Sorry about the last idea. I guess there was a reason why I didn’t touch it for over two years, because it was stupid.
A-anyway! The Khitans represent the Khitan people, the Liao Dynasty, and the Western Liao Dynasty, also known as the Kara Khitai. They also have a few elements of Han culture present, owing to their assimilation of a few Han practices and their control over the majority Chinese populace. They have the East Asian architecture, with a unique castle based on Shanhai Pass in the Great Wall of China. Their Wonder is the Pagoda of Fogong Temple.
The Khitans are a cavalry civilization, befitting their heritage as a nomadic tribe. However, they have good archers and siege and decent infantry, making them a good all-around civilization, much like the Chinese.
Now onto the civ bonuses.
- Tulous replace houses and camps
I’ll talk more about them later, but know that their attributes change slightly through the ages.
In reality, tulous are circular single-building villages unique to the Hakka, a Han subgroup. They didn’t start being built until not long before the Liao Dynasty ended, but I included them because they were interesting and provided unique gameplay to the Khitans, as well as further referencing Han culture.
- Villagers use their bows while fighting
This bonus references the infantry that would be drafted from the ranks of Han villagers, much of which being archers. Khitan women also practiced archery. In this way, both villager variations have justification for using bows in combat.
- Bloodlines and Husbandry free
The Khitans were excellent horsemen, and undoubtedly had good, strong breeds that were sturdy and fast.
- Team bonus: Archer line +1 attack vs spearmen
As previously mentioned, the Liao Dynasty had a major branch comprised of archers.
Unique Unit 1: Ordu
The Ordu is a heavy cavalry unit wielding a lance with 100 HP (115 for Elite) and high pierce armor. It only has 7 attack (8 for Elite), but there’s a reason for this. Every time the Ordu attacks a unit, it has a 10% chance to convert it (15 for Elite). This can be nullified by Heresy, just like a Monk’s conversion, but Faith, First Crusade, and other conversion resistance have no effect. It will always remain at the rates mentioned. This makes it disproportionately useful against scouts and eagles, as both resist conversion and have high HP or armor, giving the Ordu a chance to get many hits in. The Ordu’s conversion also ignores the normal tech requirements that Monks have, making it good against siege and Monks, although it cannot convert buildings, only units. In fact, the Ordu is the only way to convert siege and Monks, as Redemption and Atonement are unavailable.
The ordu were the Emperor’s elite cavalry. Their name also comes from orda (a variation of which is ordu), which was the equivalent of a clan or tribe in Turkic and Mongol people groups. The Liao army started off with small numbers, but grew through capturing people from other areas until it became the ordu. That’s why the unit is able to convert enemy units by attacking them.
Unique Building: Tulou
- This building replaces houses and camps for the Khitans. It costs 175 wood and 50 stone (the stone cost only appears after the Dark Age) and provides 20 population space. It is a universal drop-off building, and also increases villager work rate by 10% in a 10-tile radius. As it replaces the Lumber and Mining Camps, it can research the techs normally available at those buildings. After the Feudal Age is reached, villagers can garrison inside to fire arrows like a Town Center. After the Castle Age is reached, Tulous can train additional villagers, just like Town Centers.
Han Conscripts: infantry and foot archers created 15% faster; villagers affected by archer upgrades
Cost: 450 food, 250 gold
This technology makes infantry and archers ever so easier to mass, which helps to make them better counter units. This is especially true since Khitan archers are better against spears than usual. Skirmishers to counter enemy archers and pikes to counter enemy cavalry are now marginally easier to mass.
The technology also has the secondary effect of making villagers affected by archer upgrades. As a result, fully upgraded villagers have 40 HP, 6 range, 7 attack, and 4/5 armor, which makes them rather tanky trash archers, with the drawback of needing to individually target units. Even if they aren’t used to rush, this technology still makes them really good at defending themselves against raiding units.
The Liao army conscripted Han civilians to form a kind of infantry militia comprised of melee foot soldiers and archers, as well as catapult operators.
Kara Khitai: Cavalry units +20 HP
Cost: 800 food, 300 gold
This technology acts as a second Bloodlines that you have to pay for, since the first one was free. Light Cavalry now have 100 HP, and Cavaliers have 160, making the latter similar to the Paladin, which is unavailable. Keep in mind, the technology only applies to cavalry units, not Cavalry Archers.
The Kara Khitai, or Qara Khitai, was another name for the Western Liao Dynasty. It was a continuation of the original Liao Dynasty after the Jurchens helped the Song Dynasty to overthrow it. It started in 1124 and ended in 1218 to 1220, after the Mongols executed its leader and absorbed its territories.
Missing Units: Eagle line, Elephant Archer line, Hussar, Paladin, Camel line, Battle Elephant line, Steppe Lancer line, Siege Onager.
Missing Techs: Redemption, Atonement, Sanctity, Illumination, Sappers, Plate Mail Armor, Fortified Wall, Keep, Treadmill Crane, Bombard Tower, Arrowslits, Crop Rotation, Two-Man Saw, Gold Shaft Mining, Dry Dock, Shipwright.