The Malians are an African civilization featured in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms. They are based on various pre-colonial kingdoms in West Africa, primarily the Mali Empire (Manden Kurufaba).
Historically, the Malians were known for their very progressive society that put emphasis on education; it was one of the largest educational centers in the world that brought scholars from China, the Middle East, and Europe. To highlight this achievement, their team bonus increases the research speed for University technologies.
West African cultures (especially the Dahomey Kingdom) held women in high esteem, with local women even participating in the military. This is highlighted with their unique unit, the Gbeto, which is noted as the only trainable female military unit. In real history, Gbetos or Dahomey Amazons were usually equipped with rifles. Although in-game Gbetos don't use rifles as their weapons, the Malians have access to various gunpowder units.
The Mali and Songhai empires were known to be some of the wealthiest kingdoms in Africa; this was primarily due to the enormous natural wealth at their disposal from gold and salt mines, as well as their effective control of the trans-Saharan trade routes that carried valuable resources to and from the region. To highlight this, the Malians gain Gold Mining upgrades for free and have access to every Market upgrade.
West Africa and the Sahel have sparse vegetation, with few trees. These limited resources meant that the Malians didn't have as much of a reliance on lumber in their architecture (instead primarily utilizing clay and mud bricks). This is represented in-game with a -15% wood cost for all Malian buildings. Famous examples of this architectural style include the University of Sankore and the Great Mosque of Djenne (the Malian Wonder).
Horses played an important role on Western African cultures for centuries, with the Malians are known for their tactical use in combat; while Malian cavalry are not well equipped than their European counterparts, their effective leadership and raiding tactics makes them a force to be reckoned with. This is represented in-game with the fact that while the Malians' Stable cannot upgrade the Light Cavalry to Hussar and Cavalier to Paladin, but one of their unique technologies, Farimba, gives Malians' Stable units +5 attack, giving them one of the best Cavaliers in the game. In history, Farimba was a title for the military nobility of the empire, which commanded the cavalry in Malian armies.
Many foot soldiers in West Africa were fierce in combat, and often won battles with their superior coordination and maneuverability. This is highlighted with their bonus where infantry units from barracks gain additional pierce armor per age starting in Feudal Age. The bonus in this case could be in line with the high pierce armor of units like the Eagle Warrior and Tarkan, where it refers more to the general inaffectiveness of archers against the unit (e.g. because of their swiftness), rather than actual armor.
Follow in the footsteps of the great Mansa Musa and become the greatest king of Western Africa. Conquer surrounding kingdoms to expand your wealth and hold a firm grip on the trade routes that zigzag through the region. Will you be able to keep the once hostile provinces united under your crown?
Unique Unit: Gbeto (ranged infantry)
Civilization Bonuses Edit
In-game dialogue language (Bambara)Edit
AI Player NamesEdit