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Britons rework - Guerrila and mobility oriented faction?


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Currently the Britons are nearly identical to the Gauls, some varieties have recently been added thanks to the work of @Alexandermb with the shields but I really think it should goes deeper than that. Especially if one of the complaint about A24 is the lack of diversity in the gameplay (although the game is much more balanced now).

I already pointed out my opinion on the differences between the Gauls and the Britons on the matter of warfare. Particularly the importance of war chariots and of Homeric fighting tradition. But instead of repeating my opinion, I will quote one from an archaeologist:

Quote

Cavalry and chariots.
Our evidence for chariots in Iron Age Britain is greatly reliant on a series of chariot burials discovered in East Yorkshire and one burial from Newbridge in Scotland, all dated to the pre-conquest era in Britain (Jay, Haselgrove et al. 2012). A newly discovered chariot burial in Pembrokeshire, Wales has very recently been reported (Thomas 2019). Through the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, occasional discoveries of chariot burials have occurred in Iron Age cemeteries associated with the Arras Culture. We now have almost 30 chariots recorded, with a recent, extraordinary example coming from an Arras Culture cemetery at the Mile in Pocklington, near York (see Ware this volume). This burial of a mature adult male is still being analyzed, but it will have lasting impact on our understanding of chariots in Iron Age Britain. While most of the chariots placed in burials had been dismantled, the chariot from the Mile was buried intact, with the horses positioned upright.as though they were still pulling the chariot. A mature adult male was buried inside the body of the chariot on top of his shield. A further less well-preserved. dismantled chariot burial was found at Burn by Lane, Pocklington, also with two horses, excavated by MAP Archaeological Practice. the results of their analyses are keenly anticipated (Ware this volume). Previously, horses had only been recorded in the King's Barrow, Arras (Mortimer 1905; Halkoll 2013; Stilling Deet 1847; Stead 1979). Prior to these most recent discoveries, a series of chariot burials were discovered at Wetwang, Yorkshire (Dent 1985; Dent 2010). These were carefully excavated and it was possible to reconstruct one of the chariots, a process which was recorded and broadcast by the BBC (Loades 2005). Many elements of the chariots. including the suspension system, were hypothetical, drawing on Gallic and Etruscan finds and depictions of chariots as well as ancient Egyptian representations. It is thought that the chariot had a seated driver and a standing passenger (Loades 2005). While the survival of complete chariots is limited, terrets have been recorded over a much wider area (Fox 1923; Fox 1946; Lewis 2015). Numerous examples have been found by metal detectorists and reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Thus, while we have only a small number of remaining chariots, we can extrapolate that they were much more common, and that their survival is a result of the distinctive funerary rituals of the peoples of East Yorkshire. It is reasonable to argue that, if lron Age warfare was occasional rather than constant, these vehicles would also have been used in non-martial contexts. However, Wetwang Cart Burial 3 and the most recently excavated chariot burial at Pocklington also included martial equipment, reinforcing a connection with martial identity construction in the funerary context, at least for those individuals (Dent J 985; Ware pers. comm.).

