Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

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Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by peugeot407 on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 2:15



The Villager Civilisation

Historical Information
The Saracen civilisation in Knights and Barbarians represents the various caliphates and sultanates that were established in Arabia, Syria and Egypt during our timeline. In particular it focuses on the dominions of Salah-al-Din, later to become the Ayyubid Sultanate. Saracen lands were the birthplace of Islam, and religion would remain a driving force during much of the Middle Ages. The earliest, highly theocratic, caliphates managed to expand by taking advantage of the eternal struggle between the Byzantine and Sassanid Persian empires, striking when both empires had been weakened by years of struggle. The Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates conquered all of Persia, as well as the coast of North Africa, large parts of Iberia and Southern Italy, and nearly all non-European holdings of the Byzantine Empire, with the exception of Anatolia. After the Umayyads, the overstretched Islamic Empire started to show cracks, first made obvious when the Abbasids succesfully supplanted the Umayyads in the Middle East and parts of North Africa, but failed to oust them from Spain and Morocco, where the Umayyads continued to be in power, setting in motion a continual divergence between the Saracens in the East and the Moors in the West. This split became so obvious that we even deemed it more reasonable to represent them as two completely different civilisations in Knights and Barbarians.

The Abbasid Caliphate also ended the long history of theocratic rule in the Muslim world, with secular empires becoming the norm, and a system developing where the secular states recognised the Caliphate as the highest authority on all theological matters while denying it any material powers, much like the relationship between the Catholic states of Europe and the Papacy. One of these secular states was the Ayyubid Sultanate, founded by one of the most famous figures in world history, Salah-al-Din, who is also the Saracens' AI personality in Knights and Barbarians. Salah-al-Din himself spent much of his life trying to unify the disparate Islamic states into a single empire, in which he largely succeeded. No attempts were made to conquer Moorish or Turk lands, but Salah-al-Din did manage to unify Arabia, Egypt and Syria, the three main centres of population in the Middle East. By doing so, he also captured the city of Damascus, the Saracen homecity in Knights and Barbarians, which had been a largely independent city state ever since being left by the Abbasid Caliphate. Eventually Salah-al-Din also managed to conquer much of the Holy Land, including the city of Jerusalem itself.

After the Ayyubid Sultanate collapsed, power in Egypt was taken over by the Mamluks, who managed to enlarge their empire by succesfully beating the Mongols back out of the Middle East through their victory at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260. Eventually the Mamluks came into conflict with the rising Ottoman Empire, a war which the Mamluks lost so badly that the Ottomans were able to take control of all formerly Mamluk lands, and expand their reign to Arabia and Egypt. There would never again be an Arab-centred empire in the Middle East, and the Caliphate would become a largely Turkish affair in the centuries after the end of our timeline...

Gameplay Information
Civilisation set
The Saracens are part of the Muslim civset, which means they have the Race Track, as well as the Jihad system, which can supply them with some instant military units, the Qal'aat instead of the Castle, and the Bazaar system and its Merchants, allowing for economic flexibility. The Saracens start each game with 6 Peasants, 2 Crates of Food and 3 Crates of Coin.

Religions
The Saracens have a choice of the following three religions:
  • Sunni Islam (main religion): + Priests move more quickly and cavalry units train more quickly, - infantry units have less hitpoints.
  • Shia Islam (reformed religion): + enables a small coin trickle, - Lord has less attack and fewer hitpoints and moves more slowly.
  • Judaism (outside religion): + villagers gather coin slightly faster, - Priests have fewer hitpoints, Priests move more slowly.

Bonuses
The bonuses of the Saracens serve to make them a very rugged civilisation that is capable of bouncing back from enemy raids and attacks with relative ease. It also makes them a highly mobile civilisation, prefering active defence over hiding behind walls, and able to move to all corners of the map fairly quickly. These bonuses also make the Saracens a civilisation that can pretty much ignore enemy raids, and can break them very easily.

    The Saracens have mobile House Wagons instead of Houses
    This bonus gives the Saracens some mobility, and makes sure they can adequately defend their population levels, simply by moving their houses out of danger. It also frees their villager units up for resource gathering, as House Wagons are trained rather than built. As an added bonus, House Wagons can also be garissoned by economic units, so that these can then be quickly transported to far-away resources, or be moved well clear of any perilous situations.

    Saracen Peasants have more hitpoints and a greater attack against infantry than those of other civilisations
    This bonus gives the Saracens some easy protection from raids, with Peasants that can soak up a lot more damage before succumbing to it than those of other civilisations. This gives the Saracens the time to either move their Peasants to safety, or to bring in their military units in order to break the raid. A less impressive raid can even be broken by Peasants themselves, without any help from dedicated military units.

    The Saracens have an extra villager unit, the Slave
    This bonus provides the Saracens with a cheap extra villager unit that is not even remotely as good a unit as the Peasant, but that is a nice stop-gap measure to boost the Saracen economy, and a certain economic boost in the earlier stages of the game.

