Saladin runs the best (if not the most efficient) economy in the game. He gathers all raw materials with many quarries and mines, builds a lot of wheat farms to harvest wheat, a few apple farms to provide food variety and several hop farms for ale. His economy is based on heavy bread production, fuelling many bakeries and mills. Unusually for an Arabian lord, Saladin also manufactures swords and metal armour from iron (to sell, not for recruitment). Saladin buys in apples and cheese to provide variety for his peasants. To boost taxing further, he applies positive Fear Factor at the cost of efficiency.
When attacking, Saladin uses a mix of Arabian units of all types apart from slingers. Some fire ballistae are also used to thin out enemy ranks, with support from catapults behind these, out of the range of enemy tower and wall missile units. Assassins and Arabian swordsmen will be busy destroying the walls, but assassins will also head for gatehouses and vulnerable walls. Slaves are brought if the enemy has a moat, and, while other troops are distracting enemy missile units, will advance quickly to fill it in. Horse archers are also sent and these can be hard to kill as Saladin usually likes to keep them moving in front of the enemies' walls unlike the other Arabian lords.
Saladin likes to harass from the very beginning with horse archers. They can be very annoying if not prepared adequately. Later in the game, or if Saladin has lots of gold, expect to see catapults and fire ballistae slowly rolling forward.
He builds round towers, upon which he mounts ballistae and mangonels. His keep itself is a square, with most of the key buildings located inside. Occasionally, narrow moats will be around certain parts of the wall. Arabian bowmen will be swarming the walls and towers, fire throwers guarding crucial places and the keep hosting entire armies. Saladin does not use traps but firepower to repel attacks.
Saladin handles provocations with a handful of Arab bowmen and a smaller pack of Arabian swordsmen.