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Thread: Cavalry Army or no Cavalry Army

  1. #1

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    Hi all

    The last days I have been experimenting around with Cavalry Armys. The Results are somewhat disappointing ... kinda

    Historicaly Cavalry Army Example - Golden Horde :

    After the mongolian tribes were united, the new Khan set up the Golden Horde. The Mongolian Army was consist of about every male Mongolian in the Age between 15 and 50. ( about every ) Each Warrior was to bring at least 3 horses along with him. The Army was mainly Mongolian Horse Archers and Light Cavalry, along with some Heavy Cavalrymen, usualy the Guard of the General/Khan. Battletactics were quite easy. If they outnumbered the enemy greatly, they used their speed to encircle him, if opposed by a force greater in numbers, they usualy used their Horse Archers to force the enemy out of his defensive position and then lured them into traps. Infantery was usualy Slaves or Warriors from minor factions that had been absorbed by the Horde. Their speed made them very hard to battle. They always showed up were you least expected them, pursuit was almost impossible.

    Pros & Cons with MTW Cavalry Armys :

    Heavy Cavalry :
    Pros:
    Faster then Infantery, Stronger than most Types of Infantery
    Cons:
    Bad in Woods and rough terrain, vulnerable to Spears/Pikes/Halbards, Small Unit

    Medium Cavalry:
    Pros:
    Faster then Infantery, Stronger then none Spear/Pike/Halbard Infantery
    Cons:
    Bad in Woods and rough terrain, vulnerable to Spears/Pikes/Halbards, Small Unit

    ( Heavy and Medium Cavalry are almost the same with MTW ... cept that Heavy Cavalry got more of a punch but is sometimes slower ... sometimes. )

    Light Cavalry :
    Pros:
    Fastest Units in the Game, Stronger then many none Spear/Pike/Halbard Infantery
    Cons:
    Bad in Woods and rough terrain, vulnerable to Spears/Pikes/Halbards and Missiles, Small Unit

    Horse Archers :
    Pros:
    Fastest Units in the Game, Stronger then Infantery Archers
    Cons:
    Bad in Woods and rough terrain, vulnerable to Spears/Pikes/Halbards and Missiles, Small Unit, worse then Infantery Archers in long range combat

    Hybrid Horse Archers :
    Pros:
    Faster then Infantery, Stronger then none Spear/Pike/Halbard Infantery
    Cons:
    Bad in Woods and rough terrain, vulnerable to Spears/Pikes/Halbards and Missiles, Small Unit, worse then Infantery Archers in long range combat

    General Pros :
    All Units are fast, Units are easy to rearrange on the Battlefield
    General Cons :
    Woods and rough Terrain, vulnerability vs. Spears/Pikes/Halbards, many Units vulnerable to missiles (large targets), real bad archers (compared to Infantery)

    Considering that, I come to some conclusions.

    Horse Archers: Not worth a cent They canīt take upon Infantery Archers, they are no help in close combat, enemy units in woods are almost invulnerable to their arrows (making the wood problem worse)

    Hybrid Horse Archers: Are a must have for every Cavalry Army, since Horse Arhers are really %$§(/& Even if they canīt make use of their Arrows (too many enemy Infantery Archers or enemy Infantery inside woods) they can still fight most none Spear/Pike/Halbard Infantery in close combat.

    Medium Cavalry: Inferior to Heavy Cavalry on almost every location. Barely faster then Heavy Cavalry, way less combat skill, lesser Armour rating which makes them vulnerable to Missiles.

    Light Cavalry: About as strong as Hybrid Horse Archers in close combat, Light Cavalry makes an excellent reserve force, that is quickly deployed where it is needed ... a must have

    Heavy Cavalry: An absolute must have for every Cavalry Army. They are the only ones that can take upon enemy Spear Units head on and live. Important espcially when you need to drive the enemy out of some woods.

    All in all ... :

    If your Faction has no good Hybrid Horse Archers an Cavalry Army is about no use. The Horse Archers are no use, since after their Ammo is depleted they ar of no further use ... absolutely no use (cept vs. Pesants or Archers maybe). Without any Archers your Cavalry force can easily be countered by Spears/Halbards, since you canīt pepper them down to a size that can be handeled well.
    Also terrain is very Important Many woods will be your undoing, so will be high mountains. The best chance for your Cavalry Army is when the enemy got many Archers, since they donīt stand a chance vs. any of your units and your elite units can concentrate upon the enemys anti cav units.

