FANDOM


m (top: clean up, replaced: [[Unique Unit (Age of Empires II)| → [[Unique unit (Age of Empires II)|)
m (Gallery: clean up, replaced: in the HD Edition and Definitive Edition → in the ''HD Edition'' and ''Definitive Edition'')
(48 intermediate revisions by 18 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
{{For|unit in [[Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings|Age of Empires II]]|the unit in [[Age of Empires]]|Cataphract (Age of Empires)}}
 
{{For|unit in [[Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings|Age of Empires II]]|the unit in [[Age of Empires]]|Cataphract (Age of Empires)}}
{{AoEIIUnits Test
+
{{Infobox unit
|Name=Cataphract
+
|Name = Cataphract
|Intro=[[File:KingsIcon.png]] ''[[Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings|The Age of Kings]]''
+
|Intro = [[File:KingsIcon.png]] ''[[Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings|The Age of Kings]]''
|Image=[[File:CataphractIcon.jpg|45px]]
+
|Image = <tabber> Definitive= [[File:CataphractIcon-DE.png|thumb|left|45px]]|-|Original=
|Type=[[Cavalry units (Age of Empires II)|Cavalry]]
+
[[File:CataphractIcon.jpg|45px]]
|Available=[[File:KingsIcon.png]] [[Byzantines]]
+
</tabber>
|Age=[[File:Castle-age-reseach.jpg|22px]] [[Castle Age]]
+
|Type = [[Cavalry units (Age of Empires II)|Cavalry]]
|Building=[[File:Castle-logo.jpg|22px]] [[Castle (Age of Empires II)|Castle]]
+
|Civilization = [[File:KingsIcon.png]] [[Byzantines]]
|UpTo=[[File:CataphractIcon.jpg|22px]] '''Elite Cataphract'''
+
|Age = [[File:CastleageDE.png|20px]] [[Castle Age]]
|UpCost=[[File:Elite-unique-research.jpg|22px]] {{resources|food=1600}}, {{resources|gold=800}}
+
|Building = [[File:Castle-logo.jpg|22px]] [[Castle (Age of Empires II)|Castle]]
|UpTime=50
+
|UpTo = [[File:CataphractIcon.jpg|22px]] '''Elite Cataphract'''
|Train={{tt|20|23 in The Age of Kings}} seconds
+
|UpCost = [[File:Elite-unique-research.jpg|22px]] {{resources|food = 1,600}}, {{resources|gold = 800}}
|Food=70
+
|UpTime = 50 seconds
|Gold=75
+
|TrainTime = {{tt|20|23 in The Age of Kings}} seconds
|HP=110, 150 <small>(Elite)</small>
+
|Food = 70
|Attack=9, 12 <small>(Elite)</small> [[Attack#Age of Empires II|melee]]
+
|Gold = 75
|BAttack = +9, +12 <small>(Elite)</small> vs [[Armor Class: Infantry|Infantry]]
+
|HP = 110, 150 <small>(Elite)</small>
|Armor=2
+
|Attack = 9, 12 <small>(Elite)</small> [[Attack#Age of Empires II|melee]]
|PArmor=1
+
|AttackBonus = +9, +12 <small>(Elite)</small> vs [[Armor class: Infantry|Infantry]]<br>+9, +10 <small>(Elite)</small> vs [[Armor class: Condottiero|Condottiero]]
|Class=[[Armor Class: Cavalry|Cavalry]] (+12, +16 <small>(Elite)</small>)<br>[[Armor Class: Unique Unit|Unique Unit]]
+
|Armor = 2
|Speed=1.35
+
|PierceArmor = 1
|LOS=4, 5 <small>(Elite)</small>
+
|Class = [[Armor class: Cavalry|Cavalry]] (+12, +16 <small>(Elite)</small>)<br>[[Armor class: Unique unit|Unique unit]]
|ROF={{tt|1.83|2.03 in The Age of Kings}}, {{tt|1.73|2.03 in The Age of Kings}} <small>(Elite)</small>
+
|Speed = 1.35
}}{{quote|Byzantine unique unit. Heavily armored cavalry.|''Age of Empires II'' description}}
+
|LOS = 4, 5 <small>(Elite)</small>
  +
|ROF = {{tt|1.8|2.0 in The Age of Kings}}, {{tt|1.7|2.0 in The Age of Kings}} <small>(Elite)</small>
  +
}}
  +
{{quote|Byzantine unique unit. Heavily armored cavalry.|''Age of Empires II'' description}}
 
The '''Cataphract''' is the [[Unique unit (Age of Empires II)|unique unit]] of the [[Byzantines]] in ''[[Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings|Age of Empires II]]''. It is a heavy [[Cavalry units (Age of Empires II)|cavalry]] unit that excels at combat against [[Infantry units (Age of Empires II)|infantry]].
 
