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Old Mar 29, 2013, 03:24 PM   #1
Nujabes
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The Scramble for Africa Scenario and New African Civs

I thought it might be interesting to think more specifically about the African scenario that'll be included in BNW, especially with regard to how we might glean potential new African civs. A lot of interesting posts have added to my understanding, but obviously my knowledge is incomplete so I'd bring on any corrections/opinions/whatever else you might have to contribute.

"The Scramble for Africa," as I understand it, refers most specifically to the wave of colonization that followed the Conference of Berlin from 1884-1885. This strict demarcation leaves out the Zulu and the Kongo, the two prohibitive favorites, so I'm giving them a pass; the Zulu because they were fairly close to that period, and the Kongo because the Portuguese did try to stake their claim on their kingdom during the Conference

Empire: Zulu (confirmed in)
Wars (vs. colonial power): Anglo-Zulu War (1879)
Colonizer: Britain
Location: Zulu-land, South Africa
Why they could work: Heavy favorite, have previously appeared in the Civ series. Shaka is an iconic leader, well ensconced in African history and the global imaginary at large through books, films, etc.

Empire: Kongo (confirmed as city-state)
Wars: First Kongo-Portuguese War (1622), Second Kongo-Portuguese War (1642-3), Third Kongo-Portuguese War (1647),
Colonizer: Portugal, the Netherlands
Location: Modern day Angola, Republic of Congo, D.R. Congo, West-Central Africa
Why they could work: Queen Nzinga stands out as a potential female leader. Extremely popular on these boards, extensive, relatively well-documented history that involved a lot of interaction with European forces.

Empire: Dahomey
Wars: First Franco-Dahomean War (1890), Second Franco-Dahomean War (1892-1894)
Colonizer:France
Location: Modern day Benin, West Africa
Why they could work: Though they don't have a potential female leader that I'm aware of, the Dahomey Amazons could give us a female fighting unit that would completely make sense. Dahomey also has a fairly large cultural footprint, from being the subject of the first musical written and performed by African-Americans on Broadway, to French plays, to British Novels. Potential leader Behanzin seems like a worthy figure for representation in the series.

Empire: Ashanti
Wars: First Anglo-Ashanti War (1823-1831), Second Anglo-Ashanti War (1863-1864), Third Anglo-Ashanti War (1873-1874), Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War (1895-1896), War of the Golden Stool (1900)
Colonizer: Britain
Location: Modern day Ghana, West Africa
Why they could work: Long history of colonial struggle, strong, persistant cultural coherence. Offer a strong female leader, Yaa Asantewaa, who led her people during the War of the Golden Stool.

Empire: Merina
Wars: First Franco-Hova War (1883-1886), Second Franco-Hova War (1894-1895)
Colonizer: France
Location: Madagascar
Why they could work: Cause Firaxis likes to mess with us? Well-documented yet somewhat obscure kingdom with lots of unique characteristics. Several potential female leaders, including the notorious Queen Ranavalona I

So, who's in, who's out? Who's my most egregious exclusion? What'll you do if Firaxis ignores Africa in favor of Lichtenstein and Andorra?

Bonus Round: New African Natural Wonders
We also know that the scenario will involve hunting for Africa's natural wonders. What'll be in? Mount Kilimanjaro? Victoria Falls?

Last edited by Nujabes; Apr 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 03:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Nujabes View Post
Empire: Dahomey
Wars: First Franco-Dahomean War (1890), Second Franco-Dahomean War (1892-1894)
Colonizer:France
Location: Modern day Benin, West Africa
Why they could work: Though they don't have a potential female leader that I'm aware of, the Dahomey Amazons could give us a female fighting unit that would completely make sense. Dahomey also has a fairly large cultural footprint, from being the subject of the first musical written and performed by African-Americans on Broadway, to French plays, to British Novels. Potential leader Behanzin seems like a worthy figure for representation in the series.
This one here can be easily represented by Songhai,whose empire was in the same area .


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Originally Posted by Nujabes View Post
Empire: Ashanti
Wars: First Anglo-Ashanti War (1823-1831), Second Anglo-Ashanti War (1863-1864), Third Anglo-Ashanti War (1873-1874), Fourth Anglo-Ashanti War (1895-1896), War of the Golden Stool (1900)
Colonizer: Britain
Location: Modern day Ghana, West Africa
Why they could work: Long history of colonial struggle, strong, persistant cultural coherence. Offer a strong female leader, Yaa Asantewaa, who led her people during the War of the Golden Stool.
This one seems to be a feasible idea,specially because of that female leader,whose history seemed to be a bit similar to Boudicca for me .
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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Dahomey and Ashanti are practically on top of each other in terms of a Civ sized map so at most only one will get in, not to mention the Benin Empire is also in the same region and equally deserving of a spot. Benin has a case for a strong female leader with Queen Idia, the Walls of Benin are one of the most impressive pre-colonial architectural projects in all of sub-Saharan Africa, they interacted with the Dutch, Portuguese, and English, and they were subject to a huge European propaganda campaign.

