Hi all! Here’s my take on what a Gaelic civilization could look like in Age of Empires II. I am aware that others have already proposed adding the Gaels to the game (and most of them are much more detailed than mine!), but nevertheless, I thought I would offer my two cents on what the Gaels could look like…
Infantry & Monk Civilization
Western European Architecture
Rationale: The Gaels would represent the kingdoms of Medieval Ireland (particularly because the Celts seem to be focused on representing the Medieval Scots). I believe this civilization is a warranted addition as Ireland maintained a distinct identity and played an influential role in the history of Medieval Europe (particularly during the Early Middle Ages). Gameplay-wise, the Gaels would feature infantry with high speed and hit points, but low armor (Medieval Irish armies were typically lightly armored and had limited cavalry), as well as powerful monks with extra range (Irish Christianity was unique and incredibly influential, with Irish missionaries spreading Christian religion to both Scotland and much of continental Europe). They would also have decent skirmishers (Irish foot soldiers made frequent use of javelins) and hand cannoneers (the Irish were early adopters of gunpowder in Europe).
Gallowglass: An infantry unit with high hit points which can alternate between a two-handed axe melee mode and a javelin-throwing ranged mode (similar to the Bengali Ratha). The melee mode would be effective against units with low armor, while the ranged mode would deal bonus damage to archers.
- Gallowglasses were renowned Gaelic soldiers who often worked abroad as mercenaries. They adopted both the two-handed sparth axe and heavy chain mail from the Vikings, but maintained Irish tactics and the use of javelins.
Ceitherns: Castle Age unique tech which gives skirmishers and Gallowglasses (ranged-mode) +2 range.
- Ceitherns (Anglicized as “kerns”) were Irish light infantry who made great use of thrown weapons such as javelins.
Pike-and-Shot: Imperial Age unique tech which gives the spearman-line and hand cannoneers +3 attack.
- Late Medieval Irish armies quickly adopted so-called “Pike-and-Shot” tactics from the European continent, which combined pikemen with soldiers equipped with early firearms.
- Fervor & Sanctity affect Barracks units.
- All Barracks techs researched 50% faster.
- Monks have +1 conversion range.
- Food is gathered 15% faster (Medieval Ireland largely sustained itself on farming and livestock).
Team Bonus: Monks have +2 Line-of-Sight.
- Barracks: Eagle-line units.
- Archery Range: Heavy Cavalry Archer; Parthian Tactics; Elephant Archer-line.
- Stable: Paladin; Camel-line; Steppe Lancer-line; Bloodlines.
- Siege Workshop: Armored Elephant-line; Heavy Scorpion.
- Blacksmith: Plate Mail Armor; Plate Barding Armor.
- Castle: Hoardings.
- Dock: Fast Fire Ship; Dromon; Shipwright.
- Monastery: None.
- University: Architecture; Arrowslits.
- Economy: Guilds; Stone Shaft Mining.
And that’s the civ! Obviously I haven’t worked out many of the specifics (particularly the Gallowglass stats), but I tried to make a civilization with a unique feel to them. I also tried to make something that felt balanced and did not use bonuses that already belonged to existing civilizations. Please feel free to let me know what you think and offer any suggestions for improvement! Feedback is certainly welcome.