Firaxis continues its new civilization reveals this week as well with the announcement of the Maori for : Gathering Storm expansion. The upcoming faction has some very unique – if not overpowered – early game mechanics tied to it, and is being led by Kupe.
Thanks to the Kupe’s Voyage leader ability, the Maori begins all rounds in the ocean, and turns that go by without a city being settled provides it with extra science and culture. The Maori also receives a free builder and bonus population in the capital once the first city is established, in addition to extra housing and amenities from the palace.
The national ability, Mana, also plays into this strong start, where the Maori begins the game with sailing, shipbuilding, and ocean sailing technologies already available. Embarked units also gain extra movement and strength, while fishing boats set off culture bombs when building improvements, capturing adjacent areas. Moreover, any wood and rainforest tiles that go without improvements yield production bonuses.
However, the downsides of this ability are that the civilization can’t harvest resources and won’t earn any Great Writers in its campaigns.
The Toa arrives as Maori’s unique unit. While it replaces the Swordsman, this unit has the Haka War Dance ability, reducing the strength of any surrounding enemies. The unit can also build a unique defensive structure named Pa, which provides defense bonuses and heals units that fortify upon it.
A building unique to the Maori is incoming too, that being the Marae, which replaces the Amphitheatre. This building gives off culture and faith bonuses to any unit passable features, such as floodplains, that exist inside a city’s borders. Once Flight is researched, this improvement also generates tourism.
Just like Hungary from last week, the Maori and its leader will be launching on February 14 as a part of the Gathering Storm expansion. Six more civilizations are to be revealed in the coming months as well.