Where did you obtain the information pertaining the the elite unit of heavy cavalry? I'm not familiar with the Lian Huan Ma. Could you please elaborate a bit on this unit.
The related info can be found in the Song History, or the historic novel "Water Margin", i found them from the chinese military website.
Lian Huan Ma was the cavalry unit that originated in Jin (金) clan that invaded China during
the SONG dynasty, it was called Guai Zi Ma originally(拐子马).It is actually a mounted troops chained together,
(30 cavalrymen formed one line) which is impossible to breakthrough, because they are all chained
to each other, so the soldier cannot run away individually, but to fight until death instead.
When the troops died, their bodies laid on the ground will be blocking the enemies's advance, as a wall built by blood and flesh.
Thus,the enemies were forced to step back instead of moving through the bodies. (this is crucial key that leading the battle to a decisive result).
Since Guai Zi Ma is a Unit that never retreat, and impossible to breakthrough, therefore they became the "Ace" against the infantry.
When it came to Song Dynasty, Chinese developed their own Lian Huan Ma(*Chained Calvary). It inherited the feature of Guai Zi Ma, but with improved protection
with the heavy armors. The mount is covered by the horse iron armors(Ma Jia 马甲）, only the hoof is exposed, the man is wearing the iron armor that protected the entire body,
and also masked. It is bellieved that the unit normally never charge with full speed, because they are heavy and chained.
Although this unit is formidable, and won a lot of battles, but it is not invincible. According to the Song History, or "Water Margin". This unit was defeated
by the Liang Shan rebels (梁山). They invented the Gou Lian Qiang (钩镰), some kind of Halberd or lance with hook. And they hide themselves under the brushes,
where the Lian Huan Ma passed by, these rebels used the Gou Lian Qiang, to hook the horse's leg and turned over the troopers.
However, Lian Huan Ma is still the best unit against the infantry formation or normal light cavalry. (This unit is more suitable for plain.)
Edited by YvesYew, 05 August 2009 - 02:16 AM.