The Magyars are an offensive civilization that focuses on Light Cavalry units and Cavalry Archers. They are similar to the Mongols who rely on similar units for guerrilla techniques and quick skirmishes.
The Magyars are good at rushing in the Feudal Age, as they have many bonuses that allows them to strike enemies with Scout Cavalry very early on in the game. Villagers can strike wolves or their equivalent with one hit; this bonus allows their villagers to quickly move near an opponent and build forward bases without interruption. Magyars get Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace for free, and their light cavalry units (Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, and Hussar) have a 15% discount, so they can make a large number of them quickly and at a very low price. They have almost all blacksmith upgrades and complete Cavalry upgrades except camels. Magyars unique technology "Mercenaries" eliminates the gold cost from their unique unit, the Magyar Huszar, making it a "trash unit"; the Magyar Huszar is a light cavalry unit very similar to a regular Hussar but with a bonus against siege units instead of a bonus against monks and resistance to conversion.
Their Archery Range units are also well equipped; they have all archer upgrades (sans Hand Cannoneers), and their team bonus gives +2 line of sight to foot archers. This is especially useful for archer-based civilizations like the Britons and the Chinese. Their second unique technology, the Recurve Bow, gives +1 range and attack to the Cavalry archers, which enhances their capabilities for hit-and-run tactics.
Magyar defenses are mediocre. At the University, they lack the Keep, Bombard Tower, Architecture and Fortified Wall. They also lack gunpowder units and have mediocre siege units, lacking the Siege Onager and Siege Ram. This forces a Magyar player to rely on their anti-siege Huszar as a defence against enemy siege.
Although the Magyars have access to a full range of late-game economic technologies, they lack any significant early economic bonuses. The Magyars' only "economic" bonus (Magyars' villager attack bonus vs. wolves) will save some villager time and prevent villagers from being killed by wolves, but it is not nearly as significant an economic bonus as those of other civs.
Magyars lack the ability to research Faith at the Monastery, meaning that their units are vulnerable to conversion by enemy monks. Their cheaper Light Cavalry line however partially compensates for this as they are a go to unit to combat monks.
The Magyars are an offensive Cavalry civilization with a good economy and good Archers to boot, making them a formidable foe. What they lack in many different civilization bonuses they make up for in an excellent offensive tech tree and good synergy between their core units.
The premiere tactic employed by Magyar players is the Scout variant of the Feudal Age rush (flush). With cheaper Scouts and free Forging, they can get significantly more Scouts out for the same resources. Just the resources saved by not needing to research Forging allow for two extra Scouts. To use this tactic, the player must advance to the Feudal Age on 22 population (21 Villagers) and get extra Villagers on wood if possible. Then the player must get a Barracks up while advancing to the Feudal Age, and put up two Stables (and a Blacksmith) (one Stable will work if wood is tight). The Stables can go at home or near the enemy's base. It doesn't matter too much, but is necessary that the opponent doesn't spot them. If the player wants to build the stable near the oppponent, he or she doesn't need to worry about the wolves, jaguars or bears in the path to the enemy's base. The player should research Scale Barding Armor, although it should not be researched at the expense of Scout production until at least six Scouts are trained. Archers can also be added to the rush, taking only wood and gold, where Scouts only take food. Since Magyars can fully upgrade their Archer line, these units will retain their value in the late-game.
Micromanaging the Scouts is very important in a Magyar flush in order to keep them away from Town Center fire, so the player must try to not let them get surrounded and chase Villagers away from critical resources, such as wood and gold, as well as denying any buildings they try to put up. This last part is important: if the opponent cannot get up military buildings, they cannot defend themselves outside of Villagers. If they cannot put up Feudal Age buildings, they cannot advance to the Castle Age. A smart opponent will likely just build these buildings next to their town center, but that clutters their base and makes it more difficult for Villagers to get back to their Town Center, which allows for more kills. Archers can help keep buildings from going up even close to the Town Center, which forces the opponent into an extremely difficult spot.
