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Egypt as a full civ

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall: Europe' started by AbsintheRed, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    As it came up recently, I plan to add a couple new civs to the mod.
    Egypt is one of them according to my current plans.
    It's the most controversial one though, because of the huge overlap with the Arab civ.

    So this is mainly a brainstorming thread, to see if it really is feasible to have them both, with a fun and unqiue enough gameplay.
    As a start, I will mostly focus on the UHVs, as probably that's the most critical part.
    My initial thoughts about them:

    Arabia spawns in 632, with a much bigger army.
    1st UHV, Rise of Islam: conquer all of NAfrica, Egypt, Levant, and some mediterranean islands by 909? 960?
    (they loose most of the NAfrican territory with the Egyptian (Fatimid) spawn in 969)
    2nd UHV, Golden Age of Islam: a tech+wonder goal. not really sure about the details, but the decline in the number of cities helps a lot in the tech progress. Also a very good use for the madrassas.
    3rd UHV, World of Islam: same as now, spread Islam to a big percentage of the total population of the map.

    Egypt: spawns in 969 as the Fatimids, with their conquest of Egypt.
    1st UHV, Fatimids: similarly to the 1st Arab UHV, a quick conqurest goal with a big starting army - control all the Fatimid territories in the mid 11th century
    2nd UHV, Ayyubids: ensure that Catholic civs don't control cities in the Levant for too long. In my mind it would work best as a counter. Each catholic city +1 per turn, catholic Jerusalem +2 per turn. You loose the UHV if the counter reaches 20/30/whatever balance dictates.
    3rd UHV: Mamluks: dominate the Islamic world. There are plenty of opportunities: cultural dominance, or in gamescore, or simply challenge both the Ottomans and the Tunesians/Moroccans for some territories.

    This is very vague, and would love to hear the initial impressions about them, also suggestions how to improve them.
    Criticism is also welcomed, I might even decide not to implement Egypt as a full civ if the concensus is that it can't be done properly.
     
  2. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    For the Arabian control UHV, there was once a discussion to make it a 2 step UHV, like the Ethiopian UHV in DoC. It is basically combining the 1st and 2nd UHV into one, with 2 checks at certain turns. I personally quite like it.
     
  3. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    Mamluks did not want to dominate the Islamic World, as I've already explained (they never attempted to conquer the Ottomans or Anatolia). They were primarily focused on:

    1) Saving/Protecting themselves from the Mongols + finishing off the Crusaders

    2) Making money --> and during this time the Islamic world became "centred" on Cairo, and Egypt was one of the richest places on earth (outside of N. India and China), definitely by trade standards.

    3) At the very end of their lifespan in the late 15th and early 16th centuries they were engaged with evicted the Portuguese from the Indian Ocean and then the Red Sea. In 1517 when the Ottomans arrive, a lot of their army was actually in Yemen, fighting off the Portuguese who were raiding the Hejaz.

    Therefore for the Mamluks I recommend the following UHVs:

    1) Do not lose a city (the Mongols mounted several large campaigns in Syria in the 13th/14th century)

    2) Having the highest income/highest production/highest trade income --> something along these lines

    3) Gain access to the Indian Ocean ---> this would be something like building a colonial project. I would recommend including "Portuguese" barbarians in the Red Sea if possible, to simulate the large galley/Nao warfare of the Red Sea. The Mamluks invested a lot into the war, but it was the Ottomans who eventually ended the Portuguese threat.
     
  4. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    Ideas on Arab UHVs:

    1st UHV, Rise of Islam: conquer all of NAfrica, Egypt, Levant, and some mediterranean islands by 909? 960?
    (they loose most of the NAfrican territory with the Egyptian (Fatimid) spawn in 969)
    • This should include the "Thuggur" (sp?), which was the frontline between the Caliphate and the Byzantines, in the Taurus mountains. In game this would include Malatya, and should include Sis in Cilicia as well.
    • I still push for Fatimid spawn in North Africa in 909. The Arabs should have a chance to hold onto Egypt. There was no guaranteed chance that the Fatimids would conquer Egypt, they tried several times and failed. I think this would make the Fatimids and Arabs FAR more interesting. Plenty of civs have conquest starts, in other mods as well. Can't you direct the AI towards Egypt, and change border/core areas?

