"Through numerous acts of gallantry, they played havoc with the lines of the enemy army, wherein they caused much confusion."
— John of Drasxanakert, History of Armenia
Armed in Byzantine-style armour, and bearing sharp swords and sturdy bucklers, these men consist of the many nobles of Armenia who are too poor to afford a horse. This lack however doesn't put a dint in their skills, however, and in a nation that has had to remain vigilant against the Byzantines and Muslims, these men form a self-sufficient pool of troops who need less food as such for upkeep. Additionally like all unique units, no military research is required to access them, thus through the Azat Yeomen Armenian players are assured of a high-quality light- to medium-strength infantry unit that is fairly cheap and easy to obtain.
With regards to tactics, Azat Yeomen are best used in huge numbers, however, and are meant to be used against all types of mainstream infantry. Back these men up with your more lethal cavalry for maximum results in the field.
- Hack is the New Black — Versatility is key to using Azat Yeomen — they do exceedingly well against archers and possibly siege machines, and will perform well in melee but only if they enjoy crushing superiority.
- The Unbearable Cheapness of Being Unique — Since no further military research is required to access them, Azat Yeomen are a high-quality light- to medium-strength infantry unit that is fairly cheap and easy to obtain.
- Mercenary Swordsmen — Costling slightly less but no less powerfuk, Mercenary Swordsmen are available as a recruitable unit to several factions, most notably the Saracens, Byzantines, Turks, Russians, Burgundians and Mongols.
Throughout history, many cultures have developed swords and the arts of fencing, and swords have continued to have a ritual role even after the invention of firearms rendered them essentially obsolete as instruments of war.
The tumultous politics of Armenia always meant that despite being at home in the very place which was the homeland of the Hittite empire almost two thousand years ago, the Armenians were often doomed to become the vassals of larger and more united powers whenever they arose, such as the Assyrians, the Romans, the Sassanians and finally the Mongols and Saracens. In this world, the local gentry or Azats often loomed large over the land and often fought against fellow noble and king alike. Unsurprisingly, some of these men were also recruited by other foreign powers as mercenaries.