Hobelars

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A unit of 4 Hobelars
  • Very mobile unit
  • Strong charge
  • Mediocre in melee


Hobelars form a cavalry unit using agility as its main tactical advantage. Capable of striking where it hurts the most on the battlefield and retreating before the enemy can form a decent response, they are the perfect unit to disrupt the opponents’ plans and keep them on their toes.


Special Rules

  • Light cavalry charge: This unit's charge is impossible to deflect and inflicts a morale penalty (2 per knight) to attacked units if their miniatures have a Bulk of 3 or less.
  • Fast cavalry: Not subject to enemy cut down when leaving close combat.


Contents

Story Notes

The hobelar is named after the hobby, a small but resistant breed of horse that is now extinct. They were Irish mercenaries who, for the most part, fled the poverty plaguing their island and found work in mercenary companies wherever war was a lucrative business. But it was not easy being a foreigner in a foreign land. Culturally different from their Anglo-Norman (or Scotto-Norman) employers, hobelars usually had a hard time integrating fully into the army they worked for.


Tactically speaking, the fighting techniques of the hobelars depended on the land they originated in. The bogs, marshes and rocky terrain in Ireland demanded a much more agile type of horsemanship than the straight heavy cavalry charge. As a result, hobelars developed a real skill for hit-and-runs and other "indirect" types of combat that were not prevalent in Western Europe. Keen generals and military leaders like Edward I and Robert Bruce used them extensively to fill a strategic role in the army, like putting them in charge of scouting, raids and scorched-earth warfare techniques.

Gameplay Summary

The Hobelars’ best weapon is their ability to be at the right place at the right time: they can stay out of harm’s way while attacking an undefended target and they can retreat from combat only to reinforce another melee in need. Having an array of charges, counter-charges and other movement-based abilities, the unit’s value resides in this tactical advantage rather than in its pure statistical line.


While not the greatest fighters when it comes to a prolonged melee, Hobelars threatening to charge may be enough to make the enemies reconsider their battle plans. A unit of Hobelars charging unprotected archers or flanking a melee can cause some serious damage, both physically and to the enemy’s morale. This threat alone can disrupt plans, cancel a manoeuvre and force foes into uneasy defensive formations they would rather not be in.


This does not mean Hobelars can dominate the battlefield on their own. Having a relatively low reserve of Hit Points and scanty armour, the unit will find itself in serious trouble should it face a stronger foe in melee. But Hobelars will usually have at least the luxury of disengaging with relative ease should they find themselves stuck somewhere. Because of their constant need to move, avoid charges and perform counter-charges, it takes a certain amount of tactical finesse to play Hobelars. But those who learn to exploit the Hobelars’ full potential will quickly understand why they were amongst the favourite troops of the great military leaders of the time.


Statistics

Stats Highlights
Good Accuracy
High Initiative
Very strong charge
Resistance to Wind
Weakness to Water

Main Article: Stats

Characteristics


Main melee weapon


Secondary melee weapon


Ranged Weapon

Muster

Mercenary 50%


Offence


Charge


Accuracy

Morale


Defence


Protection


Resistance

Skills

Granted Skills
Harass - level 1 Lure - level 1 Canter - level 1
The unit charges one zone away and then retreats to the zone they left. Defensive Stance. The unit's next charge reaction will be to retreat with an extreme priority. Defensive Stance. A combined move of one zone and a wait.
Agile Charge - level 5 False Retreat - level 10
A short charge negating terrain advantage to opponents. The unit retreats 2 zones away, pulling confident enemies into the first zone it moved in. The Hobelar unit receives a morale penalty.


Mastery Skills
Aimed Charge - level 15 Counter Charge - level 15 Grim Fate - level 15
Only usable on a flank or rear attack. Allows the Hobelars to target a specific enemy unit. Defensive Stance. Next time an enemy unit charges in an adjacent zone, the Hobelars will charge that enemy. Passive Skill. Significantly less sensitive to casualty morale modifiers.


Final Skills
Circle Assault - level 30 Chained Charge - level 30 Dirty Work - level 30
A charge which is always considered flanking against engaged enemy units one zone away. A charge from an engaged position which can only reach one zone away. Passive Skill. Significantly less sensitive to Intimidation morale modifiers.


Hobelars' Skill Tree


Related Articles


You would like to add a unit of Hobelars to your army? Get one from one of the following boxes:

The Ex illis Starter Kit

The Cavalry Reinforcement box

The Cavalry Reinforcement assembly instructions