I’ll start with a summary of Romania’s medieval history & battle tactics then follow up with a few suggestions from other users and finally my take on it.
- Short History of Romania
When saying “Romanian” in the middle ages, one means 3 things: the state of Wallachia, the state of Moldavia and most of the population of Transylvania.
Historically, the Romanians had mostly hit & run cavalry army. Being focused more on asymetrical warfare than conventional war, due to being used to being outnumbered and knowing they would lose head-on.
The origins of the Romanians are a mystery, the majority of contemporary scholars such as Kekaumenos, John Kinnamos, Simon of Kéza, Poggio Bracciolini, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, Nicolaus Olahus wrote that the Vlachs ancestors had been Roman colonists settled in Dacia Traiana as they speak a latin-based language, their name “Vlachs” comes from the old Germanic “stranger” which was used to describe the Romans and in their tongue they still call themselves “Romani” meaning “citizens of the Roman Empire”. While others such as William of Rubruck wrote that the Vlachs descended from the Ulac people.
The first independent Romanian state appeared in 1330 when Basarab I the Founder revolted against the Kingdom of Hungary and defeated the Hungarian armies at the Battle of Posada. For most of their history, the Romanians were sandwiched between the much stronger Hungarians, the Polish and the Ottomans and would often side with one or another to preserve their independence.
It is in this context that Vlad the Impaler appeared, who has a campaign in the game. The Romanians were known of using hit and run tactics to harass and drain the armies of their much stronger opponents, until they had a chance at face to face combat, using the enviroment in their advantage, especially the swamps that could easily be used to lock an army into place and encircle it, taking advantage of their knowledge of the local area, and scorched land tactics, where the Romanians would burn the fields and poison the water in front of all invading armies, in a further attempt to drain their resources and manpower.
In short, the Romanians’ war strategy were rarely about charging your opponent heads on, as most of often than not, they would stand no chance, and more about picking your battles and using the land to your advantage. Vlad the Impaler’s famous night attack, when he charged into the Ottoman camps at midnight with his whole army, almost killing the sultan, was merely another piece of a long Romanians tradition of fighting this way. Mircea the Elder previously defeated Sultan Baiazid I at the battle of Rovine with 12.000 troops against 40.000 with similar tactics. And before that, Basarab I the Founder earned Romanians independence through an ambush at the Carpathian passes with 10.000 troops made out mostly of conscripted peasants against the Hungarian 30.000 troops army made out mostly of professional mercenaries.
- Usac’ suggestion:
A Cavalry civ
Knights cost less in Castle Age, even less in Imperial
The Order of the Dragon was created with the pupose of defeating the Ottoman menace. Many Romanians, including Vlad Tepes (Dracul) were members. Sure, this bonus feels like it gets overshadowed by Berbers, but Berbers don’t get Paladins and the discount before then might even be less.*
Villagers get boosted armor
The fact of the matter is, when you need to fear constant impalement, you get defensive or die by getting impaled, or pierced. It’s a nice bonus alongside Loom for a great early defense against DRUSH and FLUSH strategies. Moldovan military strategies were strict. Every peasant not armed to defend themselves was put to death.*
Skirmishers fire faster
There is no super historical reason for this, the Romanians did use Hit and run along with Scorched Earth policies, however.* → Me: I would argue something like Halberdier/Arbaletist deal +1 damage, that would have a historical reason being it.
Team Bonus: Villagers carry slightly more food.
- There was serfdom in Romania, effecting Gypsies and foreign slaves, such as Steppes peoples and Ottomans. The extra food may not amount to much, but farming will go that much faster.*
Impaler – Think Shotel Warrior but slower in every way and more focused on slaying living units. Living units is a ‘armor type’ given to all priests, infantry, cavalry and archery unit, as well as trade carts, villagers and Petards.
If that’s too insane, then it’s an infantry unit with a fairly reasonable attack but the ability to impale to nearby units or the units behind it.
