Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

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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Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by vonZipper » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:39 pm

Is this really historical? I don't mean the off-chance of it happening, but as a normal, reliable battle tactic? It certainly didn't happen with any regularity in the 18th and 19th centuries. In fact, if some cuirassiers saw infantry advancing on them, not in square, they would most likely counter-charge and wipe them out. It seems weird to me to see Noble armored lancers charged by and evading some irregular spearmen.
(and I mean formed cavalry in good order, not disordered or melee'ing cavalry)

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by MVP7 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:02 pm

In FoG2 infantry charging cavalry is counter charged and the odds are generally not in the infantry's favor. The infantry charging cavalry (or anything else) doesn't mean that they are running hundreds of meters while yelling in broken formation like in Return of the King. In practice the infantry formation approaches the cavalry formation on marching pace and doesn't necessarily even start the final charge before the cavalry counter charges them with better odds than what they would have against fully braced infantry. It's also worth noting that Lancers don't evade (i.e. turn around before contact and move away), they always counter charge and then fall back if the enemy doesn't give way.

In Pike and Shot and Sengoku Jidai, Mixed and Medium infantry couldn't charge cavalry, even when they were in combat. That caused some incredibly unrealistic and frustrating situations where cavalry units were physically preventing pike armed formations from moving through space that they were occupying; or cavalry units could be locked in fight against losing infantry unit while you would have an army of mixed/medium foot marching past them since they couldn't interfere. For good gameplay it is invaluable that infantry has at least some capability to engage cavalry.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:19 pm

Yes, infantry can shove off Light Spear cavalry, (which is what you were engaging), but infantry get 0POA on Impact if they charge Lancers, which don't evade. I wouldn't say charging Lancers with infantry is always a bad idea, but you'll generally be down 100POA, and the Lancers can Fall Back after Impact so you'd better have a good reason to be doing it.
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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:24 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:02 pm
In Pike and Shot and Sengoku Jidai, Mixed and Medium infantry couldn't charge cavalry, even when they were in combat. That caused some incredibly unrealistic and frustrating situations where cavalry units were physically preventing pike armed formations from moving through space that they were occupying; or cavalry units could be locked in fight against losing infantry unit while you would have an army of mixed/medium foot marching past them since they couldn't interfere. For good gameplay it is invaluable that infantry has at least some capability to engage cavalry.
In Pike and Shot, non ranged medium and heavy foot can charge non light cavalry, as can any infantry classed as 'keils' such as 2000 man tercios with 50% Arquebus. In Sengoku, only all melee Warriors can charge non light cavalry. However, as compensation in both PnS and Sengoku there is far more ranged infantry than in most FoG2 army lists.
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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by MVP7 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:39 pm

SnuggleBunnies wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:24 pm
MVP7 wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:02 pm
In Pike and Shot and Sengoku Jidai, Mixed and Medium infantry couldn't charge cavalry, even when they were in combat. That caused some incredibly unrealistic and frustrating situations where cavalry units were physically preventing pike armed formations from moving through space that they were occupying; or cavalry units could be locked in fight against losing infantry unit while you would have an army of mixed/medium foot marching past them since they couldn't interfere. For good gameplay it is invaluable that infantry has at least some capability to engage cavalry.
In Pike and Shot, non ranged medium and heavy foot can charge non light cavalry, as can any infantry classed as 'keils' such as 2000 man tercios with 50% Arquebus. In Sengoku, only all melee Warriors can charge non light cavalry. However, as compensation in both PnS and Sengoku there is far more ranged infantry than in most FoG2 army lists.
Ok. Most of my experience in P&S and SJ comes from few games with the Chinese/Korean and their mixed units. In any case I find the FoG2 approach superior.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by deeter » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:19 pm

One thing that has always bugged me about FOG is the ability to peel off a unit or two of non-light foot to a block cavalry on a flank. This effectively shuts down a cavalry attack in most cases. It implies a degree and autonomy and flexibility that infantry of that time didn't possess, except maybe Romans and even then was rare. Pharsalus is the only example I can think of and even then, Caesar's infantry acted as a refused line. Romans sometime mixed velite with cav but that seems to have been in skirmishes. Germans sometimes mixed foot and cav as well, but breaking of part of a hoplite phalanx to go after cav seems a stretch, but it's allowed in the game, so pretty common.