In the Castle Age, Magyars get far more diverse. Light Cavalry, Magyar Huszars, Crossbowmen, Knights, Cavalry Archers, Long Swordsmen, and Pikemen are all viable Castle Age units. The player must be aware that Magyars lack Plate Mail Armor, so Champions and Halberdiers cannot be fully upgraded. If the player still has Scouts left over from the Feudal Age, they should upgrade them to Light Cavalry and use them until Mercenaries can be researched. Once Mercenaries is researched, Magyar Huszars should be the light Cavalry unit of choice, although Hussars still have their place as Monk killers, and are slightly cheaper to mass. Generally, Mercenaries must be used when the player needs to switch to Magyar Huszars, or it is easily affordable without economic damage. Cavalry Archers and Crossbowmen can be massed in the background, and infantry can be used as well if there is a need for it (namely anti-cavalry). Champions are mainly useful for taking down Eagle Warriors.
A common dilemma faced by Magyar players is whether to use Archers or Cavalry Archers. It depends a lot on their situation. Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood and 70 gold (65 in The Forgotten). Archers cost 25 wood and 45 gold. Cavalry Archers have one more attack and one less range than Crossbowmen, and Heavy Cavalry Archers relate the same to Arbalests. The Magyar Imperial Age technology, Recurve Bow, puts them at the same range level and give them even more attack. Cavalry Archers have more health than their equivalent Archer, and in the case of the Heavy Cavalry Archer, one more armor. Archers can clump more tightly than Cavalry Archers, which is a double-edged sword, as it makes them far more vulnerable to Onagers, especially with their lower speed and health. In short, there is no right answer. Cavalry Archers are better for raiding and fighting in insecure places where they are likely to need to get in and out on a moment's notice. Archers are better for fighting in established areas where they can hold their ground and keep hazards like Onagers out before they even get into range. Foot archers can also garrison Castles and Towers to shore up the Magyar's mediocre defences.
In the early Imperial Age, the power of the Magyars starts to taper off. They lack proper siege and are forced to rely on Trebuchets. To make matters worse, almost none of their civilization bonuses actually affect the late-game. They don't even have a solid defense to fall back on, forcing them to keep up offensive pressure. Fortunately, that is what they do best.
The late Imperial Age is where Magyars truly shine. Having a gold-free Unique Unit and cheaper Hussars means Magyars can keep sending a formidable army even long after they are out of gold. They get fully upgraded Skirmishers, and are only missing Plate Mail Armor on their Halberdiers. This makes them one of the best civilizations in the game for trash wars. For when there is gold to spare, they have fully upgraded Paladins, Arbalests and Heavy Cavalry Archers to mix in.
The Magyars' foot archer line of sight bonus can be useful for archer-based civilizations such as the Britons, Chinese and Mayans, especially if they decide to do an early archer rush. It is vital to discover defending skirmishers and scout cavalry early on, so that the vulnerable archers can retreat to safety.
The Magyars benefit from the Britons and Huns faster archery ranges and stables, which help them train cavalry archers and cavalry faster they also benefit slightly from the Mongol team bonus (+2 LOS for Scout Cavalry line) as the Magyars have already cheaper light cavalry units. It is also advisable to pair Magyars with civilizations that have good cavalry counters and siege units, such as the Celts and Slavs, because those are the fields in which the Magyars have significant disadvantages.
Having a Vietnamese ally turns the Magyars into arguably the most powerful "trash" civilization. With the Halberdier, Imperial Skirmisher, Hussar and Magyar Huszar with Mercenaries, they are truly a nightmare to deal with in the late game. Furthermore, the Vietnamese in turn benefit from the Magyars' team bonus of better archer's LOS. Having a Berber ally has a similar effect, as this team will have Genitours, and with Kasbah researched, the Magyars will spam Magyar Huszars more easily. Having these three civilizations on the same team they will get a lot of options for free gold units in late game.
In water maps, even with a quite competent navy (only lacking the Heavy Demolition Ship and Elite Cannon Galleon), it is wise for the Magyars to ally with any civilization with unique ships (Vikings, Koreans or Portuguese), enhanced contemporary fleet (Berbers, Chinese or Saracens), complete tech tree for ships (Byzantines or Spanish) or decent enhancements on coastal defenses (Japanese or Malay).
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