Civilization Tech tree Strategy

The Saracens are an offensive civilization with particularly strong camel and naval units. Even though they are not very strong in the early game due to lack of early economic bonuses, they instead have lots of powerful units and technologies making them a fearsome opponent in the late game.

Strengths Edit


Mamelukes are one of the few units in the game that does hand damage in ranged attack.

Their unique technology, Zealotry, grants Camels and Mamelukes extra hit points, allowing them to dominate almost any enemy cavalry unit they encounter. Camels normally are unable to stand up to Imperial Age heavy cavalry but Zealotry makes up for this, making them more cost effective. This makes them powerful against civilizations that rely heavily on cavalry such as the Huns, Franks and the Mongols which all have cavalry bonuses. The Mameluke is one of the most effective cavalry counters in the game, capable of taking down nearly any cavalry unit and in groups can easily handle War Elephants. However, they are a versatile unit and can handle most enemy soldiers.

The Saracens also have a strong navy, with their Galleons having a faster attack than normal and their transport ships have more hit points, making it more difficult for opponents to sink a naval invasion. In addition they can carry an additional five units so population space is saved when planning a naval invasion.

They have access to all siege weapons except for the Heavy Scorpion giving them strong offensive capabilities. They have full archer technologies and their archers also do bonus damage against buildings. This allows Cavalry Archers to become devastating raiders as this bonus allows them to raze buildings with ease.

The Saracens also have an economic advantage in which trading resources in the Market costs only 5% instead of the usual 30% (15% with Guilds). This allows them to easily amass resources through trading.

Weaknesses Edit

Their main weakness is in their heavy cavalry. They cannot upgrade their Knights and are one of only two Old World civilization to be missing this ability (along with the Indians, which lack knights completely). Fortunately the Mameluke's versatility makes up for this. They also lack several economic technologies though their market bonuses make up for this somewhat. Their defense is merely average as the Heated Shot, Architecture and Bombard Tower technologies are closed to them. Thus, there's no advantage to help stop a determined attack.

Strategy Edit

Saracens have several effective strategies, they can rush and boom, but mainly they perform better as a rushing civilization at the middle game. Saracens can perform a really particular and unique rushing strategy called the Smush (Saracen monk rush) for performing this tactic, Saracens must perform first a fast castle technique, but with many differences the most important of these differences is that they may take their stone mines (at least 4 villagers starting in the Dark Age) since stone mining rate is faster than gold mining rate, then the player must age up in 20 population and once in the Feudal Age build a blacksmith and a market and sell all their initial stone (market Saracen trading bonus make up for this) and basically jump the Feudal Age by getting just enough resources to advance to the Castle Age through market trading. Once this is achieved the player must task some villagers to gold and leave the other miners in the stone. Once in the Castle Age the player must create at least two monasteries and create then four or five monks, it could be necessary to research many monastery technologies for the monks to perform better and then the player must get the monks to the opponents base and start converting first of all villagers and then other units that could be militias, archers, men at arms or other feudal or Dark Age units. It is important for the player to micromanage well the monks and use only one monk per converted unit at once, the monks also must avoid town center fire. Once the player has converted several enemy villagers they must task them to create some towers and steal the enemies resources. In "the Forgotten" expansion Saracens received 2 buffs that furthers this tactic, with a cheaper market and the madrasah technology.

Saracens are at its best in the Castle Age when they can start to create their camels, Mamelukes and cavalry archers, which made them a formidable cavalry civilization, Mamelukes and camels come in handy when dealing with enemy cavalry forces but also they can be used for raiding, also Saracens have full monastery technologies so if a player perform the smush tactic the left over monks can be improved for future battles and start to support the cavalry (camels and Cavalry archers). Their Cavalry archers can work as a siege engine if massed because of their +3 attack vs buildings. In the Imperial Age they get the Zealotry technology that improves the hit points of the camels making them more durable than other camels, they also get gunpowder units so the siege unit of choice must be the bombard cannon.

