From Ex illis wiki
- Elite heavy cavalry
- Truly devastating charge
- Not at its best in long melees
The Franc Chevalers are the pinnacle of medieval military society. Their powerful charge makes short work of even the toughest foes and shatters the morale of those who survive it. Skilled and heavily equipped, the Chevalers can also remain in a melee and survive an onslaught of enemy attacks until reinforcements arrive to finish the job.
- Heavy cavalry charge: This unit's charge is impossible to deflect and inflicts a morale penalty (4 per knight) to attacked units if their miniatures have a Bulk of 3 or less.
- Impetuous: Charges compulsively when Confident or Overconfident. This rule ignores units located in a zone containing a terrain feature.
The knight is often considered as the emblem of Western medieval warfare as a whole. These men formed an elite class of people who dedicated their lives to war, trained from early childhood, raised to believe none can withstand their might. Most armies use a group of knights as their force’s core, utilising the sole tactic of their devastating charge to break their enemies’ will to fight. In fact, the knight’s place in the feudal system was so important that it transcended the battlefield and gave this military elite a major role in society as well.
Many countries produced fine knights, but French society, with its strict feudal system, was particularly favourable to their development. The Franc Chevalers were a cornerstone for the society around them, and the titles they bore were both rewarding and demanding. The Franc Chevalers owned land, had wealth and lived a lifestyle that the peasantry could only dream of, but this status depended on their performance in wartime. Defeating a famous enemy meant glory and wealth once the battle was over, but a Franc Chevaler seen performing poorly on the battlefield could see his status drop overnight. The shame of defeat was even worse if the knight was vanquished by a soldier of a lower social rank. Bravery was such a highly held value that it often led to recklessness. It was better to be seen dying "honourably" than to be caught hesitating or doing the tactically sound thing: retreating from a hopeless fight.
But in Ex illis, the time of knights is coming to an end. A few battles have proven that dedicated infantry, even of lowly ranks, can withstand the charge of these glorious warriors and defeat them. Furthermore, the Franc Chevalers in Ex illis are facing new foes who challenge them for the supremacy on the battlefield, from angels who can fly out of arm’s reach to the large monsters who can take a lance in the gut and keep on fighting. Most knights are resisting the changes around them out of fear of losing their privileges in society. Many associate them with old values, something that belongs to a past washed away by the Flael.
And yet, there are still moments of glory to come for the Franc Chevalers. Those who underestimate the skill, determination and sheer destructive force of these men will not live long to regret their mistake.
NB: the term "Franc Chevalers" implied here should be read as "Frankish Knights" rather than "French Knight". It infers a style of mounted combat spread from Sicily to Ireland.
It is no secret that the Franc Chevalers’ strength comes from their charge. Having very high damage and charge priority, a Franc Chevaler charge is likely to kill as many foes as there are warriors charging. But the charge gameplay is much more complex than it appears. At such a steep cost, it is important to make sure the Franc Chevalers charge where they are needed and that they charge the right foe (which might be trickier than it sounds, considering their impetuous nature).
It is also important to realise that the charge is almost more damaging to morale than it is to the body of its victims. The Franc Chevalers’ goal should be to pick enemies already so shaky that the charge will make them rout. This technique is even more effective when charging from the flank or when using special formations like the Wedge Charge. If the enemy resists the urge to flee, things might get more complicated for the knights!
Thankfully, the Franc Chevalers are protected by heavy armour. Combined with their proficiency with swords and shields, these characteristics create a unit that can hold its own for quite some time in the thick of combat. This is particularly useful when the knights get stuck in a melee ahead of the rest of their army and they need to hold fast until reinforcements arrive. But this armour comes at a price: a Franc Chevaler is quite prone to Fatigue. A single charge takes a serious toll on the warhorse, making it a one-time weapon. A player looking to charge repeatedly should seriously consider resting the unit instead of making a charge with diminished Accuracy.
An elite, heavy cavalry unit like the Franc Chevalers is an excellent centrepiece to build a force around. Its success or failure can make or break the game for the rest of the army. Just keep in mind that the enemies will know that as well and will probably devote a lot of their resources to stopping them.
Main Article: Stats
You would like to add a unit of Franc Chevalers to your army? Get one from one of the following boxes: