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"Obey the Tsar in all things. If you serve the earthly king righteously and fear him, you will learn to fear the Heavenly King also. The Tsar is temporary, but the heavenly king is eternal."

— Ivan IV "The Terrible", The Domostroi (Cap VII)

In game[edit]

Palaceguard russia ico.png
Votchinik — Vital statistics

Unique Russian Imperial Era heavy cavalry, particularly effective in chasing down enemy missile cavalry and costing far less wealth to recruit, but is only available if Monarchy was researched and will not allow further training of heavy cavalry units from Stables.

Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
Upgrade of

  • Imperial Era
  • Level 3: Heraldry and Code of Honour Military
  • Monarchy Politics
160 7 22 2s
Cost Created from Armour Weapon range Specialty
Base Ramp Pop
Ore.png: 70
Wealth.jpg: 40;
Ore.png: 8


4 Melee
  • Inferior but cheaper heavy cavalry unit.
  • Armour-piercing attack.
  • Bonus damage versus light infantry.
  • Defensive bonus versus foot archers and ranged cavalry.
  • Slight attack penalty versus camel cavalry, and elephants.


Overall strategy[edit]

Votchniky (or Votchiniks) are the Russians' answer to the European knight, and are a cut above the normal boyary in that they enjoy greater privilleges and concern from the state, unlike traditional boyary who are mostly local strongmen, and are meant to serve as a "modern" heavy cavalry unit for the Russians.

Although they continue to consume a fair bit of metal like the boyary which they replace for Russia, they have two perks — the first is that like the previous Boyarnik Cavalry, they consume less wealth in production, and the second is that they are highly efficient at slaying missile cavalry units (but not camel-based units). The Votchniky are ideal warriors to use if you are playing against a faction which prides itself on missile cavalry, such as the Japanese and Mongols, but will also work in a pinch against factions using skirmisher cavalry such as Armenia and Spain.

Once made available, however, the Votchiniky will cancel your ability to recruit heavy cavalry from the Stable, so you need to be careful. The Votchniky are not a good choice against cavalry factions since they potentially result in a bottling up of your recruitment — it will do no good to have to rely on the Nobles' Court for your heavy cavalry needs if you are playing against the Empire or France who can get very good cavalry from the Stable. Still, like many unique heavy cavalrymen, they are superb warriors and can deal far more damage than most other cavalry units due to their high-speed attack.

Unit summary[edit]

  • Shock and Awe— Heavy cavalrymen are fairly slow, but still fast enough to chase and hunt down lightly-armed infantry, and also are the bane of light or medium cavalry.
  • Shiny Happy People Holding Spears —The main weakness of the Votchinik is in being swarmed — or being force-fed into a grinder of spearwalls, such as those at Kontrijk.
  • Heavy Metal — Like all Russian heavy units, a Votchinik consumes inordinately high amounts of iron, so you must safeguard your metal resources where possible.


The system of hereditary land ownership in Mediaeval Russia was called votchina, and tended to be the mainstay of the power of the Russian boyary, especially in the years following the destruction of Kiev by the Mongols of the Golden Horde. Much later, the rulers of Muscovy (and later Imperial Russia) were involved in a struggle with the boyary and attempted to consolidate power by placing more obligations on the votchina rights of the boyary while others instead chose to grant or guarantee votchina rights to loyal boyary and other subjects who proved their worth in service to the Tsar.