Revamping The Saracens. Faith, Trade And Naval Focus

The Saracens need a revamp to reflect their historical focus on trade, faith and naval superiority. Their current traits and technologies fail to deliver on their theme. Here is a proposal to overhaul them.

3 unique units, the caravan, the dhow, and the mameluke:

Caravans replace the trade cart. They move faster and generate more gold than a trade cart. They can also be unpacked, acting as a universal resource drop and allowing dismounted non-siege units to garrison inside. The caravan can pack up and transport up to 10/20/40/60 units, though they need to unpack before dropping them off. If the caravan is killed with units inside while packed, they all die. Their speed, vision, health, armor and troop capacity increase with age.

Dhows replace the trade cog and troop transport. They move faster and generate more gold than a trade cog and can be unpacked to act as a universal resource drop. they can carry up to 10/20/40/60 land units and do not need to unpack/pack to transport them. They can also repair and convert/capture enemy ships at a short distance. Their speed, vision, health, armor and troop capacity increase with age.

Mamelukes: Fast cavalry that rapidly regenerates and has a vast amount of hit points. no melee armor but takes greatly reduced ranged damage. Has a fast melee attack with a large bonus vs ranged units.

Unique Castle/Imperial Age Technologies:

Pilgrimage/merchant missionaries: relics and trade now generate food.

Zealotry: monks, caravans and dhows increase the gather, movement and attack speeds of nearby units by 15%, increased by 5% for every relic. Aura is large but does not stack. Cap of 5 relics.

Now have access to the cavalier and heavy scorpion. They lose access to fire ships, trading carts, trading cogs, and transport ships.

No longer have careening, dry docks or caravan technologies. Now have access to architecture, crop rotation and bombard towers.


Converted units are fully healed. Units kill by heresy refund their worth in food/gold.

Relics increase trade profit by 10% and reduces cost/train times of military units by 5%. Cap of 5 relics.

Have favorable market exchange rates, increasing with age.

Start with a free caravan unit. First dock also grants a free dhow.

Galleys and cannon galleons move and attack 10/20/40% faster.

Team bonus: Relics are shared between allies.


Would be great for a mod. Go forth and make it. You have my support.

From devs? No chance no way unless someone funds such a big overhaul. Especially new units that do such dynamic things

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these 3 seem very busted and gamebreaking.
up to 25% cheaper military while also increasing income and generating gold?
20-40% faster firing ships?
relic bonuses gained even if an ally has them?


just thoughts on direction, not really interested in the actual numbers. if the devs do go this route, it will be adjusted anyways.

I disagree:

  • Their focus on trade is reflected by the cheaper market and trading fee bonus.
  • Their focus on naval superiority is reflected by their galley attack bonus.
  • Their faith is reflected by their excellent monks and unique castle age tech.

I think your proposed changes are too radical and won’t be implemented. Saracens exist since the original release of AoK and revamping them now is not necessary. IMO Saracens are fine as they are.


What you are proposing is basically an entire rework of the civ, while I like seeing new ideas, this is, realistically speaking, not going to happen.

Now, I agree that sarances have some issues as a civ (though they are a solid mid-tier one), mainly due to the cost of mamelukes/zelotry and a garbage UT, madrasah. What I would do is rather replace madrasah with something entirely different, maybe something which boosts their ships/docks or trade. As a compensation, give saracens a free minor tech from the monastery, like fervor.


Units that have so much different functions don’t feel like they fit in AoE2. Also no one ain’t no time to have their trade roleplay as drop off sites or worse siege towers (I can’t believe I’m writing that) Especially if said trade is better than normal trade and gives you food and acts as a boost for villagers and military.

Free transport ship in dark age, what can go wrong?

Last but not least, this proposal must have the record for the most civ overlaps ever, at some point people insisted to give Teutons a Lith-like relic bonus, but here we have an overlap with Spanish, Berbers and Lithuanian, alongside a tech tree so complete I’m surprised they don’t get eagles and eles as well.
Only thing I like is the mameluke rework, but it would mean the current mameluke would get scrapped, and while it is an historical abomination and one of the hardest UUs to use it is really different gameplay-wise

All i would change is their uu,

I would like they too be like the paladin, but with a little less melee armor and more pa and speed

They could lower the cost of the Mameluke. From 55F / 85G to 60F / 75G

their purpose isn’t as apparent as other civilizations, such as the Mongols, Britons, Franks or Goth. these are civilizations that a totally new player can take one look and understand what they are all about. meanwhile the Saracens are all over the place in this confused mess. by sharpening their traits to match their focus and weaving them into the core of the civilization it brings clarity to what they do differently, what their gameplay fantasy is, and why a player would choose them over a different civilization. currently they aren’t resonating with players.

free dhow could have 0 transport capacity in dark age, or be removed entirely.

aside from the Berbers, in isolation their traits don’t directly compete with other traits and as a package they make a unique combination that is different from any existing civilization. the Berber-like ship move speed should be removed though.

that said I do agree the changes are a pretty big departure from the norm in age 2 and probably wont be implemented. still it was fun to brainstorm ways to make them less generic and give them a clear identity after seeing how confused the civ was, especially compared to the other well designed civilizations in the game.

those hoping for a mameluke rework are probably too optimistic. if mamelukes return in age 4, they will probably still be camel riding scimitar throwers, and I’m somehow fine with that. relic loves their cheesy fun, if anything they will probably have a tech that gives them flaming swords.

You mean that UT that nobody touches?

You mean those water maps where no one picks saracens? I mean saracens miss literally one of the most important naval techs in the game without compensation.

Im not saying the mod should go ahead, just that you’re bending the truth to sound correct…

Aztecs are a better reflection of faith.
Vikings and italians are representations of naval superiority

It is, their market is so strong. If you cant see that, you are not playing even close to a level where balance matters.

You can have a different opinion on whether they are a good civ or if their bonuses/techs are good enough. That was not my point. I just disagree that their historical focus on the three themes (navy, trade, faith) is not present in the game.

I can somewhat understand the point that they are not as straightforward for novice players to play as Britons, Franks or Goths. Their unique asset is the market bonus and it’s more complicated to use. But that doesn’t mean they need an overhaul. I think the ideas are a little far fetched, but it could be a nice mod.

Since DE it’s kinda a siege archer civ not gonna lie. Actually quite a lot of people disagree with that, even though I don’t particulary mind because other sarracens options are still there.

In AoE3 they are melee horse riders, and I think they will do the same in AoE4 since it’s suppose to focus a lot on historical accuracy.