Are cavalry charges lame in your opinion?

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Couching and stab-based weapons are very wonky for the player as well as cav AI right now. In Warband couched weapons were much more accurate for both player and AI. In Bannerlord, both player and AI couching/stabbing from horseback is very inaccurate.

And yet, infantry attacking a charging horse are superhumanly accurate, rarely if ever missing their attacks.
apparently the devs made it this way so the multiplayer interaction isn't tooooo one sided, but ended up nerfing single player so bad. and it seems there's no one playing multiplayer and the single player base is hanging on because of mods. great game but i wish they actually seemed to care about it
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
As I have already showed and you ignored, the presence of the barricade prevented the charges from making headway. Once the barricade was removed, the charges succeeded. Read this again.

You just gave Hastings as an example of super effective cavalry charge. When I told you that the main contribution of Norman cavalry at Hastings was that their panicked retreat caused Anglo Saxons in to thinking that Normans are finished and break their shield wall to pursue Normans, you counter that Norman charges were prevented to be effective by Anglo-Saxon "barricade".

You did not notice that you are contradicting yourself?

Norman lance cavalry at Hastings could kill infantry in a single lance charge (there were three examples in that text). Bannerlord lance cavalry generally can't.

And that's not true. Lance or spear strike delivered from horseback can and does one shoot enemy in Bannerlord. But that just shows how besides the point you are. At Hastings, and any other real fight, any weapon could and did kill in a single strike. You can kill people with a toothpick in a single strike if you try really hard. However in HP based MB system that's not possible. So my question is, if you don't see one strike of a sword from an infantry one shooting an opponent as a problem then why do you see spear or lance strike taking 50-90% of the target HP down as failure?

All these complains about cavalry in Bannerlord are at the end down to "why can't I play bowling with Sturgian warriors on my horse and one shoot Mamluks with my laser lance"? And why can't I F1-F3 every battle in Bannerlord when I did that in Warband with my Swadian spam.
 
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...he's literally posted videos in this thread.
you mean his frontal charge vs looters?

there's a thing called cognitive bias, which is why most "scientific studies" are useless.
people go into a "test" with a bias and construct the test to prove their hypothesis. seeing only the things from a perspective they previously theorized to be the only way to look at it.

frankly those things are less than evidence. did you bother to read the rest of my post or did you jump at the first line you disagreed with and posted reply?
 
All these complains about cavalry in Bannerlord are at the end down to "why can't I play bowling with Sturgian warriors on my horse and one shoot Mamluks with my laser lance"? And why can't I F1-F3 every battle in Bannerlord when I did that in Warband with my Swadian spam.
from the "discussion" i've witnessed so far. that seems to be largely the case. lol
 

Ningauble

Veteran
As I have already showed and you ignored, the presence of the barricade prevented the charges from making headway. Once the barricade was removed, the charges succeeded. Read this again.

The Normans drew their swords and hewed down the barricades. Then those who kept close guard by William, and rode where he rode, being about a thousand armed men, came and rushed with closed ranks upon the English; and with the weight of their good horses, and the blows the knights gave, broke the press of the enemy.

Another source confirming what I am saying about the cavalry being at a disadvantage due to the English's strategic positioning, is William of Poitiers, who in 1071 (take notice of this date @Ningauble) describes the battle in "The Deeds of William, Duke of the Normans."

The English were greatly helped by the advantage of the high ground... also by their great number, and further, by their weapons which could easily find a way through shields and other defences... Terrified by this ferocity, the Norman foot soldiers began to retreat... The duke galloped up in front of them, shouting and brandishing his lance. Removing his helmet to bare his head, he cried: "Look at me. I am alive, and, by God's help, I shall win (...)". The duke was the first to charge forward, sword flashing, cutting down the English. The English were so densely massed that the dead could scarcely fall. However, breaches were cut in several places by the swords of the Norman knights.

Norman lance cavalry at Hastings could kill infantry in a single lance charge (there were three examples in that text). Bannerlord lance cavalry generally can't.

It's clear that he's talking about melee cavalry.
Ranged cavalry have all these exact same advantages, making melee cavalry pretty much useless.
You deal with horse archers by... using other horse archers.

Well then I'm glad we can finally agree on something because this is the main issue which is making melee cavalry weak.

Couching and stab-based weapons are very wonky for the player as well as cav AI right now. In Warband couched weapons were much more accurate for both player and AI. In Bannerlord, both player and AI couching/stabbing from horseback is very inaccurate.

And yet, infantry attacking a charging horse are superhumanly accurate, rarely if ever missing their attacks.

