Advice on cavalry tactics?

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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kronenblatt
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Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by kronenblatt » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:32 am

I'm slowly getting the grips on this wonderful game; now having won my second SP battle against Emperor AI. Quite proud, but maybe nothing special I don't know.

In addition, I'm starting to feel comfortable fighting against cavalry (still AI in SP). But I cannot really understand to fight with cavalry myself! (In some battles I've been successful in using my light cavalry harassing the rear of advancing enemy infantry, flank charging intensively with the aim of incurring the occasional cohesion drop if winning a charge to make the enemy vulnerable and at an disadvantage when reaching my battle line, but that's it.) I normally get stuck with them in melee against an enemy heavy infantry having locked them into close combat early on.

I've watched v's excellent videos on cavalry :

https://youtu.be/xs0cPxbLnoA https://youtu.be/DuBQCXnEzOc

but I need more!

So what are YOUR most important advices you can give when it comes to fighting with cavalry (not light, not heavy/cataphracts, but the standard cavalry with lancers etc.)? For example, how and where on the battlefield to employ them, against whom, when to engage or not engage, advance early on or awaited behind battle line? I know it all depends on the situation and so on, but some basic lessons and principles would be valuable to me. Thanks!
:!: Happy to finally having discovered Field of Glory II! :!:

SLancaster
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by SLancaster » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:15 pm

1. If you are outnumbered by enemy cavalry then you just have to fight a delaying action with some of your units. How you do that can take many forms.

2. Your opponent may place his cavalry on the opposite flank away from your cavalry. You then choose to go ahead and attack on your side or move over. I usually try to have one cavalry unit in the middle of my lines so the unit can switch over to reinforce either side quickly.

3. Yes, as you seem to be suggesting - cavalry is better in the mid to end game. Once infantry units are locked up then you can move around and get some flank charges off. If possible, try to avoid being tied up with infantry especially at the beginning of a game.

4. I think, overall, if you have more cavalry or better cavalry then you should go on the offensive. Use the speed of the cavalry to its fullest effect.

Just a few ideas for you! Keep learning and practising! You can join us in the Digital League next time. Forget all the spreadsheets and have some fun!

kronenblatt
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by kronenblatt » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:34 pm

SLancaster wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:15 pm
...

Forget all the spreadsheets and have some fun!
Ha ha! Thanks for your advice, SLancaster: the last one was really awesome! :) I stick to my safety zone: Excel spreadsheets, but will soon make the big leap: MP. :)
:!: Happy to finally having discovered Field of Glory II! :!:

kronenblatt
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by kronenblatt » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:17 am

More thoughts on this, anyone? Your most important advices and lessons when it comes to fighting with cavalry?

I would also be happy to play a MP battle with a focus on cavalry tactics and battles to learn more. Write here or PM me (suggesting suitable army lists to battle it out) and I'll set up a challenge.
:!: Happy to finally having discovered Field of Glory II! :!:

SnuggleBunnies
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:15 am

Are you talking about Lancers/Swordsmen or Light Spear/Swordsmen cavalry?
SnuggleBunny's Field of Glory II / Pike and Shot / Sengoku Jidai MP Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjUQy6dEqR53NwoGgjxixLg

kronenblatt
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by kronenblatt » Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:55 am

SnuggleBunnies wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:15 am
Are you talking about Lancers/Swordsmen or Light Spear/Swordsmen cavalry?
Actually both, but in particular Light Spear/Swordsmen cavalry.
:!: Happy to finally having discovered Field of Glory II! :!:

Karvon
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by Karvon » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:57 pm

I love horse armies and have been playing them a lot since earlier ancient rules starting with WRG 3rd edition and progressing on to DBA, DBM and now FOG. While I’m hardly an expert with them in FOG, I still enjoy running them from time-to-time, and share the following thoughts and observations based on my experience.

In FOG we have three flavors of cavalry, bow, light spear and lance, each functions differently and thus requires a bit different care and use. The amount of armor and level of quality impact on these as well and must be considered in employing them.

