Cavalry: A dedicated thread

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Fulcrum, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Fulcrum

    Fulcrum Active Member

    We have so far discussed so much stuff, mainly concerning artillery and formations and almost nothing regarding cavalry. Critical for the battlefields in those times, yet there were several issues with it in the original C1.

    The first one is speed. With exception of the Hussar type units ( I include the sich cossacks/croats here too ), the remaining cavalry was utterly slow. I do not remember even a single Millions game where one of the sides would want to win and use anything different of fast cavalry. I think cavalry needs a crying adjustment and that should be some form of charge and higher difference in speed between units. I have done comparisons and sending a dragoon, guard, rider and cuirassier, they`d reach the other end of the map by a small margin between each other, in battle it was absolutely obsolete to consider speed between these units. I know fatigue has been discussed, but with cavalry this takes a completely different form. Slow stamina recharge like the musketeer rate of fire column and faster charges is something, I believe, critical to be added. It was done in AC and was great ( loved the fast charge of the Don Cossacks ). That would make heavy cavalry far more useful.

    Second one is armour. Cavalry had much higher hit points and cold steel attack power which I believe was sufficient. Bare riders and later cuirassiers allowed for massacres of pike formations, an attribute which might come from the incorrectly specified defence parameters against piercing hit and weapon attack type. Anyways, I think a change it armour should be applied by the developers, keep the armour rating against slashing ( swords/sabres ) as it was or similar, keep the shot armor, or adjust it accordingly if firepower is to be increased and reloading time decreased for firearms ( please, do so as in the mods ) and reduce the piercing attack defense. The easiest way to disable a rider is to attack the horse and that was done all the time.

    Third point I believe as important would be the add-on of firearms to cavalry. Riders could wear pistols - short range of fire, lower damage and long reload time which attack to have an on/off from the command menu. Dragoons should have sabres and enjoy a lower sabre type of attack ( so ineffective against armoured enemies, such as 17c pikemen, 17c armoured musketeers or armoured cavalry ). Hussars and some other light cavalry types I believe would be best having a sabre attack only. Don Cossacks carried a short musket along with the pike. All these could expand tactics to a new level without making the game too complicated and at the same time to sweeten the player`s experience.

    What do you, guys, think about such implementations?
    The_Hussar likes this.
  2. Nowy

    Nowy Well-Known Member

    Yes, cavalry was decisive arm at that period.
    When cavalry charges were successful battles were won, when cavalry charges were unsuccessful battles were lost. :D

    However we should take into account growing musketry and artillery roles. Improved fire arms were commonly used, these led to fire combats at long range. Then cavalry played less, but still important roles.

    C 3 game could include such features for cavalry:

    1. Speed, there were clear differences between movements and charges speeds and betwean mount size and weight
    * light cavalry = chasseurs, chevaulegers, light dragoons, uhlans, hussars can move in a trot and charge in gallop
    * medium cavalry = Spahis, Mamelukes, Lnacers, Polish riders, dragoons move and charge in trot
    * heavy cavalry = raiders, cuirassiers, carabineers, move and charge in trot, but French cuirassier charge in gallop
    * irregular cavalry = Cossacks, Tatars, move in agile trot, they can avid battles, when they can not outnumber enemy
    * exceptional cavalry = Polish Winged Hussars, move in trot, charge in gallop

    2. Armour helped mainly in close combats. In ranged fire combats armour slightly helped against musketry and canister shots, but round shots in effective fire range were very dangerous. Heavy armour slowered cavarly at longer distance.

    3. Fire arms for cavalry would be fine.
    C 2 game already has double weapon system for cavalry and this worked quite well, except strange hussars fire arms.
    C 3 game should include double weapon system, cold steel and fire arms or bows for cavalry.

    Exceptional unit, Polish Winged Hussar were armed with pistols, bandolet, bow, sabre, palash, koncerz and long lance.
    They had few lances, when during charges they broke first one, they withdrew to closest place were they can took another one and if it was neccessary they can repeated charge again.
    In close combats, they used koncerz, palash, sabre and pistols.
    In long range combat, they could used banolet fire arm or bow.

    That's my few cents in that matter..
    The_Hussar likes this.
  3. Masher

    Masher Active Member

    I would like it so that clicking a movement order to cavalry makes them walk, whilst double clicking would make them run. I feel that all cavalry should be able to move much faster than infantry. Ofcourse heavy cavalry is much slower than light but still much faster than infantry.

