not typically considered in Iroquois civ concepts) stems from the lack of any Native American civilization built for water maps, but also from the Haudenosaunee’s historical domination of river systems as routes for both trade and transportation.

Unique Units
Mohawk Warrior: Light infantry with the fastest movement speed of any infantry unit. Has low hit points and armor with average attack, but with a large attack bonus against non-military units (villagers, trade carts, kings) and standard buildings.

  • I imagine the Mohawk Warrior as a reworked Algonquin Warrior unit from the Vinlandsaga scenario. I designed it based on the fact that most Haudenosaunee warfare was for raiding purposes: to seize resources or prisoners, rather than to conquer territory. Mohawk Warriors could do a lot of damage to a poorly defended economy, but would fare poorly against other military units. Their high speed would allow them to choose most of their fights, which reflects the Haudenosaunee practice of fleeing rather than suffering heavy casualties.

Canoe: Unique warship that doubles as a transport, available from the Castle Age onward. Has fast movement, but a weak attack. However, its attack would become more powerful the more units that are garrisoned inside of it (like a tower or ram). Holds 5 units at base, 7 with Careening, and 10 with Dry Dock, meaning that transport ships would still be able to transport more units in the long run.

  • Canoes were vital to Haudenosaunee river transportation. They were small and fast, allowing Haudenosaunee warriors to travel long distances to attack their enemies before making hasty retreats. When fully garrisoned, I imagine that canoes could 1v1 most other warships - however, this would come with the risk of losing several units simultaneously if the canoe is destroyed, making it a high-risk, high-reward unit.

Unique Techs
Mourning Wars: Castle Age unique tech which causes a new villager to be spawned at your Town Center whenever you kill an enemy villager using a Mohawk Warrior.

  • Mourning Wars were waged by the Haudenosaunee to replenish their numbers whenever they suffered heavy losses. They would kidnap people from neighbouring tribes and ####### #### until they could be integrated into Haudenosaunee society.

Tlingit Armor: Imperial Age unique tech which gives Haudenosaunee infantry a ‘dodge meter’ (like the Shrivamsha Rider).

  • Tlingit Armor was wooden armor famously worn by the Tlingit, a Native American people from the Pacific Coast. While it is doubtful the Haudenosaunee had much - if any - contact with the Tlingit, we do know that the Haudenosaunee also wore wooden armor, which offered them much protection from arrows.

Unique Building
Longhouse: Replaces the House. The Longhouse is larger, takes longer to build, and costs 50 wood instead of 25. However, it houses 15 population instead of 5, reducing the need for as many houses.

Civilization Bonuses

  • Start with two free Farms (Growing crops was essential to Haudenosaunee society, particularly the Three Sisters [squash, corn, and beans])
  • Mill not required to build farms.
  • Trees last 10% longer.
  • Warships cost 15% less gold, but more wood (e.g., a Galley would cost 104 wood and 25 gold instead of 90 wood and 30 gold).
  • Deleted buildings (except for Castles & Wonders) return 50% of their cost (the Haudenosaunee would often burn down their own villages and flee into the woods rather than withstand a siege).

Team Bonus: Palisade walls and gates are built 25% faster (The Haudenosaunee often built multiple layers of palisade walls to defend their villages).

Missing Techs

  • Barracks: Gambesons.
  • Archery Range: Cavalry Archer-line units; Elephant Archer-line units; Hand Cannoneer; Parthian Tactics.
  • Stable: Everything.
  • Blacksmith: Cavalry armor upgrades.
  • Siege Workshop: Bombard Cannon; Heavy Scorpion; Armored Elephant-line units.
  • Castle: None.
  • Dock: Cannon Galleon-line units; Dromon.
  • Monastery: Redemption; Block Printing; Theocracy.
  • University: Architecture; Bombard Tower; Fortified Wall; Keep.
  • Economy: Stone Shaft Mining.

And that’s it! I wanted to design a civilization that brought something new to the game and which played differently to existing civs. Feel free to let me know what you think - this is obviously a work-in-progress!


I would also really would like to see a few North American civilizations. I was working on my own Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) civ concept in combination with the Algonquians. I already posted my Mississippian concept.

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Why the Tlingit? They are completely unrelated and live on the other side of North America.

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u have to be more specific. Does this include camels, elephants, stepp lancers etc.?

There bonuses tbh seem kinda useless, there isn’t a strong bonus anywhere.

The tree bonus is useless, farm with mill is niche and kinda useless.

Warships are just worse than normal, full water maps can run out of wood easily, and why does it cost 14 more wood and only 5 less gold?

The only useful bonus is the starting free farm and deleting buildings, and both of those are niche and too small of an effect, there bonuses are barely of note.

They have full stable but not calv armor upgrades?

My guess is its a meso civi without any stable units.

yeah that’s what I assumed at first but

Also this Mohawk warrior steps too much on the berserker toes. The villager raiding + speed aspect.

Stables everything is under missing techs.

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ahhh right mb, i have only slept 3h lol.

