The history of the Mongol tribe began with the birth of Temujin, born in c.1167 AD in the wild steppe-land of Mongolia, which is bordered by Modern Day China and Russia. When Temujin was nine years old, tribal rivals poisoned and murdered his father Yesugei, creating a power vacuum in the tribe that resulted in the exile of young Temujin and his family as fugitives. In time Temujin would return to claim his inheritance, forge political alliances, and vanquish old rivals. In 1204 AD he summoned a kuriltai war council and proceeded to unite all local nomad tribes by force. It was at this time he received the title ‘Genghis Khan’, meaning ‘Great Ruler’.
China, at the time, was divided by three sects: the Ch’in, who were the most powerful, reigned in the north at Peking; the Sung occupied the South; and the Hsi-Hsia, the weakest of the three, inhabited the western flank of the Great Wall.
The Mongol conquest against China began in 1211 AD when the consolidated tribes of the Great Khan struck at the Hsi-Hsia, with tremendous success. Not impressed with the defeat of his weaker neighbor, the new Emperor of Ch’in insisted on a public display of servitude from Temujin. Temujin reacted by ordering a general advance against the Ch’in Empire. The resulting war lasted for approximately 23 years, and ended in the complete destruction of the Ch’in. During this campaign Temujin ensured that the epic war upon the Ch’in did not occupy all of his resources and time; there were older enemies to address.
Amid the war against the Ch’in the Mongols also rallied against the Kara-Khitay, one of the original Kuchlug tribes that had fled from defeat during Temujin’s war of unification. Victory over the Kara-Khitay provided the Mongols a common frontier with the Shah of Khwarizm, who ruled a large Muslim state that stretched from modern day Iran to the southern Soviet Union as far as the Caspian and Aral seas. In 1219 AD the Mongol horde gathered for the first of several large operations against Muslim and Persian enemies. After defeating the Shah, the Mongols had access to Russia. Not content with remaining a peaceful neighbor, Temujin permitted his generals to lead an extraordinary campaign into southern Russia, which would be staged largely in the winter months. Three years, and numerous victories later, they returned to rendezvous with the main Mongol force and to contribute in the war against the Ch’in and their Muslim enemies.
Mongol children were taught to ride on horseback from the age of three, and were given bow and arrows to use for hunting at the age of five. Horseback became a natural way for the Mongols to conduct war. When speed was essential, a Mongol rider could even sleep while in the saddle; and by using a system that consisted of approximately four remounts, Temujin’s army was capable of traversing 130 miles in two days, with no breaks for food.
Every victory wrought by the Mongols was followed by slaughters of incredible scale. No citizens, with the exception of those who were useful to the Mongol war effort, were spared in these attacks. In 1221 AD, the Islamic city of Merv was captured; 700,000 were murdered, and a rearguard was assembled to dispatch any citizens who were fortunate enough to have escaped the original slaughter, this was routine for the Mongol army.
By the end of the 13th century Mongol armies had been involved in action in countries including: Poland, Japan, Korea, Hungary, Russia, Palestine, Persia, India, Cambodia, Burma, and Vietnam. After Temujin’s death in 1227 five more Khans would follow, including, Kublai Khan, whose triumph was the union of all of China under his rule. However, the death of Kublai Khan in 1294 AD marked the end of an era for Mongol conquests, and the march of Mongol armies was never again resumed, leaving its populace to be absorbed into the sedentary life style of the neighboring people.
In Civilization III: Play the World, the Mongols are considered a Militaristic and Expansionist civilization, therefore, they start with Warrior Code and Pottery and have significant bonuses to military and exploratory activities.
Unique Unit: The Keshik
The skill of a Mongol on horseback was notoriously keen. Having been taught to ride on horseback from the age of three, and by five given bow and arrows to use from horseback for hunting and war, it was a natural way for the Mongols to conduct war. The Mongols’ harsh, nomadic lifestyle had prepared them well for the rigors of war; they often thrived in conditions that would be considered intolerable by any other military of its time. When the need arose Mongol horsemen could last up to ten days at a time without cooking food, during which they would sustain themselves by drinking the blood and milk of their horses.
A Mongol city must have horses to build a Keshik. They replace the Knight and can cross mountains as if they were grasslands.