- The Impalers of Vlad Tepes were feared by those who knew of him. Anyone who angered him, anyone too sickly to work, and anyone too lavish to care about his country would feel the wrath of a spike going from brain to groin… or the other way around. Technically, these weren’t a military class, but the idea of impaling through the body was highly prevalent and darkly badass if not a bit too “edgy.” Still, fun for a UU.*
UT1 Scorched Earth – Melee units get extra damage vs. Buildings. Siege get even more.
The style of many Moldavian and Wallachian fights was Scorched Earth with Hit and Run tactics.
UT2 Ispán – Castle Arrows impale like Scorpion bolts. Scorpions can garrison into castles to add extra arrows and heal up.
Castles such as Bran Castle, were amongst the most insanely engineered to fire bolts from Ballistae. Vlad Tepes had to escape a Turkish assault by escaping through a massive labyrinth and tunnel system. He was still captured and imprisoned even still. Ispán were those commanded castle areas in Transylvania, which at the time was a voivode of Hungary.
- Azot’s suggestion:
Romanians: Cavalry and archer civilization
Town Center technologies (except Age advancing) cost -50%
Archer-line gets +1/+2/+3 melee armor in Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age (not Skirmishers nor Cavalry Archers nor Hand Cannoneers)
Villagers get +3 vs cavalry, archers and monks → Me: Kind of useless TBH, better have +1 armor.
Cavalry Archers get +1 attack
Team bonus: Siege Workshops cost -50 wood
Night attack (200 food 200 wood): Cavalry Archers and Voivodes get +2 vs standard buildings
Artillery positioning (400 wood 400 gold): Bombard cannons move 30% faster and get -2 minimum range.
Voivode: Light Cavalry with high pierce armor. Bonus attack vs archers
Cost: 65 food 40 gold
Upgrade cost: 800 food 500 gold
Creation time 19s. Speed 1.45 Reload time 2.
HP: 50 (60)
Attack: 6 (7) melee
Armor: 0/3 (0/4)
Armor class: Cavalry
Upgrades: Blacksmith, Stable
Attack bonus: Archers 3 (5)
Barracks: Two-Handed Swordsman – Halberdier – All techs
Archery range: Arbalester – Elite Skirmisher – Heavy Cav Archer – Hand Cannoneer – All techs
Stable: Hussar – Cavalier – All techs → Me: No Paladin for a cav civ seems really weak unless they have a big bonus like the Berbers, Bulgarians and Lithuanians.
Siege workshop: Siege Ram –Siege Onager – Heavy Scorpion – Bombard Cannon – Siege Tower
Blacksmith: Lack the last infantry armor upgrade
Dock: Galleon – Fast Fire Ship –Demolition Ship –Cannon Galleon – Lack Shipwright
University: Lack Architecture – Bombard Tower – Fortified Wall – Guard Tower – Keep – Arrowslits
Castle: Lack Hoardings
Monastery: Lack Redemption – Atonement – Sanctity – Faith – Block Printing
Economy: Lack Crop Rotation
The first thing to be noticed is that Loom costs only 25 gold, so a drush is possible without collecting 10 gold. You can also collect just 5 gold and do a 4 Militia drush. Romanians will be a little bit less vulnerable to rushes with their villager bonus attack against scouts, archers and skirmishers. That’s their main defense, since they lack many University techs. Cost reduction also applies to Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart.
Romanians have many options, but their first military bonus is the +1 melee armor for archers, who will fare better against scouts. This bonus will increase with Age advancing, and results in enhanced resistance to heavy cavalry (and infantry). The unique unit can be used for sniping ranged units and raiding with 8 pierce armor in late game. Cavalry archers are also an option, since they are fully upgraded and the Castle Age Unique Tech will help crossing house walls. For late game, a complete Siege Workshop is one of the features. Particularly good will be Bombard Cannons, who get an extra from the Imperial Age Unique Tech, which will help firing against close groups of melee units and running from them.
