Shoshone (Civ5)

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Shoshone (Civ5)
Introduced in Brave New World
Leader Pocatello (Civ5) Pocatello
Unique units Pathfinder (Civ5) Pathfinder (replaces Scout)
Comanche riders (Civ5) Comanche riders (replaces Cavalry)
Unique building None
Ability Great Expanse:
  • Founded cities start with additional territory
  • Units receive a combat bonus when fighting within their own territory
Starts bias None
Language spoken Shoshone language
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The Shoshone people represent a civilization in Civilization V: Brave New World.

  • Musical Theme: Shoshone Sun Dance Songs (composed by Geoff Knorr, performed by the Prague Filmharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andy Brick)
  • Music Set: Native American
  • Architecture: Native American
  • Spy Names: Cameahwait, Ondongarte, Queenah, Pugweenee, Sacajawea, Sagwitch, Sanpitch, Tetoharsky, Tuziyammo, Mugwayan
  • Preferred Religion: Protestantism


The Shoshone are a versatile civilization. Not only do they excel in defensive combats, but they are also specialists at scouting. Their unique ability allows them to grab a much bigger chunk of territory than usual upon the founding of a city: instead of the territory inside a 1-tile radius around the city, they get more than double that, including some irregular tile growth extending towards valuable resources! The cultural cost of acquiring new tiles does not change, so further border growth in each city remains normal. However, combined with the initial land grab, the Shoshone territory becomes a "Great Expanse" indeed - they are doubtless the civilization which is able to control the most territory per city/culture output ratio in the entire game. In addition, all Shoshone units receive a combat bonus when fighting in their own territory, allowing them to defend effectively against invasions throughout the game.

As said before, the Shoshone are also the masters of exploration. The Pathfinder, their unique replacement for the Scout, is one of the most versatile Ancient Era units in the game, having combat strength equal to the Warrior and the ability to choose a reward when discovering an Ancient Ruin. Its only downside is that it has almost double the 20xProduction5 Production cost of the standard Scout - a little more expensive than the Warrior. Also, just like a Scout, you can't upgrade the Pathfinder to a next-gen unit unless you use the special bonus from Ancient Ruins. In this case the unit upgrades straight to a Composite Bowman!

Finally, the Shoshone also have one of the fastest mounted units in the Industrial Era. The Comanche Riders, besides being cheaper than the Cavalry they replace, also boast a faster movement, making them ideal for more exploration.

The combination of the initial land grab upon founding each city, and the extraordinary abilities of the Pathfinder makes for a terrific start for this civilization. You not only get immediate control of the most valuable resources around your cities (the extra territory is always calculated to include valuable tiles within 3-4 spaces of the city), but you can also choose the direction of your development, thanks to the freedom of choosing bonuses from Ancient Ruins (instead of having them at random). You could choose, for example, to concentrate on new technologies, or on 20xCulture5 Culture, or you could immediately upgrade your Pathfinders to the much more powerful Composite Bowmen for a large boost to your early combat abilities. Note that 20xfaith5 Faith bonuses don't appear in the list of Ancient Ruins bonuses before turn 20 - probably a balancing decision (otherwise it would be way too easy for the Shoshone to start a religion, which shouldn't be one of their strengths, according to the game philosophy). Afterwards, however, the first 20xfaith5 Faith bonus you get will be calculated to give you enough points to found a Pantheon on the next turn. Finally, the Pathfinder's increased strength and access to the same special abilities and special promotions as the Scout makes it better at fighting off Barbarians while exploring, even before you upgrade it.

Of course, these advantages don't make a perfect opening gambit. You still depend on the land you start on, the techs you need to develop to make use of its resources, and on pure luck in finding Ancient Ruins before others - after all, you can't choose the benefits if you haven't actually found the Ruins! Nevertheless, the Shoshone are one of the civilizations with the best bonuses for the early game available, if you know how to use them right. Later in the game they are best at playing defensively, so you should lay all the groundwork for a good civilization in the first 100 or so turns.

