"And make ready against the infidels all of the power you can, including steeds of war."
— The Qur'an, 8:60
While not as good as a Knight in single combat, Light Cavalry are (as their name suggests) meant to perform forage, reconaissance, and raiding. Still, these units have some added armour and attack to them, meaning that if need be, they can be used to knock down enemy units in combat, particularly archers and siege weapons although medium infantry such as Swordsmen may pose problems. Far worse are other cavalry units and heavy infantry. Any area infested with spear infantry is a no-go area for Light Cavalry.
Some factions, however, have different specialisations: the Russians have Vsadniky, a weaker but cheaper version of Light Cavalry that can be spam-built from the Castle Age onward, which with the Russian bonus for added damage against support units can be highly versatile. In contrast, the Mongols and the Scottish tend to breed horses for durability, albeit their units perform differently: Mongol cavalry is better considered as medium cavalry, while the Scots cavalry concentrates solely on raiding and infiltration tactics. Scottish cavalry is better suited for defence and skirmishing as opposed to the Mongol cavalry which with its added stats can be used to harass heavy infantry. Sadly, neither the Japanese nor the Welsh can train Light Cavalry.
- Better Something Than Nothing At All — While not as good as a Knight in single combat, Light Cavalry have some added armour and attack so they can be used to knock down enemy units in combat, particularly archers and siege weapons.
- He Who Liveth By The Sword ... — As always, Light Cavalry have sufficient armour and punching power to plow through hails of arrows, but not a wall of determined pointy objects. Thus while they are most effective against enemy archers and infantry, their worst enemy will forever be pikemen.
- Vsadniky — the Russian Vsadniky is a weaker but cheaper version of Light Cavalry that can be massed for impact, which with the Russian bonus for added damage against support units can be highly versatile.
- Baatur — In contrast, Mongol Baatur are better considered as medium cavalry, meant to serve in multiple roles, including frontline assaults on enemy cavalry.
- Border Raiders — The Scottish Border Raider is better suited for defence and skirmishing as opposed to the Mongol cavalry which with its added stats can be used to harass heavy infantry.
Although heavy cavalry tactics would well dominate Europe for three hundred years after the First Crusade, light cavalry continued to be important, especially in areas that were impoverished, highly open, or filled with broken terrain, such as the mountainous south of Spain or the open wastes of Central Asia. The Turks and the Mongols often had the best light cavalry, because of their access to horses and the necessity of light cavalry for operations in the open grassy plains of Asia.