The wealthy Hausa kingdoms were magnets for merchants, intellectuals, and enemies. Their extensive trade relations and diplomacy enabled them to exert powerful influence over vast stretches of West Africa. The Hausa kings and emirs deployed powerful cavalry armies to compete with each other and conquer neighboring empires.
Hausa Universities train Griots, inspiring musicians and storytellers who can increase the work rate of buildings and speed of nearby units. Universities allows the player to research unique technologies which cost influence. Universities can also generate influence when they are placed near a Town Center, Trading Post or Palace. It's important that a Hausa player places their University as quickly as possible - a difficult task, as Universities cost 200 wood and 200 coin.
Influence, the resource generated by Universities, is used for many important things: mercenary units trained from the Palace, the unique and powerful upgrades obtained from the Age-up Alliances, native warriors and native technologies.
Hausa Trade Routes can also be switched over from generating experience to generating influence. Influence can also be generated through Home City Cards, such as the "Charity" card, which exchanges the player's food for a lesser amount of influence. The "Hegemony" card allows units from the War Camp to generate a small trickle of influence.
The Hausa's unique heavy infantry unit, the powerful Maigadi, is trained at the Palace. Like other Palace units, the Maigadi costs influence and have shadow upgrades to become stronger with each Age instead of requiring War Camp upgrades.
Livestock Market: Livestock Market. Combines Market and Livestock Pen. Can fatten and sell Livestock for wood or gold.
Field: Slow, infinite source of Food or Coin for up to two gatherers. Builds slowly, but is inexpensive.
Port: Builds and upgrades Fishing Boats and warships. Repairs nearby ships.
Watch Tower: Watch Tower that can be used to defend the border.
University: Unique Hausa building that can toggle between XP and Influence generation. Trains Griots and researches Alliance technologies. Most effective when near a Town Center, Trading Post, and Palace.
War Camp: Trains and upgrades African regular units.
Granary: Improves nearby Food gather rates and lures hunt. Builds slowly but for free. Contains hunting and farming upgrades.
Palace: Powerful, defensive building that can also train units.
Hausa units speak Hausa language, Chadic language spoken by the Hausa people, mainly within the northern half of Nigeria and the southern half of Niger, and with significant minorities in Chad, Ghana, and Cameroon.
The Hausa flag shown in the game is based on Hausa ethnic flag, an older and traditionally established emblem of Hausa identity – the 'Dagin Arewa' or 'Northern knot' – in a star shape, used in historic and traditional architecture, design and embroidery.
The Hausa are a people-group inhabiting the Sahelian region of modern-day Nigeria, a region that rose to immense prominence by the early modern period owing primarily to its location on the lucrative trans-Saharan trade routes. A mix of sedentary and pastoral-nomadic societies, the Hausa coalesced into a series of kingdoms during this time, such as Kano and Zazzau. As Islam spread to the region thanks to merchants from north of the Sahara, it took hold on vast numbers of people, from commoners to rulers. One such ruler, Muhammad Rumfa (r. 1463-1499), converted most of Kano to Islam, planting a seed that would bear fruit centuries later.
Another ruler, Queen Amina of Zazzau (r. 1576-1610), is credited with building the first Islamicized Hausa kingdom. Her achievements were manifold, ranging from military expansion to city building and the reform of agricultural infrastructure. Like several other polities of the time, Zazzau had to contend with the frictious relationship between agriculturalists and pastoralists. While the former derived wealth and power from produce and urban consolidation, the latter measured wealth in mobile, utile materialism such as horses and cattle. Peaceful interaction between the groups was mutually beneficial, but predatory nomadism occasionally ensued and posed a major threat to both societies. To address this issue, Amina commissioned the construction of a series of fortifications around all major urban centers in her kingdom.
By the turn of the 19th century, the Hausa polities were in turmoil. Exploited peasants banded with Fula pastoralists to resist the oppressive policies of Hausa city-states such as Gobir. They found a leader in Usman dan Fodio, a Fulani scholar and military leader. After several decades as a religious teacher, Usman organized an insurrection in 1802 that sought to reform his community – which he felt had strayed from a virtuous path and given itself over to greed, immorality, and cruelty – through Islamic teachings. Leading armies primarily of Fulani as Commander of the Faithful, he dismantled the existing Hausa system and established the Sokoto Caliphate in 1803. Before his death in 1817, Usman authored countless treatises on political, cultural, social, and religious matters.
Over the next several decades, the Sokoto Caliphate expanded swiftly, establishing dominance over the nearby city-states and consolidating its power through control of vital trade, the construction of a network of fortresses, and a sophisticated taxation system. Despite these strengths and a robust military, the Caliphate was no match for the repeated incursions of fully industrialized European imperial powers during the turn of the 20th century, and it swiftly crumbled, allowing the British and Germans to partition its former territory.