I personally feel like the Dutch should no longer have any chance to make it into AoE2 over at least the next say 4 expansions or 8 years or so (whichever is sooner). So basically not unless there’s another revival at some point. The devs can talk their talks about how civilizations are selected, but I’m pretty sure one of the main reasons Burgundians were picked is to please Dutch and Belgian fans. And then on top of it the Burgundians were packed together with another Western European civ and we now seem to be getting another Eastern European batch. And while I will still stand by my position that it wasn’t a bad choice at all to revisit Western Europe with some new style civs, I don’t feel like we need yet another Dutch civilization at this point. Having more Dutch civs than say Southern Asian civs would be a little odd. (And I have to ignore the Franks a little to even be able to use that sentence.)
That said, on to the fun bit, what could a Dutch civ look like if you wanted to create one for say a modded campaign? I know there is at least one version of the civ out there already. I also did a little bit of thinking about it myself in the context of a campaign about Dutch sailors joining the Barbary pirates. (1606-1624, so pretty much past the regular AoE2 range, focusing on Simon the Dancer at first, with Dirkie de Veenboer bridging to the later bits following Jan Janszoon, don’t worry if those names don’t mean anything to you, they are historical footnotes at best.) The important part here is to note that I didn’t need to think about the representation of the Dutch throughout earlier times. Them making good scouts for the Romans who were said to be good at swimming and riding, the knight in shining armor era of the Limburg succession wars, I could ignore all of that and just base the bonuses on the 17th century.
In the version I had in my head the Fluyt would have been an upgraded trade cog that can shoot to defend itself. I don’t know if that’s even possible in the engine, I certainly didn’t get it to work with the little bit of experimenting I did in the scenario editor back then, and I also don’t feel like it’s a great tactical bonus to begin with, but I do like it from a flavor standpoint. Fluyts were the workhorses of the fleet, built for hauling loads and avoiding taxes (there was some form of a shipping tax based on the width of your deck, so fluyts had small decks). They were not in the grand scheme of things the greatest ships for battle.
The team bonus would probably have ended up being an extra cow under the TC at the start. I think/hope I came up with that before Tatars came out? Especially on the classic map generations where you sometimes didn’t immediately have your sheep this would have been a cool little bonus that is never overpowered but always nice to have.
If I had plans for a unique unit at all it probably would have been some form of gunpowder unit, given the era. I think I was thinking of using the Janissary skin for it, while using the throwing axeman, the woad raider (or huskarl?) and the berserk as the basis for my “heroes” (while the awfulness of these guys varies, the fact that they were pirates probably gives away they were not outstanding citizens by any means). Because I wanted big orange lions on the sails (and both France and Britain appear in the story) Celts would probably have formed the basis of the civilization looks wise.
So far my bonuses don’t quite overlap with yours maybe, but they’re certainly based around the same ideas as much of what you’ve got. I also don’t mind the extra ship/tower line of sight. I do think that having basically 4 economy bonuses of which 3 about gold may be a bit much from a game balance perspective. I’m also not sure if I like it historically. The whole trade and banking aspect, sure, but mining? We had mines for stuff like iron and coal, but I don’t feel like we’re famous for that or our metalworking. Even in the early modern era the muskets were often imported from the German Ruhr area. So those are the bits I might consider changing if you were building this civ as a mod.
I also feel like if you’re trying to tell the story of the Netherlands starting around the year 400 there should probably be something that’s about at least either cavalry or infantry in there. Even if it’s just the spearman line. Pikes are important even in the Dutch military reforms of the 16th and 17th century after all, if you’re worried about the endgame being weird because of bonuses from earlier ages. It wasn’t all just ships and gunpowder down the ages.