No Flag DracoWolfgand
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05 Dec 2018, 14:11

So, after the fiasco that was my "Which civilization has the best cavalry: The Sioux or the Indians" topic, I decided I would give a go on ust... Discussing what I consider to be the best cavalry civilizations in general. I thought I would start with heavy cavalry, and later make a topic to discuss light cavalry. Depending, I might do something similar for infantry and artillery later on, if these prove popular. Units that are not heavy cavalry in theirselves, but ARE typically used to support it can be considered, but only in how they help your heavy cavalry Allright, here we go!

#1: The French

I always found the Cuirassier/Skirmisher combo incredibly difficult to counter, especially on the Industrial age. Although the French certainly have more options then that, this is pretty much their go-to tactic on the late game. ... Yeah, not much else to say here.

#2: The Spanish.

Speaking on which, for a slightly rarer but still very powerfull, for very similar reasons combo... Lancers +Dragoons with Missionaires supporting the Dragoons with Unction is kind of ridiculous, perhaps even more so then the previous combo due to higher mobility I put it below the French, however, because the Spanish actually need to send out a card to have access to this little tactic. Also, as overpowered of a card as Unction may SEEM on paper, dont forget Missionairies are fairly vulnerable.

#3: The Sioux.

Now, why are these guys so low on the list? See, two of their heavy-cavalry units( The Dog Soldier, and the Prowlers ) have something about then which makes the either impratical, or impossible, to mass in too large numbers. The third cavalry unit( The Axe Rider ) is... Actually fairly powerfull, but let us face it, it is no Cuirassier. They also lack a proper Skirmisher-like unit, with their best support for heavy cavalry being the Rifle Rider( Which is... Actually pretty damn good if your opponent relies on heavy infantry, but going to prove to be a terrible combo against opponents who prefer abusing their light cavalry ), and the Wakina Rifle( Which is... Pretty much the only real counter to light cavalry the Sioux have. It is no Voltigeur Skirmisher, though. )

#4: The Russians.

Although they only really start shifting into being a cavalry civilization in the Industrial Age( Where population effectiveness becomes crucial ), the Russian Cossack is no laughing matter on that age. Its amazing population effectiveness almost makes up for how population innefective Russian infantry is... Almost. But, seriously now, in terms of population effectiveness, the Cossack might be the best cavalry in the game. Again, it is only so low on the list because A: Earlier on, other cavalry units( Like the ones used by the above civs ) are arguably better, and B: Like much of the rest of Russian units, its "quality over quantity" approach makes it particularly vulnerable to units with area damage( Namelly, Doppelsoldners, Samurai and the likes of that ).

#5: The Chinese

So, the Chinese have no lack of options where heavy cavalry is concerned. We have the Steppe Rider, which is kind of a interesting mid term between the Naginata Rider, the Oprichnik and the Cossack. It is cheap, a good counter against light infantry, can be massed in huge amounts and, with the right cards, gets a large attack bonus against villagers. Sadly, even considering the cards the Chinese have to upgrade then, they just arent as good in direct combat as the Cossacks, meaning they are mostly raiders and maybe Light Infantry counters. There is also the Iron Flails, which I personally deem to actually be underrated, as, again with the right cards, they are actually a bit-Better-Then the Steppe Rider, cost effectiveness-wise, against most units. With how the Chinese have few units with over two hundred base hit points, they are also just good all-around meatshields.

What convinced me, though, was the Meteor hammer. This heavy cavalry unit in unique as it is the only heavy cavalry unit that can attack at range, what allows it to, to a extent, if micromanaged well enough, counter some of its usual counters, like Halberdiers, Doppelsoldners etc. It still has enough attack and ranged armor to deal with light infantry as usual, but it is significantly more frail then most heavy cavalry, meaning it is actually quite vulnerable to other, superior heavy cavalry units. On the overral, just how much you will like the Meteor Hammer kind of depends on how good you are at micromanagement because, unlike most heavy cavalry, it is unwise to just have it charge at your opponent front line.

