Saracens are a mixed bag with civ bonuses with the market being the only economy bonus. I think we can all agree that Saracens are weak in early game but strong in late game due to the plethora of military options (except of course the Knight line, which is usable atleast). The following three changes in conjugation is my idea for the buff:
Team bonus: Archers +3 attack vs buildings removed entirely. It was an important military bonus to tear through walls, but it is one of the bonuses easiest to exploit in 3vs3 or 4vs4 by civs like Chinese, Britons or Vietnamese.
Market available in Dark Age. Note that Saracens also have 75 wood markets to help put down a market early enough. This is to help players use the market bonus as early as possible.
New team bonus (transferred from civ bonus): Transport Ships 2x HP, +5 carry capacity (it would be good even with the 2x HP).
It maybe a situational nerf in mid game because of the loss of siege archers, but it is supposed to help in early game. At best, players can market wall their base to remain safer (unless we see a stat reduction for dark age market).
Side Notes: Dark Age market does not allow [slinging, trading or] allied vision. These are locked behind Feudal Age as usual.
A market in dark age is basically useless, since food income does not need wood investment yet and you don’t have anyone on gold yet. Yes, you could sell the stone, but need to invest the 75 wood (+ the building time) in order to do so. I have a hard time to imagine scenarios in which this would make sense.
Ngl this does look like a hefty nerf more than anything. Especially since not only their military is nerfed, but their new TB does nothing on most maps including hybrid. Swapping the market discount with the current TB could be better as there is no reason to be scared about archer teammates abusing the bonus anymore and it would benefit non-archer civ teammates as well.
They are already top tier on closed water maps, since there massed Galleys > massed fire ships.
I was thinking about one of the two - market wood discount and transport ship, and I thought both of them would be equally good. But now that you explain, I realise market discount can be better.
Don’t think of it as a pure dark age bonus bonus. It just means a market earlier, like after clicking to Feudal Age or just immediately reaching Feudal Age, in which cases you won’t have a market otherwise. You can already have a market for doing FC strategies or just a really good scrush.
So now Saracens are even more generic of a civ, having only Archers and Camels to play with. Great. Luckily they have a little HP boost to their Camels or else they’d be as generic as their Archers.
Market at Dark Age will never be implemented there’s a limit to how unrealistic bonus can be, and I’m far from being another history justice warrior.
Instead of complaining about dangerous civ combinations- how about eliminating civ abusers on the ladder, by removing the ability to choose a position by selecting a certain color. It’s so simple, and so elementary, that’s what we used to have for 20 years.
For scouts you don’t need an early market at all. For FC, well… it would then be possible to make just 1 instead of 2 vills during Feudal when rushing the blacksmith up with more than one vill. Which means either a bit faster castle time or, alternatively, 1 vill more working in the dark-feudal transition. Not totally negligible, but also not impressive and very situational.