In standard games, Samori Touré can be retired to instantly create an Infantry unit with 1 Promotion level. In Rise and Fall, retiring Samori Toure instead creates a Spec Ops unit with a free promotion level.
Samori Touré was born around 1830 AD in the Milo River valley in Guinea, the son of Dyula traders. In the 1850s Samori joined the military forces of Medina to help liberate his mother, who had been captured in a slave raid by its king Sori Birama. Mastering the firearms that were transforming warfare in West Africa, he acquired yet more martial skills serving local chieftains in their petty affairs before setting out on his own.
Raising and commanding his own army, in 1878 the charismatic Touré declared himself 'faama' (“monarch”) of the Mandinka Empire with his capital at Bisandugu. By the early 1880s his rule had spread from Mali to the borders of British Sierra Leone, the Sudan to the east, and the Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia to the south … reaching its apogee in 1887. Samori later took the title of 'Almami,' a title reserved for Muslim leaders. But the 1884 Berlin Conference partitioned Africa among the European powers, and the French soon cast covetous eyes on Mandinka. Although his tribesmen initially defeated the French, between 1885 and 1889 Touré was pushed steadily deeper into the West African interior.
In 1890 he reorganized his army, signed a treaty with the British, and from them obtained (relatively) modern weapons. But in December 1891 the rapacious French were at it again, overrunning the major cities of the region, leaving death and desolation in their wake. Such that an exodus of the entire Mandinka kingdom – at least, the survivors – eastward resulted. Meanwhile, Touré’s own forces were conquering large tracts of the Ivory Coast, and in 1893 established a new kingdom with Kong as its capital. Despite his scorched earth strategy, the French pressed onwards.
As Samori took up positions in the Liberian forests, however, famine and desertion weakened his forces such that he was captured by the French in September 1898. Exiled to Gabon, he died of pneumonia two years later.