If you have a better one which supports Hruza's statement that the Norman cavalry absolutely failed to do anything at all, I'd like to see it.
Your (proofless) attacks on the source should take into account that almost every single piece of medieval history we read was commissioned by someone. Roman de Rou was obviously written with an agenda, but its target audience was the nobility who actually engaged in fighting, so "fantasy" would be ineffective propaganda because they would recognize it as incorrect. Wace fairly portrays both sides as fighting quite well, with nothing outlandish in the retelling of the battle, and omitting the embellishments some other versions use (such as Tallifleur's sword tricks).
What exact part of the history are you calling fantasy, and what is your alternate source?

While probably not couched in the strictest sense of the word, they were certainly in underhand "semi-couched" grip, which for the purposes of this discussion is functionally identical, since either way the question is about deadliness of cavalry in a charge.
If you say the Tapestry depicts them "all in overhand" then evidently you haven't even looked at it.
BayeuxTapestryScene54.jpg

Knight in the center.
BayeuxTapestryScene52b.jpg

Knight slightly to the right.
BayeuxTapestryScene51b.jpg

Knight furthest right.
So, " just about all " then. In the Tapestry the odd exception proves the rule .........
 

five bucks

Squire
You just gave Hastings as an example of super effective cavalry charge. When I told you that the main contribution of Norman cavalry at Hastings was that their panicked retreat caused Anglo Saxons in to thinking that Normans are finished and break their shield wall to pursue Normans, you counter that Norman charges were prevented to be effective by Anglo-Saxon "barricade".

You did not notice that you are contradicting yourself?
There's no contradiction at all. You're just once again failing to read what I have told you over and over.

* The initial charges had a result against the shieldwall, despite multiple disadvantages, "cutting breaches in several places" and the battle going back and forth. All of this is consistent with what I am saying about heavy cavalry being equal in a straight fight to heavy infantry in a shieldwall.

* The sources say the retreat was feigned. Even assuming it was a real retreat, I have already shown the charge itself still had an effect, and was not a "complete failure".

* The shieldwall reformed at nearly-full strength after the initial drawing-out of some troops. So, the charges later on in the day were against a still formed, tightly packed shieldwall of Saxon forces, which the Norman cavalry overran.

If you ignore these points for the fourth time, I'll take it as you admitting that you do not have a response to give, and are wrong.
And that's not true. Lance or spear strike delivered from horseback can and does one shoot enemy in Bannerlord. But that just shows how besides the point you are.
Again, you need to learn to read. I said "charge", not "strike."

Strikes can one shot. But charges generally do not, because within a charge, the cavalry AI frequently misses its strike.
So my question is, if you don't see one strike of a sword from an infantry one shooting an opponent as a problem then why do you see spear or lance strike taking 50-90% of the target HP down as failure?
See above- this is about the success rate of the charge. Not the strike's damage.
All these complains about cavalry in Bannerlord are at the end down to "why can't I play bowling with Sturgian warriors on my horse and one shoot Mamluks with my laser lance"? And why can't I F1-F3 every battle in Bannerlord when I did that in Warband with my Swadian spam.
The reason you have had to argue about this topic nonstop for 6 years is because you fail to read what people are actually saying, and instead argue with a made-up strawman. If you actually read posts properly and didn't ignore the evidence people give you, you would saved yourself multiple years worth of arguing.

I am not asking to F1+F3 every single battle with cavalry spam. I repeatedly say that cavalry charges should be weak against braced pike infantry. What I am arguing for is cavalry to have a more effective role in gameplay, which they currently lack. Buffing melee cav a little bit from their utterly garbage cost:reward ratio is not going to turn them into Swadian Knights.
So, " just about all " then. In the Tapestry the odd exception proves the rule .........
Is it so hard to just graciously say "I was wrong"? What point are you even trying to make anymore and how is it relevant to the overall argument?
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
There's no contradiction at all. You're just once again failing to read what I have told you over and over.

* The initial charges had a result against the shieldwall, despite multiple disadvantages, "cutting breaches in several places" and the battle going back and forth. All of this is consistent with what I am saying about heavy cavalry being equal in a straight fight to heavy infantry in a shieldwall.

* The sources say the retreat was feigned. Even assuming it was a real retreat, I have already shown the charge itself still had an effect, and was not a "complete failure".

* The shieldwall reformed at nearly-full strength after the initial drawing-out of some troops. So, the charges later on in the day were against a still formed, tightly packed shieldwall of Saxon forces, which the Norman cavalry overran.

If you ignore these points for the fourth time, I'll take it as you admitting that you do not have a response to give, and are wrong.

Again, you need to learn to read. I said "charge", not "strike."

Strikes can one shot. But charges generally do not, because within a charge, the cavalry AI frequently misses its strike.

See above- this is about the success rate of the charge. Not the strike's damage.

