Results 1 to 30 of 30

Thread: Are catholics invincible?

  1. #1
    Member Member Apostrophe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Beograd
    Posts
    13

    Default Are catholics invincible?

    I am a huge fan of Medieval Total War, but stopped playing it a long time ago. Skipped Rome because most of my friends say that after turn 20 you swim in cash, let diplomats do all the dirty work and spend most of your time killing rebels in your own cities. Couple of days ago i bought Medieval 2 and one of the first things i was delighted with was putting plain simple numbers for units statistics instead of old "poor attack, armored" etc. After playing around in custom battle one of the first thing that puzzled me was the fact that not all spearman are good against cavalry (for what are they good?), not all axeman
    against armor, and when they already make a detailed list for every unit for what is it good, why swordsman units don`t have "good against spears" in description (they are still good against spears, right?) and most of all why are catholic factions so overpowered. Every single catholic unit have better stats than orthodox or muslim units in the same "class". One of the first things i did is ramming head on feudal knights in berber spearman and i won!
    Can somebody explain things a little. I am pretty rusty when it comes to strategy games since i haven`t played any in quite some time.
    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

  2. #2
    Chieftain of the Pudding Race Member Evil_Maniac From Mars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    6,407

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apostrophe
    I am a huge fan of Medieval Total War, but stopped playing it a long time ago. Skipped Rome because most of my friends say that after turn 20 you swim in cash, let diplomats do all the dirty work and spend most of your time killing rebels in your own cities.
    A little off topic, but Rome can be worth it if you play mods, like Fourth Age, N2:TW, and EB.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apostrophe
    snip
    Rome was certainly not a waste, I'd consider it much better than M2:TW

    But yes, most Catholic factions are more powerful, but certainly not invincible. The game is heavily biased towards Western Europeans.


    But you can't compare Western European knights to their Eastern equivalents. They are different style armies. The west has good knights while the east has good horse archers and calvary.

  4. #4
    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    25,559

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by Apostrophe
    I am a huge fan of Medieval Total War, but stopped playing it a long time ago. Skipped Rome because most of my friends say that after turn 20 you swim in cash, let diplomats do all the dirty work and spend most of your time killing rebels in your own cities. Couple of days ago i bought Medieval 2 and one of the first things i was delighted with was putting plain simple numbers for units statistics instead of old "poor attack, armored" etc. After playing around in custom battle one of the first thing that puzzled me was the fact that not all spearman are good against cavalry (for what are they good?), not all axeman
    against armor, and when they already make a detailed list for every unit for what is it good, why swordsman units don`t have "good against spears" in description (they are still good against spears, right?) and most of all why are catholic factions so overpowered. Every single catholic unit have better stats than orthodox or muslim units in the same "class". One of the first things i did is ramming head on feudal knights in berber spearman and i won!
    Can somebody explain things a little. I am pretty rusty when it comes to strategy games since i haven`t played any in quite some time.


    Rome: Total Realism is your friend. You should really try Rome if you havent done the Total Realism mod.

    Certain factions have different strengths. Not every faction can have the best mounted heavy knights. So yes, you will find that against factions with poor infantry spearmen (Russia for example) You can do a full charge with your best knights right into their spears. Their spears aren't long enough to be truly effective against cavalry. They might have a bonus FIGHTING cavalry, but that doesn't mean they have uber defense against cavalry. For example, they might be great in a city taking down the enemy's general bodyguard, because they can pin him down and slowly poke their soldiers and horses to death. But in open field, a full charge may devastate them. They don't have LONG spears or the discipline to form a true spear wall. Best you can do with some is a schiltrom.

    But that is not to say Orthodox and Muslim factions are worthless, just because they don't have the great knights that the western Europeans have. The Orthodox factions both have good units that the western Euros dont have, such as horse archers/javelinmen. They may have lighter/weaker forces in some cases, but they all have certain units they can build which are good, decent enough heavy troops. But they are meant to fight a different style of warfare, horse archery. The western Europeans may be able to afford, and weather permits, full plate armor. Don't expect such armor from Egypt or Turkey or the Moors, because it is impractical for them. They can still recruit mercenary christian soldiers which have good armor, but their primary mode of attack is not slugging it out with heavy infantry and cavalry. Their strategem (and quite an effective one against Catholics) is to have lighter and faster cavalry and horse archers, decent bowmen, and in some cases, naffatun units to really put a hurting on armored troops. They have just enough spearmen to make their strategy effective, but they won't have world class units across the board.

    On upgraded versions, like 1.02, on very hard, you won't experience such a dramatic difference between heavy knights and the spearmen that are supposed to be good against them. But still, you will see some poorly equipped spearmen faring badly against the best knights the West has to offer.
    #Winstontoostrong
    #Montytoostronger

  5. #5
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Bedfordshire UK
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apostrophe
    Can somebody explain things a little. I am pretty rusty when it comes to strategy games since i haven`t played any in quite some time.
    Personally, I've never bothered with the sort of detailed analysis that you seem to have completed so I can't really comment on the comparative stats of the various factions. However, what I have read elsewhere on this forum is that the unit stats seem to bear little resemblance to actual troop performance so the only time I look at them is when I'm trying to decide between two alternative types of archer or spearman to train.

