Renaissance Era mounted unit. Upgrades from the Pikeman. Requires Horses.
- Common abilities:
- Formation I promotion
- Can Move After Attacking
- Penalty Attacking Cities (33)
- No Defensive Terrain Bonuses
The Lancer is a mixed purpose unit: it's more powerful than the Knight or the Pikeman and it can better perform most of their functions. It receives the first Formation promotion by default, granting 33% strength against mounted units ().
In the base game, it does not receive any hard combat bonuses against Mounted units. Instead it can outpace them by 1 Movement (total of 4) and can catch retreating enemy cavalry even after they retreat.
However, this version of the Lancer is also strictly an offensive unit; the same spear that allows it to perform powerful charges when attacking is too unwieldy for defense and nets the unit a combat penalty when defending. Like other mounted units, when stopped they can be quickly destroyed by ranged units. Cautious utilisation of the extra movement is wise.
Lancers were the cavalrymen of the Renaissance era. In an era of the increasing use of cannon and other gunpowder-based weaponry speed and maneuverability trumped armor, which was increasingly useless against the modern projectile weapons. Because of this, Lancers abandoned much of the heavy plate mail of their knightly predecessors, retaining only the metal breastplate, if that. Even as weaponry improved, the lance remained a terrifyingly effective weapon in the hands of trained horsemen. As late as the Napoleonic Wars, the French believed that the lance was a superior cavalry weapon to the sword. In the 19th century both would be supplanted by the rifle, of course.