"I have seen his forward spear. It is a meteor of death. The blood of thousands is on its steel."
— James Scott MacPhearson, Ossian
Armed with spears and clad in kilts of different colours and patterns, Cliarthaire are among some of the strongest units available to the Scots, being the best anti-cavalry unit in the game, but are slower than most heavy infantry. The Cliarthaire nevertheless holds his own among some of the more powerful Dark Age warriors available in the game. In suffiicient numbers and with a general's Forced March ability, they can even charge enemy archers, in which case the only enemy standing in the cliarthaire's way would be castles and other melee infantry units. The sluggish speed of the Cliarthaire makes them prime targets for archers, although it will be said that their superior stats should help them in a melee fight than most other spearmen.
There is a different version of this unit, which is armed with a Viking-style sparth axe, known as the Galloglaich. This unit is an exact copy save in four areas: it has 25% less armour, takes 33% less time to train and costs wealth to be recruited. Galloglaich infantry form the core of the mercenary armies of the Franks, Welsh and the Byzantines.
- Best anti-cavalry unit in the game, but are slower than most heavy infantry.
- The sluggish speed of the Cliarthaire makes them prime targets for archers, although they are highly proficient melee fighters.
- Galloglaich Infantry — Galloglaich Infantry are mercenaries which are trained faster but somewhat outclassed by other infantry units, as they are available one age later than normal Cliarthaire, but nevertheless remain just as powerful.