- Temple Cavalry
Information: It takes more than mastery of a horse to join the elite ranks of the Temple Cavalry; it also takes cunning and absolute skill with a blade. Cavalry are relied upon to break through enemy ranks and annihilate their Archers.
Upgrades: Camel Rider > Improved Camel Rider > Numidian Cavalry > Improved Numidian Cavalry > Temple Cavalry
History: Despite the modern conceptions of camels and the Egyptian military, camels never played a large role in the Ancient Egyptian military.
- War Elephant
Information: Captured from the depths of Africa, the War Elephant is a terrifying melee weapon that can decimate enemy Infantry. Only the most powerful of Pharaohs could control these mighty beasts.
Special Ability: Can stampede for area-effect damage.
History: The Egyptians brought elephants back from the depths of Africa and turned them into powerful weapons. War elephants became excellent war machines when properly trained in ancient times. Several recorded battles account for the use of war elephants including Guagamela (331 BC), Gaza (312 BC), Heraclea (280 BC), Zama (202 BC), and Hydaspes River (326 BC). They seemed to have been introduced by Asian armies who were masters at controlling these ferocious beasts. Usually 1-3 armed men were mounted on top. Egyptian, and then later Western armies such as Persian, Macedonian, Carthaginian, and even Roman began to make use of the psychological terror these beasts would inflict upon the enemy.
- Royal Squadron
Information: Good against Archers and Siege weapons. Countered by Spear Infantry.
Weaknesses: Spear Infantry
History: Alexander's Companion cavalry were the elite Macedonian cavalry serving under Alexander the Great. The Companion cavalry was the senior regiment of the whole army and the one with which Alexander himself fought. These heavy cavalrymen were armed with a spear usually called a xyston, about 12 feet in length. The xyston was spear-tipped on both ends--adding enhanced fighting maneuverability. In battle they would work in conjunction with the Macedonian phalanx. First the Phalanx would secure the enemy into place allowing the Companion cavalry to attack the flank of the enemy. The Companion Cavalry would ride the best horses and receive the best weaponry available.
- Assyrian Horse Archer
Information: Because of their alliance with the dreaded Assyrians, the Persians can deploy the dreaded Assyrian Horse Archer. Brutal to the extreme, these warriors can lay waste to enemy Infantry.
Weaknesses: Countered by foot Archers.
History: According to Herodotus, Assyrian troops served in the Persian armies under King Xerxes I during the campaigns against the Greeks. Among these troops were Assyrian horse archers. These famous riders are depicted on a number Assyrian reliefs.
- Noble Cataphract
Information: Extreme skill with a weapon and expert horsemanship are the requisites to join the ranks of the Noble Cataphract. When deployed against enemy Archers and Siege Weapons, the Cataphract are nearly unstoppable.
Weaknesses: Countered by Spear Infantry.
Upgrades: Horseman > Improved Horseman > Cataphract > Improved Cataphract > Noble Cataphract
History: After the defeat of the Lydians by Cyrus the Great, large amounts of cavalry found its way into the Persian forces that were based in Asia Minor. The Persian army began to largely depend on their cavalry. The cavalry added a lot to the army mostly because of its speed and great agility. Cavalry were often recruited from the nobility. The most heavy cavalry units were well protected with armor, both on the horse and the rider. The Persian Cataphracts were Persia's best cavalry, and the Noble Cataphracts in Rise & Fall represent the highest upgraded level of the Persian cavalry line. These heavy cavalry units could deliver fairly potent attacks once they charge in. However, as massed cavalry, they were not as maneuverable as other mounted units.
- Scythe Chariot
Information: Equipped with massive, spinning blades, the Scythe Chariot rushes directly into the heart of enemy formations. As it races through enemy ranks, its giant blades cut enemy soldiers to pieces.
Weaknesses: Spear infantry.
History: As the age of the chariot progressed, improvements were made to enhance their effectiveness. One such improvement were the scythe blades that were attached to the axles. If deployed on feasible terrain, and successfully charged into enemy formations, the scythe blades proved a great asset in not only cutting and wounding enemy soldiers, but served well for psychological demoralization. Scythe blades were known to have been utilized by the Assyrians, Gaul-Barbarians, Persians, Antiochus the Great of Syria, and Celtic peoples. The historian Xenophon gives account of King Cyrus' "Scythe Chariots" deployed at the battle of Thymbra (547 BC).
"But in the place where Abradatas and his companions charged, the Egyptians could not make an opening for them because the men on either side of them stood firm; consequently, those of the enemy who stood upright were struck in the furious charge of the horses and overthrown, and those who fell were crushed to pieces by the horses and the wheels, they and their arms; and whatever was caught in the scythes--everything, arms and men, was horribly mangled...."
"The scythe-bearing chariots also won extraordinary distinction, so that this military device also has been retained even to our day by each successive king."
Source: Cyropaedia of Xenophon; The Life of Cyrus The Great By: Xenophon (c. 430 - 355 BCE)
Some claim that Xenophon's accounts of the effectiveness of the Scythe Chariot are exaggerated. Nonetheless, we feel these accounts are important enough for Rise & Fall to emphasize the intended use of the Scythe Chariot in ancient warfare. Years later, Darius III of Persia utilized approximately 200 scythed-chariots at the battle of Guagamela against Alexander the Great. Their use proved futile when pitted against the newly introduced organized phalanxes.
- Imperial Knight
Information: Good against Archers and Siege weapons.
Weaknesses: Countered by Spear Infantry.
History: In the armies of the Roman Republic, cavalry played a relatively minor role; conflicts were usually decided by massed armoured infantry. However, in the army of the late Roman Empire, cavalry played an increasingly important role. During the Roman-Persian wars, the Romans began to adapt their traditional heavy-armoured fighting style to incorporate cavalry, fielding units of cataphracts and clibanarii within their forces.
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