Bow, horse archers, should generally be considered as heavy skirmishers. They are ideal for quickly massing at a critical point and inflicting significant damage to the enemy. Some have additional weapons which make them more effective in melee. They will generally attempt to evade when charged, so should not be counted on for holding lines or important positions of defense. Given that, it's best to keep your distance to your maximum bow range of 2 when lining up to fire to minimize the chances of getting caught, particularly vs other cavalry. Beware attaching generals to horse archers as this will increase the chances of them deciding to stand and fight rather than evade, which can be an unpleasant surprise if not your intention. An important role they play is to support other troops on the flanks. They can be used in conjunction with light troops to destroy and drive off opposing lights who will almost always evade if charged by these. They can be used in conjunction with other cavalry, providing fire support prior to melee and then moving in on the flanks once the other cavalry has engaged. They can be successfully employed against disrupted and fragmented infantry, but should normally avoid attempting to attack those in good order, unless from the flank or rear. They can be effective for dealing with elephants, and camels, if you stick to range 2 for your shooting, and thus avoid the disordering effect. To maximize your shooting, only shoot at stuff in your main arc and avoid moving and shooting as much as possible. Don't be afraid to turn away from the enemy and move to better positions. You can use bow to break up infantry lines by placing them slightly to the flanks to pin the outside unit from moving. If they charge you, they will move away from the main line and perhaps become isolated and easier to shoot at with multiple waiting friends. If you spread a few bow across an infantry front, and they charge you to advance, their line may become staggered by their differing pursuit distances. Be wary of getting boxed in or herded; this will result in you getting chased off the map, or into exposed flanks positions where you can be caught and disrupted pretty easily.

Lancers are at the other end of the spectrum. These guys sole purpose is melee. They will NOT run away from anyone, so you must be rather careful about when and where to bring them into engagement range of the enemy. They are great for chasing off opposing non-lancer cavalry, which will normally evade. They are great for attacking disrupted medium and heavy foot. They can rundown steady non-spear medium foot in the open. They are great for flank attacks vs most anything aside from elephants and camels. Going straight into steady heavy foot is generally not going to be successful unless you have a general and are rather lucky, but can be worth a roll of the dice if you have a lot of lancers to spare or are feeling lucky. Lancers are extremely effective for pinning and delaying enemy foot. Charging lancers, even with superior troops is risky; lancers will simply fallback if they lose and the enemy is faced with the same cycle all over again. You do need to keep your flanks and rear secure so that you can execute fall backs. If the enemy sneaks some lights in behind to block you, you will get locked into a fight you will probably eventually lose. Using lancers vs light troops can be risky. These will normally evade and could lead your lancers into exposing flanks or rears to other lurking enemies. If you catch the lights, even if you break them and pursue, you may run the same risk. In addition, you could end up chasing the routers for several turns taking your lancers out of the battle or into greater danger if reserves are waiting. Elephants are very bad news for lancers; you don’t want to be anywhere near these as they will make fairly short work of you and may take out neighboring lancers in pursuit. Lancers are best held in reserve or back away a bit behind screening lights or other horse as they are easy to lock up due to their lack of evasion. While you can fallback before threatening foe, you risk cohesion loss each time if you’re within enemy charge range and even superior troops will eventually fail those if tested repeatedly.

Light spear are perhaps the most challenging and frustrating to use well. They don’t have any missile capability, but they can evade when charged if they don’t fancy the odds. This can be a bit maddening as sometimes you think they’re in a good position and they’ll flee and other times you think they’re in a bad position and they’ll stand. In short, don’t count on them to hold a position in your battle line or you may be disappointed. They can normally be counted on to chase off horse archers and lights, but vs other light spear it’s a bit of a coin flip unless it’s from a flank or rear. They are between the bow and lancers for effectiveness in flanking and rear attacks. Avoid camels and elephants.

All cavalry is vulnerable to concentrated missile fire. The more armor you have and the better your morale grade, the more you can tolerate the losses, but they will add up, and quickly if you are exposed for too long.

If you have a cavalry superiority, then you should be pressuring the enemy on both wings. If you’re weaker than you need to mass on one wing or hold your horse in reserve protected by your foot.

Cavalry does not fight well in rough and difficult terrain. It’s best to steer well clear of such if possible. If you get sucked into such a fight, you will likely be stuck for awhile as may be difficult to inflict enough damage to force cohesion tests for the enemy. Sometimes I’ve had opponents throw cavalry into woods to gain a disruption on engaged foot. To me, that’s fairly risky as even disrupted foot fights pretty well vs cavalry attacking into forests. It does depend on a lot of tactical factors though.

One of the key strengths of cavalry is the ability to redeploy. This can be used a number of ways. You can use misdirection; intentionally deploying initially in one area and once the enemy reacts and moves to counter, shift your forces to another area of the field. You can be reactive; start in a central position and then redeploy once you see the enemy deployment and opening moves reveals his plan. Or, if your planned advance isn’t going as planned, you can fallback and regroup. Naturally, this all works much better on open battlefields, so if you’re fighting in hilly or wooded fields or one with impassible waterways blocking off a flank, this will seriously hamper this ability. This is one reason why I don’t run horse armies exclusively in league play; the potluck fields too often have terrible terrain, greatly limiting such an army’s effectiveness.

