Civilization Craft: Siamese

I was gonna share the Swahili next, but I’ll take a break from the Bantu split theme for now and cover the Siamese, a civilization I had a rough design for a long time ago, before Rise of the Rajas, then remade a couple years ago and changed again after Dynasties of India. To be honest, it’s quite unthinkable they didn’t come with Rise of the Rajas, as they were historically a great enemy of the Khmer Empire, but whatever.

The Siamese represent medieval Siam, fittingly enough, more specifically the Ayutthaya Kingdom. They have the Southeast Asian architecture, of course, and their Wonder is Wat Phra Si Sanphet.

The Siamese are an infantry and elephant civilization, reflecting how the Siamese military was mostly comprised of foot soldiers and war elephants. Indeed, the Siamese have access to all three elephant units.

Civilization Bonuses:

  • Start with two houses
  • Infantry, Knights, and Battle Elephants gain +5 HP for every Blacksmith upgrade
  • Galley line moves 7% faster per age
  • Market technologies cost -50%

Team bonus: Elephant units +2 attack vs infantry

Unique Units: Krabi-Krabong Fighter (infantry unit that deals both melee and pierce damage by attacking twice), Royal Elephant Archer (Elephant Archer upgrade)

Unique Technologies: Mandala (Castles and Town Centers +3 LOS, +2 attack; Castles +1 range), Wild Elephant Trainers (elephant units created 20% faster)

Tech Tree Notes:

Siamese infantry is, naturally, excellent, although it is missing Plate Mail Armor and the Champion. However, the extra HP gained from each Blacksmith upgrade is more than enough to make up for them. The Krabi-Krabong Fighter is also a good infantry unit with quite rounded-out stats that also benefits from the HP bonus. They have access to the Halberdier, so overall, the unit selection is good.

The Siamese Archery Range has a good variety. Although Arbalesters and Hand Cannoneers are missing, the unique Elephant Archer upgrade can function well as a damage sponge. They even gain extra attack against infantry and are created significantly faster after Wild Elephant Trainers. Access to Thumb Ring and the last armor and attack upgrades certainly helps

Siamese cavalry is more limited, but still pretty good. While there is no Hussar, there is the Paladin, and both the Knight line and Battle Elephants gain extra HP from each upgrade, though, like with the infantry, there is no final armor upgrade. Bloodlines is also missing, since the HP bonus is much better; however, this weakens the scout line significantly. Once again, Wild Elephant Trainers helps pump out Battle Elephants in the late game.

Siamese siege is decent. Armored Elephants obviously replace Rams, and while they lack Siege Engineers, they benefit from Wild Elephant Trainers, for faster creation, and the team bonus, for better combat abilities against infantry. While the Siege Onager is missing, they do have the Bombard Cannon. Overall, it’s okay, but since Siege Engineers is missing, use the Imperial Age unique tech to focus on Siege Elephants instead of other siege units.

Siamese Monks are serviceable, but mediocre. Obviously, Heresy is missing, due to the elephants, but so are Atonement and Illumination. So conversions are still going to be a decent option, but not super efficient.

Siamese defenses are slightly above average. While access to Arrowslits is good, they don’t have Keeps or Bombard Towers, and there are no bonuses benefitting towers to speak of. That said, Mandala does give a noticeable boost to Town Centers and Castles in terms of defenses.

The Siamese economy is pretty good. While Crop Rotation is missing in order to make massing elephants more difficult, Market technologies are half off, making them a good team civ. Stone Shaft Mining is also missing, but that doesn’t really matter in the long run.

Siamese ships are all right. While Heavy Demo Ships and Elite Cannon Galleons are missing, Galleons move faster each age; however, Shipwright and Dry Dock are missing. Pick the Siamese on water maps.

In conclusion, the Siamese can do a little of everything, but their clear focus is on infantry, the Knight line, and elephant units. As mentioned before, they do well on water maps, so they’re like the Vikings in that regard, since both have an infantry unique unit. Elephant Archers are a good replacement for the Archer line in the late game, especially with the extra upgrade.

