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. Thanks to its long spear, it is also a dedicated anti-cavalry unit, deadly with its speed and ability to catch retreating enemy cavalry after their hit-and-run attacks.
However, the Lancer is 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. It can also be quickly destroyed by ranged units. Use it wisely.
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.