Keeping a cavalry reserve hidden out-of-sight can give you a powerful surprise strike force once the enemy is committed and the battle lines engaged. This can be risky though, as enemy deployment and advance may be well away from your position, extending the time necessary to effectively bring them to bear.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough for now. I’m sure other more experienced and intelligent players than myself could add and expand on these ideas.

kronenblatt
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by kronenblatt » Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:29 pm

Karvon wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:57 pm
I love horse armies and have been playing them a lot since earlier ancient rules starting with WRG 3rd edition and progressing on to DBA, DBM and now FOG. While I’m hardly an expert with them in FOG, I still enjoy running them from time-to-time, and share the following thoughts and observations based on my experience.

In FOG we have three flavors of cavalry, bow, light spear and lance, each functions differently and thus requires a bit different care and use. The amount of armor and level of quality impact on these as well and must be considered in employing them.

Bow, horse archers, should generally be considered as heavy skirmishers. They are ideal for quickly massing at a critical point and inflicting significant damage to the enemy. Some have additional weapons which make them more effective in melee. They will generally attempt to evade when charged, so should not be counted on for holding lines or important positions of defense. Given that, it's best to keep your distance to your maximum bow range of 2 when lining up to fire to minimize the chances of getting caught, particularly vs other cavalry. Beware attaching generals to horse archers as this will increase the chances of them deciding to stand and fight rather than evade, which can be an unpleasant surprise if not your intention. An important role they play is to support other troops on the flanks. They can be used in conjunction with light troops to destroy and drive off opposing lights who will almost always evade if charged by these. They can be used in conjunction with other cavalry, providing fire support prior to melee and then moving in on the flanks once the other cavalry has engaged. They can be successfully employed against disrupted and fragmented infantry, but should normally avoid attempting to attack those in good order, unless from the flank or rear. They can be effective for dealing with elephants, and camels, if you stick to range 2 for your shooting, and thus avoid the disordering effect. To maximize your shooting, only shoot at stuff in your main arc and avoid moving and shooting as much as possible. Don't be afraid to turn away from the enemy and move to better positions. You can use bow to break up infantry lines by placing them slightly to the flanks to pin the outside unit from moving. If they charge you, they will move away from the main line and perhaps become isolated and easier to shoot at with multiple waiting friends. If you spread a few bow across an infantry front, and they charge you to advance, their line may become staggered by their differing pursuit distances. Be wary of getting boxed in or herded; this will result in you getting chased off the map, or into exposed flanks positions where you can be caught and disrupted pretty easily.

Lancers are at the other end of the spectrum. These guys sole purpose is melee. They will NOT run away from anyone, so you must be rather careful about when and where to bring them into engagement range of the enemy. They are great for chasing off opposing non-lancer cavalry, which will normally evade. They are great for attacking disrupted medium and heavy foot. They can rundown steady non-spear medium foot in the open. They are great for flank attacks vs most anything aside from elephants and camels. Going straight into steady heavy foot is generally not going to be successful unless you have a general and are rather lucky, but can be worth a roll of the dice if you have a lot of lancers to spare or are feeling lucky. Lancers are extremely effective for pinning and delaying enemy foot. Charging lancers, even with superior troops is risky; lancers will simply fallback if they lose and the enemy is faced with the same cycle all over again. You do need to keep your flanks and rear secure so that you can execute fall backs. If the enemy sneaks some lights in behind to block you, you will get locked into a fight you will probably eventually lose. Using lancers vs light troops can be risky. These will normally evade and could lead your lancers into exposing flanks or rears to other lurking enemies. If you catch the lights, even if you break them and pursue, you may run the same risk. In addition, you could end up chasing the routers for several turns taking your lancers out of the battle or into greater danger if reserves are waiting. Elephants are very bad news for lancers; you don’t want to be anywhere near these as they will make fairly short work of you and may take out neighboring lancers in pursuit. Lancers are best held in reserve or back away a bit behind screening lights or other horse as they are easy to lock up due to their lack of evasion. While you can fallback before threatening foe, you risk cohesion loss each time if you’re within enemy charge range and even superior troops will eventually fail those if tested repeatedly.