Deeter

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by SLancaster » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:27 pm

Well, what would be interesting to hear from our Ancients experts is how common it was for cavalry to charge formed infantry on the battlefield. In my readings and wargaming play in other periods, cavalry would fight cavalry and its main job was to banish the enemy cavalry from the battlefield. Cavalry would also chase skirmishers and go after routed troops. It was rare for cavalry to charge into formed heavy infantry.

Obviously, once the enemy cavalry was defeated, cavalry would often go around the back of the enemy infantry line to deliver the coup de grace!

Maybe cataphracts would be an exception and used as a battering ram. But, regular cavalry with light spears would probably stay away from heavy infantry most of the time.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by vonZipper » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:22 pm

SLancaster wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:27 pm
Well, what would be interesting to hear from our Ancients experts is how common it was for cavalry to charge formed infantry on the battlefield. In my readings and wargaming play in other periods, cavalry would fight cavalry and its main job was to banish the enemy cavalry from the battlefield. Cavalry would also chase skirmishers and go after routed troops. It was rare for cavalry to charge into formed heavy infantry.

Obviously, once the enemy cavalry was defeated, cavalry would often go around the back of the enemy infantry line to deliver the coup de grace!

Maybe cataphracts would be an exception and used as a battering ram. But, regular cavalry with light spears would probably stay away from heavy infantry most of the time.
I know more about 18th/19th centuries than the ancient period, but that was certainly the most common cavalry usage in that period. Not that there weren't outliers of course.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by sIg3b » Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:46 am

SnuggleBunnies wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:24 pm
MVP7 wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:02 pm
In Pike and Shot and Sengoku Jidai, Mixed and Medium infantry couldn't charge cavalry, even when they were in combat. That caused some incredibly unrealistic and frustrating situations where cavalry units were physically preventing pike armed formations from moving through space that they were occupying; or cavalry units could be locked in fight against losing infantry unit while you would have an army of mixed/medium foot marching past them since they couldn't interfere. For good gameplay it is invaluable that infantry has at least some capability to engage cavalry.
In Pike and Shot, non ranged medium and heavy foot can charge non light cavalry, as can any infantry classed as 'keils' such as 2000 man tercios with 50% Arquebus. In Sengoku, only all melee Warriors can charge non light cavalry. However, as compensation in both PnS and Sengoku there is far more ranged infantry than in most FoG2 army lists.
Generally speaking, wherever they differ, I prefer the P&S rule system; slightly more realistic, slightly less micromanagement and slightly better for the AI!

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by sIg3b » Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:51 am

deeter wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:19 pm
One thing that has always bugged me about FOG is the ability to peel off a unit or two of non-light foot to a block cavalry on a flank. This effectively shuts down a cavalry attack in most cases. It implies a degree and autonomy and flexibility that infantry of that time didn't possess, except maybe Romans and even then was rare. Pharsalus is the only example I can think of and even then, Caesar's infantry acted as a refused line. Romans sometime mixed velite with cav but that seems to have been in skirmishes. Germans sometimes mixed foot and cav as well, but breaking of part of a hoplite phalanx to go after cav seems a stretch, but it's allowed in the game, so pretty common.

Deeter
This +1.

In addition, I also think it´s maybe a bit of a stretch that a cloud of light units can frustrate the advance of a medium/heavy cavalry wing, causing near infinite delay and serious losses. I think, at least against lights, cavalry should perhaps be a bit more powerful.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by sIg3b » Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:56 am

SLancaster wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:27 pm
Well, what would be interesting to hear from our Ancients experts is how common it was for cavalry to charge formed infantry on the battlefield. In my readings and wargaming play in other periods, cavalry would fight cavalry and its main job was to banish the enemy cavalry from the battlefield. Cavalry would also chase skirmishers and go after routed troops. It was rare for cavalry to charge into formed heavy infantry.

Obviously, once the enemy cavalry was defeated, cavalry would often go around the back of the enemy infantry line to deliver the coup de grace!

Maybe cataphracts would be an exception and used as a battering ram. But, regular cavalry with light spears would probably stay away from heavy infantry most of the time.
I think frontal cavalry attacks against non-light infantry in FoG2 work as they should, that is they usually don´t work. :)

You can do that against Ligurians in the open, but that´s about it.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by Athos1660 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:35 am

About 'Infantry charging heavy cavalry’, I’d tend to think that, as is shown in the P&S and FoG2 games, the more an infantry unit has 'pole weapons’ (pikes, spears…) compared to missile weapons (muskets…), the more it will be willing to aggressively advance against cavalry as seeking the impact and the melee is its main offensive tactic (overall from the Antiquity to the huge blocks of pikemen of the 15th and 16th centuries).

