“Whether you flee from [natural] death or from being slain [in battle], flight will not profit you — for, however you fare, you are not [allowed] to enjoy life for more than a little while!”
— the Qur'an 33:16
Heavily armed warriors on horseback, so skilled with lances that they will always be the first to strike against other melee units.
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The Iranian peoples have always supported cavalry traditions for centuries and as such these units, hailing from beyond the river Oxus, are professionals, like the knights of Europe and also following almost similar rules of engagement. Transoxanian lancers are heavily armed warriors on horseback, and are highly skilled with lances. This allows them a ranged melee-based attack that can hit through ranks of enemies at the front to hit others behind them, thus making them even more efficient at catching archers and infantry on the fly. While this seems rather worthless compared to the French propensity for charging, or the Byzantine cavalry for defence, or even the Russian ability to save on wealth for humbler metal in its cost, bear in mind that this ability can often be useful against defensive players. Being heavily armoured, these units can take a beating from pikemen, and then rush away after removing archers from an army before they are defeated, leaving their foes at the mercy of heavy infantry, although as with all Castle Age cavalry and infantry they are extremely weak if facing gunpowder-based weaponry.
- Superior Horsemanship — Although they possess no other tactical bonuses, Transoxanian Lancers can often be useful against defensive players who make the mistake of bunching up infantry. The only way to counter this is by keeping cavalry of your own.
- He Who Liveth By The Sword ... — Transoxanian Lancers have devastating 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.
One of the largest Turco-Persian regimes to rule in Central Asia was Khwarezm. This large empire covered present-day Iran, Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan and western Uzbekistan and, in its heyday, was known for its fierce warriors and opulence. The empire came to an end when the Mongols defeated the Khwarizmids in a series of battles, but even then the empire made its presence felt in international politics. Its warriors, ousted by the Mongols, would wander the Muslim world seeking bread and glory and were even embroiled in the Crusades, where they made good their reputation by fighting the Christian forces seeking to hold Jerusalem.