Usac’s Civ Crafting Brainstorms Part 6 - Nubians

The Nubians are an interesting prospect! This Nile river civ has a very long history. Most of it is actually ancient, but there’s plenty past the fall of Egypt and even Rome. Nubia became a mostly Christian land but the mastery of archery nevery disappeared although they fell in 1504.


Nubians (2300BC-1504AD)

A Camel and Archer Civ

  • Camels +1 Pierce Armor, +1 melee armor starting Castle Age. (+1/1 total)
  • Gets Camel Scout

Camels are a fair mainstay of the region as is in most of Africa. It is said that Camel’s milk was rich and their desert roaming potential made life even possible at long distances. Camel scout is here for a reason. You’ll see in a moment. Now that India isn’t using this, the bonus is free real estate!

  • Fallowed or destroyed farms give 15F +10f per farming tech.

The Nile still served well as an excellent agricultural silting prospect long after people realized Bronze was old tech. Need a good balanced number here if 55 food per farm is too much

  • Arrows travel 25% faster to their destination faster.

There’s no doubt this is the land of archers. This doesn’t increase accuracy. If there’s a 20% miss chance, then the arrow will still miss and travel to the wrong location faster. It isn’t smart targeting so a moving target can still escape. How much faster is a balancing question. But DPS is unchanged. Only the amount of time you have to dodge is impacted.

Team Bonus: Camel units +2 LoS

More camel bonus. This is also a very selfish economic bonus for this civ as they start with a camel.

Missing Techs

  • Barracks: Halberdier, Eagle Scout
  • Archery Range: Hand Cannoneer, Parthian Tactics, Elite Elephant Archer, Cavalry Archer
  • Stable: Cavalier, Steppe Lancer, Hussar
  • Siege: Bombard Cannon, Siege Onager, Armored Elephant
  • Dock: /
  • Blacksmith: Blast Furnace
  • Economy: Two Man Saw
  • University: Heated Shot, Arrow Slit, Keep, Architecture
  • Monastery: /
  • Castle: Sappers

You do see elephants. For millennia, the elephant was more than useful in this region of the world, although by the time they reach their imperial might, Ptolemic style warfare fell out of use, so access to regular but not Elite archer upgrades for these guys mostly as a shout out to their rich elephant warfare history.

Unique Unit: Ta’Seti – Powerful Archer of the Eyes whose attacks do massive damage to living units if the unit is facing your direction when the arrow makes contact, but deals pitiful damage if facing away and half the time bounces off harmlessly 50% (25% for Elite) even if the arrow made contact and does 0 damage. Siege ignore this attribute. Also, a target appears above a unit’s head that is being shot at so the player KNOWS to pay attention to that unit if 1 or more Ta’Seti are aiming for it. The extra damage is not BONUS damage so enough Pierce armor like Huskarls and Inca Eagles can just not give a damn.


Ta’Seti Stats Elite
Hit Points 40 50
Armor (Archer, UU) 0/0 0/1
Attack 5 (+2 vs Spears, +3 if target is at least partly facing you when arrow lands) 6 (+2 vs spears, +4 if target is at least partly facing you when arrow lands
Range 5 5
Line of Sight 8 8
Accuracy 100% 100%
Rate of Fire 1.9 1.9
Movement .85 .85
Cost 40w,45g
Train Time 21s 21s
Elite Upgrade 800w,800g 55s

The Archer of the Eyes. It is said the aim of the Sudanese people was so good, they let their enemies call out what parts of their body they wanted their arrows to hit. And then they’d hit them. Often, the name Archer of the Eyes implies they could hit the eye. That’s why the unit does extra (not bonus) damage to units facing them. I need help balancing out the numbers. It’s a very all or nothing unit every shot. In fact running away almost ensures you can run away and heal. I can use some assistance getting the numbers to work. Again this idea is conceptually experimental and I preemptively apologize if this, admitted unique, concept just doesn’t flow right.

Castle UT: Water Bags – Camel and Elephant food cost reduced by 60%.

