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The Arabs

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by Ision, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. Ision

    Ision Master

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    The Arabs, written by Zardnaar

    The Prophet Muhammad united the Arabic people in the 7th century AD during the birth of one of the world’s great religions- Islam. Over the next 100 years the Arabs expanded from what is now present day Saudi Arabia to the Atlantic Ocean and present day Iraq. The battle of Poiters in the 8th century stopped Arabic expansion in Europe while in the east the Arabs defeated the Ottoman and Persian empires. Trade spread Islam further into parts of Africa, Central Asia and as far away as Indonesia. Numerous crusades were launched from Europe to liberate the holy land, which were eventually defeated. With the rise of the Ottomans and the discovery of America in the 15th century the Arabs went into decline.

    In the game the Arabs are Expansionistic and Religious- traits perfectly matching their history. At first glance they have a pair of widely perceived so-so traits and yet another knight unique unit. First glances can be wrong. The Expansionist trait is one of the least popular in the game and one of the hardest to get full benefit from. You get pottery as a starting tech, which is all-important for the settler factory start and a scout. It also has little effect after the ancient age. However the trait is all about speed. You can scout with warriors but scouts do it faster. Expansionist civs often get an early tech lead due to free techs from huts. Although you can often trade for the required techs it’s just faster with the expansionistic trait- and you get to sell or trade them to the AI civs. If you manage to pop philosophy from a hut you get two techs for the price of none and it is possible to exit the ancient age before 2000 BC.

    Other benefits include the ability to build extra scouts, and getting maps, gold, and additional settlers or cities and units from the huts. Even something like a conscript warrior can be used as military police in your capital saving you the 10 turns required to build on if you manage to get one early on near your capital- 10 turns you can use to build a granary. Another benefit is superior city location, and you should be among the 1st civs to make contact with AI civs and to find luxury and strategic resources. The drawbacks are that each hut is random and the trait has no immediate long-term benefit. However the game can often be won or lost in the ancient age and that’s what the trait is designed to do- an explosive start to carry you through the rest of the game.

    The Religious trait gives you ceremonial burial as a starting trait and lets you build half priced temples and cathedrals - saving more time as well. It also reduces your anarchy time from changing governments from 5-9 turns to 2 turns. Although in most games you only change governments 1-3 times, the religious trait practically encourages you to change governments to suit the situation. Need to go to war? Switch to Monarchy or Communism/Fascism. Need to recover from a war? Republic or Democracy. It’s this versatility that is one of the religious traits greatest attractions- along with the time saved from anarchy. Put together with the expansionistic trait and you are looking at a potentially explosive start followed by a quick switch to republic/monarchy.
    Arabic cities can be surprisingly productive for a non-agricultural/industrial civ as all the time saved can be used to build additional units or improvements. Which brings me to the Ansar Warrior, Arabia’s UU.

    This "yet another knight unit" is possibly the best UU unit in the game and is comparable to the Immortal and Mounted Warrior. A 4/2/3 unit that replaces the knight and requires horses to build. The 3-movement is worth the weaker defense compared to normal knights, but it’s also cheaper at 60 shields instead of 70. Not only is it better than the unit it replaces (most UU are) its also cheaper. In civ speed kills. The 3-movement allows a large force of Ansars to quickly reach the AI cities. None of these move 1 or 2 squares through the AI civs cultural boundaries wait a turn then attack. Just go for the jugular right away as the extra movement allows you to move and attack the AIs cities straight away. Since it also triggers a golden age in effect you seem to have a never ending swarm of Ansars to hammer the AI cities, and they rarely can respond fast enough- especially if they only have spearmen due to having no Iron.

    For the peaceful builder type Arabia can also be an excellent choice. Early temple building can add up to a lot of culture points for a cultural victory while the expansionist trait often helps your REX phase. The Ansar makes a surprisingly good defender as well. For any wars you get dragged into they can rapidly respond to any threatened area of your empire. On your road network they can move 9 squares to rapidly deploy to where they are needed. The reduced anarchy also makes it easy to switch governments and lets you get more culture if you're trying for a cultural victory. The timing of the Arabic golden age also helps here. Marketplaces and Universities are expensive to build in the early middle ages and several excellent wonders are available as well. A GA makes it that much easier to build these improvements. Overall a 1st tier builder/culture civ.

    Sometimes however you just want to smash the AI senseless. Arabia is also a 1st tier warmonger civ due to the power of its UU and the speed of the civ. Most expansionistic civs stall once you leave the ancient age. For the Arabs a beeline to chivalry and a quick switch to monarchy gives you the Ansar and a wartime government to use it. For most of the middle ages you can crush the AIs in a series of rapid advances followed by a mass upgrade to cavalry. Once you enter the industrial age (assuming you haven't already won) a beeline to communism is usually more than any remaining AI civs can handle. The easiest win condition for the Arabs is usually a domination win. Those cheap temples will come in handy to get the required landmass win condition. A small downside worth mentioning is that with this civ it’s possible to overextend yourself - be careful and pay attention.

    Overall I would rate the Arabs as a 1st tier civ although they're weaker on island makes due to the expansionist trait. A typical Arabic game has an explosive start, with an Arab dominated middle age which sets you up for the killing stroke in the industrial/modern age. The versatility and speed make them an excellent civ able to do most things well.

    Side note: Ision rates this civ as 1st tier overall.