    2nd UHV, Golden Age of Islam: a tech+wonder goal. not really sure about the details, but the decline in the number of cities helps a lot in the tech progress. Also a very good use for the madrassas.
    • Having a list of techs would be best, but this is good overall.


    3rd UHV, World of Islam: same as now, spread Islam to a big percentage of the total population of the map.
    • This really wasn't a concern for the Umayyads or the Abbasids. In fact the Umayyads actively discouraged conversion, and was one reason for the Abbasid Revolution, because they looked down on converts. Abbasids also weren't that thrilled about it. Conversion happened naturally over time, but spiked for various reasons in the late 800s/early 900s.
    • Another better one would be to hold onto Egypt/Levant/Syria/Arabia + Thuggur, by 1258. It could be called: The Abbasid Restoration, in recognition of the efforts of al-Mu'tasim after he evicted the Tulunids and strengthened Abbasid power. IRL though his efforts eventually failed, and the Abbasids became puppets of the Buyids of Daylam (N. Iran).

    Also can we add Ghulam (slave) soldiers for the Arabs? Having them as mercenaries would work, since not all were slaves, they all required payment (unlike traditional slaves), and they were not all Turks (some Iranians, some Europeans etc). They would be heavy soldiers, good at city defence where they were concentrated.
     
  5. DC123456789

    DC123456789 Chieftain

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    That seems far too easy for the 3rd UHV, IMO. Maybe a goal to reassert your primacy over Islam as the proper Caliph would be better?
     
  6. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    Reconquer Ifriqiya from the Fatimids you mean? Also in the face of increased rebels (barbarians) and a massive AI Fatimid (Egypt) invasion, I don't think this will be easy.

    You guys need to understand that the 900s were a time of huge rebellions and revolts of every kind. I can help increase the barbarian pressure on the Abbasids to make the UHV actually difficult. This should be crisis mode for the Abbasids. Historically they survived but only for a couple decades.
     
  7. DC123456789

    DC123456789 Chieftain

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    Sure, but 300 years is plenty of time to recover and reconquer Egypt.
     
  8. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    No, the goal would be to hold onto Egypt, the Fatimids AI would spawn in Ifriqiya (all of Algeria to Libya + Sicily) and would spawn stacks to target Egypt. Your goal would be to hold onto Egypt until 969 or 1000 (w/e). This would create new challenges each time, rather than all of Egypt just magically flipping. Between 900-969, the Fatimids did not control Egypt. That is a considerable amount of time which shouldn't be ignored.
     
  9. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I don't think it will create new challenges at all. The AI is just plain stupid. It will be very easy to hold on to Egypt.
     
  10. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    Well thinking of SoI, the Ottomans, Ghorids, Zengids, Seljuks etc, they all expand in a historic manner. Why can't the AI be directed to do the same thing in SOI? Start off with REALLY bad relations (as in IRL), and have the AI declare war on whoever controls Egypt, and spawn stacks next to it. Once they conquer Cairo, flip the capital for free or something (like how the Ottomans make Istanbul the capital).

    And if the Arabs (and Fatimids) are AI, then just have the Arabs collapse. As I said the 900s should see more rebels targeting the Abbasids, so this should not be easy for them.

    And so what I mean by "new challenges", is that it would not be the same story every game, since the Fatimids would have to conquer Egypt, and they might fail. There would be a chance for the Arabs to hold onto Egypt as there was IRL.
     
  11. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    969 is a good date for the 1st UHV. If you base it off the full extent of the Abbasid Caliphate then also include Tarsus, Sicily and Crete. Although I think the Arabs may need a stability boost to achieve all that, what with the instability they already get from Orthodoxy and other religions in the Levant and Egypt.