    A cavalry unit should be able to easily run down infantry such as swordsman or Musket troops if they get close enough, obviously if that musket fires and hits before he gets close enough it should drop him right off his horse. but i think pikeman should be deadly to cavalry. If i have cav charging at the enemy and he brings forward his pikes i should be forced to maneuver around them not just head on in and slaughter them all.

    Yes i fully agree, some should have pistols as well as their melee weapon. Just like in American Conquest. I also agree that Dragoons should also have a melee weapon, it was silly that if i run out of coal my Dragoons became utterly useless because they only carry a firearm. They should have the ability to melee as well.
  4. Field Marshall

    Field Marshall Active Member

    What I feel about cavalry is that they should be able to break through formations faster and stronger than any other units, by that i mean that they should somehow have more damage when they come together in formation and attack, or at least have some sort of way of ignoring some of the collision and slipping through enemy formations in a much easier way. In many strategy games involving cavalry, the cavalry is not able to get past large block of infantry. This is not only realistically inaccurate but I also think that it hinders the game play.

    Also about raids. I think there should be some sort of defense against cavalry raids that is more accurate and prevent cavalry raids from being annoying. I cannot think of a specific solution for this.
  5. Fulcrum

    Fulcrum Active Member

    That sounds like a perfect way to solve this. Was it not this way in AC?

    It was quite the opposite mate. Cavalry has been ineffective against disciplined infantry since the Roman age. Indeed, a horse would try to avoid obstacles of any kind and needs lots of training and to blend well with its rider to jump over an obstacle ( I used to practice parkour and have been thrown off the horseback ). Squares were a great defense against cavalry charges. I think your sense comes from movies where cavalry charges would break into the enemy and run over it - that happens only if the line is loose and enemy is retreating hence the usual use of cavalry to persuade fleeing troops off the battlefield. It looks glorious on movies but it won`t happen in real. A horse would stop even if you miscalculate the steps it does to the obstacle or if it feels your`e not a rider enough, would easily throw you away in front of 1.5m without to hesitate at all ( don`t ask me how I know this ).

    About raids - easiest was to counter them with your cavalry or build walls. Palisades work fine, cheap and easy to build. If he has his cavalry sent for a raid, then you can meet them with your cavalry and leave the main battle to the foot soldiers :)
  6. Field Marshall

    Field Marshall Active Member

    Yes good formations were good defense against cavalry, like a well reinforced and closed square formation, but what about a large army in spread formation? Also the fact that it is in the movies should make my statement even more powerful. Not because it makes it historically accurate, but rather because it shows that such feature is more entertaining to the audience. I seek entertainment in the game with good tactics therefore I would love to have such feature. No other unit could achieve such thing. Also horses in battle did not stop because they were blinded in many cases, so they could not see the lines of men in front of them.

    While I understand that in real life cavalry was not as effective I still believe that gameplay wise it is a great addition to have cavalry slip through formation because it is possible in real life (not saying that it was done often). The reason it was a hassle is related to the charge itself but I would not go as far as calling it ineffective.

    Yeah that is a fine solution for raids and the typical one but it requires you to be managing your horse all the time and moving them around and doesn't allow you to concentrate on the rest of the battlefield. Like in real life you would just send a unit to take care of the raids and you wouldn't have to worry about it but in the game you actually have to worry about it and constantly manage those units to stop the raids. If the raids are constant it requires a show off of APM(actions per minute) rather than a show off of strategy. I don't want my strategy to be hindered by my APM. Strategy shouldn't be about who can do more manage more stuff in one minute but rather about who makes the best decisions. APM is for skilled based games like fighting games where you spam key press.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  7. Fulcrum

    Fulcrum Active Member

    There are examples of what you say, especially involving Polish Hussaria, but that required special training of the horses and was only possible against loose infantry lines. A great example of what I say is Waterloo - Nai`s cuirassier charge which he decided by himself was met by infantry squares hiding behind a higher ground, he attacked without infantry support and light artillery and result was devastating. The main problem, hence why I said disciplined infantry, was with when to fire. Well trained/experienced soldiers would hold the line tight and wait for the right moment - if they miss it, cavalry could break, if they shoot too early - same. Problem for cavalry was that if they took a shot at the right time, and they mostly did, the first volley would cover the ground in some 15m ahead with horse corpses which are large and stacked quickly. This prevents the second and third cavaliers of hitting the square and cancels the raid. There are reports where the infantry waited too much - the most usual effect described was a rolling dead horse splashing into the square and opening it. Romans left lines between their infantry buckets and horses would run straight into them. If you do not believe me, go to a riding school and ask how long it takes to train a horse to jump into something at the height of 1.5m and how well it has to blend with the rider, that was hard to achieve in numbers back in those years.