    The main difference I see between western (not necessarily catholic) factions and eastern fations (not necessarily muslim) is a general change in army composition and style. Western factions tend to produce armies which are heavily armoured, hard hitting but slow, whilst eastern factions tend to produce armies that are agile, fast and make heavy use of missile fire. Those are generalisations of course and in fact most Eastern factions include at least one unit of heavy infantry and cavalry that are extremely well armoured.

    Spears v Cavalry: totally screwed up...I would make sure you have downloaded the 1.2 patch but even then CA have opted for gameplay over realism when delaing with cavalry and you just have to live with it. The ubber-charge move is great to watch but totally wrong.

    Swords v Spears: never noticed anything worth mentioning about this scenario. I can certainly think of no reason why swordsmen should have an advantage, in fact just the opposite, but I can't say I seen it as a major issue in actual battle.

    Not sure if that helps at all really. The real decision you have to make with MTW2 is whether you are going to blitz the game or play it more in a roleplaying style. Blitzing seems to be much easier but tends to ignore large parts of the game in favour of explioting the 'sacking' system. You will find a lot of debate about it on the forum.

    Also check out the faction guides which I found very useful when I first started.
    Didz
    Fortis balore et armis

  6. #6
    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    25,559

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by Didz
    Spears v Cavalry: totally screwed up...I would make sure you have downloaded the 1.2 patch but even then CA have opted for gameplay over realism when delaing with cavalry and you just have to live with it. The ubber-charge move is great to watch but totally wrong.

    Swords v Spears: never noticed anything worth mentioning about this scenario. I can certainly think of no reason why swordsmen should have an advantage, in fact just the opposite, but I can't say I seen it as a major issue in actual battle.

    Swordsmen with armor/shields are able to easily deflect spearpoints and walk right up to the spearmen and defeat them close quarters. A spear is fairly useless against a decent swordsman. Unless of course the spearman in question is trained as a gladiator and knows how to use it effectively as a swordsman does, but those aren't the case with militia or even professional spearmen. They know how to poke, but not much else. A line of long spearmen in a spearwall or phalanx formation may be able to hold off unarmored swordsmen, any unit with armor can deflect the silly spearpoints and march right up to the fools and slay them. Although I agree, it doesn't come up much in battles that I have fought.

    Spears versus Cavalry isn't screwed up, short spears will never be effective against a full heavy cavalry charge. Even if they were decent ones. Their spears aren't long enough, and they cannot provide a solid enough spearwall. The only way to defeat heavy lancers is with even longer and heavier lances being wielded from the ground, or with stakes. But there are only so many units with the proper anti-cavalry spears.

    Town milita- shortest spears. A poor man's swordsman, no defensive or offensive bonus.
    Spear militia- medium spears, good when fighting cavalry, not against charges.
    Professional long spearmen/pikemen- Long spears, good against cavalry charges, decent in melee combat against cavalry.
    #Winstontoostrong
    #Montytoostronger

  7. #7
    Amazing Mothman Member icek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    350

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    After seeing how easly twohanders can obliterate cavalry in compare to spearmen i think that its more about stats than stick-stone-paper rule.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    All spear units, including town militia, slav levies and other short spear units get a +4 attack bonus vs cav even though it doesn't say in the description. Regular spear units like spear militia, sergeants, saracens etc which say "bonus fighting cavalry" get a +8 bonus fighting cavalry and a penalty fighting infantry. I don't know the penalty amount, probably -1 or -2 because even -4 would give armored sergeants attack of 3 vs infantry, they would inflict hardly any casualties against dism knights for example, and they do manage to kill quite a few even though they eventually lose.

    The general rock-paper-scissors goes something like:
    heavy cav kills light cav
    Light cav kills archers
    archers kill HA
    HA kill heavy inf
    heavy inf kill spears
    spears kill heavy cav

    It is foolish to look at combat like this however, there are so many more factors including numbers, terrain, morale, maneuver, fatigue, etc, which can allow any type of unit to kill any other type in the right circumstances. The same also applies to unit stats. The 7/9 variety of spears are not a lost cause against the 7/14 variety, battles are very rarely an "apples are better than oranges" affair.
    See the post about the Spanish campaign conquering the world with only peasants and generals.
    If you would like rock paper scissors, autocalc your battles and try not to have an aneurism when you lose a 5:1 battle because a certain random number came up . Naval battles, ARG!

  9. #9
    Member Member Zenicetus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    On a ship, in a storm
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Just backing up some of the other comments here about the difference in "style" between Western and Eastern armies. If you get good at the tactics involved in running a cavalry-based army with mobile archers (something I'm still trying to improve), and can handle the additional micro-management on the battlefield, then Eastern armies can be devastating.

