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Thread: Dead Horses

  1. #1
    Member Member Del Arroyo's Avatar
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    Default Dead Horses

    Does anybody else think that cavalry attrition happens a bit fast? I mean, the units are small enough to begin with. I find myself being ecstatic if I finish a battle and my cavalry is at more than 50% strength. Even with heavy knights. Somehow this doesn't sound right.

    DA

  2. #2
    Minion of Zoltan Member Roark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    I get numbers like that sometimes, but it's usually because I've let spearmen run into my horses when I was looking the other way, or because I've overextended my already-tired knights... (ie: It's usually my fault)

  3. #3
    Member Member Azi Tohak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Hummm...what are you doing with your cav? I babysit mine so I don't usually worry about too many casualties (except for the *@#$ camel troops).

    My Kats and Byz Lancers survive just fine usually. I let spearman and my byzantine infantry take most of the damage.

    Azi
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  4. #4
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    The Royal Knights and Kataphraktoi resist good..... Also, the knights from the Crusading Orders are very good....

    The light cavalry and camels can be routed easily....
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    The Sword of Rome Member Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    I have to admit that I overuse cavalry, so I do often see large numbers of casualties in my cavalry units (although their kill count is much higher). I'm going to have to make better use of my infantry.
    "Look Iíve got my old pledge card a bit battered and crumpled we said weíd provide more turches churches teachers and we have I can remember when people used to say the Japanese are better than us the Germans are better than us the French are better than us well itís great to be able to say weíre better than them I think Mr Kennedy well we all congratulate on his baby and the Tories are you remembering what Iím remembering boom and bust negative equity remember Mr Howard I mean are you thinking what Iím thinking Iím remembering itís all a bit wonky isnít it?"

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    Hobbilars' whisperer... Member Advo-san's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    I m playing Venitians now and my italian infantry is devastating against all cavalry. I have killed and captured kings, dukes, princes, sultans, etc.... While in defence cavalry IMHO is useless, two units of royal knights or feudal knights are more than enough in offence.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    I usually have 20-50% casualties with my heavy cav. However, my light cav is usually alright and quite functional after a fight.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  8. #8
    Voluntary Suspension Voluntary Suspension Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    I usually to fine with heavy Cav, unless I over use them or I don't have enough Infantry to support them. Remember they tire easily and are vulnerable to spears and bills. That Cav on Cav can be really bloody, especially if you have Knights facing 6 valour Royals.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Heavy Cavalry that I use have a niche role to fill. They either provide the sledge hammer blow to the battle, ie flank attacks or rear charges. "Minimal casualties" Or if I see an uber unit coming at me, or an unforeseen threat from a flank, I'll use my Heavy cavalry to deal with it. Sort of like a fire and forget weapon. "Massive casualties" Then the rest of my troops can get on with mopping up the rest. An example is I once used a unit of the muchly underated Kwarazmanian Cavalry to tie up 4 units of infantry. The rest of my army massacred the opposing army and then turned on the other 4 units. The Kwarazmanians also died to the last man (The kind of mercenaries I like)

    That's just against the AI though.

  10. #10
    Member Member crpcarrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    light cavalry are much bigger targets and have a higher chance of getting killed by archer fire so dont leave them in range. not a good idea to let mounted archers get into a archery duel with foot archers unless they have higher armour or very high valour. they will die much faster than the foot archers
    "Forgiveness is between them and god, my job is to arrange the meeting"

  11. #11

    Default Re: Dead Horses

    After a little while of playing a Teutonic Order campaign, I've quickly learned that a entire army devoted to horses doesn't work out too great. You really cannot allow horses to be fighting for a great duration of time. You should let your infantry pre-occupy the enemy, and use your horses to menuever around the enemy, pick off archers and weaker targets, and then have them charge in the flanks of the enemy, or you can have 2 units of horses charge at an enemy unit on opposite sides of the unit, that usually sends them running almost immediatly.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Hobilars can give men at arms a hard time for about 30 seconds after they charge, they push the men at arms back for a while and can kill them whilst they are busy defending themselves. Men at arms win in the end though, because once they begin to fight back more aggressively their local 2 to 1 shoulder to shoulder advantage they will start to slaughter the hobilars.