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Old Mar 29, 2013, 04:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nujabes View Post

Empire: Kongo
Wars: First Kongo-Portuguese War (1622), Second Kongo-Portuguese War (1642-3), Third Kongo-Portuguese War (1647),
Colonizer: Portugal, the Netherlands
Location: Modern day Angola, Republic of Congo, D.R. Congo, West-Central Africa
Why they could work: Queen Nzinga stands out as a potential female leader. Extremely popular on these boards, extensive, relatively well-documented history that involved a lot of interaction with European forces.
If I am not mistaken, queen Nzinga never ruled over Kongo. What the developers may do is to opt for an amalgamation civ that includes the kingdoms of Kongo, Ndongo, Ngola and Matamba, just to have Nzinga as a leader.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 05:17 PM   #5
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If I am not mistaken, queen Nzinga never ruled over Kongo. What the developers may do is to opt for an amalgamation civ that includes the kingdoms of Kongo, Ndongo, Ngola and Matamba, just to have Nzinga as a leader.
Yeah, I think you're right. I remember this being a source of contention when Nzinga was brought up, and personally I don't want to see an amalgamation civilization that much. There are a number of other Kings of Kongo to consider, many of whom took Portuguese names and titles.

The Songhai Empire was geographically close to both Dahomey and Asanteman, but I think since the Songhai collapsed well before colonial contact and both of those civilizations are significantly different culturally from the Songhai, it wouldn't be too crazy to have one of those two. Definitely not both though. In terms of geographical diversity, Kongo would fill in a big gap in central Africa, so there's that.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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Have they announced any new civs or is this speculation? If it is no one knows until they tells us more. I can tell you this they will probably be civs most people know about. Zulu for one.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 05:36 PM   #7
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More female leaders would be awesome, and Yaa Asantewaa is especially revered in Ghana, so I'm betting the Ashanti will make it into the game, with the Kongo and Zulu alongside them.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:08 PM   #8
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At a minimum the Zulu will be definitely in. In a likely good case scenario I'm thinking at least two African civs, including the Zulu, will be in - maybe even three, though I think this is unlikely (this is based on my reasoning as explained here). While many fans have been clamoring for the Kongo, due to the fact that Kongo was more prominent during the pre-Scramble for Africa era, I think this increases the chances of civs like the Dahomey or Ashanti.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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As much as I love Kongo, cybrxkhan is right - Kongo is too early. I'd still expect to see them ingame given the amount they traded with Europe following contact and the fact that they're a massive fan favourite, but by the time the SfA started the Congo basin was Belgian.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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Sudan/Nubia are definite contenders for such a spot, though I have my doubts they would have been picked. Would be cool to see an ancient UU of Nubian bowmen, and a early modern UU of "Fuzzy wuzzy warriors"
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:33 PM   #11
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Kongo may have been more proeminent before the XIX century, but it still existed, and it's a better candidate than Dahomey and Ashanti in my opinion.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cybrxkhan View Post
At a minimum the Zulu will be definitely in. In a likely good case scenario I'm thinking at least two African civs, including the Zulu, will be in - maybe even three, though I think this is unlikely (this is based on my reasoning as explained here). While many fans have been clamoring for the Kongo, due to the fact that Kongo was more prominent during the pre-Scramble for Africa era, I think this increases the chances of civs like the Dahomey or Ashanti.
We will have Brazil, Poland, Assyria, Portugal, Zulu, Asian Civ (Vietnam, Indonesia, or?),
and a NA Civ (Sioux, Cherokee, Comanche, who knows?) for sure. Which leaves 2 remaining. I have a hunch it will be two extra African civs. I don't think they will add Belgium and Italy. Probably, because of the closeness of Rome, and the Netherlands, both of whom could double as Italy and Belgium for the purpose of the "Scramble for Africa" scenario. Based on this it most likely will be two extra remaining African civs. Four African civs would work nicely. I think the map with be very large like the one used for the "Into the Renaissance" scenario.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 07:00 PM   #13
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Kongo may have been more proeminent before the XIX century, but it still existed, and it's a better candidate than Dahomey and Ashanti in my opinion.
Can you explain why it's a better candidate?
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 07:04 PM   #14
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I'd be very surprised if the scenario was narrowly focussed on the exceedingly late "Scramble for Africa" per se.

European powers were interested in Africa for far longer than that, and I expect the scenario will begin around the time of the Portuguese-Kongo conflicts, and also feature the Boers and the British vs the Zulu.

Scramble for Africa is just a good name for the scenario, I think. Such a narrow focus as the historical "Scramble for Africa" doesn't seem as well suited for a Civilization game.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 07:32 PM   #15
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From Well of Souls: "The Scramble for Africa scenario is set in late 19th Century Africa, just as the European powers were taking an interest in the Dark Continent. The interior of Africa is randomly generated each game. Combined with a large choice of available civilizations, this is a scenario you can play repeatedly with a different result each time. The trade and archaeology systems both play a key role in the Scramble for Africa."
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 07:34 PM   #16
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I'd be very surprised if the scenario was narrowly focussed on the exceedingly late "Scramble for Africa" per se.

