1.16 Arab UHV Guide


Jun 6, 2011
Made this thread a while ago but I've nailed down the strategy to consistent at beating the Arabs UHV.

This guide describes how to beat the Arabs UHV without cheesing the Turks! It's an easy UHV if you cheese the Turks, but fudge that. I want to win without any bullfeathers. This strategy is easier on maraton, not sure why, but works on normal. Difficult is regent, I doubt it would work on paragon, but I dislike that level of difficulty.

So here we go.


1. Spawn. Do your workers how you like, I keep two improving Mecca and Yemen, and the other two to connect to Jerusalem. Send units towards Jerusalem. Harbor in Mecca and Yemen.
2. In the turn before Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Levant flip, switch to monarchy, manorialism, vassalage. Honestly I haven't really tried out a despotism strategy, but I think monarchy is still better in the long run, you're surviving for so long you kind of want the pop.
3. Note that you can reload before the flip for Byzantium to declare war on the flip (~10% chance), which gives you an additional group of units. Up to you, it can help but isn't actually needed.
4. Research path is politics, civil service, feudalism, after that is up to you. Politics to access civil service and feudalism, civil service for Ghazis and feudalism for Mobile Guard. Avoid paper and compass, as great scientists will bulb them for you.
5. The flip. You get Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia, which all contain good cities. Here's a brief breakdown of them.
- Alexandria: Low production, decent pop. The moment it grows a bit put two scientist specialists up. Ideally you should get 2-3 Great Scientists throughout the UHV run with Alexandria which is core to the strategy.
- Cairo: Good all round city. Don't found Luxor.
- Jerusalem: Takes too long to get off the ground. Up to you whether you go Dome of the Rock, it's not like you're building anything better in it.
- Damascus: Great city, good pop and production. Often where I make my Mobile Guards.
- Baghdad: Good city, takes a lot of workers to get going. I tend to use farms for that manorialism+vassalage combo, you could try water wheels, idk.
Micromanage your units the following:
- Egyptian Spearman spread out south of Cairo. Stay the whole game and kill Nubian medjays.
- Your "4 unit packs" (2 guard, 2 ghazi) in Egypt and Mecca both towards Baghdad.
- Distribute so you have an archer in every city minimum. Send excess archers/crossbowmen towards Baghdad.
- Send one settler to Alexandria (don't get free buildings!) and one towards Baghdad.
- Workers how you like. Focus on roads, Jerusalem to Mecca and Baghdad to Damascus.
- Workers in every city. You need a horsehocky ton of workers, I do 2 per city (maybe only one in Alexandria since its so low pop, then barracks. I haven't tested it but you may prefer barracks -> workers, idk which is better.
6. Foreign policy time. Make sure you get open borders with Byzantium and keep good on them, they can and will attack you if you ungarrison Damascus so don't fudge up there with them. Look at Azerbaijan: did Turks settle Rasht? If Turks settle Rasht, get your 8 good units near Rasht, and attack Turks and take Rasht, distribute gold to keep it good. Your units are top quality and will easily kill Oghuz in hills/cities, mobile guards can kill them ~70% in plains. Consider a restart if you lose too many mobile guards fighting Turkestan. If Rasht was not founded, found Tabriz (one tile to the west of Rasht), and push towards Merv.
7. War with Turks. Whether you take Rasht or found Tabriz, keep pushing. Independent Herat will leave you a gap to move your units towards Merv and Samarkand, but eventually will grow a tile to prevent you from doing so. So make sure you get your units to Merv first. Again your units should easily kill archers/horse archers and it's totally doable to take every city with no casualties. Take Merv and Samarkand always. Raze Urgenc. Up to you whether you want to take Orduqent or leave it to barbarians, I'm 50/50. Once you clear up Transoxiana, you have two options: either vassalise Turks or totally wipe them out.
- Vassalise Turks: No further campaign, can focus on infrastructure and not worry about barbarians. Get contact with China for those nice tech trades.
- Kill Turks: Get some XP for your units, but leave Transoxiana potentially vulnerable to barbs. Gift cities to China for goodwill if you can, otherwise grant independence/WB to independents.
8. At this point your economy is absolutely horsehocky. You will be at 0% or 10% tech. Hopefully you don't get the dreaded "strike" (where your econ is negative even with 0%), if you do you are gonna have to take the L, disband ghazis so your mobile guards don't get disbanded. Your first batches of workers are getting up though so your econ will slowly scratch back. Once you've got done 2 workers per city (give or take), get barracks going in every city. Rasht, Damascus and Baghdad when improved will be your production powerhouses. Start House of Wisdom in Mecca and Heavy Galley in Yemen once their harbors are done.
9. Hopefully once you start connecting sheep, horses and camels and silk road spreads a bit your econ will be able to put you up to around 10% or even 20%. If you get a great scientist from Alexandria, save it in Mecca until House of Wisdom is done.