Tactics and fighting style
Apart from accounts by writers from the Classical world, our knowledge of tactics is reliant on the archaeology. for which the Arras Culture of East Yorkshire provides some of the most informative evidence. The preponderance of throwing spears, and the near total absence of body armour, indicate that the style of warfare was highly mobile and loosely formed, based around raiding and short. sharp episodes of inter-group violence. Caesar describes his troops as being harried by the cavalry and charioteers and that foot soldiers deployed their throwing spears from a distance. Caesar (The Gallic War V.17) also relates an account of a raiding party that attacked some of his troops while they were engaged in foraging for food. This is one of several small skirmishes described by Caesar. These interactions demonstrate a clear understanding of guerrilla tactics, using a small number of men to launch a minor skirmish attack before turning to 'flee', drawing enemy troops into an ambush. Caesar highlights the locals' familiarity and use of territory to their tactical advantage. Despite the numerous hill fort sites identified, particularly in the south of Britain, protracted engagements and siege warfare are unlikely. Both sharp force and penetrating force traumatic injuries, consistent with sword blows and spear thrusts, have been recorded in the archaeological record. However. the number of individuals who exhibit signs of violent injury is low. A study by Sarah King (2010) revealed that at Wetwang in Yorkshire only 2.5% of the 435 individuals analyzed showed evidence of violent injury consistent with sword and spear injuries. Both Pocklington cemeteries contained skeletal remains bearing similar injuries (Ware pers. comm.). The level of interpersonal violence may not have been consistent in all parts of Britain. While at Wetwang the proportion of the burial population suffering identifiable traumatic injuries was low, in Hampshire the proportion was higher(King 2010). Sharp force trauma injuries ranged between 6-11% across a number of Iron Age cemeteries (King 2010). At southern sites, both King (2010) and Rebecca Redfern (2009) observed blunt force injuries possibly associated with sling stones have been recorded at sites in Hampshire and in Dorset. Rates of interpersonal violence are likely to be underrepresented in the archaeological record as many soft tissue injuries would not have left traces on the skeleton (Carman 1997; Carman and Harding 1999; Knlisel 2005). Studies of projectile weapon injuries conducted by George Milner (2005) suggested that approximately two thirds of projectile weapons (arrows in his study) failed to leave any traces of impact on the bones. He highlighted that the highest proportion of serious injuries were to the abdomen or thorax. Abdominal injuries are frequently fatal and only about 2% of these injuries impacted on the underlying skeleton (Milner 2005). Thus, our knowledge of the extent and severity of interpersonal violence is limited by the nature of the evidence. According to Caesar, chariot-borne warriors were well trained and able to manoeuvre quickly, running along the chariot beam and even to climb up onto the horses' yokes to launch their missile attacks before dismounting for close quarter combat. Their drivers, meanwhile, retreating a short distance, were ready to rush in and extract them from danger, using the chariot essentially as a 'battle taxi' (The Gallic War, IV.33). Barry Cunliffe (2005) has highlighted that the chariot offered 'champions' an opportunity for bombastic display, demonstrating their agility, speed and daring in the performance of their fast-paced attacks. Display and performance clearly had a role to play in close quarter combat. While the majority of warriors would have maintained their distance, throwing spears and hurling insults, those equipped with swords and heavy thrusting spears would have sought out similarly equipped enemies against whom they could engage in dramatic duels. To reach their opponents, these warriors needed to make their way through the effective zone for the deployment of throwing spears, before they could begin their close quarter attack. This is an act which would have demonstrated considerable bravery. Upon meeting their challenger, these warriors may have engaged in highly codified combat with their thrusting spears and swords, dictated by conventions that could have included mutilation of the corpse of a defeated warrior, for example, taking of the head and the seizing of equipment as trophy items (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History V.29; Godelier 1986). Martial training probably began in childhood, and the peak years for martial practice would have been from the late teens to mid-20s. Evidence for martial training is limited, but Early Irish Laws are thought to retain some traces of Iron Age cultural practices, indicating that the training of sons and foster sons commenced in childhood (Karl 2005). A close reading of the Ulster cycle Jed Sayers (1983) to argue convincingly that martial training consisted primarily of learning and practicing the performance of complex feats with weapons and shields. These feats served as a form of strength conditioning and agility training, with a focus on dexterous action and precision. Sayers (1983) went further to argue that these feats were performed not only as a means of training, but also on the battlefield as a means of intimidating prospective enemies through the execution of dazzling and courageous displays of skill and aggression. Diodorus Siculus (Library of History, V.29) provides a description of Gallic warriors engaging in braggadocio in the lead up to armed engagements, aimed at striking fear into their opponents. Such practices are highly likely to have been common to warriors both on the Continent and in Britain.