    This is a case where hands-on control trumps stats; mobility allowing your HA's to fire from all sides to defeat frontal armor like shields. But it is some extra work during a battle, and sometimes I prefer Western armies for the way you can basically determine the battle's outcome with a good initial formation, enough men to balance your opponent, and a little use of cav on the side. There are in-between types of armies too, like the ones you get playing the Hungarians; a Catholic faction with its major strength in cav and horse archers.

    This ability to play several different ways on the battlefield is one of the games major strengths.

    P.S. RTW is a good game, especially the modded versions. M2TW does have slightly better tactical AI, and the campaign is a little deeper with the added elements like princesses, merchants, crusades, jihads, etc.
    Feaw is a weapon.... wise genewuhs use weuuhw! -- Jebe the Tyrant

  10. #10
    I just became a... Member Out's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    MI, U.S.
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Indeed, to sum up what everyone has said: No, Catholics aren't invincible, they're just good at fighting Western European style warfare.

    If you put some poor Scottish Noble Pikeman in the desert with Moorish Camels, the Camel is going to honk* with glee. It's all battle styles, and sometimes the AI does a poor job of realizing that it should fight a poke-poke-flee battle rather than a here-be-mah-army-knock-us-down-like-bowling-pins-if-you-can battle.

    *Little known fact, a honk is actually Camel-ish "cackle".
    "My milkshake brings all ye gentlefolk to the yard, and they're like 'It's better than thine.' Verily, it's better than thine, I could teach you, but I must levy a fee."

  11. #11
    Member Member WhiskeyGhost's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gulf Coast
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    It all depends on what point of view really. Saracen Militia/Urban Militia are perhaps the best infantry militia-wise in the game (yeah yeah, i know italians, but even so....)

    If you like being mobile, fast, and having some of the more effective support units (naffatun kick western arses) then your gonna be good with the eastern factions. If you like simply rolling over your enemies like you were driving in a King Tiger Tank, then western armies will be more to your style. I'm not too schooled in the ways of the Orthodox factions, but i assume they are a mix of both styles....

    also, take note of how much units cost, how territories are allocated (the east has a lot more area, and less rivals, while in the west you have an enemy no more then a 1 or two regions from your home....


    "Don't mind me, i happen the have the Insane trait....." -Me

  12. #12
    {GrailKnights} Member hoetje's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Roosdaal, being spared from cultural influence,a land where farmers still form the majority of the people.Oh yea,in Belgium.
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyGhost
    It all depends on what point of view really. Saracen Militia/Urban Militia are perhaps the best infantry militia-wise in the game (yeah yeah, i know italians, but even so....)

    If you like being mobile, fast, and having some of the more effective support units (naffatun kick western arses) then your gonna be good with the eastern factions. If you like simply rolling over your enemies like you were driving in a King Tiger Tank, then western armies will be more to your style. I'm not too schooled in the ways of the Orthodox factions, but i assume they are a mix of both styles....

    also, take note of how much units cost, how territories are allocated (the east has a lot more area, and less rivals, while in the west you have an enemy no more then a 1 or two regions from your home....

    But in the east you have to face the mongols and timurids :s
    -Verba mea aurea sunt

    -Verba volant , scripta manent

  13. #13
    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    25,559

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyGhost
    It all depends on what point of view really. Saracen Militia/Urban Militia are perhaps the best infantry militia-wise in the game (yeah yeah, i know italians, but even so....)
    But it takes the Muslims a while to produce good heavy infantry, and that's the exception, not the rule.

    Sure, France has horse archers. Did you know that? But it takes so long for you to get them, that it is not that relevant to the strategy part of the game.

    France will rely on heavy cavalry and good armored infantry, and that's the way it goes.

    Generally speaking, the general strategies for the east and west are different because of their limited troop options. While it is possible for them to get the kind of unit they lack (such as horse archers for the west, or heavy infantry for the east) it won't affect the overall game. In order to get that far, you will most likely rely on HA for the east and HC for the west.
    #Winstontoostrong
    #Montytoostronger

  14. #14

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    But it takes the Muslims a while to produce good heavy infantry, and that's the exception, not the rule.

    Sure, France has horse archers. Did you know that? But it takes so long for you to get them, that it is not that relevant to the strategy part of the game.
    But there are factions that really have almost everything at the start. Such as Spain. Early on you get: militia, dismounted knights (around turn 25), calvary archers (well, javelins) and light calvary.

