Cultures of Africa DLC — New Cultures Guide
the Humankind: Cultures of Africa Pack DLC adds multiple civilizations/nations that you can play across multiple eras. Some of them were quite good, as quoted in our feature article. However, a select few may seem disappointing at first glance. here is our Humanity: Cultures of Africa guide to help you with the new civs that you will be able to select during your campaigns.
To note: For more information see our Humanity guides and features hub.
Humanity: Cultures of Africa DLC Guide – What to expect when playing with the new civilizations
Below we will discuss the new nations you can choose from if you own the Humanity: Cultures of Africa DLCs. Keep in mind that you aren’t limited to using all of these civilizations at once (you can always mix and match). However, some vanilla options remain viable, and a few remain mandatory choices if you wish to succeed. It all depends on the moves of your opponents, your progress and a bit of luck.
Ancient period: Bantu
- Affinity: Expansionist
- Signature Trait: Harmonious Merge – +2 influence per number of adjacent empires in the territory.
- Iconic District: Champs de Mupia – Replaces regular outposts; +10 food to adjacent cities.
- Signature Unit: Bagendi Pioneers – Upgrades tribes and replaces Scout; nomadic unit that can earn food and spawn additional Bagendi pioneers by looting, winning battles, and finding food finds. Can build Mupia Outposts/Fields by consuming 4x Bagendi Pioneers.
The Bantu are a decent option for the ancient era. They are somewhat comparable to the Harappans, the best civilization of antiquity in my humble opinion. Like Harappan Runners, Bantu’s Bagendi Pioneers are slightly better scouts, and you should already have several of them if you caught a lot of food during the Neolithic period. The main difference is that you will need it to settle in advance (i.e. a territory with a natural wonder or a bunch of strategic resources). I would also suggest settling on territories with access to coastal tiles (I’ll explain in more detail in a moment).
Four Bagendi Pioneers in a single squad can create a Mupia Outpost/Field. Even better, you can spend influence to recruit more from these structures, which will result in rapid expansion. You want to be careful of the Mupia fields as you descend. If they are adjacent to an existing city, they will provide +10 food to that city. But, once you switch to the Classic Era and change civilizations, this bonus will disappear. Be prepared for this eventuality. Otherwise, your cities could starve and lose population.
Classic period: Garamantes
- Affinity: Agrarian
- Signature Trait: Blossoming Desert – +5 influence on your main square/town center if town expands.
- Iconic district: Foggara – +3 food; +2/1/1 food per adjacent barren terrain/rocky terrain/stone field; -10 stability.
- Signature Unit: Javelin Riders – Upgrades Scouts/Scout Riders and replaces Horsemen; ranged unit that can move one square after attacking.
Gathering Garamantes is quite viable if you have the Humanity: Cultures of Africa DLCs. The Foggara helps if the territories you have settled in have non-ideal terrain (mainly those that give production), so you can have extra food. This synergizes with the trait for more influence as your cities grow.
What you’ll want to have, however, are the Javelin Riders. This is a unit I would rate higher than the Hunnic Hordes in the Classic era, at least in terms of base stats. They have more combat strength and a huge +3 range, allowing them to easily shoot enemies. To add the icing on the cake, your Bagendi Pioneers can be upgraded to Javelin Riders, which makes a Bantu -> Garamantes switch very useful.
Medieval era: Swahili
- Affinity: Merchant
- Signature Trait: Coastal Haven – +10 harbor stability; +10 port stability per adjacent regular district (i.e. Farmer’s Quarter, Maker’s Quarter, etc.).
- Iconic District: Bandari – +3 silver for each unique resource available; +2 influence for each adjacent coastal water tile; -10 stability.
- Signature unit: Mtepe – Naval transport unit with a ranged attack (replaces ground units when embarked); allows instant embarkation and disembarkation, but is damaged when passing consecutive turns on ocean tiles.
To be frank, I hardly used the Mtepe because I don’t usually deal with naval combat in Humanity. What you should focus on, however, are your coastal territories. If you managed to catch a few with your Bagendi Pioneers (or via the usual influence-based method in later eras), you’ll maximize the benefits of the Coastal Haven trait and the Bandari district. Simply put, the former ensures that you don’t worry about stability anymore, while the latter gives a nice boost to gold and influence.
I suggest staying at this stage until you’ve built several Bandari and are happy with the yields from the coastal regions. Of course, you can always choose the Khmers for medieval times. Even with the nerf, the Baray is still useful. You will just need to find rivers for adjacency bonuses.
Early modern era: Maasai
- Affinity: Agrarian
- Signature Trait: Pastoral Prowess – -25% population consumption in cities.
- Iconic district: Enkang – +5 food per farm; -10 stability.
- Signature Unit: Maasai Morans – Ranged unit that has bonus combat strength against damaged targets.
The Maasai are an agrarian power due to the Enkang. Depending on the tiles, it can generate between 35 and 55 foods. You’ll definitely have at least one in every sprawling city with territories attached, as the population that can be repurposed will keep you ahead of the pack.
Unfortunately, the sole unit, Maasai Morans, is a bit odd. As far as I know, nothing can be improved there, which means they have to be recruited separately. This can be a problem, especially if the last iconic unit you used extensively was the Javelin Riders in the Classic Era.
The Industrial Age: The Ethiopians
- Affinity: Militarist
- Signature Trait: Military Modernization – +5 science on garrisons
- Emblematic district: Amba – Fortification of the district +10; +5 stability; +1 combat strength for units that are in or adjacent to this structure; can only be built on mountains.
- Signature Unit: Oromo Cavalry – A unit of gunners that is an upgrade of knights; has bonus combat strength for each level/veteran rank.
I really wanted to like Ethiopians, but I had a problem with their unique ones. First, the trait only applies to Garrisons. If you’re looking for stability, chances are you’ve opted for Commons Quarters or the aforementioned Swahili trait related to ports. This means you weren’t prioritizing garrisons as often. Meanwhile, the Amba benefits from the trait, but its combat strength bonus is too situational given the location of the mountains and the lay of the terrain.
Finally, Oromo Cavalry can take a while as it requires Carbine Tech, as well as access to 3 Horses and 1 Saltpeter. On the bright side, your Garamantian Javelin Riders can be upgraded to Knights and, later, Oromo Cavalry once available.
Contemporary era: Nigerians
- Affinity: Agrarian
- Signature Trait: Glorious Glut – +2 industry for each farmer in town; +1 farmer slot per oil in town.
- Iconic District: Oil Refinery – Built on rivers, lakes, or coastal tiles, this structure creates oil that is automatically mined; +10 pollution; -10 stability.
- Signature Unit: MRAP Vehicle – Armored vehicle that uses suppression (stops the target from moving and lowers its combat strength).
Surprise! It is another agrarian civilization added by the Humanity: Cultures of Africa DLCs. Nigerians are the last ones you can choose, as they are only available during the Contemporary Era when most of the game has been decided. Still, they have a bit of synergy. Oil refineries magically create an oil resource. On your turn, you’ll get an additional Farmer slot (for bonus food and industry), and you’ll have the means to recruit additional MRAP vehicles.
The obvious downside is that the game is winding down at this point. This is when science civs go all out for technology research or space projects (i.e. Swedes). Even another agrarian choice like the Turks (which has been nerfed), remains viable as long as you can hit adjacency bonuses. As such, the Nigerians would mostly have you relying on pure dominance if you want more fame before the game ends.
Humankind: Cultures of Africa Pack is available through Steam. For more information, check out our guides and feature hub.