  It comes from this chapter I already gave a year ago:

On 25/02/2020 at 10:32 PM, Genava55 said:

Interesting chapter giving a lot of informations:

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So I think it is important to make more unique their gameplay, giving them some advantages for guerilla tactics. The text above mentioned the role of skirmishing (and indeed there are quite a lot of javelins found in some burials) but I think the role of the chariots shouldn't be neglected as well. The author calls it 'battle-taxi' and I wonder if wouldn't be great to have chariot units playing this role instead of being a champion unit by default. The chariot could be able to carry one warrior and when the chariot is carrying someone, it is shooting javelins to represent the warrior fighting from the chariot at distance. The idea is also to give the possibility to the player to attack or counter-attack quickly the enemy base and targeting the workers by discharging the warriors to fight at close-combat or by shooting at distance. It should be polyvalent like this.

In addition to this, the Britons have highly decorated weapons matching this tendency to Homeric battle, so maybe giving to the Britons some bonus for their champions could be great:

 

  

On 19/08/2020 at 3:50 PM, Genava55 said:

A very very very kind person shared this today:


On the third volume are the illustrations, some juicy black and white schemas.
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On 14/01/2019 at 10:25 PM, Genava55 said:

Witham shield

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Finally, another characteristic of the Britons is their portrayal of the other Northern cultures through the inclusion of the Broch:

Spoiler

 

 

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Scatness 4.jpg

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/%2Fmethode%2Fsundaytimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fcb099c5c-4e0a-11e7-82e8-2182ff4b5831.jpg?crop=2250%2C1500%2C0%2C0

and of the Crannogs:

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https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xRNzboaYRA8/Vmrtq-AGQbI/AAAAAAAATzE/5oF7SISEtm4/s640/Crannog%2Bdistribution.JPG

https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/0c/37/78/a5/the-crannog-against-the.jpg

 

Contrary to the common belief, the Brochs seem predating the Picts although it is possible that some of them were still occupied during the Pictish period. But still, it could be included some sea-raiding tradition, as the Picts were known as sea-raiders, giving some edge for the Britons on map with large water bodies. Maybe an equivalent of their guerilla tactics on land but with boats.

 

The unique characteristic of the Britons is also bodypainting or/and tattooing traditions, mentioned several times by classical authors.

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Currently the Britons didn't have something putting in front this unique feature of their culture. I really think it should be emphasized because it is quite catching and eye-candy while it could be also a pretext to add some bonus for the Britons like a bonus in health-points or even a regeneration (since woad has astringent and antiseptic properties).

 

To summarize, I would like the Britons having this kind of gameplay:

A faction with cheap javelineers and slingers, making it good to produce big enough masses that would be both efficient and highly mobile. With war-dogs that are fast and with high dps, that could be both used defensively and offensively. With chariots being able to carry infantry units, making the counter-offensive much more efficient. With some slow regeneration of the health to reduce the risk taken by the player to harass the adversaries. Having a unique ability giving the possibility to transport a very few troops with the fishing boats.

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I like a lot of the thoughts behind this.  One thing which does seem impractical, however, is the way that you sketched out specifically how chariots could function.  Don't get me wrong.  I like the idea behind it; implementation is the issue.  Garrisoning one infantry into each individual chariot would take a fair amount of apm that would be impractical in most cases.  Instead I would propose one of two options:

Make chariots like the Konniks in Age of Empires 2.  When the unit dies, an infantry unit spawns in its place.  This would have the similar general effect.  

The alternative might be to have chariots be automatically trained with a single infantry unit garrisoned inside it.  Whenever that unit is ungarrisoned, the player would have the option to garrison that unit or a new one in its place or could have the option of training a unit inside the chariot (probably it would take a bit longer than usual).  I personally prefer this compared to the other.

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22 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The alternative might be to have chariots be automatically trained with a single infantry unit garrisoned inside it.  Whenever that unit is ungarrisoned, the player would have the option to garrison that unit or a new one in its place or could have the option of training a unit inside the chariot (probably it would take a bit longer than usual).  I personally prefer this compared to the other.

Ooh I like that one.
Thanks for the constructive feedback.