    UHV2 sounds good, absolute tech dominance should be possible for a strong Arab player, and probably al-Walid's tomb as a wonder target.

    Not sure about UHV3 - spreading religion is a bit meh in my opinion. Firstly it will involve a degree of spamming missionaries and GP and not doing much else, secondly it is likely to rely quite a bit on the success of the Ottomans and Cordobans - if they gain supremacy in their regions of the map that may just win the UHV without any effort. Alternatively if they both collapse or stay small then the goal gets so much harder. But there isn't really another good option I can think of.

    Again, UHV1 sounds good. Although flip should probably include Ifriqiya and Cyrenacia and conquest includes Sicily. So that sets the target date of 1091 to coincide with the completion of the Norman conquest of Sicily, unless Sicily will actually spawn in Apulia and Calabria and have to conquer Sicily?

    UHV2 seems a bit easy to me. I've played the Arabs multiple times and have never lost a city to a crusade. The simple fact that you know they are coming and can thus fortify Jerusalem and fill it with troops in preparation means it's easy to hold in my experience.

    This might be more challenging if the Crusades begin just after the Fatamids have taken control and so don't have as much time to fortify the city and prepare an army. However as it stands the three goals for the Fatamids at the moment are broadly military, so you could still focus 100% on army building just to be ready for the crusaders.

    An alternative could be to make Cairo the most cultural and commercial / populous city in the world by a set date. That leans towards the Fatamids UB being the lusterware forge to replace the blacksmith, giving fewer hammer bonuses (+10%:hammers: and +5%:commerce: for gold, silver and copper perhaps), and with an artist slot to allow for early GA pops. Also there would need to be a way to clear any other cities out of the way before the Fatamid spawn to prevent Cairo being cramped by them.

    Also a wonder option which grants extra food and health to compensate for the fact that Cairo is right at the map edge would be useful. I know it's not particularly historical, but for gameplay reasons it would make Cairo much more viable as a large and commercial city than it is right now. Not sure if Cairo had any unique waterworks / health systems which could suit, but the Cairo Citadel could just be used as a generic wonder to give +1:food: from floodplains and +5:health: for example. That way with focused gameplay Cairo could surpass Constantinople and other large cities which will be more health capped at that stage.

    UHV3 sounds good. Possibly something like I suggested before - either vassalising or collapsing the Ottomans, Tunisians and Moroccans. Or something like the last Norwegian UHV - having the highest score, population and culture of any surviving Islamic civ. Although that one is a bit dependent on the success and state of the other Islamic civs.


    Regardless of what you decide, I think Egypt can definitely be introduced as a full civ. It adds flavour to an area of the map which is currently a bit bland, with the Arabs not facing any real opposition in their conquest goals once they overcome the Byzantines, and having forever to do a religious goal which is a bit hit and miss. Adding Egypt and splitting the UHVs will help address this.
     
  12. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Couldn't agree more. The only alternative would be like I suggested in the other thread, with the AI and human players having different flip zones. That would allow for more interesting outcomes like having the player perform the Norman conquest, Arabic conquest of Syria, Teutonic conquest of Livonia for example, but wouldn't mean the AI civs were too easy to bottle up and contain.
     
  13. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    The Abbasids never controlled Sicily. Sicily was done entirely under the directive of, and solely with Aghlabid funding and soldiers. Nothing to do with the Abbasids. Crete.... I'll have to check. Cyprus is the only one that comes to mind as being controlled 'directly'.

    It might make more sense for there to be a new Arab UP, which gives less stability hit for foreign religions (given that Islam was a minority until ~1300, see Richard Bulliet: Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period) and spread Islam. But not the free buildings. This might help the aforementioned problem.

    Given that UHV2 represents the Abbasid Golden Age, it makes little sense for the Tomb of al-Walid, an Umayyad Caliph to be the focus here. Ibn Tulun's Mosque would be far better, representing orthodoxy Sunnism, and architectural models coming from Samarra (it was inspired from the Abbasid Spiral Minaret).

