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Navigate the winding rivers and dense jungles of Bengal as you build a thriving economy to fuel unstoppable armies of elephants. The Bengali unique unit is the Ratha, a sturdy chariot that can switch between melee and ranged attack modes.
—Description

The Bengalis are a South Asian civilization introduced in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India, representing the Pala Empire who stretched across the Bengal region which includes modern-day Bangladesh and a small part of eastern India. In the game, they focus on elephant and naval units. Despite their mechanically complex unique unit, the Bengalis are a solid civilization for both beginners and experts alike who want to specialize in booming strategies and water maps thanks to their simple and straightforward civilization bonuses (Town Centers spawning two Villagers upon age advancement and ships regenerating hit points). This makes Bengalis a good civilization for beginners to learn how to micromanage the economy when booming and easy to micromanage their ships in water combat; and a solid civilization for experienced players to maximize every advantages the Bengalis can offer (including their unique unit).

Overview[]

The Bengalis are an Elephant and navy civilization. Their Elephant corps is very formidable, having not only Elite Battle Elephants, Elephant Archers, and Siege Elephants, but also nearly every upgrade for them, only lacking Thumb Ring for the Elephant Archer. In addition, their Elephants take -25% bonus damage and resist conversion, and Paiks gives them faster attacking speed. The other land units, however, are average, as lacking Thumb Ring hinder their Arbalester and Skirmishers. Their Stable units are limited to Battle Elephants and Light Cavalry. The infantry are mediocre, lacking both Supplies and Plate Mail Armor. Unlike other Indians, the Bengalis have no gunpowder units on land, and lack Siege Onagers. Their unique unit, the Ratha, can compensate for lacking Knights and Cavalry Archers, since it can switch its attack. But on the Monastery, defense, and economy line, there is only one technology missing from their technology tree, their navy can regenerate, and they get additional Villagers from Town Centers every Age advanced. Mahayana also makes full use of the population. So they have good economy, defense, and navy.

To conclude, although they seem to have lackluster mobile military choices, the Bengalis in fact have versatile tactics, as they have a decent economy to bring up many choices such as archer or elephant and even Monk rush. Also worth noting that unique unit rush is a viable plan, since it can change attack forms while being cheap and fast.

Campaign appearances[]

The Bengalis have a campaign devoted to their civilization: Devapala. They also appear in:

Bayinnaung[]

Devapala[]

This campaign is played as the Bengalis.

Rajendra[]

  • Sacred Waters
    • Utkala - Enemy → Ally
    • Kalinga - Enemy → Ally
    • Mahipala - Enemy
    • Bandits - Enemy
    • Local Villages - Neutral

Characteristics[]

Unique unit[]

  • Aoe2de ratha ranged.png Ratha: Cavalry unit that can switch between melee and ranged attacks.

Unique technologies[]

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonus[]

Trade units yield 10% food in addition to gold.

In-game dialogue language[]

Units in-game speaks Shadhu Bengali, a historical literary register of the Bengali language most prominently used in the 19th to 20th centuries during the Bengali Renaissance. Sadhu language was used only in writing, unlike its standard counterpart, which follows up with the colloquial form of the language.

