- Common abilities:
- Ignores enemy zone of control.
- Special traits:
- Lower Combat Strength (20 vs. 36).
- Lower Movement (3 vs. 4).
The Barbarian Horseman is weaker and slower than the Horseman available to the playable civilizations, and spawns only from outposts near Horses. Nonetheless, its mobility makes it troublesome in the early game, during which it can easily overtake and capture unescorted Builders and Settlers. Players near an outpost that can spawn Barbarian Horsemen should use Archers or Spearmen to protect any civilian units that leave their territory.
For many plains nomads, horses were more than livestock; they were a way of life. For groups such as the Vedics, Jurchen, Huns, the ancestors of the Mongols, and for New World groups post-contact, warriors lived in close symbiosis with their horses. Horse milk for Central Asian nomads was a staple part of the diet, and people moved constantly in search of new pastureland. Further, the sheer speed and maneuverability of horse-bound nomads made them a serious threat to more sedentary agriculturalists: horsemen could appear, raid, and disappear before settled people could mount any kind of response.