- Micriab123’s idea:
-Knights cost -15% castle / 20 % imperial
( The Crusading Order of the Dragon was mostly made up by Vlach, Moldavian, Transilvanyan and Hungarian nobles which could afford heavy armour and hourses)
- Militia-line +1 attack
(Their ancestours, the Dacians used shock infantry with Falxeswhich were very effective at piercing roman helmets cousing the roman empire to lose many men)
- Husbandry and Squires free, moved to feudal age
(The Vlachs were very fast and arrived unexpectedly fast somewhere catching their enemies and sueprising them before they could organise an defense)
Wallachian Swordsmen (Infantry unit, 60 food and 30 gold, 65 hp, 8 attack, 1/1 armour, speed 1.0, LOS 5, has a small chance of doing +4 extra damage when attacking) → Me: I hate the RNG of +4 extra damage, better make it +1 or +2 but always happens. Also, “Wallachian Swordmen” is kind of a generic name, how about Portar from the OP?
Foreign Aid Hungary / Ottoman Empire ( 300 food and 400 gold, Upon researching you can choose to recieve either 10 elite magyar huszars or 10 elite jannisary) → Me, kind of weak, instead the Hussar line can be upgraed to one of the Romanian unique cavalry I mentioned in the OP.
Voivods (300 food and 300 gold, Cavalery + 6 against gunpowder units)
Farms, fish traps, mills, mining camps and lumber camps can be rebuild for free if destroyed ( if u destroy one, than the next one u will build is free and the next one is back to the normal cost)
- My take on it.
I find it interesting that every Romanian suggestion makes them a cavalry civ.
I would see the Romanias as a Cavalry Halberdier/Arbaletist civ focused on hit&run tactics.
Historically, the Romanians would buy really expensive and professional cavalry which allowed them to have much maneuverability on the battlefield, while the peasants would be trained for war since they needed men for the army but were countries with low manpower. Romanian military was strict, every peasant was trained to defend himself and those that refused were put to death
As for their weak points, I would say Monks & Siege. Being Orthodox the church never had the same influence as it did in Catholic countries or even in Russia. The Church had a lot of lands and enjoyed the protection of the government & people, but never had much political power, the separation of church & state was kind of a given for Romanians. As for siege, the Romanians never had many famous sieges, since most of their battles revolved around being attacked, fighting in your own land and using maneuverability to harrass and slowly drain a numerically superior enemy, you can see how this doesn’t work well with sieges.
And weak ships, only having limited sea access, Romanian ships were mediocre at best, mostly used for trade.
- Unique Romanian medieval units to pick from:
A. Viteji (Heavy Cavalry) → Literally “Brave Ones” they are soldiers who gained lands and property through bravery in warfare. The viteji are therefore, as expected, among the most resolute and brave warriors a ruler could ask for. Like many elements of Romanian cavalry, the Viteji show influences both from the East and West, and their style of warfare imitates that of Cuman or Tatar armored horse archers.
By their nature they are very versatile cavalry. In battle, the voievod would use these troops to counter the enemy’s cavalry flanks, either by engaging light cavalry in melee or harassing and exhausting heavy cavalry, then providing the decisive charge into the enemy’s flanks.
B. Calarasi (Light Cavalry) → Călăraşi form a part of the “oastea cea mica” (small host) and are part of the “slujitorii” (servants of the lord). Their name implies they fight on horseback. These soldiers were given land in exchange for military service, and retained their land so long as they remained as a readily-available force for the voievod, and exclusively in the service of the voievod. They are lightly armored, comparable to their curteni, and wield a composite bow. They were a very successful military instrument, remaining a significant part of the Wallachian army up until 1600, and form a potent counter to other horse archers.
C. Curteni (Light cavalry) → Literally “Men of the Court” they are the retainers of the boyars whom he takes into battle on horseback. Historically, they acted as a small mounted detachment under the direct command of a boyar. They are not as competent as the Viteji, nor as fast as the Calarasi, but given the tradition of light cavalry in Wallachian armies, they are form a versatile screen for the Calarasi. Their armor is very light, though this aids in their speed. They wield a spear or a lance in battle, omitting the benefit of a ranged weapon in favor of a large shield. They can perform devastating charges repeatedly due to their light equipment, but should not be expected to hold off a well-armed opponent.
D. Nemesi (Heavy Cavalry) → Are the equivalent of the Viteji but armed with spears instead of bows. This will be the strongest cavalry unit before the Boyars and the Princely Bodyguard.
