This work is a comparative analysis of agential behavior in three African civil wars, specifically focusing on the role of diamonds and petroleum in violent conflict. Drawing from existing resource curse literature, this article postulates that subtle differences in lootability, trade networks, and institutional capacity contribute to large variations in agential behavior during violent conflict. The Algerian Civil War (petroleum), Angolan Civil War and Cabinda War (diamonds and petroleum), and the Sierra Leonean Civil War (diamonds) are used as case studies to show how these resources led to patterned differences in rebel and government behavior. In Algeria, rebels adopted strategies of sabotage to disrupt governmental oil exports yet in Sierra Leone, rebels sought to appropriate diamond mines to fund insurgencies. Angola, rich in both resources, saw rebels adopt both strategies to gain leverage over governmental forces.