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- Common abilities:
- Can Move After Attacking
- Special abilities
- Penalty Attacking Cities (25% only, less than normal)
- Affected by Defensive Terrain Bonuses
- Special traits:
- Extra strength (15 vs. 12)
- Slower movement (-1)
The Cataphract is the most heavily-armored mounted unit at this stage of the game, and is much stronger (+3) than the normal Horseman. Its special abilities make it even more formidable: defensively it can use terrain bonuses, unlike other mounted units, and against cities it only has a 25% penalty instead of the standard 33 percent. Its only drawback is that it moves a bit slower.
The Cataphract loses all its advantages when upgraded to a Knight, so make sure to use the unit well in the early game.
Among the most heavily-armored forms of cavalry used throughout history, the Cataphract was a formidable opponent on the battlefield. With horses draped in chain mail or plated armor, and the rider himself in an equally impressive suit of armor, these mounted units were used primarily for crushing through the lines of enemy infantry they faced. The Byzantine Empire was known to have made extensive use of Cataphracts throughout its storied history, as they played a prominent role in defending the empire following the decline of their Roman brethren in the west.