Barbarians are a special "civilization" that is always at war with all normal civilizations. Barbarian units can be spawned out of nothing via a random process. Players often refer to barbarians as just barbs.
The term "barbarian" was created by the Greeks; it was originally used to denote any foreigner. Since then it has gained a more negative connotation, and it is commonly applied to civilizations deemed "inferior" to one's own. The Chinese, for instance, thought of all foreign cultures - everybody from the Manchus to the Turks to the Europeans - as barbarians. Rome applied it to the Huns and the Germanic tribes, as well as to the more advanced Gauls.
In Civilization IV, the term denotes people that are not part of any organized civilization appearing in the game, but are instead old-style hunter-gatherers who prey on the "weak" civilized world. Though some barbarians may have acquired fairly advanced weaponry - swords and axes, for example - and though they may occasionally capture or even build their own cities, they remain at heart hostile nomads, destroying everything that comes in their path. Barbarians cannot be bargained with or appeased: they must be destroyed - before they destroy you!
Barbarians can be spawned from Tribal Villages if the civilization entering the village has bad luck. Note that using a Scout (or Explorer) prevents this outcome: huts cannot spawn barbarians if explored by a Scout.
Barbarians can also be generated out of nothing, in any land or coast tile which is
- out of the line of sight of all cities (including barbarian cities),
- out of the line of sight of all units (excluding barbarians), and
- not within the 5x5 square centered on any existing unit (excluding other barbarians?).
The chance for barbarian generation is higher for tundra and desert tiles. In the very early game, the barbarians spawned will be animals. After a particular turn, animals can no longer spawn, and only normal units (Warriors and Archers initially) will spawn.
One other way in which barbs can be created is via events. There is a rare event called "barbarian uprising" which can happen very early in the game, producing a stack of barbarians that will invade and attempt to take a city.
Barbarians can never be permanently wiped from the planet. Even if you destroy every barbarian unit and city currently visible, they will always respawn eventually.
A number of special rules apply to barbarian units. Both human and AI players are given bonuses in combat against them, even including "free wins" for humans at low difficulty levels. However, the amount of experience a unit may get from fighting barbarians is capped. A unit cannot raise its experience above 5 experience via fighting animals or above 10 fighting other barbarians.
Here is a table relating the difficulty level to various aspects of barbarian units:
|Free Wins Versus Barbs||5||4||3||2||1||0||0||0||0|
|Animal Attack Prob||0||25||50||75||90||95||98||99||100|
|Barbarian Creation Turns Elapsed||50||45||40||35||30||25||20||15||10|
|Barbarian City Creation Turns Elapsed||55||50||45||40||35||30||25||20||15|
|AI Animal Bonus||-70||-70||-70||-70||-70||-70||-70||-70||-70|
|AI Barbarian Bonus||-40||-40||-40||-40||-40||-40||-40||-40||-40|
The barbarian civilization is a civilization that is always at war with other civilizations, and cannot communicate with them. It is led by a leader with no traits (modeled after Sid Meier, though cannot be talked to in-game). Other than that, it behaves like AIs do. Barbarians do research new tech (although very slowly).
Some time after the point in the game where animals stop spawning, barbarian cities can randomly appear. Barb cities follow the same limits on spawning as units do.
Barbarian cities follow the same rules as other cities. Eventually they will build Workers and improve their land. A city will build buildings if the barbarians have the tech to do so; this may include culture buildings which will eventually expand the barbarian cultural borders just as civs do.
The city names come from tribes and cultures not included in the Civilization series.
