The Saxons represent the Germanic peoples of Old Saxony, as well as the pre-Norman Anglo-Saxons of England (the current Britons represent post-Norman England). They have the Western European architecture shared with the Britons, Celts, Franks, and Burgundians, except that they have a unique castle based on Cheddar Palace. Their Wonder is St. Peter’s Church in Barton-upon-Humber, which, if historians’ estimations are correct, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon churches built before the Norman conquest.
Like the Britons, they have good archers, but this is only a secondary specialty. Their main focus is on infantry, which is something that the Britons are unexceptional with.
With the introduction out of the way, let’s get into their civ bonuses.
- Farm reseeds cost -50%
This references how Anglo-Saxon farms were commonly run, not by peasants, but by low-ranking freemen. This system was very autonomous and self-sufficient, and a lot of freedom was afforded the families that ran farms.
- Garrisoned Town Centers +1 arrow
This most likely references how Anglo-Saxon towns were built often with the capability of defending themselves from invaders. It might also reference how the Anglo-Saxons provided defense for the native residents in case of invasion. I can’t really remember the specific reference, unfortunately.
- Infantry units +1 attack vs other infantry per age (starting in Feudal Age)
This likely references how fearsome Anglo-Saxon warriors were. One eyewitness account described the takeover of Britain in gruesome and fearful detail, giving readers an idea of just how fierce the Anglo-Saxon invaders were.
- Elite Skirmisher upgrade free
This being the main archer bonus for the Saxons references how usage of javelins was quite common among the Germanic peoples, but archery was not. It was common for infantry to use shield wall tactics while getting close, then both sides would throw javelins and other projectiles such as axes and rocks before engaging in hand-to-hand combat. The Anglo-Saxon word for “javelin” was ango.
- Team bonus: Garrisoned enemy relic locations revealed
This references a moment in history where Louis the German brought relics from Rome to Saxony for both safekeeping and to increase Catholic devotion.
Unique Unit: Aetheling
This unit has about the same movement speed as a Huskarl (except a little slower), but instead of pierce armor, has melee armor instead (with 3, 4). It has about average HP for an infantry unit (75, 85) and average attack (9, 11). It does benefit from the anti-infantry bonus damage from the civ bonus, so it functions pretty well against melee units, especially infantry, but poorly against archer units. It costs 45 food and 30 gold, so it’s not much more expensive than swordsmen. The Elite upgrade costs 900 food, 600 gold.
This unit references princes of the same name that were eligible for kingship. However, the term was originally used for any nobility, and the unit could reference either.
Weregild: killed villagers refund half their food cost
Cost: 350 food, 150 gold
This technology makes villagers easier to replace as they die, which is very helpful in re-booming situations. It does not apply to villagers who are deleted, only ones killed by the enemy.
The historical inspiration for this is based on Germanic law. A weregild, or man price, was essentially the monetary value that each person was determined to be worth in case of injury or death. The responsible party would be legally required to pay this monetary value to the victim’s family. It’s basically the archaic equivalent of suing for damages. Villagers generating gold after death would be a bit strong, so we can say the restitution is in food instead of money.
Fyrd: allows a contingency of ten Elite Aethelings to be instantly summoned from Town Centers, with a 2-minute universal cooldown (every instance costs 200 food, 200 gold and takes 10 seconds)
Cost: 600 food, 600 gold
This technology is like a more permanent version of First Crusade. Each TC has the ability to summon ten Elite Aethelings separately; since the cooldown is universal, one must be careful not to misuse the ability so that Elite Aethelings spawn far away from where they’re needed. 200 food and 200 gold might seem relatively steep, but it’s actually a considerable discount for ten units.
Historically, fyrds were early Anglo-Saxon armies organized from freedmen to defend the estates of their lords. This is why it’s specifically Elite Aethelings that are spawned from specifically Town Centers.
Missing Units: Eagle line, Elephant Archer, Heavy Cavalry Archer, Paladin, Camel line, Battle Elephant, Steppe Lancer, Siege Onager, Heavy Scorpion, Bombard Cannon, Elite Cannon Galleon.
Missing Techs: Parthian Tactics, Bloodlines, Atonement, Ring Archer Armor, Blast Furnace, Keep, Bombard Tower, Siege Engineers, Arrowslits, Stone Shaft Mining.