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At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:22 am
by samwardesq
Out on a flank, away from other BGs, a BG of 4 early crusader 'armoured' knight bases in a single rank clash with 4 'armoured' Saracen lancers (say 2x2 with an overlap knight base on either side - or single rank, doesn't matter).
In the melee phase, it's 8 dice (knights) vs 4 dice (Saracens).
Can anyone explain, or direct me to a thread that discusses why knights are historically worthy of such an advantage in the melee?
Also interested in why lances in knightly hands are regarded as more effective than lances in other hands.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:30 am
by grahambriggs
I think it's designed to make the knights (with their big horses, high saddles and heavy lances) better than other mounted at impact - charging through the walls of constantinople, etc. I think generally the moslem cavalry found out early on that it wasn't a good idea to take them on frontally.

As to why they get two dice per base in melee, I believe this is to make them hard hitting but vulnerable to being ground down. e.g. they are the equivalent in melee of two ranks of cavalry, less resilient to losses and cheaper.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:57 am
by samwardesq
grahambriggs wrote:I think it's designed to make the knights (with their big horses, high saddles and heavy lances) better than other mounted at impact - charging through the walls of constantinople, etc. I think generally the moslem cavalry found out early on that it wasn't a good idea to take them on frontally.

As to why they get two dice per base in melee, I believe this is to make them hard hitting but vulnerable to being ground down. e.g. they are the equivalent in melee of two ranks of cavalry, less resilient to losses and cheaper.
Thanks for this reply.
I wonder how your your reasoning might apply to 1st Crusade knights?
These early knights seem to be equipped more or less equivalently to a muslim 'armoured lancer', maybe bigger shield, slightly more extensive armour - but these are the kind of small differences which are commonly found between troops placed in the same category by these rules.
But (first) I can see that the rules want knights to be better than other armoured lancers in the charge, just because they are 'knights'. Was interested to read from you that reasons could be that the horses were bigger (?) lances heavier (not sure that's true, or even if it was true that this would make any difference) and the saddles were higher (?).
Would like to hear from you or anyone else of there any other historical reasons why knightly lancers are better lancers just because they are knights.
But (secondly) what's a more interesting issue to me is whether there is any historical justification for the rules making knights so much better than other cavalry in the melee.
Taking the example I mentioned above (a single rank of 4 bases of, say, 'armoured' knights vs single rank of 4 bases of 'armoured' lancers (not knights)), in the melee, it's 8 dice vs 4 dice!! Meaning that the knights are (on average) going to score twice as many hits - just because they are knights. Being likely to score twice as many hits is the same as having a ++ POA!! - probably better, actually, since being able to throw more dice makes you less likely to be a victim of bad luck.
It's true that in the film Kingdom of Heaven, Balien declared that making someone a knight makes them a better fighter, but what I would prefer is for someone to point me to some genuinely historical basis for the combat advantages these rules give to mounted knights over similarly equipped non-knightly mounted troops.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:52 am
by philqw78
History aside Knights are too good for the points they cost, armoured knights are far too good

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:12 am
by dave_r
samwardesq wrote:
grahambriggs wrote:I think it's designed to make the knights (with their big horses, high saddles and heavy lances) better than other mounted at impact - charging through the walls of constantinople, etc. I think generally the moslem cavalry found out early on that it wasn't a good idea to take them on frontally.

As to why they get two dice per base in melee, I believe this is to make them hard hitting but vulnerable to being ground down. e.g. they are the equivalent in melee of two ranks of cavalry, less resilient to losses and cheaper.
Thanks for this reply.
I wonder how your your reasoning might apply to 1st Crusade knights?
These early knights seem to be equipped more or less equivalently to a muslim 'armoured lancer', maybe bigger shield, slightly more extensive armour - but these are the kind of small differences which are commonly found between troops placed in the same category by these rules.
But (first) I can see that the rules want knights to be better than other armoured lancers in the charge, just because they are 'knights'. Was interested to read from you that reasons could be that the horses were bigger (?) lances heavier (not sure that's true, or even if it was true that this would make any difference) and the saddles were higher (?).
Would like to hear from you or anyone else of there any other historical reasons why knightly lancers are better lancers just because they are knights.
But (secondly) what's a more interesting issue to me is whether there is any historical justification for the rules making knights so much better than other cavalry in the melee.
1st crusades knights are armoured. So they have the same armour as ghilmen.