10. Once Damascus and Rasht are done get them to build a catapult or two. These will help you take Shiraz and Herat. Shiraz and Herat are coin tosses: they have walls and crossbowmen, so aren't as easy as Transoxiana. You can suicide your units into them to take them - which is a valid strategy, since you may have to be disbanding units anyway to avoid a strike - but I'd just wait for catapults to make it a bit safer. Again, up to you, either works. Any Great Generals should be used to upgrade mobile guards, you can put them in Damascus/Rasht if you want but up to you.
11. By around 950AD all gone well you should have two great scientists sitting around, House of Wisdom either done or nearly done, all of Persia and Transoxiana conquered, a horde of workers improving tiles and hopefully contact with China. Bulb your great scientists to get some great techs, including civil service.
12. Once you have civil service and barracks it's ghazi time. Every city building ghazis. Once you get feudalism either by research or bulbing build some stables and mobile guards, in theory ghazis are enough though.
13. Be ready now! Seljuks spawn IIRC around 1030 or so, you may have to reload if not ready. Here is how they spawn:
- They target the following cities: Herat, Shiraz, Rasht.
- They spawn with around 2-3 oghuz, 1-2 crossbowmen, 2 trebuchet.
What this means is you need to be able to reliably kill 3 stacks of these units. Consider the following also:
- In general, the AI will siege down a city before attacking it, if they cannot reliably kill the defender in the first attack.
So you also should ideally have crossbowmen in these cities, 2 if you're in a good position (maybe you sold a tech or two to some Asian countries and upgraded some archers). Make sure you have roads up to ensure your army will be able to actually reach the enemy, you don't want to get caught out.
One strategy is to distribute your units in the plains near the cities: this forces the Seljuks to spawn in the hills, where they are far easier to kill. Ideally with ~3 ghazis, your starting units and some crossbowmen, you should reliably be able to kill the Seljuks.
14. Second wave of Seljuks spawns around 1080. They will attack Baghdad, Damascus and Al-Quds with similar forces. Remember, keep building units, you basically don't get to stop building units in this game. Your army will be larger and stronger than in the first wave and should easily knock them out this time. Get open borders with Byzantium and help kill their Seljuks!!! You don't want Ottomans spawning and being *******s.
15. Just before you are fighting Seljuks (~1020 or so) complete two city attack II ghazis in Egypt. Start conquering North Africa - they are no-wall archer/spearmen, so two ghazis will be able to take Benghazi and Tripoli. Remember that spare settler you have? Found Tunis.
16. 1100. Seljuks are defeated with no cities taken. If they take a single city, Ottos can spawn and fudge you up, I must stress how important it is to stop the Seljuks. You have started in North Africa. With House of Wisdom and bulbing you have decent science if not best in the world already. Silk road in Transoxiana, Persia and maybe even Mesopotamia means your econ is now doing well. No stopping yet! Get a fort in the suez, and cogs in every coastal city you can (except Shiraz, I guess). You want around 7 cogs.
17. That massive army you killed the Seljuks with? Into North Africa. Start taking out the Moors, they should easily be beaten, though Marrakesh is a tough nut. Ideally you can attack them before Spain gets conquerors, but Spain will get conquerors either way so I wouldn't worry too much. Don't take Marrakesh, if you kill all but their last unit in Marrakesh they should capitulate. If not, don't worry, sit around and keep killing units til they do. If they ABSOLUTELY WON'T capitulate... idk, worldbuilder them as a vassal.
18. Now you have Morroco as a vassal and a fleet of 7 cogs. Excellent. In an ideal world, Morocco will hold a tile in Spain you can land land units in, if not don't worry, you can still land a few ghazis and be safe. You don't even need siege to kill Spain, a good selection of mobile guards and ghazis is enough.
19. Kill Spain. Even with conquerors Spain is laughably easy to kill, you should be able to take Madrid after killing their army and then their other two cities only have one unit each. Ideally vassalise.
20. Aren't we missing something? Yes, in 1200 a big someone comes. The Mongols! Don't ever stop building units, ever. Spam skirmishers and mobile guards, the army you killed the Seljuks with will be enough to beat Morocco and Spain, but you need a new army. By 1200 you should hopefully have a second army that can kill the Mongols. Accept Samarkand/Merv flipping, but be ready to defend around Herat. Note that they DO get conquerors in Persia, so be ready for a similar situation to Seljuks. If you've got this far though the Mongols really aren't an issue: just don't stop building units! No damn buildings in this strat!
21. Finally. Mongols and Spain defeated, and by around 1260 you should have all territory. Trade techs with Vikings/France if you are still behind Byzantium in any way, or run 4 priests in Jerusalem for a few turns for a Great Prophet to bulb, or both to guarantee science.
22. Come 1300, and congratulations, you have beat the real challenge of the Arab UHV.
23. It's easy mode from here, just use your massive army to conquer Europe and get 30% Islam. Run tributaries and vassalise to keep stability and econ good, I've found that the best vassals are Spain, Holy Rome, Byzantium, France. Don't bother with Italy or Portugal since you can give their cities to your other vassals.

