Saracens vs bonuses against buildings mess


So I watched a Spirit of the Law video after a long while presenting saracens. As usual I got mad at the fonts (just hate comic sans style fonts :D, but that’s because I’m a programmer). And I also got mad about how he presented the attack bonuses. I was almost sure he was wrong. Turns out he was right… It was just way too simplistic for my taste hiding the real math behind the situation. So I got mad even more at myself this time and wanted to dig up the real stats. And I found a huge heap of mess in AoE concerning buildings. Here is what I’ve found:

First of all, the tech tree is wrong. According to the data files saracens and their allies get +2 attack against standard buildings for all foot archers (includes archer line, skirmisher line and all unique foot archers: plumed archers, chu-ko-nu, longbowman). Note the exact wording: standard buildings! We will come back to that later. Next thing that is wrong in the tech tree is saracen cavalry archers get +4 attack versus standard buildings.

Okay, so I thought, this is all well and nice, and somebody just looked at the attack differences and wrote it wrong in the documentation itself – 1 damage with normal civs 2 damage with other civs, with cav archers 1 damage with normal civs and 4 damage with saracens. So they just did the math instead of looking at the actual stats. I thought the exact number must be affected also by masonry and architecture anyways, so the exact damage difference will depend on that too. Only I was wrong.

Remember I said to note the exact wording – +2 attack against standard buildings. It turns out masonry and architecture only adds +3 armor for all buildings armor. Now these two armors are separate things actually in AoE2, so units have either bonus against one or the other and all buildings have both these armors (except fish traps). This means, that masonry and architecture has no effect on the saracens and their allies’ bonus doing +2 damage against buildings.


Lets look at one example. Saracen arbalest in imperial age stats vs a house and a house with masonry and architecture:

Saracen Arbalest House without techs House with masonry and architecture
6+4 pierce attack
3 attack vs spearman
2 attack vs standard buildings
0 attack vs rams
0 all buildings armor
0 standard building armor
0 melee armor
7 pierce armor
+6 all buildings armor (masonry and architecture)
0 standard building armor
0+2 melee armor (masonry +1 and architecture +1)
7+2 pierce armor (masonry +1 and architecture +1)

So let’s do the math. Arbalest do (10 – 9) pierce + (2 – 0) standard buildings = +3 attack versus fully upgraded houses and (10-7)+(2-0)=5 attack vs normal houses. The +3 all building armor caused by masonry and architecture makes no difference basically.

The only “building” lacking either of these armors is the fish trap. Every building has 0 standard building armor and only castle has 8 building armor, stone walls have 16 building armor and fortified walls have 24 building armor. Now my next question was: which units have bonus against either of these specific armors.

Bonus vs standard buildings Bonus vs all buildings
Saracen and allies foot archers (and skirmishers) +2
Saracen cavalary archers +4
spearman line +1
man-at-arms +1
long swordsman +2
double handed swordsman +3
champion +3
berserk +2
elite berserk +3
elite conquistador +2
huskarl +3
elite huskarl +4
jaguar warrior, elite jaguar +2
teutonic knight, elite +4
throwing axeman +1
elite throwing axeman +2
war wagon, elite +5
woad raider +2
elite woad raider +3
mangonel +35
onager +45
siege onager 60
battering ram +125
capped ram +150
siege ram +200
scorpion +2
heavy scorpion +4
bombard cannons +200
trebuchet +250
petard +500
demolition ship +220
heavy demolition ship +280
cannon galleon +200
elite cannon galleon +275
fire ship +2
fast fire ship +3
galley +6
war galley +7
galleon +8
longboat +7
elite longboat +8
tarkan +8
elite tarkan +11
war elephant +7
elite war elephant +10

Well, that’s such a long list. Let me try to make it briefer: siege weapons, ships, tarkans and war elephants do damage against all buildings. All the building techs affect this kind of armor: siege engineers (1.2*attack bonus), fortified wall, masonry and architecture (+3 armor each). Damage to standard building armor are made by all foot units, unique units (except tarkan and elephant) and by saracen and allies archers with bonuses against buildings. So these units keep their bonuses even if the opponent decides to upgrade their buildings. The only area fortified walls, architecture and masonry helps against these units is the extra HP.

What a mess :D, but still very interesting. Hope you find it useful as well.

  • Moofarbubu

    Excellent work! I sort of understood this before as I messed with the Saracen bonus quite a bit in the past and know a lot about them, but I never did the math and it makes a lot more sense now. Very educational read.