The Reichsritter is technically the upgrade of the Gefolgsmann, but is also available to Bavaria and Bohemia as well as Austria (in all cases policy decision dependent). It is a lancer with an attack as strong as some knightly cavalry units, as well as an attack bonus vs. siege weapons and extra armour against anti-cavalry units. Despite its lancer status, the Reichsritter's armor, attack, and hit points make it comparable to a knightly unit.
Trained at: Castle
Cost: 60 Food, 65 Florins
Armor/Pierce Armor: 2/3
Special: +10 vs. cavalry, +6 vs. rams, +5 vs. all other siege, +2 armour vs anti-cavalry and ships.
Upgrade of: Gefolgsmann (Austria)
Attack: Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace, Chivalric Order
Armour: Scale Barding Armour. Mail Barding Armour, Plate Barding Armour
Hit Points: Bloodlines
Training time: Indenture
Combine the anti-cavalry status of a Lancer with attack and armour of a Knight and you will get the Reichsritter. This units may be among the most versatile units you can have.
Knight-like stats make Reichsritter strong enough to be used in a similar way as the sword-wielding noblemen, its lancer status and bonus-armour make them almost immune to pikemen and a thread to any cavalry they will encounter. Furthermore, they nicely do the job of Mangudais, i.e. to destroy annoying siege weapons.
However, being a lancer also entails their weaknesses. Reichsritter should be kept away from defensive structures and better not encounter Halberd Militia, since not even their armour can protect them from anti-lancer bonuses.
Reichsritter (German = Imperial Knights; sg. and pl.) are either members of the "Reichsritterschaft" of the Holy Roman Empire or also the holder of the title "Ritter".
The Reichsritterschaft in the Holy Roman Empire was the community of the free nobility, which could retain or regain direct subordination of its properties ins Swabia, Franconia and the Rhineland to the Emperor. The majority of the Reichsritterschaft was established from and belonged to the minor nobility.
A Reichsritter was also a nobleman who acchieved his knightly status through an imperial certificate from either the Emperor or the Imperial Vicar and belonged to the so called letter aristocracy.