Other notes:
- Once House of Wisdom is done in Mecca, you should absolutely grab Spiral Minaret which can get you from a horsehockey 20% tech rate to an impressive 40%. This is pretty important to avoid just bulbing. You may also want to run great prophets in Jerusalem earlier so you can get the Islamic holy building for even more cash. Finally, University of Sankore and regulated trade in Mecca means you will be getting enough gold to go run something like 60% cash.
- Just because Mongols get Transoxiana for free doesn't mean you shouldn't improve. Silk, camels and horses there means you will be able to get even more silk route profits.
- If you want, run despotism for a bit to whip out cogs and military units. Ideally though you don't even need to.
- Tech trade! You can often grab some easy techs by trading with Vikings and China.
- Don't worry about managing population. High pop core cities plus a huge historical area means you don't have to worry about stability, I have never collapsed in this strategy except after 1300.
- Actually capitulating Turks is a good idea. You can direct them not to research feudalism, to ensure they don't get Lancers and stay spawning Oghuz. If they spawn Lancers you may be doomed!

EDIT: Doing playtesting and capitulating Turks and managing their research is a god-tier strat. If you make sure they don't get civil service and feudalism by forcing them to research navigation and other useless techs, and don't trade them techs, you can make them spawn with Oghuz, Catapults and Swordsmen rather than Heavy Swordsmen, Lancers, Trebuchet and Crossbowmen. This obviously makes it way easier for you to kill them.

I will post some screenshots soon.
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Thanks a lot for this, arabs seemed extremely fun to play but I always failed taking Persia as I left it alone till the Seljuk spawn. Do the ottomans only spawn if the Seljuks conquer a city then? I recently had no ottomans in a Byzantine game and was confused
I'm fairly sure that if the Seljuks never take a city then the Ottomans don't spawn. I'm not sure to what extent: can they take a single city in Persia and still spawn? Idk, you can test if you want.
A few tips on Persia:
- If you're still unconfident (which I am, sometimes I can't even take Herat), just sit ~4 ghazis next to both Persian cities. When the Seljuks spawn they'll siege down Herat and Shiraz and then you can kill their armies and easily take the cities without any significant casualties.
- While both cities are really good, it does bode just waiting to take them. Build up catapults first and save your troops rather than suiciding into the Persian cities, unless all 4 mobile guards and 4 ghazis survive.
This strategy seems interesting.
I'm trying to follow it in some games for testing.

The plan to attack Turks is good. Turks will allways capitulate after getting Samarkand.
The problem in that area is a random stack of three barbarian horses, so it is necessary to keep 3 mobile guards in Merv to defend the area.

Persia is not a problem: a suicide attack is resolutive. Lot of casualties, but those cities fall at last.

The great problem is money. The key not to bankrupt is to delay conquest in North Africa and Maghreb.
After all cities in the east became productive it is possible to put research slide from 0% to 10% and have positive gold.