Civilopedia EntryEdit


"I don't speak your language, and you don't speak mine. But I still understand you. I don't need to walk in your footsteps if I can see the footprints you left behind." Unfortunately, this Shoshone saying did not apply when the white man came into their lands. The Shoshone arose from the intermingling of various indigenous peoples who had lived in the western part of North America for thousands of years; the Shoshone tongue, one of the Uto-Aztecan languages, was their most distinctive characteristic, and so common that, despite divergent dialects, members from distant tribes could converse with ease. At their greatest extent, the Shoshone stretched from northern Idaho to northern Arizona, from eastern California to western Montana. The first contacts between the Shoshone and whites included the passage of the Lewis and Clark Expedition through their northern lands in 1805 AD and the arrival of fur trappers and traders in the Rocky Mountains in the 1820s. The white explorers were followed by white pioneers, notably the Mormon settlements in Utah around the Great Salt Lake at the heart of Shoshone tribal lands. For the next three generations Shoshone chiefs fought against the loss of their hunting grounds, destruction of their culture, and forced relocation by the U.S. Army. But, while valiant, the fight was eventually futile. By 1890 the last Shoshone had been relocated to reservations administered by the U.S. Indian Bureau.

Climate and TerrainEdit

The traditional homeland of the Shoshone stretched across the arid Great Basin region of the United States. It included all of what is now Utah and Nevada, as well as portions of Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, and Wyoming. The Great Basin is the largest endorheic watershed in North America, and includes terrain ranging from the highest point (Mount Whitney) to the lowest point (Badwater Basin) in the contiguous United States. The primary watershed is the Humboldt River, draining some 44,000 square kilometers (17,000 square miles). Although mostly characterized by the North American desert eco-region, large portions of the Shoshone land was forested mountain ranges and prairie valleys. The tribal lands also include numerous lakes, among these the Great Salt Lake and Lake Tahoe, the continent's largest alpine lake. Extensive deserts ranged by the Shoshone include the Black Rock, Great Salt Lake, Sevier, Smoke Creek, Mojave and Sonoran, as well as the Nevada salt flats. Climate ranges from desert arid to alpine temperate across the region, with temperature extremes above 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) in the south to well below zero in the north. The rich diversity of flora and fauna allowed the Shoshone to thrive as hunter-gatherers, with their primary game the plentiful pronghorn and mule deer and plains buffalo.


As time passed, the Shoshone divided into three large subgroups. The Western, or "unmounted," Shoshone were centered in Nevada, with tribes in Oregon, Wasington, and California; among the latter are the Timbisha Shoshone which has for centuries lived in the Death and Panamint valleys and surrounding mountains. The Northern, or "horse," Shoshone lands spanned Idaho, northern Utah, and western Wyoming. The Eastern, or Wind River, Shoshone lived in Wyoming, southern Montana, and western Colorado. In the early 1700s AD, the Blackfoot, Crow and Piegan Indians to the north and the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho to the east were better armed and had an abundant supply of horses. Consequently, these tribes gradually pushed the Shoshone south from the northern plains and west across the Continental Divide. In the process, some of the Eastern Shoshone migrated south into west Texas, evolving into the Comanche, considered by some to be a fourth subgroup of the Shoshone.

From 1780 through 1782, smallpox ravaged the natives of the Great Plains, especially the Shoshone. Moving northward from Spanish settlements in Mexico and Texas beginning in 1779 AD, the smallpox pandemic may have cost the Shoshone between one-third and one-half their number. Although it brought a lull in the pressure from Blackfoot, Sioux and Cheyenne, also suffering its effects, according to tribal oral histories the disease "badly shattered" the Eastern Shoshone, leaving only isolated bands unable and unwilling to resist the arrival of the white Americans.

Coming of the White MenEdit

By 1800 AD, the Western Shoshone had co-existed with Spanish and Mexican settlers for several generations. Meanwhile, the lands of the Eastern Shoshone were being explored by isolated American frontiersmen and explorers. But the best documented first contact between the whites and the Shoshone occurred when the Lewis and Clark Expedition entered Shoshone lands in Montana in August 1805. Dispatched by President Jefferson to explore and map the northern and western portions of the Louisiana Purchase, the expedition enjoyed cordial relations with the Northern Shoshone, thanks in part to the presence of Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone accompanying the party. Meanwhile, American frontiersmen such as Jim Bridger began moving into the Rocky Mountains in the 1820s, and established annual fur trading rendezvous in the Wind River, Green River and Snake River regions. At these rendezvous, held from 1825 through 1840, the Shoshone in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah not only acquired goods and weapons, but became familiar with the ways of the whites.

