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Thread: Byzantine Cataphracts?

  1. #1
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Byzantine Cataphracts?

    I've got the highest level Stables, but the best cavalry I can get are the Latinkon. Latinkon are great, but I really wanted to get some tanks on the battlefield in this campaign. How can you have a Byzantine faction without Cataphracts?
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  2. #2
    Relentless Bughunter Senior Member FactionHeir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Unless you got a mod running that changes it, you get Kataphraktoi from the King's Stables in Citadels.
    So make sure:
    1. You are not running a mod that changes it
    2. You have a Citadel (not a Fortress)
    3. The building is a King's Stables
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    IMO this is all silly. By the time the byz player gets his catapracts all other factions get their late era units. Catapracts should have been available to the byz player from the very start.
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  4. #4
    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetah
    ...Cataphracts should have been available to the byz player from the very start...
    From a historical perspective -- absolutely. From a gameplay perspective, it would make the Byzantines even more overpowered than they already are.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Against the AI the human player is always "overpowered", every faction has strength that can be exploited vs the AI.
    Against humans (i.e. in a hotseat) the byzantine empire are not over powered at all. First of all, it has very vulnerable starting position. Constantinople is probably one of the juiciest early era target. It is at the border of christian and muslim countires without any natural allies (early russia wont be a great help). Could be targetted by both crusades and jihads. Even if not targetted it is at the cross-road of crusades not all of them coming with the best intentions.
    Second, the early byz troops are no better than the troops of any other faction. It has mostly spearmen and archers, the only above averge troop is the vardariotai. It's tier 3 castle inf is weaker than the western counterpart (dism lancer vs DFK). It has to build tier 5 (!!!) city barracks to get a good reliable melee inf (VG) and it has to build tier 5 (!!!) castle stable to get catapracts.
    I just do not see how the byz player would be overpowered. Yes, Constantinople and Thessalonica has very good economic potential, but there are other factions with good economic potential too.
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  6. #6
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Quote Originally Posted by FactionHeir
    Unless you got a mod running that changes it, you get Kataphraktoi from the King's Stables in Citadels.


    Glad to hear that, I thought the Stable costing 9600F would have been the highest, the one I am building just gives Latinkon. In that case, I can't wait to get those Kataphraktoi onto the battlefield! And Jerusalem is my first Huge City and is building the Barracks that allows Varangian Guardsmen...
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  7. #7
    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Quote Originally Posted by rvg
    From a historical perspective -- absolutely. From a gameplay perspective, it would make the Byzantines even more overpowered than they already are.
    Lol I always considered the Byzantines weak (not as bad as Russia) because they are Orthodox and they cannot crusade or jihad, making blitzing with that faction difficult due to public order and upkeep concerns.

    However, from a turtle's perspective, the Byzantines are overpowered indeed.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Kataphracts don't seem all that great. They would be better if they were available early like in MTW where they outclassed other early cav and lost their supremacy in late game. Instead, by the time you can build them, everyone else gets something better.

  9. #9
    Handler of candles Member Xehh II's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    I think stat-wise Kataphraktoi are worse than Latinkon, which is stupid, Kataphraktoi should easily be one of the best, if not the best cavelry unit.
    They should be dominators like in MTW1, I wish I could mod.

    Why does everyone call them Cataphracts? The englished name for them sucks, Kataphraktoi is way better.
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  10. #10
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    "Katanks" is better.


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  11. #11
    Master Guar Herder Member Guru's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Kats still have armour piercing maces if I remember correctly... Ah, how knights hate those tincan-crushers.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    maces and axes in the hands of cavalry rock.. the AP attribute makes the kathapraktoi worth having, though there is no sane reason you need a citadel and highest level stables to build a unit that( If Im not getting it all wrong..) was getting obsolete at the start of the game.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Well, cataprachts was first heavy cavalry in the world, if i not mistaken, but not the best. and in game they are not best heavy cavalry even within cavalry with AP. Imperial knights are better, mamluks are better, even huscarls are better. I think, stradiots are better, and they are light cav. I cannot understand why they are so late too.

  14. #14
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Well the AP does redeem them to an extent, very useful against all those Mongols and Timurids. However I still argue the Byzantines are unpderpowered and should be a heavy cavalry faction, not a horse archer faction like the Turks.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    quite right, the byzantines as a HA faction wasnt at all what I, for one, expected them to be, I thought they should be more infantry-based, with a solid spear core and the HAs more as auxilaries.

    any of the history buffs here care to give a picture of the byzantine army composition at say, ca 1080 and just before the fall of constantinople?

  16. #16
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    I remember hearing somewhere Byz armies were around 75% Skutatoi (armoured pikemen)
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  17. #17
    Beware! Relentless Looter! Member Flavius Merobaudes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    They had all kinds of cavalry, each with a special purpose. A mixture of these troops was typical that could shift balance to adapt to the enemy they were about to fight.

