EB1:Eqvites Romani are the members of the Republic's leading classes, that have to serve as the legion's cavalry arm.
EB2:The equites are the cavalry of the Roman legions and cohorts of the Latin allies.
They can be recruited in the central Italian provinces Latium, Umbria, Etruria, Apulia, Liguria and Campania. These are the heartlands of the Res Publica, filled with our colonies founded during the epic struggles of the past centuries.
The equites are the roman citizen cavalry force. 300 of them, divided into ten turmae, are attached to each legion. They are now armed and armoured in Greek fashion with a hasta lance, a sword, a round parma equestris shield with a diameter of 50-80 cm, a crested helmet and wear a bronze muscle cuirass. Each eques has three horses and is accompanied by two grooms.
Historically, the equites were the members of the ordo equester and the sons of the families of the ordo senatorius, the two classes of the roman nobility, the wealthiest and most influential men. This proud horsemen were the future leading men of Roma. Their small numbers and the formidable opposition of other nations more professional cavalry often limited their effect on the battlefield, so that they were rarely used for other tasks than securing the flanks of the heavy infantry.
Over many centuries the Romans had the reputation to be more willing than others to adopt new customs and techniques if they proved useful. This was seen as one of their greatest strengths. Earlier roman horsemen probably fought mainly as light cavalry with javelins until conflicts with other Italian and foreign powers heavy cavalry had taught them its effectiveness.
Normally every roman must have served at least ten years in the military before he was permitted to hold any political office. The eques had the duty to serve ten years, the infantryman 16 or 20 years in the case of national emergency, until he has completed his 46th year of life.
The equites are the cavalry of the Roman legions and cohorts of the Latin allies. Each legion had about 300 equites and a Latin cohort about 30. The equites would generally be deployed on the flanks of a Roman army.
The equites are armed with a spear and sword, carried a round cavalry shield, and wore a fine bronze helmet. Polybius was probably referring to the cavalry of the Camillan army when he wrote "in old times they had no cuirasses" and "were nearly naked". While this is almost certainly an exaggeration, the Roman and Latin cavalrymen of this period seem to be lightly armoured in the Italic tradition, some wearing large and small breastplates and linothorakes, but many wearing no body armour at all.
The equites are recruited from among the wealthiest and most influential members of Roman society. Typically, a young Roman aristocrat's career began with service in the equites. Many of the mounts (the equo publico) ridden by the equites were provided by the state with funds raised by a tax on widows and orphans. However, the equites also received the service of the less wealthy men who were able to provide themselves with a suitable mount. Roman equites are recruited chiefly from Latium and its immediate vicinity, while Latin equites may be recruited from any region where a Latin colony is found.
The eqvites are not amazing shock cavalry with their overhand spears, low armour compared to other heavy cavalry, and a low charge value. They also are hardly cost-effective and in both multi- and single player. It is probably wiser to buy cavalry from Gaul or Africa (as the Romans tended to do historically). Yet the eqvites are certainly not a bad unit as they are fast and effective in a counter-cavalry role or to chase down routers and light infantry due to their speed, fast attack and decent armour.