In this guide we’ll discuss how to use the Huns’ Hunnic Horde and the Mongols’ Mongol Horde which are a special nomad unit similar to the tribe that can keep growing new units through food. We’ll start with an overview and then discuss how to recruit the horde units, which religion tenets and civics are helpful, when and how to attack enemy empires, how to find food and money to keep growing the units and then war strategy as well as battle tactics with the Hunnic and Mongol Horde.
First, starting with an overview. The Huns are a a classical era culture and the mongols are a medieval era culture that provide a special nomad unit that you don’t have to build or buy in cities. In fact, it is one of the only units you can recruit with influence, which we’ll discuss next, as well as grow by ransacking. It is a ranged unit that can move after attacking, unlocking some special battle tactics that will be quite difficult for enemies to deal with. The speed with which you can recruit additional units and move around the map gives you a significant edge over enemy empires where you can win wars even if they are much more powerful than you on paper. You will, however, not be able to attach any outposts to your cities meaning most of your empire will be focussed on war rather than building up an economy. You will have to make up for that through all the territory you can capture from your enemies.
Moving on to how to recruit the Hunnic and Mongol Hordes, there are 5 ways of getting them. The first and second are either building them with industry or buying them with money in your cities. Another way is by upgrading Hunnic to Mongol Hordes. This is quite expensive and usually not worth doing. Instead, it is better to put the Hunnic hordes back into your cities as population. This is the worst way of getting the units because it takes a long time and costs population. The best way to get them is using influence in outposts that have at least 4 population. You can boost the population of outposts by getting harbors with influence (more in this guide) as well as picking religion tenets that boost the food on coast and lakes (more in this guide). You will need 80-150 influence which provides an army of 4 units. If you have a significant food supply in outposts you, you can regrow the required population in 4 turns meaning you don’t really have to worry about losing units, although it is better to keep them alive to earn experience which boosts combat strength.
Given that we already started to discuss religion, let’s talk about which civics and religion tenets help the most. The meditate often religion tenet is quite helpful as it boosts the combat strength of all your units, but it is only unlocked at tier 4 which I usually get around the early medieval era. The smite unbelievers tenet is actually not very good because it only applies to units created in cities, which you won’t do with the Hunnic and Mongol Horde. Pick the plundered wages option for the army wages civic to speed up ransacking as well as boosting the money yields from ransacking. Also pick the professional soldiers option for army composition since you won’t be building your army using industry. With all of these bonuses you will have much more powerful units compared to enemy empires.
Now, let’s discuss when to declare war and attack. The Hunnic and Mongol Hordes have quite a bit of upkeep, so be sure to have plenty of traders in your cities and improve luxury resource tiles. However, don’t worry about negative money per turn because you will get plenty of money from ransacking enemy outposts and Administrative Centers. Just be sure to save up a bit of money so you you don’t run out straight away. Also, don’t worry about enemies that are more powerful than you. The Hunnic and mongol Hordes are far more powerful than indicated by their combat strength, you have a lot of movement so you can target and isolate enemy armies with many more units and you can get new armies by just paying up to 150 influence so losing units is not that concerning. These are all advantages your enemies won’t have that make up for even being much weaker in terms of combat strength than an enemy empire.
Moving onto how to find food to keep growing more units, the main way is to ransack outposts and Administrative Centers as well as fighting enemy armies. You will get a small amount of food for doing each which will be distributed equally amongst your units participating in a given activity. This does mean that you will sometimes end up with half the food you need on multiple armies. By merging the armies together, you will be able to combine their foods to grow an additional unit. The last unit in an army will retain all the food the army has accumulated so you can move out all other units from the 2 armies and then combine them to grow the additional unit.
Now onto war strategy. You will want to keep ransacking enemy outposts and Administrative Centers to keep increasing the enemy population war support to keep the war going. Otherwise, due to frequent battle losses and retreating, you may finish a war prematurely before taking over all their territory. Also, keep a non-nomadic unit in your armies as well to put down outposts in any territories you ransack. If you use the Hunnic or Mongol Horde to claim a territory the units will go into the outpost as population and you will have to spend influence to recruit them again. Delay taking enemy cities for as long as possible because they will start losing war support per turn once they lose cities. When you are getting close to winning a war, be sure to take one more city than your city cap to maximise the gains from the war. You need to occupy a city to be able to ask for it in the war resolution (more in this guide).
Finally, let’s discuss battle tactics. The Hunnic and Mongol Hordes are so powerful because they can attack and then move. This lets you dictate where the units in a battle will fight because enemy units have to come to you to be able to do damage. The most dangerous units are enemy ranged units because they don’t take damage when doing damage to you. Be sure to focus them down first. Move your units next to their units, preferably at the same or higher elevation to increase the relative combat strength and do more damage. Then, retreat to higher ground with each unit. Find an elevated part of the battlefield and position your units so that enemy units have to attack you from lower ground. This reduces the damage of enemy ranged units as well as increasing the damage enemy units take when they attack you. This also gives you higher ground to shoot at enemies from. Be careful from where you attack enemies to ensure that they are forced into lower elevations and that the battlefield has an higher elevation area you can hold down.
So, in summary, the Hunnic and Mongol Hordes are quite powerful. You can recruit them from outposts with a lot of food using influence and can grow additional units through ransacking and defeating enemy armies. Pick religion tenets and civics that provide extra food in outposts and combat strength for your units as well as bonuses to ransacking. Be sure to maximise your money income, but don’t worry about negative income which you can make up using ransacking. Go after enemy outposts and Administrative Centers to ransack money and keep enemy war support up to draw out a war and capture more territory. Use elevation and your unit’s ability to attack and move to gain a significant advantage over enemies in battles.