Time to buff Cataphracts? Poll

Ok, here we go. Cataphract is one of the oldest and fan favorite unit since the days of Age of Kings and Conquerors. Since then, very few updates were made around them and all were lower costs upgrades.
I remember the time when Cataphracts would only be counter by archers and heavy cavalry, mostly knight line. Nowadays since the recent patches there was a huge addition of new heavy cavalry units such us Leitis, Konnik, Keshik, Boyar, Centurion etc, meaning that Cataphract has lost more value than ever, making it a completely occasional unit to recruit.
In my opinion it needs a small buff. And not lowering upgrades cost this time. I believe that a small change like +10 hp or +1 pierce armor would rise the possibility of being picked when playing as Byzantines. I know that Byzantines have all kind of counter units but it’s not that fun 90% of the time to use skirmishers/camels/pikes.
Cataphracts now are barely used.
I made this video where I added Blast Furnace and Bloodlines to display the difference that it makes.

Of course I don’t suggest to include both BF and BL in Byzantines, the video it’s only for demonstration.
Just wanted to make my point that a small buff is needed, so I also made this poll.
What’s your thoughts, should any of the following be considered as a buff?

  • 10 more HP
  • +1 pierce armor
  • Bloodlines
  • Blast Furnace
  • Cataphracts don’t need buff
0 voters

The Cataphract is not built to handle other cavalry. It’s an anti-infantry unit.

Byzantines are built around efficient counter-units, which is where the cataphract sits well in their tech tree.


I would agree to buff logistics instead. Logistics affect paladin.


There are obviously people who enjoy using it so this is way too subjective to make a point. Thats why the civ is called defensive.


I wanted to vote for everything, because the glory of Rome is eternal


Put it to the list of things that “easly” could be solved with a proper Militia-line buff/rework/overhaul…


I agree, make it much cheaper or affect knight line as well

Not sure. I’m between +1 pierce armor and +10 HP. But they could increase the damage done from Logistica.

In fact they can handle cavalry okay except the heaviest kind. Not what they are good at but not crushed. Meanwhile they crush infantry. They are in a good spot.


All UTs that benefits only the UU should be reworked at this point (remember royals heirs or the Korean UT?) so I think I would change Logistica a bit. To affect Paladins sound cool since it gives a reason for byz to make them (without being OP hopefully).

The reason for Byz to make them is already there tho; it’s their gold unit for raiding protected economies (i.e. kill villagers with ease, don’t die to arrow fire).

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I personally would like it if Byzantines had bloodlines (it’s the one thing I dislike about playing the civ), but then cataphracts would probably need a nerf (and possibly some other small research cost adjustments). And there are likely other reasons why Byzantines shouldn’t get bloodlines. Cataphracts do work as a power unit as they currently stand (as do Byzantine Paladins, which are better against archers but much worse against infantry).

If Cataphracts got an additional pierce armor, it would make them harder to deal with (as they aren’t countered by halbs, can compete with enemy cavalry, and would then do reasonably well against archers).

The main issue Byzantine with bloodlines is that cheap camel with bloodline will basically shred through lots of things, including small amount of archers/pikes I’d imagine


As they still have cheap spears, what if they don’t have cheap camel any longer?
And by the way I don’t know did the Byzantines do use the camel troop heavily in the history.

Byzantine was a fairly big empire that also cover part of north africa and asia minor.

Covering part of north Africa and Asia minor does prove they can access Camel Riders but does not absolutely mean they had used camel troops heavily, right?

Cataphracts are meant to be used against large groups of infantry and they do that job well. “Fun” is not how you balance a unit. Generically powerful unique units address the civ’s tech tree gaps or lack of eco bonuses, rest are added to complement the main army. Like Keshik is added mostly to counter the units that counter CA. Cataphracts have a similar role. At most they could receive -5 food cost or logistics a bit cheaper in terms of food but that should be accompanied with some small nerfs to one of their remaining bonuses.

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The late Roman Empire had a specific camel corps called the Dromedarii.

Since Byzantines focus on cheaper counter units, it fits perfectly fine.


People here review the Cataphract with full upgrades+logistica, ignoring the fact that Castle age Cataphracts counter almost nothing. At least not cost effective as they are supposed to do. Pikes can take them down and are easier to mass. Castle age Catas are trash imo.
Imagine facing Goths without at least logistica.
Most of infantry units can face a unupgraded Cata because they are cheaper and easier to mass.
And to add to all that, Castle age Catas lose to most of heavy cavalry I mentioned before. And archers.
So basically until you get ALL upgrades, they are almost useless.

It might be considered the best anti-infantry unit but the game has gone into heavy cavalry-oriented a long time ago.
With that said, I believe a buff(leaning towards +10hp, which is almost insignificant) is needed.



  • Give them Bloodlines.
  • Reduce the cost of Logistica by 150 food and 100 gold.
  • Reduce the HP of Elite Cataphracts by 10.
  • Remove the Heavy Camel Riders.

They could still have cheap Halberdiers in the late game so the lose of Heavy Camel not really affect so much, and the Cataphracts in the Castle Age could get 20 HP more while the fully upgraded ones could get only 10 HP more.