Charge cavalry too weak

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by leonardus68 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:27 am

zakblood wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:22 am
if cav are present, you tie them down with your own, making sure you can't be flanked also, so each counter each other out, if numbers are equal
Man, when you're confident with your (number/quality/etc)cavalry, you split your forces. Some will only for 'anticavalry' purposes and some for shock attack. Peoples here just don't know the term 'shock'....

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by zakblood » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:33 am

i only have 500+ hours in game, so could be wrong tbh, but they work fine for me, then again so does everything else in game, a real gem if i say so myself, look forward to a Napoleon follow on and while the map size regarding hex sizes etc may need to change for it, the rest would just be looks, so bring it on RBS, you make it, i'll test it and let others just play

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:42 am

leonardus68 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:25 am
And seems noone know the difference between sarmatian lances and roxolani cavalry spears.
Not sure what you mean by that. Look at the Rhoxolani army list in the game - the cavalry have spears, not lances. The list ends in 24 AD, because the Rhoxolani did eventually change over to lancers, and hence don't need a separate list after that. By the time of Adamclisi they were lancers, like other Sarmatians.
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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by Geffalrus » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:16 pm

kvnrthr wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:00 pm
I think some people make the mistake of considering this a physics problem, with a mass X of velocity Y crashing into mass A and sending them flying. If cavalrymen were perfectly modelled as such than the original poster may have a point.

If this were the case the best cavalry tactic would be to give cavalrymen copious amounts of alcohol and blind their horses so neither feels danger, and they can both happily crash into the enemy.

In reality, the cavalryman wants to live. He will turn and run before infantry that holds formation and shows confidence, even if they were swordsmen and not spearmen (though the spear and pike give more confidence against cavalry than a sword). Against an enemy who has broken their formation (mostly not through a physical force but a moral force) he will happily go forward and stab the helpless in the back.

I think Ardant Du Picq sums it up best, though he was writing in a post-Napoleonic era:

"All writers on cavalry will tell you that the charge pushed home of two cavalry bodies and the shock at top speed do not exist. Always before the encounter, the weaker runs away, if there is not a face to face check. What becomes then of the MV squared? If this famous MV squared is an empty word, why then crush your horses under giants, forgetting that in the formula besides M there is V squared. In a charge, there is M, there is V squared, there is this and that. There is resolution, and I believe, nothing else that counts!"
This is absolutely correct. Heavy cavalry were the MOST expensive unit in your army (unless you had elephants) by a large margin and would be composed of some of the most politically powerful people in your state (the exception being allied heavy cavalry where they'd be just "fairly influential"). The idea that anyone would intentionally just smash something that expensive into a solid object as a COMMON tactic is ludicrous. Absolutely insane.

You don't waste your horse. No matter how rich you are. Instead you use your lance or bow or javelin to combine range with speed to kill isolated infantry soldiers. You ride around or past them. You DON'T come to a stop. You skewer and keep on going. THAT is why you use a Triangle or Diamond formation. The leader picks a weakpoint/opening in the enemy formation, he stabs someone as he charges through, and then the horses behind him follow along. The combination of the stabbing/shooting weapons, and the fear of the horses, widens the breach, allowing the whole horse formation to flow through. A which point, a large gap is opened that can be further exploited.

You don't simply smash an expensive horse into anything approaching a solid metal pointy object. Ugh.

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by MeerkatRabbit » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:28 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:16 pm
You don't simply smash an expensive horse into anything approaching a solid metal pointy object. Ugh.
Even if you wanted to, I don't think the horse would cooperate. I think looking at the Napoleonic era is useful here because of the enormous amount of well-documented cavalry vs infantry fighting that went on there. In previous eras, cavalry often just fought on the flanks against the enemy cavalry in their own separate battle, and once the enemy cavalry was driven off, only then would they turn toward the infantry line and flank them. In Napoleonic fighting, cavalry would be mixed in with infantry units all along the line, and would be used in a combined arms manner in frontal attacks directly against infantry on a regular basis. That era was also recent enough that there are a lot of detailed accounts of what the fighting was like.