The reason you have had to argue about this topic nonstop for 6 years is because you fail to read what people are actually saying, and instead argue with a made-up strawman. If you actually read posts properly and didn't ignore the evidence people give you, you would saved yourself multiple years worth of arguing.

I am not asking to F1+F3 every single battle with cavalry spam. I repeatedly say that cavalry charges should be weak against braced pike infantry. What I am arguing for is cavalry to have a more effective role in gameplay, which they currently lack. Buffing melee cav a little bit from their utterly garbage cost:reward ratio is not going to turn them into Swadian Knights.

Is it so hard to just graciously say "I was wrong"? What point are you even trying to make anymore and how is it relevant to the overall argument

Mate, do not waste more energy arguing about this. Devs have already confirmed that they want to improve cavalry AI, and they are aware of cavalry is weak currently. There are complains about captain mode players who find cavalry AI really bad, and fixing these issues are included in the devs’ plans.
 

Ningauble

Veteran
There's no contradiction at all. You're just once again failing to read what I have told you over and over.

* The initial charges had a result against the shieldwall, despite multiple disadvantages, "cutting breaches in several places" and the battle going back and forth. All of this is consistent with what I am saying about heavy cavalry being equal in a straight fight to heavy infantry in a shieldwall.

* The sources say the retreat was feigned. Even assuming it was a real retreat, I have already shown the charge itself still had an effect, and was not a "complete failure".

* The shieldwall reformed at nearly-full strength after the initial drawing-out of some troops. So, the charges later on in the day were against a still formed, tightly packed shieldwall of Saxon forces, which the Norman cavalry overran.

If you ignore these points for the fourth time, I'll take it as you admitting that you do not have a response to give, and are wrong.

Again, you need to learn to read. I said "charge", not "strike."

Strikes can one shot. But charges generally do not, because within a charge, the cavalry AI frequently misses its strike.

See above- this is about the success rate of the charge. Not the strike's damage.

The reason you have had to argue about this topic nonstop for 6 years is because you fail to read what people are actually saying, and instead argue with a made-up strawman. If you actually read posts properly and didn't ignore the evidence people give you, you would saved yourself multiple years worth of arguing.

I am not asking to F1+F3 every single battle with cavalry spam. I repeatedly say that cavalry charges should be weak against braced pike infantry. What I am arguing for is cavalry to have a more effective role in gameplay, which they currently lack. Buffing melee cav a little bit from their utterly garbage cost:reward ratio is not going to turn them into Swadian Knights.

Is it so hard to just graciously say "I was wrong"? What point are you even trying to make anymore and how is it relevant to the overall argument?
I'm thinking of the poor horses ........
 

Ningauble

Veteran
Yeah, it's hard to justify horses' involvement in war from a moral perspective. At least we have the tank and armored car to thank for mostly taking them out of it.
So, keeping the paramount continued use of your horse under you in mind ( for your own continued operability / survivability through the battle, as well as natural care and concern for your " bonded ", and valuable, and, crucially, fragile, " soft target ", mount ), and especially if it is not itself armoured / barded, it defies age - old logic ( and self - interest ) to crash with hundreds of your fellow " knights " head - on into a decent spear / shield wall ( of some depth, and, the whole point is, themselves committed to stand and fight ), like a powerful wave crashing onto rocks - you might get lucky lancing ( couched or " pig sticking ", either ) your front rank opponent in the initial hit ( and there goes your lance ), but his own spear / great axe, or his shoulder - to - shoulder buddy's, and even more likely those of the ranks behind him, will maim / lame / decommission / kill your horse under you, mounts suddenly going down in the front ranks of the shield wall will trip up your followers just behind, themselves going down, knights thrown, all on top of you, a train wreck of a charge absorbed into the depths of a fighting shield wall.
M.A.D.
So the deterrent of M.A.D. implies that things were done in a more patient, sensible, " sustainable ", way, starting with forces eye - balling each other ...... and if you can chip away at the shield wall's ( only fyrd ? ) will to hold and fight ( and chip away at their cohesion, and endurance, with feigned flights all day, and cut some down out in the open ) they might eventually waver and disintegrate in the face of yet another " charge ".......... and then you can deal with the huscarls piecemeal.

I'm thinking of the poor horses, not just re welfare issues or love, but because as a ( perhaps noble, anyway, " the man " ) knight I need to stay mounted and effective ( and alive ) through the battle, not thrown away as an " expendable " in a one - shot " kamikaze " battering - ram frontal charge into a tough shield wall, not with all my responsibilities and station in the realm, considering all the better use around the battlefield my heavy cavalry unit can be put to to eventually win the day, in the process giving me a decent chance of living to see another ...... I have always to consider my horse, my vehicle into, and out of, a fight.

