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The Sicilians are defined as an infantry and cavalry civilization. However, their true strength comes from their ability to quickly build up, be it using Serjeants to build their signature Donjons, or their ability to build Town Centers and Castles twice as quickly. Due to the mechanically complex nature of the civilization, it is designed for more experienced players.

Strengths[]

One of the most notable advantages of the Sicilians is their ability to build Donjons. These buildings, which replace towers for the Sicilians, are more expensive than standard towers, but also possess the ability to train the Serjeant unique unit. These Serjeants can then be used to build more Donjons. This synergy can be useful in building towers around either one's own base or in forward positions, without demanding too much Villager time. Furthermore, although Serjeants are available in the Feudal Age in a weakened state, they are automatically upgraded upon reaching the Castle Age. The Serjeants themselves are fairly standard infantry units, with less attack but more armor than the Militia line.

Once in the Castle Age, Sicilians can build Town Centers and Castles twice as quickly as other civilizations. Town Centers and Castles typically take a Villager 150 and 200 seconds to build, respectively, so being able to place these quickly is useful both for expanding one's economy and quickly dropping a Castle for either defensive or offensive purposes.

Sicilians are also above average on water-heavy maps. Their naval tech tree is only missing the Elite Cannon Galleon, and their team bonus, which improves the carry capacity and durability of Transport Ships, improves their ability to conduct raids using land units.

Last, but perhaps most critically, is that Sicilian units take half of the bonus damage that other civilizations' units take. This bonus is almost universally valuable, regardless of strategy chosen by both players. For example, in a Sicilian Knight Rush, Sicilian Knights will only take +8 bonus damage instead of the typical +15 from enemy Spearmen, making them much more capable of defeating any quickly built defenders. This effect even lasts to the very late game, when much of the balance between trash units is based on their bonus damage.

Weaknesses[]

The first notable weakness of the Sicilians is their early economy. Although their more effective farm upgrades and quickly built Town Centers can be considered economic bonuses, these do not have an effect on gameplay until the mid-Feudal Age and Castle Age, respectively. This gives the Sicilians a harder time rushing foes or reacting to rushes.

Furthermore, the Sicilians lack access to many military units and technologies. Their archers are especially weak, missing Ring Archer Armor, Thumb Ring, the Hand Cannoneer, and both the Heavy Cavalry Archer and Parthian Tactics. They are also notably missing the Hussar and Paladin upgrades at the Stable, the Bombard Cannon and Siege Onager at the Siege Workshop (until update 47820), and half of the technologies at the Monastery.

Strategy[]

Sicilians are able to do potent rushes as well as performing an economic boom or go defensive and turtle. One of the most important features Sicilians have, military speaking, is their unique unit, the Serjeant, and unique building, the Donjon. These are available since the Feudal Age, unlike other unique buldings or units, and if used in combination, are able to perform a Donjon Drop tactic. This strategy can be considered a variant of the typical Tower rush, but with a very peculiar twist, since it does not require the assistance of Villagers (except for the placing of the first Donjon), since Serjeants (which, in the Feudal Age, have very similar stats to Men-at-Arms) are able to build and repair them. Donjons are more expensive than a Tower, but they have more garrison room and hit points than a Watch Tower in the Feudal Age. Also, they don't have to be upgraded, as they automatically gain better stats when aging up. Considering Serjeants can create Donjons and Donjons can create Serjeants, this strategy may snowball quickly with enough resources.

All Sicilian land units have bonus armor against their normal unit counters which makes them absorb 50% of that damage. This means that, for example, a Halberdier will be less effective against Sicilian cavalry than a generic cavalry from other civilizations. Since this bonus is descentralized, it gives the Sicilians a lot of flexibility and an important defensive edge. The units that get the most out of this particullar bonus are cavalry, since these units will only receive +11 damage from Pikemen and +16 damage from Halberdiers, respectively, instead of +22 damage and +32 damage from the aformentioned units, making Knight raiding a posibility to consider in the middle game.

