What is cavalry good for?

Field of Glory: Empires is a grand strategy game in which you will have to move in an intricate and living tapestry of nations and tribes, each one with their distinctive culture.
Set in Europe and in the Mediterranean Area during the Classical Age, experience what truly means to manage an Empire.

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kvnrthr
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What is cavalry good for?

Post by kvnrthr » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:24 pm

I have a decent handle on some unit roles. Skirmishers for siege resist and combat support, heavy infantry for battles in the open, regular/mercenary for broken terrain and sieges.

Not sure what to use cavalry for though. It's not as good as heavy infantry in the battle line, it doesn't provide good combat support (for medium cav) and doesn't help defending in sieges (light cav).

How much cavalry should be in an army then, for fights in various terrain? Am I misunderstanding some game mechanic? Currently I've tried making all cavalry armies which are useful for their high movement. Not sure how much should be in an army with infantry, if any.

PDiFolco
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by PDiFolco » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:53 pm

Not much indeed,but already some suggestions to make cav more useful are studied by the dev team :)

LDiCesare
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by LDiCesare » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:04 pm

From what I get, light cavalry helps cause damage after the fight is won.
Regular cavalry is good at flanking, but it's rather useless right now.
So I'd say, hire some light cavalry with all large armies. They won't fight but pursue the opponent. Medium cavalry look rather useless.

Geffalrus
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by Geffalrus » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:31 pm

I'm pretty sure all cavalry are varying degrees of good at causing pursuit damage. And yes, flanking only seems to be useful in small sized fights on open ground. For big battles, there are generally better melee options.

That being said, they do have some characteristics that other units in their class don't have:

- Compared to light horse, they have better combat abilities (Att/Def/HP).
- Compared to Regular Infantry, they have the ability to evade some amount of damage, provided they don't lose the duel by too large a margin. Depending on how your battles go, this could give them more longevity than Regular Infantry.

I still think that some of the proposed overrun/flanking rules are needed to properly give them a place in the battle meta. Currently I use them myself, but I wouldn't say that they are crucial.

Beorn
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by Beorn » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:34 pm

They might consider making them a better option against raiders.

MoLAoS
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by MoLAoS » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:18 am

Skirmishers are currently useful but no other cavalry are. Not that it matter since the AI is crippled. Having only played FoG2 for the first time since FOGE dropped I win all my battles at the first and second difficulty by massive margins. And there is a special glitch, when the AI has no skirmish support because of their campaign limitations, where the medium infantry line never acts, not once, before I've won. Just tonight for the first time, though I save scummed in the skirmish phase once I realized what was happening and saved the lives of my 3 velites, not units but individual men, I scored a flawless victory. 20 units to 20 and completely ignoring my melee troops to ground down 2 skirmishers and 10 of 11 medium infantry in the enemy front line with my skirmishers. Their army I guess was scared of my legions on the other side of the map or something, afraid to break formation, so they just sat there while I abused stationary skirmish bonuses to counter the low ammo penalty. Their last infantry unit, a general, was yellow but I broke their other unit too early putting me over 40% routed so he lived. Granted the whole army obviously dissolved on the campaign map anyways.

Skirmisher cavalry are kinda weak compared to the infantry, as far as damage goes, but on the occasion when the FoG2 AI actually decides to attack my line troops I eventually have them charge the backs of disturbed or fragmented enemy line troops while the infantry skirmishers grind down non-melee enemies. Also slingers are OP. I know Velites are armored but who cares when the enemy AI can't engage them anyways? 2 range and apparently slightly better damage. As Rome I've not yet played long enough to get archers but I imagine they'll be even more fun.

Regular cavalry are useless. They take much longer to line up a rear charge compared to more mobile skirmishers, they are only equivalent to medium infantry on the line, and the flanking benefits aren't that great, especially when you can often use infantry to flank anyways. Haven't yet build Cataphracts. In my game where I won on turn 70 I didn't get them in time to have them fight.

LDiCesare
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by LDiCesare » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:55 am

MoLAoS , you are talking about the FOG2 battles? In FOGE, the infantry certainly plays a role, and cavalry plays a limited but existing pursuit role.

