The term "Saracen" has a disputed etymology, and historically has meant different things; most relevant here, it was the medieval European exonym for Arabs. The first significant Saracen kingdoms were the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, which were proxy states of the Byzantine and Persian Empires, respectively. In the 600s AD, starting with the rise of Islam and the campaigns of the Rashidun Caliphate, the Saracens became a dominant power in Western Asia and North Africa.
Under the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, the Saracens expanded their territory immensely. In that time, they presided over the largest empire ever to exist - larger than Rome, and unmatched until the Mongol invasions. In Saladin's campaign, they represent medieval Egypt, specifically the Ayyubid Sultanate. Their in-game design thus seems like an amalgamation of various Arab groups from different time periods.
Situated in the crossroads of the world, they were most notable for initiating the rise of Islam and starting the Arab conquests. To reflect their achievement as a powerful desert civilization and for founding one of the major religions of the world, their unique technologies benefit their Monks and camel units including the Mameluke. They also gave importance to their navy to protect their shores from Byzantine assault, which is reflected with their naval bonus which gives their Galleys a 20% faster attack and gives them the best Transport Ships in the game, with more hitpoints and a bigger carry capacity.
The Saracens were also active traders being located at the crossroads of the world which was a prime center for world trade. As a result, their Markets are 75% cheaper, costing only 100 wood. Their Market trading cost is only 5% which is much less than the other civilizations.
The Saracens are a civilization with strong Camel units. The Saracen Cavalry Archer also receives a +3 attack bonus against buildings, and their team bonus gives foot archers a +1 attack boost against buildings. The Saracen heavy cavalry line is inferior to other civilizations, as they lack the Cavalier/Paladin upgrade, but all other cavalry technologies and units are available. Their unique unit is the Mameluke, a type of light camel cavalry with a large attack bonus against cavalry, also being extremely effective against buildings. They are also capable of taking down archers and light infantry as well since they deal melee damage at a distance.
The Saracens have a formidable army, since they can produce all Archer units as well as every Infantry unit trained at the Barracks, except the Halberdier. They also have access to all gunpowder units, and all Blacksmith upgrades as well. These units can provide great cover for their camel units. The Saracens are also known for their strong naval power, as their Galleys attack 20% faster than other civilisations’ galleys. They are able to produce all ships except for the Fast Fire Ship. Their transport ships are able to carry five more units than other civilizations and have twice the total Hit Points. To reflect their devotion to Islam, they have all technologies at the Monastery available. Their economy is not particularly strong since they lack the many economic upgrades, however, their Market trade cost is reduced to 5% as one of their civilization bonuses.
Civilization Bonuses Edit
Changes in The ForgottenEdit
In-game dialogue language (Arabic)Edit
The Arabic language is unlike other languages, not unisex, so there are two titles for each assignment assigned to a villager, a title for the male and a different title for the female.
The Saracens are the only civilisation to get all seven technologies introduced in The Conquerors.