Usac's Civ Crafting Corner 13: Yoruba

Wait. 13?! I’m back! No time to futz around, lets goooo!


The Yoruba sit at the edge of the desert the cusp of Tsetse flydom. Benin and Oyo empires which honestly I feel could be two civs… and in fact i think I will. The Oyo were just at the south end of the Sahara where Tsetses dared! So screw it, this was a Yoruba civ but now its an Oyo which you could call Yoruba but separate it out from the Beninese.

African power! But a very different civ caught at the cusp of being without cavalry but it does!

Civ setup…

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?”

Here there is some cavalry to tey with.

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.

These two which I surmised for the SWahili, Zimbabweans and Kongolese are at home here, but there’s a bit more to it.

They also get Camel scout. Not as a starting scout the way Ghana, Nubia or Gujaras do, but as a reason to excuse this civ having access to an Age 2 stable despite the lack of scout cavalry. This is because to people like this, Cavalry were managable due to the lowered existence of the flies that eat them, BUT mostly if you brought a horse or camel in it needed to be worth the cost. The lack of scouts is symbolic of scarcity!

Let’s get to the bonuses!

Oyo - An infantry and cavalry archer civ

  • Barracks cost -50w, -50 more starting Feudal

Oyo armies were armed with lances and swords. All men took training in this way.

  • Heavy Cav Archer and Champion Upgrade either Free or much cheaper/faster to research

Heavy Cavalry divisions were precious. The Oyo armies learned to arm their men with bows especially since a horse killed was a horse lost.

  • Building an Archery Range spawns a Cav archer starting Castle Age. Any archeries built will spawn upon reaching that age.

Just a power spike. Maybe too good?

  • Spawning a farms generate 4 gold per age (16 total)

Textiles and food goods were the mainstay economy of this civilization. In a sense its a lot like spending almost 4w for 1g might be too good since the market without Guilds is far more painful . Definitely NOT a final number.

Team Bonus: Horse Mounted Ranged units and Scout units (except camel) train 25% faster.

This includes all mounted ranged units that are UU but not technically cav archer: War Wagon, Kipchik, Mangudai, Arambai, Conq, Genitour, Ratha. Basically if its already in the Gujara bonus, its not here. It also helps Eagles and Scout Cav/Hussar training. Whether that’s too much or not is up for debate and if you think it is I totally understand!

Missing Techs

  • Disabled Infantry: / (Uses Savannah Runner)
  • Disabled Cavalry: Scout Cavalry, Heavy Camel, Battle Elephant, Steppe Lancer
  • Disabled Archery: Elephant Archer, Elite Skirmisher, Hand Cannoneer
  • Disabled Siege: Siege Onager, Elephant, Heavy Scorpion
  • Disabled Dock: Elite Cannon Galley, Fast Fire
  • Disabled Blacksmith: Bracer
  • Disabled Economy: Stone Shaft Mining
  • Disabled University: Keep, Siege Engineers, Architecture, Treadmill Crane, Heated Shot
  • Disabled Castle: /
  • Disabled Monastery: Faith, Atonement, Theocracy


Asante Warrior - Swift armored infantry with low damage but an effect that causes enemies to retarget to hit them instead. Has 1 range but could never compare to a Kamayuk

Asante Warrior Stats Elite
Hit Points 80 90
Armor 4/2 6/3
Melee Attack 6 8
Attack vs. Eagles 4 5
Attack vs. Standard Buildings 5 5
Range 1 1
Line of Sight 5 5
Accuracy 100% 100%
Rate of Fire 1.9 1.9
Movement .95 .95
Cost 65f,40g
Train Time 19s 18s
Elite Upgrade 700f,650g 50 seconds
Armor Types Infantry, UU

Castle UT: Esusu - The farm gold creation goes up by 25%.
Cost: 600g, 400w

Esusu was some sort of commerce term for the Oyo empire. Get more gold and farm it up!

Imperial UT: Triple Barbed Javelins - Skirmishers ignore armor. Cav archers ignore half.

This pretty penny tech is hopefully not too good. Ignoring half armor means Cav archers still do attrocious damage to targets that have a lot of pierce, in this case, those who when halved have more than 10. Its low value for raiding as it puts your damage as equal to a Hun cav archer, but helps a bunch vs skirms, some siege and Huskarl type units. Basically a FU E Husk with his normal 10 PA is struck as though he has 5 meaning your 10 dmg attack does 5 damage. Remember you are missing bracer!

The military is a strange one. Skirmishers, Infantry and Cav archers are your main force but you can also field paladins. Keep in mind if gold goes thin you have no Light cavalry! Your scout camels also fall off as Camel ends.

To start the game you have good DRUSH potential. With 50w saved on barracks means you can… save it for whatever you want. Another barracks? Sure! Get started on archers if you want. Savannah runners, the Eagle clones will be vital in mobility. Your farm economy is going to help fund a few archer’s gold costs.

Castle Age is… not too big a spike. You have good farming and can train plenty of barracks for Eagle clones or make some cav archers. In fact: this is your Castle spike. An edge in the archer wars, and a 100 resource saving here is significant to say the least. If an enemy prepares with a few skirmishers it wont really be a very powerful spike at all!

Infantry is decent here, and is encouraged through cheap training facilities and gold spikes from farm making! The Asante peoples can provide tanking. Enemies will need to micro to retarget their troops away. Granted the taunt is not a great raiding tool. This is no Woad raider.

If this is too strong I can tweak numbers and satisfy everyone I hope.

Wonder is a giant head sculpture. I’m not joking they had those in Oyo!

It also has full tech elite Assegai and Savannah Eagle clone. Your military is well rounded for sure although your Skirms and Cav archers will bemoan the loss of Bracer pretty heavily.