Stats and Costs:

Krabi-Krabong Fighter Stats:

HP: 50, 55 (Elite)
Attack: 8/4, 10/5 (Elite)
Attack Bonuses: +3 vs Standard building
Armor: 0/2, 1/2 (Elite)
Attack Speed: 2.5
Speed: 1.06
LOS: 3

Cost: 60 food, 35 gold
Training Time: 15 seconds
Elite Upgrade Cost: 1000 food, 750 gold

Royal Elephant Archer Stats:

HP: 300
Attack: 9
Attack Bonuses: None
Number of Projectiles: 1
Rate of Fire: 2.0
Frame Delay: 24
Attack Delay: 0.4
Range: 5
Minimum Range: None
Accuracy: 90%
Projectile Speed: 7
Armor: 1/3
Speed: 0.9
LOS: 7

Cost: 90 food, 70 gold
Training Time: 34 seconds
Upgrade Cost: 1200 food, 975 gold

Mandala Cost: 700 food, 500 wood
Mandala Research Time: 45 seconds

Wild Elephant Trainers Cost: 1250 food, 750 gold
Wild Elephant Trainers Research Time: 60 seconds

Historical Explanations:

The Tai people settled their area pretty early on in their history, and have existed as a unified people for longer than most medieval cultures. As a result, the Siamese start with a house already built from the start of the game, but start with less wood.

The Siamese military consisted of infantry, cavalry, and elephants, so their infantry, Knights, and Battle Elephants gain more HP with each upgrade.

The Siamese navy often consisted of swift river boats that could go faster than other warships. Thus, Siamese galleys move faster.

The city of Ayutthaya was a trade hub for most of Southeast Asia. So, Siamese Market technologies cost half.

The Siamese used elephants in their armies, which tended to be very effective against melee foot units, which is why elephant units gain extra attack against infantry for the entire team.

Krabi-Krabong is a Thai martial art involving weaponry, and tends to allow its users to duel-wield. Thus, the Krabi-Krabong Fighter attacks twice before “reloading.”

The Royal Elephant Archer is a reference to royal Siamese armies likely having elephants as part of them.

Mandala is a term used in many fields, including religion, science, architecture, and art. In this case, though, it is referring to the political usage of the word. Political mandalas were essentially the equivalent of territories or vassal states in Southeast Asian culture. So, Town Centers and Castles have increased defensive capabilities, as leaders of mandalas would be expected to defend their own territories. It also makes sense, because mandalas were expected to be run primarily in the center, just like Town Centers and Castles tend to do.

Wild Elephant Trainers refers to the Siamese practice of having elephant trainers on hand to capture and train wild elephants on the move. This is reflected by its effect of elephant units being trained faster.

That’s cool, Why not 2 houses? It’s not that OP anyways.

Every upgrade? at I assumed excluding Blacksmith. But then after reading I realize it’s 8*5% for infantry which means 40% HP? I dont understand. And 35% for Cavalry (including Paladin).
I know they’re missing the armor, but this amount of HP, also the fact it applies for both Stable and Barracks makes it so much harder to balance.

So Berbers have 10% for free flat.
You have 10% per age, only for the Galley line. While still having Dry Docks that gives 15%. They’re going to be SO fast moving, I’m not sure about it. It’d look ugly, being so much faster than a Longboat.
How about 5% per age and something like bonus damage vs. Buildings/Fishing Ships.


Elephants wont lose vs. Halbs, it wont be efficient to make Halbs, they have more HP than Vietnamese, for free. While Vietnamese have to invest into a Castle and an UT. Now I’m not saying Vietnamese design is good, it’s just this one seems so much better.

What does it mean practically? Basically more damage output?

Too much emphasis on Elephants, I’m having hard time to be a fan.

Royal Elephant Archer has counters? He’s killing Halbs too easily as well.
You offer no drawbacks, everything here is over the top in a very narrow manner.

Sorry :\

1 house -50wood is just unfair. Honestly 0 wood loss is fairer as this civ doesn’t have an eco bonus worth anything since market techs don’t shine early.

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on the other hand they get paladins with +35% HP. this civ should have ZERO eco bonus.

Good point. Shame on the author for such poor planning!

I could certainly do that.

I guess that is pretty broken. I can make it apply only to Barracks and Stable techs, and take away Bloodlines as well.

