I feel honour bound to defend the steppe armies here
Speaking as a "Gay Skythian" I feel compelled to point out that I much prefer that my opponent wins the terrain roll. He can then put as much terrain down as he wants. This enables me to run up dead close and shoot him to bits, but when he charges me, I still can't be caught, but I run away slower.... This means it takes him far longer to push me off my base edge.
If there is a small gap I simply put my best troops in there and bash through.
Bottom line, if you want to beat LH and Cav armies - billiard tables are the best opportunity you are going to get. That's what my Scots think anyway.
For those who claim that it is impossible to get any terrain on the battlefield, when I used the Lydians with PBI 3 and massed LF skirmishers with JLS and Armoured Hoplites then I often picked Hilly and got massive amounts of terrain. I managed to duff up at least two LH and Cav armies this way at Britcon last year.
Again the bottom line is if you need terrain then you need a high PBI to do it. This can normally be quite easily accomplished by buying an IC, which very few people seem to do in 800 point games any more.
Picking a road and river when you have lost the initiative is pointless - so if you need to win the intiative for your army to work then make sure you have a high PBI.
It's not exactly rocket science is it?