An African-themed RTS
Is this the right forum to post this thread in?
This idea has been bubbling in my head for a few years. I'm thinking a historical real-time strategy game set in Africa. The general mechanics would be similar to Starcraft or Age of Empires, but with a few quasi-unique features such as these:
* Units would not be singular individuals as in most RTSes, but rather whole troops of people. This would be true for both economic units (e.g. gatherers/villagers) and military units.
* Most of Africa wasn't known for its navies, so naval combat wouldn't constitute an important part of the game, but nonetheless it would be an option with slightly greater depth than most RTSes. Ships would function mainly as transportation across rivers, but there would be the option of capturing enemy ships by boarding them and overwhelming their crew. For protection against boarding, each ship would start with a crew of marines. Archers on a ship could also fire arrows at either land units or units aboard other ships.
* As in some other RTSes, livestock (specifically cattle) will be present, but not only can you capture and herd them for food, but you can also sell them for any other resource you want (e.g. wood, stone, or gold). You can also create your own cattle at a boma (livestock pen). As cattle fatten over time, they carry more food and will fetch a higher payment when sold. The other means of gathering food will be hunting wildlife and farming.
* Once you capture an enemy settlement, all enemy villagers within a certain radius of that settlement will be enslaved. You gain control of them and can work them as you can your own villagers, but unlike regular villagers, slaves can be sold like cattle. You cannot train your own slaves however.
* Each of the African civilizations could build a really expensive Wonder that sets off a timer. If the Wonder lasts until the timer ends, its builder would win the game.
* Troops of units could be merged into larger formations. When you click on one unit within a formation, the whole formation will be selected, allowing you to move larger armies across the map. You can also change the shape and density of a formation to suit your tactical needs. Finally, formations can expel individual troops or be completely disbanded.
This is not necessarily a complete list of every civilization that would feature in the game, but these are the must-haves for me:
Kemet (Ancient Egypt): Constructs the most durable buildings that cost a lot of stone. Also best at gathering stone, but worst at gathering wood. Militarily specializes in ranged units such as archers. Its wonder is the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Mali: This West African Sahelian civilization is best at mining gold and commerce, but worst at gathering stone. Also the best at scientific research. Militarily specializes in cavalry. Its wonder is the Sankore University of Timbuktu.
Ethiopia: The most efficient at gathering wood, but least efficient at food. Ships can also carry more marines than other civilizations. The terrestrial military is a versatile jack of all trades, without any particular specialization. Its wonder is the Fasilides Castle of Gondar.
Bantu: Represents the Bantu-speaking peoples of central and southern Africa (e.g. Congolese, Swahili, Zimbabweans, and Zulu). They have the opposite building policy from the Egyptians; their structures are cheaper but less durable. They are good at gathering food but bad at mining gold. They specialize in melee infantry (i.e. hand-to-hand combat soldiers). Their wonder is the Great Enclosure of Zimbabwe.
These function similarly to "Natives" in Age of Empires III and the Empire Earth II expansion pack. You can trade with these tribes and hire mercenaries from them, but they have a mind of their own and can even attack you. However, they never have imperialistic ambitions.
Akan/Asante: Can provide you with a lot of gold if you trade with them. They are the only African people in the game who can wield firearms, which makes them both powerful mercenaries and dangerous enemies.
Maasai: Can provide you with very fat cattle. Their infantry have both ranged and melee capabilities and are effective skirmishers.
Nubians: Can provide you with a lot of stone. They can produce tamed elephants which can function both as siege weapons and heavy cavalry.
Khoisan: Can provide you with wood or villagers that are much more effective at gathering food, especially hunting. These villager/hunters can shoot poisoned arrows that weaken enemies over time.
Right now I have only rough sketches of my ideas; I may provide a more detailed document when I have more time.