Horses are pretty intelligent animals and won't just ram themselves right into a line of bayonets. In fact, the more experienced a horse is, the more difficult it is to convince the horse to get near the enemy. Once a horse has seen the terror of close combat before, it will be very reluctant to do so again. It doesn't matter how much you try to steer the horse, the horse simply won't go over there. Cavalry units would usually end up running in circles around enemy formations until a gap opened up that they could slip through. If they had lances, they could poke and prod at the infantry from a distance, using their range advantage to open up a hole that they could get through. Once a formation was disordered or disrupted, the cavalry could get in it and destroy it from the inside. Usually one side would break and run away long before that happened though. It wouldn't be like a Total War battle where the horses just slam into the formation with bodies flying everywhere.

Others have pointed out that a wounded horse might crash into an infantry formation, which is true, but it depends on how the horse was wounded as well. I had just been reading some accounts about this. If the horse was wounded by a hand weapon like a bayonet or sword, the horse would usually just stop and refuse to go any farther. If the horse was wounded by a musket ball though, and had no idea how it was wounded or from where, the horse might freak out and become unpredictable, trampling people and crashing into things. That was still a pretty exceptional thing to happen though. I had read about one fight where cavalry troopers deliberately tried to get their own horses wounded so they would crash into and disrupt an enemy infantry square. They rode up close, turned their horses around, then reared them up into the air to try to get them to fall over and crash into the infantry to create a gap in the line. It failed and they were all killed in the process though. I don't remember the exact battle there but I could find a quote about that when I have more time later.

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by MVP7 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:42 pm

Another very insightful post from MeerkatRabbit.

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by Geffalrus » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:01 pm

Yes, the Napoleonic era is incredibly helpful for this. Only thing I'd add is the descriptions you'll find there of the precision and accuracy of the Uhlan Lancers who practiced spiking tent pegs with their lances as they rode by. Gives you a good idea of what they tried to do in battle. Ride by, deal a precise hit to someone, and keep on going. Minimize the threat to yourself, and over time, that formation will weaken or run away.

I need to find the link, but there was an article on how the Polish Winged Hussars supposedly used the extreme length of their lances to ride up and skewer the front rank of the enemy infantry, then turn around and ride back for another lance. In such a manner, even organized infantry could be ground down by this (fairly elite) cavalry formation.

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by Benedict151 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:32 pm

TheGrayMouser (March 08)wrote what I would have done if I had seen this thread earlier! I prefer cohesion checks to POA penalties (and I think they suit better) - "I'd rather see non shock infantry take a cohesion test when charged by lancers ( fail, drop a level and then impact hehe) but some might deem that too much... I do get agrieved when my expensive lancers bounce off or fail to damage the light spear types."

I think in the main the cavalry infantry interaction works fine - its just in certain cases they seem to be working not quite right (or rather not to my 'historical model'!

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:27 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:13 pm
Shock cavalry would have little chances of success if charging a solid formation of steady infantry. Something I find a bit suspicious though, is how well 'raw' spearmen (and other infantry) hold against such charges in FoG2.
Revisiting this, I am not sure we want to make Raw troops completely useless, and Raw non-spear/pike infantry are already on a net -75 POA vs Superior lancers at impact.

Also, I don't think non-steady raw spears need to be any worse against lancers than they are now.

One possibility would be to allow lances to work at "half effect" vs steady spearmen/pikemen if the infantry are Raw or worse (in the same way that swordsmen get half their POA vs steady spearmen). This would represent them being "not all that steady" when being charged by lancers. So vs Raw steady Spearmen, Superior Lancers would be on a net +25 POA at impact, instead of a net -25 POA as at present. Charging steady Raw pikes would still be a hiding to nothing.