    You probably charged some cavalry at a bunch of melee infantry and saw that they were doing well and whilst you were concentrating on another part ofthe battle the initial shock of your cavalry ran out and they were slaughtterred.

    Only armoured or jedi cavalry can survive a prolonged melee, it's also better to kill large units of conscripts and worthless units with infantry as they suffer less casualites for the same reason.

  13. #13
    The Sword of Rome Member Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    You can withdraw your cavalry after the original power of the charge wears out and charge them back in again to maintain your power. However, while you withdraw, you are vulnerable to enemy attack.
    "Look Iíve got my old pledge card a bit battered and crumpled we said weíd provide more turches churches teachers and we have I can remember when people used to say the Japanese are better than us the Germans are better than us the French are better than us well itís great to be able to say weíre better than them I think Mr Kennedy well we all congratulate on his baby and the Tories are you remembering what Iím remembering boom and bust negative equity remember Mr Howard I mean are you thinking what Iím thinking Iím remembering itís all a bit wonky isnít it?"

    -Wise words from John Prescott

  14. #14

    Default Re: Dead Horses

    An improvement I'd like to see:
    Riders and Horses should act seperately. It's always bugged me that a single arrow can kill both horse and rider.

    If a rider is killed, the horse should still live until it is killed. In dense fighting these horses would find it hard to get away, and would indiscriminately trample units. If the horse does get away, it would be a nice bit of realism to see the riderless horses run in fear.

    If the horse is killed, the rider should be able to draw his sword and fight on in a limited roll.

    Archers would be more likely to hit riders, spears more likely to bring down horses.


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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    I never liked pulling cav out and sending them back in. The AI will do it once or twice I think. The problem is that it seems to cancel their attack order so they lose men when they pull back.


    Quote Originally Posted by squidums
    An improvement I'd like to see:
    It's always bugged me that a single arrow can kill both horse and rider.
    Perhaps they were using arrows made out of Depleted Uranium

    And just FYI, it's easier to disable a horse than killing the rider with arrows.
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 07-20-2005 at 00:17.
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  16. #16
    Member Member Procrustes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by antisocialmunky
    I never liked pulling cav out and sending them back in. The AI will do it once or twice I think. The problem is that it seems to cancel their attack order so they lose men when they pull back.

    I have trouble with that manuver - though the ai seems to do it a bit better. My units tend to stick - sometimes they only start to pull out and then charge back in on their own. The long they fight the more apt they are to get flanked, too. So generally the longer they fight after the charge the quicker they die. The best I can do w/ most cav is to charge the backs of units I'm engaging with some kind of infantry.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Dead Horses

    "He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool; shun him.
    He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, can be taught; teach him.
    He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep; wake him.
    He who knows, and knows that he knows, is a prophet; follow him."

    I don't see this as a wise saying, I see it as a riddle to be decipherred. I believe it is fallacious in that it fails to expand into many other possibilities in what is clearly an empirical scenario.

    This rewrite will point out the fallacy.

    He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is human; shun him.
    He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is right; engage in rational debate with him.
    He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is probably right; use his hypothesis.
    He who knows, and knows that he knows, is probably wrong; shun him.


    ***


    I think charging in formation, then withdrawing might prevent many of the horsemen getting trapped by the enemy, which slows down the recharge..


    imma test this

  18. #18

    Default Re: Dead Horses

    80 feudal knights vs 200 byzantine infantry on steppes.

    I charged holding formation and after about 3 seconds of melee i double clicked behind my knights and they withdrew, the unit instantly turned around and gallopped off, though 5 of them were stuck in the melee, about 2 of these were killed and the rest escaped. another 5 or 6 were killed during the charge. The byzantine double legion was reduced to 164 men.

    the infantry ran after my knights for a while, but soon they picked up a good re charging distance. The second charge killed 1 or 2 knights and 20 infantry, I orderred to retreat again, but the byzantine infantry decided to flee just after i orderred the retreat and I won. Undoubtedly the knights would go on to capture the remaining 144 men with 1 or 2 further losses.

    So 12 knights for 200 byzantine infantry.

