Várispán Lancer

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The warriors of Duke Álmos were much encouraged and they at once sounded on all sides the trumpets of war, and both lines of foes came together and they began to fight each other fiercely, and many Ruthenes and Cumans were slain.

— Gesta Hungarorum

In game[edit]

Várispán Lancer
Várispán Lancer — Vital statistics
Várispán Lancer

Heavy cavalry, with a more powerful attack than a Knight, but with poor hitpoint score.

Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
speed
Upgrade of Upgrades to
  • Castle Age;
  • Level 3: Heraldry and Code of Honour Military
16.3s
(245t)
91 7 20 5.9s
(35t)
31
Cost Created from Armour Weapon range Specialty
Base Ramp Pop
Ore.png: 60;
Wealth.jpg: 50
Ore.png: 1;
Wealth.jpg: 1
1

Stable

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

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Overall strategy[edit]

Unlike most of Europe, Hungary was a fairly unified state, with the king exercising absolute power and the nobles entrenched fully as part of the royal bureaucracy. The Várispánok were gentry and military commanders of garrisons throughout the kingdom, and were based around the many fortresses during the Arpadian era.

As descendents of the Magyar Noblemen, Várispán Lancers still carry on the role of shock troops capable of causing great damage on the first blow. Although they don't have as many hitpoints as the heavier run-of-the-mill knight, their intense attack should serve well enough in destroying what heavy cavalry does best — routing more lightly equipped opponents and fleeing infantry. Thus, in hammer-and-anvil strikes and pursuit they are king, but they perform atrociously in frontal attacks on more heavily armoured foes.

Unit summary[edit]

  • He Who Liveth By The Sword ... — Várispán 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.

History[edit]

The Magyars who founded modern Hungary were a tribe of nomads who settled around the Danube basin at the onset of the 10th century. As one of the many nomadic tribes moving westwards into Europe, the Magyars were also expert horsemen, and in many battles against the Germans and the Byzantines, their cavalry proved to be the terror of the locals, who were sufficiently shaken to specifically plead "Deliver us, o Lord, of the arrows of the Hungarians" in prayers at church. Although peace would come soon in the 11th century with the pacification of the Magyars and their conversion to Catholic Christianity, they never fully forgot their nomadic roots, and for centuries, their skills with horseriding and archery gained them fame.

In the early years of Christian Hungary, the nation was divided into several counties, ruled by an official named an ispán (often referred to in Latin by Hungarian sources as comes or "count"). Unlike contemporary or later times and societies where this title and its privilleges were hereditary, the role of the ispán in the Magyar kingdom resembled that of the comes in Late Roman or early Frankish society — he was an official who oversaw a country on behalf of the sovereign, but whose appointment was dependent on the latter, not any system of hereditary power. The Várispáns or comes castri (Latin: "castle counts") were the ispáns of designated "fortress-districts". In addition to maintaining the infrastructure of whichever county over which they had jurisdiction, the Várispáns were also required to serve in the King's armies and to organise the military forces of Hungary.