Equites Catafractarii (Eastern Roman Empire)
Equites Catafractarii (ERE)
Appears in Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion
Belongs to Eastern Roman Empire
Type Heavy Cavalry
Weapon(s) Spear
Soldiers in each unit 54
Attack skill 4
Charge bonus 8
Hitpoints 1
Armor 18
Defense skill 9
Shield bonus 4
Special abilities Can form wedge; Powerful charge

The "iron horsemen" of the Equites Catafractarii are armored from head to toe as are their horses. While relatively slow for cavalry, they are an almost-unstoppable force when they charge!

The fashion for heavily - in this case extremely heavily - armoured horsemen is one that the Roman state has adopted as a result of its Eastern campaigns against the Parthian and Sassanid Empires. Traditional Roman cavalry was neither heavily armoured nor all that effective, but the catafractarii are both, particularly as a striking force against an ordered battle line. They are too slow to be used effectively against skirmishers or in pursuit, but they can be a hammer blow to enemy infantry!

Few soldiers in the world are as heavily armoured as equites catafractarii, but it is worth remembering that they are not invulnerable.