Fast and powerful mid-game Mounted Unit. Weak to Pikemen. Only the Byzantines may build it. This Unit has a higher Combat Strength, defends better, and attacks cities more effectively than the Knight which it replaces.
The Cataphract is a Byzantine unique unit, replacing the Knight. Cataphracts are slower but more powerful than the Knight unit, making them one of the most dangerous cavalry units until the arrival of the Lancer. They can move after attacking. They are able to gain defensive bonuses, unlike the Knight. Also their penalty for attacking cities is not as severe.
Among the most heavily-armored forms of cavalry used throughout history, the Cataphract was a formidable opponent on the battlefield. With horses draped in chain mail or plated armor, and the rider himself in an equally impressive suit of armor, these mounted units were used primarily for crushing through the lines of enemy infantry they faced. The Byzantine Empire was known to have made extensive use of Cataphracts throughout its storied history, as they played a prominent role in defending the empire following the decline of their Roman brethren in the west.