Usac’s Civ Crafting Brainstorms Part 8 - Swahili

So the Swahili, traders a bit south of the Horn of Africa. A naval power and first of the Southern African unit set.

The Swahili cities were not united and were powered by trade but the Portuguese were a constant thorn.

Siege And Naval civ

  • Onager Upgrade free

While siege wasn’t the most common in Swahili lands, Catapults were of common use as noted by Portuguese journals.

  • Spearmen +1 armor vs anti-spearman attacks. Another +1 in Castle for +2 total.

Spear usage is high in Africa

  • Dock techs research 500% faster

Gotta get the techage quicker.

  • Farm techs increase villager carry capacity by 30%.

Common tradegoods were farming, whether livestock or crops.

Team Bonus: Fishing Spots revealed within 30 range of TCs and docks.
More naval bonuses!

A half pop galley. Replaces the galley line. Trains faster and costs less. 2 are technically stronger than 1 equal age galley but it requires more docks to maintain the overwhelming ‘numbers’

Mtep Light Regular Elite
Health 65 75 90
Attack (Pierce) 4 (+5 vs ships, +5 vs fishing ships, +4 vs buildings, +2 vs ram) 6 (+6 vs ships, +6 vs fishing ships, +5 vs buildings, +2 vs ram) 6 (+8 vs ships, +7 vs fishing ships, +6 vs buildings, +3 vs ram)
Range 5 6 7
RoF 3 3 3
LoS 7 8 9
Movespeed 1.47 1.47 1.47
Armor 0/6 0/7 0/8
Cost 50w/20g
Train Time 19 19 18
To Elite 400f/300w 35s

UU: Rungu - Club throwing infantry who can swap to melee, which strikes faster and harder but they’re not the fastest.

Rungu Stats Elite
Health 60 70
Attack (range) 6 (+1 vs Eagles and buildings, +4 vs archers) 7 (+2 vs Eagles and buildings, +5 vs archers)
Attack (melee) 10 (+3 vs Eagles, Siege and buildings, +6 vs cavalry) 13 (+4 vs Eagles, siege and buildings, +8 vs cavalry)
Range 4 4
Accuracy 100 (both)
RoF 2.2 1.9
LoS 8 8
Movespeed .85 .85
Armor, Melee (Infantry/UU) 2/1 3/1
Armor, Range (Infantry/UU) 1/2 1/3
Cost 50f/50g
Train Time 16 16
To Elite 900w/800g 60s

The Rungu was an African club weapon. It was carved of wood and sturdy enough to smack and break bones without much damage to itself. It was also dynamic for throwing. Seriously, this thing can CLEAVE a coconut in a 1 handed swing. Unlike Ratha there is no confusion as to what this unit is. Even its ranged attack does melee type damage so don’t worry if you leave it in range attack mode.

Regional Unit: Savannah Scout/Runner (Elite). Pretty much reskinned Eagles for a set of civs without Eagles but access to gunpowder. The basic gist of South Africa is “What if Eagle… but gun?”

Regional Unit: Assegi: This unit and it’s elite upgrade is to Pikeman and Halberd what Winged Hussar is to Hussar. It’s a slightly better Pike And Halb sorta. Stats? Not sure this could be a can of worms. I was thinking their raw stats as in base attack and armor could be slightly higher offset by -1 or 2 to bonus damages for comparable units. Not all Southern Africans will get the Elite upgrade.

UT1: Azania – Mtep +1 damage/range and +2 vs ships and buildings.

Cost: 400f/250g

UT2: Gallas – Savannah Scouts, Melee Rungu +4 melee armor. Ranged Rungu +2 damage vs ranged

Cost: 600f/350g

Missing Techs

  • Barracks: Champion
  • Archery Range: Hand Cannoneer, Elephant Archer, Cavalry Archer
  • Stable: Building
  • Siege Workshop: Siege Ram, Armored Elephant
  • Dock: Fast Fire Ship
  • Blacksmith: Cavalry Armor
  • Economy: Stone Shaft Mining, Hand Cart.
  • University: Heated Shot, Architecture, Fortified Walls, Murder Holes
  • Monastery: Heresy, Theocracy
  • Castle: /

I’ll fill in the strategy section later. But for now, the numbers might need work. Any help is welcome here to avoid complications.