A Sicilian boom can be a very appealing strategy, considering they can save a lot of wood due to their farm bonus, and can create Town centers incredibly fast. When a Sicilian player pursues a booming strategy with many Town Centers, First Crusade becomes an effective way to quickly raise a military, since it can summon up to 35 Serjeants at one's Town Centers. Note, however, that if one does not have at least two Town Centers, then the technology is more expensive than simply training 7 Serjeants. First Crusade may be used as a "panic button" in case Sicilians need to defend their base with few troops. First Crusade may also be researched even when the player has maxed out their population and can't train more units (and still get the Serjeants at each Town Center).

A Sicilian Boom can be followed by a Castle drop, since Sicilian Castles can be created 100% faster. Indeed, responding to a Sicilian Castle drop with a defensive emergency Castle may be very ineffective. Also, Sicilians in this regard are able to respond to an enemy Castle drop with their own Castles.

An important part of the Sicilian toolkit is their unique technology Scutage(Before Dawn of The Dukes), which grants every team member 15 Gold per military unit. In the late game, this can equate to a net gain of over 1,000 Gold, making it a potential way to turn the tide of battles when gold has run scarce. However, if used at the wrong time, it could be much less effective, or even fail to make back enough gold to justify its initial price of 500 food and 400 gold. If used in Combination with First Crusade, Scutage may grant the Sicilians 525 gold if they maximized the effect of First Crusade. Of course, it is preferable that they also have an army before using their two unique technologies in combination, since otherwise, the gold return may not be worth it.

In naval matches, Sicilians do fairly well, having all naval technologies except Elite Cannon Galleon. Their team bonus enables them to better perform early landings, since their Transport Ships can garrison 5 more units and have bonus armor vs anti-ship damage. This bonus armor also enables the Transport Ship to act as a shielding unit or a punching bag, as they can be placed in front of the player's warships to protect them against enemy ships. Donjons also give them an edge on island maps for coastal defenses.

Patch updates[]

In update 47820, the Sicilians gain access to the Siege Onager, giving them a late-game "power-unit" to address their late-game weaknesses. In addition, Donjons cost less stone, making it easier for the Sicilians to repair their Donjons when necessary. The First Crusade technology is given a long-lasting effect of conversion resistance, which stacks with Faith and the Teutons' team bonus. This is considered to be historically inaccurate, as the Sicilians were religiously tolerant and secular, but this effect was added for gameplay balance purposes since the Sicilian's Siege Onagers would be vulnerable to conversion due to the lack of Heresy. Finally, the Serjeants are given significant increase in stats, making them more effective in melee combat.

Strategy changes in Dawn of the Dukes[]

In update 51737, the Sicilians gained another civilization bonus where they start with +100 stone. This is mostly to address the high stone cost of the Donjon, as it allows the Sicilians to easily repair the Donjons for both offensive and defensive plays. On the other hand, the +100 stone allows the Sicilians to opt for the three Town Center boom, since their Town Centers are built faster. It can also be sold early in the Feudal Age in order to allow the Sicilians to advance faster to the Castle Age, preferably only needing to collect 10 stone if sold before anyone else sells stone. The Sicilians also have their Imperial Age unique technology replaced with Hauberk, which makes their Knights more durable with +1/+2 armor. This makes the Sicilian Cavalier more durable than a fully upgraded Paladin when it comes to surviving archer shots (it takes 70 shots from a generic fully upgraded Arbalester to kill a fully upgraded Sicilian Cavalier, as opposed to the 60 shots for a generic Paladin). Combined with Sicilian Cavaliers taking less anti-cavalry damage from Camels and Halberdiers and conversion resistance from First Crusades, it makes Sicilian Cavaliers a formidable late-game unit to pair alongside with their Siege Onagers and their infantry.

Finally, the Sicilians team bonus was replaced with the first Transport Ship being free and created instantly. This is mainly because the increased Transport Ship capacity was too similar to the Saracens' civilization bonus, and Transport Ships were often used as "meatshields" in Galley fights due to the increased armor against anti-ship bonus damage. On the other hand, the free Transport Ship team bonus allow the Sicilians and their teammates to save wood in water maps for military buildings for their landings. Later, the team bonus was replaced again, making Transport Ships 50% cheaper while giving +5 Line of Sight.

