Split the Sufi Mosque

Holy Site Limitations

The Sufi Mosque is the sole holy site representing Islam, and as a consequence, it is the most numerous minor faction and can be found on a massive number of maps. Since the site has only one unit that speaks a single language, this overuse makes them a poor fit on many maps. Splitting it into several new holy sites would allow more specificity for each site and a greater variety of representation overall. Islam has a lot more variation than just the Sufi orders.

The main branches of Islam could be represented by a Shia Madrasa and a Sunni Ribat and the Sufi Mosque could receive some alterations to accommodate this. However, so far there has been a tendency to choose only a facet of each religion rather than outright naming them after a major denomination (Bhakti instead of Hindu, Udasi instead of Sikh, etc), so alternate more generic names like Madhhab Madrasa, Ummah Ribat, or Mujahideen Ribat could be used instead of Sunni or Shia. More generic names would also have the advantage of being less limiting to what maps the sites could appear on.

For reference, the current Sufi Mosque has the Qizilbash as the unique unit, and the technologies, Fasting (+10% villager gather rate and -40% villager health), Pilgrimage (Ships one fattened goat for every 2 minutes of game length), and Sharia (+10 villager build limit).

A similar template could be followed for all of the Muslim holy sites with each having a technology that improves villagers and a technology that improves with game length. The sites could also provide a more in depth sample of the religion with all of the 5 Pillars of Islam (Faith, Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and Pilgrimage) represented in some form by the available technologies.

Sufi Mosque (Reworked)

Sufism is prevalent in Southeast Asia so originally the Sufi Mosque was geared towards that region with War Elephants as the unique unit and a selection of only eastern maps. This original emphasis should be retained, and the Sufi Mosque could be given a Southeast Asian unit and limited to maps in that region.


Moro Swordsman - The Moros are Filipino Muslims who fiercely resisted Spanish occupation. They would be armed with a machete and protected by a taming shield, buffalo horn armour, and plumed burgonet helmet. The function would be as an agile heavy infantry swordsman.



Fasting: +10% villager gather rate and -40% villager health.

Eid: Ships one fattened goat for every 2 minutes of game length. Renamed from Pilgrimage but otherwise the same effect.

Dhikr: Cards that deliver one-time troops and resource crates can be sent again (just like when advancing to age 5). It is a type of repetitive prayer, hence the repeat shipments.

Shia Madrasa

Shi’ism is centered on Persia but is present as a minority across the Islamic world. Madrasas are essentially Islamic universities. Although madrasas are present in all Islamic traditions, it was initially popularized in Persia and their architecture often shows this origin with features like iwan. These holy sites could appear on most West and Central Asian maps. Since the Qizilbash were mainly Shia, this holy site could be their home. The featured technologies could focus on the study of religion, law, and architecture.


Qizilbash - Transferred from the old Sufi Mosque to this site. These were Turokoman warriors who would be a much better fit at a Shia holy site.


Hadiths: Ships a crate of books for every 2 minutes of game length.

Sharia: +10 villager build limit.

Minarets: Increases building LoS and build experience.

Sunni Ribat

Sunnism is by far the most common branch of Islam so this holy site could feature on most of the maps where the Sufi Mosque is now. Ribats were fortifications built on the borderlands of Muslim nations as a base to raid and defend. Many were also repurposed as caravansaries along trade and pilgrimage routes and became religious retreats. The units and technologies of this holy site focus on the aspects of raiding and refuge these outposts provided.


Ghazi - This is a generic term for raiders across the Muslim world and they could feature as a cavalry unit similar to Raiders and Steppe Riders. The broad applicability and raiding focus is the perfect fit for a Sunni Ribat holy site. They actually already feature in the series as the Ghazi Raider in AoE4.



Jihad: Ships a Ghazi for every for every 2 minutes of game length. If the negative connotations of jihad are too strong, another term like razzia could be used.

Almsgiving: +5% villager gather rate and +10% villager cost.

Pilgrimage: +10% speed for heroes, healers, and economic units.

Other Holy Site Splits

Other major religions could also be split into multiple sites to provide fuller representation. Buddhism could be divided among the Zen Temple, Shaolin Monastery, and Forest Monastery. Christianity could be split among the Jesuit Mission, Hospitaller Commandery, and Papal Basilica.


Your Sufi split ideas all sound great.

I’d love to see Moro Swordsmen in particular!


The Moro Swordsman just looks too cool not to include and it would be much better than sticking Qizilbash in places like Indochina or the Philippines. At the very least, I’d like to see the Sufi Mosque be more focused on the far east and then another site like a Madhhab Madrasa could have Qizilbash and cover the rest of the maps.


Having all the muslim native sites have slight variants of the same set of techs sounds like a really bizarre design choice.

It feels like a Sufi split would go hand in hand with a Persian dlc


I’m not sure what you think is so strange, the game is full of slight variations of similar things. Some level of standardization lets players learn what they do and get familiar with it more easily. It’s like when you see an unfamiliar unit with a bayonet, you can safely assume it functions like a Musketeer. So when you see a new Islamic holy site, you can make and educated guess of what it’ll have in it.

The techs also aren’t really that similar other than Fasting and Almsgiving. The theme just kinda fell into place when I split up Sharia and Fasting because they are a bit redundant for one site. The function of the Almsgiving tech is based on the fact that villagers would be more expensive due to their generosity but also more productive, which also fits the pattern of the previous techs. Hadiths is a collection of texts so books over time is a good representation, and Pilgrimage/Eid already gave goats over time. So with that pattern, I just made Jihad also deliver something based on game duration. The third techs don’t have any pattern at all.

There would also be a bit of overlap between these sites with potentially both Sufis and Madrasas on Indonesia/Sumatra and both Madrasas and Ribats on several different maps. So with that there could be some synergy between some of the villager techs, and techs like Hadiths and Dhikr that could get you experience and let you ship something twice.

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I mean, people will only recognize the pattern if they are already familiar with islam, or see the pattern and then discover that “oh they are all islamic lol”, but it’s not something that’s just “intuitive” in any way, like I don’t expect the Zen site and the Shaolin site to have similar techs just because both are buddhist.

It’s a super minor complaint though, it’s not like it’s gonna break the game or actually bother anyone, I just felt like it was too cute for its own good, but it’s not bad design or anything of that sort.

A Sufi split would be great. To that end, I’d like to also suggest Bedouins.
They would fit both African and Asian maps and there kinda already is a Bedouin-inspired unit in the scenario editor: the Bedouin Horse Archer.

Also, I wouldn’t say I know enough about them to explain how we should go about it, but I think Tupis also deserve/need a split.

The Tupi site works for what it is. The real problem is that there’s a severe lack of native sites in South America overall.

Like Tupi and Mapuche are pretty much the only ones. Quechua if you count the one map that has them.

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What do you mean? Quechua are kinda overused as well. I don’t even think they belong in Amazonia.

Yes, but not into 2 minor civs. I’d love to see the Guarani split off as a full civ with some significant Jesuit and Paraguayan elements.

Muisca and Jivaro would be awesome. They could finally displace the Zapotec from South America. Tehuelche could also be a good replacement for Mapuche if they got elevated to a full civ.