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Thread: Cataphract Issues

  1. #1

    Default Cataphract Issues

    so...my cataphracts tend to get owned by other cavalry factions if they don't have superior numbers, and if I try to disengage, I lose half the unit, what is going on and will CA fix this and let my shock cav cycle charge?!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    As the #1 fan of Armenia in R1, I can attest to a fondness for cats...heavy and archers. But....

    ....I'm inclined to think that CA has this one correct. Cataphracts as a "shock" unit is meant for infantry fighting and with all the heavy armor would be at a disadvantage against more nimble cavalry that are armed and trained to fight other cavalry. After the initial charge with the lance, cats can switch to a mace for melee but they have no shield which makes them more vulnerable in prolonged melee.

    Just my thoughts on the matter
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-21-2013 at 05:57.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    It just doesn't make sense for a more expensive unit to be worse off in TW logic. Plus the infantry is almost useless anyway, so if parthia has an edge its cavalry. in melee heavily armored cap. shouldn't be torn apart by less armored units with *swords*...their armor should make shields superflous, especially when facing swords in melee. Just wish the INSANE stats for some other elite cav (arveni noble horse, heroic rides, preat. cav etc ) units could be fixed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFYhKXSBz3g
    VAE VICTUS-PaNtOcRaToR
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomi says
    Honour is that which preserves the dignity of the human spirit.
    It’s how you treat people, that makes you an honourable person.
    Not how many battles you win.
    The glory of your victories will soon be forgotten.
    But the kindness and respect you show for others, will not.
    So is there really any honour in Total War games?
    No.
    But there is in some of it’s players…

  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    There's no doubt in my mind that there is a need for better balancing, from what I've seen. I do believe the real problem is as stated by the fellows presenting that video...that of disengaging. Heavy cavalry depend greatly on the charge to do their damage. After the charge finishes, it's virtual suicide to your cats to try and disengage as they suffer horrid casualties. So you are committed until one unit routs or is destroyed.

    However, I still believe that cat vs. melee cav should favor the melee cav in prolonged combat due to the fatigue factor and the lack of shield for the cats. If the cats can get a flanking charge upon initiating combat, the losses inflicted on the melee cav should hurt them considerably.

    There's been a lot of hoopla about this, I know, and I certainly am no expert on cavalry warfare of the period, so take my opinion with a grain of NaCl
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  5. #5
    Member Member Jarmam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    This is from the beta patch 3:

    • Melee defence has been reduced for most melee cavalry units and for some elite infantry units. (note: The Noble Cav that used to have the listed 88 melee defense are now listed as having 70 melee defense)
    • Substantially reduced free hits from enemies in battles, when moving a unit through enemy units (without attacking them), so units can disengage with less penalty.

    If it is true that Cataphracts are supposed to have their advantage in cav-vs-melee, with their low movement and weak anti-cav-performance as drawbacks to this, then I'd say the beta patch attempts to correct the unit. I havent tested it, but I will after this and edit in my results.

    What is really interesting is, yet again, what exactly unit stats do. This annoyed me in Shogun 2 as well, since the closest thing to official explanations to stats didn't synch up with my results in tests. Cataphracts have good charge - aite, that makes sense, but what does a charge value do, exactly? How much of an advantage does 30 some more charge give?
    Last edited by Jarmam; 09-21-2013 at 10:11.

  6. #6
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    Shock cavalry = crap in melee. If they are not charging, they're doing it wrong.
    Melee cavalry = not so crap in melee but still not great. You want to be charging with any cav really imo but melee cav beats shock cav in melee. They're also better at killing off units they charged into. Shock cav is more for the morale hit I guess. They are meant to end fights whereas melee cav seems like more of a battlefield fire brigade to me.

    I have not played any factions with good shock cav yet, so I can't really comment on them an awful lot but I find them less versatile and useful than melee cav.

  7. #7
    Praeparet bellum Member Quillan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    I just started trying out the Socii Equites Extraordinarii you can recruit with a high level auxiliary barracks in Italia. They have a tremendous charge, horrible melee defense, and seem similar in function to cats. I think I'll stick with other cavalry. They hit VERY hard, but if they don't rout what they impact, they're going to be in trouble without support. Plus, they get tired much more quickly than the other cavalry I've used, so they don't work very well chasing down routers. The main thing I like about them is hearing the guy call out the name when you select them; it seems to take about 10 minutes.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    How much of an advantage does 30 some more charge give?
    If you watched the video in the OP, virtually nothing compared to an insanely high defense. The one time the cats got a decent kill off of their charge, it didn't take too long for the other cav unit to even the odds and then gain the upper hand.

    I just started trying out the Socii Equites Extraordinarii you can recruit with a high level auxiliary barracks in Italia.
    The Romans with heavy cavalry?... in this time period?? that's just....well it's just not right (first recorded use of equites cataphractarii was around the 2d century AD although 'armored riders' were 'in use' as early as the 2d century BC). Definitely a nod to the "console crowd"

    They hit VERY hard, but if they don't rout what they impact, they're going to be in trouble without support.
    This. If you look at how the Parthians used their cats, they almost always had CA support nearby after the debacles at Magnesia (189 BC a Seleucid defeat) and Tigranocerta (69 BC an Armenian defeat), Carrhae (53 BC) being the perfect example.

