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My son, the down of youth grows on thy check. Thy arm has wielded the spear of war. Foes have felt thine force.

— James Scott MacPhearson, Ossian

Uchelwr: Vital statistics
Uchelwr

Unit type

Ranged medium cavalry

Built/trained at

Stable

Damage and weapon type

Good; javelin

Armour

Low

Production cost

  • Pop cost: 1
  • Resource cost: ?Coin
  • Ramp cost: ?Coin

Range

  • Mediocre
  • Medium LOS

Unit move and creation speed

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

Unit HP

Low

Technological requirements

Factions available

  • UU: Wales
  • Breton Routier: French Burgyndy Papal States
Few warriors would have the courage to stand up to an attack by Uchelwr, much less hunt one of these Welsh cavalrymen down. For not only do these men have the same constitution and strong mounts as most javelin cavalrymen in Rise of Kings, they also have another bonus: they are only visible to the foe when attacking, giving the Welsh armed forces the advantages of shock and surprise. This is also aided by the fact that all Gaelic cavalry (including the Teulu, the Uchelwr’s big brother, and the Breton Routier, which is the mercenary version of the Uchelwr) have slightly more armour than normal javelin cavalry, thus making them somewhat impervious to archer fire. Think of how horrifying it is to close in on the foe, only to realise that a group of mounted men have materialised out of nowhere to throw sharpened stakes into your rear!

Still, the Uchelwr nonetheless has several enemies. Because of the need for greater mobility, the Uchelwr doesn't have the same armour as a knight, so it can be easily taken down by rapid-firing ranged weapons such as bows. The same logic also means that it is also very weak if cornered by melee units — a cornered Uchelwr is pretty much a dead one.

The Mediaeval Era in Europe has often been called the "Age of the Knight" because the knight not only dominated local politics, but also had an overarching influence on military affairs, fighting in the role of both heavy cavalry and infantry. In Wales, however, it was another matter. The Welsh lands which alternated between unforgiving hill country and treacherous bogs meant that cavalry did not always work as well as it should — indeed, the Normans' insistence on using knightly heavy cavalry and infantry meant that the conquest of Wales took much longer than the rest of the British Isles. Welsh cavalry often formed the elite bodyguard (Teulu, "family") of a lord, and often preferred to use javelins in the Gaelic style as opposed to the fullblown glorious charge which was the hallmark of their Norman foes.

As in Wales, the terrain of northern France also consists of broken terrain, marsh and forest, making it an ideal place to lay ambushes and for skirmishing. As a result of this treacherous geography and the conflicts going on in France, there is a breed of mercenaries that follows the same drill as the Uchelwr: the Breton Routier. Although they normally serve the feudal kingdom of France, these men, hailing from an impoverished part of the world can nevertheless be found in the service of Papal and Burgundian courts, as all cash-strapped warriors tend to do and form some of the finest missile cavalry units available to most Christian factions.

Unit summaryEdit

  • Unique stealthy ranged medium cavalry, slower than most other cavalry units, but endowed with slightly more armour than normal Javelin Cavalry.
  • Riding Like Hell — Because of their decent armour and the sheer power of their javelins, Uchelwyr are highly effective counters for heavy cavalry and crossbow infantry, despite their slower speed and worse range.
  • Over-Counter Cavalry — Uchelwyr are high effective against slow-moving or slow-firing units, but light cavalry and archers can easily kill them.
  • Ghosting — Because Uchelwyr are cloaked except when attacking, they are very useful for infiltration and surprise attacks.
  • Breton Routier — Breton mercenaries serve in the courts of France, Burgundy and the Papal States, following the same traditions of the Uchelwyr.

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