    I think the developers simply got lazy when it came to Muslim factions. They seem to be more of "trophy lands" meant to conquer, rather than play. Why else would they lack battle speeches? Not to mention they were unplayable at the start. They're basically the Thrace or Scythians of M2:TW

  15. #15

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    I think the developers simply got lazy when it came to Muslim factions. They seem to be more of "trophy lands" meant to conquer, rather than play.
    I would tend to agree. There does seem to be less effort put into the Muslim factions, I don't know how it really works, but I imagine only 5-10% of people who buy a game really put effort into it, play it for more than 40 hours, and try to really understand the game. They figured 70% of players probably would never even unlock the Muslims. This is one reason they stopped making good instruction books, people didn't read them, I LOVED reading the instructions for games. The best ones ever were for Fallout and Fallout 2, they were written like 50's style govt survival manuals for nuclear war and were part of the experience of immersing yourself in the game. Spiral bound, over 100 pages I would say, humor throughout, works of art really. They even had nuclear war themed recipes in the back, like "Mushroom cloud" merengue cookies, and "Desert salad" taco salad.

  16. #16
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Bedfordshire UK
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    Swordsmen with armor/shields are able to easily deflect spearpoints and walk right up to the spearmen and defeat them close quarters. A spear is fairly useless against a decent swordsman.
    Yes...but as Mike Loades pointed out, when dealing with the use of the Roman pilum in battle, the men were trained to use it against the exposed right hand side of the swordsmen attacking the man to his right. Thrusting it under the raised swordarm.

    A similar tactic was employed against the Scots at Culloden as it negates the defence of the of the attackers shield. However, the Romans had the added advantage that their shield was able to provide some defence to an attack from the front whilst they made the thrust.

    This tactic basically renders the shield worthless, but required trained and properly drill troops to employ.

    Like you I've never noticed any advantage being given to swordsmen over spears in my battles and I think to do so would be inappropriate. The outcome should have more to do with relative training and combat discipline.

    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    Spears versus Cavalry isn't screwed up, short spears will never be effective against a full heavy cavalry charge. Even if they were decent ones. Their spears aren't long enough, and they cannot provide a solid enough spearwall. The only way to defeat heavy lancers is with even longer and heavier lances being wielded from the ground, or with stakes. But there are only so many units with the proper anti-cavalry spears.
    Thats simply not true. History proves that even men armed with a bayoneted muskets can stop a cavalry charge. In fact, the weapon is irrelevant, as it isn't the weapons that stop the charge, its the density of the obstical presented by a formed unit of infantry.

    Tests conducted with the Household Cavalry prove that even a solid wall of hay bales will stop a mass of charging horsemen simply because horses are not stupid and will not run into an apparently solid object. This is particulary awkward for men armed with couched lances who need their chargers to keep moving forward in order to use their weapons.

    There is also a wealth of anecdotal evidence confirmng that medieval knights and mounted men-at-arms were not able to charge headlong into steady bodies of dismounted men.

    In reality, the only thing which made mounted men more effective in the medieval period was the tendency for troops armed with melee weapons to deployed in more dispersed formations which left gaps into which horses could push. But a densely packed unit of spearmen who stood their ground would have little to worry about from a mounted charge.
    Last edited by Didz; 08-05-2007 at 19:14.
    Didz
    Fortis balore et armis

  17. #17

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    RTW is the best for flexibility in play I reckon.

    Just wished some of the eastern Catholic General's wore armour like this :

    (warning, may offend some viewers)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq3XWcGdhcY

  18. #18
    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    25,559

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by Didz
    Thats simply not true. History proves that even men armed with a bayoneted muskets can stop a cavalry charge. In fact, the weapon is irrelevant, as it isn't the weapons that stop the charge, its the density of the obstical presented by a formed unit of infantry.

    Tests conducted with the Household Cavalry prove that even a solid wall of hay bales will stop a mass of charging horsemen simple because horses are not stupid and will not run into an apparently solid object. This is particulary awkward for men armed with couched lances who need their chargers to keep moving forward in order to use their weapons.

    There is also a wealth of anecdotal evidence confirmng that medieval knights and mounted men-at-arms were not able to charge headlong into steady bodies of dismounted men.

    If reality, the only thing which made mounted men more effective in the medieval period was the tendency for troops armed with melee weapons to deployed in more dispersed formations which left gaps into which horses could push. But a densely packed unit of spearmen who stood their ground would have little to worry about from a mounted charge.


    All right. I'm no expert and I'll certainly admit to being wrong, but if this is the case, why were heavy cavalry the dominant force on the battlefield for a hundreds of years, if stopping them were simply a matter of standing together in dense formation? In fact, couldn't you just lie on the ground packed tightly together so the horses wouldn't even try to gallop over you?

    There seems to be an incongruity here. If you could stop a full cavalry charge with something as small as a musket, then why were pikemen specifically developed to fight cavalry?

    I know for a fact that longer weapons were used to fight cavalry because shorter ones were ineffective for some reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikemen seems to suggest that shorter weapons were ineffective.

    Now you could be right, of course. But then it would seem that for thousands of years of history, people were too stupid to stand tightly together. Which also doesn't make sense because they did that, and often.

    I'm puzzled. I don't know whether you are right that it is impossible for cavalry to charge into densely packed people with short weapons or not. There seems to be evidence for both sides. I'm not convinced either way.