Isn’t this just double damage?

The Portuguese 30% faster is bad, and that’s for all non age up techs, not just one building.

This is literally a free reveal of the enemy location, as well as a heap of other stuff.

So they have 4 unique units? Two regional, and two unique? That’s a stretch. Also, regional units also kind of need other civs in the region to use it, or they’re just a regular UU.

Are fish that uniformly spread out that you can tell where your enemies are?

Don’t assume I didnt forget the other civs in the region.

I’ll increase dock research rate if too slow.

Depends on the map, but for islands for example, it’s going to be pretty obvious if you have a large area with no fish that the enemy island is there. Also, shore fish literally map out coastlines.

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Maybe but on Nomads all it does is give you a nice idea of where to dock. Sure it might line the coast of your enemies but it doesn’t tell you exactly where the TC or best landing spot is. Just a general idea of the island sculpture.

If it doesn’t reveal fog then you still can’t see where it’s being fished.

Maybe only fish within some large range of your own docks/TC revealed?

Or perhaps it only reveals deep fish

We already have a civi with three land uus so this is not too far off.

Solid bonus.

I don’t play a lot of water, but this just seems way too stronk. I’m all for extreme bonuses if they can be balanced, but I can’t think of any other comparable kind of bonus in the game, where a civ bonus makes that civ’s unit 2x as effective as a generic unit. Imagine a FU knight, swordsman or archer line with either 2x the HP or 2x the damage output as a standard unit. Dealing 25-40% more damage and/or greater blast radius would be more than enough.

So, kinda like Goths of the water. I think it has potential, but the possibility of snowballing too easily into rapid water control with cheap/faster trained ships is very real (again, water balance is not my strong point).

I get that this affects different units, but it looks far too similar to Frontier guards for my liking, which adds +4 melee to several units.

Halberdier is already an excellent unit, and an upgraded Halb would likely either be OP, or it would have to miss some techs, in the which case it would likely play out like the Halb of a strong infantry civ (e.g. Slavs, Burmese, Japanese), but with an expensive upgrade tech. Also the connection between Halb and Assegai is far more tenuous than that between Hussar and Winged. I would make it a standalone UU or regional, not an upgrade of a generic unit.

Perhaps I was thinking to differentiate it it effects the UU differently depending on if it’s melee mode or ranged. So the +4 melee for melee Rungu and maybe +1 melee for ranger but +1 range/damage to compensate. It rewards swapping at the right time and enforces micro.

That said Bagains does the same for militia and Ironclad the same for siege. Howdah and Hauberak are pretty similar don’t forget the Inca armor tech. Oh right the Tatar tech gives different units 1/1 as well. It’s all okay. Minor overlap is okay

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Yes. They didn’t used to be, back in AoK/The Conquerors (and possibly HD, not sure), but in DE basically every official map script spreads fish out uniformly. So revealing fishing spots essentially tells you where all the water in the map is. Moreover, the uniform distribution of fish is a balance decision (otherwise fishing incomes would be overly influenced by luck), so can’t sensibly be changed.

You could probably come up with some variation that doesn’t reveal too much, e.g. fish within some distance of your Town Centre or Docks are revealed, rather than every fish on the map.

This is an awesome powerspike, makes their Imperial Age as unique as the Turks one.

Double Damage Demo? is it too much?

Solid, perhaps a little bit Persians, but fine.

A forceful design of an eco bonus, does it really do anything? an eco bonus for the sake of an eco bonus? People do Horse Collar only anyways for the most part of the game, unless it’s a boom-fest which in this situation I rather have any other eco bonus.

That’s way too much, arguably auto-win on many maps. tells you easily the location of the enemy TC in many maps, the shape of the map in many situations, and a huge advantage at hybrid maps.
Dont see this one being implementable nor balancable.

We already have Ratha, which basically has only a single unique feature which is this hybrid mechanism, besides that the unique is roughly a generic Cavalier/CA.
What’s the reason to play this one as melee, knowing Longswords are the worst unit in the game pretty much (unlike M@A, Militia or Champion). This unit doesnt serve any strategic purpose, it’s an throwing axeman.

At least Ratha is a mix up between two viable units.