    To your second concerns - yes, you`d have to move it around all the time, as your opponent must. So its equal conditions. If it rains and you both race running, you`d be both wet so it doesn`t give you the right to blame the rain for your loss, right? :)
  8. Nowy

    Nowy Well-Known Member

    Cavalry charge against infantry did not need real clash contact. Cavalry charge was more psychological case.
    There decided who can withstand in disiciplined formation against charging masses of heavy horses.

    If infantry can withstand, then cavalry probably would avoid big obstacles made with soldiers bayonets or pikes.
    Then cavalry could withdraw or shot at infantry. Fire arms were very inaccurate and not so effective at that period. Musket volleys of course inflicted some casualties, but decided there disciplined packed hollow square formation and cavalry determination.

    If infantry square formation was created too late or was weakened by artillery or skirmishers fire, cavalry had a chance to broke infantry formation and easily slashed fleeing infantrymen.

    There was impressive exception. Polish Winged Hussars rode on well trained horses and used long lances, longer than infanty pikes. These gave them big advantage, that's why these hussars can charge strictly into infantry formation.
    They can kill enemy soldiers in first rank, then withdrew got new lances and can charged again. They could execute repetitive charges until enemy infantry formation was broken. That's way Polish Hussars never lost any single battle between 1520s-1620s. They decisively crushed enemies even Polish forces were heavily outnumbered e.g. at Kirholm 1605 in 1 to 3 ratio and at Klushino 1610 even 1 to 7 ! Later they also crushed enemies many times, however that were harder cases, becouse fire arms became better, more effective and enemies learned something too.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  9. Field Marshall

    Field Marshall Active Member

    I understand the first thing you said, but like I said in my comment is not about historical accuracy. What makes cavalry so awesome in movies is what should be implemented into the game because that is what is appealing and attractive to the people playing the game. If you wanted to go by real life then you must take into account that there were plenty of corpses in the battlefield to block passage to locations and yet in the game we will no see corpses playing a role, they will not block any path or do anything. They will have no collision. Very unrealistic isn't it? Well that's how it is going to be because it would be a very heavy load in CPU if you had corpses with collision lying around. So please lets leave reality out of it for a little bit and focus on what would make it more entertaining and more interesting for gameplay. It was in the Hollywood movies because people loved it therefore people would love it in the game as well. That is why I think it should be implemented.

    About the second concern that is exactly what I am criticizing essentially you are okay with your opponent dragging you into a fighting style and you have to follow through to see who has more skills at it. That is not only unrealistic but its annoying and limits strategic gameplay. I need a solution where if an opponent chooses a certain strategic move (like raids) I don't have to actually counter it manually and have to focus on it and switch my entire strategy because of it. In real life if you were general of an army you only send a couple of cavalry to take care of this. You didn't have to focus on it. If the opponent wants to focus on this that is his choice but why do I have to be dragged into to it by force as if I had no other choice? Walls are the closest solution to it but a new solution needs to be implemented like hiring guards for raids. I do not agree that I should be dragged into whatever type of gameplay my opponent wants to play by force with no other choice.

    The reason I am so concerned is because I didn't see this as much in Cossacks 1, I only saw it for a little bit. However, in terms of gameplay this very similar to the way it worked in AoE3 and in AoE3 this was a huge problem in competitive gaming it was essentially all down to who could raid more and defend from raids and made the gameplay very dull. Essentially by the time you had an army big enough to do something you had already lost the game because your economy had being hindered so much by the raids, or you had spent too much resources on raiding your enemy. It really sucked and once you were dragged into to it there was no way out and building a well was not only a waste of resources but limited your expansion. I never saw competitive gaming in C1 but I am afraid that this same thing that happened in AoE3 might happen in C3 competitive.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  10. The_Hussar

    The_Hussar Member

    Well, I think if you have enough peace time in multiplayer then you can build some defences and muster troops to have a nice battle in an openfield instead of pity raids.