    Please don't think me dumb. I just don't always accept what I am told at face value. I have to weigh everything I've ever been taught about medieval history, which states that heavy cavalry was nigh invincible on the battlefield unti they re-invented the phalanx, which had been rarely used since the days of the Roman legion who would decimate the phalanx; and compare that with the plausible statement you just made.
    Last edited by Askthepizzaguy; 08-05-2007 at 15:23.
    #Winstontoostrong
    #Montytoostronger

  19. #19

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy

    All right. I'm no expert and I'll certainly admit to being wrong, but if this is the case, why were heavy cavalry the dominant force on the battlefield for a hundreds of years, if stopping them were simply standing together in dense formation? In fact, couldn't you just lie on the ground packed tightly together so the horses wouldn't even try to gallop over you?

    There seems to be an incongruity here. If you could stop a full cavalry charge with something as small as a musket, then why were pikemen specifically developed to fight cavalry?

    I know for a fact that longer weapons were used to fight cavalry because shorter ones were ineffective for some reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikemen seems to suggest that shorter weapons were ineffective.

    Now you could be right, of course. But then it would seem that for thousands of years of history, people were too stupid to stand tightly together. Which also doesn't make sense because they did that, and often.

    I'm puzzled. I don't know whether you are right that it is impossible for cavalry to charge into densely packed people with short weapons or not. There seems to be evidence for both sides. I'm not convinced either way.

    Please don't think me dumb. I just don't always accept what I am told at face value. I have to weigh everything I've ever been taught about medieval history, which states that heavy cavalry was nigh invincible on the battlefield unti they re-invented the phalanx, which had been rarely used since the days of the Roman legion who would decimate the phalanx; and compare that with the plausible statement you just made.
    a densely packed formation of men can/could stop a cavalry charge even without very long braced spears, just think of the english dismounted knights(short spears and pollaxes etc.) og hyw or napoleonic era infantry squares. the twist is that the infantry has to be pretty well disciplined/professional to actually stand in formation, this was a quality that medieval peasant levies kind of lacked..

    regarding pikes, the fact that you can stop a charge without pikes doesnt mean that you cant do it twice as well without, and as you touch on, lancers versus melee infantry warfare was always an arms race for longer reach, an arms race ypu could say polish hussars won..

    regarding spears versus swords, a lot of you seem to think that the sword is always best. when lookng at the weapons as such, not the differing social classes that wielded them, this simply cannot be right. i dont know how spears were used historically, but I have had the opportunity to train some with weapons, and a spear-type weapon with a bit of reach and good balance definetely has an advantage over a sword, a shield probably helps a lot, but I wold think you could "jab" enough with the spear to create good openings long before youre within the swords striking distance.

  20. #20
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    3,701

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    The sword vs spear debate is one of the oldest in war gaming. I'm not an expert, but my feeling of the matter based on what I've read is (All other things being equal):

    One vs one, a swordsmen will kill a spearman most of the time.

    Ten vs ten, spearmen will kill swordsmen.

    Trained spearmen can work better with each other on attack and defense, using their reach and superior ability to combine attacks to drive the enemy back and apart.

    Of course there's no real world situation where ten spearmen meet ten swordsmen on flat level ground, with similar shields and armor, and with equal training, therefore... the debate is likely too generalized to have any applied meaning.

    Regarding cavalry, horses clearly will not charge into solid masses, but arrows, javelins, and bolts will carve up those same comfortably while that same cavalry or other infantry flanks and surrounds the mass. Cavalry's dominance has more to do with discipline, morale, and mobility than with it's ability to crush men under. If well supported spearmen had the discipline to remain in tight ranks against whatever the enemy threw at him, they probably had little to fear from cavalry. The moment they broke ranks, in moving, attacking, or just in error, a good cavalry commander could exploit that.

  21. #21
    Amazing Mothman Member icek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    350

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    how it is that dfk beats my english armored swordsman with +1 to attack?

  22. #22
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Bedfordshire UK
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    All right. I'm no expert and I'll certainly admit to being wrong, but if this is the case, why were heavy cavalry the dominant force on the battlefield for a hundreds of years, if stopping them were simply a matter of standing together in dense formation?
    I think the important word there is 'dominant', cavalry dominated the battlefield simply because when they were present men on foot could not do anything. Therefore, the mere presence of a body of cavalry dominated that area of the battle.

    In the Napoleonic period infantry in the presence of enemy cavalry normally formed square which whilst able to move did so with extreme difficulty and quite slowly hence the side who owned the cavalry gained a major advantage in being able to deploy its infantry and artillery where and how it wished.

    In medieval times a similar situtation would have arisen where troops would have had to cram close together and brace themselves just in case the enemy charged rather than being able to move and fight normally. Any formation which attempted to open out to avoid missile casualties or even to give themselves fighting room would be vulnerable.