And conversely, the more an infantry unit has missile weapons compared to pole weapons, the more it will tend to stay away from the cavalry, relying on shooting at a distance to suppress them as its main/only offensive tactic and using defensively the few remaining pole weapons using time to properly point them towards the charging cavalry and let the soldiers without pole weapons hide behind them (the Pike and shot units of the 17th century). A P&S unit of 500 men with 66% Musket and 34 % Pike has only 167 pikemen. Such a unit won't charge a non-light cavalry unit of 250 men, abandoning the 333 musketeers unprotected. It'll prefer using these 333 musketeers to shoot and the pikemen to protect them. In contrast, a 2000 man tercios unit with 1000 pikemen and 1000 arquebusiers can charge 250 cavalrymen.

I guess the same also applies to the following period and the infantry with muskets and the less protecting bayonet, the square formation...

Not to mention that the term 'heavy cavalry’ is often improper when speaking of the cavalry of the Antiquity and the early Middle Ages.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by Swuul » Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:18 pm

vonZipper wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:22 pm
I know more about 18th/19th centuries than the ancient period, but that was certainly the most common cavalry usage in that period. Not that there weren't outliers of course.
Errr... Are you implying cavalry in 18th/19th century regularily charged infantry formations frontally? Because in the rare few cases that happened, cavalry was torn apart by infantry. It did just not happen.

Cavalry certainly were in an important role vs infantry in some battles of the era (like in Blenheim 1704), but that was because they could be used against disordered or broken infantry formation, not because they would have succeeded in a frontal charge vs infantry. Also it is true that the largest frontal cavalry charge ever (in the battle of Eulay in 1807) against infantry was kinda succesfull, but the french cavalry charge spesifically avoided charging the fresh russian infantry, but instead charged the numerically inferior russian cavalry which was covering the retreat of the broken russian infantry (and even that cavalry charge of 11 thousand cavallerists resulted in the loss of 1500 of the finest french dragoons, a loss Nappy was never able to fully recover).
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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by vonZipper » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:28 pm

Swuul wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:18 pm
vonZipper wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:22 pm
I know more about 18th/19th centuries than the ancient period, but that was certainly the most common cavalry usage in that period. Not that there weren't outliers of course.
Errr... Are you implying cavalry in 18th/19th century regularily charged infantry formations frontally? Because in the rare few cases that happened, cavalry was torn apart by infantry. It did just not happen.
No. the exact opposite. I was agreeing that this:

"cavalry would fight cavalry and its main job was to banish the enemy cavalry from the battlefield. Cavalry would also chase skirmishers and go after routed troops. It was rare for cavalry to charge into formed heavy infantry.

Obviously, once the enemy cavalry was defeated, cavalry would often go around the back of the enemy infantry line to deliver the coup de grace!"

was the common use of cavalry in the 18th/19th centuries.
Last edited by vonZipper on Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by Cunningcairn » Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:09 pm

sIg3b wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:51 am
deeter wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:19 pm
One thing that has always bugged me about FOG is the ability to peel off a unit or two of non-light foot to a block cavalry on a flank. This effectively shuts down a cavalry attack in most cases. It implies a degree and autonomy and flexibility that infantry of that time didn't possess, except maybe Romans and even then was rare. Pharsalus is the only example I can think of and even then, Caesar's infantry acted as a refused line. Romans sometime mixed velite with cav but that seems to have been in skirmishes. Germans sometimes mixed foot and cav as well, but breaking of part of a hoplite phalanx to go after cav seems a stretch, but it's allowed in the game, so pretty common.

Deeter
This +1.

In addition, I also think it´s maybe a bit of a stretch that a cloud of light units can frustrate the advance of a medium/heavy cavalry wing, causing near infinite delay and serious losses. I think, at least against lights, cavalry should perhaps be a bit more powerful.
Isn't that exactly what Alexander did?

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by kraff » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:06 pm

The simple truth is that if cavalry was as useful in reality as it is in FOG2, no society would've ever bothered to spend a single dime on creating, training and maintaining cavalry units. We wouldn't be reading about any glorious cavalry charges at all, because horses would've been bred for food or as pack animals.