I built barracks first in smaller cities, then workers. In larger cities, first a worker then barracks.
After that, because Feudalism was far to be researched, i become to build madrasses ad jails.

Dome of Rock in Jerusalem, House of Wisdom in Mecca, Spiral Minaret in Damascus.

I'm afraid i don't understand how House ow Wisdom works. I moved 2 GS from Alexandria to Mecca, and i waited for HoW.
After that i bulbed a GS, getting Paper and something else.
The second GS had no bulb to click.
Nice strategy, never tried the Monarchy strategy since I always use Despotism and Slavery

My personal tips for Arab UHV:
  • I like to settle Mecca 1N of starting point. Less :commerce: from Incense but more :hammers: from hill and 1 farm tile North.
  • Spawn the Great Prophet ASAP. Masjid Al Haram and Dome of the Rock are your best source of income. I'm still can't believe anyone able to control Persia and Turkestan without going bankrupt xD.
  • Raze Bengazi (the city west of Egypt).
  • Settling Great General in Mecca/Baghdad/Damascus combined with Conquest and Theocracy allows you to triple promote Mobile Guards, which very helpful to fight the Seljuks.
  • Turks will get conqueror event regardless of vassal status, and even gets forced respawn if they're dead. But like you said, having the Turks as vassal also bring its benefits as well.
  • Mobile Guards are better than Ghazi in every way possible. Dunno if the slight faster build time of Ghazi is worth early on, but I never get to train them as I always research Feudalism before Civil Service.
  • Spiral Minaret is far better than House of Wisdom and should be prioritized, even La Mezquita and Sankore were still better though they are harder to build.
  • Spain gets conqueror units in Cordoba around 1200-1300, I usually would prioritize them over Moors
  • The ideal army count for fighting Seljuks would be 4-5 Mobile Guards in Jerusalem, Damascus, and Baghdad, at least one of them should have a medic promotion. Sometimes I make mistake by overproducing them instead of making vital buildings or workers.
  • No need to kill Seljuk trebuchets on the first turn, save 2 or 3 of your units to protect Byzantines. They can do nothing with just trebuchets anyway. Same with Mongols.
  • One trick to fight Moor is to send 1 settler Westward early on, wait 2 turns after Moor spawn, then settle Aljazair or Wahran in Maghreb. Not only you can limit their city options, Wahran also acts as your vital port to easily transport your armies between Spain and Maghreb.
  • Never research Paper before the UHV deadline(unless you are confident to get the tech lead). Don't let the Library of Alexandria go obsolete. (Ironic how the Arabs ingame depend more on an ancient Greek library than their own, the House of Wisdom)
  • 2 Great Scientist bulbs are usually enough to meet the UHV requirements. Sometimes I use one of them to build Academy in Alexandria.
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I did!
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Year 968, I see a plantation in Samarkand, and some cottage in Iraq & Egypt. You did good but the -1 income at 10% slider still scare me. I never train more than 3 workers to work every city, maybe I should try it too.

Do you play on the latest update? My last DoC update was like 6 months ago, and it seems every spawned civs have forced peace treaty, which makes conquering Turks early on is impossible.
I'm playing on version 1.16, not last update because of incompatibility of savegames. (I have some savegames to complete before updating my mod).
-1 income is not a problem. The problem is 12 turns to Feudalism, and it is 968AD.
I have to research Feudalism to train Mobile Guards before Seljuks come.
But i'm triyng to solve a problem at a time.

First problem is not to go to bankrupt, and the solution is not to settle cities, and delay North Africa.
Research slide to 0%.
Just vassalize Turks, and get Persia.

Second problem is to research Feudalism. And this point is not yet solved.

Third problem is how to use House of Wisdom: the OP said to bulb a GS in Mecca after House of Wisdom was built, but i got two techs as usual.:think:
The second problem of the game with Arabs is the pop-up of Turks about 976AD.
Whenever vassalized or destroyed, they popup with 3 stacks of 2 horses+2soldiers+1cata near 3 cities in Persian area.
I need at least 6 mobile guards to hit them before they attack, and i have not!

So, i have to delay conquest of North Africa according with OP.

If i well understood the events, there are two waves of attacks, first one about 976AD in Persia, second one after 1000AD in Levant.