Not gonna lie. I’m rusty and a bit nervous therefore. Im over a year out of practice and hope this can be understood.

These edit bumps are troubling my psyche.


They had no camels, so I would rather that they dont have tha

I think they could just have -100 wood

Didnt know that the Oyo used cav archers, thats very weird in Africa. I dont like free techs that require other techs honestly

I dont like this bonus but its fine probably.

Overlaps a bit too much with Burgundians imo. Would prefer something like “exhausted farms give +30 food with every mill tech” or something like that

Is it an arrow sponge? I would prefer something else less weird but its pretty unique I guess

Too much like Vineyards

This is really large for cav archers, and for skirms is pretty strong. Not sure I like it, a flat +3 would have been enough (unless you used that elsewhere)

How can someone on the edge of the Sahara who interacted super heavily with Ghana and Songhai and thr Mossi not know what a camel is. Keep in mind this is mostly here so they have an age 2 stable at all. Sure they get the scout but they dont get the elite for a deliberate reason.

As for the cav archers…

Heavy cavalry on larger imported horses was armed with bow & arrows.[15]

This is a cited source so it cant be rhat outlandish here.

Keep in mind they have the worst Skirmisher in the game its like turks but there’s no bracer. Removing Bodkin is a questionable idea as well.

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Even horses were very limited in Yorubaland. Limited horses were used only in Northwestern Yorubaland (Oyo).


They werent at the edge of the Sahara, they mostly lived in very humid regions. In fact only the Oyo lkingdom waa in a place suitable for horse breeding. Also, I dont think they interacted superheavily with any of these people, and wgen even the Hausa only got camels fairly late in the game’s timeline despite having a much more direct contact with other camels using peoples and fought cavalry regularly. The Oyo who uaed cavalry mostly to fight the subsahariam infantry kingdoms in a very humid region have very few reasons to use camels.

Even if they have camels, they shouldnt have camel scouts.

Thats very interesting and certaily quite unique for Africa

Tbh Im a bit more concerned about their cavalry archers. Sure, dealing nuch more damage vs heavily armoured unit usings skirms is nice but the dage output will always be underwhelming either way.

Well… I don’t want to trouble your psyche any further, but you seem to be confusing some things, so please allow me to correct them:

The kingdom of Oyo that you are trying to represent was made by the Yoruba, while the kingdom of Benin was made by the Edo people. Benin was in southern Nigeria, closer to the rainforest zone (hence, the infamous tsetse fly), while Oyo was further north, bordering the savannah, where horses thrive.

So, although Oyo had neither camels nor cavalry archers (more below), they had some cavalry to divide them into heavy and light units.

I also think that sounds weird. I’m not an expert, but so far I haven’t found anything in my reading of African history about cavalry archers in the Sahel, much less on the fringes of the forest zone. As this source cited in the Wiki article is a reliable book, I think maybe the author of the article expressed himself badly.

I say this because it was common for many peoples to have soldiers carrying bows and arrows while riding somewhere, but only using those bows when dismounted — which technically wouldn’t make them “cavalry archers”. And considering that the latter were historically a regional phenomenon (restricted to the Asian steppes and semi-arid, with a few exceptions), I find it very unlikely that Oyo had these units.

But, of course, if the reason is balance, then there is no problem. Malians and Ethiopians, most of Europe, Southeast Asia, none of whom should have but do, so who am I to deny them? XD

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Tbh if the riders dismounted often to use bows I still think giving them good cav archers makes sense

Although yeah it would be better if they used the bows in horseback.

So indeed this civ is a little absurd so let me see if I can rework some things.

So its not any longer a cav archer civ. Will still get them but not much in the way of bonuses for them.

Much as i want to just do -100 wood barracks a 75w barracks means you can VERY early get a barracks down and a drush going way too soon possibly.

So lets rework:

  • Farms generate 4/6/8/10 gold when fully built

I think this w is nice. Not breaking althouth buying 10gold for 60 wood MIGHT be too much. I could just make it half food and gold

  • Barracks -50w and an additional 50 in Feudal

Still staple. Still strong.

  • Building Archery Range spawns one archer or skirmisher whichever Is fair

Too oppressive? This bonus in most settings maybe scores you 3 archers/crossbows until you spam ranges

Team Bonus: Spearmen, Foot archer train 15% faster

UU: Eso Rider

Stats unsure basically the unit is a mostly standard cavalry melee unit except every time their charge meter refills will throw a strong javelin that does piercing damage at a target. This javelin toss does not interfere with the unit’s movement or attack rate making it an instant action.m

You cannot throw at non military units so buildings, villagers, fishing boats and trade carts are off the table as well as rams and siege towers because they’re smarter than that.

Instead of effecting Cav Archers the armor ignore effect applies to the Eso Rider’s javelin. Orher archers ignore 33% which… isnt a lot. Compared to a full arb in most cases you do 1 more damage but at the cost of 1 range. Vs a full Huskarl with 10 PA you ignore 3 armor which means you hit like he has 7 PA dealing st full upgrade 2 damage instead of 1! Consequently the same 1 extra damage vs the 2 ac you ignore for a fully upgraded paladin. Remember no bracer here! For a 6 AC Hussar you ignore 2 again doinf 1 more than an arb with Bracer… is it worth it!? It might seem stronger on horse archer but with all that missing range I dunno.

These values matter even less for hand cannons who already do absurd damage thus lowering their kill hits by 1 instead. Indeed a full Huskarl survives normal Hand Cannons after 4 shots and even 1 more damage would push that over to 4 hit kill but even then its bigger than Arbs in some cases increasing their arrow power by double

All still wip