Ghuzat Volunteers

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"They are not regular troops, but a mixed multitude of volunteers. The rich man serves from pride of race, the poor man from hope of plunder."

Leo VI the Wise, Tactica Ch XIII

In game

Ghuzat Volunteers — Vital statistics
Ghuzat Volunteers

Very weak melee unit which is only good for city defence.

  • Strong versus unarmed units, siege weapons and missile units with low accuracy or rate of fire
  • Weak versus military units, especially heavy cavalry.
Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
Upgrades to
96 6 17 2.33s
Ahdat icon.png
Cost Created from Armour Weapon range Specialty
Base Ramp Pop
Food.jpg: 20;
Metal: 10
Food.jpg: 1
1 Peasants' Commune.png 0 Melee
  • Fast and cheap to create.
  • Cannot resist attrition.

Sicily.jpg Moors.jpg Saracens.jpg

Overall strategy

While most factions do not rely on volunteers, the Muslim world is never short of volunteers eager to go on jihad for additional booty to enrich their families, for adventures to see the world, protect their loved ones and neighbours from barbarians, or - in some cases - to attain the proverbial dark-eyed virgins purportedly promised as a gift in the afterlife to them in the Qur'an. Nevertheless, regardless of what motivations they hold for service, Ghuzat Volunteers can be used to act as first-line units, and also have a terrifying speed for a militia unit.

These units are armed with a variety of weapons, and come clothed with white cloth caps and crude leather armour, which all augment to their own fighting spirit. Nevertheless, however, ghazis are still only militia and meant to operate in a defensive role - heavy cavalry will easily rip them apart, as will arrows fired by horse archers! — but nevertheless, should forces be needed in a jiffy, Muslim factions can do no wrong in calling them up to swell their ranks.

Unit summary

  • Cheaper By The Dozen — Ghuzat Volunteers are cheap and fast to create, so you can easily amass an army of them.
  • The Purest Joy ... — Unlike other militia units, Ghuzat Volunteers can be used offensively — they can be selected and moved by human players to another location, making them good for raiding as well as defence.
  • Dead On Arrival — Sadly, Ghuzat Volunteers are only just militia, and can be easily torn apart by cavalry and archers, and so are best only for low-intensity warfare involving skirmishes and not full-blown battles.


Although it was said that the Golden Age of Islam occurred in the Mediaeval Ages, what is often overlooked was the fact that only various settlements comfortably cushioned from political violence did experience it, such as Iraq, Egypt and southern Spain. In the mountains bordering the lands of the Byzantines and the Turks or the Iberian frontier, or the deserts of Africa,it was another matter. There, many frontiersmen were often embroiled for various reasons in bloody raids and counter-raids against a slew of enemies, some being unbelievers, others co-religionists. This practice of raiding and counter-raiding, however, was not confined to Muslims living on the brink of civilisation. The same was followed by their Christian foes, albeit repackaged as razzie; chevauchées; cavaldagas; or sspanilé jízdy — the latter being Czech for "beautiful rides" which euphimistically referred to incursions by Hussite fanatics against their co-religionists, the results being no less brutal than what was practised on the borders of Islamic lands.