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1 hour ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The alternative might be to have chariots be automatically trained with a single infantry unit garrisoned inside it.  Whenever that unit is ungarrisoned, the player would have the option to garrison that unit or a new one in its place or could have the option of training a unit inside the chariot (probably it would take a bit longer than usual).  I personally prefer this compared to the other.

Still a lot of apm.

 

1 hour ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Make chariots like the Konniks in Age of Empires 2.  When the unit dies, an infantry unit spawns in its place.  This would have the similar general effect.  

I like this, as it costs no apm and can be done right now with no additional Javascript. 

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2 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I like this, as it costs no apm and can be done right now with no additional Javascript. 

The only thing is that it is much less flexible. You cannot decide to ungarrison the men, you must kill the chariots for this

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56 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

The only thing is that it is much less flexible. You cannot decide to ungarrison the men, you must kill the chariots for this

Only way garrisoning/ungarrisoning mounts (like chariots and elephants) works is with battalions, because you only have a couple of them to worry about. Otherwise you'll have dozens to worry about and then you have to worry about the opportunity costs of the micro. 

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The health generation complements the skirmishing style very well. My suggestion for the chariot would be a chariot unit starting with a loaded infantry and if the infantry loses lots of health, it runs back to the corresponding chariot and garrisons.

To make micro doable we could give loaded chariots a different icon, so you can select the ones containing the injured to send them to safety.

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3 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

The health generation complements the skirmishing style very well. My suggestion for the chariot would be a chariot unit starting with a loaded infantry and if the infantry loses lots of health, it runs back to the corresponding chariot and garrisons.

To make micro doable we could give loaded chariots a different icon, so you can select the ones containing the injured to send them to safety.

I've tried the option that I originally like and it works very very well. I actually think you guys will like it. 

Essentially, I made a new Champion Javelineer for the Britons, with the actor based on the chariot's rider unit. Then I edited the Chariot's template to this:


  <Health>
    <Max>300</Max>
    <SpawnEntityOnDeath>units/brit/champion_infantry_javelineer</SpawnEntityOnDeath>
  </Health>

 

I edited the chariot's death animation variant line so that the rider actor is removed when the chariot dies (so the rider doesn't perform his death animation):


    <variant name="Death">
      <props>
        <prop actor="" attachpoint="rider3"/>
      </props>
    </variant>

 

And now it looks great. The Chariot "dies" but the rider remains to continue the fight. I may reduce the health of this Champion Javelineer so it's not too OP. No one ever uses chariot anyway, so extending this feature to all the other chariot units might be in order. But for now, I want to see how it helps the Britons exclusively. I'll make a video for you to see if you like it.

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14 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The alternative might be to have chariots be automatically trained with a single infantry unit garrisoned inside it.  Whenever that unit is ungarrisoned, the player would have the option to garrison that unit or a new one in its place

This is possible since a few minutes ago. (Also allowing the chariots to fire while moving.)

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20 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Make chariots like the Konniks in Age of Empires 2.  When the unit dies, an infantry unit spawns in its place. 

The animations by Wow look neat, but I fail to see an obvious guerilla  connection behind that concept. On the other hand, a chariot with a garrisoned (melee) infantry would give the concept some speed and it would allow the chariot to drop off the (melee) infantry which are normally fairly slow. For the chariot it means that the  (melee) infantry can function to shield the chariot against spearmen/pikemen which provides good synergy.

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I would like to share some ideas to differentiate Britons from Gaul and other civilizations.

Britons:

Bonus 1 - Turos marus. Can build fortress in neutral territory. Fortress has root territory, so it should be possible to build some small attack bases, encouraging the use of chariots (mobility), small attacks and being an aggressive civilization. It also seems like a lot of fun.

Bonus 2 - Current bonus.

Bonus 3 - Civic centers give +10 pop cap bonuses, bringing back something similar to the bonus we had in a23, giving the chance for an early rush.

Unit bonus: 

Bonus 1 - Sevili Dusios. Javelins move faster.

Bonus 2 - Druids has bonus attack aura for units.