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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by vakarr » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:06 am

Not sure what cavalry do in an Empires resolved battle, except make sure that more of the enemy die in the pursuit (which can be important). I ran an entirely cavalry and light cavalry force over to a threatened region and saved it from being run over by playing the battle in FOG 2 despite the huge disparity in numbers. You can see how here:

Turn 152 of my Lysimachid empire's reach for immortality in Field of Glory Empires Beta (now version 1.01). A region that had rebelled against a local lord turned into a resurgent and aggressive Pontus - which I had previously had a lot of trouble conquering. Fortunately for me the new Pontus (complete with scythed chariots) went for the Sarmatians first, who are my allies. They took a Sarmatian region but this gave me time to quickly raise some troops and move them to the threatened regions. Cavalry move fastest if not accompanied by infantry, so I sent an entirely cavalry force to a region that had "plain" as its terrain type. This was invaded in force by the Pontic army, consisting of spear -armed infantry and a few cavalry (the scythed chariots stayed at home that day). I had a better points army that was fewer in numbers, so I let the battle run through Empires and got beaten. I reloaded the game and chose to export the battle to Field of Glory and got picture 1:
Screen_00000074.jpg
Picture 1, the start of the battle
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I am vastly outnumbered by good anti-cavalry troops but there is very little terrain so by concentrating the cavalry on one flank (where there are only two enemy heavy cavalry and one light cavalry) I hopefully can achieve something. I am lucky that the Pontic army doesn't have any missile troops other than two light cavalry, so I can get right up close to them with impunity. The Pontic cavalry is either better armoured or of better quality but is spread between both wings of the army. I have three types of cavalry: (a) Rhoxolani medium cavalry, partly armoured and (half) carrying bows, short spears, and swords. (b) standard cavalry, armoured with short spears and swords (but of lesser quality), and (c) light cavalry with javelins.

Picture 2:
Screen_00000075.jpg
Picture 2, the cavalry are doing well
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It's turn 15 out of a 24 turn game and I haven't suffered any losses but the enemy haven't reached 40% so the game continues, with the enemy left wing cavalry gone and my cavalry dancing around the infantry. Unfortunately the enemy infantry are good quality and keep rallying back from rout, so even after they go past 40% it's hard to keep them there long enough for a win. You have to keep charging routers to ensure they continue routing. It is a very tough game as I can't charge the Pontic infantry frontally and hope to win - unless I can shoot them first using the light cavalry, and also charge the rear or flank of the infantry on the same or a subsequent turn.

The Pontic infantry took a long time to get into contact and then split into two or three groups. There was a great danger that they would force my cavalry off the table but I managed to keep my cavalry in the field despite the infantry charges.

Picture 3:
Screen_00000076.jpg
Picture 3, Victory!
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Turn 24 the end, I had the enemy up to 56% but my own losses were mounting. This would normally be counted a draw in FOG 2 (the enemy losses had to get to 60% for a win) but in this case I'm ahead and the enemy were the invaders, so as I hold the field of battle, the enemy are able to escape into the night and I have held off the invasion!

In FOG 2 cavalry beat up other cavalry, light cavalry and foot skirmishers, that is their main role. They also have the ability to charge heavy foot or to pin them, and also to cause a cohesion loss by a flank charge. So you can use skirmishers to shoot at the enemy foot, then frontally charge with one cavalry unit, then flank or rear charge with another cavalry unit, and you are winning.

MoLAoS
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by MoLAoS » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:07 pm

Cavalry are inferior to infantry, except skirmishers, but if you are fighting the battle yourself you can overcome a lot. I typically win a battle with equal forces 10 to 1 especially if the enemy has an unbalanced force without much skirmishing. fighting to a draw against superior odds using only cavalry is impressive. But an equally expensive or equal points infantry army would have done much better. Cavalry where you have both skirmisher and medium superiority can work out with good luck against infantry. But its very difficult against heavies.

shockk
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by shockk » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:25 pm

Not really sure why we are talking about fog2 but cav are very good in fog2 unlike fog:e. fog2 is a game of positioning and routing the enemy. Heavy cav can route any inf if given time to flank and are a extremely useful tool for any army to have.

As for fog:e, ya cav suck. You can use them for map mobility and that about it. I recommend not even adding them to your army, they cause odd things to happen in your army deployment

USGrant1962
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by USGrant1962 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:33 pm

I tend to agree that heavy cavalry is too weak. At least in the early part of the time period covered by the game, heavy cavalry was still the decisive arm in many battles. In FoGE, not so much.

lpgamble
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Re: What is cavalry good for?

Post by lpgamble » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:12 pm

All Cav forces in the middle of your area can move farther and meet up with border foot armies to reinforce them. I also use a few to run up and down boarders to limit raiding.
I haven't played a knight army yet, took awhile to get my feet under me and then I have a long Gaul game going.

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