A harsh life of hunting and pastoralism breeds a hardier people. Unite the fractious tribes of the Mongolian steppe and lead vast mounted hordes to the edges of the known world. Learn siegecraft from Chinese engineers and demolish even the sturdiest cities while you build the greatest empire that the world has ever seen! Your potent Mangudai shower all who dare stand in your way with a storm of arrows while tumens of lightning-quick cavalry ride them down into the dirt.
The Mongols were a collection of nomadic tribes from the steppes of Central Asia and Siberia. They were fierce warriors who are known for establishing the largest contiguous overland empire in human history. At the beginning of the 13th century, the Mongol clans became united under Temujin who later became known as Genghis Khan following a campaign of foreign conquest of more developed and technologically advanced civilizations across East Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. At its height, their empire stretched from Korea across Asia and into European Russia to the Baltic Sea coast. They held most of Asia Minor, modern Iraq, modern Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, parts of India, parts of Burma, all of China, and parts of Vietnam.
Although greatly outnumbered in many key battles, the Mongols utilized a variety of guerilla warfare tactics involving highly skilled cavalry archers whose long range and accuracy provided by the unprecedented Mongol recurve bow gave them a great advantage on the battlefield. Much of the army consisted of light cavalry which were extremely light troops compared to those of other armies. This allowed them to execute tactics and maneuvers that would otherwise have been impractical. Having this mobility made it possible to send them on successful scouting missions, gathering intelligence about routes and terrain suited to the preferred combat tactics of the Mongols. This is reflected by their civilization bonuses which benefit their cavalry archers and Light Cavalry, team bonus which increases the Line of Sight of Light Cavalry, and their unique technology.
As a cavalry archer civilization, the Mongols have excellent Cavalry Archers, arguably the best of all civilizations. This is due to their higher Rate of Fire which greatly improves the effective damage output of not only Cavalry Archers, but also Mangudai. The other key unit of the Mongol army, the Hussar, comes with great advantages, too, with greater Line of Sight which is extremely beneficial in the very early game for scouting, and higher HP. Put together, these units form a very threatening and very mobile force. This also works great with their excellent siege weapons which also receive a great speed boost thanks to Drill. Outside these areas of expertise the Mongols fare rather poorly. Their other archers and cavalry units miss important upgrades at the Blacksmith. The infantry, however, is solid despite missing the Halberdier. On the water, the lack of Dry Dock is really unfortunate since it means their ships miss out on an important speed boost. Otherwise, their navy is fair. Their Monks are among the worst of all civilizations, and their defensive structures and economy are also both very weak.
Chepe (ᠵᠡᠪᠡ; Jebe or Jebei): One of the prominent Noyans (generals) of Genghis Khan. He belonged to the Besud clan, part of the Taichud tribe, which was under Targudai Khiriltug's leadership at the time of Genghis Khan.
Genghis Khan (ᠴᠢᠩᠭᠢᠰ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ, Чингис Хаан): (c. 1162 – August 18, 1227; born Temüjin): The Great Khan and founder of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan", he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia. Campaigns initiated in his lifetime include those against the Qara Khitai, Caucasus, and Khwarazmian, Western Xia and Jin dynasties.
Guyuk Khan (ᠭᠦᠶᠦᠭ): The third Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, the eldest son of Ögedei Khan and a grandson of Genghis Khan. He reigned from 1246 to 1248.
Jochi (ᠵᠥᠴᠢ): was a Mongolian army commander who was the eldest son of Genghis Khan, and presumably one of the four sons by his principal wife Börte, though issues concerning his paternity followed him throughout his life. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.
Kabul (ᠬᠠᠪᠤᠯ): The first known Khan of the Khamag Mongol confederation and great-grandfather to Genghis Khan.
Khubilai Khan (ᠬᠦᠪᠢᠯᠠᠢ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ): The fifth Khagan of the Mongol Empire, reigning from 1260 to 1294 (although due to the division of the empire this was a nominal position). He also founded the Yuan dynasty in China as a conquest dynasty in 1271, and ruled as the first Yuan emperor until his death in 1294.
Kitboga (ᠬᠢᠲ᠋ᠪᠤᠬᠠ): A Nestorian Christian of the Turkic Naiman tribe, a group that was subservient to the Mongol Empire. He was a lieutenant and confidant of the Mongol Ilkhan Hulagu, assisting him in his conquests in the Middle East.
Kushluk (ᠬᠦᠴᠦᠯᠦᠭ): A member of the Naiman tribe of western Mongolia who became the last ruler of Qara Khitai empire. The Naimans were defeated by Genghis Khan and he fled westward to the Qara Khitai, where he became an advisor. He later rebelled, usurped the throne, and took control of Qara Khitai. He was killed in 1218 by the Mongols and the domain of the Qara Khitai absorbed into the rising Mongol Empire.