    The use of pure Cavalry Armys is very limited ... sadly. I belive that the Historical advantages of Cavalry based Armys isnīt reflected correctly. I think the effectiveness of Horse Archers needs some tweaking, or there should be more diffrent kinds of Hybrid Horse Archers (I also miss the Firing Arc of them) . Also the speed of Heavy Cavalry should be lowered ... or Medium Cavalry is of no use compared with the Heavies.


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  2. #2
    Member Member TheViking's Avatar
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    I finished my first campain as byz couple of weeks ago.
    Before that i liked the Cav, now i love them.

    I think its hard to describe why, it wouldve been much easier to show you, but thats almost impossible.

    The heavy cavs Kataphraktoi (hope i got the name rite) walked over the enemys units no matter what it was. And their other heavy cav, Pronois, i used to hold halberds when i didnt have anything else, and they did a damn good job.

    Byz cav, hybrid i think you call those, were also very great. first use their arrows, and when thats empty they suround the enemy easy wich make them brake fast, and they are also great melee fighters, one of them slayed a full unit of halberds too.
    There I see my father.
    There I see my mother, my sisters and brothers.
    There I see my line of ancestors back to the beginning.
    They call on me and ask me to take my place with them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever.

    TheViking a.k.a AggonyViking a.k.a FearTheViking a.k.a WildboarViking

  3. #3
    Member Member TheViking's Avatar
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    In that campain i used steppcav, cus the Byz dont have any light cav. They were only good to chase down routers, fight against archers and peasants, but i also used them as flankers, they always did their job with different outcome.

    "the weak cav arch" wasnt that weak. In one fight i had 6 of those units plus other units but no other cav units.
    In that battle they got between 300-500 kills each. 2 of them got more then 500 kills, i lost between 60-70% of those 6 units, but it was worth it. I never had any other unit killing so many before, and i doubt i will see that high kills again in the near future. They had to be archers, lightcav and heavcav at the same time. I got many kills with the cavarch all the time but not always as high as then. usually its 100-200

    But in the end i think its the experience with the cavs that decide if you like them or not.



    ps. I had to post that in 2 posts. It didnt want to send all in one post. And i couldnt add this with edit afterwards



    There I see my father.
    There I see my mother, my sisters and brothers.
    There I see my line of ancestors back to the beginning.
    They call on me and ask me to take my place with them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever.

    TheViking a.k.a AggonyViking a.k.a FearTheViking a.k.a WildboarViking

  4. #4
    Legionnaire Member Jango Fett's Avatar
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    hey viking man i added u to my msn messenger
    "I'm the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world."

  5. #5

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    Byzantines are kind of the ideal faction for Cav Armies.

    The Cataphractoi are a very good Heavy Cavalry Unit ... I love them too.

    The Proinai Allagion are not so tough but faster and very skilled.

    The Byzantine Cavalry ( is what I call a Hybrid - Bows and good close-combat stats ) is an exelent Unit.

    The Steppe Cavalry is a very good light Cavalry unit ... also their Morale is a bit low.

    I belive those 4 Units make an execelent combo for an Cavalry Army, but can they fight stand alone ? Without the help of Infantery, without becoming an "one use Army" ?

    If you have to rebuild the Army after the first Battle, you are going to have some Problems. Some Units can be replaced easily, but if only some units survive the battle without taking serious damage, you need garrison forces advancing behind them, so you have enough time to replace them. That will slow you down.

    The Horse Archers are not that bad, agreed. But, you only have 16 units and those units are small compared to Infantery units. Horse Archers can be of use, cept if your enemy has more Infantery Archers then you have Horse Archers. When the enemy has no Archers at all, you also have a Problem since the only close combat Horse Archers are good at is when chasing routers. Do you really want to waste 4 unitslots for a Unit as weak as this ?

    Also, the Byzantines have some nice uber Generals, especialy with their Cataphractoi.

    The Question is a little more general.

    Do you think that Cavalry Armies ( and Cavalry only ) are really usefull ... of limited use ... or useless.

    If you would say, that for the Byzantines Cavalry Armies can be of use, I would agree. Other Factions donīt have such good Hybrid Cavalry, or donīt have acesse to such good light cavalry such easy.

    I think that Factions that lack good Hybrid Horse Archers are in serious problems when it comes to Cavalry Armies.
    You may not want to abuse the system, but the system is abusing you

  6. #6
    Member Member TheViking's Avatar
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    Maybe i understood you wrong. Did you mean only using cav in the army???