It is a waste of time to destroy Turks as they respawn anyway.
So it is better to vassalize them and control their research.
And garrison Persian cities with 2 crossbows in each.

So, i have to rewind and start again.
Thanks a lot for this, arabs seemed extremely fun to play but I always failed taking Persia as I left it alone till the Seljuk spawn. Do the ottomans only spawn if the Seljuks conquer a city then? I recently had no ottomans in a Byzantine game and was confused
IIRC the Ottoman spawn requires that the Turks capture any city in Mesopotamia
So, this strategy works well. I completed my conquest about 1200AD and i was attacking France to spread Islamism, when i realized i forgotten Mongols conqueror event.

So, there are two conqueror events with Turks.
About 1000AD in Persia, 3 stacks.
About 1100AD in Middle East 4 stacks.

Then there is Spanish conqueror event just before 1200AD near Cordoba.
And finally Mongolian conqueror event in Persia, just after 1200AD.

I had about 20 Mobile Guards in Barcelona and i had to reload.

So, after Moors capitulate, i had to garrison Cordoba, and wait for Spanish conqueror event.
5 Mobile Guards are enough.
And the rest of the army must wait in Persia for Mongols.

Army is never big enough!
After those scripted events, Mongols are going to invade with a small army trough silk route.
So, after smashing the scripted stacks about 1200AD, i had to wait for another stack coming from Samarkand, composed by some Heavy Swords and bombards.
I hope this is the last threat.

Odd fact: i was building a wonder in Herat: Gur e Amir.

Well, it was almost completed when i was attacked by Mongols.
I was waiting for them behind the walls of Herat. They come, and city falled in panic because of their knights.

Gur e Amir stopped to build because culture in Herat went down to zero, and a wonder is not allowed to be built with zero culture in a city.
Annoyance: just 3 turns to complete wonder!

Luckily after the battle, in a couple of turns Herat came back peaceful, with all previous culture, and i could complete Gur e Amir in 3 turns.
Top score ever!
Spoiler :

Moors vassalized
Spain deleted
France vassalized
Aztecs vassalized
Incas vassalized
Italy conquered
Byzantines collapsed (got Belgrad, Athens and Costantinopolis)

The mediterranean tour was almost finished, when Islam spread to 30% and game was over.

Lot of fun with Arabs.


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The history began when God talked by the voice of the last of His prophets, Muhammad.
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God said: "You shall go back to the holy city, and settle. I will follow you."
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And so it was!
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And a new rule of civics has done!
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And soon His speech spread in the world, and people converted to the new rule!
And the infidels declared war to the Prophet.
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God said: "Where the Word of God does not arrive, the sword will do!"
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And the Word of God was spread by His sword.
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And spread...
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And spread...
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Until the first peace.
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And God said: "You shall pray, and work the land! I will teach you the knowledges you need!"
And so it was.

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"And you shall build a house for knowledge and wisdom, and I will send sorcerers and wise men to the house!"
And so it was.

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"And you shall build a house for those who pray!"
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"And a high tower to link the ground to the heaven!"
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"And rivers of gold and riches will irrigate your land..."


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"But those who once were subdued, wanted our gold and riches sent by God..."
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"Armies came from the North"

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"But those who once knew the strength of the sword, will also know the hoofs of our horses!"

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"And it was peace, again!"
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"Beware those who were once subdued and then betrayed you. They will betray again, luring new enemies against you!"
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"You shall build a big shrine to celebrate the glory of God!
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"And who once betrayed you, betray you again! He did not learn the might of God! He will learn this time!"
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"It's time to spread the word of God! Take your army and go to the west, until the end of the world. Override those who will not submit, and subdue those who recognize the glory of God! You will reward!"

And so it was!

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And the promise reward came with a new era of knowledge!

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"Even your enemies will recognize your greatness, and they will kneel to you!"

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"And the time of the knowledge of the art of war will come..."
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"And your armies shall reach the western coasts of the sea..."
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I played the UHV and Elective seems pretty strong. I keep Despotism and Citizenship at start while revolting to Manorialism to whip Workers and a bit of infrastructure, then Elective/Vassalage shoots up my :science: from 10% to 30%. A few turns after that, you can hit 50% :science: or more and still have time to build up your army (on Regent/Normal).
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