Frankish Knight

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[A] Frank on horseback is invincible, and would even make a hole in the walls of Babylon.

— Anna Comnena, The Alexiad, Cap XV

In game[edit]

Frankish Knight
Frankish Knight — Vital statistics
Frankish Knight

Heavy cavalry unit, with faster movement and stronger attack than normal knights.

Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
Upgrade of Upgrades to
Level 3: Heraldry and Code of Honour Military
110 7 16 5.9s


Gendarme ico.png

Cost Created from Armour Weapon range Specialty
Base Ramp Pop
Ore.png: 60;
Wealth.jpg: 50
Ore.png: 1;
Wealth.jpg: 1


5 Melee
  • Bonus damage versus light infantry.
  • Defensive bonus versus Archers.
  • Attack penalty versus camel cavalry and elephants.


Overall strategy[edit]

Armed from tip to toe in cast-iron hauberks and helms, and emblazoned with elaborate heraldic badges, these men are a cut above other knights. Whereas the Norse equestrian class allows its owners to save on metal, and the Persian lancers of the Turks enjoy greater agility with their first strike ability, Frankish knights are simply known for two characteristic French traits: riding harder and hitting harder. The philosophy behind their deployment is simple: "Get there before the enemy can, and once you do, hit him harder than he can." Additionally, France's fine cavalry skills means that you will be capable of creating these units faster than anyone else, too and getting to them is much faster compared to other units.

Frankish knights still have the same enemies, however: other unique units such as the Turkish Transoxanians can harass them before they can reach them, even as they are equally likely to be spitted by peasant pikemen as they will be by their foreign counterparts if used recklessly, thus Frankish Knights, being as costly as most heavy cavalry everywhere, are best used for harrying enemy cavalry, plowing through militia and archers, and massacring normal knights or mailed lancers.

Unit summary[edit]

  • The Quick and the Dead — The speed and attack of Frankish Knights make them extremely well-disposed towards "disposing" light infantry.
  • Hammer and Anvil — Given their better speed and attack, use these units to flank and even ride down dispersed infantry whereso needed.
  • Knightmare Scenarios — As always, Frankish Knights have sufficient armour and punching power to plow through hails of arrows, but not a wall of determined pointy objects. Concentrated heavy infantry will easily take them apart, so avoid using them against Spearmen or Spear Sergeants where possible.
  • Semester Cramming — If needed, Frankish Knights can be quickly upgraded to Gendarmerie d'Ordonnance, taking less time than other lancer cavalry units.


The sheer amount of arable land and its feudal customs enabled the French lands in Capetian times to support substantial armed hosts, but at the same time fostered independence and centripetal forces which resulted in internecine conflict which well near doomed France as a single entity during the Hundred Years' War of 1337–1453 (and again during the slow and painful road towards the modern era).French nobles were not merely content to remain vassals of their kings, and some of these warlords even founded their own dynasties in other nations. The lords of Anjou, Normandy, and Burgundy were responsible for the conquest and creation of new nations and kingdoms stretching from Ireland and Iberia all the way to Greece and the Middle East.

Tourists who often visit the seemingly charming countryside of today's France, dotted with castles and fortifications (such as those of Carcassonne, Vincennes, Foix or even the former Louvre in France) often fail to appreciate the bloody-mindedness and bellicosity of Mediaeval France which necessitated the construction of so costly and huge projects.