Covering the old cradle of Western civilisation, the Levant and Arabia are now divided between two new civilising forces — the Romans and the Saracens. Unlike Europe proper, a great deal of these lands — especially Greece and northern Arabia — are well-developed and are amongst some of the richest lands in the whole world, being the umbilicus of a trade route between Europe, India and China.
Due to its position on the strategic trade routes for commodities of all kinds all over the world, Western Asia and Greece are awash with all manner of luxuries and valuable commodities.
At a whopping twenty territories registered, Western Asia is the second largest region in the campaign, and has some of the most diverse resource allocations — except for Supply. While Franconia — the largest — has around five, Western Asia only has three, and they are concentrated mainly to the north: Kordestan, Crete and Morea. Byzantium may sometimes begin a game with not one BUT three armies based at home as well as in Hayasdan and the Balkans, so it might be able to overrun its way around fairly quickly. The Saracens (who are based in Iraq in the Early Campaign and Egypt in the Late Campaign) on the other hand will be fighting hard to fix their northern borders. In which case, there is one thing the Saracen player needs to do: take out Crete or Kordestan as quickly as possible.
Tribute should not be an issue: there is a fair amount of tribute to be taken out, concentrated mostly in mainland Greece, the Levant and the Khelij, representing the traditional trade outposts of the Middle Ages.Jerusalem, the source of the world's two greatest religions and cultural forces, is also located therein. Control of Jerusalem may be used to trigger political crises or holy wars which can then be exploited for more tribute or as a stepping stone to conquest, depending on whether you seek to conquer more lands in the Old World, or to find more in the New.
A land of mountains, the soils of Azerbaijan are poor and grant only the smallest amount of crops available. It is thus unsurprising that the nomads here tend to live a predatory lifestyle against their neighbours.
Despite the rocky and inhospitable terrain, this land — also called Georgia by the Romans — has a propensity for some of the best vines in the world.
These lands belong to the Armenians. Once masters of eastern Asia and northern Syria, they however have since fallen on evil days, yet even so, the resilience and persistence of the Armenians, here and in abroad, can be used to our advantage.
Despite its rocky and mountainous terrain, this land is known as the meeting place of east and west, and grants access to the plains of Cappadocia as well as the Zagros and the Caucasus.
A rough and broken land, the denizens of this country make their living as both hunters and warriors alike.
The hills and plains of this plain, dominated by the city of Edessa, are known as the famed proving grounds of the mighty Roman Empire and have done so ever since they were mastered by Rome.
While Italian Rome itself met its end when Odovacar, the leader of a Germanic tribe called the Ostrogoths, marched into the city and claimed it for himself, the eastern part of the Empire remained intact and has continued to do so for the past five centuries or so, ensconced within the walls of Byzantium, straddling the great straits which divides this territory. The location of the Bosporus on the shores of Asia and Europe and adjacent to African Egypt has guaranteed its place as one of the great trading centres of the world for almost a thousand years.
If the Morea is said to be the agricultural heartland of the Roman empire, and Asia its proving ground, then Epirus can be considered its warehouse. Because of its strategic location between Italy and Asia Minor, Epirus is a vital waypoint for armies passing from east to west, with shipping lanes to Apulia in the West and the Bosporus in the east — not to mention overland routes into Dalmatia, the Balkans and Thrace to the north.
This sparsely populated plain nevertheless is vital for one thing: horses. For this reason, this territory is also idea for the spywork on which all kings rely on.
Long a part of the long trade routes stretching across East and West, Galatia is a vital crossroads for merchants and monks alike from all corners of the world.
The so-called "cradle of civilisation", this land continues to remain the capital of great empires, and the Abbasid caliphate is no exception. Aside from its famed bazaars, Baghdad is also the centre of cultivation of papyrus, the same stationery as used by the Egyptians in place of parchment.
Although no longer considered where the sun first rises, the Levant still remains a very bright sun which can shed its light on new discoveries or wealth....or possibly even both.
The Morea is now the beating heart of the Byzantine world, with silk — once the preserve of the distant Chinese — now being manufactured here for use by despot and deacon alike.
This sandy and arid land is dominated by a long strip of coastal plain in the north, and arid mountains further south. The birthplace of two religions, and revered by three, there is a strong risk that this land may become a new faultline that will break open between the Christian west and the increasingly Islamic east.
This sunny island in the eastern Mediterranean is now one of the entrepôt centres of the Middle East for sugar, imported all the way from Mesopotamia and India. As an island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus allows quick access into the Levant from Africa through its links between Jerusalem, Capadocia and Crete.
This small but not insignificant island is a vital waypoint between Greece, Africa and Western Asia, and is populated by a hardy and rugged race of men who can be counted on to serve in your armies. With access to Cyprus in the east, the Morea in the north, Egypt and Libya to the south the significance of this island to any Mediterranean empire simply can't be overstated.
These desert mountains play host to a series of small towns, among which lies Mecca, the birthplace of Islam and a vital trade hub between north and south.
The homeland of the Arabs. One of the harshest environments ever known to man, this arid and sun-blasted desert land is home to the Bedouin, the famed nomadic Arabs ... as well as their flocks of sheep and goats.
Situated at the mouth of the Persian Gulf of Khelij, some of the world's busiest ports and markets can be found here, thanks to its access to Fars in Iran and Sindh and the Deccan on the coastline of India.
Although long since shorn of its incense wealth, Yemen still continues to remain a vital staging post for goods passing from the distant ports of Africa and India across the desert into Persia, of which coffee is the most notable. As part of the Red Sea territories, Yemen allows access into Africa via Sudan and so its strategic location should not be taken lightly.