Civilization Idea: Saxons

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.

Civilization 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.

Unique Techs

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.

Tech Tree

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.

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UT one could be abused when deleting own villagers to make population space.
UT2 seems like a more busted version of the sicilians.

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It’s already explained in the post that it doesn’t apply to self-deletion.

Not really. It’s five units. Five units don’t go that far. Plus, you have to wait two minutes before doing it again, so you can’t spam it.

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Lets say you have 5 tcs so if I understand correctly each will give 5 units so it will be 25 units at once.then again after 2 min again 25 so 50 units in 2 mins.

For the villager deleting thing you can always send the villagers to the enemy to get killed or use a mangonel to take them out.

Very underwhelming IMO.

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Hmmm, perhaps you have a point. But you aren’t really supposed to use it to get a huge surge of units all at once, but as more of a panic button. Since the cooldown is so long, if you use the TCs all at once, you might not have it when you need it.

I can always make the cooldown universal, so you can only spawn 5 units in at a time, but can do it from any TC.

Will having 5 units near the tc make much difference if the enemy is already inside the base?
I get it that you want to make uts based on historical things but you should think more on the idea rather than historical reference.

@Apocalypso4826, I’m sorry but I’m going to take issue with a minor detail that no one else will care about!

Illuminated manuscripts were a really significant part of Anglo-Saxon art. The Lindisfarne Gospels are probably the most famous example, but many others have survived. To me, this is the number one tech that an Anglo-Saxon civ should have. (Similarly, I dislike that Celts and Persians – other notable producers of illuminated manuscripts – don’t get Illumination.) I would probably give them some kind of monk bonus as well.

With that out the way…

I like the historical justification, but it’s quite similar to the Teutons’ farm bonus, the main difference being that it wouldn’t kick in until later. I also wonder whether the game can distinguish between reseeding and building a fresh farm.

Probably burhs, fortified settlements, sometimes built on pre-existing fortifications. I think the Britons’ Town Centre bonus is a reference to the same thing. I think +1 arrow wouldn’t be enough, personally, but the overall idea is sensible.

I like this – and despite your specific reference, it feels thematically appropriate for Anglo-Saxons as well. Very situational, though.

Thematically this is all good, but I’m concerned that they’ll struggle against cavalry. I think this could be fixed either by making the Aetheling more anti-cavalry, or by giving them stronger monks.

Much too expensive for the effect – you need to lose 30 villagers just to repay the food cost. It makes sense for it to be a tech rather than a bonus (if nothing else, because without a name it would be less clear what it represents), but I think it should be very cheap.

I like the way this functions much more than First Crusade, Flemish Revolution or Cuman Mercenaries – but again, it feels too expensive. You need to use it 10 times to earn back the original resource investment (valuing food and gold equally – it’s actually worse if gold is worth more than food, as it usually is in Imperial Age).

Overall, I think this civ design has the right flavour (despite the lack of a monk bonus), but to me it seems a pretty weak civ, especially against cavalry, with some quite situational bonuses/unique techs.

This totally makes sense, but I’m sure the architecture in the later ages (especially the east window in the monastery) would annoy me…

This doesn’t seem ideal, but probably nothing is ideal. The awkward thing here is that anything appropriate will be based on a reconstruction, and won’t really have been a castle.

My first thought was that only the tower and baptistery are Saxon, and that it would need a reconstruction for the rest of the building – but if I understand correctly, there was no rest of the Saxon building! That might actually work well for a wonder, since it would mostly be a tower – no need to squeeze a rectangular building into a square space.

There are various other Saxon churches still standing, but most of them have later additions. Saint Laurence’s Church in Bradford-on-Avon is the most “unspoilt” example I know of, but to me it doesn’t seem “wondrous” enough to be a wonder.

I can make it 10 units instead.

I didn’t know that. That’s a pretty major oversight. I’ll give it to them then.

I can probably think of something more unique if I try, but a lot of bonuses overlap these days. Maybe I can make the reseed discount even stronger, like 75%.

That sounds right.

I can make it +2 or +3.

Illumination will certainly help. I can look at the other monk techs they’re missing. Maybe I can give them a full Monastery tech tree, just without any bonuses.

You seem to have overlooked that the Saxons have Halberdiers. That should help immensely against cavalry, even without the last attack upgrade.

Yes, I did the math and that sounds right. I definitely should lower the cost. Maybe 350?

Again, I can make it cheaper. I can also make it 10 units, since you’re paying for the army each time anyway, which adds to the overall cost. Might as well make it worth it.

Yeah, I was in a bit of a bind.

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I’m curious what’s so special about the stained-glass window of the Monastery that the Saxons having it would annoy you. Did they not have stained glass or something?

I was thinking more of Castle Age, since that’s when monks are at their most useful.

Stylistically, it’s a mid-13th-century window at the earliest. I’m just being unreasonably picky, don’t mind me. Meanwhile Chinese, Koreans, Mongols and Vietnamese have a Shinto monastery…

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Ah yes, of course. Well, in any case, they have everything except Atonement now, which should help.

For the most part, this looks like a pretty and fun design :slight_smile: @TommoChocolate covered most of the points.

I do think they’d struggle vs cav.

There’s also weregild. I like the idea of a civ getting refunds for lost villagers, but I think it would be more fun&impactful if it already applied in dark age, so that at that point of the game already it could help you get back if you lose vills to a militia drush. And as for it getting ‘abused’ when you kill your own vills – why not make that a feature rather than a bug? You still get fewer resources back then you spend making the vills, so the vills will have to spend some time working to earn themselves back regardless. And again, it’s more run if it applies in more situations, so also when you delete vills for pop space. Forcing the feature to only work for the scenario which you designed it for feels like a bad habit.

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I appreciate the feedback.

I don’t think I’ll make the effect of Weregild exist from the start of the game, but I can definitely remove the restriction that self-deletion does not apply.

I have an idea for a new direction for the civ.

The free Elite Skirmisher upgrade would be replaced with this:

  • Skirmishers affected by infantry attack upgrades

Because of this bonus, I would give the Saxons Blast Furnace, so now FU Elite Skirmishers have the same attack as FU Arbalesters.

I would also remove Crossbowmen, as the Anglo-Saxons did not use bows nearly as frequently as they used javelins. As a result, I would rebrand the Saxons as an “Infantry and Skirmisher” civilization.