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The description of a knight from the civilopedia:

As a mounted unit it is vulnerable to Pikemen, but it can crush other opponents with ease.

Is that to say that they are not vulnerable to spearman? Do spearman not get a bonus against them?

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2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Spearmen have a bonus when fighting mounted units, same as Pikemen. However, Spearmen and Knights do not show up in the same era - Knights and Pikemen are both medieval units, while Spearmen are ancient units. This means that Knights are relatively more powerful than spearmen, even taking into account the bonus vs. mounted.

To compare: Spearmen are strength 11 with +50% vs mounted units. Vs. a Knight, this puts them at 16.5 (before other bonuses). Pikemen are strength 16 with +100% vs mounted units, giving them a strength of 32.

Since Knights have a strength of 20 (since nominal unit power increases with era), they will beat spearmen despite their "vs. mounted" bonus.

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Good research. Note also that knights receive no defensive bonuses and are susceptible to being attacked even though they are attackers themselves. Whereas infantry can fortify themselves knights receive no such advantage. In my experience, I use my own knights (or horsemen) to counter enemy knights, if they are sufficiently damaged, and then retreat to safer ground. –  GoofBall Jan 12 '13 at 15:07
    
Thank, and thanks GoofBall. Informative input. –  firebush Jan 12 '13 at 15:56
    
The pikeman bonus may actually have been reduced to 50% in a post-launch patch. That still gives them a strength of 24 vs. Knights (so, still more) –  Raven Dreamer Jan 20 '13 at 18:35
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Yes, knights are still vulnerable to spearmen. Spearman have a "50% bonus vs. mounted units". Though, spearmen have less strength than pikemen, so they won't be as effective. Spearmen may still be useful against knights for reducing their health, even though they are overpowered.

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