The '''Cataphract''' is the [[Unique unit (Age of Empires II)|unique unit]] of the [[Byzantines]] in ''[[Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings|Age of Empires II]]''. It is a heavy [[Cavalry units (Age of Empires II)|cavalry]] unit that excels at combat against [[Infantry units (Age of Empires II)|infantry]].
   
Line 29: Line 29:
   
 
== Tactics ==
 
== Tactics ==
Due to its [[Trample Damage|trample]], overall good statistics, and attack bonus against infantry, the Cataphract is probably the unit with the fewest weaknesses. Particularly Elite Cataphracts are effective against almost all units which have an attack bonus against mounted units, such as [[Camel]]s or [[Mameluke (Age of Empires II)|Mamelukes]], since they have an innate resistance (+12/+16 (Elite) armor) to anti-cavalry attack bonuses. The attack bonus of Mamelukes (9, 12 for Elite) is nullified, as well the one of the Camels (9), only [[Heavy Camel|Heavy]] and [[Imperial Camel]]s (18) are left with a small bonus. [[Halberdier (Age of Empires II)|Halberdiers]], however, are still a threat to them and much more cost effective, even though their immense attack bonus of 32 against cavalry is halved.
+
Due to its [[trample damage]], overall good statistics, and attack bonus against infantry, the Cataphract is probably the unit with the fewest weaknesses. Particularly Elite Cataphracts are effective against almost all units which have an attack bonus against mounted units, such as [[Camel Rider (Age of Empires II)|Camel Riders]] or [[Mameluke (Age of Empires II)|Mamelukes]], since they have an innate resistance (+12/+16 (Elite) armor) to anti-cavalry attack bonuses. The attack bonus of Mamelukes (9, 12 for Elite) is nullified, as well the one of the Camels (9), only [[Heavy Camel Rider|Heavy]] and [[Imperial Camel Rider]]s (18) are left with a small bonus. [[Halberdier (Age of Empires II)|Halberdiers]], however, are still a threat to them and much more cost effective, even though their immense attack bonus of 32 against cavalry is halved.
   
Even a fully upgraded Cataphract only has moderate attack (14), not even more than a [[Malians|Malian]] [[Light Cavalry (Age of Empires II)|Light Cavalry]], but their +18 attack bonus against infantry and resistance against bonus attack make it a very potent combatant. Since they also do trample damage and attack very fast, they can even compete with heavy cavalry in mass battles, although that should be avoided. Players should do their utmost to avoid unnecessary casualties with Cataphracts, as they are expensive to produce and their upgrades are extremely costly as well.
+
Even a fully upgraded Cataphract only has moderate attack (14), not even more than a [[Malians|Malian]] [[Light Cavalry (Age of Empires II)|Light Cavalry]], but their +18 attack bonus against infantry and resistance against bonus damage make it a very potent combatant. Since they also do trample damage and attack very fast, they can even compete with heavy cavalry in mass battles, although that should be avoided. Players should do their utmost to avoid unnecessary casualties with Cataphracts, as they are expensive to produce and their upgrades are extremely costly as well.
   
