On the possibility of Kongo in civ 6 (and why it's bad for everyone)

thecrazyscot

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Huh...Wikipedia is actually pretty positive about Afonso I. Granted I don't know much about him, but with only that to go on I don't see the problem.

We've got a thread to discuss eurocentricity in the Civ series as a whole, FYI :)

I would love to see many of these civs added as mods (hint hint).
 

Acken

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As an American, I'd be pretty upset if in 4000 years in the future, if America in Civilization 1 Million was led by someone like Buchanan, even if they somehow managed to spin his utter failure of a presidency into legitimately cool abilities and what not.

Youll be upset in 4000years ? :D
 

Omega124

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But isn't Buchanan an awesome positive leader compared to Stalin, who made it into civ? There will always be someone better and some people are always offended. If you stick with only the *safest* choices, it gets boring pretty soon.

No. Firstly Stalin's own reputation within Russia itself is actually not as negative as it is in the west. Even in 2016, there's still a campaign to rename Volgograd back to Stalingrad, for instance. However, that is, imo, irrelvant.

The difference Stalin is a terrible person, but he ultimately was a successful leader. Under his reign, he made Russia/Soviet Union into one of the world's two primier modern superpowers, and was the instrumental power preventing the ascension of the Nazis becoming one as well. That's success, even if it came at the price of brutality and oppression. (Other examples of these brutal but successful leaders in the civ series include Mao, Qin Shi Huang, Asoka-pre conversion, etc, etc)

Someone like Alfonso and Buchanan weren't even successful by their metrics. Buchanan's inaction to respond to throwing threats of secession directly led to Americans about to shoot each other as he was leaving office, and Aflonso, as OP mentioned, turned his nation into essentially a vassal state of Portugal. There's nothing inspiring about seeing them as leaders, and its just bad taste to include them.

Youll be upset in 4000years ? :D

It's called an "analogy". It's a rhetorical device in order to help illustrate what we call "arguments" in a way that is simpler to understand, or provide needed context for said argument to make sense for people lacking the context. :D
 

Siptah

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I didn't mean Stalin offends the Russians in the first place...

What I meant: Incompetent rulers are ok, terrible persons, as you call it, are not.
If you play the civ yourself, you won't mind since you can be competent - if the AI is playing them it probably also is incompetent of some sort ;-)
 

Siptah

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I don't care and I think many others don't. Some do as it seems.
Also I am not here to advertise Buchanan as a civ leader.
Judging Afonso nowadays is not an easy task, and anyone trying it will be unjust, except if you reach no definite conclusion. I claim this to be true for most obscurer historic figures, and some of the others, as well.
 

Denkt

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I don't see what is so incompetent with Afonso I's rule.

Like we had have leaders such as Napoleon who made such huge mistakes he ended up as a prisoner and wasted maybe millions of lives.

I could see the game designers giving Afonso a cool ability based on his effort to culturally change his country. Like Qin get his ability for the massive building projects he started.
 

Omega124

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I didn't mean Stalin offends the Russians in the first place...

What I meant: Incompetent rulers are ok, terrible persons, as you call it, are not.
If you play the civ yourself, you won't mind since you can be competent - if the AI is playing them it probably also is incompetent of some sort ;-)

Yes, I would mind, because of the reach Civilization has. It's not just a game, its often people's only exposure to history. By this, I'm not even including most people on this forum, who are clearly dedicated fanatics of Civilization (and generally of history as well). I'm referring to the millions of people who play Civilization casually, who may not like particularly like history all that much and is ignorant to many of the finer details.

Since each civ is supposed to represent the best attributes of that civilization, from the best unique military technology, to the most defining cultural aspects of that culture, or even the most wondrous wonders built, there is a tact implication that leaders of civs are chosen because they embody the spirit and greatness of that particular civilization. By having someone who was massively incompetent in this position of the leader, there is heavy, heavy implications that are caused by that decision. Implications that the civilization didn't have anyone who was more worthy than that person, and it was simply the best possible candidate they could scrape from under the barrel.

It's honestly just insulting to Angolans in a way that picking a mean but successful leader simply isn't.

Like we had have leaders such as Napoleon who made such huge mistakes he ended up as a prisoner and wasted maybe millions of lives.

