Sar and Berbers are my favourite civs looking at the tech tree, almost full tech tree with everything. However Berbers are top 3 at 1v1 winrate but saracens are bottom 3 (or 5).
These two civs have similar styles, both focus on camels and anti-cav, have camel bonus or unique techs, both have a ranged camel unique unit, besides camels both have a full blacksmith, both have hand cannoneers, FU champions, both have good siege, bbc+siege engineer. Both are lacking any real eco bonus. Both missing halberdiers but has FU hussar and skirms. Both have one water bonus, the only difference in tech tree is maybe saracens has arbalesters while berbers have cavaliers.
So how come the winrate differs so much? What is the reason behind that makes berbers a top civ and saracens a bottom civ?
Faster vills dont really make that much of difference for resources gatherings. Discounts on cav is important i would say but is it enough to make a bottom civ top civ. Also mameluke is so much worse than camel archer?
Tons of reasons that make Berbers way much better not only better than Saracens, but better more than most civs in the game, but let’s talk about the difference between Saracens & Berbers:
First of all, Berbers & Saracens have camels, but Berbers have FREE bonus for their cavs better than Saracens UTs. Actually Berbers stable discount is almost broken not only strong.
2nd thing you said no real eco bonus for Berbers? Berbers eco bonus is one of the strongest eco bonuses in the game, it seems you really don’t know what 10% vills speed means. This eco bonus is also free unlike Saracens market which you need to selll & buy stuff to get benefits.
3rd thing, Berbers UU is S tier class UU, it is one of the best of the best UUs in the game and both of Berbers Uts are better than Saracens UTs.
There is no comparison between Saracens and Berbers. Berbers waaaaaaay better.
It is really ironic, especially Saracens are the people who conquered Berbers for hundreds of years and they have much better mobility and great historical mark more than anyone else in the human history until now.
Another factor is that Saracen advantages are much less obvious than Berbers.
Faster villager speed? You don’t even need to think about it. You get a bit more resources and your villagers do a better job of surviving raids. You don’t need to change how you play.
Cheaper stable units? Again, very straight forward and powerful bonus. Knights are accessible and easy to win with, so getting cheaper ones is a big help for winning games.
Saracens have few relevant bonuses. Their most powerful bonus, the OP market, is not obvious and easy to exploit. Using it to leverage fast castle timings after a rush or to balance economy very effectively is not something that is done for you and comes with experience in how the game works.
Similarly, the archer bonus vs. buildings is not very useful for newer players. It’s basically only useful for optimized archer rushes where your opponents are walling. For much of the player base, this never comes into play.
Hence why Saracens winrate increases significantly with MMR level