Cavalry Archer Tier List

Since this was brought up in another thread, I thought it would be interesting to make a tier list for how good each civ’s cavalry archers are.

A few things first:

1: It’s all my opinion, don’t take it too seriously.

2: I didn’t take cavalry archer unique units into account, as they muddy things. This is simply about the unit itself made at the archery range.

3: I also took discounts into account for this. So if someone can make them for cheap, that’s a bonus.

4: This is about Imperial Age with all upgrades researched. So any early bonus that isn’t worth anything later isn’t really going to be taken into account for this.

5: Part of the purpose of this is to make people think about the unit in more situations than just the “usual suspects”. See if there are any which catch your eye.


I think I might disagree with Persians, because Parthian Tactics in Castle Age can be very powerful situationally. I’d put them in possibly B tier because of the timings. Or, considering that you put Cumans in A tier without Bracer, Persians might be a situational A tier, so I think that B makes the most sense.


What makes Vietnamese slightly better than fully upgraded in your opinion. They’re missing 8 hp (EDIT they aren’t. Even though I checked to make sure, I missed that Vietnamese do actually have bloodlines) and 1/2 armor. Admittedly they have a pretty good eco bonus so maybe you’re including that? You said you’d include discounts and a good eco bonus functions similarly to a discount. you have more resources or you spend fewer.

Similar question with Koreans. is that 20wood discount compensating for missing bloodlines and PT? Admittedly I can situationally see them as a decent option. Maybe against like teutons, you hit castle age, you don’t have stone for a castle, you go with CA open. I don’t think that’d be ridiculous.

I think I agree Georgians. Hard to know for sure. In my eyes they’re better than khmer, so I think that makes sense.

Also, is this list intended to be a post imp comparison or a castle age comparison? Or both?

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Cumans have multiple bonuses affecting the cavalry archer, one of which helps circumvent some of the problems lack bracer creates. That being the lack of range being traded for faster movement speed, meaning they can retreat faster despite needing to get a bit closer.

The ability to mass them much faster than anyone else is also a huge bonus.

Persian’s Parthian Tactics bonus I did point out is irrelevant to this tier-list, as it only counts Imperial Age (otherwise things get more complicated, and likely I would need to make a 2nd list for Castle Age itself).

Actually they have more HP than usual. Vietnamese get Bloodlines on top of their Archery Range HP bonus. All they are missing is Parthian Tactics, which I feel is more than made up by the additional HP and ability to produce them initially a bit faster in Imperial AND Paper Money helping to offset the units cost.

I see it as roughly worth it. Being worse but cheaper I rated, as you can see with how high the Huns are. But of course, it is relative to how much they are discounted why. Hence Koreans being two tiers lower than Huns.

The regeneration is massive on cavalry archers, due to their playstyle. Way better proportionally than it is on the rest of the Georgian’s Cavalry units.

If they were fully upgraded with this ability, I would put them much higher.

I addressed this in my fourth point. It’s post Imperial.

first thought: how are Britons in C tier? they are missing thumbring and parthian

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Thumb Ring is much less essential than it used to be. Same with Parthian Tactics.

you are right. I’m a dummy and thought they were missing bloodlines. then yeah A-Tier probably makes sense. I even checked to make sure.

You’re right. You did mention that. I even double checked and couldn’t find it.

My eyes! Why do you betray me so. I’ve been made to look dumb on the internet.

I agree that the elevation bonus and regeneration make up for RAA. Not in a fight to the death, but in actual hit and run, range support, healing from incidental damage, then absolutely. My biggest unknown is whether aznauri cavalry REALLY makes up for thumbring.

With those 15% more units, offensively because of lanchester’s square law, they should perform about as good fewer CA w thumbring. But you have to pay for more CA, buuuuuuut you also have more HP worth of CA on the field. IDK. I know aznauri cavalry helps but I’m not sure how much it helps in a vacuum or in a real game situation.

Honestly I should just try this in the editor one of these days to get a better sense of the effect.


After researching Heavy sure but in Castle Age? Is it really that meager with a coin flip chance to miss?

My tier list was more about post Imp. Castle Age would need a whole different list.

I was under the impression this was just a cav archer at all stages list. From the first motion of your scout to the GG resign. All these aspects matter to cav archers like the Gold savings of Spanish who have full non Parthian versions or the Chinese who have their 3 vill and tech discount on the same wnd result unit as spanish. Id hace figured these would play. That woild be more helpful than a scenario that rarely plays out in high ELO fast paced aggressive games

Sure, all those things do impact. But some civs CA drop off or get much better in very different ways depending on if you are in Castle or Imperial. It’s way too much variation to compare say Persian CA in Castle and Imp, but also Khmer CA in Castle and Imp.

