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.