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Civilization 5: Harun al-Rashid Leader of ArabiaCiv 5 Arabian Civilization

Civ Bonuses, AI Info, Strategies, Unique Units and Buildings

Updated for Gods and Kings and Brave New World DLCs

Civilization's Leader: Harun al-Rashid

Civ Bonus: Ships of the Desert
Caravans have +50% extended range and all land/sea trade routes spread the home city's religion at double the usual Religious Pressure. In the mid-game, they will get double quantity for any Oil resources they control.

Unique Unit: Camel Archer
Requires Chivalry
This is a powerful ranged unit that replaces the Knight. They have 17 defensive strength, 3 less than the Knight, but Camel Archers have a ranged combat strength of 21. They do not have the -33% penalty for attacking Cities like typical mounted units and are almost overpowered against the AI for retaining their ability to move after attacking.

Unique Building: Bazaar
Requires Currency
The Bazaar replaces the Market and give 1 more Gold per turn. Oil and Oasis tiles will also give +2 Gold. What is really great about the Bazaar over the Market is that it will give double of any Luxury resources within 3 tiles of the City.

Playing Against The Arabian AI - Their Tendencies (XML Info and Flavors)
to Civs
War w/CivsDeception
CS War
Other InfoThis Civ will typically go for generating heaps of Gold and tends to seek a Scientific Victory if it's available. They are also likely to want to Found a Religion and try to spread it.
Start Bias: Desert
The Arabian Camel Archer in Civilization V Brave New World
Arabia's Camel Archer is devastating against Cities for they can move after firing

Strategies/Ideas for playing :
It is not unwise to play Arabia Wide to take advantage of the Bazaar. That means I recommend a Liberty start with them, meaning you build a Shrine then Monument after your first Scout(s). You will be able to control more Luxuries that way, and with a Bazaar built, having a single tile with a Luxury means you will have a spare that you are free to trade. Arabia would do best on large maps with many Civs, and particularly Pangaea. This will let them take advantage of those luxuries by trading with other Civs and the huge trade route range will let them reach very far. The Shrine comes into play, because you don't want to miss out on Religion with Arabia and playing wide gives you more time to build the Capital in the first few dozen turns without worrying about workers and settlers.

Read up on Religion to understand how Trade Routes can be used to spread your Religion to distant lands. With a Grand Temple, your Holy City will be putting out quadruple pressure even without Religious Texts to help boost it (which does so even better). You absolutely want Religious Texts for your enhancer because of this bonus. A few of your Cities sending a few trade routes from different origin Cities to an opposing Civ's Holy City can even overwhelm it once you've got this Enhancement. Religion isn't vital to Arabia, but it can certainly help them get more income or culture, while their Medieval-era ass kicking can eliminate competing religions through war. If you are playing wide as I advise, Goddess of Love is not a bad choice to help offset Unhappiness from number of Cities, while Desert Folklore is certainly another to look at if you have plenty of Desert tiles - while Petra does not affect Flood Plains, Desert Folklore does.

I recommend you go after the Petra Wonder (requires Currency) if you started on/beside Desert - you have a good chance at building this Wonder because you have incentive to rush to Markets to unlock the Bazaar for your Cities. Alhambra is also good, but is very popular with the AI. Keep those positions in mind when founding cities, along with the bonus gold the Bazaar will give you for Oasis and Oil resource tiles.

Get Horsemen in your early Army to help deter War, protect your Cities, and do City-State Quests. Horsemen upgrade to Camel Archers with Chivalry, and you should have plenty of Gold with Arabia to let you upgrade them and benefit from units that have already attained some combat experience. As you climb the technology tree, grab easily reachable techs that will give you additional trade routes to exploit. Try to have at least one coastal City to help you spread Religion to those on other Continents (or halfway around your land mass). These also give more Gold per turn than land trade routes, and you'll still be exerting double pressure.

The Camel Archer is Arabia's greatest asset during the time it's available, and it will probably be used a little longer than other units of its type because of how cheesy it can be. You can set up several Camel Archers 3 hexes from a City you want to take, step in 1 hex, fire, and step back out of range so the City cannot retaliate. You can see an example of this strategy in play in the screenshot above. This is super effective, so you can safely rush the Chivalry Tech when it's within reach to ensure they are available to you at the right moment.

Pick your targets wisely and know who you will be conquering -- probably your neighbor, whilst building good relationships with distant Civs to keep them from attacking you later in the game. You don't have to take all their Cities - in fact, there will be bigger diplomatic penalties for that. Taking their Capital and suing for peace to get another free City should be plenty to get you more luxuries to trade, even trading with the Civ you just dominated.

When trading, go for Luxury to Luxury trades first, then go for lump sums of gold second (requires Declaration of Friendship) and finally gold per turn. The 180 gold you'll get from +6/turn isn't great, but it definitely helps you support your military and upgrade horsemen to Camel Archers.

Winning an Emperor game with Arabia taught me just how important it is to keep your Trade Routes constantly full to get the most out of their bonus. I made my Religion the World Religion, took half a Pangaea and ended up winning a Space Victory. I didn't want to be a total Warmonger, but certainly could have. Ultimately, the income and religion I had were enough to help me boom after I captured the cities I desired and pass all other Civs in technology, making the Scientific Victory an easy win.

A Diplomatic Win would have been just as easy for me, for Arabia has such huge gold-generating capabilities that it can pay off most City-States and have many Alliances. The early-mid game power of the Camel Archer makes them one of my favorite Civilizations to play along with their ability to make huge sums of cash.

Civilization Bonuses, Unique Units, Strategies and Openings
Sid Meier's Civ 5 is a deep strategy game. I created these individual Civilization Guides to highlight the strengths of their specials and unique units. If you have an opener or tip for playing this Civ that you would like to share with other readers, please use the comments form below. Some Guides are in need of update and will be improved to a new standard of quality or altered to reflect gameplay changes in G&K and Brave New World.
GreeceThe HunsIncaIndiaIndonesiaIroquoisJapan

Comments (1)

Reinier says...
Would it be better to upgrade chariot archers over horsemen for camel archers? And after cavalry tech, how would camel archers upgrade if all promotions give ranged bonus while cavalry and up use melee promotions
30th September 2014 12:52am
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