Pronoiar Cavalry

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"The Roman troops [drew] up in array, and the royal standards and the silver-studded spears and the horses with their royal red saddle-cloths."

— Anna Comnena, The Alexiad, Cap V

In game

Pronoiar ico.png
Pronoiar Cavalry — Vital statistics
Pronoiar Cavalry

Unique heavy cavalry unit for the Byzantines, tougher than normal Knights or Mailed Lancers.

Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
Upgrade of
  • Castle Age;
  • Level 3: Heraldry and Code of Honour Military
110 7 16 5.9s

Cataphract tap.png

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


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


Overall strategy

Pronoiar Cavalry continue the tradition of hard-wearing Byzantine cavalry, with armour and constitution ratings being on par with most Imperial-Era heavy cavalry of Catholic factions, making them deadlier enemies as they are now tougher to bring down. This means that in effect, these units have the same hitpoints and armour as that of an Imperial-Era Man-at-Arms, so the Byzantine player can afford to use these units a little more aggressively, given that their added armour and hitpoints allow them to absorb more damage before being taken down. Despite this, however, weapons such as Javelin Cavalry and Mounted Cranequins can still pose problems, thus while Pronoiar Cavalry are excellent for killing off most melee opponents, don't expect them to perform well if faced against heavy infantry or faster-running cavalry. Plus, although they may be a unique unit, Pronoiar Cavalry are incapable of absorbing damage from bullets.

Unit summary

  • Hardboiled Leather - With the same hitpoints and armour as that of an Imperial-Era Man-at-Arms, the Byzantines can use these units more aggressively since their added armour and hitpoints allow them to absorb more damage
  • Pronoiar Prone to Damage - Despite their apparent better defensive stats, Pronoiar are still weak against gunpowder units, heavy infantry, and heavy missile cavalry.
  • He Who Liveth By The Sword ... — As always, Pronoiar 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.


The feudalisation of Byzantine governance began in the 11th century with the introduction of pronoia (Greek, "care", "forethought") or tax revenue jurisdictions. Although they allowed nobles to be invested with the duty to collect tax for the Empire in return for part of the proceeds, the actual reason for their existence was because the Emperor wanted to use it as a means of keeping potential troublemakers away from the capital, Constantinople, as far as possible. It was assumed that candidates for pronoia would be pacified with the promise of additional financial gain, thus mitigating the potential for rebellion. Unlike in Europe, pronoia did not entail military service from the investees, and many who had gotten rich from tax farming were often reluctant to do so. By the mid-13th century, new legislation eventually militarised the pronoia and even made them hereditary, effectively establishing European-style feudalism in the Byzantine Empire.