So I stuck with just one to make it more simple.

Not to be too pedantic, but the 50% accuracy is at max range.

I think what happens is that basically there is an intended path an arrow flies which is like a bullseye hit. however the “misses” aren’t automatic misses, it’s just those arrows aren’t exactly on the intended path. the arrow could be on a “wrong” path that is still close enough to the intended path that it will still hit the intended unit.

Whenever SOTL has done testing with accuracy basically the stated accuracy is the theoretical minimum, but in practice units perform better.

All that being said, I don’t think any of that really invalidates your point, CA accuracy is still bad, basically the worst ranged accuracy in the game (trebs are worse sure, but that’s a bit apples and oranges), but in practice it is better than a coin flip.

As I understand it other than point blank the arrow veers away from the tile it was aiming for on a dice roll that doesn’t hit the intended accuracy so a random 1 or 0 os rolled per shot and if 0 disperse within the unit’s miss radius otherwise hit the location

@Tyranno13 did you mean to put goths in C-tier? they’re missing thumbring and PT (I promise I made extra sure I was looking at the correct tech tree), and I’m not seeing any relevant bonus either.

romans are missing both thumbring and bracer. I think they’d have to go down to F-Tier. Same with Celts, who are also missing bloodlines.

Also thanks for putting this tier list together. I really enjoyed it.

40 saracen CA vs 47 Georgian CA, in alternating lines of 8 CA (except for the last georgian line of 7 CA). Saracens won pretty convincing on flat ground in a fight to the death. 10-15 CA left.

tho when I put those alternating lines in a valley, elevation 1 in the middle growing as we went to outer lines, georgian CA actually won with about 10 ca left. It’s definitely possible i messed up some and inadvertently gave the the georgian ca higher average elevation that the saracen CA. still not bad.

so i think not surprisingly, georgian CA underperform if you don’t lean into their bonuses, but will do very well if you can lean into their bonuses. So I think “fully upgraded or equivalent” is accurate enough.

Yes. As Thumb Ring and Parthian Tactics both do less than before (with some of their effects rolled into the Heavy Cavalry Archer upgrade), I don’t regard them as important as Bracer or the HCA upgrade itself.

Goth Heavy Cavalry Archers get Husbandry, Bloodlines, Bracer and all archer armour techs. They did surprise me with how good they actually are.

C is reserved for “perfectly capable of doing their job”. Yes they won’t beat other cavalry archers higher up, but they are still good at harassing.

I did reserve F for those who are truly dog-water enough to miss multiple “important” techs for my list. Romans missing Bracer is pretty bad, but they still have heavy cavalry archer, husbandry and bloodlines. So are still just about able to harass stuff, just not very well.

D tier is for civs where you only make cavalry archers if you need them. Like a shoe with a hole in; it still works as a shoe, you just pray that it does not start raining.

F is for “just don’t, anything is better”.

My evaluation for this wasn’t actually CA vs CA, but more “Can they still pull of their intended role on the battlefield?”. A head-to-head clash looks cool, but is a bit misleading. Yes it is necessary to know, if your opponent makes CA, but you know yours are superior and intend to use yours to get rid of theirs.

But the main purpose of CA is to hit and run their preferred targets, and also act as archers.

More an elaboration as to what my thinking was when placing them.

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Why Cuman in A tier? they are missing the final attack upgrade

OP explained why he put them there, I pretty seriously disagree because of the severe damage falloff of archer units lacking an attack upgrade in Imperial when just about every unit gets a +2 to pierce armor at a minimum.

Surely going to be D-tier in filling the role of the main backline compliment in post-imp games, and the production speed will generally be irrelevant there, hard to argue they’re better than C tier in any situation.

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DM, close start against an slow civ. Lack of treadmill crane in a small map most likely will force the opponent to clump. Go HCA and you easily win.
Even if its a normal Arabia/Runestones size, you MIGHT be able to get a fast victory dropping archery ranges right after first stable (to protect you from opponents scout) against a clump if your opponent dont build a Siege Workshop or a castle fast enough.
Or, in a third situation, you dont even need to win with your HCA, just delay a normal build that starts with halbs trying to counter mass Lancers.
Three small examples on how better Cuman HCA can be against any B or bellow tear.

Fair. Although, all three of your points can be summarized as “In DM tho” which isn’t what most people think about.

In DM, certainly they are a lot better because the mass potential is much more meaningful when you have to fill out population quickly and cost isn’t really a concern, but given houses still being a thing, I wouldn’t say Cumans trivialize the task at all. And to your third point - “You can just not make them” isn’t a good argument for why they’re good.

I don’t suppose you’d like to expand any part of your argument into RM, instead of DM? My guess would be no, but no harm in asking.