Rise of Nations: Use of Heavy Cavalry

Heavy Cavalry

image A major part of all Alexander the Great’s battle strategy included cavalry. The light cavalry for quick raids (which I shall cover in a separate post) and the heavy cavalry (or his Companions as the vanguard unit). In fact the fall of Alexander was largely attributed due to a mutiny amongst his vanguard troops.

Learn from history.

A liberal use of heavy cavalry units right from the start of the game can really make a difference between a well fought battle and a whooping victory. Here’s how –

When I was playing a random map, I was given Mongols (but I mistook them for Lakota!! mea culpa!!). Fortunately, my strategy was unaffected by misinterpretation, I still was going to make Stables, and raid early with cavalry, and then focus on an army of heavy cavalry. The map style was Himalayas, so that helped!

  1. Start booming and race to Age II. Have a barracks ready and some defense troops.
  2. After Age II, go Mil2 and Sci2
  3. Build a Stable, and get a Despot
  4. Have 2 Heavy Cavs, and 2 Horse archers ready. This alongwith the Despot is your flash army.
  5. The flash army can move fast (doubly so if used forced march), ambush and patrol the enemy territory for taking out merchants, caravans and resource buildings
  6. It can also hold a sizeable army until you build defenses and/or send reinforcements
  7. Start building your main army slowly and steadily using the resources from raiding while your flash army keeps the enemy engaged. I prefer to build a separate artillery force (3 trebuchets and a supply wagon) and make an attack on one of the outposts
  8. A small bit of micro-management and you should get one of the computer’s cities
  9. The cool part about focusing on Heavy cavalry on a map like Himalayas is that wood and iron is abundant, so siege weapons come easily.
  10. Even if you fail at doing well early on the game, keep your heavy cavs alive and they turn into formidable tanks!

I myself am not that big into cavalry, but today while mistakenly taking the Mongols for Lakota, I realized just about how awesome they can be. I had roughly 4-5 HI, 2 bowmen, 6-7 Heavy cavs, a despot, 4 cannons and a supply wagon with some heavy archers to spare (Mongols, get them free for each stable, so did not keep a count, although I had 3 stables). Almost all of my food came from raiding and sacks.