|Req. Town Buildings||Barracks, Stables|
|Dark Elf Cavalry|
|# of figures||4|
|Melee Attack per figure||4|
|Defense per figure||2|
|Hit Points per figure||3|
Cavalry is the name of a Normal Unit Archetype. It is a template defining the baseline attributes and abilities of 5 Normal Units, all of which are called "Cavalry". Each of these units is a variant of the basic Cavalry archetype, and is produced by a different Race. The archetype is discussed in this article, and each variant has its own, separate page.
Cavalry may be built by the Barbarians, High Elves, High Men, Orcs and Dark Elves. Other races have no access to Cavalry by default, though several races produce similar units (such as the Nomad Horsebowmen or Gnoll Wolf Riders).
Cavalry units become available early on, and can serve as both scouts and valuable combat troops. Cavalry is fast-moving, and can use this speed to execute flanking attacks that bypass the enemy's advancing front. Cavalry are especially useful for reaching the enemy's Ranged Attack units early in the battle and taking them out. All Cavalry relies on Melee Attacks, and four of the five variants utilize First Strike (the fifth, Orc Cavalry, does not - possibly due to an oversight).
The use of horses for riding goes back several millennia, so much so that it seems obvious to us that horses make terrific mounts. They are obedient, have plenty of stamina, can run much faster than any biped, and can even learn new tricks or techniques. As a result, the use of horses in combat is almost as old as horse-riding itself. Given the expenses required to maintain a horse, whether in wartime or in peace, only the higher-ranking members of society were even allowed to fight on horseback. This practice lasted almost to the modern era, making the war-horse a universally-recognizable symbol of nobility.
A rider on a horse has several advantages over foot-mobile combatants. A mounted warrior can charge straight into an enemy formation at high speed, knocking aside (and possibly killing) enemy combatants right away, potentially reducing the enemy's effectiveness against him. Furthermore, a fast cavalryman can completely avoid and bypass the bulk of the enemy's forces, and head straight past it to hit the weaker units in the rear. Mobility is the name of the game.
Baseline Properties Edit
The following section describe only the "baseline" properties of the Cavalry archetype. Most of the actual units produced will have innate racial bonuses that deviate from this baseline template. Read the section on racial variants below for more information.
Attributes and Abilities Edit
To produce Cavalry, a town must have both a Barracks and Stables. This is not a very difficult requirement to meet, and means that Cavalry should become available fairly early in the campaign. The baseline production cost is 40 per unit, making Cavalry relatively cheap as well. Once under your employ, a unit of Cavalry requires an Upkeep Cost of 1 and 1 each turn.
A unit of Cavalry contains 4 figures by default. It may never have more than 4 figures. This low figure count would put Cavalry at risk of being quickly annihilated by any strong attack, but fortunately they have a fair Defense score of 2, as well as 3 per Cavalryman, resulting in overall good survivability (at least against other low-tier units). Nonetheless, each Cavalryman lost reduces the unit's damage output by 25%, so it is important to keep this unit healthy if possible.
Cavalry units rely on a Melee Attack of strength 4, which is pretty good for such a cheap unit and can be expected to deliver roughly 1.2 points of Damage per figure.
More importantly, Cavalry can utilize a First Strike ability, which is automatically employed whenever the unit makes a voluntary Melee Attack against an opponent. When this occurs, the Cavalry unit delivers its Melee Damage first, before the enemy can retaliate with any of its own Melee Damage and/or Touch Attacks. This confers defense through offense, since any enemy figures killed by this First Strike attack will cause no damage to the Cavalry. Note that First Strike does not work when the Cavalry are Counter Attacking to an enemy's assault, nor does it work against enemy units possessing Negate First Strike.
Cavalry's other advantage is its speed. Cavalry moves at 2, which gives it better movement speed both on the overland map and during combat. Thus Cavalry make good scouts, and work very well to destroy weak units in the enemy's rear (see below).
Basic Tactics Edit
Thanks to their early availability and high speed, Cavalry units make overall good scouts during the early game. They can quickly patrol the edges of your empire, locate easy Encounters to attack, and/or perform sudden strikes on vulnerable enemy assets.
During combat, Cavalry perform best in engaging the enemy's weaker Ranged Attack units. The Cavalry simply flanks around the enemy's advancing Melee Attackers, and heads for the weak units behind them. A fast cavalry charge can end ranged fire from enemy units fairly early in the battle, saving many friendly lives.
