Advice with skirmishing cavalry

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miffedofreading
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Advice with skirmishing cavalry

Post by miffedofreading » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:55 am

Could I have some advice please on how best to use light cavalry. I have two separate circumstances. The first which applies to me is a small number of numidian javelin armed light cavalry. I am struggling to find much use for them? They do not even do much damage if they hit someone in the side, and in groups of 4 they never get more than 2 dice of shooting so need to be very lucky to achieve anything?

The other situation is a friend who has a parthian army and is considering FoG. He has asked how his horse archers would be used in FoG. I have no idea myself. I suspect it would be a very long boring game where nothing happened.

In case you had not noticed I am not skilled in the use of fast movers J

Andy

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:31 pm

Small numbers of javelin type LH are only really any good at chasing off LF and raiding baggage - although if you move first in a game they can rush forward and prevent the enemy getting double moves. 6 base BGs are better than 4s for these chaps.

Parthian, which I tried earlier this week by coincidence, is a different thing entirely. Use their fast move to gang up on enemy units and concentrate shooting - you usually need to angle BGs a bit to do this effectively. Your speed and manoeuvre can allow you to change the pint of your attack quickly. Remember to keep an eye on where they will evade to and leave suitable lanes if necessary otherwise you may have embarassing burst through issues. Try and force the enemy to have to turn BGs in different directions to chase your LH - when he's broken up you can gang up even more.

Patience is a virtue with massed LH and you do need to concentrate your mind quite a lot.

With the Parthian you won't want to commit the catafracts too soon - and you may only need a couple of BGs of them. Check out the allies as well as some of them bring interesting additions to the army like some useful MF. The LF are also useful in this army IMO.

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Post by korvus » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:31 pm

Andy,

I'm about to put that very question to the test myself tomorrow. My Wallachian army is going to be masquerading as Bosporans (as the list is the best fit I can find) and wil be going out with 24 bases against my friend Noel's Alexandrian Macedonians, who will be masquerading as Selucids or Later Macedonians or some such thing.

Looking at the rules, a couple of key things I've noticed.

- Don't get into an even shooting match with light infantry, they'll be forcing cohesion tests on you all the time, while you can't touch them.
- Your maneuverability is god-like compare to almost everything else out there, requiring a CMT to only turn about, retreat 3 MUs, and then turn back again. Just say no to that option, as the results of failure is to restrict you to a simple advance, which is not usually a good idea if you were thinking of doing the turn, move, turn thingy. Better to turn and move, and give them the Parthian shot :)

And some good advice from my experience in other games that seems to apply here.:

- Get on top of your opponent as quickly as possible, so you have more room to run away when the time comes.
- Patience is the key to winning with Light Cav. Work your opponent over repeatedly, run away, then come back again. Eventually you will get lucky if you don't do something stupid :)
- Since you'll be doing a lot of running away, mind your lines of retreat.
- Exterminating your opponent's skirmishers is the key first step, particularly light cav, then his next weakest troops, until you have a safe shot at picking off the bigger stuff.

Light cavalry armies are not the armies of heroes, they're the armies of murderous predators, picking off the weak, and wearing down their opponent until he just weeps with frustration at not being able to lay a hand on you. Keep that foremost in your mind and you should be OK.

But think you're a hero for a minute, and you'll probably be dead...

Of course, this is coming from a guy who in the last tournament he was in decided it was worthwhile to charge a full taxeis or phalanx every time he had a chance :)

Cole

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Post by miffedofreading » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:56 pm

Thanks guys. They sound totally "not me" I am more of a knights and pike charge em kind of guy :)

Doesn't sound like my Numidians will be much use. They haven't been yet.

Not only am I going to not buy a horse archer army, I am going to try not to fight opponents who have them as I think I would hate the game, think I will concede immediately and save myself 3 hours of frustration....

Andy

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Post by miffedofreading » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:56 pm

Thanks guys. They sound totally "not me" I am more of a knights and pike charge em kind of guy :)

Doesn't sound like my Numidians will be much use. They haven't been yet.

