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"For as, in times of war, they are readily reduced to extreme poverty by the almost daily inroads of the enemy, so, on the restoration of peace, they entirely neglect to cultivate their lands…(and)…seek their subsistence by robberies...."

— John Lesley, Bishop of Ross

Reaver Cavalry: Vital statistics
Reaver

Unit type

Light cavalry

Built/trained at

Stable

Damage and weapon type

Mediocre

Armour

Low

Production cost

  • Pop cost: 1
  • Resource cost: 40 Log; 60Food
  • Ramp cost: 1 Log; 1Food

Range

  • Melee
  • Good LOS

Unit move and creation speed

  • Unit movement speed: Fast
  • Creation speed: Normal

Unit HP

High

Technological requirements

Library

  • Modernage [3]

Upgrade of Light Cavalry for England; Border Raiders for Scotland

Factions available

The propensity for border raiding in England and Wales is continued further into the Imperial Era by the Reaver Cavalry. While Reaver Cavalry don't receive the armour or attack bonuses of continental medium cavalry, their added speed and their ability to spot an enemy from far means that Reaver Cavalry are thus a menace for those facing the Scots and the English. Yet, like most light cavalry units, it shouldn't be deployed in frontline shock assaults — use your heavy infantry and knights to do that instead.

Because of the different abilities of each others' armies, the way Reaver Cavalry are used by England and Scotland will be vastly different, with Scotland having a more aggressive approach due to its ability to obtain "insurance" from the deaths of Scots units. Thus, a force of Reavers can be assembled fairly quickly, and then sent in to do serious damage against enemy caravans, supply wagons, farms, and timber posts. Don't be afraid of losing a few of them — they have high hitpoints, and you can recoup your losses and replenish easily especially if you've forward-built a stable near your opponent. Additionally, dependence on fairly fragile Sciltron infantry also means that scouting and screening are of utmost importance — missile infantry must be kept away from Sciltrons and the Scots Reaver Cavalry can do that well.

England, however, does not enjoy the "insurance coverage" which Scottish units all have, and so an English player will need to learn to conserve their cavalry for better use, given that it draws resources — timber and food for infantry — away from England's best units. In this case the Reaver Cavalry would be best used as a defensive force for harassing enemy crossbowmen so that they can't fire back.

The near-lawlessness which characterised the "Border" region between northern England and Scotland soon gave rise to armed men known as "Reavers" or "Reivers", named so for their predatory way of life which often involved livestock rustling, banditry and even abducting people for ransom. As a fighting unit, however, their performance was highly questionable. On one hand, Elizabeth I was said to have been impressed with their effectiveness, yet on the other, other historical sources have scathingly excoriated them for their unpredictability, unruliness and obvious lack of discipline. Still, the many tall towers and bastions that still stand along the Scottish border to this day were a testament to just how fearsomely effective and notorious these horsemen were in their heyday, and they were also recruited as mercenaries with contacts in the British Isles, most notably serving with the Dutch against Habsburg rule in the later 16th century.

Unit summaryEdit

  • Light cavalry unit, not as effective as Troopers in combat but still enjoys added hitpoints and line of sight, making it a good foraging unit.

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