 
=== Counters ===
 
=== Counters ===
 
==== Halberdiers ====
 
==== Halberdiers ====
Though Halberdiers do not deal as much bonus damage to Cataphracts as they do to other cavalry, they are still a moderately good choice to counter Cataphracts. It is always advisable to send large groups of Halberdiers, since Cataphracts have a very high damage bonus against all kinds of infantry and will easily win in one on one combat. The groups of Halberdiers should be managed carefully since sending them into battle sporadically and sparsely will lead to little or no effect. While dueling, each hit of a Cataphract deals a damage of as much as 29 [[Hit points|HP]] to a fully upgraded Halberdier, which is very fortunate for the Halberdiers, since it allows them to survive the second hit with 2 HP and strike a second time themselves.
+
Though Halberdiers do not deal as much bonus damage to Cataphracts as they do to other cavalry, they are still a moderately good choice to counter Cataphracts. It is always advisable to send large groups of Halberdiers, since Cataphracts have a very high damage bonus against all kinds of infantry and will easily win in one on one combat. The groups of Halberdiers should be managed carefully since sending them into battle sporadically and sparsely will lead to little or no effect. While dueling, each hit of a Cataphract deals a damage of as much as 29 [[Hit points|HP]] to a Halberdier if both units are fully upgraded, which is very fortunate for the Halberdiers, since it allows them to survive the second hit with 2 HP and strike a second time themselves.
   
 
Civilizations that lack [[Plate Mail Armor]] (like the [[Goths]]), however, struggle even more against Cataphracts, since they have one less armor and die with the second hit already. That means, in one-on-one combat, a fully upgraded Cataphract survives with 129/150 hit points left.
 
Civilizations that lack [[Plate Mail Armor]] (like the [[Goths]]), however, struggle even more against Cataphracts, since they have one less armor and die with the second hit already. That means, in one-on-one combat, a fully upgraded Cataphract survives with 129/150 hit points left.
Line 44: Line 44:
 
This is probably one of the best tactics to engage Cataphracts, if enough food and gold is available. [[Paladin]]s can tackle a Cataphract army and even go on the offensive without too much trouble. Even though Cataphracts deal trample damage, the Paladins are superior even in mass battles. Fully upgraded Paladins have 18 attack and 180 HP against 14 attack and 150 HP on the Cataphract's side. Even fully upgraded [[Cavalier]]s (such as the ones of the [[Berbers]], [[Chinese (Age of Empires II)|Chinese]], or [[Turks]]) defeat Cataphracts in one-on-one battle, but lose in mass battles due to the trample damage.
 
This is probably one of the best tactics to engage Cataphracts, if enough food and gold is available. [[Paladin]]s can tackle a Cataphract army and even go on the offensive without too much trouble. Even though Cataphracts deal trample damage, the Paladins are superior even in mass battles. Fully upgraded Paladins have 18 attack and 180 HP against 14 attack and 150 HP on the Cataphract's side. Even fully upgraded [[Cavalier]]s (such as the ones of the [[Berbers]], [[Chinese (Age of Empires II)|Chinese]], or [[Turks]]) defeat Cataphracts in one-on-one battle, but lose in mass battles due to the trample damage.
   
Naturally, the other unique heavy cavalry units, [[War Elephant (Age of Empires II)|War Elephants]] and [[Boyar]]s, as well as [[Battle Elephant]]s, do not have too much trouble facing Cataphracts.
+
Naturally, the other unique heavy cavalry units, [[War Elephant (Age of Empires II)|War Elephants]] and [[Boyar]]s, as well as [[Battle Elephant]]s, do not have too much trouble facing Cataphracts, though Cataphracts can easily run away from any Elephant units.
   
 
==== Ranged units ====
 
==== Ranged units ====
Apart from the [[Camel]], the Cataphract is the weakest non-ranged cavalry unit when it comes to pierce armor. As a logical consequence, they take high damage from [[Archer units (Age of Empires II)|archer units]] and [[Defensive Structures|defensive structures]].
+
Apart from the [[Camel Rider (Age of Empires II)|Camel Rider]], the Cataphract is the weakest non-ranged cavalry unit when it comes to pierce armor. As a logical consequence, they take high damage from [[Archer units (Age of Empires II)|archer units]] and [[defensive structure]]s.
   
Groups of [[Arbalest]]s, [[Heavy Scorpion]]s, [[Heavy Cavalry Archer]]s, or other unique archer units usually kill Cataphracts without too many casualties when they are properly managed. Even [[Elite Skirmisher]]s deal 2 damage and can be used when [[gold]] is scarce.
+
Groups of [[Arbalester]]s, [[Heavy Scorpion]]s, [[Heavy Cavalry Archer]]s, or other unique archer units usually kill Cataphracts without too many casualties when they are properly managed. Even [[Elite Skirmisher]]s deal 2 damage and can be used when [[gold]] is scarce.
   
