Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Horseman is a Mounted unit available in the Classical Era.


The first horses used effectively in battle pulled chariots. The nomadic people of Central Asia were riding horses by 2000 BC, perhaps earlier. While certainly horsemen were employed to carry messengers and scouts, they did not become effective fighting platforms until the development of dual stirrups combined with a solid saddle (to distribute the rider's weight when standing in the stirrups). The earliest effective dual stirrups/saddle combination is found in China and dates from approximately 300 AD, and over the next four centuries it spread across Asia and into Europe.

The earliest fighting horsemen were armed with spears and swords. As technology advanced and bigger and stronger horses were bred, horsemen were equipped with ever more powerful weapons and heavier armor, culminating in the classic knight of the Middle Ages, the king of the medieval battlefield.


The Horseman is the first true melee cavalry unit, combining speed with a powerful attack. It has 4 MPs like all cavalry, but unlike the Chariot Archer it can use its full movement in rough terrain. The Horseman packs a punch with decent weapons combined with the speed and strength of the horse; it can move after attacking, making it ideal for hit-and-run tactics, and also for attacking badly positioned enemy ranged units, then retreating before the enemy can retaliate.

A civilization that has Horsemen can quickly cut through Barbarian encampments, scores of Warriors, Archers, and even Swordsmen. You can also use the Horseman's mobility and decent combat strength to explore the land and deal with any dangers single-handedly. However, like other mounted units, it can't use natural terrain defenses (although terrain combat experience acquired via promotions is still applicable), and its weapons are quite useless against the solid ramparts of cities. Also, as a mounted unit, the Horseman remains vulnerable to attacks from Spearmen, Pikemen, and the like, so keep it away from these!  

Unique Unit Replacements[]

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
African Forest Elephant
Carthage (Dido)

Carthage (Hannibal)

  • Starts with the Great Generals II promotion
  • +16% Strength Combat Strength (14 vs 12)
  • War Combat penalty for adjacent enemies
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • -1 Moves Movement (total 3)
  • +33% Production Production cost (Hannibal)
Alan Cavalry
Unitflag alancavalry
Alan Cavalry
Vandals (Genseric)
  • No Combat Penalty against Cities.
  • Can be trained as a Settler, halting City Growth in the process.
Altaic Rider Uyghur (Bayanchur Khan)
  • Slightly faster
  • War Combat bonus in rough terrain
  • Increased Sight
IconPNG Aswar
Flag aswar
Sassanids (Shapur II)
  • May be purchased with FaithIcon Faith
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength (15 vs. 12)
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength against Melee units
Awraba Auxillary Idrisids (Idris I)
  • Receive a free Awraba Auxiliary from conquering Citystate City-States that share your Religion Religion.
  • Attacking units on trade routes yields FaithIcon Faith, as well as Gold Gold and Influence Influence from nearby Citystate City-states.
Armenia (Tigranes II) (DJSHenninger)
  • No penalty vs. Cities
  • Ignores Defensive Buildings when attacking a City
  • Starts with Cover I
  • -1 Moves Movement
Bulgaria (Simeon I) (LastSword)
  • +1 Strength Combat Strength
  • Acquires Drill and Shock Promotions simultaneously.
Byzantium (Theodora)

Byzantium (Alexios I)

