The Prowess of Javelin Cavalry

by el_bandito

While looking for old files to delete, I came across one of my treasured TGA gallery which included my Moorish, Egyptian and Russian Campaigns played almost a year ago. One thing that was common in these three faction was that I relied on missile cavalry from the beginning to the end. Particularly spear throwing cavalry as the Moors and the Russians. Many people think javelin cavalry are worthless due to their close range and uncontrollable actions when in skirmishing mode. I am here to show you the opposite is true.

Boyar Sons Javelin Cavalry

Lets start with javelin cavalry's strengths and weaknesses.


  1. Short Range. (55 range compared to 120 of horse archers)
  2. Low ammo. (8 ammo compared to 25 of horse archers)
  3. Limited to fewer factions.


  1. Armor Piercing missiles. (higher attack value too)
  2. Have higher attack and defense. (you really will appreciate it when you run out of ammo)
  3. Generally higher morale.
  4. Better accuracy due to closer range.
  5. Fast buggers.

Now that you are bit familiar with them, let me show you what they can do.

The Moor's Javelin Cavalry defeat Egypt

Portugal is history by turn 9

As the Moors, utilizing clever use of cavalry I destroyed Portugal in the 9th turn. Spear chucking Desert Cavalry played its part. Although I gradually replaced them with Granadine Jinetes, the power of javelin cavalry was such that even the powerful Egyptian Mamluks were defeated easily. Pretty nice victory. After grabbing Egypt, Iberia, and Africa I replaced all my missile cavalry with Camel Gunners for my European Campaign, thus came the end of that era.

The real glory for javelin cavalry came when I played as the Russians. The meager Polaks (without the "C") were destroyed within 30 turns. Here is the aftermath of the most pivotal battle. Couldn't have pulled it out without the Boyar Sons.

Two stacks of Danes are defeated

Fast forward 20 turns and I'm at odds with the Danes. The Danish thought they had me trapped between two full Stacks but what happened was their own worst nightmare. They never recovered, and after 20 turns they were gone as well.

Thanks to those Boyar Sons...

The HRE glared at me in a funny way so I began my own Blitzkrieg in their lands from the North. Desperate, they recruited lots of Mercenary Spearmen, thinking it will stop my cavalry. Alas javelins are mightier than shields and this was the result.

After the sacking of Nuremburg, (I adopted the sack and forget strategy) my single stack moved towards the heart of Europe. Near Innsbruck, another full stack of Imperials came knocking. Here is what happened.

Shortly after...

Seconds into the battle...

That was it. Although my generals and Druzhina lifted the heavy weights in front, the Javelins thrown before the clash greatly helped to demoralize the enemy allowing swift routs.

Again, thanks to the Boyar Sons

I was young and brash back then, burning and sacking settlements, executing any prisoners... (Now I find joy in good diplomacy) Blasted Sicilians took advantage of my incursion and controlled pretty much all the western HRE as well as some of France. In their last act of desperation, the imperials tried to trap me like what the Danes did, with the Faction leader and the heir commanding vast amount of troops. Javelins burn though those armored units faster than they can surrender.

One great thing about missile cavalry is the fact they hardly takes casualties when used right, therefore very self sustaining in campaigns, especially coupled with General's Bodyguards. Add to the fact the javelin cavalry can be retrained from just castles, the army can keep going forever.

The javelins fly before the charge...

The battle lasted a matter of seconds

The greedy Sicilians tried to take me by surprise and attack my isolated stack. Little did they know it was their doom. Nothing can make a Mongolian's blood boil with excitement than this. Battle didn't even last half minute.

Having taught the Sicilians a painful lesson, I turned my attention to Venetians since they were disturbing my good fellow Orthodox ally, the Byzantines. I sent a fresh young general Mal with equally green Boyar Son recruits. Of course a full stack of opposition is what I was expecting and received next to Thessalonica. Bad day for the Venetians.

Bad day for the Venetians

Soon after this battle, I accidentally overwrote my Russian campaign save file. Bugger. Anyway, hope you enjoyed seeing the awesomeness of javelin cavalry and let's see those Russian bad-asses one last time.

Polish missile cavalry are fearsome

PS: Russia wasn't the only faction with good javelin cavalry, as this picture proves. Polish Nobles are just as deadly if not more so.

Then there are the Spanish and the Portuguese with the awesome Jinetes...try em out.

Rule of the thumb is focus missile fire on armored units, particularly Bodyguards, and heavy spearmen. Memorize the auto shoot button "I", and the auto skirmishing button "K",(in FPS key settings). "A" and "S" by default. Use the former to throw your spears for maximum damage and the latter to avoid those who try to corner you.