5% does seem much more reasonable. I was going to go with it, but thought it might not be strong enough. I guess I was wrong.

I can make it +2 or even just +1.

Yes, but it could also have an impact on high melee armor units, since a damage calculation is performed twice.

All of the Southeast Asian civs have an elephant focus in some way. I just wanted max elephant stuff, because I like elephants.

What drawbacks do you suggest? I can take away some tech tree stuff, but I don’t want to significantly change the bonuses, because I like the theme I have for them currently.

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The way a lot of these civ designs structure the tech tree part of the post annoys me. I don’t want to read about how stuff fits into their hypothetical army comp, or how it’s historically based, I just want to literally read their tech tree in a nice condensed format, and then have the reasoning and explanation after. Maybe it’s just me though.


I feel ya. I just feel that having the whole tech tree as part of the post might make it messy and overly long.

Then use the hide details thing for parts of the post to simplify it.

For example:

You could put the tech tree into one of these, and possibly do the same for the explanations.

Oh, I didn’t know that was a thing. That’ll help a lot.

I love Elephants, all the SEA civs are quirky for a reason, many of them over-emphasis on Elephants which lead to a fantasy play, the only one who pulls it off nicely is Khmer. I wouldn’t be inspired by them :slight_smile:

I’m not sure, something has to be changed, you can’t have an unit that cant be countered. I’m sure you’ll figure it out : )

@AllergicTable49 I just thought of something. Suppose I made the HP bonus +5 for each tech instead of +5%. In the case of Knights and Battle Elephants, it wouldn’t be a good boost, so it shouldn’t be too broken.

I’m very confused about this statement. Can you clarify?

What exactly about the unit can’t be countered? It has pretty high pierce armor, sure, but it has basically no melee armor, and with its slow attack rate, that gives melee units a chance to beat it. Even with the double damage calculation, pure strength infantry like TKs or Jags can handily defeat it.

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That’s nice, much more balanced and doable.

SEA civs are known to be disliked by most of the community, every poll regarding “your favorite civ” leaves Burmese, Vietnamese and Malay at the bottom of the barrel.
The Battle Elephant component makes it so hard for the designer, sadly the FE developers didn’t quite manage to pull it off successfully, so we ended up with quite a meh civs.

I’m all for a new Elephant civ, it just has to be carefully and wisely implemented. definitely a challenge!

Oh I’m sorry! I was refering to the other UU. (RoYal EA)

The Krabi one, I dont see how does the player know the difference between an unit that hit twice or rather hit once, why does it matter? I’d understand if it had a hidden bonus damage or a feature like Obuch has. This one basically means raw damage bonus, same reason why I think Urumi should be redesigned


Oh well. I guess I kinda designed this civ for me, as the Khmer are literally my favorite civ in the whole game (because I like their history and I like elephants). I mostly took into consideration what I’d like to see in a SEA civ, rather than what the community would want to see.

Let me guess: the bonus damage. If so, Elite Skirmishers should still be a fairly viable counter. Plus, I already said I was gonna reduce the bonus damage anyway (though Parthian Tactics just puts things over the top, I suppose).

Maybe the second hit can ignore armor, and since it’s only half of the normal damage, it won’t make a huge difference. Against Elite TKs, for example, regular ones would only deal 5 damage in total and Elite ones 6 – still little enough that they should be hard countered by TKs.

It ends up too much Urumi, which in my opinion is currently the worst UU in the game. I wish there was something more noticable, more playable about it.
Perhaps the second hit heals the Krabi? I really dont know.

Hmmm, I’ll have to think some more then.

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I got it! What if I made the second attack do pierce damage instead of melee? It’s a bit weird, considering it’s an infantry unit, but it would certainly make a difference against units specialized towards one specific type of armor.

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Interesting !
Very interesting.

Second attack can have 1 range, while the first is melee range.
This will make them more efficient in the current melee pathing.

I don’t know if I like that idea. It seems a bit too complicated to me. I think having the second attack be pierce damage is complicated enough, as a lot of this stuff would probably go under the radar in the tech tree. Plus, it logically doesn’t make any sense, because the unit is wielding regular swords, not long spears like the Kamayuk and Steppe Lancer.

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