Cavalry can also be used effectively against other types of units - particularly low-tier Multi-Figure units. To get the best results, the Cavalry must voluntarily make a Melee Attack against the enemy unit, thus activating its First Strike. This can kill one or more enemy figures before they get a chance to retaliate, thus reducing damage to the Cavalry unit itself.
Similarly, it is important not to let the enemy make a voluntary Melee Attack against the Cavalry unit - since this prevents the Cavalry from using their First Strike. If at all possible, try to back away from the enemy before the turn ends to minimize the chance of this occurring.
Only 5 different Races have access to their own Cavalry units. Each Race produces a different type of Cavalry unit, which not only looks different but may also have different properties compared to the "baseline" template described above.
List of Variants Edit
|Barbarian Cavalry||60||1||4||2||4||1||2||5||3||First Strike|
|Dark Elf Cavalry||100||1||4||2||4||1||2||7||3||Ranged Attack x4, First Strike|
|High Elf Cavalry||60||1||4||2||4||2||6||3||+10%, Forester, First Strike|
|High Men Cavalry||40||1||4||2||4||2||4||3||First Strike|
- Barbarian Cavalry may be 50% more expensive to produce than the "baseline" Cavalry, and have a slightly higher Upkeep Cost, but they more than make up for it by having a Thrown Attack like other units from the Barbarian race.
- This attack is triggered in the same circumstances in which First Strike is employed: whenever the Barbarian Cavalry makes a voluntary Melee Attack against any opponent. The Thrown Attack delivers its damage prior to any enemy retaliation (including enemy Gaze Attacks!), which significantly increases the chance of killing one or more enemy figures straight away. This further increases the importance of making voluntary attacks against the enemy, and of preventing the enemy from making their own voluntary attacks against the Barbarian Cavalry.
- Note that this Thrown Attack also allows Barbarian Cavalry to make voluntary attacks against enemy Flying units!
- High Elf Cavalry's primary advantage is that it has a +10% To Hit bonus, which raises the average damage output of this unit by a small (but significant) amount. It is thus more likely to kill off enemy figures during a First Strike attack, and therefore potentially reduces damage to the High Elf Cavalry unit.
- Furthermore, High Elf Cavalry possesses the Forester ability, which allows this unit to enter any overland Forest tile at a cost of only 1 Movement Point. In areas with plentiful Forests and/or flat terrain, High Elf Cavalry should be able to move 2 tiles per turn - making them quite speedy. If the enemy pursues, simply retreat through a Forest. Note also that the Forester ability applies to all units stacked with the High Elf Cavalry, but won't help when the stack contains units that are slower than the Cavalry themselves.
- Finally, thanks to racial bonuses, High Elf Cavalry have a +2 Resistance bonus, which can help somewhat to protect them from some enemy spells and ill effects.
- The price paid for all these bonuses is a 50% higher construction cost, and an Upkeep Cost increased to 2 per turn. This is a very fair price to pay for all the above.
- Identical to baseline template (see above).
- Orc Cavalry has the sad distinction of being the only variant (of any Normal Unit Archetype!) that is less useful than the "baseline" template. This is because Orc Cavalry does not possess First Strike. This seems to be the result of a programming oversight, since this disadvantage is not mentioned in any of the source material.
- This means that Orc Cavalry is primarily good against enemy Ranged Attackers (as described earlier), but not so good at attacking enemy Melee troops - whether voluntarily or otherwise. Without First Strike, expect Orc Cavalry to take much more damage during Melee combat than the other variants.
- Other than this deficiency, Orc Cavalry are identical to the baseline template.
- Dark Elf Cavalry costs a whopping 2.5 times more to produce than the "baseline" Cavalry, and has an Upkeep Cost of 2 per turn. However, they make up for this thanks to the common racial benefit of Dark Elf troops: the ability to make Magical Ranged Attacks.
- Dark Elf Cavalry can use this attack up to 4 times per battle. This attack has an initial strength of only 1 per Cavalryman, but will improve fairly well with Experience. As a Magical Ranged Attack, it does not suffer from distance penalties, and thus can be expended early in the fight before (or during) the Dark Elf Cavalry's advance.
- On top of this, Dark Elf Cavalry is quite Resistant to enemy spells and various ill effects.