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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » Question: Which is the best cavalry civilization: The Sioux, or the Indians?
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Topic Subject:Question: Which is the best cavalry civilization: The Sioux, or the Indians?
Draco_Wolfgand
Skirmisher
posted 09-01-18 11:47 AM EDT (US)         
I have no idea whether this should be here or in the "Strategy Central"! But I thought it would be a fun discussion to have either way. So, here we go:

The main unit that the Indians are known for, and arguably their "ace", is the Mahout Lancer. Boasting one of the highest hitpoint amounts of any cavalry unit( In fact, I think it is-The-Meatiest non-mercenary cavalry unit, but I may be forgetting another ), a high Attack stat with the ability to do area damage, and surprisingly decent speed( Admittedly slower then conventional heavy cavalry, but not by as wide of a margin as one might think ), the Mahout Lancer would be arguably the ultimate cavalry unit, werent for its two weaknesses. First: it has a attack penalty against heavy infantry. On pratice, all it does is counterbalance its general attack bonus against all infantry units, and with its high attack and area damage, it can still destroy platoons of heavy infantry, especially for civilizations whose heavy infantry isnt very good to begin with. Still, it-Does-Makes it less effective against these units then other lancer cavalry, especially considering... Weakness #2: It is very expensive and very heavy on your population. They should usually be only used in small squads, at most 5-10, as to leave space to crucial support units such as the Gurkhas.

As for the rest of the Indian cavalry, we have: The Sowar( One of the fastest cavalry units in the game... Not actually all that strong, though. But decent for the purposes of Colonial Age raiding ), the Zamburak( One of the rare ranged cavalry units that can be trained straigh from the Colonial Age, what by itself already gives the Indian cavalry a point in the annoyance and Colonial Age raiding departament. It is very frail, but fast and occupies only a single population slot. In terms of population-effectiveness, it is arguably one of the best ranged cavalry units on the game, at least where it comes to countering heavy cavalry ), the Flail Elephant( A specialized building destroyer trainable at the Colonial Age. Basically a faster Ram, neat, but you are likely to forget about it once you begin training the more versatile and powetfull Mahout Lancer ), the Howdah( This one is not as powerfull as it looks, as the Zamburak actually beats it in terms of population efficiency against cavalry and general raiding potential. It has some advantages though: The biggest one being that, thanks to its huge health pool, although it is still capaeble of using hit and run tactics, it doesnt really-Need-To like other ranged cavalry usually does ), and the Siege Elephant( Take the Horse Artillery, give it-Much-More hit points, and you get this. If we are to compare it to the Howdah, obviously it is much better at destroiyng buildings, but much weaker against actual cavalry. It should be seen as a specialized building destroyer though, like standart artillery, it can still be used against infantry if properly protected, or if you pull it away whenever enemy infantry begins getting too close ). Normally, I dont count mercenary units, but I would like to open one exception, as there is a mercenary unit that can be trained exclusevly by the Indians: The Jat Lancer, another "Lancer" type of unit, this one more frail then the Mahout Lancer... But faster, occupiyng less population, with a better anti-infantry bonus and no penalty against Heavy Infantry. It is arguably comparable to the Dog Soldier, one of the two "stars" of the Sioux army: Actually, against infantry, I would go as far as to say the Jat Lancer is-Better. ... Dont forget, though, that the Jat Lancer is only avaliable through the "Atonement" card, on the Industrial Age, and like all mercenaries, it is really expensive.

As for the Sioux: Their army is mostly cavalry, but those which are arguably its two best units are the Dog Soldier, and the Rifle Rider. The Dog Soldier is a "lancer" type cavalry, much like the Spanish Lancer, except that... Well, to be frank, it is just all-around better. Faster, stronger, actually able to take on other meele cavalry through its sheer power, capable of getting a even better anti-infantry multiplier through cards... It is just really strong and versatile. Its only real weakness is that, because of the unusual way it is trained( Only trainable through villagers dancing at the Fire Pit ), it would take a long time to get any significant amount of then out. That makes it comparable, in some ways, to the Mahout Lancer or Jat Lancer as a powerfull and versatile, but hard to mass, cavalry unit.

The Rifle Rider on another hand is a weird yet incredibly powerfull light cavalry unit. As if being fast and having a high attack was not enough, it also has, on top of its attack bonus against heavy cavalry, also a attack bonus against heavy infantry, letting it butcher units such as Musketeers and other heavy infantry units that otherwise could take it on through a ranged attack of their own. It has, however, one weird weakness: It is technically classified as both heavy cavalry and light cavalry, meaning it takes bonus damage both from light infantry AND other light cavalry units. Since light cavalry is also the main counter to the Dog Soldier, this would make a hypotethical Dog Soldier/Rifle Rider army, although tempting, very vulnerable to light cavalry. Other units they have include: The Axe Rider( Because of how hard it is to mass Dog Soldiers, they are likely to be the main heavy cavalry one will be using. They are essentially the Sioux version of the Uhlan, a fast, heavy-hitting, but somewhat frail cavalry unit ), the Bow Rider( Another light cavalry unit that is avaliable right from the Colonial Age. It is not as powerfull as the Rifle Rider, but it is less vulnerable to other light cavalry too, as well as a amazing annoyer and harasser ), and the Tashunke Prowler( A cavalry unit with only average stats, but the property that it becomes more powerfull when there are more of it around. It also has a build limit of 12, though, but it is still excellent for skirmishers and quick raids ).

So, on the overral... Hmmmm... I feel TEMPTED to say the Indians have overral better cavalry, but it might be bias of mine speaking here, as they admittedly are my favourite civilization( Decided I prefer then over the Aztecs due to better versatility ). The Mahout Lancer is just a bit too good, and although the Sioux have several stars of their own, their cavalry does have some major weaknesses. For a example: As a whole, their army composition is very vulnerable to light cavalry, and they are more built for raiding and hit-and run tactics rather then just wrecking through your opponent settlement like the Indians can do with their Elephants.

[This message has been edited by Draco_Wolfgand (edited 09-01-2018 @ 11:50 AM).]

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