    The bottom line is that the army with cavalry superiority had an enormous advantage over its opponent. At the battle of Naesby for example Cromwells cavalry turned what wouold have been a simple reverse into a major disaster for the Royalist Army simply by forcing the Royalist Foot to form to face them rather than allowing them to withdraw from the field. The result was that the parliamentry foot and guns were easily able to surround them and destroy them peicemeal or force their surrender and the King lost most of his army.
    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    In fact, couldn't you just lie on the ground packed tightly together so the horses wouldn't even try to gallop over you?
    In theory you could as long as the horsemen didn't start stabbing you in the back. At Waterloo, Mercer noted that pretty soon the enemy cavalry were simply unable to reach his position becuase of the barrier of bodies to his front which the enemy horses could not be persuaded to cross.

    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    There seems to be an incongruity here. If you could stop a full cavalry charge with something as small as a musket, then why were pikemen specifically developed to fight cavalry?
    The reason quite simply was weapon reach. The most dangerous cavalry to attack squares were lancers simply becuase they were able to ride up to the edge of the square and stick the men in the front ranks with their lances without risking their horse. But basically any infantry weapon which allowed a horseman close enough to strike at you was too short. Once firearms became more effective the need to fend cavalry off with pikes diminished and eventually it was the effective range of the musket that determined how close they could approach.

    The other important thing about spears and pikes is that they are poking weapons and can be braced, whereas swords and axes need to be swung. That necessarily requires more space and a looser formation, thus making the bearer more vulnerable to cavalry. Nevertheless it seems the Saxons at Hastings managed to fend off the Norman cavalry armed with nothing but two handed axes which must have required considerable timing and skill to use without disrupting your own formation.
    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    Now you could be right, of course. But then it would seem that for thousands of years of history, people were too stupid to stand tightly together. Which also doesn't make sense because they did that, and often.
    Yes and no....throughout history there have been examples of men fighting in closely packed formations, and equally examples of men fighting in quite loose formations. The trend varied according to the weapons employed, the culture of the men involved, and the nature of the threat that opposed them.

    Of necessity many types of close quarter weapon require space to weild and historical evidence suggests that many bodies of men using them actually deployed with a space equal to the full weapon reach all around them. The Japanese samuria for example would fight their battles as a series of 1v1 engagements and even introduced themselves so they knew who was fighting who before they began.

    So, its not so much a case of being stupid as trying to deploy as effectively as you can according to the tactical situation and the weapons employed. What the man on horseback did was expliot any opportunity which arose as a result, and when the opposition did cram close together to fend him off he would simply hold them in place and call up missile support or his own infantry to finish them off. In doing so cavalry imposed its own order over the battlefield around it, forcing nearby footsoldiers to abandon their preferred and most effective fighting stance and dominating the action until it could be driven off, usually by opposing cavalry.
    The exception which proves the rule here was the Schiltron which unlike most pike and spear formation was trained to move in close formation. The advantage being that not only were the English Knights unable to find any gaps in their formation to expliot but that the damned Scots didn't just stand around waiting for the English to deal with them piecemeal. Instead at Bannockburn the Scots actually advanced on the English Knights and herded them together between their formations and slaughtered them before their support could arrive. Unfortunately, the English learned from this mistake and at Flakirk provided close archer support to their knights effectively turning the tables on the densely packed Scots.
    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    I'm puzzled. I don't know whether you are right that it is impossible for cavalry to charge into densely packed people with short weapons or not. There seems to be evidence for both sides. I'm not convinced either way.

    Please don't think me dumb. I just don't always accept what I am told at face value. I have to weigh everything I've ever been taught about medieval history, which states that heavy cavalry was nigh invincible on the battlefield unti they re-invented the phalanx, which had been rarely used since the days of the Roman legion who would decimate the phalanx; and compare that with the plausible statement you just made.
    I think thats a very healthy attitude and I encourage my own children to question everything they are told and read no matter how authoritative. it may seem.

    For me the final element of logic that more or less convinces me of Mike Loades view is the simple fact that horses are not stupid. Man has been using the horse in battle for thousands of years and must by now be an expert at understanding them and training them, and yet there is no empirical knowledge on record of how to train a horse to run into a solid object. Horses simply don't do that.

    Instead, what we do know about horses it how to exploit their natural instincts to maximise their value in battle, most notably their herd instinct which helps us to train them to maintain formation. It was once suggested that Medieval knights overcame the horses unwillingness to commit suicide simply by covering its eyes so that it could not see in front of it. The theory was that the horse would simply run blindly into the enemy without realising that they were there. The problem with this theory is that every account we have of cavalry combat suggests that man and horse worked together as a team during a melee and that therefore blinding your horse would have severely reduced your survivability in a melee.

    In fact, ironically there is a clear contradiction in the argument that horses were trained to ignore solid objects in front of them, in that this is precisely NOT what a rider would want his horse to do under any other circumstance. Indeed, all evidence suggests that the mounted warrior relied almost exclusively on his horse NOT to run into a solid object during battle but rather to avoid anything directly in front of it and to constantly seek gaps between enemy cavalry and infantry to exploit. For a horseman being brought to a halt by an object in front of him is extremely dangerous. Unless he was armed with a spear or a lance he has no effective way of attacking a target to his front, and being forced to a halt losses him the initiative. What the mounted warrior needs his horse to do is keep moving and constantly to move past targets so that the he can strike at them as they pass and then hopefully be out of range before they can recover for a counter stroke. A horse will do this naturally and instinctively, constantly seeking a way through a crowd and if it can't find a gap it will instinctively turn so that the rider can at least strike at his opponents.