Bonus 3 - Can train deer in the corral, limit of 20. Each deer gives a small attack bonus to units. Deer was a sacred animal for the Celtic people, I would like to put that in the game. The effect of the aura can be another of course, ideas pls haha.

Bonus 4 - Can train two men and a trunk in phase 2, similar to a ram, but faster and with less health and pierce resistance. Some phase 3 technologies excluded for that unit. Arsenal and ram removed.

Gauls:

Bonus  1 - Can train sword cavalry in phase 1.

Bonus 2 - Aridosmanae. Bonus on farm rate. Removal of current bonus technology.

Bonus 3 - Can build forge in phase 1. Some exclusive phase 1 technologies too.

Unit bonus:

Bonus 1 - Can train two men and a trunk in phase 2, similar to a ram, but faster and with less health and pierce resistance. Some phase 3 technologies excluded for that unit. Arsenal and ram removed.

Bonus 2 - Druids has bonus attack aura for units.

Bonus 3 - Fanatics in phase 2. Current bonus.

 

Team bonuses and heroes auras changes are open.

Edited by borg-
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It's fairly redundant to have druids provide just an attack aura for both cases.  If the emphasis of the Britons is on mobility, I would instead make it so that there is a mounted version of the druid.  

The deer bit seems fantastical at best honestly.  A different way to possibly represent it in another manner would be to have it possible to build a 'wicker man.'  This would burn and slowly lose hitpoints, but while it is around, it could provide a global attack bonus.  Probably there would be a hard limit to having one present at a time.

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23 hours ago, borg- said:

Bonus 2 - Current bonus.

Bonus 3 - Civic centers give +10 pop cap bonuses, bringing back something similar to the bonus we had in a23, giving the chance for an early rush.

 

I think we need to be very careful with stacking eco bonuses. If your opponent has an eco bonus then it feels like a small mistake on your side means that your eco is so far behind that you will never recover. Also the Brits start with a dog making those early mistakes very much possible. On top of that Brits get faster Javelins to accelerate their advantage. On the other hand I am a fan of britons having a woad paint health generation tech for some units

 

 

23 hours ago, borg- said:

Bonus 4 - Can train two men and a trunk in phase 2, similar to a ram, but faster and with less health and pierce resistance. Some phase 3 technologies excluded for that unit. Arsenal and ram removed.

I am not a fan of this. I would elaborate on this if you gave me the specifics of the unit.

23 hours ago, borg- said:

Bonus  1 - Can train sword cavalry in phase 1.

I think that more cav. oriented civs should get a second cavalry unit in p1. This is encourage aggressive play and helps to to counter turtling with ranged units. I would be thinking about giving mellee cavs to Iberians and Persians in p1, giving carthaginians the abilitie to build a (single) embassy in p1 with mercenary cav and giving Seleucids a cavarly archer in p1.

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23 hours ago, borg- said:

Bonus 3 - Civic centers give +10 pop cap bonuses, bringing back something similar to the bonus we had in a23, giving the chance for an early rush.

 

Because celts were inherently raiding and looting civs, I think it makes more sense to give them a bonus that let's them sustainably raid rather than one that just provides for an early raid. See link for discussion on providing a loot bonus.

23 hours ago, borg- said:

Bonus 1 - Turos marus. Can build fortress in neutral territory. Fortress has root territory, so it should be possible to build some small attack bases, encouraging the use of chariots (mobility), small attacks and being an aggressive civilization. It also seems like a lot of fun.

 

I like the idea, but I think it would be suited better to a different civ that had a lot of colonies or something. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 05/04/2021 at 7:30 PM, borg- said:

Sevili Dusios. Javelins move faster.

Sevili Dusios seems to be a reference to bodypainting. I think this is a very weird historical reference to the Dusii from Isidore of Seville, definitely something to change https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dusios

Personally I would prefer something related to hp or the regen instead of increased speed for the bodypainting unique tech.

On 05/04/2021 at 7:30 PM, borg- said:

Can train deer in the corral, limit of 20. Each deer gives a small attack bonus to units. Deer was a sacred animal for the Celtic people, I would like to put that in the game. The effect of the aura can be another of course, ideas pls haha.