"Dynasties of India"[]

The Hauberk is more expensive, as it costs 200 more food and gold, while the Serjants trained in Donjons have the same time as the Castle ones, and the Feudal Donjon has more hit points. This is because for most of the games, the Sicilians are regarded as a cavalry civilization, as their Hauberk is too rewarding and cheap, making the Cavalier hard to deal with, combined with their halved bonus damage. Because of this, the Serjeants are underused. This adjustment is to encourage Sicilians to try a Donjon rush with Serjeants.

Alliances[]

Sicilians in team games are very flexible; they can take the role of the defending player or they can rush an opponent if they are placed on the flank postition, but they are also a good civilization if the player is in the pocket position between two allies, since they can also perform a boom and act as a springboard for springboard tactics.

Sicilians are known for their economical advantage about food supply. Thanks to their civilization bonus, their farm yields the highest amount of food (925) of all civilizations when fully upgraded. Combined with the Chinese team bonus, their farm yields even more food (970), saving even more wood in the long run.

As a civilization without any unique bonus in the Dark Age, Sicilian players may need to build walls and Donjons earlier against early rushes from enemies. As Donjons count as towers, the Ethiopian team bonus proves useful for Sicilian players to build up a network of Donjons for base defense or as a major component of forward bases. Apart from that, cheaper walls from Mayan allies and sturdier Palisade Walls from Cuman allies will also help (in the Imperial Age, Cuman allies also grant free Kipchaks via Cuman Mercenaries as a major firepower supplement for the infantry-oriented Sicilian army, albeit in limited numbers).

The unique charm of Sicilian land units is the ability to absorb bonus damage from enemy units. Just like other infantry-oriented civilizations, nonetheless, Sicilian players should ally with civilizations that grant shared unique units or bring in a relevant team boost to make their armies less vulnerable to missile fire or cavalry charges. Teaming with an Italian ally will be one the best bets about this issue, for that make the Sicilian Condottieri one of the beefiest of the kind that can shield other types of their infantry from enemy Hand Cannoneers to maximum effect. A Berber ally also brings in beefy, gold-free Genitours to fend off groups of enemy archers and cavalry archers (also a vital component to win the trash wars), plus the Kasbah technology to allow Sicilian Castles to produce Serjeants and Trebuchets quicker. If enemy players use melee cavalry as mainstay of their armies, the Gothic team bonus will allow Sicilian players to spam more Halberdiers to stop enemy cavalry charges. If enemy players utilize Monks to support their offensives, the Teutonic team bonus will also make Sicilian infantry more able to help their mediocre cavalry to bring down enemy Monks. A Vietnamese ally grants the Sicilian players the Imperial Skirmisher upgrade, gifting them another wise choice against enemy archers and cavalry archers alike, and they can adress the location of the opponents for more effective Donjon rushes.

The Hauberk technology encourages Sicilian players to field more Cavaliers with extra pierce armor in the late-game. That means Sicilian Cavaliers will benefit from a more relevant bonus from prominent allied cavalry-based civilizations: food and gold trickle from obtained Relics from Burgundian allies, extra line-of-sight from Frankish allies, more efficient Stables from Hunnic allies, and attack bonus against archers from Persian allies.

On water maps, the Sicilians can have good synergies with any civilization with some advantage of naval warfare. Obvious choices are to ally with the Vikings, as they receive extra wood discount for cheaper Transport Ships, while Saracen can save more wood for further upgrades. If allied with the Dravidians, each Sicilian Dock can provide 5 population. The Sicilian navy can also receive firepower support from the Dravidian Thirisadais.