Mongke Khan (ᠮᠥᠩᠬᠡ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ): The fourth Khagan of the Mongol Empire, ruling from 1251 to 1259. He was the first Khagan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign.
Nogai Khan (ᠨᠣᠬᠠᠢ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ; died 1299/1300): was a general and de facto ruler of the Golden Horde and a great-great-grandson of Genghis Khan. At his height, Nogai was one of the most powerful men in Europe, and widely thought of as the Horde's true head
Ogedei Khan (ᠥᠭᠡᠳᠡᠢ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ, Өгэдэй Хан): The third son of Genghis Khan and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, succeeding his father. He continued the expansion of the empire that his father had begun, and was a world figure when the Mongol Empire reached its farthest extent west and south during the Mongol invasions of Europe and East Asia.
Subotai (ᠰᠦᠪᠦᠭᠠᠲᠠᠢ): An Uriankhai general, and the primary military strategist of Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan. He directed more than twenty campaigns in which he conquered thirty-two nations and won sixty-five pitched battles, during which he conquered or overran more territory than any other commander in history. He gained victory by means of imaginative and sophisticated strategies and routinely coordinated movements of armies that were hundreds of kilometers away from each other.
Tamerlane (ᠲᠡᠮᠦᠷ): A Turco-Mongol conqueror. As the founder of the Timurid Empire in Persia and Central Asia he became the first ruler in the Timurid dynasty. According to John Joseph Saunders, Timur's background was Iranized and not steppe nomadic.
Toktamish Khan (ᠲᠤᠬᠤᠲᠠ ᠤᠰ ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ): A prominent khan of the Blue Horde, briefly unified the White Horde and Blue Horde subdivisions of the Golden Horde into a single state. He descended from Genghis Khan's grandson, Tuqa-Timur.
Uzbeg (ᠥᠽᠪᠧᠭ): The longest-reigning khan of the Golden Horde, under whose rule the state reached its zenith.
The Mongols were nomads from the steppes of Central Asia. They were fierce warriors who fought each other over pasturelands and raided developed civilizations to the east and south. At the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Mongol clans united and began a campaign of foreign conquest. Following in the hoofprints of the Huns, their predecessors by a thousand years, they carved out one of the largest empires the world has yet seen.
The Mongols inhabited the plains south of Lake Baikal in modern Mongolia. At its maximum, their empire stretched from Korea, across Asia, and into European Russia to the Baltic Sea coast. They held most of Asia Minor, modern Iraq, modern Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, parts of India, parts of Burma, all of China, and parts of Vietnam.
The Mongol clans were united by Temuchin, called Genghis Khan (“mighty ruler”), in the early thirteenth century. His ambition was to rule all lands between the oceans (Pacific and Atlantic) and he nearly did so. Beginning with only an estimated 25,000 warriors, he added strength by subjugating other nomads and attacked northern China in 1211. He took Beijing in 1215 after a campaign that may have cost 30 million Chinese lives. The Mongols then turned west, capturing the great trading city Bukhara on the Silk Road in 1220. The city was burned to the ground and the inhabitants murdered.
Following Genghis Khan’s death in 1227, his son Ogedei completed the conquest of northern China and advanced into Europe. He destroyed Kiev in 1240 and advanced into Hungary. When Ogedei died on campaign in 1241, the entire army fell back to settle the question of succession. Europe was spared as Mongol rulers concentrated their efforts against the Middle East and southern China. Hulagu, a grandson of Genghis, exterminated the Muslim “Assassins” and then took the Muslim capital of Baghdad in 1258. Most of the city’s 100,000 inhabitants were murdered. In 1260 a Muslim army of Egyptian Mamelukes (warrior slaves of high status) defeated the Mongols in present-day Israel, ending the Mongol threat to Islam and its holy cities.
Kublai Khan, another grandson of Genghis, completed the conquest of China in 1279, establishing the Yuan dynasty. Attempted invasions of Japan were thrown back with heavy loss in 1274 and 1281. In 1294 Kublai Khan died in China, and Mongol power began to decline in Asia and elsewhere. In 1368 the Yuan dynasty in China was overthrown in favor of the Ming.
In the 1370’s a Turkish-Mongol warrior claiming descent from Genghis Khan fought his way to leadership of the Mongol states of Central Asia and set out to restore the Mongol Empire. His name was Timur Leng (Timur, “the Lame,” or Tamerlane to Europeans and the Prince of Destruction to Asians). With another army of 100,000 or so horsemen, he swept into Russia and Persia, fighting mainly other Muslims. In 1398 he sacked Delhi, murdering 100,000 inhabitants. He rushed west defeating an Egyptian Mameluke army in Syria. In 1402 he defeated a large Ottoman Turk army near modern Ankara. On the verge of destroying the Ottoman Empire, he turned again suddenly. He died in 1405 while marching for China. He preferred capturing wealth and engaged in wholesale slaughter, without pausing to install stable governments in his wake. Because of this, the huge realm inherited by his sons fell apart quickly after his death.