:huh: you are serious or joking?

On 05/04/2021 at 7:30 PM, borg- said:

Bonus  1 - Can train sword cavalry in phase 1.

It makes sense to me. That's a good idea. The Gauls were known for their cavalry and their longswords.

3 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

Because celts were inherently raiding and looting civs, I think it makes more sense to give them a bonus that let's them sustainably raid rather than one that just provides for an early raid. See link for discussion on providing a loot bonus.

Although it would be really nice to distinguish both Celtic civ instead of considering them as a unique group with very identical bonus and gameplay.

On 05/04/2021 at 7:30 PM, borg- said:

Bonus 1 - Turos marus. Can build fortress in neutral territory. Fortress has root territory, so it should be possible to build some small attack bases, encouraging the use of chariots (mobility), small attacks and being an aggressive civilization. It also seems like a lot of fun.

3 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

I like the idea, but I think it would be suited better to a different civ that had a lot of colonies or something. 

It could have a historical justification since the Broch/Duns were small settlements/dwellings.

brouiuh.thumb.jpg.4627f92400ce6f8078968f6d3465e3db.jpg

 

 

Edited by Genava55
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13 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Although it would be really nice to distinguish both Celtic civ instead of considering them as a unique group with very identical bonus and gameplay.

On 05/04/2021 at 7:30 PM, borg- said:

How about having techs specific to the different tribes ? Ideally paired techs. Could unlock some unit rather than an arverni one? 

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53 minutes ago, Stan` said:

How about having techs specific to the different tribes ? Ideally paired techs. Could unlock some unit rather than an arverni one? 

Sure. The Gauls could have the Lepontii with axemen, the Treveri with better cavalry or even the Salyes/Saluvii with a unique building from Entremont and Roquepertuse. The Britons with the Caledonii swordsmen, an Irish/Iverni warrior etc. etc. I can find multiple examples of this kind.

By paired techs you mean that the player would have to chose between two tribes (two techs)?

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8 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Sure. The Gauls could have the Lepontii with axemen, the Treveri with better cavalry or even the Salyes/Saluvii with a unique building from Entremont and Roquepertuse. The Britons with the Caledonii swordsmen, an Irish/Iverni warrior etc. etc. I can find multiple examples of this kind.

By paired techs you mean that the player would have to chose between two tribes (two techs)?

I like  this.

 

Basically it would just be very different.

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11 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Sure. The Gauls could have the Lepontii with axemen, the Treveri with better cavalry or even the Salyes/Saluvii with a unique building from Entremont and Roquepertuse. The Britons with the Caledonii swordsmen, an Irish/Iverni warrior etc. etc. I can find multiple examples of this kind.

By paired techs you mean that the player would have to chose between two tribes (two techs)?

Do they have emblems?

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23 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Although it would be really nice to distinguish both Celtic civ instead of considering them as a unique group with very identical bonus and gameplay.
 

 I am not sure if there should be shared bonus; Sparta and Athens don't share bonuses.

Although both share Theatron building (Theatre was not really a thing in Sparta anyway so maybe change that in the future too).

If there is a plunder bonus maybe could be unique to Gauls; since they were famous for sacking Rome and Delphi (Britons on the other hand mostly fought in each other, and later on had a defensive war against Rome).

22 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Sure. The Gauls could have the Lepontii with axemen, the Treveri with better cavalry or even the Salyes/Saluvii with a unique building from Entremont and Roquepertuse. The Britons with the Caledonii swordsmen, an Irish/Iverni warrior etc. etc. I can find multiple examples of this kind.

By paired techs you mean that the player would have to chose between two tribes (two techs)?

Not necessarily trainable as normal units; but maybe Britons could have some allied Gallic units (Belgae, Armoricans) trainable through DE mercenary camp feature.

With more than three heroes now being possible Britons could have Diviciacus (Unlocking Belgian units?).

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian
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