EDIT: Originally, the Indians were #5, but I decided to replace then with Chinese because I realised that, originally, I was focusing too much on their Steppe Riders on my analysis and too little on other, usefull units like the Meteor Hammer.
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Poland pecelot
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05 Dec 2018, 15:01

standard Brit hussar is good also: 3 upgrades and royalty
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Canada Mitoe
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05 Dec 2018, 15:05

China tho
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Sweden Gendarme
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05 Dec 2018, 15:10

Steppe Riders are strong yeah
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No Flag DracoWolfgand
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05 Dec 2018, 15:38

I was considering to put China, actually! But I eventually decided to put Russia instead because Cossacks are basically a more powerfull, more versatile version of the Steppe Riders. Not sure if I should put China instead of India, but then again, it would be kind of boring as Steppe Riders and Cossacks are good for basically the same reasons.
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Canada Mitoe
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05 Dec 2018, 15:40

Um... Yeah. Steppe Riders. That must've been what I was talking about :hmm:
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Italy Garja
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05 Dec 2018, 15:49

#1 French (cause cuirs)
#2 Sioux (cause axe, DS and even tashunke for lolz)
#3 Russia (cause cossacks are high upgrdable and 1 pop and because of opris)
#4 Brits (cause most upgradable huss)
#5 Germany (cause ulhan isbasically the most upgradable heavy cav unit)
Honorable mentions:
- china (because of 2 types of specialized cav, attack from range and unique armor card)
- spain (because of highly upgradable huss and lancer)
- japan (because nagis are well rounded and relatively upgradable unit)
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France P i k i l i c
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05 Dec 2018, 15:50

Steppe Riders are basically cheap oprichniks, not cossacks
Also to sum up, any cavalry is more cost effective than mahouts and than Jat lancers, for example, iron flails and especially meteor hammers are better
Thats why India is the worst cavalry civilisation in the game
That being said, mahouts and Jat lancers are fun
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Italy Garja
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05 Dec 2018, 15:52

Worst heavy cav in the game is prob Ports or Dutch. Also Iro and Aztecs are nothing special.
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Sweden tabben
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05 Dec 2018, 15:59

P i k i l i c wrote:Steppe Riders are basically cheap oprichniks

except they require a card to actually do significant damage vs great coat'd villagers :sad:
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05 Dec 2018, 16:19

Brit french china sioux jap
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05 Dec 2018, 18:44

Garja wrote:Worst heavy cav in the game is prob Ports or Dutch. Also Iro and Aztecs are nothing special.


Don't all the goon cards that ports have boost hussars too? Coyotes are good age 2 for sheer cost efficiency and very upgradeable age 2 (card plus war dance) but get laughably bad late game without every card and even then are just about on par with a dutch hussar

Iro has basically worst cav in the game. Attack dance helps but few iro players use the firepit and few iro games go late enough to make it useable either.

China has meteor hammers which i would say are arguably the best non-splash damage cav in the game when fully upgraded and incredibly cost effective too. Shame you cant train them by themselves since iron flails are mediocre and steppe riders are useful only for seige and raids.

British hussars are underrated as are british dragoons being only very slightly weaker than Portuguese goons

Spahi are great but impossible to mass

Nagi are very tanky but weirdly bad against artillery because they have low base damage. This SHOULD be compensated for by yabusame (lol) but... just no

Dutch has bad heavy cav but 2nd best skirms so i guess you cant win them all
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Poland pecelot
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05 Dec 2018, 19:37

Ports have only one cav combat card, which is actually better than usual (20%, not sure if for goons only), and the Genitours one on top of royalty upgrade; their hussars are very generic
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No Flag DracoWolfgand
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05 Dec 2018, 19:42

Iroquois cavalry is PASSABLE on the early game( In terms of raw stats, Kanya Horseman and Musket Rider are only slightly worse off then the Hussar and the Dragoon... And they are also cheaper ), but it only gets worse as the game progress.

I somehow totally forgot about Meteor Hammers. On their own gimmicky way, they are awesome, mostly because of how, if you are good enough at micromanaging, it is possible to counter some meele heavy infantry with then through sheer abuse of micromanaging. With that said, they are also more frail then most heavy cavalry( Probably to make up for their ability to attack at range ), what makes me kind of see then as a... "Mid term" between heavy and light cavalry? Oh, well. Anyway, if you dont mind some extra micromanaging, they are some of the best heavy cavalry you can have. In fact, I think I will edit the opening post.