(And with the extra impact +100 POA for knights vs infantry on open ground, Superior Knights would be at a net +125 POA at impact, which adds some serious jeopardy for Medieval raw spearmen - of which there will be lots in the army lists, and we want to avoid accidentally making the optimum strategy to spam raw spearmen units).
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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by MVP7 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:49 pm

Half effect lance sound good to me, anything helps. If there's even a moderate chance of raw spearmen losing cohesion on frontal impact then using them for anti-cavalry protection will become a lot more risky tactic.

About the definition of raw for campaigns: Would the limit be like the unmaneuverability of raw undrilled foot where the penalty is lost if the unit survives any battle or would the limit rather be when the unit is designated 'below average'? Speaking of which, wouldn't it make more sense if the undrilled unmaneuverability was only lost when unit hits below average rather than the unit magically becoming drilled as soon as someone in the formation gets killed by a stray arrow? It feels a bit cheesy to use those units in campaigns when you know they will lose one of their major weaknesses after first battle.

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:57 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:49 pm
Half effect lance sound good to me, anything helps. If there's even a moderate chance of raw spearmen losing cohesion on frontal impact then using them for anti-cavalry protection will become a lot more risky tactic.

About the definition of raw for campaigns: Would the limit be like the unmaneuverability of raw undrilled foot where the penalty is lost if the unit survives any battle or would the limit rather be when the unit is designated 'below average'? Speaking of which, wouldn't it make more sense if the undrilled unmaneuverability was only lost when unit hits below average rather than the unit magically becoming drilled as soon as someone in the formation gets killed by a stray arrow? It feels a bit cheesy to use those units in campaigns when you know they will lose one of their major weaknesses after first battle.
Good point. Will have to think about it.
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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by MikeC_81 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:39 pm

Benedict151 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:32 pm
TheGrayMouser (March 08)wrote what I would have done if I had seen this thread earlier! I prefer cohesion checks to POA penalties (and I think they suit better) - "I'd rather see non shock infantry take a cohesion test when charged by lancers ( fail, drop a level and then impact hehe) but some might deem that too much... I do get agrieved when my expensive lancers bounce off or fail to damage the light spear types."

I think in the main the cavalry infantry interaction works fine - its just in certain cases they seem to be working not quite right (or rather not to my 'historical model'!

regards
Ben
The only problem with this is that it generates a lot of high variance situations which are inevitably not satisfying for either player when the results don't go their way. A unit that fails a check and drops cohesion level will almost assuredly get creamed by the Lancer and with stacking negative modifiers to the CT test after the die roll, a double break becomes a real possibility (testing at -4 for an average unit = 28% chance to double drop assuming no additional factors) and you can lose a unit within one turn where you have no room for interaction.

That is probably a bad thing. We are having a huff right now in the FoG2DL thread about too much variance already.
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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by Geffalrus » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:10 am

Half effect lance on raw spears sounds pretty elegant to me. And Mike's right - cohesion drops are rage inducing at the best of times.

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:54 am

MVP7 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:49 pm
About the definition of raw for campaigns: Would the limit be like the unmaneuverability of raw undrilled foot where the penalty is lost if the unit survives any battle or would the limit rather be when the unit is designated 'below average'? Speaking of which, wouldn't it make more sense if the undrilled unmaneuverability was only lost when unit hits below average rather than the unit magically becoming drilled as soon as someone in the formation gets killed by a stray arrow? It feels a bit cheesy to use those units in campaigns when you know they will lose one of their major weaknesses after first battle.
The lower limit of Quality for "Below Average" is 61. Quality = (Experience + Elan)/2. Standard Raw Troops are Experience 50, Elan 50.

The Experience gain per battle (if any is gained at all) is such that changing the value to <= 60 instead of <= 50 for Unmanoeuvrability (and proposed lancers POA) would have no effect on campaigns of less than 11 battles, as the Experience gain from even one battle is enough to tip them above Experience 60. (And if their Elan has not also gone up, so that they don't qualify for "Above Average" quality, they will be labelled "Disheartened" rather than "Raw").

So it isn't really worth changing this.

