The Malians are a force to be reckoned with in Age of Empires 4. They can build Pit Mines on top of Gold Deposits to generate a steady stream of gold over time.
This gold can then be invested back into their unique Cattle food source, creating a self-sustaining economic system.
With a focus on strong economic play and unique infantry units, they prefer strategic hit-and-run tactics over prolonged military battles.
It might take a while to get used to this civilization, but we’re going to help you understand their incredible power.
Unique Aspects of the Malians
- Five unique units with a different take on the counter system
- Veteran unit technologies cost half as much
- Ships move 15% faster when near Docks
- Houses are built twice as fast, but are half cost and provide half the amount of Population
- Cannot harvest Boar
- Gold collected from completed Trader routes lowers the research time of future technologies
- Transport Ships attack with Javelins for each garrisoned unit
The Malians are all about gathering and spending huge amounts of gold. Their unique structures play a big part in this characteristic of theirs.
The Pit Mine is a unique building that can be built on Gold Veins starting in the Dark Age. It generates 35 Gold per minute without depleting the deposit and can even be placed on exhausted Gold Veins.
Initially, players can build only one Pit Mine, but this limit increases by one with each age advancement, up to a maximum of four in the Imperial Age.
The Pit Mine also projects an influence area one tile out from the gold deposit it’s built on. Building Houses or Mining Camps within this range increases the Pit Mine’s gold generation rate by 25% per building.
This unique defensive structure offers an extensive line of sight and can be upgraded with a single weaponry emplacement. This upgrade allows the structure to fire without garrisoned units.
Additionally, the Toll Outpost can be fortified with a defensive emplacement that adds 1,000 hit points and 5 fire armor for 100 stones after 30 seconds.
Passing Traders and Trade Ships are taxed by the Toll Outpost, generating 10% of their carried gold immediately as bonus resources.
Note that each unit can only be taxed five times per trip and must wait 7.5 seconds before being taxed again.
The Cattle Ranch is an economic building available to the Malians in Age of Empires IV starting in the Feudal Age.
This structure can garrison up to 3 Cattle, with each garrisoned Cattle generating 28 food per minute.
The Malians have all kinds of unique technologies, from extra damage to faster repair time.
Canoe Tactics is a unique naval technology that can be researched at the Dock starting in the Feudal Age.
This technology adds another attack to Archer Ships, allowing them to fire a burst of 2 javelins dealing 4 attack each.
Additionally, it provides a +20 attack bonus against Incendiary Ships, increasing their attack from 18 to 38.
Banco Repairs is a unique building technology that can be researched at the Town Center starting in the Feudal Age. Once researched, it allows Malian buildings to be repaired 100% faster.
Local Knowledge is a unique healing technology that can be researched at the Barracks in the Castle Age. After researching it, Musofadi Warriors and Musofadi Gunners will heal 2 hit points every second while in stealth.
Imported Armor is a unique technology that can be researched at the Stable starting in the Castle Age. This technology increases the melee and ranged armor of Sofa by 2.
Farima Leadership is a unique technology that can be researched at the Stable in the Imperial Age. After researching it, Sofa will increase the movement speed of nearby infantry by 15%.
Precision Training is a unique ranged technology that can be researched at the Blacksmith starting in the Castle Age. It increases the ranged damage dealt by Donso’s javelin attack by 6 and the ranged attack of Archers and Javelin Throwers by 2.
This unique archer technology can be researched at the Archery Range starting in the Castle Age.
After researching it, Archers will inflict extra damage over time effect with their arrows, dealing 3 damage over six seconds.
The Scout is a unit with an exceptional Line of Sight that increases in the Feudal Age. It can see into stealth forests and detect ambushes.
Neutral Sheep automatically follow Scouts and their movespeed increases when doing so. Non-Warrior Scouts regenerate 1 hit point per second, increasing to 2 hit points per second in the Feudal Age and later.
In combat, the Scout is weak and not very effective as a harass unit. However, the Warrior Scout upgrade provides significant improvements in attack, healing rate, attack rate, and movement speed.