This is not a good UT, because it snowballs too hard. To put it more bluntly, this is ridiculously broken at high elos. To understand why, you need to know that if you lose vils, it’s almost always better to take down your opponent’s vils than to wall up and defend. Unless you have a really strong civ bonus, you will never keep up with a vil lead. This is so strong in the early game that chinese, with their 3 extra vil start has remained S-tier even lacking a lot of late game upgrades.

Now, consider what happens if you castle drop, get the tech, and 1 tc push them. Each vil lost is around 90-100 resources in the short term (50 food for the villager, and extra for the time it takes to produce another, and the resources a villager can gather in the next 2 minutes). With this tech though, each vil lost is over 170, considering your opponent will get that vil. The optimum play with this civ will always be a 1 tc push, unless you make the tech too expensive, and then it becomes useless for castle age, and moves to imperial. But even in imperial age, where raids are how you end a game, this tech is ridiculous.

There are other issues with the civ, but this alone is so extremely broken that everything else is secondary.


Wondering what their wonder would look like…

“Everything” means that they are missing everything from the Stable (like the Aztecs, Inca, and Mayans). “None” would mean they aren’t missing anything, hence why the heading is “Missing Techs”

One thing to make Iroquois really unique and make them stand out is using some type of Travois unit building. Like having all drop-off sites being mobile or that you could pack up buildings and move them around while them being frail when they’re in this mode.

This is what I did with my Haudenosaunee concept:

I’d really look forward to literally any new civ in America, especially North America north the Colorado river right now.


Because they had something very similar, but it could be renamed to Aquientor.


I get what you’re saying here. Would it be more balanced if killing enemy villagers just generated food, rather than creating villagers? I do think Mourning Wars would need to be incorporated somehow into a Haudenosaunee/Iroquois civ, given that its essential to their warfare historically.

I was hoping that the Mohawk Warrior’s poor combat stats would help balance this. They would be weak enough that virtually any engagement with defenses or military units would be a losing battle, so simply creating a few trash units would be enough to fend off Mohawk Warrior raids.

Exactly. I couldn’t find what the Iroquois actually called their armor, but I knew the Tlingit were most famous for wearing it. Calling it Tlingit Armor was just a lot more interesting than calling it Wooden Armor.

Yeah, I came to realize later that wood is more valuable on water maps. I was working off the assumption that gold is inherently more valuable than wood. The difference in value was 15% less off the 30 gold cost and 15% more on the 90 wood cost. I suppose I could simplify things and just give them a 33% gold discount on warships or something.

I would rather suggest that each Mohawk warrior can only ‘kidnap’ a villager once. So, if you just make one Mohawk warrior and the enemy isn’t paying attention, you’ll only get one villager out of several kills with that one Mohawk Warrior. I’m also hesitant to add another Shrivamsha rider mechanic to a unit, I’d much rather that kind of dodge mechanics not be part of AoE2 at all. Perhaps if the dodge mechanic was removed and replaced with literally anything else, the ‘charge’ could show whether the Mohawk Warrior has kidnapped a villager already or not.

(Maybe they could recharge it slowly.)

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I understand the sentiment, but I doubt that the dodge mechanic is going anywhere now that its in the game. I think the best outcome would probably be to “normalize” the dodge mechanic by extending it beyond the Shrivamsha Rider. I do like your idea about each Mohawk Warrior only being able to ‘kidnap’ a villager once, maybe with a very slow recharge.

Yeah, that would be way better.

You have to balance a civ around the behaviour of the civ itself. When you don’t, things get kinda weird. A few examples here are celt’s sheep stealing bonus and Vietnamese bonus where you can see opponent’s location.

The problem with this bonus is that it is fundamentally unpredictable across all Elos. How many vil picks you get from mid-castle age, where you get this bonus to mid-imperial, after which it’ll kinda stop mattering, is extremely dependent on the map and the civ matchup.

If you make the hunter unit too weak, this will be totally useless at high elos where player can just quick wall out vils. If you make it even moderately strong, it will likely snowball the game too hard and make it unfair, at low-mid elos.

This is similar to flemish revolution, where either it is too strong, or it is too weak. The balance is on the tip of a pin, and that changes with maps. The only way I can think of balancing this is moving it to imperial age and making it similar to the viking bonus.

I honestly think the mechanic needs to go. I hate it with a passion. Otherwise, just one arrow might be fine. In case of fast infantry, one projectile might be okay. 5-7 like shirvamsha is insane.

You wanted the Haida, not the Haudenosaunee. The Haudenosaunee controlled rivers, but they weren’t a powerful sea force. On the other hand, the Haida raided up and down the Pacific coast from the Aleutian Islands to nearly Baja California, and they have stories of raiding Hawaii.

So from the start, I think you started off with a bad premise for the Haudenosaunee.


From the perspective of a Native American, I’d rather AoE2 leave us out of the game entirely. There’s no way to make a functional and even semi-historical civ with how symmetrical every civ is - Let’s face it, there’s no Lakota or Haudenosaunee castle that is about to be built.

Reading through these comments, it’s pretty clear that there’s no real idea whatsoever about what drives Haudenosaunee culture. AoE3 can barely make a pseudo-realistic version of them, I don’t think AoE2 is going to be somewhere Native Americans should be.

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