- Can construct a Pā. (Consumes build charge.)
This unit is almost identical to the Indians' Varu in terms of statistics: it has the same Movement and Production and Gold costs, requires no resources to train and has an ability to lower adjacent enemies' strength. It has slightly lower Combat Strength and is unlocked slightly later than the Varu, but comes with an edge in the form of the Pā. This tile improvement works identically to an early Fort, except for the extra ability to heal the unit ending its turn on this tile. Combined this with the innate Haka War Dance ability, the Toa is almost impossible to kill when it is on defense, making invasion against the Māori during this time period a tall order. Although not as effective on offense, the Toa is still a force to be reckoned with, as its only downside is shared by every other melee unit (and of course, their unofficial "twin," the Varu): slow Movement. If you plan a conquest with the Toa, remember one Toa unit can only build the Pā once, so the location of placement is vital to maximize the improvement's defensive capability on top of the Toa's combat prowess.
The Maori word Toa translates simply as “warrior” when used as a noun, and “to win” when used as a verb. In Maori culture, the concept of utu implies that behaviors should be balance, with positive behaviors and gifts rewarded, and wrongs punished to a proportional extent. The Maori culture possessed gradations for these responses, from raiding to full violence. Failure by a leader to respond appropriately could bring about a loss of their mana. European observers were particularly impressed (one might even say terrified) by the great strength and energy of the toa they encountered.
The toa had some distinctive weapons. The staff-like taiaha is made from hardwood, slightly flattened on one end (called the ate), with a stabbing base end below the hand grip. This is the weapon traditionally used during the wero—the traditional challenge at the beginning of a powhiri welcoming ceremony. The smaller, paddle-shaped mere was made from greenstone, with a wrist cord passing through the handle, and used as a stabbing weapon. Mere were also ceremonial objects, used to indicate the prestige of the bearer, due to the difficulty of their manufacturing. Larger clubs were called patu, and were made of hardwood, stone, or bone.
Maori created strong hill forts called Pa, which consisted of terraced land, protected by an elaborate system of palisades and ramparts, encompassing an inner area with access to fresh water and food stores. The introduction of gunpowder weapons and modern artillery eventually rendered these obsolete.
Today the toa are best known for the practice of the haka, the terrifying, energetic chant and dance originating as a war dance. Originally performed to indicate the great strength and skill of the toa, they are performed today by both men and women as part of many activities, including sporting events, formal greetings, and weddings.
One does not simply walk into Ngauruhoe