List of Barbarian "Cities"
|Cherokee||Southeastern indigenous North American tribe|
|Anasazi||Southwestern indigenous North American tribe|
|Teoihuacan||An ancient Mesoamerican city|
|Olmec||Earliest known Mesoamerican civilization|
|Zapotec||Minor pre-Columbian civilization|
|Chinook||Pacific Northwestern indigenous North American tribe|
|Apache||Southwestern indigenous North American tribe|
|Chehalis||Pacific Northwestern indigenous North American tribe|
|Illinois||A Native American tribe, namesake of the US state|
|Navajo||Southwestern indigenous North American tribe|
|Carib||AKA Kalina, indigenous South American people|
|Saxon||Ancient Germanic tribe inhabiting areas the North Sea|
|Vandal||Ancient East Germanic tribes|
|Goth||Ancient East Germanic tribes, dominant at the emergence of the Middle Ages|
|Angle||Ancient Germanic peoples, namesake of England|
|Magyar||Endonym of the Hungarian people|
|Khazak||Misspelling of Kazakh, a Turkic peoples, namesake of Kazakhstan|
|Bulgar||Nomadic Turkic tribes, namesake of Bulgaria|
|Alemanni||Ancient Western Germanic tribe, namesake of Germany in various Romance languages|
|Burgundian||Ancient East Germanic tribe inhabiting the area of present-day Poland|
|Gepid||Ancient East Germanic tribe|
|Hun||Nomadic tribes ruling over large parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the early Middle Ages|
|Jute||Anicent Germanic tribe inhabiting the area of present-day Denmark|
|Phoenician||Ancient North African civilization preceding Carthage|
|Etruscan||Ancient civilization of Northern Italy preceding Rome|
|Thracian||Southeastern European tribe|
|Phrygian||Ancient kingdom located in parts of present-day Turkey|
|Gaul||Collection of ancient Celtic tribes inhabiting regions of present-day France|
|Minoan||Ancient civilization found on the island of Crete|
|Mycenian||Ancient Greek culture|
|Cimmerian||Ancient Indo-European peoples inhabiting the Crimean peninsula|
|Ligurian||Ancient pre-Roman people inhabiting Northern Italy|
|Numidian||Ancient Berber kingdom|
|Sarmatian||Ancient Iranian tribes inhabiting parts of Eastern Europe related to the Scythians|
|Scythian||Ancient Iranian tribes stretching from borders of Eastern Europe towards parts of Central Asia|
|Visigoth||The westernmost sub-group of the Gothic people|
|Assyrian||Major Mesopotamian civilization|
|Hittite||Ancient Indo-European peoples inhabiting Anatolia|
|Suebian||Ancient Germanic tribes bordering the Roman Empire|
|Mauryan||Ancient Indian empire|
|Parthian||Ancient Iranian empire|
|Harappan||Advanced ancient Indus Valley civilization|
|Nubian||Major ancient African civilization bordering Egypt|
|Bactrian||Ancient land covering areas of present-day Afghanistan|
|Circassian||Caucasian people found along the Black Sea|
|Cuman||Turkic nomadic tribes found in Western Eurasia|
|Hurrian||Ancient peoples inhabiting parts of Anatolia|
|Kassite||Ancient Mesopotamian people succeeding Old Babylon|
|Bantu||Collective term for Central African people speaking related languages|
|Khoisan||Southern African peoples inhabiting the Kalahari Desert|
|Libyan||North African peoples|
|Shangian||Ancient Chinese dynasty, also known as Yin|
|Yayoi||Name for a culture of Iron Age Japan|
|Zhou||Ancient Chinese dynasty|
|Ainu||Indigenous population of Japan|
|Polynesian||Various seafaring peoples inhabiting the islands of Oceania|
|Aryan||Ancient progenitors of the Indo-Aryan cultures|
|Avar||Caucasian ethnic group found in Dagestan|
|Ghuzz||AKA Oghuz, an ancient proto-Turkic people|
|Hsungnu||Misspelling of Hsiung-nu, the Wade–Giles spelling of Xiongnu, an Asian nomadic people sometimes linked to the Huns|
|Kushans||Ancient empire spanning Northern India and Central Asia|
|Yuechi||Wade–Giles spelling of Yuezhi, ancient nomadic people found in China, thought of Indo-European origin|
|Sakae||A branch of the Scythian people|
|Uzbek||A Turkic people, namesake of Uzbekistan|
|Tartar||AKA Tatars, a Turkic people found across Eastern Europe and Asia|