    The flip HAS to include all the territory from Algeria to Libya, and Sicily if there is Islam already present. The Fatimids just took over from the Aghlabids who were over invested in Sicily. But if there is no Islam present in Sicily, then it doesn't make sense to include it.

    Crusades need to be buffed against Human player IMO. But isn't that already in the cards?
     
  14. gilgames

    gilgames Priest-King

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    Well I dont know much about the arabs, but to conquer N.Africa till Algir plus Cyprus seems doable till 900/960. Second could be to build The dome of the rock till 1250 in the holy city. The 3rd uhv is that i never could fulfill. So obviously i dont like it. But it could be to gain 100 faith point. not a big uhv, but it means a lot of conquest, while you are bottled up. I consider it still hard enough. (ps: Bulgarians 100 fp is nearly impossible. ieven if u run 12 city-->3 catherdal + St. Sopfia + 4 GP. Also the uhv text says have at least 100 fp. Well i would understand it if: ...have at least 80 fp.)
    I really dont know about Egypt so no idea for their uhv.
     
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  15. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Crete and Sicily are pretty much the same - both conquered by Islamic emirs who notionally recognised Abbasid surezanity but were almost entirely de facto independent from the 800s onward. Given that the game doesn't really allow the inclusion of this type of relationship, I'd argue for including them in the Abbasid UHV to reflect their influence, and the general influence of the Arabs, even if the islands were never directly controlled by them.

    By the time of the Abbasids Cyprus was under a shared sovereignty agreement with the Byzantines, so the Abbasids never had any direct control over it.

    That would make more sense - auto spread of Islam and no instability from foreign religions would be a stronger UP for the Arabs given the impact of religious instability.

    Not sure you can set up a flip based on religion, sounds like a lot of difficult coding for little gain. Maybe better to have an autospread of Islam into Sicily around 800 and have it flip anyway, as much for gameplay as for history.

    If it is then that might be a viable option. But I'd still lean towards a cultural goal for the 2nd UHV rather than just a 'whack a crusader' goal.
     
  16. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    I meant to write Umayyads, but yes the Condominium occurred much earlier than I thought, in 688. But that can still count as part of an Arab goal.

    I'd argue against having de facto independent Emirs be part of the Arab UHVs. Keep Sicily and Crete separate. Have Barbarians spawn, or Independent armies like the 4th Crusade (1204) in SOI. These were individually done conquests without any say from the Abbasid Caliph. Keep the conquests to what the Umayyads/Abbasids actually had direct control of.

    North Africa, Egypt, Levant, Cilicia, Cyprus, Thuggur (Border region - Malatya), Arabia, all sounds good to me IMO. Do we need to add more to that?

    No mod has ever done this before? What about Leoreth in Dawn of Civilization. But hey, I'm just coming up with ideas, if it is unfeasible, just ignore it.


    IMO let's have both for the Arabs.

    1 UHV: Expansion

    2 UHV: Technology (+culture?)

    3 UHV: Survive the barbarian hordes! (Fatimids, Crusaders, resurgent Byzantines + Eastern Barbarians). IMO that sounds fun.
     
  17. The Turk

    The Turk Chieftain

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    Also.... Camel resource! When? If we have walrus for Iceland, surely we can have camels for parts of N. Africa, Transjordan and Arabia. As a commerce / production resource I cannot stress its importance enough.
     
  18. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    I can see your point, but I'd argue against having such temporary conquests which were soon reversed. The Umayyads only controlled Cyprus for around 30 years, after which it wasn't under their direct control. Whereas the Emirates of Sicily and Crete lasted over a hundred years and played quite major roles in the Arab conquests and expansion. After all, the Emirate of Sicily played a major role in the founding of the Duchy of Sicily, so if we're adding Sicily it seems right to represent its precursor.

    I guess it will depend on what Absinthe and merjin think will best represent the influence of the Arabs. Although if we are going to include Cyprus then should be not also include Rhodes, which was also captured by the Umayyads and directly controlled a couple of times, albeit similarly briefly.