 
However, Cataphracts still possess the speed, health, and attack to threaten these units, so they should be massed (ideally in groups of at least 40) and/or protected with aforementioned heavy cavalry or Halberdiers before being sent to face the Cataphracts.
 
However, Cataphracts still possess the speed, health, and attack to threaten these units, so they should be massed (ideally in groups of at least 40) and/or protected with aforementioned heavy cavalry or Halberdiers before being sent to face the Cataphracts.
Line 59: Line 59:
 
As Cataphracts are unique to the Byzantines, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
 
As Cataphracts are unique to the Byzantines, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
   
{|class="wikitable" style="font-size:89%; width:500px; background-color:#FFF;width: 100%;left" align="left"
+
{|class="wikitable" style="font-size:89%; width:500px; width: 100%;left" align="left"
 
|-
 
|-
!colspan="2" style="background-color:white; color:black; font-size:110%; padding:1em;" | Unit Strengths and Weaknesses
+
!colspan="2" style="color:black; font-size:110%; padding:1em;" | Unit strengths and weaknesses
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Strong vs.'''
 
|'''Strong vs.'''
Line 69: Line 69:
 
|[[War Elephant (Age of Empires II)|War Elephants]], massed [[Archer units (Age of Empires II)|archers]], [[Boyar]]s, [[Knight]]s
 
|[[War Elephant (Age of Empires II)|War Elephants]], massed [[Archer units (Age of Empires II)|archers]], [[Boyar]]s, [[Knight]]s
 
|-
 
|-
!colspan="2" style="background-color:white; color:black; font-size:110%; padding:1em;" | Upgrades
+
!colspan="2" style="color:black; font-size:110%; padding:1em;" | Upgrades
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Attack'''
 
|'''Attack'''
|{{2icons|Forging}} (+1)<br>{{2icons|Iron Casting}} (+1)<br>{{2icons|Logistica}} (+6 attack against [[Armor Class: Infantry|infantry]] and adds [[Trample Damage|trample damage]])
+
|{{2icons|Forging}} (+1)<br />{{2icons|Iron Casting}} (+1)<br />{{2icons|Logistica}} (+6 attack against [[Armor class: Infantry|infantry]] and adds [[trample damage]])
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Armor'''
 
|'''Armor'''
|{{2icons|Scale Barding Armor}} (+1/+1)<br>{{2icons|Chain Barding Armor}} (+1/+1)<br>{{2icons|Plate Barding Armor}} (+1/+2)
+
|{{2icons|Scale Barding Armor}} (+1/+1)<br />{{2icons|Chain Barding Armor}} (+1/+1)<br />{{2icons|Plate Barding Armor}} (+1/+2)
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Speed'''
 
|'''Speed'''
Line 81: Line 81:
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Conversion defense'''
 
|'''Conversion defense'''
|{{2icons|Faith}}<br>{{2icons|Heresy}}
+
|{{2icons|Faith}}<br />{{2icons|Heresy}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Creation speed'''
 
|'''Creation speed'''
Line 87: Line 87:
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Upgrades'''
 
|'''Upgrades'''
|Cataphracts can be upgraded to Elite Cataphracts
+
|[[File:Elite-unique-research.jpg|22px]] Elite Cataphract
 
|}
 
|}
  +
 
{{-}}
 
{{-}}
   
 
== Team bonuses ==
 
== Team bonuses ==
*A team containing [[Berbers]]: With [[Kasbah]] researched, Cataphracts are created and upgraded 25% faster, and [[Conscription]] and [[Logistica]] are researched 25% faster.
+
* A team containing [[Berbers]]: With [[Kasbah]] researched, Cataphracts are created and upgraded 25% faster, and [[Conscription]] and [[Logistica]] are researched 25% faster.
*A team containing [[Huns]]: Researching [[Husbandry (Age of Empires II)|Husbandry]] is 20% faster.
+
* A team containing [[Bulgarians]]: [[Blacksmith]] upgrades are researched 50% faster.
*A team containing [[Teutons]]: Cataphracts are more resistant to [[conversion]].
+
* A team containing [[Huns]]: Researching [[Husbandry (Age of Empires II)|Husbandry]] is 20% faster.
  +
* A team containing [[Lithuanians]]: [[Faith]] and [[Heresy]] are researched 20% faster.
  +
* A team containing [[Teutons]]: Cataphracts are more resistant to [[conversion]].
   
