These mounted archers are skilled horsemen and deadly shots. They can fight with spears in their own defence, but should not be recklessly committed to action.
As is usual for most steppe nomads, nobility among the Aorsi have the means to equip themselves with more and better war gear than their followers. Metal armour, nonetheless, is still beyond the means of most Aorsi nobles and they must be content with either polished horn or hardened leather. Modest as they may initially seem, those materials confer nonetheless enough protection that Aorsi nobles may face a diversity of foes in hand-to-hand combat and expect to come out the victors. Their charges pack a distinct punch and their armour allows them to withstand both distant archery and melee against lightly armed foes reasonably well. However, they cannot expect to frontally charge infantry that has not been “softened” or to engage truly heavy cavalry and survive. Of course, true to steppe traditions, Aorsi nobles have not forsaken the composite bow and against such heavier enemies their skill as bowmen serves them very well.
Historically, Aorsi warfare remained firmly based on the horse archery tradition. Nonetheless, they, particularly their noble elite, also appear to have been somewhat better prepared for melee combat than earlier groups of Sarmatian peoples. It is not unconceivable that against more poorly equipped enemies they may have not been content with just winning archery duels thanks to their greater protection and may have actively sought to close in, so advantages in hand-to-hand offensive equipment may also be put to good use.
Of the three elite horse archers that the Sauromatae can recruit, the Aorsi Nobles have the least amount of armor compared with the other 2 and lacks an armor-piercing charge but they are quite able in melee combat unlike the others and having good shield increases their survival and they have largest stamina, able to outrun heavy cavalry.