In water maps Saracens are one of the best civilizations, they have 2 bonuses that allows them to take the seas earlier than other civilizations, galleys attack faster and Saracens will require less transport units than other civs because transport ships have more capacity.

Strategy changes in The Forgotten Edit

Their new unique technology, Madrasah, gives to monks the ability to return 33% of their cost when they are killed, making Saracen monks better in giving support to the front lines in a battle due to some of the resources a player invests in creating monks are secured if they lose them on the battle, and the fact that they can research all monastery technologies. Saracens also have now a -75 wood discount building Markets, improving their trading capabilities and their already good capabilities at changing resources at the market.

Strategy Changes in The African Kingdoms Edit

Camels are no longer considered ships and this applies also to the Saracen Unique unit the Mameluke so now they can raid a town more effectively without having to worrying too much about enemy towers

Alliances Edit

In team games, Saracens should preferably play in the pocket position, but they can also stand in the front line position.

Saracens profit greatly from the following team bonuses:

  • Britons: +20% faster archery range. The bonus is helpful with any archer rush tactic, which the Saracens can already employ very well. It also aids in keeping up a steady production of archers in the late game.
  • Byzantines: Monks heal 50% faster. This improves the strong Saracen monks and helps with the smush.
  • Huns: +20% faster stables. The Hun bonus is useful for Camel and Scout Cavalry production.
  • Indians: +6 Camel attack versus buildings. This bonus affects the strong Saracen Camel and Mameluke units and helps with raiding enemy towns. The camels are still susceptible to building's attacks though.
  • Japanese: +2 Galley line of sight. This improves the fast firing Saracen Galleys and helps with early scouting and rushing on water maps.
  • Vikings: Docks 15% cheaper. This makes an early-game Galley rush even easier.
  • Burmese: They reveal in-map locations of the relics to their teammates even as the match kicks off, allowing competent Saracen monks to snatch them early to ensure future gold supply.

As a teammate, Saracens make a synergy with archer based civilizations, such as the Britons, the Chinese, the Mayans, and others. Their team bonus gives allied foot archers +1 attack versus buildings. This adds to the Mayan technology Obsidian Arrows which increases archer attack versus buildings by +3, making massed archers a viable replacement for siege and swordsmen. Fully upgraded British Longbowmen can outrange towers and castles, so this bonus speeds up the destruction of enemy fortifications. Vietnamese allies also grant Saracen players gold subsidy (via Paper Money) for extra Mamelukes, camels, warships or horse archers, together with anti-building-enhanced Imperial Skirmishers and first-hand revelation of the enemy bases at the beginning, in exchange for more "siegable" Rattan Archers against hostile fortifications.

Compared advantages and disadvantages Edit

Advantages vs other civilizations Edit

  • The Mameluke being a camel unit with range and attack bonus vs cavalry counters almost all types of cavalry, even the cavalry from prominent cavalry and cavalry archer civilizations like the Franks, the Burmese, the Persians, the Huns, the Magyars, the Mongols, etc. Also they can counter slow moving units by hit-and-running them, like the infantry (with some exceptions; see in disadvantages) Even civilizations with good infantry may have trouble against Mamelukes like Goths, Aztecs, Malians and Burmese as they can hit-and-run them. Their zealotry technology adds more advantage against the previously cited cavalry civilizations.
  • Being a civilization with good mid game and late game and able to perform a good Monk Rush as well as being able to raid with the use of Scout Cavalry, Camels, Cavalry archers ad Mamelukes they can defeat civilizations that fare otherwise especially in enclosed maps like Arena and Fortress, especially if starting at Feudal Age onwards. These civilizations include, Aztecs, Huns and Mongols for example. In Arabia they can take this advantage against civilizations with bad early game like Turks, Spanish, Indians, Portuguese and Khmer, as they can jump to Castle Age by Market trading.
  • Having complete Archery Range upgrades and an anti-building bonus for Cavalry archers (and a lower one for foot archers) they have an advantage against civilizations with poor defense like Magyars, and Japanese, and an advantage to civilizations reliant on Infantry like Aztecs and Celts.
  • Regarding the naval Warfare they are in advantage against civilizations that rely in their late game Naval vessels and close proximity ships (Demolition Ship and Korean Turtle Ship) as their Galleons have more firing rate and transport ships allows +5 loading space, Even the navy of civilizations like Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Malay may have trouble against the Saracen navy.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations Edit

