Subsaharan African civilizations: this time with interactive map for reference

Krajzen

Deity
Joined
Oct 23, 2013
Messages
3,281
Location
Poland
So, this year I had a little Africanist phase for some time, and I have decided to make my own amateurish map of main nations of Africa, basing on Wikipedia. There are 90 nations on this interactive map, incuding their rough amateurish estimates of inhabited area, rough amateurish estimates of population (not that there is any coherence in consistency in the total mess that those estimates are in the "serious" Internet), and links to articles devoted to given nations and civilizations. The general goal of mine was to cover all those with a population above 2 million people for whom I could find decent data (as map's description says, few countries have huge obvious holes in this regard - esp Congo, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mozambique). Regarding controversial nature of population estimates, map's description explains what's going on.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1DKaTEdTPkPZBSo2RbzVvoANw6tXtVIMr&usp=sharing

Spoiler :

screenshot-www.google.com-2022.09.14-16_27_22.png



Some time ago I have realized that the discussion over possible African civilizations in Internet's popular history circles always circles around those very few select empires and civilizations in the sea of nothingness. In the meantime, there is plenty of big African nations and descriptions of their culture, history and civilization from areas usually depicted as "blank" in terms of worthwhile civilizations - you just have to go into "anthropology" (articles directly devoted to particular ethnicities") instead to pure "history". Kenya is the most spectacular country in this regard, Tanzania seems to have the same tier of plentiful history, but for whatever reason its people are very badly documented; anyway, both of those countries offer much more civilizations than mere Swahilli coast. Even areas such as Botswana and forested West African coast have peoples that are would be no worse factions in games like this than Native Americans, Maori and Mapuche (in fact all nations on my map are much more numerous nowadays than those three). Not to mention how much actual reading into African ethnicites obliterates the idea of Africa consisting of "tribes", when plenty of those "tribes" have population equal to European nation states.

My personal favourite new Subsaharan civilizations would still be Akan and Yoruba, so not much new in this regard, but making this map has made me really desire some civ from Great African Lakes area, such as Kikuyu or Kalenjin (honestly I think they could be more colourful and spectacular than Swahilli civ proposals which were always built upon one dimension of "all unique stuff is trade and navy"). Also, if we have to always get southern nation, Xhosa or Tswana could be fresh replacement for tired Zulu.
 
Last edited:

BuchiTaton

King
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
641
My two more desired Sub-Saharan civs are Adal (Somali) and Zimbabwe (Shona), also certainly Akan or Yoruba are great options for the Gulf of Guinea region.

These regions where we have many options of similar potential make me want more significative "Minor Civs" in-game. For example the nations from the Great Lakes could gives us some unique cattle related tradition (techs like) and unique auxiliary troops. There are too much potential on minor civs as strategic in map elements.
 

Uncle Paul

Bittereinder
Joined
Aug 6, 2022
Messages
491
Location
Die Ou Transvaal
I wish the Boers would make it into a Civ game as an official civ (and not just as a faction in a scenario like Civ V). They're a cool, unique civ with some fairly well-known leaders.
 

Si No Hay Paz

Chieftain
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
17
Madagascar would be a cool, unique civilization! A cultural mix of Melanesians, Arabs, and Africans located on important trade routes and forming a kingdom that united all of the island and resisted until pretty late European colonialism, with a powerful female leader in Ranavalona. Using the Power of Tangena.
 

Patine

Deity
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
8,827
Buganda (NOT the modern Republic of Uganda with Idi Amin or such, but the old Kingdom of Buganda that occupies a third of the land area of modern Uganda with at least three possible Kabakas (indigenous term for their kings) as good leader choices), is one I'm quite partial to, myself. Or one of the Somali Sultanates, as well.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
8,376
Location
Texas
My top pick would be Benin, the Kingdom of Benin, not the present-day country.
In general, I think some civ from the Bight of Benin or present-day Nigeria is warranted at this stage.
 

pineappledan

Deity
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
7,801
Location
Alberta, Canada
My top two picks for sub-Saharan civs would be Zimbabwe (Shona) and Kanem-Bornu. Both represent long-lasting centralized African kingdoms with distinct monumental architecture and stone ruins. Very much fitting the mould of a classic “civilization”, much better than groups like the Zulu.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,891
Location
Rio de Janeiro, K11 (Kwanza)
From Africa my pick is Dahomey, from now a days country of Benin.
I think they have an amazing Unique Unit as the Amazon Warriors (Ahosi). Few civilizations can have an unique unit of female units!
And also, with Dahomey, we can discuss about slavery in this game. Since Benin was also knowed as the Slavery Coast.
Maybe some ability linked with slavery as sell population of it's own cities.
 

FishFishFish

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
94
Isn't having a Civ whose entire reason for existing because of slavery a bad thing?

Personally, I would go in the opposite direction and pick the Igbo people led by a Nri leader. The Nri served as both a safe haven for those who had experienced rejection in their communities and a location where slaves may be freed from servitude. Instead of using force, the Nri expanded peacefully through converts gaining neighboring communities' allegiance.

I think this could make for a fun pacifist religious Civ with high loyalty pressure.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,891
Location
Rio de Janeiro, K11 (Kwanza)
Isn't having a Civ whose entire reason for existing because of slavery a bad thing?
Of course Slavery is a bad thing! But that don't change my mind of Dahomey can be added.
The question is, if we add Dahomey, should we make slavery something playable or better to have another kind of ability?

...

I don't know this Nri very well. As a second option to fullfill this corner of Africa is Ashante or Benin.
 

Patine

Deity
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
8,827
I still think Baganda is unexplored material, but has many elements that are often viewed as iconic to a general African, "image," fills the Great Lakes, "empty spot," well, and avoids issues like slavery and such, quite well.
 

Evie

Pronounced like Eevee
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Messages
10,012
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
I mean, the last Aztec human sacrifices took place five hundred years ago. There is no one alive in the world who is old enough to have personally known survivors (or victims) of the Aztec system. It's a horrible, but impersonal historical piece of information.

Not so African slavery. As late as 2020, there were children of people born in slavery still alive in the US, let alone grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Brazil is even worse since slavery ended later there. For many people alive today, African slavery is the very personal horrors that were carried out against people they knew personally.

So, one require a lot more caution and care than the other.
 
Last edited:

reddishrecue

Deity
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
5,760
Like it used to say in civ 4 when you adopt slavery, it was a sacrifice of population, particularly for Aztec which had the sacrificial altar and reduced the cruel oppression by 1/2. sort of like a democide.
 

Patine

Deity
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
8,827
Like it used to say in civ 4 when you adopt slavery, it was a sacrifice of population, particularly for Aztec which had the sacrificial altar and reduced the cruel oppression by 1/2. sort of like a democide.
I've never played Civ4, myself. I've seen Civ4 players refer to, "whipping," (often along with, "chopping,") in the seeming context of inefficient but, "leg-up," early- to mid-game building tactics, but no, I have never played that iteration.
 

reddishrecue

Deity
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
5,760
I've never played Civ4, myself. I've seen Civ4 players refer to, "whipping," (often along with, "chopping,") in the seeming context of inefficient but, "leg-up," early- to mid-game building tactics, but no, I have never played that iteration.
Chopping was cutting trees for production which was increased by mathematics. The difference is that in civ 4 the courthouse was available with code of laws while in civ 6 the courthouse was available with math.
 
Top Bottom