What if the civs in AoE2 are named in their modern counterpart as follows:
English/British for Britons
French for Franks
Germans for Teutons
Czech for Bohemians
Swedes for Vikings
Russians for Slavs
Flemish for Burgundians
Scots for Celts
Greeks for Byzantines
Arabs for Saracens
Absolutely not. Ingame civs and medieval kingdoms do not necessarily correspond to one single modern country.
For example the Franks expanded to the full Carolingian Empire, that’s considered a predecessor to France, Germany and everything in between. The french identity was barely linguistic (look at a map of regional french languages) and forged itself over the centuries in the later half of the Middle Ages (Bouvines, then the Hundred Years War).
The Vikings cover the Danes, Norwegians, Swedes and everywhere else they expanded (Iceland, Greenland, Vinland, Normandy, the northern half of England…). If anything the Danes were the most important group in the Middle Ages. “Northmen” would be a more accurate name as “viking” was the norse word for “pillager” but they were known as that. Teuton is a medieval word for German, and “German” would also include the Goths.
Slavs for Russians, well that’s a non-controversial one knowing what’s happening now… given the fact that the main city in the Kievan Rus was, mmh what was it again, forgot about it. “Ruthenians” would be a better choice.
Celts also cover the Irish and Welsh (though sometimes portrayed as the Britons) and could expand to the Bretons if necessary.
Burgundians had their seat of power in Burgundy, taking the Low Countries (that included more than the Flemish) was an extension. They also cover the Burgundians who took eastern Gaul until being subjugated by the Franks.
I’ll grant you ‘Britons’ was a pretty weird pick, but the other two are at least as bad, just in different ways. ‘English’ excludes the Welsh (who are definitely included in the civ design, and are represented by Britons in official campaigns). ‘British’ is primarily a nationality that didn’t exist during the game’s time period.
This is not so bad, providing you know that in a medieval context, ‘Scots’ includes (at least some of) the Irish (the Scots invaded what is now Scotland from Ireland). On the other hand, it excludes the Picts, Cornish, Manx, and maybe some others – although I don’t think any of them appear in the official campaigns.
Curiously, they also represent the Basques in a scenario in the Tariq campaign, and they even have Woad Raiders. I guess they were the best fit available?
I guess it fits the fierce mountain defenders. But the Basques are all that’s left from before the pre-indo-european invasions so they are indeed not Celts.
Celts are also used as local villages in one Dracula mission, which is quite far from where they were historically over 1000 years before (they were in Bohemia, Pannonia, Galatia but not in Dacia, and since then a list of invasion as long as my arm happened to the region…)
I would not read too much into it, the devs used to depict Russians and Poles as Goths, and Bohemians and Magyars as Teutons before we had better choices to represent those civs. We still have countless odd cases, such as the Venice and Verona still being represented as Byzantines, Franks, and even Portuguese in more recent campaigns, or the White Huns/Hunas being depicted once as Mongols and another time as Tatars.
Or Roman cities as Franks, Goths, Celts, Britons and so on. But then, that was to add variety. Attila fighting against mostly Byzantines would have been kind of monotonous with the tools then available. Now, make them all different civs, but use the Roman build set and change civ name to Romans