    Saracen buildings cost coin instead of wood
    This bonus gives the Saracens an edge in resource gathering, as they can focus on gathering food and coin, having to pay very little attention to wood, particularly early in the game. It is even possible for the Saracens to rely entirely on Tree Patches for their wood if they strategically choose the units they train, so they do not have to venture outside of their base at all in search of wood.

    Saracen buildings spawn Mujahideen when they are destroyed
    This bonus gives the Saracens some extra defensive capabilities. The more succesful an enemy is in attacking a Saracen base, the more ferociously the Saracens can fight back. Mujahideen are not exceptionally strong units, but they provide a very decent active form of defence for the Saracens, and can significantly slow down an enemy advance into the Saracen base.

Unit Roster
Infantry
- Man-at-Arms (Barracks, II)
- Mujahid (Race Track, II), becomes available by selecting "Encourage Holy Warfare" at the Race Track. Also spawns when a building is destroyed
- Spearman (Barracks, II)
- Tabardariyya (Barracks, III), unique to the Saracens. More of an offensive unit than the Halberdier it replaces
- Archer (Archery Range, II)
- Naffatun (Archery Range, III), unique to the Saracens. Less of a defensive unit than the Crossbowman it replaces, but far better against buildings
- Skirmisher (Archery Range, II)
- Hand Gunner (Barracks, V)

Cavalry
- Light Cavalry (Stables, II)
- Ghulam (Stables, III), unique to the Saracens. Faster but slightly weaker than the Knight it replaces
- Cavalry Archer (Stables, III)

Artillery and Siege Units
- Sapper (Siege Workshop, II)
- Ballista (Siege Workshop, III)
- Catapult (Siege Workshop, III)
- Ram (Siege Camp, II)
- Mantlet (Siege Camp, II)
- Siege Tower (Siege Camp, III)
- Bombard (Siege Workshop, V), becomes available after researching Black Powder

Other Land Units
- Militia (Race Track, I), becomes available by selecting "Encourage Self-Defence" at the Race Track
- Lord (I)
- Peasant (Town Center, I)
- Slave (Town Center, I), unique to the Saracens. Weaker than the Peasant, but also much cheaper
- Fellah (Manor, I), unique to the Saracens. More powerful than the Farmer it replaces
- Priest (Church, II)
- Bishop (Church, III), first has to be unlocked through the HC
- Dog (Manor, I)

Ships
- Fishing Boat (Docks, I)
- Cog (Docks, II)
- Galley (Docks, III)
- Carrack (Docks, IV), becomes replaced by the Gun Carrack after researching Black Powder

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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by Hillys on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 2:35

thumbs up

I cant wait to get the prologue !!!

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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by peugeot407 on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 3:38

Well, fortunately you won't have to wait very long anymore... Very Happy


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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by Pepp on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 4:38

Just a little trivia about Saracen
1. Their HC was originally Cairo, which I suggest into Al-Qahira instead (which is the same name, but in different language). Later, we got an enlightenment that our Saracen focused on Saladin, whose "HC" is Damascus.
2. Saracen is the civ which actually start making problem with dog. Islam, their main religion, forbid someone to keep dog, and that lead us to jackal, which could be called as "similar, but not the same." However, I dunno if there is any change done behind my knowledge. grinning
3. Tabardariyya. Don't expect that we have decided it since 5 years ago. NO. The position of this UU was started by a Saif Swordsmen. I have made a concept art of it, thinking about that, and it is replacing Man at Arm. Later, I thought that its name was so simple. Thus I changed it to Muttatawi'a (I myself got problem to spell it correctly, meh). Later, I suggest to change it into Tabardariyya instead. Why? Coz if I make it into a man at arm... only Turk will get man at arm, well, yes.
4. Without being an arrogant person, I am the one who was (was here means it is in the past) really care and serious about Saracen. It is like I gave K&B idea about Mujahideen (that time, Saracen outline wasn't exist at all), Naffatun (which I based on Stronghold Crusader's Fire Thrower), Saif Swordsman (which changed, ditched, and now turned into Tabardariyya...), Ghulam, Slave, and Fellah.
5. I made the concept art for almost all Saracen units. Only 1 really being used, Ghulam's.
6. I made the texture of Naffatun and Tabardariyya, and they are among my best texture to date.
7. They do not have stone house.

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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by Vvv on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 6:15

The name "bishop" must be changed for the muslim civset.

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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by AOE_Fan on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 6:19

The names of Priests and Bishops change depending on your religion. For Sunni and Shia Islam and Sufism, Priest is Imam and Bishop is Ayatollah.

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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by peugeot407 on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 6:21

The names of the Priest and Bishop change depending on the chosen religion, but we're just refering to them as "Priest" and "Bishop" to keep things simple. So, for the Saracens, the names are Imam and Ayatollah when either of the Islams is chosen, and Rabbi and Kohen Gadol when Judaism is chosen.

EDIT: Hmm, Matti beat me to that one...


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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by Vvv on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 9:13

Good, so priest and bishop are generic names.

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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

Post by peugeot407 on Sun 31 Mar 2013 - 9:16

Yes, indeed.


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Re: Saracens (Salah-al-Din's Dominions)

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