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He that is weakest among you shall be in my eye the strongest, until I have vindicated for him his rights.

— Caliph Umar ibn Khattab

Peasant Levy: Vital statistics
Peasantlevy

Unit type

Armed rabble

Built/trained at

Peasant commune

Damage and weapon type

Nuisance

Armour

None

Production cost

  • Pop cost: 1
  • Resource cost: 10Ore, 20Food
  • Ramp cost: 1Food

Range

  • Melee
  • Poor LOS

Unit move and creation speed

  • Unit movement speed: very slow
  • Creation speed: fast

Unit HP

Insignificant

Technological requirements

Library:—

Factions available

All except:
Saracens Moors Japan Sicily

The runts of any mediaeval armed force, Peasant Levy are basically rustics with the lowest common denominator in equipment and marching orders shoved into their hands. Sometimes, they are so pitifully starved that the marching orders are eaten before they've actually read them. The only benefit from using them is the fact that they are cheap and replaceable — but not necessarily dependable. In large numbers, peasant levymen are adept as a fighting force against soft targets, being capable of swarming smaller forces — but pit them against heavily mailed knights or pikemen or even Asian Suicide Soldiers, and 9 times out of 10, the fight will become a rout, and the rout a massacre.

Because of their low morale, it is rare for any commander to rely on Peasant Levy unless desperate, and even so they cannot be selected by clicking with your mouse. One method of rushing them would probably be to locate your enemy's city, place the rally point of your Peasant Commune near the town, and then begin spam-building Peasant Levy to march there once you have set the Peasant Commune's unit stance to whichever setting you desire. This can be quite a useful strategy, especially for the Byzantines, Armenians and Russians, because they have access to the Chapterhouse, a replacement for the Peasants' Commune which doesn't get captured along with any towns you lose. Strangely, if you are attacked by Peasant Levy you will find it impossible to get your troops to attack them. For some reason or the other, Peasant Levy can't be attacked directly, so the best units that you should use against them would be ranged cavalry.

Despite the seeming weakness of peasant levies, some other factions have improved versions of these units which are all capable of being ordered around. Muslim factions can hire a variety of fast-moving, hard-hitting militia units. Christian factions however are not far behind, however: in Iberia, the Quadrilheiros are a militia that serve in the role of law enforcement and are hence tougher than normal and also have good line of sight, while Pike Levy are useful as anti-cavalry melee deterrents, while the Urban Militia of Venice are hardened fighters on par with the Asian suicide soldier.

Unit summary

  • Very weak melee unit which is only good for city defence.
  • Trash — The only benefit from using them is the fact that they are cheap and replaceable — but not necessarily dependable, as you are unable to select them.
  • Marching Orders — It is still possible to use Peasant Levy as an attack force. Just set the rally point of a Peasant Commune near an enemy, the unit stance of said building to Aggressive and then spam-build your Peasant Levy from the building.
  • An Unworthy Foe —Peasant Levy can't be attacked directly, so the best units that you should use against them would be ranged cavalry.
  • Poison-Pill strategy — in late Imperial games, Russians, Byzantines and Armenians can train Peasant Levy in towns that they have lost even as they get absorbed, making occupation of their cities a nasty prospect for any potential hostile takeovers.
  • Dead On Arrival — Sadly, Peasant Levy are only just militia, and can be easily torn apart by cavalry and archers, and so are best only for low-intensity warfare involving skirmishes and not full-blown battles.
  • Ghuzat Volunteers — Most Muslim factions can recruit Ghuzat Volunteers which replace Peasant Levy, which are among the best if not being the best themselves, in that they can be selected and commanded to either attack or withdraw.

Trivia

Prior to RKC 3 — Warriors of Allah, Peasant Levy were individually selectable by human players. It was a common tactic for human players not to create barracks units, but to "rush" their opponents using nothing but Peasant Levymen. From RKC 3 onward, only factions indoctrinated into Islam by 888CE — the Moors, Saracens and Sicilians — could do this successfully by using Ghuzat Volunteers.

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