    In my Armenian campaigns for R1, my heavy cats worked best when echelon-ed...the first wave hit and disorganized formations, the second delivered the killing/routing blow. I did a similar thing with Seleucid cats, only the first wave was scythed chariots. The support came from CA's out on the flanks who would switch from archery to melee shortly after the heavy cats hit. Now R1 is certainly no shining example as a battle sim, but heavy cats did seem to work better with support.
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  9. #9
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post



    The Romans with heavy cavalry?... in this time period?? that's just....well it's just not right (first recorded use of equites cataphractarii was around the 2d century AD although 'armored riders' were 'in use' as early as the 2d century BC). Definitely a nod to the "console crowd"
    It doesn't say cataphractiii. If you're worried, the Roman cav in the game is sort of crap compared to most others.

  10. #10
    Praeparet bellum Member Quillan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    The Romans with heavy cavalry?... in this time period?? that's just....well it's just not right
    The Romans really don't have heavy cavalry at all. All the Romans get are "equites", which the games classes as medium melee cavalry, until you research Professional Soldiery. After that, they become Legionary Cavalry, which is classed as heavy melee cavalry. Those two are basically the same: riders with some armor, on horses with no armor, wielding spears. They have a low melee attack score, middling armor rating without an upgrade, and decent melee defense. They also don't tire out quickly. The Socii are Italian allies. The SEE unit is a mailed rider on an unarmored horse wielding basically a kontos. It's a two handed lance, though I don't know what the Romans called it. They are classed as heavy shock cavalry; their special ability "Trample" causes their charge bonus to last about 30 seconds or so, they cannot form wedge, and they get tired rather quickly. They have a very high charge rating but their melee defense is 11. They are not catatanks in any stretch of the imagination.
    Age and treachery will defeat youth and skill every time.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    If you're worried
    No...no....not worried. My comment about the Romans having heavy cavalry was pretty much tongue-in-cheek

    After that, they become Legionary Cavalry, which is classed as heavy melee cavalry. Those two are basically the same: riders with some armor, on horses with no armor, wielding spears.
    These guys you would expect by 150BC to 50BC.....

    The SEE unit is a mailed rider on an unarmored horse wielding basically a kontos.
    These guys don't show up in Roman OOB's for another 200 yrs. or so
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    Couple things I noticed that seem relevent

    Cataphracts will lose to most barbaian heavy 'melee' calvary because they are spear calvary and share traits with spear infantry.

    They've also overhauled the way armour and health work. Units have to be 'worn down' by ranged fire, melee, or repeated charges before your going to see the high damage charges we're used to in these games. Especially the high armoured late game units.

  13. #13
    Member Member Jarmam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    So yeah.. the AI isnt as helpful as it was in earlier games and wont let me do a full melee. So cant test the new patch status on our favourite metal dress Persians vs The Tanks of the Barbs. What I can document is that breaking off a melee with cavalry now loses you less guys than before. It still hurts, but not as badly.

    Specifically related to Cataphracts is their formation, which is effective for a charge but it has the nasty sideeffect of this efficiency: The unit will plow into the enemy unit to hit as many as possible with the charge - which is good! The problem is that when disengaging (which, I will remind our noble audience, is the point of shock cavalry) the individual riders get stuck in the enemy formation! I lose maybe 10 horsemen when disengaging (fewer than the 30+ prepatch) and then 10 more than are sort of stuck in the enemy. And maybe due to their royal status the rest of the unit faithfully wait for their trapped comrades, which means they will disengage slower to "allow the rest to catch up". Boys... the rest are dead. Haul ***! I cant charge if you dont put distance between you and the Gauls!

    One thing I also found was that units seem to tire off very quickly when fighting, as in, when I charge a group of Oathsworn (be afraid btw) I will deal a massive blow within the first few seconds, and now both units are exhausted? What? I know that exhausting was way too slow pre-patch but this is ridiculous. And this hurts Shock Cavalry much harder than other units, especially Cataphracts. They're slow already, there really is no need at all for them to run any slower!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    I took someone's advice here and charge in a staggered line, or just avoid using them unless I have to. They demolish archers, so I space archers from their support, crush the archers, then surround and chip away at the infantry until they run away or are ready to break at a charge. Cavalry make it tricky, but H/A usually deal with them, although I haven't face the Barbarian tanks. I do weep at the trend of consolizing this game. Can't wait for all the mods that will fix it.
    VAE VICTUS-PaNtOcRaToR
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomi says
    Honour is that which preserves the dignity of the human spirit.
    It’s how you treat people, that makes you an honourable person.
    Not how many battles you win.
    The glory of your victories will soon be forgotten.
    But the kindness and respect you show for others, will not.
    So is there really any honour in Total War games?
    No.
    But there is in some of it’s players…

  15. #15
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cataphract Issues

    I took someone's advice here and charge in a staggered line
    Good to see all those hours of me playing Eastern factions in R1 weren't a total waste

    ......that is if 'in a staggered line' was a reference to my echelon technique
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-25-2013 at 03:13.
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