Napoleon is one of the greatest leaders in history and is directly responsible for why the French Revolution survived being assaulted by the ancien reigme, and liberalism becoming the de facto ideology of modern Europe. You think the Spring of Nations was bad OTL? It would have been far worse if Napoleon never exported the ideals of the French Revolution outside of France. Think Russian Revolutions in every major continental European country during the 19th and 20th centuries.

To compare him to Aflonso is just really mind boggling to me.
 

Civ'ed

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I could see the game designers giving Afonso a cool ability based on his effort to culturally change his country. Like Qin get his ability for the massive building projects he started.
I feel like here, afonso loses the game, because culture victories are based around your culture being dominant, not someone else's.
 

OnceAKing

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This + as long as the civ creates a certain feel when playing or meeting it, all lights are green.

Civilization is about creating history so if a civilization was successful or not historically should not matter. This such as cool unique abilities and such matter more in my opinion.

I mean while that's a laudable position it's a bit idealistic to approach a choice of civ solely on unique ability. What if we we had these choices of leadership combined with AMAZING unique ability

King John - England

James Buchanon, Herbert Hoover, Ulysses S. Grant - America

King Louis XVI - France

Nero - Rome

Rhetorically, do you see how we could stretch these thoughts to their extreme and give the most prominent Western Leaders there lowest choices on the totem pole? Even combined with GREAT UAs, wouldn't it leave a bad taste in your mouth full well knowing there are other worthy options to go with?

It's just unfortunate that we can't celebrate leaders that brought out the full potential of their culture





I think you're selling Alfonso a bit short honestly. He's far from perfect yeah and his failure to effectively stand up to the Portuguese slave trade is a huge black mark against him but he's also the one who broke Kongo out of it's relative geographic isolation and onto the world stage.

There's a lot that can be said about his converting to Catholicism but it wasn't, as you suggest, some sort of universally terrible thing. It bought him good relations with Europe , allowed for a far more efficient taxation system and established the first formal education network in that part of the world. It was Alfonso that introduced literacy to Kongo after all and there was overall a huge influx of knowledge during his reign.

He's a choice with a lot of good points and bad points is what I'm saying and far from the absolute disaster that you imply.


While respectable to boast of things like education reform, the bulk of the things you've mentioned read as made the country more European

And while that's not inherently bad, for example Pedro seems to be a great leader, alot of us view CIV as escapism and there are all types of strategy games built on the Greco-Roman dynamic of conquest and expansion. Civ is one of the few games that allow us to to play a macro strategy game with counterintuitive traits that lead to alternative gameplay.

So while someone like Afonso or Pedro are nice guys, why not just give us one Portugal rather than two of Portugal's sons? The extra spot you free up could be given to a civ that absolutely alters the way the game is played and could offer a different type of influence.



I would also like to argue that while not a perfect Civ, Mali should be a perennial base game civ in the same vein as Greece, Rome, America, England, France and Germany.

I think it should be a must have civ, even over Shaka, and I'd further argue that at least one other sub Saharan civ should always eventually make some iteration Civ as well. Not just in an argument for diversity but as an argument for more varied and original gameplay.
 

thecrazyscot

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Incompetent or vicious leaders are part of history, so if historicity is your main goal (which I'm not sure why it would be given that Civ is not a historical series...it's quite ahistorical) then any leader is fair game.

Again, I only have the Wikipedia article to go on, but nothing in there suggests he was "massively incompetent".
 

Liufeng

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I'm sorry to disagree, but although Afonso was notthe perfect leader in all aspects, he was still one of the best among the Manikongos. Taking out his spread of catholicism and his own conversion(and the fact the he burned down any non-christian icon), which are an important part of his reign, he developped his kingdom's economy, developped education and imported craftsmen from Europe. He made Kongo an important trade nation. The slave part is the only problem but did you wanted him to do ? Fight the portuguese ? He knew his troops wouldn't probably match them. So he threw away his anti-slavery stance to maintain the integrity of his kingdom. It is the forever question of "should I follow the interests of the nation or my own ?". He chose his nation's.