E. Princely Bodyguard (heavy cavalry) → The Voievod of Wallachia keeps at his side a bodyguard of warriors paid from his own coffers, either consisting of native troops or mercenaries. Only the most loyal boiers, often those serving on the princely court, were entrusted with protecting the voievod. These men are equipped with the finest arms and armor money can buy, often with platemail bought from Venice or other Italian cities. It was even said in a chronicle that the Wallachian voievod Vladislav-Vlaicu bought 10,000 suits of Venetian plate armor in anticipation of warfare against the Hungarians. These form the elite of Wallachian heavy cavalry.
F. Wallachian Boyars → The boieri form the elite of Wallachian society and Wallachia’s heavy cavalry. They are the Wallachian nobles, who own vast swathes of land and rule over dependent peasants. Dressed in heavy armor, atop powerful mounts, and fighting in a style reminiscent of Western knights, they are a powerful force on the battlefield. The boieri however, are very accustomed to the game of political intrigue, and it is a telling fact that most of the Wallachian princes died of Wallachian swords and assassination than of old age, or on the field of battle. It is more telling that 20 princes were quickly cycled onto the Wallachian throne from 1418 to 1456, averaging to short and ineffective two-year reigns. The state of chaos caused by the boieri during this time was so great that when Vlad III Tepes came to power he immediately had many of then killed (some of whom had actually assassinated his father and his older brother Mircea), deposed others from the princely council (replacing them with obscure or foreign nobles) and tried to promote the land-owning Mosneni as a counter-weight against them. Even so, the Boiars would rebound after Vlad III’s death, becoming a powerful force. If a voievod can keep them satisfied and loyal, the boieri will form a decisive force on the battlefield and a much-needed unit of heavy, melee-based cavalry.
G. Portar → Literally “Gatekeeper”, the Portars are Moldavian heavily armored pikemen. The Romanian principalities relied mainly on hit and run tactics with light cavalry and archer units so the Portar will be a valueable anti-rush unit for defense.
H. Armas → The Wallachian counterpart of the Portar, these are the elite and most loyal infantry any voievod can have. Formed in the 15th century by Vlad Dracula and kept ever since, this powerful corps of infantry were used to counter-act the growing power of the Boyars, and are the only professional, non-mercenary force in the Wallachian army. Alongside their military role, they also act as a corps of gendarmes, keeping order in the country and upholding the voievod’s laws. They were the underlings of the Armas, a boyar who was a member of the Princely Council. They are professional soldiers, paid from the voievod’s coffers, and remain fiercely loyal to him. They are armed with halberds or other polearms, and dress in the best armors available. They are possibly the best-supplied footmen in the country.
- My Romanian civ suggestion
A Cavalry civ
- Knights cost less in Castle Age, even less in Imperial.
- Villagers get boosted armor
- Halberdiers deal slightly more damage
Team bonus: Villagers carry slightly more food.
UT1: Scorched Earth - Melee units get extra damage vs. Buildings. Siege get even more.
UT2 :Ispán - Castle Arrows impale like Scorpion bolts. Scorpions can garrison into castles to add extra arrows and heal up.
Barracks: Portar (letter G from 6.) - Halberdier upgrade - slightly more health and +1 damage.
Castle: Viteji (letter A from 6.) - horse archers
Barracks: Eagle Scout
Archery range: Hand Cannoneer
Stable: Camel Rider, Battle Elephant, Steppe Rider.
Siege workshop: Siege Ram - Onager – Heavy Scorpion - Bombard Cannon - Siege Tower
Blacksmith: Ring Archer Armor
Dock: Cannon Galleon - Gillnets - Heavy Demolition Ship - Galleon
University: Guard Tower - Heated Shots - Chemistry - Siege Engineers - Keep - Arrowslits
Monastery: Redemption - Atonement - Sanctity - Fervor - Illumination - Block Printing - Theocracy
Civ designer set this at: 241 points.
- Your take
What do you think? which civ suggestion you like best? would you change anything or would you make an altogether different design for the Romanian civ? If so, how would you make them like?