Not only am I going to not buy a horse archer army, I am going to try not to fight opponents who have them as I think I would hate the game, think I will concede immediately and save myself 3 hours of frustration....

Andy

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Re: Advice with skirmishing cavalry

Post by neilhammond » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:13 pm

miffedofreading wrote:...a small number of numidian javelin armed light cavalry. I am struggling to find much use for them? They do not even do much damage if they hit someone in the side, and in groups of 4 they never get more than 2 dice of shooting so need to be very lucky to achieve anything?
They can be useful if a BG of 4 LH is paired with 4 Cv and you're facing a mobile/skirmishing opponent. If you get up-close to the opponents LH with your Cv/Numidian combo it forces your opponent to move back (or face a combined Cv/LH charge which they won't win).
miffedofreading wrote:The other situation is a friend who has a parthian army and is considering FoG. He has asked how his horse archers would be used in FoG. I have no idea myself. I suspect it would be a very long boring game where nothing happened.
Andy
As others have commented, LH armies can be very effective, but they have to be used correctly. It depends on your temprament. A game against a Parthian army can be very interesting because they are very different types of armies. It can also be very frustrating. But don't expect a lets-just-run-into-each-other game.

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Post by pyrrhus » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:18 pm

AAAWWW not fair my parthians will have no one to fight!! I like both types of armies .Fighting the horse archer armies is going to suck on some level but what a great tactical challenge . I am looking forward to playing both sides

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Post by miffedofreading » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:26 pm

Thanks Neil, you raised an interesting concept. Perhaps I can ask for further examples...

How best to use say a 4 base numidian l/cav BG with an ordinary heavy cavalry BG?

I was going to try the fairly straightforward go around the flank and hit the enemy in the side whilst engaging them with the ordinary cavalry one. That seems to be JUST worth it. Even in the flank/rear numidians don't do much harm....

Andy

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Post by hammy » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:20 pm

korvus wrote: - Your maneuverability is god-like compare to almost everything else out there, requiring a CMT to only turn about, retreat 3 MUs, and then turn back again. Just say no to that option, as the results of failure is to restrict you to a simple advance, which is not usually a good idea if you were thinking of doing the turn, move, turn thingy. Better to turn and move, and give them the Parthian shot :)
A lot of good avice there but the above is wrong. You have read simple move as simple advance, they are most definitley not the same thing.

A BG of light troops can try to CMT to drop back 3MU and if it fails still turn and move back without turning again as that is a simple move for skirmishers.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:24 pm

korvus wrote:- Your maneuverability is god-like compare to almost everything else out there, requiring a CMT only to turn about, retreat 3 MUs, and then turn back again. Just say no to that option, as the results of failure is to restrict you to a simple advance, which is not usually a good idea if you were thinking of doing the turn, move, turn thingy.
If they fail the CMT they can make a simple move, they are not restricted to a simple advance.

Thus if they fail, they can still turn and move away with their backs to the enemy, which is a simple move.

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Post by shall » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:58 pm

A few LH pointers ... and Niks Parthian summary is pretty good IMO

LH work well in 4s and 6s but rather differently. 6s can operate alone as they can muster 3 dice which is enough to hassle quite a few enemy BGs. 4s need to operate in pairs.

LH archer armies are great fun to use but they can be chased off table by decent foot armies if youa re not careful. If you get your heavies caught behind all hell can break loose.

You need patience playing a LH army and facing one. Bacuse LH only get 1 dice per 2 bases vs heavier troops a heavy rmy can cover a lot of frontage if it wants to. It is the only time in FOG I have single ranked my spears (if drilled).

I use the numdians in my carthagian and have 2 x 6s. They are great for getting rid of enemy light horse and working together with a Cv BG they can harass armies light in mounted troops. If I face an army with los of mounted I tend to put them together. With a full scale numdian army they can cause chaos as you can have 10 BGs of these!!

Si

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Post by ethan » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:46 pm

Small numbers seem to be of limited value. In an army like Seleucid it seems more worthwhile to take the few Skythians as Cv than LH.

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Post by korvus » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:57 pm

R. Bodley Scott wrote:

>If they fail the CMT they can make a simple move, they are not restricted to a simple advance.