Knights however fought in a much shallower formation than the ghulams, so the wider formation is modelled by giving them two dice in melee. They are more vulnerable to a base loss.

Knights primary function was to charge at first instance, whereas the ghilmen would shoot first - hence the plus for knights against the ghilmen at impact. It will be evens in melee.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:38 am
by pyruse
Contemporaries writing at the time of the Crusades thought that knights were much better than other cavalry in the charge, hence Anna Comnena's comment about the Franks being able to charge down the walls of Jerusalem.
As you observe,, their equipment was not that different to their Muslim counterparts, but their battlefield doctrine and tactics certainly were. The rules reflect this.
It's a good instance of troop effectiveness not being determined by equipment.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:12 am
by grahambriggs
samwardesq wrote:But (secondly) what's a more interesting issue to me is whether there is any historical justification for the rules making knights so much better than other cavalry in the melee.
Taking the example I mentioned above (a single rank of 4 bases of, say, 'armoured' knights vs single rank of 4 bases of 'armoured' lancers (not knights)), in the melee, it's 8 dice vs 4 dice!! Meaning that the knights are (on average) going to score twice as many hits - just because they are knights. Being likely to score twice as many hits is the same as having a ++ POA!! - probably better, actually, since being able to throw more dice makes you less likely to be a victim of bad luck.
It's true that in the film Kingdom of Heaven, Balien declared that making someone a knight makes them a better fighter, but what I would prefer is for someone to point me to some genuinely historical basis for the combat advantages these rules give to mounted knights over similarly equipped non-knightly mounted troops.
The knights are only better in your example because they have overlaps. You could ask the converse - why are armoured cavalry so much better than Knights if they get overlaps?

Also, you've chosen an unusual formation for the cavalry - one deep. They'll fight two deep. Two deep unarmoured lancer cavalry should beat one deep armoured cavalry because they get twice as many dice. If you put both lines at their optimal fighting depth, armoured cavalry are fine in melee against armoured knights and will usually beat them on base depth. Of course, they have to survive the impact phase first.

Generally, the 11th century knights seemed to win frontally against the cavalry of the Lombards and the Byzantines so I think the rules authors saw that as worthy of a different troop type. And there don't seem to be any examples in the first crusade of moslem cavalry defeating the christian knights frontally.

In equal points games, the knights are better value as equal points of armoured knights will beat equal points of armoured cavalry. There are a number of match ups in the rules where later troop types are better than earlier in terms of point cost-effectiveness.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:53 pm
by petedalby
armoured knights are far too good
Although they are a troop type we never saw in v1 because they were slow and poor value. I think they are potentially vulnerable to shooting but clearly much improved under v2.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:11 pm
by samwardesq
grahambriggs wrote: Also, you've chosen an unusual formation for the cavalry - one deep. They'll fight two deep. If you put both lines at their optimal fighting depth, armoured cavalry are fine in melee against armoured knights and will usually beat them on base depth. Of course, they have to survive the impact phase first.
[/quote]
I think you might be incorrect about how melee dice are calculated.
Even if the 4 armoured (non-knight) lancers opt for a 2 rank formation (the optimal fighting depth, according to you), against the 4 knights in a single rank,
K
K LL
K LL
K
Because of overlaps, in the melee it will still be 8 dice for the knights (4 x 2 per front rank base) vs 4 dice for the lancers.
I accept there is historical evidence for knights having the edge in the charge, but don't understand why these rules make them SO much more effective in the melee even against similarly equipped opponents.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:19 pm
by samwardesq
dave_r wrote:
1st crusades knights are armoured. So they have the same armour as ghilmen.

Knights however fought in a much shallower formation than the ghulams, so the wider formation is modelled by giving them two dice in melee. They are more vulnerable to a base loss.

Knights primary function was to charge at first instance, whereas the ghilmen would shoot first - hence the plus for knights against the ghilmen at impact. It will be evens in melee.
It certainly won't be evens in the melee.
Whether the 4 Ghulam bases chose a single or double rank, because of overlaps, in the melee it will still be 8 dice for the knights (4 x 2 per front rank base) vs 4 dice for the Ghulams.
K
K GG
K GG
K
or
K G
K G
K G
K G
I accept there is historical evidence for knights having the edge in the charge, but don't understand why these rules make them SO much more effective in the melee even against similarly equipped opponents.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:49 am
by dave_r
samwardesq wrote:
dave_r wrote:
1st crusades knights are armoured. So they have the same armour as ghilmen.

