How did steppe nomads fight the armies of settled states? I am only interested in answers focusing on pre-1150 AD

Who outnumbered who? I keep reading that nomad armies were smaller. However, troop records for things like Xiongu v. China wars suggest that Chinese armies were equal to or even greater than Xiongu ones. Is this not representative? If nomad armies really were outnumbered, generally, then how outnumbered were they?

What was the sequence of events when nomads won? What was the sequence of events when they lost?

How big of a deal was it if nomads successfully cut the supply lines of settled armies? How big of a deal was it if they didn’t? How did they cut these supply lines?

How universal was the fiegned retreat? How did it work? Why did settled armies chase after nomads on horseback? How far did they chase them? When did nomads know to use the fiegned retreat?

How often did nomads encircle settled armies? How often did they manuever to attack them from behind? Why would they choose not to? Why would they be unable to?

I’ve read that nomads would pick off the stragglers of settled armies. How did they find these stragglers? Why were there stragglers in the first place? Why couldn’t they be protected by the main army?

Some sources say that nomads mounted on horseback had weaker bows and less accurate aim than settled, stationary archers. Others say that they were just as good. Who’s correct?

It seems like nomads could (and did? Unclear…) charge into range, fire, and retreat before being fired on. If this is true (is it?) then how did settled armies manage to hit them at all?

Did the infantry of settled armies play any active role in battles with nomads, or were they only there to prevent the nomads from directly charging the archers? If so, why was this neccessary? Can’t archers shoot a horse that is charging at them?

I’ve read that heavy cavalry were used by settled armies as a counter to the horse archers of nomads. If they are heavy cavalry, does this mean that they are lancers or that they are archers? If they are lancers, then how did they ever touch the nomadic horse archers? If they are horse archers themselves, then how did they compare to the horse archers of the nomads? Better? Worse? Worse training but bigger horses?

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What do you think?

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