Chapter 8: Cavalry

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Chapter 8: Cavalry

Post by ^Marcus Cornelius^ on Sun 08 Jun 2008, 16:38

8.1. General Overview

Cavalry units represent the capability of your army to manoeuvre quickly. In RTW/BI it doesn't make sense to build an army made up of only cavalry.
Spearmen and infantry are now well powered against cavalry. As it should be.
Anyway cavalry still represents a flexible and powerful selection to win a battle. It is the tool to hit the enemy in the flank and in the back and cause an immediate rout of his front.
In general cavalry could be used:
- To flank and hit enemy in the back,
- To counter enemy cavalry and his flanking attempt,
- To chase fleeing enemy units,
- To catch enemy missile units,
- To be your strategic resource, to be moved easily and quickly where it is necessary to fill gaps,
- To charge and smash into enemy melee infantry units and open a gap in the enemy line.

When you choose cavalry the factors to keep in mind are the same as melee infantry:
- Armour
- Shield
- Defensive Skill
- Attack in Melee Factor
- Morale.

But two other factors are worthy to be counted:
- Charge factor
- Speed.

A higher charge factor, if well used, can cause enemy charged units to have so much casualties that they start routing. That means that with a charge you can cause a rout without suffering significant losses.
If your cavalry unit is quick you can easily catch missile foot archers and, other cavalry and infantry units that are fleeing. Light cavalry are very quick. Missile cavalry are quick. Heavy cavalry are slow. Elephants and camels are slower then heavy cavalry.

Before Melee
Use your cavalry to protect your missile units from charge by enemy cavalry.
Use your cavalry (preferably light or very well armoured) to chase enemy foot missile units.

During Melee
Use yor cavalry to flank enemy and hit him with a charge in the back.
Use your cavalry to counter enemy flanking cavalry.
Use your cavalry to exploit flaw in enemy line, to take opportunities and to fill dangerous gaps in your line.

After Melee
Use your cavalry to chase enemy routng units.

The types of cavalry that can be used for all these tasks can be classified as follows:
- Missile cavalry
- Light cavalry
- Heavy cavalry
- Elephants
- Camels.
Each of these types could be used to perform all of those tasks, but is best in some of those tasks but does not perfectly fit all the others.

8.2. Missile Cavalry

Missile cavalry is treated at 6.3 Horse Archers.
A part from missile tasks, missile cavalry can perform some tasks typical of cavalry.
If they are of high class, with good hand to hand stats, they can effectively be used:
- To flank and hit enemy in the back,
- To chase fleeing enemy units,
- To catch enemy missile units.

Better if you do not use them:
- To counter enemy heavy cavalry and his flanking attempt,
- To charge and smash enemy melee infantry units frontally and open a gap in enemy line, unless enemy has been weakened first.

Cheaper horse archers can also chase fleeing enemy units and catch enemy missile units. Sometimes they can also hit in the back a tired and depleted infantry unit without fleeing.

8.3. Light Cavalry

Light cavalry are cheaper cavalry that can be used:
- To flank and hit enemy in the back,
- To chase fleeing enemy units,
- To catch enemy missile units.
They have more or less the same combat stats as high class horse archers, but they do not have missile capability and are far cheaper.
Best use for them is catching enemy missiles, both foot and horse. Infact, they are quick.
They can counter hevy cav only if they have overwhelming numbers.

They can be classified as follows.
Low Class (cost<400): these are very light cavalry. They cannot withstand melee. Their use can be restricted to catching missile foot units with low combat factors. These are barbarian cavalry, raiders.
High Class (400<=cost<600): these are good quality light cavalry. They can cover the tasks for light cavalry described before. These are: Moorish Raiders, Berber Lancers, Sarmatian Virgin Cavalry, Foederati Cavalry, Saxon Sea Raiders, Tribal Cavalry, Equites Auxilia.
Outstanding Class (cost>600): these are light lancers. They have good light cavalry combat stats and an outstanding charge factor. Use them for all light cavalry tasks. Their best performance (cost vs performance) is in charging enemy in the back. These are: Goth Lancer, Steppe Lancers.

8.4. Heavy Cavalry

Heavy cavalry units represent the real capability of your army to manoeuvre.
Use them:
- To flank and hit enemy in the back,
- To counter enemy cavalry and his flanking attempt,
- To chase fleeing enemy units,
- To be your strategic resource, to be moved easily and quickly to where it is necessary to fill gaps,
- To charge and smash enemy melee infantry units and open a gap in enemy line.

When you choose heavy cavalry the factors to keep in mind are the same as melee infantry plus charge:
- Armour
- Shield
- Defensive Skill
- Attack in Melee Factor
- Morale
- Charge factor

Avoid using them to catch enemy missile units during the first minutes of the skirmish duel. They hardly reach foot archers and cannot reach horse archers. If you are under enemy missile shots you will lose precious heavy cavalrymen and for very few archers: not worth the cost.
Avoid contact with elephants, camels, spearmen. Charge swords and axes in the back if you want them to run immediately. Frontally heavy cavalry can match melee good infantry for sometimes, but in the long fight your cavalry will flee.
When you have charged with your heavy cavalry for the first time, you can withdraw it and recharge a second time to apply again the charge factor to enemy charged units. But keep in mind that after every charge your cavalry will get tired and much more depleted. Probably they cannot withstand the third charge, unless the previous two were so successful that your heavy cavalry units are almost untouched and still at full strength.

Heavy cavalry units can be classified as follows.
Low Class (cost<800): these are good for charging infantry in the back, but use it carefully if you want to counter enemy heavy cavalry: you can lose. These are burgundian lancers, .
High Class (800<=cost<1000): these are good quality heavy cavalry. They can cover all the tasks described before. These are sarmatian auxilia, barbarian noble cavalry, steppe alan goth nobles, hunhorde chosen warriors, scholae palatinae.
Outstanding Class (cost>=1000): these are heavy armoured cavalry. Slow but deadly. They can even better resist missile shots. Use them for all tasks. These are Paladins, Graal Knights, Clibanarii, Catafractarii, Sarmatian Nobles Heavy cavalry, Hun heavy cavalry.
General Units (cost >=1000): compared to the outstanding class the cost is not worth the performance. But they are heavily armoured and have double life: very hard to kill with missiles. These are imperial guards, warlords, clibanarii immortalis.

8.5. Elephants

Elephants are present only in Sassanid army.
They are outstanding units to counter cavalry. Horses fear them. They are very good for charging sword and axe infantry even frontally.
They fear spearmen, fire arrows, javelins.
They are costly.
Often they are banned even if they are not the overpowered unit they are supposed to be.

8.6. Camels

Camels best use is against cavalry. Horses fear them.
They can be classified into two groups.
Light Camel: raiders, dromedarii. Good against cavalry. Low morale, better if upgraded. Slow.
Heavy armoured camels: armoured camels. Very good against cavalry. Slow.
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^Marcus Cornelius^
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