Knights however fought in a much shallower formation than the ghulams, so the wider formation is modelled by giving them two dice in melee. They are more vulnerable to a base loss.

Knights primary function was to charge at first instance, whereas the ghilmen would shoot first - hence the plus for knights against the ghilmen at impact. It will be evens in melee.
It certainly won't be evens in the melee.
Whether the 4 Ghulam bases chose a single or double rank, because of overlaps, in the melee it will still be 8 dice for the knights (4 x 2 per front rank base) vs 4 dice for the Ghulams.
K
K GG
K GG
K
or
K G
K G
K G
K G
I accept there is historical evidence for knights having the edge in the charge, but don't understand why these rules make them SO much more effective in the melee even against similarly equipped opponents.
Sorry - I was referring to factors rather than number of dice.

If you have the cavalry in two ranks the dice would also be even.

Of course with all that superior shooting on the knights there is no guarantee they will be steady at point of impact.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:01 am
by domblas
crusader army are usually bad in tournaments when ayyubids and mamelouks perform very well
knights are also crap against Longbow armies or piques armies, so don't consider their price is so cheap

and moreover, Its a game, not a simulation of history
domblas

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:09 am
by grahambriggs
samwardesq wrote:
grahambriggs wrote: Also, you've chosen an unusual formation for the cavalry - one deep. They'll fight two deep. If you put both lines at their optimal fighting depth, armoured cavalry are fine in melee against armoured knights and will usually beat them on base depth. Of course, they have to survive the impact phase first.
I think you might be incorrect about how melee dice are calculated.
Even if the 4 armoured (non-knight) lancers opt for a 2 rank formation (the optimal fighting depth, according to you), against the 4 knights in a single rank,
K
K LL
K LL
K
Because of overlaps, in the melee it will still be 8 dice for the knights (4 x 2 per front rank base) vs 4 dice for the lancers.
I accept there is historical evidence for knights having the edge in the charge, but don't understand why these rules make them SO much more effective in the melee even against similarly equipped opponents.[/quote]

Sorry, I mean:

KLL
KLL
KLL
KLL

It's not a good fight for the cavarly, because of the impact, but if they survive that they are ok.

In the game, you should not allow the knights to charge your cavalry. Use light horse to distract the knights, and manouver against the knights. The moslems won at hattin by evading from the charges and surrounding the christians.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:24 pm
by hazelbark
cavalry lancers hitting the flank of the knights has a very promising outcome for the cavalry.
auto drop. Excellent chance to get a -3 or -4 on the a CT which gives a really good chance for the knights to drop again.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:30 pm
by Robert241167
Hi Dan

Had this happen with Cav against Hvy Arm Knights.

If the Knights only fragment in impact they are equal dice in melee but a factor up, providing they can get all bases fighting. :oops:

Rob

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:41 pm
by dave_r
Robert241167 wrote:Hi Dan

Had this happen with Cav against Hvy Arm Knights.

If the Knights only fragment in impact they are equal dice in melee but a factor up, providing they can get all bases fighting. :oops:

Rob
How do you figure that? The knights would have to be at least three deep to face so they are three wide and five deep so they are four wide???

In the more normal formation you end up with four dice against two, albeit at minus.

Against armoured knights its four dice against two at evens

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:35 pm
by hazelbark
Even down a POA the assuming both sides are superior and no generals. Will do 1.5 hits with a possible luck distribution going higher. The Knights will do 1.16 hits. So you have a chance for the knights to survive the first round of melee but they have to fight a 2nd round of melee before they can bolster. Odds are they lose one of the melees and have at least a -2 if not a -3 check.

Moral of the story, don't get charged in the flank.

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:17 pm
by Robert241167
Maybe I'm talking about a rear charge when the knights are already 4 bases wide.

Rob

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:16 pm
by dave_r
Robert241167 wrote:Maybe I'm talking about a rear charge when the knights are already 4 bases wide.

Rob
Hazelbark: cavalry lancers hitting the flank of the knights has a very promising outcome for the cavalry
Rob: Had this happen with Cav against Hvy Arm Knights. If the Knights only fragment in impact they are equal dice in melee but a factor up, providing they can get all bases fighting
Dave: Rob you are a pillock
Rob: Maybe I'm taking about a rear charge

So that rear charge, which was originally a flank charge, but now isn't. Does that mean you didn't have the situation that Dan talked about?

Re: At 2 dice per base are knights overpowered in the melee?

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:57 pm
by hazelbark
I am walking away now.