 
== Changelog ==
 
== Changelog ==
 
=== ''The Age of Kings'' ===
 
=== ''The Age of Kings'' ===
*Cataphracts train in 23 seconds.
+
* Cataphracts train in 23 seconds.
*Cataphracts have a [[Rate of Fire]] of 2.03.
+
* Cataphracts have a [[Rate of Fire]] of 2.0.
   
 
=== ''The Conquerors'' ===
 
=== ''The Conquerors'' ===
*Cataphracts now train in 20 seconds.
+
* Cataphracts train in 20 seconds.
*Cataphracts now have a Rate of Fire of 1.83 (1.73 for Elite).
+
* Cataphracts have a Rate of Fire of 1.8 (1.7 for Elite).
*Cataphracts receive +12 (+16 for Elite) bonus defense against anti-cavalry attacks.
+
* Cataphracts receive +12 (+16 for Elite) bonus defense against anti-cavalry attacks.
*[[Heresy]] introduced.
+
* [[Heresy]] technology introduced.
*[[Byzantines]]: [[Logistica]] introduced.
+
* [[Byzantines]]: [[Logistica]] technology introduced.
   
 
== Trivia ==
 
== Trivia ==
*Having few weaknesses compared to other unique units, the Cataphract serves as a good introduction to the unique unit concept of the game to new players, similar to the civilization owning them.
+
* Having few weaknesses compared to other unique units, the Cataphract serves as a good introduction to the unique unit concept of the game to new players, similar to the civilization owning them.
*The Cataphract's beta model was modified and used for the [[Boyar]] in the ''Forgotten Empires'' mod.
+
* The Cataphract's beta model was modified and used for the [[Boyar]] in the ''Forgotten Empires'' mod.
*With 1.73 seconds reload time, Elite Cataphracts are the fastest attacking cavalry in game.
+
* With 1.7 seconds reload time, Elite Cataphracts are the fastest attacking cavalry in game.
  +
* The original Cataphract model, with mostly [[wikipedia:plate armour|plate-armored]] rider and horse, was actually based on the late-Medieval Western European knights (e.g. [[Franks|French]] [[wikipedia:Gendarme (historical)|gendarmes]]).
  +
** In the ''[[Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition|Definitive Edition]]'', the Cataphract's model is more historically accurate, with [[wikipedia:Lamellar armour|lamellar-armored]] horse and rider wearing fewer plates over the [[wikipedia:chain mail|mail]].
   
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
''The Byzantine army carried on many of the military traditions of the old Roman Empire into the Middle Ages. This was a professional force that was well trained and well led. Officers studied tactics and command. The army was organized into formal units that maintained their own traditions for centuries. The best units in the Byzantine army were partially armored cavalrymen called cataphracts. They fought with several weapons, including the bow and sword. With plains to the east and north of their empire, the cataphract was ideally suited for combat against the unarmored cavalry of their enemies. The Byzantine army went into decline partially because it lost the plains of Asia Minor from which it had drawn both horses and cavalrymen for service as cataphracts.''
+
{{quote|The Byzantine army carried on many of the military traditions of the old Roman Empire into the Middle Ages. This was a professional force that was well trained and well led. Officers studied tactics and command. The army was organized into formal units that maintained their own traditions for centuries. The best units in the Byzantine army were partially armored cavalrymen called cataphracts. They fought with several weapons, including the bow and sword. With plains to the east and north of their empire, the cataphract was ideally suited for combat against the unarmored cavalry of their enemies. The Byzantine army went into decline partially because it lost the plains of Asia Minor from which it had drawn both horses and cavalrymen for service as cataphracts.}}
   
 
== Gallery ==
 
== Gallery ==
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
ancient_sasanid_cataphract_uther_oxford_2003_06_21.jpg|Cataphract (Persian) in real life
 
Cataphract1.jpg|The Cataphract unit from a beta version of ''The Age of Kings''
 
 
Cataphract.png|A group of Cataphracts
 
Cataphract.png|A group of Cataphracts
  +
Cataphractcombat.png|Cataphracts engaging enemy infantry
  +
c51d9bbe1ec59e44cc75f7b6c14bd091_400x400.png|Cataphract model
  +
Cataphract1.jpg|The Cataphract unit from a beta version of ''[[Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings|The Age of Kings]]''
 
6e9d585a05166a307d1645cfa4185d1a.jpg|An artist's rendition of Byzantine/Roman Clibanarii, a type of heavy cavalry akin to Cataphracts. Historians are uncertain if the term was a synonym for "cataphracti" in Latin or if it was fact a distinctive type of cavalry itself.
 