Perhaps too much camel bonus? This civ’s Stables really falls off otherwise after Castle Age where Knights and no Cavalier just aren’t going to cut it and Blast Furnace is also missing. Even with +1/1 armor, these camels are a just a tad too vital carrying the role of frontline for this civ. Anyway, Water for Camels is important, keep em hydrated. Also elephants because I like elephants!

Cost: 500f/350g

Imperial UT: Called Shot – Archer/Xbow/Arb and Skirmishers do +1 damage if their attack will only do 1 damage.

This needs explaining. If you would hit say, a Malian pikeman you won’t get the bonus because of the antil spear bonus even with a non fully upgraded Elite Skirmisher but a Full armored Hussar you will do +1 damage to.

Cost: 700f/900g

Gameplay Strategy: This tech tree is a little thin. No Cavalier, no Hussar, no Blast Furnace. This civ excells at Camels and archers and does so very well. It is a civ that almost demands micro skills to play as, but also to play against.

Early game camels are key. And farming will see food spikes at points when your farms run out of food all at once. It can feel quite satisfying to get all that instant food supply, but if you make farm, delete farm you’re not getting wood cost effective trade. You’re going to need that wood for archery. And that leads to the biggest issue here: a somewhat limited tech tree. Mixed archers and armored camels is not a bad tech tree by any stretch, but there are some unit combos that just make life hard.

This civ… is a bit of a strange one and VERY unorthodox, I’ll admit. It doesn’t exactly play by the rules as it really demands micro rather than just rewards it. No mistake, it rewards it too. But the UU is probably just unwieldy enough you’ll probably stick to Archer line who, while they will technically lose to other archer bonuses, have an easier-ish time in archer fire and move micro wars. The Ta’Seti is best used in situations where a fight is FORCED. So backing them up with an Onager firing upon the enemy TC is a great way to force enemy knights to rush it down and force pressure, only to be potentially have to rush down that catapult of boom prevention.

Again I’m not sure about the balance here, so I’m all ears to make this right!


That number does seem a little high because it works like an inverse Folwark (which gets 55 food initially after all farm techs) but without the Folwark’s tradeoff of being more exposed to raids. I think 10 +10 per tech would be fine.

I like this, but I think it should be paired with another archery related bonus. On its own it seems weak (and how much faster?)

Not a fan of this as it seems very overwrought and the kind of mechanic that lends itself better to other kinds of games much more than to AoE2. The amount of micro involved for a player to even semi-optimially mitigate the damage when fighting these units in mid-large battles, I don’t think even Viper is capable of, and the target GUI would just be annoying. Also not a fan of units having poor accuracy unless there’s an upside (e.g. Arambai), but I’ve already voiced that with the Thai elephant UU. I don’t wanna be that guy who’s always antagonistic to new mechanics, but some seem to inherently clash with the type of game that AoE2 is.

So kind of like a camel version of the Polish Castle UT, which there may be room for, but there are already 3 other civs with cheaper camels (Berbers, Byz, Gurjaras). Maybe something that reduces food cost a little less, but improves speed and/or training time? The only civ that gets (slightly) faster camels rn is Cumans, and you never see them since they don’t get Heavy Camel. I’m coming at this from the angle of “why would you pick this as a camel civ?”, and a tech for cheaper camels without blast furnace seems less compelling than the innately strong and/or cheap camels of other civs.

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Don’t forget the extra 1/1 armor. Since “Indians” no longer have it, this effect is free real estate.

Still trying to figure out a reconfigure for the front/back facing targeting. I was thinking to make the values more grounded and have maybe 4-6 base damage and +3 for a bullseye. In that way it’s still potent but less all or nothing.

Don’t forget since the projectile “unit” is buffed, towers and Town Centers and Castles technically has faster shots as well. To pair with too much archer bonus might be pushing it in my opinion. How much? Not sure what’s fair to be honest. 20%?

I like this one, we do need a civ that has P.Armor to Camels, I’d just make it +1 Pierce Armor per Age from Feudal Age. A little bit more bold and meaningful. (and of course balance it by removing access to Bloodlines, it’ll spice it up, increase diversity)

That’s a nice touch.

Mongols kinda bonus in Dark Age, I like it very much!