Villager
  • Select 1 He'i (হেই) - Hail
  • Select 2 Hā'i (হয়) - Yes
  • Select 3 Toiyār (তৈয়ার) - Ready
  • Select 4 Ādesh? (আদেশ?) - Command?
  • Move 1 Hā'i (হয়) - Yes
  • Move 2 Satya rē (সত্য রে) - Truth it is
  • Move 3 Satya (সত্য) - Truth
  • Move 4 Āmi yā'i (আমি যাই) - I am going
  • Build Nirmānkārī (নির্মানকারী) - Builder
  • Forage Jōgāriẏā (জোগারিয়া) - Gatherer
  • Chop Kāṭhuriẏā (কাঠুরিয়া) - Lumberjack
  • Hunt Byadh (ব্যাধ) - Hunter
  • Farm Jōgāriẏā (জোগারিয়া) - Gatherer
  • Male Fish Jāluẏā (জালুয়া) - Fisherman
  • Female Fish Jāulani (জাউলানি) - Fisherwoman
  • Mine Khononkāri (খননকারী) - Digger
  • Repair Mistrī (মিস্ত্রী) - Wright / carpenter
Military
  • Select 1 Hā'i (হয়) - Yes
  • Select 2 Tomar shebāy (তোমার সেবায়) - At your service
  • Select 3 Kono āgga? (কোনও আজ্ঞা?) - Any command?
  • Move 1 Āmi bujhō (আমি বুঝো) - I understand
  • Move 2 Hā'i mohashoy (হয় মহাশয়) - Yes sir
  • Move 3 Āmi yā'ie (আমি যাইয়ে) - I am going
  • Attack 1 Ostrō dhāroṇ korō! (অস্ত্র ধারণ করো!) - Hold the weapons!
  • Attack 2 Hou āguwan! (হও আগুয়ান!) - Be advancing!
  • Attack 3 Hana dehō! (হানা দেহ!) - Attack!
Monk
  • Select 1 Hā'i (হয়) - Yes
  • Select 2 Tomar shebay (তোমার সেবায়) - At your service
  • Select 3 Horir namete (হরির নামেতে) - In the name of Hari (Vishnu)
  • Select 4 Adesh? (আদেশ?) - Command?
  • Move 1 Āmi yā'i (আমি যাই) - I go
  • Move 2 Hā'i (হয়) - Yes
  • Move 3 Satya rē (সত্য রে) - Truth it is
  • Move 4 Satya (সত্য) - Truth
King
  • Select 1 Ei nao (এই নাও) - Here (I am)
  • Select 2 Tumi ki ba chao? (তুমি কী বা চাও?) - What is it that you want?
  • Select 3 Uposhonno (উপসন্য) - Prayers
  • Select 4 Amake keno biron koro? (আমাকে কেন বীরণ করো?) - Why do you bother me?
  • Move 1 Jotha agga (যথা আজ্ঞা) - As commanded
  • Move 2 Ami koribo (আমি করিবো) - I will do it
  • Move 3 Ami koribo jaha tumi chao (আমি করিবো যাহা তুমি চাও) - I will do what you wish
  • Move 4 Amar duway (আমার দুয়ায়) - With my prayers

AI player names[]

When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Bengali AI characters:

  • Shashanka: was the first independent king of a unified polity in the Bengal region, called the Gauda Kingdom and is a major figure in Bengali history. He reigned in the 7th century. He is credited with creating the Bengali calendar. He is the contemporary of Harsha and of Bhaskaravarman of Kamarupa.
  • Gopala (ruled 750s–770s CE): was the founder of the Pala dynasty of Bihar and Bengal regions of the Indian Subcontinent. The last morpheme of his name Pala means "protector" and was used as an ending for the names of all the Pala monarchs. He was the grandfather of Devapala.
  • Dharmapala (ruled 8th century): was the second ruler of the Pala Empire of Bengal and Bihar regions. He was the son and successor of Gopala, the founder of the Pala Dynasty. He greatly expanded the boundaries of the empire, and made the Palas a dominant power in northern and eastern India. Dharmapala directly ruled over the present-day Bengal and Bihar, and installed a nominee at Kannauj. Dharmapala was defeated twice by the Gurjara-Pratiharas, but each time the Rashtrakutas subsequently defeated the Pratiharas, leaving Palas as the dominant power in North India. Dharmapala was succeeded by his son Devapala who further expanded the empire.
  • Devapala (9th century): was the most powerful ruler of the Pala Empire of Bengal region. He was the third king in the line, and had succeeded his father Dharmapala. His mother was Rannadevi, a Rashtrakuta princess. Devapala expanded the frontiers of the empire by conquering the present-day Assam and Orissa. The Badal Pillar inscription also claims that Devpala exterminated the Utkalas (present-day Orissa), conquered the Pragjyotisha (Assam), shattered the pride of the Hunas, humbled the lords of Gurjara and the Dravidas. These claims are exaggerated, but cannot be dismissed entirely.
  • Harjjaravarman (ruled 815 – 832): was a ruler of Mlechchha dynasty of Kamarupa from their capital at Harruppesvar in present-day Tezpur, Assam. The Mlechchha dynasty in Kamarupa was followed by the Pala kings.
  • Rajyapala: was the eighth emperor of the Pala dynasty. He succeeded his father Narayanapala. He reigned for 32 years.
  • Mahipala (or Mahipala I; ruled 988–1038): was a notable king of the Pala dynasty. He was the son and successor of Vigrahapala II. Mahipala's reign marked a resurgence in fortunes for the Pala empire, whose boundaries were expanded as far as Varanasi. However, his rule was temporarily hampered by the northern expedition of the Chola Emperor, Rajendra I.
  • Ramapala (reigned 1082–1124 AD): was the successor to the Pala king Shurapala II, and fifteenth ruler of the Pala line. Rampala is recognised as the last great ruler of the dynasty, managing to restore much of the past glory of the Pala lineage. He crushed the Varendra Rebellion and extended his empire farther to Kamarupa, Orissa and Northern India.
  • Samanta Sena (ruled 1070–1095): was the founder of the Sena dynasty. The Sena dynasty was a Hindu dynasty during the early medieval period, that ruled from Bengal through the 11th and 12th centuries. The empire at its peak covered much of the north-eastern region of the Indian subcontinent. The rulers of the Sena Dynasty traced their origin to the south Indian region of Karnataka.
  • Lakshmana Sena (reigned 1178–1206): also called Lakshman Sen, was the ruler of the Sena dynasty. His rule lasted for 28 years. His reign ended with the invasion of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji.
  • Ilyas Shah (reigned 1342–1352): Haji Ilyas, better known as Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah (Bengali: শামসুদ্দীন ইলিয়াস শাহ, Persian: شمس الدین الیاس شاه), was the founder of the Sultanate of Bengal and its inaugural Ilyas Shahi dynasty which ruled the region for 150 years. Ilyas Shah was a Sunni Muslim born in Sistan (in Iran/Afghanistan), and rose through the ranks of the Delhi Sultanate and was appointed Governor of one of three provinces of Bengal. In the middle of the 14th-century, the governors of the three city-states declared independence and began warring against one another. Ilyas Shah defeated the other two rulers and unified Bengal into an independent Sultanate, establishing his capital in Pandua.
  • Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah (Bengali: গিয়াসউদ্দীন আজম শাহ, Persian: غیاث‌الدین اعظم شاه): was the third Sultan of Bengal and the Ilyas Shahi dynasty. He was one of the most prominent medieval Bengali Sultans. He established diplomatic relations with the Ming Empire of China, pursued cultural contacts with leading thinkers in Persia and conquered Assam.
  • Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah (ناصر الدين محمود; ruled 1227–1229): was the eldest son of Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish. He was, in all probabilities, the full brother of Sultan Razia. He was the governor of Oudh and later served as the governor of Bengal until his death.
  • Alauddin Husain Shah (আলাউদ্দিন হোসেন শাহ; ruled 1494–1519): was an independent late medieval Sultan of Bengal, who founded the Hussain Shahi dynasty. He became the ruler of Bengal after assassinating the Abyssinian Sultan, Shams-ud-Din Muzaffar Shah, whom he had served under as wazir. After his death in 1519, his son Nusrat Shah succeeded him. The reigns of Husain Shah and Nusrat Shah are generally regarded as the "golden age" of the Bengal sultanate.