Also, I don't think it is unreasonable, since between the first and second battle they are likely to have had time to complete their training.
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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by MVP7 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:15 am

Ok, I hadn't realized they would gain that much experience just from participating (the raw units in my armies rarely survive with light casualties :D). Makes sense that the maneuverability is tied primarily to experience.

That still leaves the limit for half effect lance though. Would it make sense to also have the 'disheartened' troops take the penalty since morale/elan is probably the larger factor when facing cavalry charge?

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by Benedict151 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:00 pm

MikeC_81 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:39 pm
Benedict151 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:32 pm
TheGrayMouser (March 08)wrote what I would have done if I had seen this thread earlier! I prefer cohesion checks to POA penalties (and I think they suit better) - "I'd rather see non shock infantry take a cohesion test when charged by lancers ( fail, drop a level and then impact hehe) but some might deem that too much... I do get agrieved when my expensive lancers bounce off or fail to damage the light spear types."

I think in the main the cavalry infantry interaction works fine - its just in certain cases they seem to be working not quite right (or rather not to my 'historical model'!

regards
Ben
The only problem with this is that it generates a lot of high variance situations which are inevitably not satisfying for either player when the results don't go their way. A unit that fails a check and drops cohesion level will almost assuredly get creamed by the Lancer and with stacking negative modifiers to the CT test after the die roll, a double break becomes a real possibility (testing at -4 for an average unit = 28% chance to double drop assuming no additional factors) and you can lose a unit within one turn where you have no room for interaction.

That is probably a bad thing. We are having a huff right now in the FoG2DL thread about too much variance already.
Well yes, fair enough, I confess I'm probably a bit weird (and outside the norm of the FOG2 user base) in that I generally much prefer emphasising morale (and command control for that matter) over combat factors and hardware. Likewise as a tabletop player I abhor point based games and only play historical refights or the occasional scenario. Having confessed all of this I still see the cavalry / foot interaction as something of a 'bottle test' between the 2 parties (and I think that's the current trend with Napoleonics ) so I guess its how best to model this?

PS I don't mind unlucky / lucky die rolls either! (burn him burn him!!) :wink:

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by leonardus68 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:43 pm

MeerkatRabbit wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:28 pm
Geffalrus wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:16 pm
You don't simply smash an expensive horse into anything approaching a solid metal pointy object. Ugh.
Even if you wanted to, I don't think the horse would cooperate. I think looking at the Napoleonic era is useful here because of the enormous amount of well-documented cavalry vs infantry fighting that went on there. In previous eras, cavalry often just fought on the flanks against the enemy cavalry in their own separate battle, and once the enemy cavalry was driven off, only then would they turn toward the infantry line and flank them. In Napoleonic fighting, cavalry would be mixed in with infantry units all along the line, and would be used in a combined arms manner in frontal attacks directly against infantry on a regular basis. That era was also recent enough that there are a lot of detailed accounts of what the fighting was like.
You have a XXI century philosophy and not taking into account the ancient era horizon. With you're suppositions, cavalry will never stand a chance to almost any infantry type, just riding in front of first row and dangling to and fro the sword with one hand and with another to drive the horse......hoping to not crash the horse in one soldier......and to not hook another friendly horse in the process. Man, you're on the wrong track here. From you're perspective cavalry were only good against another cavalry or skirmishers. And game great minus here also.

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by MikeC_81 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:31 pm

What is wrong with you? If you think cavalry was as good as you think it was there would be plenty of historical references to such effect. You have been asked, and failed to produce on multiple occasions, the type of historical evidence needed to produce the results you purport to be the truth. A truth that contradicts a well established understanding of how cavalry worked right up to the Napoleonic age.

