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!
- Start booming and race to Age II. Have a barracks ready and some defense troops.
- After Age II, go Mil2 and Sci2
- Build a Stable, and get a Despot
- Have 2 Heavy Cavs, and 2 Horse archers ready. This alongwith the Despot is your flash army.
- 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
- It can also hold a sizeable army until you build defenses and/or send reinforcements
- 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
- A small bit of micro-management and you should get one of the computer’s cities
- 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.
- 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.