Although not a numerous unit of Lusitanian armies, these cavalrymen are fundamental as scouts and, most of all, as good skirmishing medium cavalry, allowing them to use the agility and speed of their horses.
Expert at Hiding in Woods
The Ambakaro Epones (Am-bak-ar-oh Ep-on-ay; "Mounted Arms Bearers") are men that have proved their valour and dedication to their chieftains in the heat of battle. While their background may vary, they all have in common a religious oath of fealty sealed by sacred rites. They are fanatical about keeping their honour and are granted land, cattle and arms as a reward for their services. They protect themselves with a form of light armour made up of quilted linen under a composite of leather, "esparto" fibers and connecting metal pins that is good at absorbing cutting blows. They also use their trademark bronze helmets with the "bucula" ("facemask") along with the standard steel falcata and caetra known of other Iberian warriors. They, however, fight with a degree of élan and ferocity that is not often matched by any enemy. Besides all this they ride the famous Lusitanian warhorse from which they throw the "gesso", a long range javelin suitable for picking enemies off at a great distance, before entering a melee. Although not a numerous unit of Lusitanian armies, these cavalrymen are fundamental as scouts and, most of all, as good skirmishing medium cavalry, allowing them to use the agility and speed of their horses. They are courageous and very competent but should use avoid spear infantry at all costs.
Historically, the Ambakaro were the personal guard of the Lusitanian chieftains. They were bound by religious oaths of fealty and usually defended their lord to the death being praised by Julius Caesar himself. When their lord died, they would often kill each other in ritual combat as part of the funerary rites so they could accompany him to the afterlife. Lusitanian cavalry were not often used, but when they were, they were able to inflict an almost always decisive blow. These horsemen were used to great effect against Roman infantry that could not catch the fast and agile horses of this warlike people – “It is well known that in Lusitania, in the vicinity of the town of Olisipo and the river Tagus, the mares, by turning their faces towards the west wind as it blows, become impregnated by its breezes, and that the foals which are conceived in this way are remarkable for their extreme fleetness" - Pliny, CHAPTER 67