>Thus if they fail, they can still turn and move away with their backs to the enemy, which is a simple move.

Oh, good stuff! Thats much better than I thought it was... So there's no point in not testing, as theres really no serious conseqences to failure.

Thanks for pointing out my error!

Cole

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:37 pm

ethan wrote:
Small numbers seem to be of limited value. In an army like Seleucid it seems more worthwhile to take the few Skythians as Cv than LH.
I've fought against the same Seleukid twice that used the Skythians once with the LH and once with the Cv and in both games there were pro's and con's - I don't think either choice stood out as the right one.

The Cv are tougher but are Undrilled and so some manoeuvres you want/need to do may not happen and if you evade you can't just move back from whence you came the following move as you first have to turn 180 degrees.

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Re: Advice with skirmishing cavalry

Post by BrianC » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:55 pm

neilhammond wrote:
miffedofreading wrote:...a small number of numidian javelin armed light cavalry. I am struggling to find much use for them? They do not even do much damage if they hit someone in the side, and in groups of 4 they never get more than 2 dice of shooting so need to be very lucky to achieve anything?
They can be useful if a BG of 4 LH is paired with 4 Cv and you're facing a mobile/skirmishing opponent. If you get up-close to the opponents LH with your Cv/Numidian combo it forces your opponent to move back (or face a combined Cv/LH charge which they won't win).

Can you explain further what paired/combo means? Does it just mean using 2 BGs to defeat an enemy? Where the cavalry and LH are side by side hitting 1 enemy BG for example? Or is it a mixing of bases from the 2 BGs to form 1 larger BG.

I know, it sounds like a dumb question, but gamers try to do all kinds of things.

Brian

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Post by shall » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:09 pm

I expect what they mean by combo is the enemy LH tend to evade away from your Cv but if you combine them with your LH there is a muich greater chance of catching them in the process.

Si

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Post by BrianC » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:12 pm

Ah, so its like a combined arms tactic rather than altering the composition of any BGs. You hit em with the ancient heavy tanks then chase em down with the faster ancient tanks. Now that makes sense.

Sorry I had to think in terms of WWII for a moment. :)

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Post by shall » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:23 pm

Yep that's the kind of thing. Charge with both and hp[e the LH can catch them when they try to run away. Keep the Cv within 2MU of the Lh and they are likely to be able to intercept if they try to charge your LH. Nice bit of cooridation if you can make it work.

Works really well with Jv aremd LH and BW aremd cv like some arab armies

Si

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Post by daveallen » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:21 pm

One tip I've got for small numbers of LH:

Put them at the end of of the OoM.

The first few games with my Alexandrians saw my LH deployed first only to be outnumbered and spend their time running away rather than harassing the opposition. Once I shifted them to the other end of the OoM they were able to avoid more numerous mounted and/or gang up on smaller numbers.

Not that this will be a problem for me at the BHGS Challenge where my Parthians will be making an unexpected* return to the competition scene(30 LH(F) anyone?)

Dave

* Unexpected by me - now I've just got to remember what I did with the figures after their last disaster

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Post by jrd » Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:01 am

miffedofreading wrote:Thanks Neil, you raised an interesting concept. Perhaps I can ask for further examples...

How best to use say a 4 base numidian l/cav BG with an ordinary heavy cavalry BG?

I was going to try the fairly straightforward go around the flank and hit the enemy in the side whilst engaging them with the ordinary cavalry one. That seems to be JUST worth it. Even in the flank/rear numidians don't do much harm....

Andy
A small group of Numidians hitting the flank of an enemy which is already engaged in combat does have several worthwhile effects:

* The enemy BG fights at - POA for fighting in two directions
* Expanding the battle line means you get more dice in combat (and better overlaps) and splits the casualties the enemy inflicts across two targets (reducing the chance of losing bases)
* If either of your battle-groups breaks, the enemy can't pursue, giving you time to rally
* If the enemy breaks, they are less likely to escape from your pursuit (and you can leave the Numidians to pursue, freeing up your other battlegroup)

And a BG of 4 LH is cheap!

John

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