Following the fur traders came the settlers. Relations with the waves of homesteaders, miners, ranchers and tradesmen that migrated into or through the Shoshone lands were not always as friendly as those with the explorers and frontiersmen. The eastern and northern portions of the Shoshone lands had been "acquired" by the United States through the Louisiana Purchase; the treaty in 1848 AD that ended the Mexican-American War ceded the remainder of the Shoshone tribal lands to the Americans. The California and Oregon trails, the primary routes to the west coast territories of the United States, cut through the heart of this tribal territory. In the lands of the Eastern Shoshone, white sodbusters and cattlemen spread across the plains and eastern slopes of the Rockies. The discovery of gold in California (1848) and Montana (1864) and of the silver Comstock Lode in Nevada (1858) brought an influx of settlers and fortune seekers into the heartland of the Shoshone.

The most significant white incursion occurred when Brigham Young led his band of Mormons into the Salt Lake basin in 1846, seeking to found a faith-based republic free from the persecution they had suffered in Missouri and Illinois. For centuries the Ute and Northern Shoshone had hunted and migrated through the basin, but had no permanent camps there. By December 1847, two thousand Mormons had settled around the Salt Lake in Utah; an estimated 70,000 more followed in wagon trains over the next decade. Upon his arrival, Young had selected a site for the construction of a temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; around that Salt Lake City grew. From the basin, Mormon missionary settlers fanned outward. In 1847 the town of Bountiful was founded, followed by Ogden in 1848 and Provo in 1849.

Cooperation and ResistanceEdit

The response to the American expansion varied greatly among the Shoshone tribes. The Eastern Shoshone, under the leadership of Chief Washakie, reached an amiable accord with the whites. At the urging of his son-in-law Jim Bridger, Washakie agreed to participate in the council meetings at Fort Laramie in 1851 AD. There he signed a treaty pledging cooperation with the Americans for rights to hunt and camp in the Wind River Range. In 1868, another treaty created the Shoshone and Bannock Indian Agency located in west-central Wyoming. Unique among reservations, the U.S. government permitted Washakie and his chieftains to select the land, about 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres), they would settle. In the ongoing Indian Wars, the Eastern Shoshone supplied scouts and guides to the U.S. Army, notably in General Crook's campaign against the Sioux and Cheyenne following the defeat of Custer at the Little Bighorn.

In general, the Western Shoshone tribes co-existed peacefully with the white settlers and miners that entered their lands. This was largely due to the fact that the territory - extensive deserts and dry hills - they inhabited was inhospitable and barren. Lacking the warrior tradition of the Northern and Eastern Shoshone, the members of the Idaho and Oregon tribes subsisted on herded sheep, while those in Nevada and California were primitive hunter-gatherers. The nomadic bands, none numbering more than two hundred members, were gradually relocated onto small reservations in Nevada during the 1880s and 1890s. Despite some opposition, the several Western Shoshone tribes were combined into the Te-Mouks Bands Council under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act.

By contrast, the Northern Shoshone resisted the incursion of the whites. Initially, the tribes established an accord with the Mormon settlers, whose elders acquiesced to supply food and goods to replace the loss of game habitat to farming and timber operations. Although at times troubled by minor skirmishes and the occasional murder, from 1847 AD until the late 1850s the Shoshone and Mormons maintained the peace. But the increase in migrant wagon trains and of gold prospectors in their hunting lands took ever more game; in 1859, Jacob Forney, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Utah Territory, recognizing the impact of the migrants, wrote, "The Indians ... have become impoverished by the introduction of a white population." Desperate and starving, the Shoshone began attacking isolated farms and stealing cattle as a matter of survival. Mormon support for the natives eroded, and the donations of food and supplies to the Shoshone gradually ceased.

Commencing in 1860 AD, Shoshone chiefs such as Pocatello and Bear Hunter sent raiding parties to attack wagon trains, mail riders, telegraph crews and parties of miners in an effort to curb the influx. The Lincoln administration mired in the Civil War and concerned about the security of communication routes to California and Oregon, uncertain of the loyalties of the Mormons, ordered U.S. Army troops into the area to quell the disturbances. In October 1862, Colonel Patrick Connor led a detachment of troops from California to establish a base 5 kilometers (3 miles) east of Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, a number of Shoshone tribes gathered at their annual winter encampment in Cache Valley. A series of small but bloody incidents between miners and settlers and Shoshone braves brought Connor to mount an attack on the encampment with about 300 infantry and cavalry on the morning of January 29, 1863.