    Infantry often consisted of mixed units, the foremost lines being spears or pikemen, the lines behind them heavy sword infantry. So these were mixed units.
    I wonder if we'll see mixed units in future TW games...

    For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_army
    and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_battle_tactics

  18. #18

    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    so the lack of piles/spears for the byz in the game is a pretty big omission then..

  19. #19
    Master Guar Herder Member Guru's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    I think I saw a Byzantine Spearmen mod somewhere... Oh yes, here:
    LAca's Heavy spearmen (pike version) http://www.twcenter.net/forums/downl...o=file&id=1521
    One handed spear version http://www.twcenter.net/forums/downl...o=file&id=1530
    I haven't installed either one since it seems like too much work for me I dont know if those mods are compatible with other mods yet.
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  20. #20
    Beware! Relentless Looter! Member Flavius Merobaudes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    I can't understand why CA didn't give the Byzzies some decent spear-/pikemen. Yes, that's one of the most severe omissions in the game.

    Thanks Guru, the unit looks nice. From their style they could fit into the Broken Crescent mod ... which I guess they'll be a part of.

    Kataphrakts are the top heavy cav for Byzantium, so it's good to get them only from the highest level stables for game reasons. There's no fun in having available your best units right from the beginning. I mean, Vards and Katas right away? Come on, the game is won before it even started. So, although historically incorrect, it seems quite good to me.

    Kataphrakts and Byz. Lancers are the only cavalry in the game that have the "highly_trained" attribute, as far as I know. And I believe it helps avoid casualties in charges. I've done some test battles some time ago, charging peasants with heavy cav. Almost all knights had some casualties (about 5). Katas had zero or one. Seems like an untidy formation causes some casualties.
    Open to discussion...

  21. #21
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    Thats an interesting point. I wish the unit cards would tell us more.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    You should all try the Pro Deo et Rege mod. Download and read about more here: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=437

    You got both varangians and katas at the start of the game, though you can retrain only VG at limited numbers so you have to be careful where and how you use them. You have to build up stables at Constantinople to be able to retrain your Katas. Also you can train two handed heavy spearmen! They look awesome ! TBH I had little opportunity to use them (you have limited numbers, also your vanilla spearmen are actually quite good) but from what I saw they behave like legionaries: slow, but very good unit cohesion ofc with high stats, high number good vs cavs. This mod is a superb mod anyway and highly recommended.
    Lional of Cornwall
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Byzantine Cataphracts?

    I've also wondered about the Katatanks being so hard to recruit.

    The argument that it unbalances the game is only semi valid in that the the Byzantines get the Vard's almost immediately and they are, if you know how to use them, much better. However the AI doesn't use them well.

    I have wondered if it wouldn't be possible to do them sort of like the dismounted Lancers. Start them with less armor and then give them four or six armor upgrades. This could be done by the various forges and then more added by building high level stables or even a unique building.

    As to the Byzantine infantry being inferior. Well yes and no. It is true that the units don't seem to have the stats that some of the others have but they also cost much less in upkeep. I don't have the FAUST in front of me so I can't be exact but if I remember right it works out about a 4:3 ratio so that the Byzantine player can have 4 units of spearmen for every 3 his opponent has.

    That means the Byzantine player needs to use a different set of tactics. It appears that a lot of players like to be able to defeat a large army with a small one but that is harder with the Byzantines. I've found that a sort of Medieval Human Wave tactic is really fun because you have to keep track of so many units. (Please note that if you check my post I also know how to command the HA units.) You can also simply move near an enemy and let them attack you. The Byzantine Spear militias and Spearmen receive a whopping +8 bonus when defending against cavalry which goes a long way towards making up for their lack of armor.

    Using huge armies unarmored spearmen, archers and Byzantine Infantry means having an absolute minimum of Citadels. You need towns and they have to be economic power houses. I have often won games with as few as 4 Citadels (Sophia, Cesaraea, Mosul, Tunis) by the end of the game.


    BTW, I have no illusions about this. I think that if I played against an actual person I might have a hard time with this type of strategy. That's why I play the computer!

    I've also wondered why the Town Militia, SPear Militia and Byzantine Spearmen have exactly the same stats? Why, for example can't the Byzantine Spearmen have a couple more armor upgrades which make them effectively armored spearmen?


    Here is an approximate example of the army I am talking about

    1 X Family Member
    6 X Trebizond Archers / Archer Militia
    10 X Spear Militia / Byzantine Spearmen
    5 X Byzantine Infantry or Dismounted Lancers

    Two stacks like this, if used right can beat almost anything and cost about 30% less than the equivalent troops for other factions
    Last edited by Gray Beard; 01-23-2008 at 09:10.
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