    I'm not sure if Leoreth ever implemented a flipping mechanism which depended on religion. I know the Byzantine flip only covers cities controlled by the Romans, so perhaps that mechanic could be adapted to flip cities in Sicily to the Fatamids based on their religion? Although I still think Islam should auto spread to Sicily anyway, even if the Arabs don't conquer it. As you say, that can represent the influence of the independent Emirate if the Arabs are AI controlled.

    I definitely think a UHV of survival would be better for the Arabs than for Egypt. Particularly if Egypt and Ifriqiya are flipped by the Egyptians so it is a reconquest goal as much as a survival goal. In fact, if you add Tunis into the mix, then you would have the Arabs needing to kill the Fatamids to reclaim Egypt then the Tunisians to reclaim Ifriqiya whilst also defending Tarsus against the Byzantines and the Levant against the Mongols. Perhaps also add in Armenian barbarians to represent the Kingdom of Cilicia as another barrier for the Arabs (and also Egypt) to overcome. Set the date of the goal to 1260AD and there will be quite a degree of time pressure as well.

    That certainly sounds better than Mamluks camping against the Mongols without any real external opposition.
     
  19. El Bogus

    El Bogus Chieftain

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    I was actually not to enthusiatic about Egypt as a full civ. The Nile Delta offers spots for three cities of which Cairo's BFC isn't even fully on the map and the other cities share a good amount of Marshland tiles. The Sinai Peninsula is also cut off. That said, I'm not pleading for extending the map to the south - it's RFC:Europe after all.
    After thinking about it, I have to admit that more islamic civs are needed. I suggest to add a new colonial ressource "Access to the Indian Ocean" to the Red Sea and make colonies accessible for Arabian civiliziations. Maybe part of the UHVs could be connected to these.
    Given the relatively bad land in the Levant (ingame, of course), it would certainly be interesting to include a tech UHV.
    I am also against "Make sure not to lose any city"-UHV, because it's not encouraging the player to be active.
    Lastly, you have to be aware of not making Egypt and Arabian UHVs too similar. Where is the sense for two civs in having to conquer the exact same area? This is also my main argument against including Egypt. On the other hand, you managed to split the Norse into Norway and Denmark which I both enjoy immensely and England into England and Scotland which feel pretty distinctive.
     
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  20. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Pretty sure that would go against Absinthe's desire to ensure that colonial resources and the associated colonies are only available to one civ. I suppose you could edit it so Asian colonies require either East Asian Access or Atlantic Access, so the Arabs are competing with the colonial civs for them. But I don't see how that helps with the poor quality of resources available in the early game, given that colonies won't be available until after all the UHV dates have been and gone.

    Perhaps a better option would be to use the UBs and UPs of the Arabs and Egyptians to give better yields. The Bazaar could provide +1:food: and +1:commerce: from desert and semidesert tiles instead of its current trade route bonus, thus meaning the Arabs get better yields from the Levant and Egypt. Then the Egyptians could have a UP which gives :health: from floodplains rather than removing it, and the proposed Cairo Citadel can add +2:food: to floodplains thus meaning Cairo becomes a super large GP farm.

    I don't think they would be too similar.

    The Arab conquest UHV would start with a flip of the Levant and would require a conquest of Egypt, Ifriqiya, Cilicia and some islands in the Med.
    The Egyptian conquest UHV would start with a flip of Ifriqiya and Egypt and require a conquest of the Levant

    The 2nd Arabian UHV would be becoming the tech leader and building wonders
    The 2nd Egyptian UHV would involve making Cairo the largest and most cultured city in the game

    The 3rd Arabian UHV would involve recapturing flipped land from Egypt and Tunisia whilst defending against Mongol and Armenian barbarians and Crusades
    The 3rd Egyptian UHV would involve dominance over the Ottomans, Tunisians and Moroccans, either in score or in destruction / vassalisation

    I think those are sufficiently different to make both civs viable and fun to play.
     

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