Firstly the Saracens. They are supposed to be a Monk, Naval and Camel civilization. They are great on water maps! Absolutely no doubt. But water maps aren’t seen that often. They have decently good monk rushes. Not as strong as Aztecs, but better than Slavs, thanks to the Market. The problem is their camels.
In the latest meta, they play the meta like the Chinese, except for they miss Cavalier and gain Hussar. Scout rush sometimes. Camels defensively. Main offence unit - the archer line. Chinese do use Chu Ko Nu, but the Saracens rarely use Mamelukes. The problem is- Chinese are an archer Civilizations with no bonuses to camels (but also archers), and Saracens are a Camel Civilizations with decently good camels in late game and a camel unique unit (but they have archer bonus against buildings). The main problem I see here is Saracens have the complete Archery Range (Chinese miss 2 techs) and the Camels are quite generic in Castle to Early Imperial Age. Even the Indians are more Camel rushing. You can surely say that the Saracens used more camels than the Indians. Indians being a camel Civilization was a flawed design in itself. Elephant archers and the 3 economy bonus (this includes Sultans) are the only historically correct stuff. I want a complete exchange of their camel and archer bonuses.
Saracens lose: archer attack bonus vs buildings (includes their team bonus)
Saracens gain: the current Indian team bonus as their team bonus, gain +1p armor for the Camel line at the Stable (mamelukes are fine). Zealotry gives all camel units except the Heavy Camel +30 HP. Zealotry upgrades the Heavy Camel into Imperial Camel (Imperial Camel gain +10 HP natively to match the stats previously).
Thus Saracens lost the total number of bonuses and reinforce their identity as Camel Civilization.
Indians lose: All Camel and Gunpowder related stuff except the Cannon Galleon line. Blast Furnace.
Indians gain: Plate Mail, Knight line upto Paladin, Battle Elephants.
Unique Technology (Imperial Age): Tiger Claws- Swordsmen line gains the armor ignoring effect of the Leitis (every unit, but not building).
Team bonus- Cavalry Archers gain +2 or +3 attack vs buildings (indirect buff for the Elephant Archer).
Civilization bonuses added (for the loss of camel armor bonus)- Cavalry Archers has half the frame delay. Battle Elephants have wider blast radius (0.7 tiles).
definitely not a fan of redesigning two entire civs like this, and it would be a huge balance mess, and i think you just drastically overbuffed the Indians.
they would have
Paladins - even without the extra attack
Militia line that ignores armor
HCA that destroy buildings (and these are apparently getting buffed on aniversary patch).
and Elephants with huge blast radius and armor.
all on top of having an absolute insane economy.
also i think Saracens would be insanely weak and without many options outside of camels.
They may look quite a bit weak in Castle Age. But they are stronger in Imperial Age. Actually I would say they are stronger in Castle Age too.
Let’s recap. Lost- archer attack vs buildings
Gained- +1p armor for camels. +2 attack for heavy camels after Zealotry. They still have decent Knights. Their feudal age is almost untouched. They can destroy buildings using Camels. They still have Siege Ram + Siege Onagers + Siege Engineers + Bombard Cannons in Imperial Age.
Compare those Indians to Saracens in this thread. Saracens have better Siege (Siege Ram is a huge upgrade). Has access to Knights. This counts for something. A good unique unit. Monks. The only quirck is balancing cheaper villagers with market bonus.
Rajput as a civ will come very close to Persians. For variety’s sake I would suggest Tamils, but again they may share a lot with Malay. However I think we can differentiate them, would be easier than differentiating Rajputs & Persians.
Saracens were actually also known for their archers, at least I’ve read that somewhere.
Might it be reasonable to buff (Saracen) camels without trashing their archers?
They’re worse at camel play than Indians because of their booming economy, I don’t see any way your proposal addresses that.
I agree with the problem, but the solution you proposes is too much. I would just take away the team bonus for saracens and would put a bomus like madrash, but smaller (15% of the gold cost?) and then put an ut in aslte age for camels (+1 attack or 2 attack or 1 attack and 1 melee defense, idk). Other option is to nerf thwir archers (make the bonus affect since castle age) and then give +1 attack to camel line
I agree with you that Saracens have lost their whole identity which was intended by original devs
But at the moment, I think the Saracens have the identity that the current developers want them to have. They want them to be an offensive archer civ with bonus vs building. And only having camels as a defensive option.
You can see that due to the fact they kept nerfing the camel over and over again through the HD expansions. If they wanted to make camel a viable offensive unit, they would have done it, but this is what they did:
Spear/Pike/Halb bonus vs camels jumped from 7/11/16 to 12/18/26
So I think their idea was to make camels almost mainly a defensive unit, and if we go by that, then the camel is perfectly okay how it is right now in the Saracen tech tree.
Saracens are thematically fine imo. I used to see them as a generic and tastless civ, but market+archers+camels gives them a good identity for themselves. But I don’t reject any attempt of rework. The result can be even better than we have now.
As always in every post, I support an indians rework. Not exactly the one presented here though.
Saracens not having an identity? What are you on about?
Saracens are really, really well defined with their market. Their identity is beeing flexibel by buying/selling everything, making it possible to surprise their opponents. “saracen market best unit in the game” is a common joke for a reason.
Yes, their identity does not match the description published over 20! years ago. But that doesnt mean they lack it.