Compared Advantages and Disadvantages[]

Advantages vs other civilizations[]

  • Unlike most civilizations, the Sicilians can theoretically perform a Feudal Age rush without building a Barracks, Archery Range, or Stable. This can be accomplished by building Donjons and using them to train Serjeants. This combination of what is effectively a tower rush and an infantry rush can also be performed with minimal Villager investment, arguably making the Donjon rush the best Tower Rush strategy available.
  • Because of the reduced bonus damage their units take, most of the standard unit counters won't be as effective against Sicilian units. This effectively makes their units much sturdier than usual, even without any direct stat improvements. This also means that a homogeneous Sicilian army can not be countered as easily as an equivalent army from another civilization.
  • The Serjeant is a potential replacement for the Militia line, due to their comparable attributes. Whether the Serjeant is a better choice is arguable, but the Sicilians are fortunate enough to have access to fully upgraded Champions as well as Elite Serjeants.
  • On water-heavy maps, the Sicilians are above average, if not top tier, due to their almost complete naval technology tree and a team bonus that helps their Transport Ships.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations[]

  • The Sicilians' weak Archery Range hinders them across much of the game. Only a few civilizations have a similarly limited archery technology tree. The only point where their archers are on par with those of other civilizations is in the Feudal Age, and even then they lack any relevant bonus.
  • Sicilians lack any early game economic bonus which would be useful for a Rushing strategy. Although they can still rush, and even use their reduced bonus damage to great effect, they will likely be behind other civilizations at the same point in the early game.
  • Unlike other Mediterranean civilizations, the Sicilians are mostly lacking access to gunpowder units, including the Hand Cannoneer. As their Archer line is fairly weak, this can leave them without a very effective counter to enemy infantry.
  • Despite their cavalry taking less bonus damage, the Sicilian Cavalier still struggles against Heavy Camel Riders, especially when against civilizations with bonuses for camels such as Hindustanis, Gurjaras, Saracens, Berbers and Malians.

Situational advantages[]

  • Donjons can be a mixed bag defensively. They will possess more HP than the equivalent Watch Tower in the Feudal and Castle Age, but have equal HP and less attack than the Guard Tower and Keep, while costing 25 more wood and 50 more stone. That being said, the ability to train Serjeants is invaluable, especially since they perform well against the rams that may be used to attack Donjons. It is also worth noting that Sicilians lack the Bombard Tower, meaning the Donjon and the Castle are their only fortification options.
  • In maps that start with a Castle (like in Regicide mode or in the Fortress map), they can start to train their Serjeants at the Castle in the Feudal Age. In Fortress, since there are already farms placed, they may get another edge in Castle Age, Imperial Age or Post-Imperial Age starts, since Mill technologies will be already researched.
  • First Crusade can still be researched even in Post-Imperial starts. First Crusade has a lot more impact in low-population settings, since the Serjeants will still be spawned even if the population limit is reached.
  • The Silicians excel in closed maps like Black Forest, as their Donjons can secure narrow chokepoints within the pathways and their farm bonus have long-term value with the abundance of Forest.
  • In Sudden Death mode, the First Crusade technology is limited in functionality, since in this mode, players are restricted to only one Town Center. However, the technology is still useful for defending, since players will be defeated if the Town Center is destroyed. in maps that starts with two or more Town Centers (like Budapest), First Crusade is a much more useful technology.
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Strategies in Age of Empires II
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AoE2-DLCicon-0.png The Age of KingsBritons · Byzantines · Celts · Chinese · Franks · Goths · Japanese · Mongols · Persians · Saracens · Teutons · Turks · Vikings
AoE2-DLCicon-1.png The ConquerorsAztecs · Huns · Koreans · Mayans · Spanish
AoE2-DLCicon-2.png The ForgottenIncas · Hindustanis · Italians · Magyars · Slavs
AoE2-DLCicon-3.png The African KingdomsBerbers · Ethiopians · Malians · Portuguese
AoE2-DLCicon-4.png Rise of the RajasBurmese · Khmer · Malay · Vietnamese
AoE2-DLCicon-5.png The Last KhansBulgarians · Cumans · Lithuanians · Tatars
AoE2Icon-LordsWest.png Lords of the WestBurgundians · Sicilians
Dawn of the Dukes icon.png Dawn of the DukesBohemians · Poles
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia.png Dynasties of IndiaBengalis · Dravidians · Gurjaras
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