  • May use defensive terrain
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength (15 vs 12)
  • -1 Moves Movement (total 3)
  • +5% Strength Combat Strength vs Cities (total -25%)
IconPNG Celeres
Flag celeres
Rome (Romulus)
  • +17% Strength Combat Strength when beginning its turn near a Barbarian
  • When killing a Barbarian, "stores" a Citizen Citizen, which it will then deposit in the next city it enters
Icon Citizen Cavalry
Citizen Cavalry Rome (Caracalla)
  • Unlocked at Mathematics
  • Upon outbreak of war, spawns automatically in the Capital and conquered cities (cannot spawn more units than the number of Horses Horses you have)
  • Receives extra Moves movement if it begins its turn garrisoned in a city
Clibanarius Palmyra (Zenobia)
  • Unlocked at Mathematics
  • Upon outbreak of war, spawns automatically in the Capital and conquered cities (cannot spawn more units than the number of Horses Horses you have)
  • Receives extra Moves movement if it begins its turn garrisoned in a city
Companion Cavalry
Greece (Alexander)
  • Starts with the Great Generals I promotion
  • +1 Moves Movement (total 5)
  • +16% Strength Combat Strength (14 vs 12)
CumanIcon Wikia
CumanFlag wikia
Magyars (Árpád)
  • Has half the usual city attack penalty
  • Cities garrisoned with a Cuman produce units 15% faster
Cynferchyn Rheged (Urien)
  • If defeated in battle, a ‘Legendary’ version of the unit will appear in the Capital Capital provided it has a Greatwork Great Work of Literature, which has greatly reduced strength but can heal surrounding units.
Unitflag dalmatiancavalry
Dalmatian Cavalry
Rome (Aurelian)
  • +1 Moves Movement when adjacent to a Great General
  • While on a Fort or Citadel:
    • +25% Strength Combat Strength when attacking
    • Gain the base Combat Strength of the strongest unit available
MC Gaemamusa 256
Gaemamusa Goguryeo (Gwanggaeto)
  • May gain terrain bonuses.
  • Ignores terrain costs.
  • -1 Moves Movement.
  • Cannot move after attacking.
  • Earns experience 25% faster when trained during a Goldenage Golden Age.
Gardingo Visigoths (Leovigild)
  • Yields CultureIcon Culture upon being promoted.
  • Gains a Unit Level when present in the founding of a city.
  • May settle Cities with all available Military Buildings at level 4.
Bedouins (Al-Sufi)
  • Does not need Horses
  • Additional Moves movement in desert
  • No Moves Movement cost to pillage
  • Built faster in cities that are the destination of Traderoute trade routes
Unitflag griv
Parthia (Mithridates I)
  • Slower, but has more Combat Strength
  • Ignores enemy zones of control
  • Starts with the Local Nobility promotion:
    • When garrisoned in a conquered city, increases Production and yields +1 Happiness and Gold
Gwassenas Strathclyde (Rhydderch Hael)
  • Can attack twice after a defeat.
  • +20% attacking Strength against Melee Units if on Hills or Forest, increased from nearby Greatperson Great People.
IconPNG Haliaganek
Flag haliaganek
Guaycuru (Eso)
  • Upon killing a unit or clearing a Barbarian Encampment, restores the movement of adjacent friendly units
Hetairoi Macedon (Alexander)
  • +16% Strength Combat Strength (14 vs 12)
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • Starts with the Great Generals I promotion
Moravia Horse
Jazdec flag
Great Moravia (Svatopluk)
  • Regains Moves Movement Points upon killing a siege unit
  • Upgrades Forts to Citadels while standing on them
Jinetes Castile (Isabella)
  • Restores Hit Points and 2 Moves Movement after capturing a city following a different religion.
  • Flank attack bonus increased by 15%.
  • -25% War Combat Penalty vs Cities (vs 33).
Matamoros Asturias (Alfonso I)
  • +42% Production Production cost (115 vs 75).
  • May be bought with FaithIcon Faith.
  • Generates Goldenage Golden Age Points from kills if at war with a civilization that has a different Religion.
  • Has a 30% chance to spawn a free Missionary if it defeats a unit within Asturian territory during a Goldenage Golden Age, increased by the number of cities with followers of your religion worldwide.