Although Pocatello led his tribe away when scouts brought word of the approaching force, the other chiefs determined to remain. Bear Hunter and other chiefs assumed that a settlement could be reached, perhaps with the Shoshone paying reparations. Instead, Connor attacked without negotiations. According to witnesses, when the Shoshone fought back, the American officers appeared to lose control of the cavalrymen, who began a wholesale slaughter. By the time it ended, nearly 500 native men, women and children had been killed, most of them non-combatants, in what came to be known as the Bear River Massacre. Among the dead was Bear Hunter; the surviving nine chiefs led by Sagwitch surrendered and their tribes forced onto reservations under the provisions of the Treaty of Box Elder in July 1863. After eluding capture for nearly five years, Pocatello's starving and diminished tribe surrendered at last and was confined to the Fort Hall Reservation as well.

Reservation LifeEdit

Reservation life was brutal and harsh, made worse by the broken promises and corruption of the U.S. Indian Bureau. Unable to find sufficient game and usually unable to farm the poor lands they were assigned, many of the captive Shoshone died of starvation and disease. The American administrators repeatedly failed to supply food, medicine, clothing and supplies to the reservation Indians. In response, as happened elsewhere, several incidents of Shoshone despair and defiance occurred when tribes left the reservations. Such doomed uprisings led to the Bannock War in 1878 involving the Northern Shoshone and Bannock tribes and the Sheepeater Indian War in 1879 involving about 300 Western Shoshone. Eventually, reforms in the 1920s and 1930s brought the reservation tribes the rights of American citizenship, lifted most restrictions, and granted special privileges to the tribal councils.

Today, the remaining members of the Shoshone tribes - approximately 12,000 - live on several reservations in Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada, the largest being the Wind River Reservation of the Eastern Shoshone in Wyoming. The other major Shoshone reservation, the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho, originally encompassed 730,000 hectares (1.8 million acres), but has been reduced to 220,000 hectares (544,000 acres) due to enforced land sales and the creation of the American Falls Reservoir. Since the 1934 act granting recognition and citizenship, the Te-Mouk have established a series of private communes on purchased land in Nevada, such as the Death Valley Indian Community and the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.

Shoshone TriviaEdit

A Lemhi Shoshone, Sacagawea (in the Hidatsa tongue meaning "Bird Woman") was kidnapped by a Hidatsa raiding party at the age of 12 in 1800 AD; she was subsequently sold to the French fur trader Toussaint Charbonneau in 1804 to become one of his wives. In the winter of 1805, Charbonneau was hired as a guide and interpreter by the Lewis and Clark expedition. However, since the Frenchman did not speak Shoshone, the explorers agreed to have the pregnant Sacagawea accompany the expedition.

Jim Bridger, one of the foremost American frontiersmen, had two Shoshone wives; his third marriage, in 1850 AD, was to the daughter of Chief Washakie, a renowned warchief of the Eastern Shoshone later decorated by the United States government for his help in their campaigns against the Northern Plains Indians.

List of CitiesEdit

Founding Order City Name Notes
1 Moson Kahni Capital, located in Franklin County, Idaho, near the city of Preston
2 Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone, based in Elko, Nevada
3 Agaidika Alternative name of the Lemhi Shoshone, based in the Fort Hall Reservation, Idaho
4 Goshute Western Shoshone tribe, based in the Skull Valley Reservation, Utah
5 Pohokwi Fort Hall tribe living in the Snake River Plain, Idaho
6 Washakie Ghost town in Utah
7 Timbisha Death Valley, California
8 Hukandeka Northern Shoshone band
9 Duckwater Village in Nye County, Nevada
10 Tukudeka Eastern Shoshone tribe, formerly living in the Sawtooth Range, Idaho
11 Kuchundeka
12 Yomba
13 Kamudeka
14 Ely City in Nevada
15 Yambadeka
16 Nampa City in Idaho
17 Bannock
18 Yahandeka
19 Tetadeka
20 Deheyaeka
21 Pengwideka
22 Winnemucca City in Nevada
23 Skull Valley
24 Big Pine Census-designated place in California
25 Duck Valley


Related achievements

Steam achievement The Great Spirit (Civ5)
The Great Spirit
Beat the game on any difficulty as Pocatello.
Steam achievement Sacagawea's Legacy (Civ5)
Sacagawea's Legacy
As the Shoshone, discover 5 ancient ruins with the same Shoshone Pathfinder.

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