  19. #19
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    That's because Byzantine Infantry suck without atleast 1 valour point. Now, If you upgraded the Infantry unit with +1 or +2 valour, and if the AI was smart enough, they win.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but on multiplayer, Knights get stopped my Men At Arms until the MAA are exhausted. You put them on hold formation to take the charge and then engage at will to slaughter the horsies.

    You won because the AI sucked and because Feudal Knights cost abit more than cheap Byzantine Infantry. 200 vs 375 I believe.
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 07-20-2005 at 13:33.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  20. #20
    Member Member crpcarrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by Patron
    80 feudal knights vs 200 byzantine infantry on steppes.

    I charged holding formation and after about 3 seconds of melee i double clicked behind my knights and they withdrew, the unit instantly turned around and gallopped off, though 5 of them were stuck in the melee, about 2 of these were killed and the rest escaped. another 5 or 6 were killed during the charge. The byzantine double legion was reduced to 164 men.

    the infantry ran after my knights for a while, but soon they picked up a good re charging distance. The second charge killed 1 or 2 knights and 20 infantry, I orderred to retreat again, but the byzantine infantry decided to flee just after i orderred the retreat and I won. Undoubtedly the knights would go on to capture the remaining 144 men with 1 or 2 further losses.

    So 12 knights for 200 byzantine infantry.
    BI are sword infantry they are no good against horses. you should use spears for your test in formation at least 3-4 ranks deep.
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  21. #21
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Actually all units are good againt otehr units, spears specialize in killing horses... from the front.

    In multiplayer, spears are impractical and sword units are used to kill horses... rather effectively.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



    "Hi, Billy Mays Here!" 1958-2009

  22. #22

    Default Re: Dead Horses

    I always keep a unit of spearmen with +2 armour, to charge forward at enemy arbalesters and confuse and disrupt the enemy. They survive long enough for my melee infantry and cavalry to take advantage of any mistakes the opponent makes when dealing with my spearmen. Usually he sends forward his anti-cavalry infantry and my own cavalry are free to flank. Or he attemtps to flank my spearmen, but simply gets his cavalry stuck in melee with my spearmen, allowing me to simply move the rest of my line forward and flank his cavalry.

    It also means I don't have to spend any money on arbalesters and can concentrate on the actual killing.

  23. #23
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    That's a very slow to respond opponent...
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  24. #24
    The hair proves it... Senior Member EatYerGreens's Avatar
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    Post Re: Dead Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by crpcarrot
    light cavalry are much bigger targets and have a higher chance of getting killed by archer fire so dont leave them in range. not a good idea to let mounted archers get into a archery duel with foot archers unless they have higher armour or very high valour. they will die much faster than the foot archers
    Too true. They make a bigger target to begin with and, as antisocialmunky pointed out, historically, they purposely targeted the horses first. This neutralises their mobility and speed of movement. Assuming the horses don't roll over their riders and crush them, downed cavalrymen are something of a soft target. If they were full armour and landed heavily into soft mud, the suction (like when you get a boot stuck) would prevent them from being able to stand up and fight. They'd get poleaxed, where they lay. In the game, they're simply treated as dead when the horse gets hit.

    Perhaps this saves us all a FAQ about 'I swear I shot this cav unit but a bunch of extra men suddenly came out of nowhere, when my back was turned....'.


    I think most of the fear factor in a cav unit coming at you is to do with the horses themselves. It's a basic ingrained fear we have of facing a stampede and being trampled. Imagine it was wild animals instead. The problem tends to be that they pack tight with one another and can't see further than the hind quarters of the animal in front, so they can't dodge obstacles fast enough and you'd get splatted.

    You'd be right to comment that horses don't pack tightly when they stampede, preferring to make space for themselves. Also, they are very civilised around people and would go to any lengths to avoid colliding (tripping over a 90kg obstacle will likely break at least one of their limbs).

    However, remember that comment (game manual?) about cavalry being so expensive because each man has two horses: one 'tame' nag to get him to the battlefield and a second one for the fight itself? These were specially trained to rear up, kick, bite and trample, as well as not be frightened by the sounds of battle itself.

