"During the 8th and 9th centuries, an intrepid group of nomads undertook an epic migration west and established a powerful kingdom in the Carpathian Basin. Take command of the fiercest cavalry forces that Europe had ever witnessed in the Middle Ages and decimate your enemies with brutal raids and deft maneuvers as you relive the Honfoglalás. Lead the mighty Corvinian Army of Huszars in defense of the Hungarian plains and use recurve bows to transfix your enemies with a barrage of arrows!"
Historically, Magyar people once were known as nomadic people who excelled on the horseback. This is reflected by their cheaper Scout Cavalry and their unique cavalry unit, the Magyar Huszar. The Magyars were also skilled at using bows while riding which is reflected by their unique technology, Recurve Bow, which increases the range and attack of their Cavalry Archers.
Living as nomadic people was dangerous because when entering the new land, the migrating people had to prepare against any obstacles they may encounter, including wild animals. Thus, Magyar Villagers can kill aggressive wild animals in just one strike. Nomadic people often possess excellent skill at using bow and arrow, because they were necessary for hunting and self-defense which is why the Magyar team bonus increases the Line of Sight of all foot archers.
The Magyar cavalry often lent their military service to various rulers in Europe. This is reflected by their other unique technology, Corvinian Army, which removes the gold cost from their unique unit. Finally, the Magyar cavalry's favored tactic was unleashing a volley of arrows before charging toward the enemy. To reflect their skillful ability at close combat, the Magyars receive free melee attack upgrades at the Blacksmith.
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Magyar AI characters:
Álmos (c. 820–c. 895): was, according to the uniform account of Hungarian chronicles,the first head of the "loose federation" of the Hungarian tribes from around 850.
Árpád: was the head of the confederation of the Hungarian tribes at the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries.
Bajnok Bela: Also known as King Bela I or Bela the Champion. King of Hungary from 1060-1063.
Feher Andras: Known as Andrew I of Hungary or Andrew the White. King of Hungary from 1046-1060.
Horka Bulcsú: was a Hungarian chieftain, one of the military leaders of prince Taksony of Hungary, a descendant of Árpád. He held the title of horka. He was one of the most important figures of the Hungarian invasions of Europe.
Istvan I: Known as King or Saint Stephen I, founder of the Hungarian Kingdom and the first King of Hungary. Patronized as saint in Hungary, reigned from 1001-1038.
Kalman I: Also known as King Coloman the Learned. Also nicknamed as the Book-Lover or the Bookish. Reigned from 1095-1116. He conquered Croatia and defeated its last king, Petar Svačić.
Karoly Robert: King Charles I, also known as Charles Robert or in Hungarian Karoly Robert. He was the first king from the Anjou dynasty. Reigned from 1308-1342.
Laszlo I: King Ladislaus I, also known as Saint Ladislaus or Saint Ladislas. The second son of King Bela I. Reigned from 1077-1095.
Matthias Corvinus: Matthias Corvinus, also called Matthias I, was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1458 to 1490. After conducting several military campaigns, he was elected King of Bohemia in 1469 and adopted the title Duke of Austria in 1487.
Nagy Lajos: Also known as Louis I, or Louis the Great or Louis the Hungarian, was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1342 and King of Poland from 1370.
Voivod Levedi (born c. 810): was the first known voivode of the Hungarians.
The origins of the Magyars can be traced back to at least 2000 BC when they lived as nomadic hunters in the area between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains. By 500 AD, they had started to migrate towards Central Europe. In the 8th century, they inhabited the region near the river Don, but moved on to modern-day Ukraine after a civil war broke out in the 9th century. Another war, the Bulgar-Byzantine war, forced the Magyars to migrate one more time around 896: under their leader Arpad, they conquered the few Slavs living in the Carpathian Basin. Here, they finally settled themselves and founded the Principality of Hungary.
The Principality of Hungary was in the beginning little more than a federation of tribes ruled by a descendant of Arpad, called the Grand Prince. In order to keep the tribes unified, the Magyars conducted raids all over Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries. Their forces consisted mostly of light cavalry equipped with an Asian recurve bow which was inherited from their eastern origin. The Magyars favored quick charges preceded by a volley of arrows. After the Magyar defeat in the Battle of Lechfeld (955), they started to abandon the tactic of raiding and adopted a Western European style of warfare: heavy and light cavalry mixed with infantry.
The end of their raiding also resulted in a political challenge: the links between tribes were weakening. Here as well, Grand Princes sought a solution in Western European models. Prince Istvan I accomplished his father’s plan by consolidating power, reforming the state, and introducing Christianity into Hungary. His coronation by the Pope in 1000 marked the foundation of the Kingdom of Hungary. During the 11th and 12th centuries, Hungary became more like a Western European society. However, in the 13th century, the kingdom suffered: the king lost power to his nobles while a Mongol invasion devastated the country in 1241. In addition, the last king of the Arpads died in 1301, which resulted in seven years of internal warfare.
After these seven years, Charles Robert of Anjou was elected as Hungary’s first foreign king. It was also the beginning of the golden era for the kingdom: royal power was restored and a policy of conquest made Hungary one of the largest realms in Europe. One of the key factors in this renewal of power were the goldmines of Hungary and the growing importance of monetary trade, on both of which the king had a monopoly. As a result of this and blooming agriculture, focused on cattle and wine, Hungary began to recover from the hardships of the previous century.
During the same golden era, the Turkish Ottoman Empire was expanding rapidly. Since the coronation of Istvan I, the Kingdom of Hungary was the most eastern of Christian realms. With this act, the medieval culture of the Magyars had taken shape: the heritage from the Eurasian steppes was pushed into obscurity, while Christian and Western European elements were adopted. Hungary marked the boundary for Romanesque and Gothic architecture, sculpture, and painting. The city of Buda even became a Renaissance center in the 15th century.
Hungary was thus a great Christian bastion against the Mongols and later the Russians in the east, and against the Byzantine Empire and later the Ottoman Empire in the south. In 1456, the general John Hunyadi won a decisive battle that stopped the expansion of the Ottomans into Europe for decades. In the 16th century, however, the Hungarian bastion finally fell: the northwest came under Habsburg rule, while the south fell into the hands of the Ottoman Empire.
Historically, the late medieval Magyar Black Army, organized by King Matthias Corvinus, did include gunpowder units namely arquebusiers who stabilized their guns with pavise shields. They also used heavier cannons.
The Magyars are the only civilization introduced in the HD expansions that has access to the Paladin. Later, the Definitive Edition added 3 additional civilizations that can train Paladins.
When The Forgotten was first released, the Magyars had a free Hunting Dogs bonus which increased the gathering speed of Hunters and Fishermen. In a later patch, the technology was removed, and thus the Magyars lost their sole resource-gathering bonus.
During the development of The Conquerors, the Magyars (along with the Huns, Swiss, Habsburgs, and Slavs) had been considered to appear as the new civilization representing Eastern Europe. However, the Ensemble Studios team eventually picked the Huns because they were impressed by Attila the Hun's story and the medieval Magyars are less famous than the Huns. Eventually, the Magyars made an appearance at the official titles after the Forgotten Empires team picked the Magyars as one of the new civilizations for their Forgotten Empires mod (which later became The Forgotten).
The Magyars are one of the two civilizations to get all seven technologies introduced in The Conquerors, the other being the Saracens.