    So, I can see the logic of how that natural trait would be useful in combat and that makes it even less likely that our ancestors would have deliberately sought to inhibit it either with blindfolds or some sort of suicidal conditioning.

    Mercer again provides a unique incite into how this worked in practice when he describes how he witnessed two regiments of cavalry charge full tilt at each other 'in such a way that I was convinced that when they met they would destroy each other in a tangle of dead and dying horses'. In fact, as he says 'as if by magic the two opposing regiments seemed to pass directly through each other, the men pointing and thrusting at each other as they passed only to disappear into the battle smoke of opposing directions having done little if any damage to each other at all.'
    Last edited by Didz; 08-05-2007 at 20:43.
    Didz
    Fortis balore et armis

  23. #23

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    I totally agree with whoever said that cav. superiority laid as much in their tactical mobility as in pure melee power. Also, we should not forget the social background medieval central european warfare was fought against, the monted nobility had something of a monopoly on military efforts, it was not in the interest of the ruling classes to have speararmed peasants capable of stopping cav charges around.

  24. #24
    Member Member Apostrophe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Beograd
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    A started campaign with Moors (they were Almohads in MTW which is better by my opinion since most Muslim empires were named by their ruling dynasty, Egyptians were Fatimids), and i had absolutely no problem conquering Spain and France using lots of spearman in defensive stance to hold a line, a couple of archers to provoke AI to advance and a lot of Arab calvary to flank. I never lost a battle (playing on normal) but i am still pretty sure that in multiplayer any player no matter how skilled will lose leading Moors vs. France in hands of decent player.

    I did a lot of tests in custom battle regarding calvary vs. spears and now i am convinced that they really messed this up. Berber spearman has a spear of about his height, which means that when he grips it he will still have around 1.2 meters of spear in front of him, which is more than enough to plunge it into throat of a horse in full charge. The next "wave" of horsemen will then have to worry about a obstacle (a dead horse in this case) and a spear. And so on. You get the basic idea.

    As for swords versus spears, in first Medieval that was the case, and i think that it is logical. Spear has it`s length and when you came close enough it is pretty useless. As for spears in close formations supporting each other well basically spearman left or right of you can`t really support you very much because they have a swordsman in front of them also, and for the back rows when a swordsman goes past the first spear and its "area of usefulness" it has nothing to worry about defending from that spearman joust coming close enough to actually kill him and he can focus on defending from the next spear in line. Most of the swordsmen in game have this in their unit description but the spearman units in my game are so good against swords (they will lose eventually) because they are able to hold those dismounted knights for so long that i have the time to walk my flanking units behind arrange them in formations and smash them from the back.

    Horse archers are good, but they are unable to do significant damage to armored units to make micromanaging lots of them worth in battle. Mounted archers are less precise than foot archers, and they have no AP abilities. They are excellent in the beginning until Catholics start to produce heavier
    armor. And some Catholics have really good HA (or crossbowmen, some of them are AP) later so that HA are not such a big advantage to easter factions to really make up for everything else.

    But this is still the greatest strategy game i played (ok, alpha centauri but this games are hardy comparable). And i had significantly more problems playing catholics (played first game with England and then with Sicilians) then Moors, simply because when fighting catolics with catolics you are pretty much forced to play with some form of straight on approach, thus
    losing significantly more units in battles.

    I was wrong about overpowerd Catholics, you can defeat AI with a little
    strategy and using your mobility to the max. But in multiplayer i really can`t
    see how can any easter faction defeat any western. And they really made a mess with calvary vs. spears.
    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

  25. #25
    Corrupter of Souls Member John_Longarrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Be it ever so humble, there's no place like the Abyss...
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Posted by Apostrophe
    I did a lot of tests in custom battle regarding calvary vs. spears and now i am convinced that they really messed this up. Berber spearman has a spear of about his height, which means that when he grips it he will still have around 1.2 meters of spear in front of him, which is more than enough to plunge it into throat of a horse in full charge. The next "wave" of horsemen will then have to worry about a obstacle (a dead horse in this case) and a spear. And so on. You get the basic idea.
    Apostrophe

    In general, the horse would avoid most troops trying to stick a spear in their throat. Basic behavior. Just like you or I would try to avoid one. That would then leave the spearman outstretched and very vulnerable to the rider trying to either hit them with a sword or, if its a knight, with a much longer lance. A lance is closer to 3m and is designed to be wielded from near the rear. A spear is balanced to be fought with from its center, thus much of that 1.2m reach is not usable.

