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- Powerful early game navy
- Strong economic bonuses, possibly the best ones ever
- Good defensive potential
- Powerful anti-cavalry component in the form of camels.
- Almost no heavy infantry and no heavy cavalry.
- Vulnerable to heavy javelin units and siege weapons.
- Heavily dependent on policies
As one of the three desert factions (the others being the Numidians and the Nabataeans), the Sabaeans represent the most classic of Middle Eastern armies, being as traditional as they come. Sabaean armies consist primarily of light infantry and cavalry, dominated by that ubiquitous Asian beast of burden, the camel. On the high seas, the Sabaeans are able to rely on the use of Arab-style Dhows, super-light war boats that have the best speeds, making them highly reliable in coastal piracy. Two Dhows are built per dock, so here is a clear and distinctive advantage you should press home wherever there is open water to boot.
On land, however, the Sabaean army is somewhat questionable in nature. The lack of heavy infantry, especially pike infantry or Roman-style heavy sword infantry, is a notable defect as is the lack of proper shock cavalry but this can be offset by using the units the Sabaeans have to your advantage, ie using chariots to attack heavy infantry, then using spears and camels to pick off enemy cavalry and finally all other units to mop up whatever is left. And even if Arab units seem a bit fragile compared to the slower and harder-hitting units of the Greeks, Romans and Celts, the ability of the Sabaeans to generate resources through merely stocking up on them means that with sufficient resources in check, you can easily out-boom your opponents to bring on better units, such as the Pilei Ya'ar to stiffen resistance.
Additional units and structures can also be unlocked by the use of policies, with Despotism unlocking the Pilei Ya'ar; Populism unlocking Qadub spear infantry at the Peasant Dwellings, and Patronage upgrading the same to the Tower House whilst granting access to Giborei haMele'h heavy javelin men. Even so, this setup means that the Sabaean player is sometimes deprived of an optimal strategy especially if Patronage is used to unlock the Tower House and Giborei haMele'h, because then it prevents the Sabaean player from fully maxing out his possible Commerce Limit to increase the rate of resource accumulation. On the other hand, having the ability to access Tower Houses using Patronage can synergise itself quite well with Defensive Strategy by providing the Sabaean player with the ability to use Peasant Dwellings as point defences, even as not being able to research Populism early on means that there is no access to early-game spearmen to defend against early cav rushes.