True. Think of the unit as a thrower who if engaged in melee can fight back harder than an axe or gbeto. That’s why the change is now to make the unit more distinct. First I buffed all the stats and made the swap more in line with going from throwing clubs to beat archers to a melee unit who has a bonus vs cavalry and has higher melee armor instead of good Pierce. To balance all this the elite upgrade is more expensive.

I also changed the Demo bonus in favor of spearman defenses and boosted farm gather from 20% to 30% and if it’s not enough.

I don’t think every UU for the next decade of expansions will be fully unique but even small variations of current ones help a ton.

It is now a replacement to the Pike with an elite upgrade. Unlike Wing Hussars the unit has a slightly 2 or 3 less bonus vs cav type but their basic defensive and attack stats are bit stronger so like 1 armor base and 5 base attack damage but only +20 vs cavalry. Similar sort of situation for the elite vs halberds.

Not all civs in the region will get the elite upgrade.

Regarding the edits:

Love it. Absolutely love it. Please make it +2. It’s a must.

Again, I love it. Bold numbers, that’s how you create a feature that’s highly playable and therefore feels diverse. That’s how you create powerspikes reasonably.

Better than the previous 20%, however I’m still not convinced, perhaps remove access to Handcart and this way it will allow you to flex and mold this civ eco better in an unique way.

Makes much more sense! I’d make it, however the number is too big, within a single Dock and a TC you’d cover 50% of the map (Tiny). And it’s a TEAM BONUS! multiple Docks and TC’s might lead to a MARCO POLO effect. I’d keep it 18.

Any ranged unit that has either a Gunpowder damage value OR a melee damage (which is naturally higher) is an Anti-Cavalry unit (regardless the written bonus), and kinda a generalist, usually loses to Archers/CA. So you made them good ALSO against Archers? yet so cheap? Doesnt make sense, I’d rather micro them against Knights in their ranged form rather than switching to melee form, I’d do that only when I’m heavily overwhelmed by Cavalry.

So I get why you should play them ranged, they’re basically Thorwing Axeman. (Still not differentiate enough, same cost, same HP, same damage, same range, same movement speed, same training time roughly, they’re just better than the throwing boys, it doesnt even make sense, better armor and bonus vs. Archers)
(I remind you that Ratha is not a CA in it’s ranged form, differentiated enough by having lower damage and higher HP, and in it’s melee form it’s differentiated from Cavalier by simply costing wood instead of food and having a different armor type, which both traits are huge, so this design is worse than Ratha)

So let’s say you adjusted the ranged form to make it less Throwing Axeman (and overall weaker, cause it’s simply better and broken), they’re still strategically one-unit-to-win-them-all, what’s the catch? At least Ratha loses to Skirms quite nicely. (I’d reduce their movement speed to below 0.85, to prevent that micro-able range abusiveness I’ve described before)
If you keep this design, at least make it cost tons of gold, it’s way too fancy to be considered a low-gold unit like most Infantries.
I’d make it 40f / 55g. (considering the current stats)

You know, I could see that working, losing Hand Cart if maybe the farming techs granted +30% for ALL gather rates and maybe 3 to 5% movespeed. Otherwise they’re going to be faster on farms but wood is gonna be a pain to maintain.

I lowered base attack and the melee bonuses vs cav. That way the civ still feels encouraged to use their spearline who take less from anti-spears. They are also slower and lower range which is vital to encourage melee play as more of a last resort now that the melee units have reached me. This plays into a big micro game where you can dance your stance not to attack a certain way, but to defend a certain way as well.

What’s wrong with it? Strategy is about paying a price somewhere to justify a powerspike elsewhere.

Solid! It makes more sense now. You said it yourself that there’s a limit to innovation in AOE, which I agree, we’re inflated with civs and the mechanism has only much to offer.
And that’s why you should always assit existing similar units to shape yours, both in price and stats.
This one looks much more playable and balanced.

To a point I agree, but being incapable of carrying 7 extra stone, gold, or wood is just brutal! If there were civs that missed this tech without compensation and could manage long term, I’d have no argument. But gathering a max potential of 30f per farm, while pretty nice, is crippled by a stagnant 13 wood and mining per trip.

I’ll even go so far to say if it granted all resources increased carry I’d be fine losing the Cart even though 10% speed is pretty important for running away from enemies too.

I like this idea, slow hardworking vills.