    So what happens is that the men in the unit being charged will attempt to dodge the horses, knowing that the horses won't attempt to dodge them and it's this which breaks up the unit's formation. Once in amongst them, the riders can then engage hand to hand, with the added advantage of height. They can strike down on heads, necks and shoulders, whilst a swordsman on the ground could probably only reach up as far as the rider's legs and hips - which is where the armour plating will be. Obvious response is to stab the horse first, to bring the rider down, hence horse armour and slow, lumbering heavy cav.

    The spear wall will cause horses in a head-on charge to baulk at the last moment and, with luck swerve to one side, crashing into others, or rearing up and throwing the riders backwards. In the game, you only get 16 units so a full-width spear wall is hard to implement and still have a decent number of 'proper' fighting units left over.

    Now the answer to the HA vs foot archer duel, if you have the HA's, is to stop shooting, press Alt-double click on the foot archers to make the HA's melee attack them. Foot archers are generally weak in melee and the AI will usually make them stop firing, turn their backs on the horses and attempt to run for it. This is a fatal response and is precisely what cavalry units were supposed to achieve.

    One of my oldest preconceptions about cavalry was that they beat just about anything - you send them in on a charge and hey, presto, you win - but when I tried computer battle sims, I found this to be wrong or, at the very least, misleading.

    It was things like this game and various TV history programmes which taught me why, in the movies, the cav often just sits there on the hill casually watching the infantry slugging it out. They're not actually deployed until the battle is just about over and the enemy are beginning to flee the field. Their job (light cav, I mean) is pursuit of and inflicting carnage upon tired men with their backs to them. Not exactly as glorious an activity as it was once made out to be, is it?

    On the other hand, it is a potentially life-saving duty, in that dealing with routed soldiers without mercy prevents the enemy from regrouping and fighting you again, expensively, on another day. It makes victories decisive and assures that they won't come back for a good few years.

    Back at the tactical scale, the HA's can at least distract the AI's foot archers for long enough for your foot troops to close to within charging range with theirs without getting fired upon. The HA melee-mode charge doesn't even have to hit home. Start and stop as often as necessary. It's suffice to make the AI foot archers continually stop firing and start marching, or fleeing. Better yet when it began by advancing well forward of their lines. If you can make your HA's get to a waypoint behind them (from your perspective) before a charge, you might get them to march even further away from their own inf and into the arms (weapons I should say) of your advancing foot troops. Just watch for spears coming after you and pull away to a safe distance. Once the archers are being dealt with, skirmish versus any pursuing spears, and your HA's AI will never let the spears make contact and tow it away to where it'll do no good, while your attention is elsewhere.

    If the AI has the HAs, just hide your men in the woods until they run out of ammo and head off home.

    EYG

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    The hair proves it... Senior Member EatYerGreens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Dead Horses

    Apologies for the screed just then. I need to learn the art of brevity. The soul of wit, they say, which must mean I'm a right thickie because what was going to be a brief post-script has turned into another one!

    Anyway, one other point I wanted to add is that I'm fascinated by the way the knight's move in chess is symbolic of their role in battle. Two squares forward but one square sideways, to represnt the flanking attack, generally *in support of* something else attaking frontally. Nice.

    Does anyone have any comments on relative casualty rates when using them in wedge formation, for the initial charge?

    It's supposed to assist in penetrating a block formation and scattering the ranks in a way which encourages routing by the receiving unit. Similar to the way that loose formation helps reduce missile casualties but the dispersal makes the troops more nervy if they get meleed whilst still in that state, since it reduces their fighting effectiveness by allowing enemies to get into the midst of their formation, which would mean that some individuals become surrounded and this maybe causes a hit to their morale.

    I also wonder if wedge is supposed to maximise the frontal area, compared to the square block formation (short of stretching them into a wide but thin line)? If nothing else, all the men on the ends of each rank (along the diagonals facing forward) are now able to engage, during the initial impact, not just the front rank.

    Wedge is recognised as a weak formation for prolonged melee, as the man at the pointy end is exposed on both sides and tends to die rather quickly, when up against a square formation.

    I also wonder if changing formation to square just after contact carries the risk that the men stop fighting, in order to shuffle into the new positions, which briefly makes them vulnerable?

