The African continent is huge and diverse, and most of the time neglected. In Wars of Liberty our intention is to do justice to a fantastic continent as it was in the 19th century, during the scramble for Africa, when the nations had to fight to keep their independence from European nations. From north to south on the African continent, each civilization features very distinct gameplay, even though they're part of the same culture. The map is explored by their own civilization's leader, whose abilities vary depending on the civilization. Their gatherer is the African Villager, who has no special attributes. Their late-game resource buildings are the Lot (Food), the Quarry (Coin), and the Bazaar (Export).
Instead of having buildings in their Home Cities, they have European Ambassadors with cards representing their nations. This way, each African nation has access to mercenaries from four foreign nations.
The most striking uniqueness of the Africans is the way that they age-up. They require a special building called a Library that contains three types of techs: Military, Economic and Civic. These techs enable buildings, units and other technologies in a fashion similar to Rise of Nations or Age of Empires II. Aging-up is merely an aesthetic element for them, because being at Colonial Age does not necessarily mean they will have military units. Destroying the African Library will severely damage their advance. Because of this system, the Africans may have Industrial Age-like units very early at the cost of a Discovery Age-like economy, or vice-versa.
Various tech combinations may result in an age up. For example, there are four ways to reach Colonial age:
The Ethiopian economic Library techs. Each level enables the next.
The Mamluks, a Turco-Circassian military caste, took control of Egypt around 1250 AD and continued to reign until the Ottoman invasion in the 15th century. After the brief French invasion led by Napoleon Bonaparte, Ottomans, Mamluks, and Albanians wrestled for power. Out of this chaos, the commander of the Albanian regiment, Muhammad Ali, emerged as a dominant figure and in 1805 was acknowledged by the Sultan in Istanbul as the viceroy in Egypt. Ottoman power in Egypt was finished and Egypt remained free until 1882, when the British succeeded in defeating the Egyptian Army at Tel el-Kebir in September and took control of the country.
In Wars of Liberty, the Egyptians are a totally mobile civilization. Instead of building huge cities, vulnerable to enemy attacks, they prefer to move from place to place, avoiding them. This also makes the Egyptians an unpredictable enemy, as you can never quite know where they are going to attack you from.
The leader of the Egyptians is Muhammad Ali Pasha. An Albanian commander in the Ottoman army, Ali Pasha became Wali in 1805, and self-declared himself Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. Though not a modern nationalist, he is regarded as the founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms that he instituted in the military, economic and cultural spheres. He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt. His favorite personality traits are Expansive and Financial and his Home City is Cairo, Egypt.
The Egyptians have several unique units, meant to make life more difficult to your enemy’s economy. They also have caravan versions of all the regular African buildings, except for the Lot and the Trading Post. They do not have any sort of defensive building.
Ethiopian isolationism ended following a British mission that concluded an alliance between the two nations; but, it was not until 1855 that Ethiopia was completely united and the power in the Emperor restored, beginning with the reign of Emperor Tewodros II. Upon his ascent, he began modernizing Ethiopia and recentralizing power in the Emperor. Ethiopia began to take part in world affairs once again. During the Scramble for Africa, the Italians tried to expand their territorial claims on Ethiopia. This conflict erupted in the battle of Adwa on March 1, 1896 in which Italy's colonial forces were defeated by the Ethiopians.
In Wars of Liberty, the Ethiopians have a defensive nature; they pay special attention to constructing sturdy buildings and walls that can withstand enemy artillery fire. Their love for their country is unchallenged and they are proud for never having been colonized.
The leader of the Ethiopians is Emperor Menelik II. Baptized as Sahle Maryam, Menelik was an inspired leader. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state was completed. During his reign, the major signposts of modernization were put in place. Externally, his victory over the Italian colonizers has earned him great fame and has made him beloved by his people. His favorite personality traits are Expansive and Diplomatic and his Home City is Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Ethiopians have many unique units that make their army composition similar to that of their European counterparts.
The Zulu were a warlike tribe of South Africa, which formed the great Zulu Kingdom that extended along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north. The small kingdom grew to dominate much of what is today KwaZulu-Natal in Southern Africa, but when it came into conflict with the British Empire in the 1870s during the Anglo-Zulu War, it was defeated despite an early Zulu victory at the battle of Isandlwana. The area was subsequently absorbed into the Colony of Natal and later became part of the Union of South Africa. The Zulu, however, never surrendered and continue to fight for the land that was once rightfully theirs.
In Wars of Liberty the Zulu form a matriarchal society; women are highly respected, as Zulu understand their meaning for life and reproduction. Zulu have for hundreds of years been used to fighting with traditional weapons, but they must now adapt to using the horse and gunpowder if they want to stand a chance against foreign invaders of Zululand.
The leader of the Zulu is Shaka Zulu. By far the most influential leader of the Zulu Kingdom, Shaka is credited with uniting many of the Northern Nguni into the Zulu Kingdom. Shaka is also known for his social and military revolution, and especially the introduction of new weapons, such as the "iklwa," and war tactics, such as the "bull horns" formation, which allowed the Zulu warriors to easily defeat their enemies. His favorite personality traits are Aggressive and Expansive and his Home City is Bulawayo.
The Zulu are an infantry civilization, which is boosted by how fast their units can become thanks to their library technologies.
We're planning one more civilization for this culture. We will, however, keep it secret for now. Make sure you follow our news at the Forum.
The Africans were imagined back in 2008, but were only coded in 2012. Wars of Liberty is not the first mod where the Zulu appear, as they starred the custom scenario Battle of Rorke's Drift. It's the first time they appear as a playable civilization in Age of Empires series, though.