  • As far as they are awesome against cavalry and able to hit-and-run slower units, Mameluke have several disadvantages. They can be killed by Onagers if the player forgets to microing them so the Koreans, Celts, Ethiopians and others can get an advantage there. Indian Imperial Camel despite doesn't having range, can close down the distance and counter the Mameluke as they have better armor, similar logic applies to the Berber Camelry as they are cheaper and regenerate. Masses of Incan Kamayuks, Japanese Samurais and Halberdiers are a huge threat, while Viking Infantry with Chieftains may overturn overall the Saracen cavalry. Units with high melee armor also can counter the Mameluke. Towers still retain a +1 bonus damage against camels so civilizations with good towers such as Koreans, Byzantines, Japanese and Incas can use them to defend their towns against the Saracen camelry. Byzantine Cataphracts have hidden armor against camel attack so they can counter mamelukes and their camelry perfectly.
  • Malians can be a very unpleasant rival for the Saracen archery as their infantry bonus can negate the archery attacks against them making the Malian Halberdier more threatening to their core units (Mamelukes, Camels and Cavalry archers). Similarly Goths can counter the contingents of a Saracen Archer/ Cavalry archer army by swarming Huskarls as they have attack bonus vs Archers and high pierce armor, this combined with disposable and fast created Halberdiers will make the Saracens to have a hard time.
  • Mayans, Incas and Aztecs have Eagle Warriors that can counter Monks, Camels, Cavalry archers and Archers (they deal bonus damage to all of those units) all of these units compose the core of the Saracen army.
  • Vietnamese Imperial Skirmishers can counter a Saracen Cavalry archers, Archers and Mamelukes perfectly. Other prominent civilizations with good skirmishers that can also do this are the Aztecs (with the Atlatl technology), The Berbers (which have the Genitour who is a mounted skirmisher) and the Britons (whose Skirmishers are created faster and get +1 range out of Yeomen technology). Beside the Saracens have all Archer technologies and being good against buildings other prominent archer factions have better bonuses and can deal with them with ease (this includes Ethiopians, Mayans and Chinese), Civilizations with good Onagers such as Celts and Koreans can also defeat with ease their archers.
  • Besides Saracen Monks can be a good offensive unit in the mid game, civilizations with good light cavalry (like Huns, Magyars and Mongols) can counter very effectively them.
  • Regarding the naval Warfare they are in disadvantage against civilizations with good Fire ships (such as Byzantines, Portuguese and Berbers) as that is the counter for the Galleons, Similarly their Galleons fall apart against Viking longboats, also they have a disadvantage at late-game as they don't have access to Shipwright so civilizations with either cheaper ships or access to that technology (like the Italians for example) or late game sustainable economy (like Malay and Portuguese with their unlimited resources bonuses) can overturn them.

Situational advantages Edit

  • In high resources Random map matches they have an advantage as they can perform very soon a fast Castle and deliver their monk rush, thanks to their market interchange bonus.
  • In the Real World map Earth they have an early advantage as in this map players start with 3 villagers a scout and a transport ship (that will retain its value further in the game)
  • In the Capture the Relic Game mode as they can jump to Castle Age and access monks buffed with all monastery technologies plus Madrasah they have an advantage over other civilizations.
  •  Their Market fee bonus is highly valuable in the Game mode "Wonder race", as they can jump to Castle Age and develop a booming strategy.