6e9d585a05166a307d1645cfa4185d1a.jpg|An artist's rendition of Byzantine/Roman Clibanarii, a type of heavy cavalry akin to Cataphracts. Historians are uncertain if the term was a synonym for "cataphracti" in Latin or if it was fact a distinctive type of cavalry itself.
  +
ancient_sasanid_cataphract_uther_oxford_2003_06_21.jpg|Cataphract (Persian) in real life
  +
Age-of-Empires Atilla Screenshot2.png|Cataphracts in the ''[[Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition|Definitive Edition]]''
  +
Cataphract render.png|A render of the Cataphract model
  +
Byzantine_Greek_Alexander_Manuscript_Cataphract.jpg|Byzantine Cataphracts representing Late Classical Companion Cavalry of Alexander the Great
  +
Bizantinos.jpg|Cataphract in the ''HD Edition'' and ''Definitive Edition''
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
   
 
{{Units List (Age of Empires II)}}
 
{{Units List (Age of Empires II)}}
[[Category:Unique Units]]
+
[[Category:Unique units]]
 
[[Category:Age of Empires II]]
 
[[Category:Age of Empires II]]
[[Category:Imperial Age (AoE II)]]
+
[[Category:Imperial Age (Age of Empires II)]]
 
[[Category:Castle Age]]
 
[[Category:Castle Age]]
[[Category:Castle (Age of Empires II)]]
+
[[Category:Heavy cavalry]]
[[Category:Heavy Cavalry]]
 

Revision as of 15:56, May 18, 2020

This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the unit in Age of Empires, see Cataphract (Age of Empires).
"Byzantine unique unit. Heavily armored cavalry."
Age of Empires II description

The Cataphract is the unique unit of the Byzantines in Age of Empires II. It is a heavy cavalry unit that excels at combat against infantry.

Cataphracts can be upgraded to Elite Cataphracts in the Imperial Age.

Tactics

Due to its trample damage, overall good statistics, and attack bonus against infantry, the Cataphract is probably the unit with the fewest weaknesses. Particularly Elite Cataphracts are effective against almost all units which have an attack bonus against mounted units, such as Camel Riders or Mamelukes, since they have an innate resistance (+12/+16 (Elite) armor) to anti-cavalry attack bonuses. The attack bonus of Mamelukes (9, 12 for Elite) is nullified, as well the one of the Camels (9), only Heavy and Imperial Camel Riders (18) are left with a small bonus. Halberdiers, however, are still a threat to them and much more cost effective, even though their immense attack bonus of 32 against cavalry is halved.

Even a fully upgraded Cataphract only has moderate attack (14), not even more than a Malian Light Cavalry, but their +18 attack bonus against infantry and resistance against bonus damage make it a very potent combatant. Since they also do trample damage and attack very fast, they can even compete with heavy cavalry in mass battles, although that should be avoided. Players should do their utmost to avoid unnecessary casualties with Cataphracts, as they are expensive to produce and their upgrades are extremely costly as well.

Counters

Halberdiers

Though Halberdiers do not deal as much bonus damage to Cataphracts as they do to other cavalry, they are still a moderately good choice to counter Cataphracts. It is always advisable to send large groups of Halberdiers, since Cataphracts have a very high damage bonus against all kinds of infantry and will easily win in one on one combat. The groups of Halberdiers should be managed carefully since sending them into battle sporadically and sparsely will lead to little or no effect. While dueling, each hit of a Cataphract deals a damage of as much as 29 HP to a Halberdier if both units are fully upgraded, which is very fortunate for the Halberdiers, since it allows them to survive the second hit with 2 HP and strike a second time themselves.

Civilizations that lack Plate Mail Armor (like the Goths), however, struggle even more against Cataphracts, since they have one less armor and die with the second hit already. That means, in one-on-one combat, a fully upgraded Cataphract survives with 129/150 hit points left.