European powers were interested in Africa for far longer than that, and I expect the scenario will begin around the time of the Portuguese-Kongo conflicts, and also feature the Boers and the British vs the Zulu.

Scramble for Africa is just a good name for the scenario, I think. Such a narrow focus as the historical "Scramble for Africa" doesn't seem as well suited for a Civilization game.
I think it's quite likely to focus on the literal Scramble for Africa period or at most shortly before - it may be less the G&K Renaissance scenario situation (which the expansion civs were explicitly based around, and which is a favourite era of the developer) and more a Mongol Terror scenario situation, in which it's the Zulu civ scenario rather than anything more broadly-defined; an Anglo-Zulu War scenario extended forward in time long enough to allow the involvement of other civs that played a major role in the era (and also possibly to showcase the World Congress mechanic).

Even if it's not that literally-defined, Kongo was more than a few years earlier. If we're talking about the treaty period, Kongo's territory had already been parceled off to Portugal even though the state hadn't been formally dissolved, and it had ceased to be a significant power as much as a century earlier due to internecine warfare.

One thought that comes to mind is that the Moors have been raised as a realistic candidate for inclusion in BNW. Although when people think of Morocco they consider the Almohad period and the Moors' ascendancy in Iberia, Morocco was one of the flashpoints of the Scramble for Africa.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 07:39 PM   #17
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One thought that comes to mind is that the Moors have been raised as a realistic candidate for inclusion in BNW. Although when people think of Morocco they consider the Almohad period and the Moors' ascendancy in Iberia, Morocco was one of the flashpoints of the Scramble for Africa.
THe Moroccans/Moors/Berbers in my opinion are one of the most deserving civs left out by the series - their achievements in medieval Iberia (and elsewhere and in many different time periods) are fascinating and important in many respects to say the least, not to mention I think the Alhambra's a pretty nifty piece of architecture - but I seriously doubt their chances because north Africa has always been lumped together with Arabia throughout the Civ series (you can look at the city-lists and see plenty of potential Moroccan/Berber cities there). I'm afraid that Firaxis assumes that the Arabs represent them well enough.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 07:49 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Uberfrog View Post
I'd be very surprised if the scenario was narrowly focussed on the exceedingly late "Scramble for Africa" per se.

European powers were interested in Africa for far longer than that, and I expect the scenario will begin around the time of the Portuguese-Kongo conflicts, and also feature the Boers and the British vs the Zulu.

Scramble for Africa is just a good name for the scenario, I think. Such a narrow focus as the historical "Scramble for Africa" doesn't seem as well suited for a Civilization game.
I hope it is so. The scenario could start with Vasco da Gama's voyage to find an alternate sea route to India. Still it probably will start later, due to the fact that the expansion focuses on the later eras of the game. So, most likely 1876-1914, or maybe it will begin in 1830 with France taking control of what was to be called Algeria in 1839. This start would be after Shaka Zulu's death, leading me to believe that Cetshwayo kaMpande will be the leader chosen for the Zulu. Whatever the devs have chosen to do, hopefully they fit more time in there, for a larger scope. If I was creating an African scenario, I'd start with Henry the Navigator, because why not?
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 07:53 PM   #19
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I hope it is so. The scenario could start with Vasco da Gama's voyage to find an alternate sea route to India. Still it probably will start later, due to the fact that the expansion focuses on the later eras of the game. So, most likely 1876-1914, or maybe it will begin in 1830 with France taking control of what was to be called Algeria in 1839. This start would be after Shaka Zulu's death, leading me to believe that Cetshwayo kaMpande will be the leader chosen for the Zulu. Whatever the devs have chosen to do, hopefully they fit more time in there, for a larger scope. If I was creating an African scenario, I'd start with Henry the Navigator, because why not?
The scenario timeframe won't be used to define the civ's leader - even for civs that have scenarios built around them the main game leader has not been the scenario leader (e.g. Denmark and the 1066 scenario) or the leaders are the same but they're anachronistic for the time period (I think this is the case for the Korean scenario?)

The Zulu have always had an anachronistic leader choice in any case - all their city names are taken from battlefields during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 08:05 PM   #20
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The scenario timeframe won't be used to define the civ's leader - even for civs that have scenarios built around them the main game leader has not been the scenario leader (e.g. Denmark and the 1066 scenario) or the leaders are the same but they're anachronistic for the time period (I think this is the case for the Korean scenario?)

The Zulu have always had an anachronistic leader choice in any case - all their city names are taken from battlefields during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War.
Perhaps not, but I did not expect the XCOM squad either. That is rather anachronistic in my eyes. To jump from a paratrooper from the D-Day landings to a imaginary futuristic paratrooper. Back on topic though, we are probably stuck with Shaka Zulu, the man who started it all, which became a fearful and intimidating household name, comparable to Babe Ruth. Old Clunky Shaka Zulu a traditional civ anachronism if there ever was one.
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