Hey, I really enjoy imagining possible new civilizations for Age of Empires II, so I thought I’d try my hand at it. I decided to design a civ concept for the Croatians, a southern Slavic empire that was one of the strongest kingdoms of the 10th and 11th centuries. In 926, they utterly annihilated the Bulgarians at the Battle of the Bosnian Highlands, putting an end to the military conquests of Tsar Simeon and establishing a national pride that would carry into the modern state of Croatia. Although you could group the Croatians under the Slavs, they were historically Roman Catholic, and I think their history stands pretty well on its own.
The Croatians (925 - 1102)
Cavalry and Naval Civilization
Architecture Style: Mediterranean
Language: Croatian (technically, medieval Croatians spoke language similar to the Slavs and Bulgarians, but I’ve decided upon modern Croatian to distinguish this civilization from its eastern neighbors)
Wonder: Cathedral of St. Domnius
- Cavalier upgrade free (requires Imperial Age)
- Spearman line +1 attack
- Melee units don’t suffer from hill disadvantages
The Croatian king Tomislav was known to have trained an impressively large army consisting primarily of infantry and cavalry, hence the civilization’s focus on melee units. Although their units are slow, they can be extremely powerful against other melee-oriented civilizations such as the Bulgarians and Hungarians (Croatia’s historic arch-rivals) thanks to their civ bonuses. Although they lack an early economic bonus, their stronger spear line makes a Spearman flush a more viable early game strategy.
- Recruits - Knight line can be trained at the Castle, cost -20% less gold at Castle (500 Food, 500 Gold)
- Bans - Castles fire additional arrows (1000 Food, 500 Stone)
The Croatians were known to be an aggressive, militant civilization, and their zupani ruled from fortified cities, hence their Castle-related bonuses.
Team Bonus: Trade Cogs generate +20% gold
The Croatians were historically known to be allies with the Byzantines, and since they’re a naval civilization, I figured a Trade Cog bonus would fit.
Unique Unit: Zupani (Light cavalry unit that doesn’t suffer bonus damage against the Spearman line)
Cost: 70 Food, 30 Gold
Attack: 8 (Elite 11)
Armor: 1/0 (Elite 2/1)
HP: 90 (Elite 110)
Elite Upgrade Cost: 1200 Food, 700 Gold
Zupani (or Zupans) were the regional rulers in medieval Croatia, similar to the Slavic Boyars, so I’ve designed them as the Croatian equivalent of Knights and Boyars. Although they’re generally weaker than most cavalry units and fare worse against archers, their lack of weakness to the Spearman line makes them much more versatile than other cavalry units. They are, however, just as vulnerable to Camel Riders as other mounted fighters.
Unique Unit: Kondura (Naval Trash Unit)
Cost: 80 Wood
Attack: 5 Pierce (6 Elite)
Range: 5 (6 Elite)
Hit Points: 100 (135 Elite)
Elite Upgrade Cost: 800 Food, 600 Gold
The Croatians were historically a naval civilization, and they deployed Kondura as warships. These ships looked pretty similar to the Viking Longboat, but didn’t have a dragon at the front.
Barracks: Squires, Eagle line
Archery Range: Arbalest, Elite Skirmisher, Hand Cannoneer, Heavy Cavalry Archer
Stable: Husbandry, Camel Rider, Battle Elephant, Steppe Lancer
Siege Workshop: Siege Ram, Bombard Cannon
Monastery: Atonement, Block Printing, Illumination
Dock: Fast Fire Ship, Shipwright
Blacksmith: Ring Archer Armor
University: Keep, Bombard Tower, Architecture
Economy: Two-Man Saw, Guilds
As a whole, the Croatians are very powerful against infantry and cavalry civilizations, but struggle against archer civilizations, especially those with good cavalry archers like the Cumans and Mongols, due to their infantry and cavalry lacking Squires and Husbandry, respectively. Against ranged opponents, they must rely on Siege Onagers, as their Archery Range is among the worst. However, their Castle bonuses allow them to deal with enemy archers better from a defensive angle.
Let me know what you think, and how I could change the tree to be more balanced and/or historically accurate!