And no, Ana Nzinga won't do for me. I know CIV series certainly made worse choices in their history, but is is not a valid reason to encourage them. Having Nzinga as theleader of the Kongo would feel exactly the same as having Sitting Bull or Pocatello leading the US ...
 

Omega124

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Incompetent or vicious leaders are part of history, so if historicity is your main goal (which I'm not sure why it would be given that Civ is not a historical series...it's quite ahistorical) then any leader is fair game.

So is genocide, but its not in the game despite how much /pol/ wants it to be*.

Your argument is weak because it gives no real justification for inclusion. Anything that happened in the past is by definition history. Yet, because the people who are making the game are humans and thus have lives, they can't include literally every single aspect of history. So you have to pick, choose, and prioritize what it is the most important aspects of history to make the game. And what you decide to choose, and what you decide to cut, does send a message about what is and isn't important about history itself, no matter how much you deny it doesn't.

*Yeah, razing cities exist, but the game tries to hide the fact that you'll literally murdering thousands of people by hiding under "population points" and trying to avoid the usage of strong language. I don't think the makers of civ would have ever included that mechanic if it wasn't for the gameplay concerns of the AI just settling bad cities that you don't want to hold onto.
 

migalhone

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I would also like to argue that while not a perfect Civ, Mali should be a perennial base game civ in the same vein as Greece, Rome, America, England, France and Germany.

I think it should be a must have civ, even over Shaka, and I'd further argue that at least one other sub Saharan civ should always eventually make some iteration Civ as well. Not just in an argument for diversity but as an argument for more varied and original gameplay.

Why not Ethiopia, for that matter? Ethiopia resisted European powers for a long time, and heavily influenced other African nations, even in things like national flag colors. Plus, isn't Ethiopia one of humankind cradles?
 

PhilBowles

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All I have to say in terms of the detailed rundown on Kongo is that I agree that it's basically a Europeanised African state, but I don't have particularly strong feelings either way in that regard.

Ethiopia really should be a base game civ, but it's East African and the past couple of Civ games have wanted a western representative as well.

Reintroductions
Sometimes, a good civ's already been used.
  1. The Zulu, as always led by Shaka, are a mainstay of Civ. Aggressively challenging to play against, fun to play with, the Zulu have a special place in civ.


  1. I've never liked Zulu in the base game - they were only in Civ from the start because there was popular recognition among the Western target audience at the time and Sid wanted an African civ (Egypt not counting).

    As the game's gained traction among non-Westerners, it's become old enough that the Zulu have faded from popular culture even in the West, and the internet has made information on other African societies more readily-accessible to players, they don't really have a purpose other than being there for tradition's sake. We have the Scythians in the Huns' role in Civ VI - the Zulu doing something similar doesn't seem to fit.

    [*]Mali, led by Musa I, was arguably the best civ of IV. Musa I was officially declared the richest person to ever live, and I think his influence stretched far beyond the borders of his kingdom - some would argue his excessive charity on Hajj led to the rise of Venice. A solid pick for an African country with far-reaching influence.
    [*]Songhai, led by Askia Muhammad Ture, is not as important as Mali, despite occupying roughly the same territory. Songhai was quite possibly one of the most modern states in West Africa during Askia's reign, however. Some law books written during the Songhai period are still used today in Islamic law, while the Songhai bureaucracy was quite possibly the best in Western Africa while still managing to stay true to the Songhai's original roots.

    I'd be happy with either, but I expect a new West African civ.

