Unit Composition V Medieval Era vs. Medieval Era Wars start to become rather interesting once you and your enemy are both in the Medieval Era. In my opinion, there's a role for all the units unlocked in the Medieval Era, though one unit is rather weak for this era. There are quite a few compositions you can work with depending on various factors like what your army composition was when you were in Classical Era. Once again, we will be looking at either a land heavy map (like Pangaea) or a water heavy map (like Archipelago). We will also assume that both sides have all units unlocked during this era and all cities have Castles. Land heavy map: First, I want to stress that blockading cities is still a viable option, maybe more so since Castles actually make cities quite a tougher to capture unless you have certain unit compositions. Whenever you have a chance, blockade the city as it will make life a lot easier. However, you should never attempt this when you risk losing units as it's rarely a good trade to lose a unit. Let's see some compositions and bad names I give them. Rush Approach: With any rushes, mobility is key. Therefore, your army composition depends heavily on high mobility units like Knights and Heavy Skirmishers. As I have stated before, these two units are extremely powerful and, when used properly in the right circumstances, they can devastate the enemy ranks while greatly minimizing damage taken. Of course, Knights and Heavy Skirmishers aren't enough unless the terrain really help (like allow multiple of your Heavy Skirmishers attack enemy city with impunity). You also need two other units to support this strategy. You need Crossbowmen for their Medic I or or even Medic II. If you have been warring quite a bit before this scenario, then some of your Knights might even have March. March Knights with Medic Crossbowmen can ensure that they last fairly long on the battlefield without needing to withdraw to friendly territory. You also need Trebuchet to help take down cities. Why do I call this a rush? Speed is of the essence here if you want to maximize the damage early on. Before the AI is ready for the war, you send your units to quickly weaken their ranks. The idea is to weaken the enemy piecemeal without taking too much damage yourself. If successful, your Trebuchet can basically attack enemy cities with impunity since you cleared most of the enemy resistances and the AI is struggling to replace the units you just eliminated. While it's possible to use this composition for a dragged out war where you whittle enemy bit by bit as you fight their main forces across a front, there's a better strategy I'll highlight below. Attrition Approach I: For the first attrition approach, you can use the composition above but you need to throw in a couple of Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen. Why? You don't want your mounted and ranged units to take hits and, with good defensive terrain, Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen can actually last somewhat long, especially if they're adjacent to Medic Crossbowmen that can also support by attacking. Do note that you want to do this on friendly territory since you can heal more and boost the survivability of the melee units. Since your main contingent of units are Knights and Heavy Skirmishers along with some ranged units, your unit supply is very limited so you can only get a couple of melee units. What will you pick? This depends on the enemy composition. If the enemy is focusing mostly on Knights, then Pikemen will be more beneficial. If the enemy uses Pikemen and/or Longswordsmen composition (like in situation where the AI has a Spearmen UU or Swordsmen UU so they outnumber mounted units), then Longswordsmen are the better bet. If you went Authority, then you might as well get the Landsknecht as it's basically a combination of the two units and can be bought with full experience as opposed to taking up production. The advantage of this over the other attrition approach is that, once you find an opening in the enemy ranks, you can break through it quickly due to the mobility at your disposal. Attrition Approach II: The second attrition approach is more fitting for the attrition name. Here, you have largely melee units like Pikemen, Longswordsmen and/or Landsknecht as your main front line. Then, you have Heavy Skirmishers and Crossbowmen providing the main damage to lessen enemy unit counts. With proper terrain and rotation, you can potentially not lose any units despite the AI throwing a lot of units at you. With rotation, it's basically you switching a healthy unit and withdrawing a wounded unit. The idea is to keep all of your units alive while your opponent is growing weaker as time passes. Rotation works best when you are defending since you have Roads to help get maneuver your units. Rotation can work in enemy territory but it's tougher as Roads can make a big difference in how quickly you can get units rotated. Now, this approach is more viable when you don't have as many Horses so a more mobile force isn't as feasible. Unlike the approach above, the push will be slower due to limited movement of your units. What I generally like to do is maintaining a strong front line while keeping an eye out for Hills that allow my Crossbowmen to support and rough terrain that allow my Heavy Skirmishers to work their hit and run tactics. Attrition Approach III: This third approach sees fewer melee units and more ranged units. The success of this approach depends very heavily on a number of things like promotions, terrain and other factors important to war. For example, maybe you have a bunch of Crossbowmen with Indirect Fire that allow them to attack at a relatively safe position. The terrain might offer a few choke points so you need fewer melee units to hold the line. You might also have UA that give your units the ability to lay a heavy beating on the opponent whenever they try to get closer. Generally, this approach isn't advised as exposed ranged units don't have the best survivability. However, this can be quite fun to use in certain situations and quite rewarding if you can pull it off. This approach does require kiting so be ready for quite a bit of micromanaging and planning ahead with what actions you units take. Water heavy map: Naval warfare in Medieval Era is quite a bit different from Classic due to the Caravel. In the Classical Era, all naval units are restricted to only Coastal tiles. While some tricks can allow your Triremes cross Ocean tiles, their movement is still very much limited. Caravel changes all that by having the ability to end its end on Ocean tiles as well. Ironically, their ranged counterpart, Galleass, cannot do so. Therefore, Caravels have undisputed dominance in the Medieval Era. Despite this dominance, Caravels are still unsuited for taking cities. Even with sufficient promotions that gives them bonuses when attacking cities, Caravels are still poorly equipped to handle the damage output of defending ranged units and the city itself. However, they are well suited in forming blockades so their contribution still cannot be underestimated. Regarding the composition, there will likely be a heavy emphasis on Caravel. Galleass can be useful if most of combat happens near the Coast. However, they will require protection or enemy Caravel will easily deal with them. This is probably the only time where a naval ranged unit isn't quite worth it due to how much babysitting they requiring. A full composition of just Caravel can certainly work given their maneuverability and dominance of this time. Even with Amphibious assaults, it's far better to have Caravel escort embarked units.