Light spear are perhaps the most challenging and frustrating to use well. They don’t have any missile capability, but they can evade when charged if they don’t fancy the odds. This can be a bit maddening as sometimes you think they’re in a good position and they’ll flee and other times you think they’re in a bad position and they’ll stand. In short, don’t count on them to hold a position in your battle line or you may be disappointed. They can normally be counted on to chase off horse archers and lights, but vs other light spear it’s a bit of a coin flip unless it’s from a flank or rear. They are between the bow and lancers for effectiveness in flanking and rear attacks. Avoid camels and elephants.

All cavalry is vulnerable to concentrated missile fire. The more armor you have and the better your morale grade, the more you can tolerate the losses, but they will add up, and quickly if you are exposed for too long.

If you have a cavalry superiority, then you should be pressuring the enemy on both wings. If you’re weaker than you need to mass on one wing or hold your horse in reserve protected by your foot.

Cavalry does not fight well in rough and difficult terrain. It’s best to steer well clear of such if possible. If you get sucked into such a fight, you will likely be stuck for awhile as may be difficult to inflict enough damage to force cohesion tests for the enemy. Sometimes I’ve had opponents throw cavalry into woods to gain a disruption on engaged foot. To me, that’s fairly risky as even disrupted foot fights pretty well vs cavalry attacking into forests. It does depend on a lot of tactical factors though.

One of the key strengths of cavalry is the ability to redeploy. This can be used a number of ways. You can use misdirection; intentionally deploying initially in one area and once the enemy reacts and moves to counter, shift your forces to another area of the field. You can be reactive; start in a central position and then redeploy once you see the enemy deployment and opening moves reveals his plan. Or, if your planned advance isn’t going as planned, you can fallback and regroup. Naturally, this all works much better on open battlefields, so if you’re fighting in hilly or wooded fields or one with impassible waterways blocking off a flank, this will seriously hamper this ability. This is one reason why I don’t run horse armies exclusively in league play; the potluck fields too often have terrible terrain, greatly limiting such an army’s effectiveness.

Keeping a cavalry reserve hidden out-of-sight can give you a powerful surprise strike force once the enemy is committed and the battle lines engaged. This can be risky though, as enemy deployment and advance may be well away from your position, extending the time necessary to effectively bring them to bear.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough for now. I’m sure other more experienced and intelligent players than myself could add and expand on these ideas.
Thanks, Karvon! That was absolutely no rambling at all. On the contrary, it was highly educational and useful for me. Let's just see how I can apply hands-on on the battlefield...

I'd of course like to hear from other experienced and intelligent players as well. :) Prove Blackbirdx61 wrong... ;)
:!: Happy to finally having discovered Field of Glory II! :!:

klayeckles
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by klayeckles » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:15 pm

one of the most important "tactics" involving cav that many gamers fail to utilize involves Threat. sure cav can manouver...sure they can get a local outflank. but even if you don't have an overwhelming cav force...if you can manouver and KEEP manouvering to get to the rear your cav become much more valuable. I often take my cav very wide, and deep. they are no real threat until the late in the game. but they could be a threat at any time (if i just turn them in) this means my opponent must keep committing troops to defend, and in doing so may manouver his own troops effectively out of the battle. this tactic takes patience, and often means my foot troops are slow to engage as well. it ultimately can yield big rewards, (either in a real flank attack, or in getting troops committed to heading them off. this can even work against superior cav armies...if you opponent commits better cav to chase down your own (and you just keep running) you've neutralized one major advantage that she has. i think the relatively minor roman cav often used this tactic historically (against early celt and germanic armies).

SLancaster
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by SLancaster » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:24 pm

Just a quick note on "wide and deep". Yes, the idea is good but I see quite a lot of new players and not so new players just push out their cavalry so wide for elaborate flanking manoeuvres that never get going because the battle is over in the middle.. cavalry gets blocked or just takes too long to get around the back of the enemy. Just keep some battle awareness and use all of this input as a guideline not something set in stone!

klayeckles
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Re: Advice on cavalry tactics?

Post by klayeckles » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:38 pm

SLancaster wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:24 pm
Just a quick note on "wide and deep". Yes, the idea is good but I see quite a lot of new players and not so new players just push out their cavalry so wide for elaborate flanking manoeuvres that never get going because the battle is over in the middle.. cavalry gets blocked or just takes too long to get around the back of the enemy. Just keep some battle awareness and use all of this input as a guideline not something set in stone!
of course...to be effective you shouldn't nessesarily be charging forward with your foot. in fact they may be backing up or standing inplace until the cav "performs its duties". with armies where i have weaker units (but more), i find battles are decided LATE in the day, if i'm the one winning.
one of the most telling questions...if both armies did the same thing (like march straight forward) one general is making a mistake.

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