    If we had moral system it would have been nice to have some units with feature similar to "demoralizes enemy effectively in melee". It could have been done for Polish winged hussars, cuirassiers, reiters, ect.
    I remember in AC that some cavalry units ( like the Spanish conquistadors) had high damage addition per kill. May be this and something else can compensate for the lack of moral system? ( I can't believe they will not add it, that's a step backwards)
  11. [IG]Hipolit

    [IG]Hipolit Active Member

    The cavalry was definitely too strong in C2.
  12. The_Hussar

    The_Hussar Member

    May be they had more hitpoints than needed but it was really the AI behaviour that made them so strong - enemy infantry would fire a volley and turn back so the player usually will charge with their cavalry, hit the infantry from the back and lower their morale to the point they flee.

    Squares gave good bonuses and getting stand ground status was quick in this formation, may be quicker than needed.

    I think units need proper spacing. In all games of the series you can put multiple squads in the place of one. This way you can flood the place with units, one could easily achieve victory with masses of cavalry, they have many hp, they can shoot at close range and some can even demoralize enemy. I think proper unit spacing can be a partial solution for this. For example you cannoty put more than two squads at the place which usually one squad gets so there won't be so much crowds concentrated at one place and the game will have somewhat better tactical aspect rather then just rushing.
  13. Field Marshall

    Field Marshall Active Member

    This is what I was looking for. The spacing was annoying many times. Needs to be fixed. In AoE3 the spacing worked like magic in most cases. The closer the units were to each other the more units that would die from cannon shot as well. Same against cavalry if your units were too close to each other cavalry would wipe them out faster.
  14. Fulcrum

    Fulcrum Active Member

    The point is that one charged, cavalry is harder to stop. Imagine yourself, sitting on a horse, heading straight against a wall of 4m pikes and musketeers between them. I wouldn`t charge this and they rarely did ( some notable examples as you said but in many of these few pikemen were present ). When the cavalry comes close, musketeers would fire a volley and the first horses falling create a mess for those behind. They could fire back but the carbines worn at this time were short, thus inaccurate and with less firewpower compared to muskets. Also, reloading was an issue, thats why your beloved Winged Hussars sometimes carried up to 6 pairs of pistols, they`d basically shoot and throw it away. And to shoot from a horseback requires serious skill and luck. That being said, cavalry does have a serious set of disadvantages against disciplined infantry and stands little chance. If line is broken - it all turns around.

    Cavalry role has been mostly to provide mobility, reconnaissance, slaughter fleeing troops, attack supply lines/camp, run over disbanded formations and to carry troops ( second troop on the horseback ) for tactical purpouses. It is often reported cavalry units dismounted to fight on foot as they knew quite well their limitations. This whole majestic look of the cavalry like mighty machines running over anything was created primarily by television. The same with armour - medieval knights are often portrayed in battles in heavy plate mail and gothic armour, something they wore usually only for parade/tournament purpouses as it limited their mobility in real battle.
  15. Nowy

    Nowy Well-Known Member

    You misunderstood my statements. I clearly said that cavalry had troubles against disciplined infantry which created square formation on time. When infantry formation was seriously weakened with artillery or muskets fire, then cavalry can broke even disciplined infantry.

    I also clearly said that fire arms were poor and inaccurate at that times. Therefore cavalry charges were still dangerous.

    Cavalry still played importand roles in warfare, especially in east Europe in 17th century.
    Cavarly roles were not mostly to provide mobility etc. Dismounted cavalry actions were exceptional cases.
    Such actions were executed mainly by dragoons or during sieges. Heavy cavalry still was used in shock charges and light cavalry supported in battles. Plate or chain mail armours were still in use, however not so often met.

    Cavalry still played important roles in battls, campaings, they many times decided who won the battles or campraings.
    There were many historical facts when cavalry charges smashed enemy squads. I gave you few examples as like Kirholm, Kluszyn or Viena. I could add more examples, but firstly you could try understand what happened there.

    That were not television ot movies myths when Polish Winged Hussars charged many times against enemy infantry even in well organized squads!

    There are lot of historical data which proove that cavalry still can won the battle.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
    The_Hussar likes this.
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