Spahis are pretty neat, but since you know you will only have so many of then through, you know, THE ENTIRE GAME, they are best off used in hit-and-run tactics. Alternatively, one shouldnt underestimate the good old, standart Royal Guard Ottoman Hussar either.

I see Naginata Riders as almost exclusevly a counter to light infantry. Yabusame on another hand are laughably weak and probably the worst light cavalry in the game, period. I think the game developers were triyng to make it some kind of awkward mid-term between the Culverin and the Dragoon, but HOLY SHIT did they failed.( The sad part is, it also has the longest range and highest ranged resistance of any light cavalry, what are wasted thanks to its incredibly low basic Attack ). If I were to make a "Top 5 WORST cavalry civilizations" list, then the only thing that I think that might save the Japanese is that, luckily, their mercenary Yojimbo Cavalry Archers are almost as good as their Yabusame are bad. Atonement is VITAL to get if you are plaiyng as the Japanese.
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Canada dansil92
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05 Dec 2018, 21:10

DracoWolfgand wrote:I somehow totally forgot about Meteor Hammers. On their own gimmicky way, they are awesome, mostly because of how, if you are good enough at micromanaging, it is possible to counter some meele heavy infantry with then through sheer abuse of micromanaging. With that said, they are also more frail then most heavy cavalry( Probably to make up for their ability to attack at range ), what makes me kind of see then as a... "Mid term" between heavy and light cavalry? Oh, well. Anyway, if you dont mind some extra micromanaging, they are some of the best heavy cavalry you can have. In fact, I think I will edit the opening post.


Once the armour card is in 40% range resist makes meteor hammers very tanky. I actually intentionally micro them onto musketeers because it doesn't trigger the melee unless the player activates it manually. Oh and they shadow tech to fortress, a very handy perk
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Canada Mitoe
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05 Dec 2018, 21:25

Meteor Hammers aren't really all that strong on their own in big fights. It's the combination with the Iron flails that makes China's cavalry so strong. Most of the time if you have a cavalry mass larger than 15-20 units, half of your units get trapped pathing around behind the frontline units to fight, so only like 60-70% of your cavalry is doing damage. With Iron Flail + Meteors your damage output is significantly greater en masse compared to other cavalry.
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05 Dec 2018, 21:42

Garja wrote:Worst heavy cav in the game is prob Ports or Dutch. Also Iro and Aztecs are nothing special.
I don't see sowars being better than hussar, kanya or coyote, and we see cav semis from both Europeans, 4 kanya very nice shipment and coyotes are very common
That's why a said India is the worst heavy cav civ
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Italy Garja
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05 Dec 2018, 22:35

sowar arent great but they have lot of ups. Dutch and Port huss have only one. In late game sowar or mahouts can counter infantry while huss are useless with their 20% rr and no ups.
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05 Dec 2018, 23:25

id rather have huss lategame than sowar lmao
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06 Dec 2018, 00:01

not dutch huss lmao. Like sowar counter yumi more than huss, just think about that.
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France Kaiserklein
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06 Dec 2018, 00:07

Sowars don't tank shit though, and die to basically anything besides RI
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06 Dec 2018, 00:13

garja talking about stats when those stats are irrelevant, dutch huss are just better in pretty much every situation than sowars
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Italy Garja
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06 Dec 2018, 00:17

they move faster and have 30% rr, basically they do well at countering RI. Huss without several ups don't tank that much either and at the same time they have lame damage output.
Hazza54321 wrote:garja talking about stats when those stats are irrelevant, dutch huss are just better in pretty much every situation than sowars

Definetely not in late game. In fortress maybe yes, because cav combat is still quite impactful. But as the game goes on, other civs have royal guard units and eventually ship the extra upgrades. Like in team Dutch or Port huss are close to be garbage. Sowars at least do counter RI very hard.
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Brazil lemmings121
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06 Dec 2018, 13:19

Garja wrote:Worst heavy cav in the game is prob Ports or Dutch. Also Iro and Aztecs are nothing special.


Maybe for super late game, but considering a real sup game, dutch cav is good, since as dutch its usually easier then most civs to get cav combat out, they get early(ish) vet cav combat huss, which is pretty good at that point in the game.

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