    New Civs - West Africa
    Other than Mali and Songhai, the homeland of the Bantu in general offers much more.
    1. Sokoto, led by Usman dan Fodio, is the main reason you find Fulani all over Western Africa. The Fulani Jihad was one of the most establishment-upsetting events in pre-colonial West Africa. Usman was more than just a religious warrior, however - he criticized other African leaders of the time for corruption and neglect of the common man, and wrote more than 400 poets too. This gives us a good idea of his UA, Leader Ability, UU, UB and Agenda - detesting those who have his religion but allow religious minorities in their empire, culture boosts, unique cultural districts, and of course his soldiers fighting with increased fervor against those of different religions.
    2. Ghana, and it should be clear I'm not discussing the modern state here, ruled by Ghana Kaya Magan or Bassi, is certainly an interesting choice in the vein of Mali and Songhai. Lasting for nearly 1000 years, the capital of Koumbi Saleh was one of splendor, with Arab travellers reporting that everything in the palace was covered in gold - Ghana probably had a better claim to being El Dorado than any South American country ever had. Supposedly, Ghana was sacked by the Almoravids - but tradition also maintains they held out for a decade first, which is a feat in and of itself.
    3. Ashanti, led by Osei Kofi Tutu, is another very interesting choice. A federation of various Ashanti kingdoms led by Kumasi, the Ashanti Empire was the centrepiece in Western Africa's precarious balance of power. It's a testament to the Ashanti that it took the brits 3 wars to actually defeat the Ashanti, thus swiftly causing the collapse of hegemony in modern-day Ghana. Ashanti grew on the slave trade, and the importance placed on both the Golden Stool and stools in general means that there is still a unique culture in place. Ashanti would definitely be an interesting choice.
    4. Dahomey under king Ghezo was an interesting state. First fully independent under Ghezo, he is also credited with the formation of the Dahomey Amazons as a proper fighting force - the Amazons would be an interesting UU for sure. He also maneuvered around British demands rather skillfully, something the British did very little about. The king of loophole abuse, Ghezo would be an amazing trickster AI to play against if he were added.
    5. Nok - we don't actually have a leader of the Nok, which is where the obscurity clause comes in. However, this doesn't mean the Nok weren't important - their culture was highly refined and, as contemporaries of several major civilizations further north, their use of Iron was developed independently from other countries and could well have been started around 1000 BC. A cool early game civ with focus on culture.

    Never heard of the Nok but the others would all be good choices. Ghana probably the least precisely because of the potential for confusion with the name, especially given Civ's penchant for conflating historical civilisations under more modern names (Sukothai under Siam, Majapahit under Indonesia, etc.).

    [*]Madagascar is counted amongst the East and not the South, because it is most definitely an East African civ. Led by either Andrianampoinimerina or Radama the Great, the men who respectively started and finished the unification of Madagascar, Madagascar could get a bonus from natural wonders, or access to unique resources to represent its position as an isolate from most of Africa. The Menalamba rebellion against French rule provides an excellent UU.

    Madagascar would be a great choice, and may even be supported by the unexpected (but welcome) presence of Tsingy de Bemaraha as a natural wonder. It has one issue as an African civ: it's unlikely to be seen as one by many players, as the necessary use of Merina rulers means the leader will have a Malay rather than an African appearance. Given that a good part of the reason many people want civs reflecting a diversity of societies - and African societies in particular - is the cosmetic effect of the leader heads, it would seem an actively bad move by Firaxis to say "Here's your African civ ... with an Asian leader", somewhat like adding Francis Napier as the leader of India.
 

Zaarin

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I'm not qualified to judge Afonso as a choice as I know little of Western African history, but why should his conversion to Catholicism even be relevant? Would you object to an Islamic West African nation like Mali, since Islam was also introduced from outside of Africa?
 

Omega124

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I'm not qualified to judge Afonso as a choice as I know little of Western African history, but why should his conversion to Catholicism even be relevant? Would you object to an Islamic West African nation like Mali, since Islam was also introduced from outside of Africa?

I think you missed the point of why he mentioned that.

He converted to Catholicism (aka Western Christianity, compared to Oriental Christianity/Islam/misc faiths), and in general tried to make his country like Europe, therefore Alfonso was picked because

civs are picked for being similar to Europe.

And as he said later on said, he actually /does/ prefer Mali, along with both other Christian, Muslim, and native faith civilizations.
 

Civ'ed

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I'm not qualified to judge Afonso as a choice as I know little of Western African history, but why should his conversion to Catholicism even be relevant? Would you object to an Islamic West African nation like Mali, since Islam was also introduced from outside of Africa?

His conversion to catholicism is actually the absolutely tiniest issue I have with Afonso. It's part of his general Europeanization program, and it definitely doesn't help his case though.
 

ehecatzin

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Good post, rather informative, I don't know very much about sub saharan civilizations, but it's interesting to know Afonso was escentially Kongo's Santa Anna (selling half the country reminded me).

Anyway, the more the merrier, I've also been hoping for Nzinga to finally make its appeareance on civ.
 
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