Now it’s VERY hard to address this one without seeing the numbers, however it does have a place in AOE, especially if the civ ISN’T an Archer civ purely. I’d just make sure it doesn’t affect buildings, so it people would actually be able to micro vs. Towers and TC’s which already shoot unpredictably since they have no face, you cant tell where-to they’re shooting, we don’t want to encourage noobism, but rather high micro play.

This is where it gets tricky, you basically gave them the Poles bonus just a little bit better BUT you get after the farm is dried, which is less worthy at the early game. However doesn’t require to be around Folwark. It’s too convinient, and unlike Poles bonus, doesnt integrate anything playful and playable, if you insist having this kind of late-game eco bonus, then I’d just make sure to differentiate it from Poles.
Maybe like this:

  • Fallowed or destroyed farms give 15F +10W per farming tech.

That’s an interesting concept, I absolutely love the fact you gave them only 0.85 movement speed, besides that I really want to see pro players micro this one, quite fascinating!

Sadly I was expecting a Camel related UT, I find it an overkill, overcommitment to the Camel nerative, already have 3 iconic features, it’s not needed, please dont make the civ so single dimensional, manifesting its description to perfection. That’s a childish approach. Be more chaotic and artistic.

And as I wrote the last one, I expected an UT that addresses Archers. Unlike Camels, the civ isn’t inflated with bonuses about Archers, besides an UU and a civ bonus that mostly applies in the early game it’s kinda nice to have an Imperial reintroduction of Archers.
However, you went full on Britons style, you gave their Arbalester the charateristics of their UU, and by that you drained all the uniqueness and purposefullness from it. Britons btw is a poor design, Arbalester with so much range doesnt really need a Longbow to be utilized in order to accomplish this unique win condition.
I’d give them bonus to Archers in Imp if you insist, but definitely not this one. (plus +3 damage is just a wild number for a FU++ Arbalester, no matter how expensive it is).

Overall this civ is actually great, some adjustments and it’s ready to go!

Wait what? You complain about so much, and then say a unit that deals damage based on the direction of the target is a brilliant design? It’s literally super unintuitive compared to some of the other stuff you say in unintuitive.


Duplicates of existing and previously existed bonuses.

Farm expiry giving foods seem interesting.

How does this compare mathematically to Ethiopians in terms of net dps?

Blacksmith doesn’t have any units. Anyways LoS bonus is decent but not anything significant, so no need to justify it.

Absolutely hate the horrible Elephant archers showing up instead of valuable cavalry archers.

Bad design, slow, expensive with no advantage over arbs and will never be made in place of Arbs for this civ. Everyone will just pull their gold units away taking no damage and fight these with skirms.

Also a duplicate and too steep of a discount.

That’s OP as it would force fights even when the numbers don’t seem favorable.

Not a problem, great archers. Civ is going to play similar to Ethiopians in terms of military and Byzantines in terms of economy and final composition.

Not a fan of the uu or unique techs.
The uu and imp ut are full on gimmicks, and a castle age ut seems a bit thin. Yeah it’s a huge discount but it only affects one unit.

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I will apologize until I’m blue for the imbalanced idea. I was trying to create a unique situation where you want to mix both archers and make the enemy micro dance his way to you. Again I meant no harm.

So here are a few alternatives to make this civ stronger and more balanced.

  • UUs base damage is higher and the eye shot is less extreme.
  • Called Shot simply makes it that if a unit would take ONLY 1 damage from a missile attack for ANY REASON (Bonus damage counts if say you have a Skirmisher hit a Malian pike the bonus damage matters here.) then the damage with get a +1 bonus but this effect doesn’t work if for any reason you would do more than 1. Doesn’t effect buildings. Possibly not rams either
  • Maybe give EBE and extend Water Bags to it? In turn I’ll make it a fairer -50% food or possibly 40%
    Can’t think of much else. By all means I’m an open book for advice.

So the big changes. Called Shot effects Archery Range foot archers, causing +1 bonus damage if their attack hits for only 1 damage and has no bonus damages. This might not effect buildings not sure.

Now gets Elite Battle Elephant and Water Bags effects elephants as well.

I also closed the damage gap on the UU. Hopefully this is what you folks want? Please tell me.

Anything else I’m all ears.