I am all for reexamining existing beliefs if they are wrong but you need more evidence than just playing Mr Dressup on occasion to try and push that kind of narrative.
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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by TheGrayMouser » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:21 am

Well, the following excerpts from Aelian's On Tactical Arrays of the Greeks don't solve all the riddles, but they are quite interesting. Note he mentions shock and charge quite often and his writing suggests there IS a lot of presumed contact being made here between infantry and cavalry. He mentions cavalry wedges breaking thru thinner phalanx ( yet of no concern as they broke "thru "air") too. Again, no where is it implied that the cavalry wont close to contact if the phalanx MERELY holds firm..... No suicide throwing horses on top of infantry either :), yet the amount of time spent explaining the tactics used to defend versus cavalry seems excessive if infantry just needed to stand there amd implies even pike phlanxs had to be wary ... take it for what it is, any spelling errors etc are mine as I could not find any copy on line that one can copy and paste.....
***********************************************

Chapter XXXVII

The phalanx antistomus is so called as it has two mouths or fronts. ……. Because the men posted in the middle of the battalion are placed back to back whilst those in the front or rear advance either way to meet the enemy, hence the phalanx takes the denomination which has been stated. This form of battle is of very great use to infantry when attacked by an enemy powerful in cavalry.

When cavalry are to charge infantry drawn up in this order of battle, the squadron takes a quadrilateral form, and is thrown into two oblong squares, or the kind that have their front twice as long as their depth , and which are employed at once against both fronts of the phalanx antistomus.


Chapter XXXVIII

The phalanx Amphistomus resembles that mentioned in last chapter, and is adapted to resist varied charges of horse. Everything relative to the phalanx antistomus is applicable to this, with respect to either infantry or cavalry. In this particular, however, they differ, that in the phalanx antistomus, the charge is repelled by the external ranks in the front and rear, but in the phalanx amphistomus, by the flanks. In either instances the soldiers use long pikes like the Alani or Sauromatae. The amphistomus throws half the files to face the front, and half the rear, the men standing back to back. …….

ChapterXXXIX

That form of battle is called diphalangia antistomus, which in paragoge, or deduction, places the file leaders not on the external line, but draws them up facing inwards and fronting each other, half on the right, and half on the left.

This form is adopted when the cavalry charge in wedge, for the wedge having its acute angle in the leading point, with the flank commanders following in flank and endeavoring to break the front of the phalanx, the file leaders of foot, aware of their intention, throw themselves into the center for the purpose of resisting the charge, or suffering the wedge to pass thru between the grand divisions of the phalanx without hazarding the shock. The object of the wedge is to charge into the midst of the column and to overthow it. The leaders of the foot observing the point in which the charge is made, open, and standing like a wall on each hand, front inward and leave a void space for the wedge to pass thru.

A body of horse in this form is called by tacticians a wedge. It was invented by Phillip king of the Macedonians, who made its bravest men the leaders of the wedge, so they might be better defended and covered, and that he might more easily pierce the phalanx; just as in a spear, the shaper point makes way for the duller metal which forms the interior of the weapon


Chapter XLIV

A squadron of horse forming an oblong square having its depth double that of its length is distinguished by the name heteromekes. … It is adapted to deceive the enemy by the narrowness of its front and to break his line by means of its weight and density of its construction. And it may be easily lead thru defiles…
The order of battle best opposed to this by infantry is the plagia phalanx or oblong battalion, which although it is easily pierced, yet the depth is so small that the violent charge of the horse is hardly felt by the foot, but expends itself on the air, because being extended lateral, the battalion is of small dimension from front to rear.

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Re: Charge cavalry too weak

Post by Geffalrus » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:18 am

Just want to point out that "merely" holding firm in the face of a charge, especially of horses, is no simple feat. Human beings have natural tendencies to shy away from danger in stressful situations that require experience, discipline, and training to overcome. Cavalry assaults use the implied fear of trampling, plus attrition through missiles and long range stabbing when possible, to weaken the resolve of the infantry formation. As that resolve weakens, the infantry become more vulnerable to the above actions, ultimately resulting in a broken formation of infantry that flees the field. At that point, things transition to individual horsemen vs. individual footmen. In such a contest, the horseman has a sizable advantage.

In order for all that to work, however, cavalry need the time and space to wear down the infantry. Infantry supporting missile troops, friendly cavalry, or a major defeat elsewhere will naturally rob the attacking cavalry of that time and space.

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