Welcome to this review of the Cultures of Africa DLC in Humankind and the Allen Newel version changes. We will first take a look at the key changes in the Allen Newell version and then we will look t each of the cultures in the Cultures of Africa DLC.
Starting with the Allen Newell version notes, the key changes are related to improving the AI in many ways. This is always a good change as it makes the game more challenging without handing more advantages to the AI and to make it more like facing a human player. When playing through the game the AI was more coordinated with their war efforts although badly lost a war despite troop superiority. The AI still struggles to keep all of its armies safe and is vulnerable to picking off armies one by one with slightly superior forces as they advance.
The Allen Newell version also added the Great Zimbabwe wonder which is a good wonder boosting money in empires with access to a lot of resources such as strategic and luxury resources by adding 2% empire money per access to such a resource. There were also some changes to the win conditions setup where the turn limit was removed from the default, Last Human Standing and Space Race endgame conditions.
There were also some improvements to the trade screen showing more information about each resource purchase.
The version notes also mention the wondrous system although I didn’t notice any significant difference to the wonders screens in the game. Humankind also now has some movies for key technologies that play when they are unlocked. Along with that there were many bug fixes many of them related to the game getting stuck in certain events and desynchronising issues in multiplayer.
Moving onto the cultures in the Cultures of Africa DLC, this adds 1 new cultures to each era for 7 total cultures. We will discuss each at a high level in turn.
Starting with the Bantu in the ancient era, they are an excellent expansionist culture. Their scout unit, the Bagendi Pioneers, are nomadic units who can multiply by gathering food on the mad similar to the tribes in the neolithic era. Once you have 4 units in an army an outpost can be put down for free (at no influence cost), although it consumes the unit. The outpost will build within 1 turn on normal speed and then you can use influence to get up to three units back out of the outpost, although this costs about 30 influence each time. This mechanic lets you expand your borders far more quickly compared to influence based territory capturing and creates a good defensive/ offensive army along the way.
The Garamantes in the classical era are an agrarian culture who are good if you are lacking food due to bad terrain. The Foggasre provides food based on adjacent tiles without food which can keep your empire competitive even in a bad situation. Dessert in Bloom also provides a nice influence boost. The Swahili in the medieval era are a merchant culture. They have a very strong harbor in the Bandari which provides around 30 or so gold each depending on the surrounding tiles. This compares favourably to many other merchant cultures and is especially good in case you have a lot of coastal territories. The harbors also provide a nice stability boost.
The Maasai in the early modern era are also an agrarian culture with a strong emblematic district called the Enkang which usually provides upwards of 45 food per turn. Additionally, the food cost of population is reduced ed keeping your empire growing strongly late into the game. The Ethiopians are a militarist culture in the industrial era providing a strong mounted unit called the Oromo Cavalry and a unique district called Amba which is placed on mountains and provides defence bonus on adjacent tiles as well as a slight science and stability bonus. Finally, the Nigerians are the contemporary era culture that was added who are agrarian giving farmers some industry on top of their food yields and ensuring access to oil through the oil refinery emblematic district which can be placed in your territory and provides access to an oil strategic resource at the cost of pollution. This is important if you don’t have access to oil in the late game and need it to, for example, fight a war or the space race.
Those are they key things that were added in the Allen Newell patch and the Cultures of Africa DLC. They are great additions to the game giving more options when picking cultures and making it more challenging to play the AI.