Warrior Scouts can be created at both Town Centers and Stables but can only be upgraded at Stables.
The Donso is a unique light melee infantry unit of the Malians that replaces the Spearman. It is best used against mounted units and periodically throws a javelin when attacking from range.
This ranged attack has its own attack and attack bonus vs cavalry and benefits from range attack upgrades, with a cooldown of 15 seconds.
The Musofadi Warrior is a light melee infantry unit available to the Malians that can be trained at the Barracks.
It is effective at ambush attacks and countering heavy armored targets but is susceptible to ranged attacks.
It has the ability to enter stealth for 20 seconds, making it invisible until revealed by enemy Scouts or Outposts or engaging in combat.
After researching Local Knowledge, it heals when in stealth at a rate of 2 HP/s. When the Fort of the Huntress is built, it deals more damage when breaking stealth with an attack.
The Javelin Thrower is a light ranged infantry unit unique to the Malians that is effective against other ranged units. However, it is weak against Horsemen, Knights, and Mangonels.
The Sofa is a heavy melee cavalry unit available to the Malians that can be trained at the Stable. It is cheaper than other heavy cavalry but has reduced health and armor.
Compared to other heavy cavalry, it has fewer hit points, attack damage, training cost and time, base armor, and rate of fire but has higher movement speed. It is often classified as a “Medium Cavalry” and is available in the Feudal Age.
The Sofa benefits from the Malian unique technology Imported Armor, available from the Castle Age, which increases its melee and ranged armor.
The Musofadi Gunner is a light ranged gunpowder infantry unit available to the Malians that can be trained at the Archery Range.
It is a powerful unit effective at ambush attacks and has lower hit points but better attack and speed than the Handcannoneer.
It has the ability to enter stealth for 20 seconds, making it invisible until revealed by enemy Scouts or Outposts or engaging in combat. After researching Local Knowledge, it heals when in stealth at a rate of 2 HP/s.
When the Fort of the Huntress is built, it deals more damage when breaking stealth with an attack.
Like with any other civilization, you must build a Landmark to advance to the next area. In Age of Empires 4, you always have two choices of Landmarks when advancing to another Age.
Find below the Malian Landmarks you can build when advancing to the following ages and their bonuses.
The Sahara Trade Network is a defensive Landmark. It functions as a Toll Outpost with Defensive Arrowslits technology and generates food equal to the amount of gold it taxes from Traders and Trade Ships. Other Toll Outposts generate 50% of taxed gold as food.
The Mansa Quarry is an economic Landmark that generates 75 gold per minute and can be toggled to generate stone instead.
The Grand Fulani Corral is an economic Landmark that generates 20 food per minute for every nearby cattle, including those in Cattle Ranches.
The Farimba Garrison is a military Landmark. It produces Barracks and Archery Range units in batches of 5 with a 10% discount on the total cost, which is converted to gold.
The Fort of the Huntress is a defensive Landmark. It functions as a Keep and applies stealth to nearby infantry units for 10 seconds. Musofadi Warriors and Musofadi Gunners gain the First Strike ability, dealing more damage when breaking stealth with an attack.
The Griot Bara is a technology Landmark for the Malians that offers three festivals that provide temporary boons for 300 gold each. The Food festival increases food gather rates by 50%, the Military festival increases military unit production speed by 50%, and the Siege festival increases siege and torch damage for all units by 100%. Only one festival can be active at a time.
Are the Malians the Best Civ for You?
If you enjoy a strong economic game and prefer hit-and-run tactics over prolonged military battles, chances are you will have fun playing as the Malians.
Their Pit Mines generate a steady stream of gold that can be invested back into their unique Cattle food source, creating a self-sustaining economic system.
With five unique units that have a different take on the counter system and their veteran unit technologies costing half as much, the Malians have unique infantry units that fit their strategic hit-and-run tactics.
Overall, the Malians are a great civilization for players who prioritize economy and unique infantry units.