al diu werlt diu strîtet her
— Walther von der Vogelweide, Palästinalied
Heavy cavalry, with powerful attack, exceptional armour, but far more limited mobility compared to more agile medium cavalry or horse archers. Is trained faster than normal Man-at-Arms, but has a longer research period.
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Reichsrittern are highly prized fighters, albeit having a higher research time due to the highly complicated nature of crafting the armour for such knights. Still, you can be assured of your thalers' worth as these units smash into your opponent with all the hitting force of a sledghammer, and moreso against gunpowder units. As heavy cavalry units go, their strength (and cost) are second only to the Italian mercenary Elmetti, who (surprisingly) have the same armament of the Ritter.
- He Who Liveth By The Sword ... — As always, knights 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.
- Bulletproof — As the Reichsritter is a unique heavy cavalry unit, it takes reduced damage from non-naval gunpowder units, making it useful for hunting down enemy gunners.
Towards the 16th century, Europe experienced what could best be described as a "mini-Industrial Revolution" in which after almost a hiatus of 1,000 years, the production of steel sheets was regained by European societies. Whether this was due to introduction of new methods from Asia or from rediscovery of old methods remains to be discovered, but one thing is certain: it led to the improvement of personal armour. In Germany, there arose a style of armour, the product thereof which was called "Gotischer Plattenpanzer", or "Gothic armour". incorporating ridges and fluting in the armour reminiscent of Gothic architecture (and how it got its name). Gothic armour was revolutionary in its own day: it not only gave comprehensive protection to the wearer, but was flexible enough which granted better mobility to fighters encased in such a suit of armour.