    You can try this yourself. Get a pole that is about 1m to 1.5m long. See how easy it is to stab with it when you are holding the middle. Try the same when you are holding it near the end. You will notice it is NOT easy to do. If you put a weight (3kg or 4kg) at the rear and brace it (like when using a lance) it is MUCH easier to use though.

    About the worst thing a spearman could do is actually hit a horse straight on with his spear. Thrusting forward into a charging horse would burry the spearpoint into the poor animal. At best, the horse would carry off your spear after pulling it from your hands. Worse, you keep a hold of it and get trampled. Worst case you actually manage to kill the horse and you now have a 1000kg projectile coming through your formation at about 20 kph. As you would be about 1m from the horse when it dies, it will take you out and anyone near you.

    As a spearman your best bet is to try and keep the horse (that isn't suicidal) from getting too close, thus letting you get a stab at the rider (who doesn't have near as much common sence), hopefully killing him.

    Now Pikes are a very different story.

    A 5m pike, braced on the ground and dropped into the path of a horse (hopefully where it can't get out of the way) can impale a horse while giving the soldier wielding it room to get out of the way. It will also absorbe a fair amount of momentum before breaking. More important it is much easier for a group of pikemen to aim for (and remove) a rider before the rider can hit them.

    If you try your fights again using pikes, you'll see a big difference.

    For the Moors, you want to use Jav Cav against the knights. Close in, start throwing, and skirmish away from the armored knights. You will be faster and you will rack up kills. A stack of 20 desert cav can do a LOT of damage to anything. If the battle isn't important, go in, use up your ammo, and retreat. A battle of attrition is where most of the missle heavy armies really shine on the campaign map. In a MP head to head, your greatest strength is negated (your ability to cause damage then leave), but that is a weakness of how MP battles work.

  26. #26
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Bedfordshire UK
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apostrophe
    I never lost a battle (playing on normal) but i am still pretty sure that in multiplayer any player no matter how skilled will lose leading Moors vs. France in hands of decent player.
    I'm sure that losing in MP would have little to do with which faction you used and much more to do with how experienced you were at explioting the system. That is certainly my expereince in all PVP situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apostrophe
    As for spears in close formations supporting each other well basically spearman left or right of you can`t really support you very much because they have a swordsman in front of them also,
    The spearman to your left is supposed to deal with the man attacking you, therefore the idea is that you ignore him. It seems to have worked at Colluden against the Scots, though I must admit it requires considerable trust in your comrades.
    Quote Originally Posted by Apostrophe
    I was wrong about overpowerd Catholics, you can defeat AI with a little strategy and using your mobility to the max. But in multiplayer i really can`t see how can any easter faction defeat any western. And they really made a mess with calvary vs. spears.
    As I say, I don't think anyone should be trying to compare troop values based upon their use in MP. I've seen Peasants beat armies of Warrior Monks in MP games and it has nothing to do with how the units work in SP. The trick to winning MP games is to learn the expliots not to worry about army balance.
    Didz
    Fortis balore et armis

  27. #27

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    I think you are seriously underestimating the power of some of the later units Muslim and Eastern factions have. For the Moors, for instance, Christian Guard and dismounted Christian Guard are the best heavy cavalry and heavy infantry in the entire game. The Turkish Qapukulu is also better than the Catholic knights and the Russian Tsar's Guard and Egyptian Heavy Mamluk are comparable.

  28. #28
    Typing from the Saddle Senior Member Doug-Thompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Fayetteville, AR
    Posts
    2,455

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Every single catholic unit have better stats than orthodox or muslim units in the same "class".
    Mounted Crossbowmen vs. Mamluk Archers. ;)
    "In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns."

  29. #29
    Welsh Cossack Member Czar Alexsandr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tsargrad
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Catholics overpowered? Definately not any west of Poland and Hungary.

    Sure they've got good armour but the mobility and skill of a good horse archer is too much for them. Combined with the units in the rest of an army a skilled eastren army general can carve out an empire from Germany to France in no time. I'm actually doing this to. As Russia I really have no desire to fight Poland and Hungary. It get's tiresome due to the fact the units are so similar. HorseArchers vs HorseArchers isn't pretty... but by looping around thru Denmark I can seccure holdings in the Denmark and Germany areas and fight off whatever they send after me no problem.

    Any Eastern army from any Eastern nation can do really really good against Catholics if the general knows how to do it. But since it's obvious that so many people play Catholic and do good at it it's obvious that any faction can do good. (Remembering the joyus fun I had taking Paris with the Moors... I belive I renamed it Al-Pahr-Hasse.... and Al-Martel to the south, former Bourdeax.. is Marsille.. right, that's Mar-Sal-Sallah now.. )


    "Hope is the last to die." Russian Proverb.

  30. #30
    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Just West of Boston
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Are catholics invincible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Czar Alexsandr
    Sure they've got good armour but the mobility and skill of a good horse archer is too much for them.
    Pretty much sums it up dosent it ?

    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

    Sua Sponte

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO