These fast, Sarmatian Horse archers are ideally suited to the skirmishing tactics of steppe warfare and are also capable of devastating heavy infantry if they avoid melee.
Can Form Cantabrian Circle
A swarm of nimble, mounted archers riding sturdy steppe ponies is the backbone of most Sarmatian armies and, if adequately handled, they can be a very effective force all by themselves. Most enemies will be slower or have a shorter range. The horse archers can keep peppering them with arrows for hours or days, evading if approached and closing in only when casualties and loss of cohesion have sufficiently weakened their foes. Typical horse archers, however, are not particularly well-suited for hand-to-hand combat. Armour and heavy weapons are expensive and so are the big horses that can deal with the added weight: only nobles and kings can afford such luxuries. Hence, typical horse archers carry little or no armour and are likely to suffer if forced into melee against most adversaries.
Historically, life as nomadic herders on the steppe produced highly skilled bowmen and riders who could put those abilities to very good use on a battlefield. For over two millennia, these warriors were levied from the diverse nomads that roamed the vast Eurasian steppe and were a central and iconic component of their armies. Horse archer armies relied on mobility (at the strategic and tactical levels) and their excellent composite bows to win their battles and wars and their victories could be truly devastating. Both Macedonians and Romans at the peak of their military power saw some of their armies totally annihilated by enemies relying on horse archers and steppe tactics.