    I have only 1 time have used an all cav army and it didnt go that well. But i have to say the same with an only infantry army.

    That 1 time i lost more then half my army and more then the enemy but i won. And its usually the same if i have to fight with only infantry armys too, i win but to a high cost.

    Its the combination between infantry and cav that make the cav so much more superior then infantry, IMO anyway
    There I see my father.
    There I see my mother, my sisters and brothers.
    There I see my line of ancestors back to the beginning.
    They call on me and ask me to take my place with them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever.

    TheViking a.k.a AggonyViking a.k.a FearTheViking a.k.a WildboarViking

  7. #7
    Member Member Exile's Avatar
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    a 100% calvary army would be a challenge against tough enemy infantry units. I don't think the 100% calvary army is superior to a mix of calvary and infantry. But I'll stck to it for discussion sake. I agree with most that was said except a few things.

    I think horse archers can be quite effective for tactical uses against the AI at least. You can split up an attacking army, lure out a defending army from a strong position, fire into the enemy infantry from the flanks or rear during a battle, etc. They can be positioned quickly, have good stamina and they're very effective at chasing down routing enemy units. I do not like the mounted crossbows as they have just too slow a firing rate.

    Do not forget costs in your comparison. Light calvary is generally cheap, medium is..medium and heavy is usually expensive to build and support. Cost is not always a factor, but usually is. An army on lancers is an awesome force, but is a huge expense.
    - All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

  8. #8
    Member Member Naagi's Avatar
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    I have great success using the horse archers myself. Mainly taking out artillery then harassing the enemy. I find them effetive and expendable. If you lose a few so be it, they give a good account of themselves, with a couple exceptions. From time to time the enemy sets a cav unit after them and they get run off the map. As for heavy cavalry, I havent done to well with the Kataphraktoi. They do some good damage but usually get surrounded and I lose the whole unit. Pronanoi is better though, they seem a good unit and I easily beat down the Golden Horde with a few of these in open fields. Havent tried the medium or hybrid Byz cavalry yet. The steppe cavalry is decent enough for flanking and chasing routers but not much else. Just my thoughts.

    Naagi
    If i pull the arrow out, will you suck out the poison?

  9. #9
    Member Member jrexchandler's Avatar
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    If you do a little research, you'll find that never, EVER, has there been a major army fielded that consisted entirely of cavalry.

    I believe that it could have happened if the commander/town was under duress and had to field an army quickly, but even during the Crusades, which most people would associate Knightly battles with only a small portion of the force was cavalry. In fact according to Jonathan Riley-Smith's The Crucades, during the first Crusade there were only 300 mounted Knights in the Christian force.

    I only bring this up to combat the notion that you should be able to field a force of only cavalry and win in MTW and that the game is not historically accurate. You shouldn't win and the game is historically accurate on this front.

    BTW... I'm happy about my promotion

    Rex

  10. #10

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    Not entirely correct.

    Almost every Army was mostly Infantery, right. That was more because the amount of horses was quite limited. Horses were used not only on the Battlefield but also in everydaylife of medieval europe. The food for Horses was also limited. The field an entire Army of several thousand Cavalrymen you need much grass. That Grass is also needed for cows, sheep, etc.

    On the other hand, the Mongolian and Russian steppes had enough feeding grounds for such amounts of horses. The Mongolian culture was nomadic, they didnīt have any great cities or much cattel. As a matter of fact the Golden Horde was consist almost only out of Cavalry. The amount of Infantery was very low, mostly allies from conquered Provinces or dismounted Cavalry.

    Also, the Hun Army was consist mostly of Cavalry. There are quite some other examples (to lazy to look them up), and Iīm quite sure that among those hundrets of Battles quite some can be found where one side fielded (almost) only Cavalry. There is a thread about Byzantine Army Tactics in this forum ... when you hit the Link and read the article, you will see that there is a colum with an Army Formation shown for an "Cavalry Force".

    Cavalry looses itīs main advantage over Infantery if you mix them, speed Sure Cavalrymen can dismount ... history is full of such examples ... itīs something that should be involved in Cavalry Army Tactics. ( too bad units canīt dismount during combat )
    You may not want to abuse the system, but the system is abusing you

  11. #11

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    TheViking, have you ever played Rune?
    IT is the best viking game imo around and the ending of going to Valhalla is awesome.

    I think I'll have to reinstall one day perhaps and finish it again. The Beginning gets repetitive with goblins and caves and so on but once you make it to towns with other sword/axe wielding vikings I'm in heaven.

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