The Equites Caetrati are an agile and stealthy skirmishing cavalry, able to carry many javelins and hurl them at enemy formations while staying out of that formation’s reach.
Can Form Cantabrian Circle
Expert at Hiding in Woods
The Equites Caetrati are a very useful light skirmishing cavalry. Their surefooted, agile Iberian horses and ability to fight in a melee for a limited duration make up for their lack of armour or heavier weaponry. The Equites Caetratii are armed with several javelins and the standard Iberian "falcata" and "caetra" combination. They are very good horsemen, but do not have any armor at all other than their shields and caps. This could be a disadvantage to less hardy horsemen, but the Equites Caetratii make up for it by trading protection for agility, stealth and resistance. They are excellent skirmishing cavalry, able to carry many javelins and hurl them at enemy formations while staying out of that formation’s reach.
Historically, Equites Caetratii were used many times to great effect by the Carthaginians. The Iberians used them more as stealthy, mobile guerrilla troops to harass and cut down a few unwary enemies before disappearing back into the hills. This was possible due to one of the surprising characteristics in Iberian armies: their peculiar training of horses. They were taught to keep silent and laying down, in all situations when their rider told them to. As such, many of the deceptive ambushes performed by Iberian tribes were even more surprising to the incautious enemy.
Centuries of feuding among the Iberian tribes hardened the people in such a way that there was no shortage of tough and cunning warriors. Iberians used varied weapons, shields and armour, differing according to region, wealth, specific battlefield tasks and personal preference - most swords ("falcatas" and "gladius hispanniensis") were custom built to suit the arm length, weight and strength of it's owner. Even though Iberian tactics were generally constant and specific, they were also unpredictable and very effective when properly used. The Iberians' ability to hide, while keeping their enemy under close watch, before performing coordinated attacks followed by swift retreats, allowed them to surprise enemies when least expected. These Iberian hit and run tactics were called by the Romans "concursare", and sometimes described as "simple absence of tactics". It is known, however, that to perform these coordinated attacks and retreats, across an entire army, in simultaneous different areas, needed an impressive amount of organization and signaling that was probably performed through the use of rounded ceramic horns. Although the many tribes that populated Iberia never became united under a single ruler before the Roman invasions, several temporary alliances against foreign enemies were known. These alliances, linked to the Iberians' great determination to remain independent of any foreign power, constituted an unenviable obstacle that put Carthage and Rome at check for more than a century.