    Below is the link to all the other civ reviews:

    link to all the other civ reviews
     
  2. Locomotive

    Locomotive Warlord

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    I really thought you were going to say the Arabic civ was weak and I was getting ready to counter everything you said. Instead, you said everything I wanted to hear. Good job.
     
  3. NetGear

    NetGear King

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    Also a small funny advantage of 2 defense over 3 on ansars:

    Veteran pikes defend the stack over elite ansars. Although ansars dont need much protection cause they can manuver away from any counter attacks, whenever stack does get attacked, Im rest assured that I won't have chance of losing elite ansars if vet pikes are with them.
     
  4. biggamer132

    biggamer132 King

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    Wouldn't stacking them with veteran pikes remove the speed advantage though?
     
  5. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Nice review, Ision. I couldn't agree more that "Speed Kills". The Ansar is a great UU that arrives at a good point in the game. Lots of fun!
     
  6. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    Good review I. :goodjob: . I :cringe: when I see the arabs nearby in my
    games. They grow enormous and are very aggressive :eek: . And they are
    PINK :hmm:
     
  7. Ision

    Ision Master

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    scout........

    this was Zardnaars review - I am only the editor.
     
  8. scoutsout

    scoutsout Minstrel Boy

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    Of all people to commit that little fooo-paaah... :blush:

    scoutsout <--- Opens mouth, inserts foot, apologizes to Zardnaar for overlooking the by-line.

    @Zardnaar: If it makes you feel any better, you wrote that "at least" as well as Ision! :D
     
  9. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    Yes, but thanks to their movement your are often able to attack with having still enough MP to retreat to a tile with pikemen.It is a small detail, but it can really make the difference sometimes (sometimes it is even bad if an offensive unit wins a defense battle, but its redlined which means it needs turns to heal before the next attack) and it somehow reduces the impact of the reduced defense.

    Another thing is ten shield discount.It can save some time while producing the Answar and reduce overproduction(wasted excess shields ifproduction is finished), especially during the Golden Age.A 20 shield city is enough for 3-turn-production, while a knight would need a 24 shield production for this.
     
  10. HamaticBabylon

    HamaticBabylon Deity

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    The Arabs in my eye are a 3 tier civ maybe a 2 teir....if only you knew about the real African history of this world, the main reason why you don't know about African history is that "they" have wiped out and burnt many books that contained the riches of Africa...i don't say these things to make my self feel better...just want to know the truth about world history.

    Moderator Action: HamaticBabylon - 5 day ban for nationality bashing/racism.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  11. Scalefang

    Scalefang Chieftain

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    Overall, great review.

    A few notes though, I just finished an Arab game on Monarch and my Ansar Warriors couldn't punch through Vet Pikes, I lost 20 of the things yet 2 Medieval Infantry do what they cannot... Anybody else have this problem or was I extremely unlucky?

    Also, is there anything to do when Arabia gets that light pink color and China gets that off-pink color...cause they look almost the same...and on the histograph is is EXTEMELY annoying...especially if they are right next to each other.
     
  12. Kaboth

    Kaboth Prince

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    When I have Arab AI nearby my bases I find their quite weak and I crush them early everytime. I did this in COTM01 also.
     
  13. Richard Cribb

    Richard Cribb He does monologues

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    As usual, a great review. I already payed an hommage to Ision but stupidly enough did so on an almost dead thread, so I will just say to Ision, Zardnaar and scoutscout: Great work! I always read those rewievs with interest, and what I have learned has vastly improved my game. Thanks a lot for using so much of your precious time to enlighten duffers like myself.
    About the Arabs, I have only played them a couple of times as I usually chose random, but I was surprised that they were so dynamic, and for me it is definitely a 1st tier.
    I am just going to a period where I try to learn to be a really ruthless warmonger - I need this as an antidote for my improvement-addiction - and I think in the near future I will alternate my current favourite China with the people of the Prophet.
     
  14. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    I'll forgive you- as penance hit yourself repeatadly with a big foam bat.
     
  15. Kronis

    Kronis Chieftain

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    Great review ! I will have to use this civ in the future, especially if I want to win by domination.

    One problem though:

    Are you describing a game with "goody huts" (Sedentary, no chance of barbarians) ? Because while there is always a chance of getting a tech upgrade, settler, or military unit, on games with even restless barbarian levels, there's a good chance there's nothing, or worse- stirring up a barbarian tribe assault. Also, to get philosophy from a hut, there would need to be massive numbers of huts, as well as very few other civs hunting them down. :crazyeye:
     
  16. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Expansionistic civs don't trigger barbarian raiders from goodie huts. Philosophy from a hut doens't happen often but its one of those nice warm feelings you get when it does.
     
  17. Gainy

    Gainy Guest

    Expansionist civs can not pop barbarians from huts :)
    Regarding the chance of getting nothing: It has never happened to me. I play solely on Emperor, and in each game I always get a decent amount of goodies from huts. In my most recent game, I got 2 settlers in the first 20 turns -- among other things. You can not bash this trait :p

    Edit: Too slow...
     
  18. Kronis

    Kronis Chieftain

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    Again though- who plays with barbarian levels set at "Sedentary" ? I think there's a penalty to score if the level is below "Restless" (or is it "Raging Hordes"?). Or do you mean that expansionist civs won't trigger barbarians from any villiage ?
     
  19. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    You will never pop barbarians if you enter a village, but of course you have to deal like everyone with the barbarian spreading encampments...
     
  20. punkbass2000

    punkbass2000 Des An artiste

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    You're thinking of previous Civ incarnations.
     

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