Cavalry in FOG2 is seriously underpowered and quite useless in roles other than flanking, because this game for some reason is balanced around infantry. I can't really fathom why it wasn't balanced around cavalry, which would be historically correct, but I didn't make this game, so I can only accept this design choice and play it, or not. And since there is no game for PC that is even close to what FOG2 offers, I play it, despite the fact that I go through cognitive dissonance each time I play it. :P :D

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by sIg3b » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:14 pm

Cunningcairn wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:09 pm
sIg3b wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:51 am
deeter wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:19 pm
One thing that has always bugged me about FOG is the ability to peel off a unit or two of non-light foot to a block cavalry on a flank. This effectively shuts down a cavalry attack in most cases. It implies a degree and autonomy and flexibility that infantry of that time didn't possess, except maybe Romans and even then was rare. Pharsalus is the only example I can think of and even then, Caesar's infantry acted as a refused line. Romans sometime mixed velite with cav but that seems to have been in skirmishes. Germans sometimes mixed foot and cav as well, but breaking of part of a hoplite phalanx to go after cav seems a stretch, but it's allowed in the game, so pretty common.

Deeter
This +1.

In addition, I also think it´s maybe a bit of a stretch that a cloud of light units can frustrate the advance of a medium/heavy cavalry wing, causing near infinite delay and serious losses. I think, at least against lights, cavalry should perhaps be a bit more powerful.
Isn't that exactly what Alexander did?
Did what?

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by sIg3b » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:19 pm

kraff wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:06 pm
The simple truth is that if cavalry was as useful in reality as it is in FOG2, no society would've ever bothered to spend a single dime on creating, training and maintaining cavalry units. We wouldn't be reading about any glorious cavalry charges at all, because horses would've been bred for food or as pack animals.

Cavalry in FOG2 is seriously underpowered and quite useless in roles other than flanking, because this game for some reason is balanced around infantry. I can't really fathom why it wasn't balanced around cavalry, which would be historically correct, but I didn't make this game, so I can only accept this design choice and play it, or not. And since there is no game for PC that is even close to what FOG2 offers, I play it, despite the fact that I go through cognitive dissonance each time I play it. :P :D
I don´t think Ancient Cavalry was that powerful. On the other hand, perhaps a little bit more effective than in the current iteration of FoG2.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by Athos1660 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:06 am

kraff wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:06 pm
The simple truth is that if cavalry was as useful in reality as it is in FOG2, no society would've ever bothered to spend a single dime on creating, training and maintaining cavalry units. We wouldn't be reading about any glorious cavalry charges at all, because horses would've been bred for food or as pack animals.

Cavalry in FOG2 is seriously underpowered and quite useless in roles other than flanking, because this game for some reason is balanced around infantry. I can't really fathom why it wasn't balanced around cavalry, which would be historically correct, but I didn't make this game, so I can only accept this design choice and play it, or not. And since there is no game for PC that is even close to what FOG2 offers, I play it, despite the fact that I go through cognitive dissonance each time I play it. :P :D
Actually, one of the interests (maybe the main) of owning horses was to show one’s position in society, and enjoy it (in travels, hunting, horsemanship games…), as often only the Aristocrats could afford to breed horses.

That said, horses were useful on the battlefield during the Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, as FoG2: Ancients actually shows it very well, to defeat enemy cavalry (its most important task), to charge the infantry in the flank and rear, to attack distant artillery, to skirmish and to pursue routers.

But most cavalry of this time also suffered major drawbacks with the absence of stirrup and saddle and the lack of effective charge techniques. It was not until late Middle Ages, when Knights used the technique of the couched lance, that the frontal charge of non-light cavalry was at its zenith.

So Cavalry seems to me perfectly represented in the game and doesn’t need any kind of buff or modification imho.

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Re: Infantry charging heavy cavalry?

Post by Cunningcairn » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:20 pm

sIg3b wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:14 pm
Cunningcairn wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:09 pm
sIg3b wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:51 am


This +1.

In addition, I also think it´s maybe a bit of a stretch that a cloud of light units can frustrate the advance of a medium/heavy cavalry wing, causing near infinite delay and serious losses. I think, at least against lights, cavalry should perhaps be a bit more powerful.
Isn't that exactly what Alexander did?
Did what?
At Gaugamela he successfully used light infantry to frustrate and delay heavy cavalry.

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