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.
- 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
Cost: 60 food, 35 gold
Training Time: 15 seconds
Elite Upgrade Cost: 1000 food, 750 gold
Royal Elephant Archer Stats:
Attack Bonuses: None
Number of Projectiles: 1
Rate of Fire: 2.0
Frame Delay: 24
Attack Delay: 0.4
Minimum Range: None
Projectile Speed: 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
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.