Lo and behold, a new unit is coming to Goodgame Empire! Judging by one of the more recent forum posts, you will soon be able to train veteran swordsmen to fight by your side - as long as your research tower is at level 2, that is. The knights in shining armor consume six food per hour and cost quite a lot, but are definitely worth their price. The resarcher will also come as part of the game update: Similar to the architect, this will not happen very often. Make sure to put your savants to work whenever the researcher swings by your castle, because it is only during his visit that new technologies become available.
Source: Official forums