Kamayuks fare poorly against Cataphracts, dealing only 7 damage per hit and losing even more distinctly. In one-on-one combat, the Cataphract wins with 136 hit points left. Even in mass battles, despite being able to use their range, Kamayuks do not stand a chance.

Heavy cavalry

This is probably one of the best tactics to engage Cataphracts, if enough food and gold is available. Paladins can tackle a Cataphract army and even go on the offensive without too much trouble. Even though Cataphracts deal trample damage, the Paladins are superior even in mass battles. Fully upgraded Paladins have 18 attack and 180 HP against 14 attack and 150 HP on the Cataphract's side. Even fully upgraded Cavaliers (such as the ones of the Berbers, Chinese, or Turks) defeat Cataphracts in one-on-one battle, but lose in mass battles due to the trample damage.

Naturally, the other unique heavy cavalry units, War Elephants and Boyars, as well as Battle Elephants, do not have too much trouble facing Cataphracts, though Cataphracts can easily run away from any Elephant units.

Ranged units

Apart from the Camel Rider, the Cataphract is the weakest non-ranged cavalry unit when it comes to pierce armor. As a logical consequence, they take high damage from archer units and defensive structures.

Groups of Arbalesters, Heavy Scorpions, Heavy Cavalry Archers, or other unique archer units usually kill Cataphracts without too many casualties when they are properly managed. Even Elite Skirmishers deal 2 damage and can be used when gold is scarce.

However, Cataphracts still possess the speed, health, and attack to threaten these units, so they should be massed (ideally in groups of at least 40) and/or protected with aforementioned heavy cavalry or Halberdiers before being sent to face the Cataphracts.

Monks

Due to the high cost and value on the battlefield of Cataphracts, they are likely to become a prime target for enemy Monks. Converting Cataphracts can be devastating if several are converted at once. It is also unlikely that a Byzantine player is able to afford Heresy or Faith easily due to the extremely high gold costs of Logistica, the Elite Cataphract upgrade, and the Cataphracts themselves. Cataphracts also require at least four strikes to kill a Monk with Sanctity, making it unlikely a lone Cataphract can take out a lone Monk before being converted.

Further statistics

As Cataphracts are unique to the Byzantines, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Skirmishers, infantry, siege weapons, Light Cavalry
Weak vs. War Elephants, massed archers, Boyars, Knights
Upgrades
Attack Forging Forging (+1)
Ironcasting Iron Casting (+1)
Unique-tech-imperial Logistica (+6 attack against infantry and adds trample damage)
Armor Scalebardingarmor Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Chainbardingarmor Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Platebardingarmor Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Speed Husbandry Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense Faith Faith
Heresy Heresy
Creation speed Conscription Conscription (+33%)
Upgrades Elite-unique-research Elite Cataphract

Team bonuses

Changelog

The Age of Kings

  • Cataphracts train in 23 seconds.
  • Cataphracts have a Rate of Fire of 2.0.

The Conquerors

  • Cataphracts train in 20 seconds.
  • Cataphracts have a Rate of Fire of 1.8 (1.7 for Elite).
  • Cataphracts receive +12 (+16 for Elite) bonus defense against anti-cavalry attacks.
  • Heresy technology introduced.
  • Byzantines: Logistica technology introduced.

Trivia

  • Having few weaknesses compared to other unique units, the Cataphract serves as a good introduction to the unique unit concept of the game to new players, similar to the civilization owning them.
  • The Cataphract's beta model was modified and used for the Boyar in the Forgotten Empires mod.
  • With 1.7 seconds reload time, Elite Cataphracts are the fastest attacking cavalry in game.
  • The original Cataphract model, with mostly plate-armored rider and horse, was actually based on the late-Medieval Western European knights (e.g. French gendarmes).

History

"The Byzantine army carried on many of the military traditions of the old Roman Empire into the Middle Ages. This was a professional force that was well trained and well led. Officers studied tactics and command. The army was organized into formal units that maintained their own traditions for centuries. The best units in the Byzantine army were partially armored cavalrymen called cataphracts. They fought with several weapons, including the bow and sword. With plains to the east and north of their empire, the cataphract was ideally suited for combat against the unarmored cavalry of their enemies. The Byzantine army went into decline partially because it lost the plains of Asia Minor from which it had drawn both horses and cavalrymen for service as cataphracts."

Gallery

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.