History[]

During the 6th century AD, the Gupta Empire was struggling to remain unified in the face of internal volatility and external invasions. Seizing the opportunity, Shashanka, a chieftain in modern-day Bengal, broke away and founded his own kingdom in Gauda. While he laid the foundations for future Bengali states and even implemented a new calendar, Shashanka would not be long outlived by his kingdom, which was consumed by his rivals soon after his death.

Roughly a century later, Bengal remained in turmoil, with no central ruling power. However, around the mid-8th century, the Bengali people – according to legend – elected Gopala the king of the region. This consensual vesting of power was crucial, as it allowed Gopala to form a new centralized state, the Pala Empire (8th-12th centuries). Under Gopala’s successors Dharmapala and Devapala, the Pala Empire became a major player on the Indian subcontinent, contending with the rival Rashtrakutas and Pratiharas for supremacy in the Kannauj Triangle. Devapala raised Pala power to new heights, but nearly squandered his statebuilding achievements when a disastrous pyrrhic expedition to the far south withered his army and destabilized his state. Recognizing his mistake, he made a spectacular recovery during the later years of his reign and passed on a formidable realm to his successors.

Under Pala rule, Bengal and the surrounding regions reached unprecedented levels of economic, political, and military strength. The trade routes along the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal exploded with activity, and Bengali agricultural and material wealth was matched by none; indeed, the economy of Bengal alone outstripped all of Europe at the time. Pala emperors commanded vast armies of elephants, infantry, and notably rathas – battle chariots that had fallen out of use in much of the Indian subcontinent. Mahayana Buddhism also flourished in the Pala lands, and the emperors patronized several monasteries, universities, and other public works projects to educate and supply their subjects.

As the Pala Empire declined during the 12th century, the vast array of realms that it controlled began to assert their independence. During this time, the neighboring Sena dynasty took the opportunity to wrest control of several of these away from the Palas and, gradually, assume control over Bengal and most of the former Pala possessions. Sena hegemony ended nearly as quickly as it rose, however: by the early 13th century, the rising Delhi Sultanate had thrust east towards Bengal and quickly seized much of the region. This marked a considerable religious watershed moment as well, as Islam – which would eventually become a majority religion in Bengal – was first introduced in significant volume to Bengali lands during this time.