    If so, a solution I see is to put them in wedge but instead of double-clicking on the unit to be flanked, double-click on a destination, a charge's distance the other side of the melee. Units move to destinations in straight lines and, if they find an enemy in their path, they will attack through it, rather than maneuvre around. This way, the wedge drives into and through the enemy unit, breaking it up into two smaller halves but, rather than sticking around in the melee, they push through to the destination point. Meanwhile, your infantry tackle the broken up halves of the formation. You can now swivel the cav back and repeat the process, if needed, keeping them in wedge all the while.

    The much-vaunted effectiveness of flank attacks would appear, to me, to be a weakness hard-coded into the game, which is the assumption that the men in the flanks of a square unit are wearing blinkers and incapable of seeing, let alone swivelling 90 degrees to tackle the side attack until it's too late. Plus a morale penalty.

    Turning sideways to counter is what they would do in reality and it is what the flank attack aims to achieve in the first place - to reduce the number of men able to fight facing the front, buying the attacker's frontally-hitting inf unit a crucial extra few 2-on-1 combats, which they will win and the flanked unit's higher loss rate will eventually make it rout.

    The wedge formation would appear have two 'fronts' and a rear but no flank, per se. It would be interesting to know how the game handles this.

    EYG

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    Uber Soldat. Member Budwise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Wow, someone intellegent made me think. Its been a while since that has happened.

    I guess the only answer to your question toward the end is that if their is a fight to your front, thats where you will be looking. I mean, with all the screaming and people dying, are you really going to look to your right/left and actually hear horses coming? Even if you did, would your buddy next to you hear and see them as well? Most importantly, would you be able to mount a decent defence against them.


    Also, thinking of the movie Braveheart - I don't know how accurate those battles were but it seems rather dumb or arrogant, perhaps both, to charge horses into the frontline first. I don't even have to be a MTW expert to know this.
    Work, Girlfriend, Responsibilities, Reality, Kids, and MTW - all things in life make life worth living.

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  27. #27
    Uber Soldat. Member Budwise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by Budwise
    Wow, someone intellegent made me think. Its been a while since that has happened.
    I can't believe I just misspelled intelligent.
    Work, Girlfriend, Responsibilities, Reality, Kids, and MTW - all things in life make life worth living.

    Edit October 17th, 2007
    Work-Still hate it but I appreciate having it more now.
    Girlfriend - ? - looks like I am helping Nga now. Miss sex though.
    Responsibilities, Too many bills to too little money
    Reality - (Censored)
    Kids - My son is improving a little bit each day, still far behind but I may have more kids in the future.
    MTW - Kingdoms installed but...Urggg, too soon.
    ----------------
    Conclusion, Life is worth Living now.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Actually all units are good againt otehr units, spears specialize in killing horses... from the front.

    In multiplayer, spears are impractical and sword units are used to kill horses... rather effectively.
    I don't understand why it would be different in MP.

  29. #29
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Because they are slow and ungainly when they have to turn so the enemy can run around you faster. Also, ever since the patch that made it so that cavalry pushes back units more, which killed spear units, spears are much more disruptable and vulnerable. Read the MP guides.
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  30. #30
    Member Member Geezer57's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dead Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens
    Apologies for the screed just then. I need to learn the art of brevity. The soul of wit, they say, which must mean I'm a right thickie because what was going to be a brief post-script has turned into another one!
    By all means, quit apologizing and use the time for more postings - I, for one, greatly enjoy your screeds. They're far more thought-provoking than most.

    Back to wedge-mode - two factors to consider:
    1) +3 atk, -3 def for wedge formation.
    2) position of the unit Captain with the formation.

    With the change to defense factors, your already small cavalry unit (40-man vs. 100-man at default) is going to take more casualties. Also (IIRC) wedge-mode positions the unit Captain (the lower-level general in command of that unit) at the point of the formation, making him more vulnerable and (if lost) triggering a morale loss for the unit.

    My experience with wedge-mode is limited, but I've found that it's best employed completely out of combat. I use it instead for maneuver through tight openings during the battle, changing back to "close" formation before engaging the enemy. If you choose to attack in wedge, try to pick either lighter non-elite types (archers, etc) or units that have been heavily stressed before your cavalry hits. You want to minimize your unit's exposure to attrition while in wedge, so as to keep the casualties down.

    Does that make sense?
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