I think Leonardus is being picked on needlessly, when A he likely hasn’t played the game too long and B possibly isnt a native English speaker, plus I suspect he was aggravated when it was suggested he was implying that knights CRASHED landed purposefully into formed infantry in his post. I don't think he meant or said that at all and was simply talking about the mass of horses and what they can do when they have momentum ( dead or alive haha) ie EVERYONE scrambles to get out of the way or gets knocked down.
The article on the battle of Hernandez is interesting but it leaves open some comments:
1) the fact that a dead horse had enough momentum to open up a gap 6 men wide in a square indicates:
it was moving with speed, and it was CLOSE when shot dead... The implication is the rider had intent to charge home...
2) the article makes a nice list of the reasons WHY a square might fall prey to cavalry, and what I found needs be highlighted is MUSKETRY(the failure of) is mentioned more than half the times..
Men standing shoulder to shoulder without a suitable weapon system IMHO cant stop cavalry simply just because they are in a dense formation.. Otherwise mounted police wouldnt be able to disperse rioters 100 of times their #'s . In Napoleonic times the weapons system: muskets, stopped cavalry.
Certainly density( with depth) ie heavy infantry , mattered but it needed the weapon to go with it. How much weapon? I dont know, but I theorize that how much weapon was somehow related to how much shield. With small or no shield you need much more weapon ( ie musket or a long spear, ie pike)
John Keegan launched a thousand keyboard warriors yelling that horses “wont run into a solid object”, implying that cavalry are never successfull unless the infantry breaks before contact. It’s a no brainer..in the sense that no living thing will ran full speed into a brick wall… Could it be that arguably one of the most expensive weapon system in the ancient/medieval world, lancers, (whom need expensive horses, armour and a social system built around wanting to close with the enemy) are ONLY successful based on the actions of the cheaper infantry types ie running away?
Does a horse massing 1500 plus pounds think a human around 150 is a solid object? What about a formation of 6x6 men? Clearly physics states the men, even if touching don’t combine their mass. So what does the horse think? The rider?
Now add overlapping shields to the mix ( like the aspis used by hoplites…) suddenly it is conceivable that to the horse AND rider that this is not so much an object you can just plow into. You cant SEE the outline of the men behind the shields and thus suddenly it might very well become a solid wall, psychologically at least…. Unless you have a much longer weapon which leads to this issue:
There was a thread several months ago and someone quoted a description of Carrhea from a primary source.(cant recall who) What was interesting is the source noted that when the romans were bunched up with overlapping shields they were immune to the Parthian arrows, yet became very vulnerable to the Lancers, when they were in more open order they suffered from arrows but could better fight off the Lancers ( being cataphracts of course) Oh boy...
I wont make any more hypothetical suggestions as too often you get accused of things, for example I was just told to PROVE that mounted troops regularly swept aside infantry when I never made such a grandiose declaration. The op is cavalry seem too weak and I believe the do seem weak versus troops that they shouldnt struggle as hard against ie mediums especially the light spear types. Of course the definitions of mediums are somewhat nebulous anyhow, and they get quite a bit of benefit of the doubt situationally. So by definition they “are lightly equipped” and thus can operate in the rough, yet many types have equal in game protection (or greater ) than hoplites ( Auxila, thorikita etc to name a few.) If they form up like heavies, why do they get a mal cohesion roll?
Any hoot, it is interesting to see the old definitions of mediums, and spears (light and offensive) from the TT and into FOG1, versus the definitions in FOG2. They are more granular now and I think ( not sure) the trend is really to view troops like the thuro’s as basically heavy infantry that could fight like skirmishes if deployed that way at the start of the battle ( perhaps a mod using the dismount function? ) Of course this doesn't justify the irregular types prowess and whom probably should break and run before contact is ever even made by hard charging lancers
May your lancers strike true! ( mine have more often than not have been yielding nerf noodles lately)