The Celts are an offensive civilization that focuses primarily on infantry and siege weapons, but they also have decent cavalry and navy as well. While the Celts fare better than most civilizations in early games, they are the most powerful from Castle Age and onward. Thanks to a number of non-situational bonuses and units, the Celts are ideal for new players and experts alike.
Their infantry move faster than those of other civilizations and their unique unit, the Woad Raider, is the fastest infantry unit in the game. They also have access to all siege weapons which offers a faster attack speed. However, they lack the ability to develop gunpowder units such as the Bombard Cannons. In addition, their unique technology, Furor Celtica, greatly increases the hitpoints of their siege weapons, making them quite difficult to destroy. They also fare better economically since their lumberjacks can gather wood faster than those of other civilizations. This frees up some population space since fewer villagers have to be tasked to gather it. In addition, their herdables cannot be stolen as long as it is within the line of sight of any Celtic unit.
Defensively they are average, lacking many defensive upgrades, especially Architecture, and Bombard Towers. Their cavalry is decent but is nothing special since they lack Bloodlines. They are able to upgrade to Hussar and Paladin, but they lack Camels. However their lack of camels is compensated by the faster speed of their spearmen. They also have poor Monks, missing many technologies at the Monastery. Their archers are also incredibly weak, lacking the Arbalest upgrade, the lack of Bracer, and the lack of Thumb Ring.
Celts have a strong early-game economy due to their Lumberjack bonus. They have a powerful Dark Age rush (drush) because their Militia move faster than opposing Militia and Villagers, allowing them to perform hit-and-run tactics, and raid more effectively. This bonus lasts into the Feudal Age and beyond, as it essentially gives them free Squires plus a little bit more, giving them an advantage running from or pursuing other infantry.
In the Feudal Age, Celts can do more or less whatever they want, although Infantry are the go-to option since they keep their value even in the later ages. Lingering in the Feudal Age is generally a bad idea, since Celts really shine in the Castle and Imperial Age. Celtic Siege is among the best in the game, with extra health and faster firing rate. Woad Raiders make great raiding units due to their speed and attack bonus against buildings, and Halberdiers are good for protecting Siege, since they are better equipped to keep up with Cavalry than other civilizations because of the speed bonus. The Lumberjack bonus is fabulous for getting extra wood to make Siege Engines as well. A celt player must be sure to keep multiple Siege Workshops up (preferably at least four) since Siege is slow to create.
The Celtic Lumberjack bonus also helps with naval conflict, allowing them to make more ships with fewer Villagers. Celts have a good navy, only missing Fast Fire Ship and Elite Cannon Galleon, neither of which are vital to succeed.
The Celts will face a formidable opponent upon Mongols' Mangudais, with bonus versus siege units, a far superior cavalry (despite the Mongols lacking Paladins) and Camels with bonus versus cavalry. The Celts will have an easier time against civilizations like the Britons (much like the William Wallace campaign) due to their infantry and cavalry clash pretty quick with Britons' infantry and archers. Being the official tutorial civilization, the Celts are recommended for newer players due to the Celts being a straightforward civilization with strong synergy with their civililzation bonuses (faster woodcutting rate, faster firing and producing siege), their unique tech, and an infantry bonus with an infantry unique unit. Their tech tree is also well-rounded with strong siege and infantry and a decent cavalry and navy, with archers and defense being their only clear weakness.
Strategy changes in The ForgottenEdit
Celtic defenses in The Forgotten are greatly improved with their new Castle Age unique technology, Stronghold, that increases the firing rate of Towers and Castles. Despite so, they still lack Architecture and Bombard Towers, though this new improvement make their defense better. Although Furor Celtica now gives only 40% HP to siege weapons, the amount is still significant enough in the battlefield. If playing alongside with the Koreans, the minimum range for Celtic Mangonels are eliminated. This combining with the faster fire speed makes Celtic Mangonels among the most feared siege unit in the game.
Strategy changes in The African KingdomsEdit
As all civilizations received the new siege unit at their siege Workshop the Siege Tower and the Celts being one of the civilizations that favors the use of units of this kind, the addition of the new unit make a great difference as in the Celts case they are spammed quicker, and with Furor Celtica they will have more hit points making this unit more resilient against enemy attacks specially from towers behind a wall since the purpose of the siege tower is only leaving foot troops in the other side of the wall and the ability of this tower also synergyze nicely with the infantry bonuses the Celts have.
Celts should be paired with civilizations that rely heavily upon their siege workshop units, such as the Slavs, Koreans, Mongols, and, particularly Ethiopians (with their own Torsion Engines upgrade) and Khmer (with their own Double Crossbow upgrade). The Celtic team bonus helps them keep up a faster and more steady supply of siege units.
Celts benefit from allies such as the Goths, who enable them to train their infantry faster, and from Koreans, because of the reduced minimum range for Mangonel units. The Italian Condottiero is also very useful for the Celts, because it can reach and counter dangerous gunpowder units very quickly.
Rise of the Rajas introduces four Southeast Asian civilizations, and all of them can provide versatile, hard-hitting gunpowder support by their own Bombard Cannons, plus Battle Elephants as meatshields against missile fire.
Even though ubable to train Hand Cannoneers, the Vietnamese are still eligible to be the perfect match for the Celts: even in the Dark Age, they can reveal exact locations of the enemy bases at the beginning, allowing the Celtic players to unleash surgical rushes rapidly, particularly Militia rushes; from the Feudal Age, they also amass stronger archer units, or Rattan Archers in later ages, to bring in firepower cover for the infantry-oriented Celt armies. As the game comes to the Imperial Age, by granting the Vietnamese competitive siege and cavalry support by Hussars,Paladins, speed-enchanced infantry like Woad Raiders, plus an assortment of advanced non-gunpowder siege weapons also enhanced by Siege Engineers and Furor Celtica, the Celt players can receive extra aids in return: gold subsidy for extra Woad Raiders and siege weapons from Paper Money, extra fire support from the Elite Rattan Archers, plus Imperial Skirmishers to pick off hostile archers and Halberdiers, thus paving the way for the Celtic cavalry charges, or their late-game dominance as gold resources become scarce.
Other Southeast Asian allies can also utilize their unique attributes to aid Celtic players in team matches. The Burmese unique team bonus allow them to dispatch infantry to secure relics early, and hence their future gold supply;while the Malay unique team bonus help the competitive Celtic navy to stay vigilant in any watery map.
Khmer allies also proved to have good synergy with the Celts. Not only contribute hand cannoneers for gunpowder support, they also grant Celtic Scorpions adequate range boost, in exchange for quick production speed of their own counterparts and Ballista Elephants, both enhanced by Siege Engineers and Double Crossbow technologies, as "friendly-fire-free" counter-measures against archers, ships and massed units.