During the 14th century, Ilyas Shah emerged victorious among a group of squabbling generals and warlords, establishing the Bengal Sultanate. It was this period that saw Bengal match and surpass the prosperity of the Pala Empire, becoming famed across continents for its wealth and cultural vibrance. One particularly famous product was jamdani, also known as muslin after its iteration in the Middle East, a cloth prized as a luxury item. The Bengali Sultanate retained this exalted status until the 16th century, when it was absorbed into the rising Mughal Empire.

Trivia[]

  • The Bengalis are the only civilization that has access to Parthian Tactics, but lack the Cavalry Archer. This technology benefits Rathas and Elephant Archers. They are also the first civilization in expansions to the Definitive Edition that have access to it.
  • The Bengalis' civilization icon is a form of the Bengali Swastika.
  • Their user interface is an elephant, which is the symbol of Buddhism. In the game's timeline, the Bengalis were the last Indian state whose religion was Buddhism.
  • The Bengalis are similar to the Khmer, as they are civilizations that have powerful Elephant units with attack advantage, while other units are average. Infantry for both are mediocre due to lacking Plate Mail Armor, and their Archery Range both lack Thumb Ring, but get access to other essential units (the Khmer have Heavy Cavalry Archers and Hand Cannonners, and Bengalis have access to Elephant Archers). Both civilizations lack Bombard Cannons and Siege Onagers, which counter the Battle Elephants, but have access to Redemption Monks to counter them. Both unique units have average attack and hit points, but slow speed (the Ratha is slower than most mounted units). The major difference between them is that the Khmer have weaker navy, while the Bengalis have less versatility in land maps, due to lacking Knights and Hand Cannonners, and Bengalis are suited for beginners who try to boom, while the Khmer are suited for experienced players.
  • The Bengalis are the second civilization (the first being the Malay) to have any units that take up a population space other than 1. After researching Mahayana, their Imperial Age unique technology, their Villagers only take up 0.9 population.
  • Similar to the Bohemians, the Bengalis have a noticeable higher win rate in closed maps, while they have a significantly lower win rate in open maps. This may be because of the following factors: their vulnerability to Dark Age and Feudal Age rushes; vulnerability to Knight rushes, due to the lack of strong mobile unit from the Stables (i.e. Camel Rider or Knight); their unique unit, the Ratha, while strong under experienced players, is simply too expensive to afford in open maps, due to the unit requiring the most upgrades and investment in a lot of Castles; and very average unit options outside of their elephants and Monks.
    • Even in closed maps, their win rates are considered to be average when compared to other civilizations. This may be because of the differences in high-level matches when compared to lower-level matches. While the Bengalis' post-Imperial Age army is very difficult to deal with for most lower-level players, more experienced players can exploit several of their noticeable weaknesses in closed maps (i.e. their siege is considered average in closed maps, and their economic bonuses do not apply until the later stages of the game compared to other civilizations' economic bonuses in closed maps).

Gallery[]

Notes[]

  1. "Bonus damage" is incoming damage of all armor classes except for melee or pierce damage. It is also applied to Gaia damage, i.e. reduces the bonus damage of Wild Boars. The bonus does not apply to hill bonus/cliff damage.
    In the cases when a Bengali Elephant unit has non-zero armor versus bonus damage, the bonus damage reduction is applied first, and only then the armor of the respective class is subtracted. Realistically, it affects Armored/Siege Elephants and (Elite) Elephant Archers.
    E.g. 1: Halberdier (+32 vs. cavalry, +28 vs. war elephant) vs. Siege Elephant (8 cavalry armor, 18 elephant armor) deals [32*(1-0.25)-8]+[28*(1-0.25)-18]=16+3 = 19 bonus damage (instead of (32-8)+(28-18) = 34).
    E.g. 2: Elite Skirmisher (+4 vs. archer, +2 vs. cavalry archer) vs. Elephant Archer (0 archer armor, -7 cavalry archer armor) deals [4*(1-0.25)-0]+[2*(1-0.25)-(-7)]=3+8.5 = 11.5 bonus damage (instead of (4-0)+[2-(-7)] = 13).
    In the Siege Elephant case, where there is positive armor, the actual bonus reduction is higher than 25% (c. 44%). In the Elephant Archer case, where there is negative armor, the actual bonus reduction is lower than 25% (c. 12%).
    The bonus is applied to Elephant units and is thus preserved for other civilizations upon conversion. Conversely, if a Bengali Monk converts a non-Bengali Elephant unit, the latter will not receive the bonus damage reduction.
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