|Rise of Chivalry|
Despite having the best startup in the game, the early Saracen campaign is one of the hardest. Reflecting the harsh realities of the early Abbasid caliphate, you will be tasked with rebuilding the Islamic empire after the revival of the Byzantines and the depredations of the Qarmatians. This will be no easy task, for you will need to conquer as many as 30 territories in order to win, with a handful of armies, while exposing yourself to invasion and betrayal.
Unlike other factions which normally start off with no tribute and only 1 territory, the Saracens however have a sizeable empire. Apart from the capital Baghdad, you also will have a small allowance of 90 tribute. You will also begin with 2 other key territories: Syria and Kordestan, but while others start off with 1 capital with a fortification level of 3, all your territories however have a fortification level of only 2, and the Turks and the Franks are allied with you. Further tribute can be obtained if you can conquer Africa and Southern Asia, for there are colonies attached to them which can be founded by capturing the territories they are indentured to, the Spice Islands and Lanka provide a healthy amount of 40 tribute per turn.
Your main enemies are the Byzantines and their Armenian vassal in the north, as well as Kalbid Sicily in the Mediterranean. Cooperation with the Moors might still be possible, but do not expect much from the Greeks — they will want back their empire. Byzantium is strongly defended, and so cannot be taken down so soon. But the Greeks' ally Armenia is poor and weak, and so should provide rich pickings, and their removal will remove an obstacle for complete subjugation of the Middle East and the Mediterranean to Allah and His Caliph.
Yet most important will be averting confrontation with your ally, the Turks, who are ensconced in the mountains of Iran across the sea. Remember that as long as your combined fortification level remains higher than the Turks, they will remain your ally. You will thus be hard-pressed to keep building up your fortification levels, or otherwise contemplate betraying your ally, who will be very, very reluctant to sell land to you. Breaking the Turkish alliance is not a wise idea — if you declare war on the Turks, there is a chance that they may align themselves either to China or Mongolia, making life harder for you, The conquest of the Turks should be undertaken only in the direst of circumstances. Try and claim Bagan, the Gangetic Plain and the Deccan before the Turks do, either by conquest or by purchasing them from China and/or the Mongols so that you can gain control of Lanka and the Spice Islands.
Note, too, that while France is an ally, there are two problems with your relationship with them: they are rather distant, and they also have designs on Jerusalem, so you should be wary of them — any Christian or Muslim encroachment into Jerusalem by any power will break the alliance and invite the ire of ALL Catholic nations in the Castle Age. The best way to avoid this issue might be to seize the eastern Mediterranean and prevent any faction from claiming Jerusalem, until you can overrun it later when Iberia and the other territories of your sphere of influence are properly integrated. Alternatively, Jerusalem can be attacked if you want to bring the Turks, Sicilians and Moors to heel — control of Jerusalem will ensure your ability to vassalise these three factions to form a great Islamic empire, and could also be used to win the game if sufficient resources were obtained to convince the Moors to join your cause.
So there are two strategies that the Abbasid Saracens can use to win the game. The first would be an all-out invasion across the Sahara to conquer as much land and tribute, while keeping the Turks at bay. The second involves a war of conquest to gain more territory and tribute to trade off to support and then vassalise the Moors.
- Conquer your sphere of influence
- Secondary objectives
- Keep the total level of fortification in all of your regions higher than that of the Turks to prevent them from rebelling
- Conquer the Hejaz for better relations with Islamic rulers - we can always appoint our own indigenous Muslim officials to run Mecca
- Conquer Jerusalem to gain support from Moors; Turks; and Sicilians
- Claim control of India and Southeast Asia to unlock access to Indian Ocean colonies
Sphere of influence
- Western Asia
- Africa, and
- Varangia, being:
|Basic gameplay||Rise of Chivalry||Renovatio Europam|