"Better is it to be hewn to pieces than to be captive! So let us mount, brothers, on our swift steeds and look upon the blue Don!"
— The Lay of Prince Igor
Unique Russian light cavalry unit, with weak armour, but fantastic speed, fast training time, and a propensity for knocking out enemy support units.
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Unlike the vsadniky, which are little more than rabble in saddles provided by the kynaz, the Russian Pomestia are a much more professional force, recruited by a kynaz to counterbalance the increasingly unruly Russian boyary. Equipped at the expense of the kynaz and salaried via the leasing of lands (from which they derive their name), Pomestia Cavalry are among the best cavalry units in the game, armed with long lances and years of experience skirmishing errant cossacks, Turks, Poles and Tatars who still continue to molest Mother Russia. The addition of Russia's anti-supply and siege bonuses to cavalry also means that the Pomestia are adept raiders against those foolish enough to leave their support units unattended, allowing them to be used for sudden, sweeping attacks.
While it is true that the Mongol Keshig retinue are more heavily armed, Pomestia Cavalry however have two other perks - they deal higher damage against unarmoured units, and also are capable of higher speeds, making them highly lethal raiders, perfect for chasing down enemies after victorious encounters, or raiding enemy siege and supply. Better still, they do not suffer the higher cost transitions prevalent in many Imperial Era units of other factions. Be wary of knights, however, as these units often have high levels of armour that make them hard to prevail against for the Pomestia. Equally, Pomestia are not meant to face scores of sipahis, Gothic-armoured knights or Italian elmetti - that is a task your Arquebusiers, Votchniky and Berdishy Dvor are meant to deal with. Use your infantry, along with your battle wagon mercenaries and arquebusiers to create defensive lines upon which your opponents can be broken using hammer-and-anvil strikes. Still, being a unique cavalry unit, they are highly adept at skirmishing gunpowder units, so a line of arquebusiers with no cavalry or pikes on hand is as good as dead should a wave of Pomestia Cavalry break on them.
- Bulletproof - Since Pomestia Lancers take less damage from non-naval gunpowder units, you can use them to charge an enemy's arquebusiers or cannon, removing a significant danger to your armies in the Imperial Era.
By the 16th century, Russia under the guidance of Rurikid Moscow was on its way to becoming a unified nation after a century or two of Mongol hegemony, and even then the new nation still faced many problems. Chief of this was the fact that the Tsar had his power often challenged and curtailed by the boyary, or local aristocracy, whose influence in politics loomed large over the land. One of the methods that Ivan IV Groznyj ("The Terrible") used to centralise power and reduce the stranglehold the Boyars had on the land was to introduce a new hereditary class, known as the "Pomestia" or "service gentry", making loyal service to the state a prerequisite for landownership. Most notorious of these were the Oprichniky, introduced in 1564, who were charged with the suppression of the Tsar's enemies within his land, which they did with utmost ruthlessness and cruelty.