Mounted Infantry
Franks (Charlemagne)
  • Classed as Melee, not Mounted
  • Receives defensive terrain bonuses
  • No penalty vs. Cities
Oathsman Hungary (Stephen I) (JFD)
  • Spawned whenever a Barbarian Encampment is cleared.
  • Begins with bonus XP based upon the Level of the Unit that cleared it.
  • Does not require Horses Horses.
Palatini Rome (Constantine)
  • +15% Strength Combat Strength when stacked with a Great General.
  • +25% Penalty vs. Cities (from 33%).
  • +10 Max HP[1]/+5 Strength Combat Strength when trained in the Capital.
Poland (Boleslav I)
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • +50% Flanking bonus
  • No penalty vs. Cities, if the City does not have Walls.
Samoyed Sled Nenets (Vavlyo)
  • Unlocked at Animal Husbandry
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • -25% Strength Combat Strength (9 vs 12)
  • May be expended to build a Camp or Trading Post, regardless of Technology prerequisites
  • Never obsoletes
Shurta Umayyads (Al-Walid I) (Uighur Caesar)
  • Deals an additional +15 damage when attacking Barbarians.
  • May construct a Misr.
  • +1 Happy Happiness while garrisoned, increasing to +2 if in an Occupied city or when the empire is Unhappiness Unhappy.
Singulares Rome (Trajan)
  • +1 Moves Movement and +15% Strength Combat Strength when within 2 tiles of a Barbarian Encampment.
  • If disbanded in the Capital Capital, this unit and any stacked civilians are respawned in the furthest city.
Szalu-Aula The Avars (Bayan I)
  • +1 Moves Movement.
  • Starts with the City Plunder Promotion.
  • Conquering a city with an Szalu-Aula converts any barbarian, Citystate City-State or Defensive Pact ally unit to your empire in the city radius.
Thegn Northumbria (Oswiu)
  • Not classified as a mounted unit, but instead a melee unit.
  • Does not require Horses Horses, but does require Iron Iron.
  • Same promotions as a mounted unit would have.
  • Land units adjacent to the Thegn gain extra Strength Combat Strength depending on the less HP they have.
Kazakhs (Ablai Khan) (DJSHenninger)
  • +3 Strength Combat Strength
  • +15HP healing in neutral territory, +10HP healing in friendly territory
Uchelwyr Gwynedd (Cadwallon ap Cadfan)
  • +50% Production Production cost.
  • +20% Strength attack against Cities, +60% if the city was formerly owned by a Friendship partner or Citystate City-state ally.
  • Half as expensive to train if a Citystate City-state ally has Horses Horses.
War Party
Niitsitapi (Running Eagle)
  • +20% Strength Combat Strength outside friendly lands
  • 25% chance of converting captured enemies into Workers
Wriggling Rider Rouran (Yujiulü Mugulü)
  • +1 Moves Movement during Golden Ages.
  • On Fresh Water and next to Barbarians, the Wriggling Rider's Moves Movement points are refreshed.
  • May dig Wells in Plains and Desert that provide Fresh Water.
Zenata Rider The Aurès (Dihya)
  • Pays no Movement cost to Pillage.
  • Starts with extra XP based upon its city's FaithIcon Faith output.
  • If built while an enemy unit is within its city's borders, permamently ignores enemy ZOC.
  1. With the Community Patch.
Unit Types
Ancient Era
ArcherChariot ArcherScoutSpearmanTriremeWarrior
Classical Era
Composite BowmanCatapultHorsemanSwordsman
Medieval Era
Renaissance Era
Industrial Era
ArtilleryCavalryGatling GunIroncladRifleman
Modern Era
Anti-Aircraft GunBattleshipCarrierDestroyerGreat War BomberGreat War InfantryInfantryLandshipMachine GunSubmarineTriplane
Atomic Era
Anti-Tank GunAtomic BombBazookaBomberFighterHelicopter GunshipMarineMobile SAMParatrooperRocket ArtilleryTank
Information Era
Giant Death RobotGuided MissileJet FighterMechanized InfantryMissile CruiserModern ArmorNuclear MissileNuclear SubmarineStealth BomberXCOM Squad
Civilian Units
ArchaeologistCaravanCargo ShipInquisitorMissionarySettlerWork BoatWorker
Great People
Great AdmiralGreat ArtistGreat EngineerGreat GeneralGreat MerchantGreat MusicianGreat ProphetGreat ScientistGreat Writer