I'm thinking of the poor, vulnerable, horses, because that is the key to imagining / understanding what cavalry could and could not reasonably ( be asked to ) achieve.
Thinking practically : no more horse, no more cavalry.
But, sure, as I have said, sometimes, when blood's up ........

( and, sure, at Hastings the Normans' tactical options were limited by the Saxons' strong defensive position etc ; they evidently tried a few things all day, held their nerve, wore the shield wall down, physically, mentally, exploited some eventual chinks ........ )
 
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five bucks

Squire
So, keeping the paramount continued use of your horse under you in mind ( for your own continued operability / survivability through the battle, as well as natural care and concern for your " bonded ", and valuable, and, crucially, fragile, mount
Duke William had at least two horses killed under him at Hastings. Yes they were valuable and you wouldn't want to throw their lives away, but evidently you could lose a horse and survive.
it defies age - old logic ( and self - interest ) to crash with hundreds of your fellow " knights " head - on into a decent spear / shield wall.
I'm thinking of the poor, vulnerable, horses, because that is the key to imagining / understanding what cavalry could and could not reasonably ( be asked to ) achieve.
I have agreed many times with hruza in this thread that it's a terrible, practically suicidal choice to charge into a formation of long braced spears. But it still happened, as I have shown with examples like Marignano and Bannockburn. It was possible and could make an impact but would probably result in your death, and that's how it should be represented in Bannerlord.

If cavalry charge a braced pike, the horse should die and collapse/be severely wounded and rear up depending on their level of armor, but the pikeman should also be knocked over and injured by the weight of a 500kg horse hitting him. Naturally the rider should also be thrown to the ground with minor injury.

Charging into a shieldwall is also a worse tactical choice compared to flanking or otherwise breaking up the shieldwall, I agree. But it still happened, it is still feasible, and the cavalry will not die instantly and can still have quite a decent impact by doing it, as I have shown with the Hastings and Dorostolon examples.

This can be represented in Bannerlord with pretty much the way the game works now, since cavalry already get bogged down in shieldwall formations if they charge. Making cav targeting more accurate and increasing their charge impact a little is needed, of course.
especially if it is not itself armoured / barded
Quite a few Bannerlord horses are.
The way I see it, in-game higher tier infantry should have longer, stouter pikes to be capable of inflicting greater wounds to a charging horse, but higher tier cavalry should have better armored horses to offset that. So that very low tier pike infantry doesn't make high tier cavalry completely useless (though they can still seriously wound/rear them of course).
 
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Ningauble

Veteran
It is amazing how many leaders had numerous horses killed under them, in their careers, in a day ............. Forrest had thirty horses shot out from under him, Custer eleven. Of course, we celebrate the notable survivors of that fraught situation ....... how many were lost in the same circumstance, like Richard III ?
 
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ceprast

Recruit
While Hruza may be kinda hyperbolic he is mostly right. Cavalry generally could not overcome formed infantry in good order regardless of weapons used by either side as long as the weapons posed a threat. The Normans typically did not charge straight into enemy formations and when they did, they used strategems to cause disorder first. This was in fact why their armies were composed with so many archers, the archers would soften up the target first to cause general confusion which would then be exploited by the cavalry.

This is actually why the Cavalry at Hastings performed so poorly initially. The archers were unable to be effective due to the angle and shooting at a shield wall, consequently the cavalry was unable to break through and was repulsed every time. The battle did not turn until the Saxons broke formation and charged down the hill to be slaughtered, twice. It was only after most of the army was destroyed that the Norman charges finally succeeded on what was probably a very demoralized enemy.

Now this isn't to say that a frontal charge could not succeed as they obviously did. However the mechanism by which they succeeded had little to do with the weapons and was instead decided by morale. Basically combat in those days was a big game of chicken, whoever broke first got annihilated. This is why the Normans actually preferred smaller horses because they were better for turning around in case of a failed charge, this was important because if the enemy failed to break then the mounted knights would be at a major disadvantage in a fight because multiple infantry would engage each one of them. Being mounted meant that the Norman knights could turn and run without fearing annihilation, reform and try again. But if any one of their many charges succeeded then their opposition was screwed. It was not the material effect of a charge which destroyed the enemy but wearing them down until they broke formation and could be destroyed in the pursuit.

This sort of hit and run style was a natural evolution, European knights evolved from the ancient cavalryman that threw javelins at each other. As developments like stirrups, saddles, and spurs progressed it allowed for a more stable platform for the cavalryman to fight from, which meant using spears in a similar manner riding along enemy lines trying to stab targets of opportunity and occasional fencing. The Norman innovation of massed sudden charges was a development of that. It is also interesting to note that the American Apaches went through as similar evolution of javelin throwing to lances independently.

Heavy cavalry would charge infantry formations, but typically only after using some other method to disorder or disrupt the enemy first. The Normans in Ireland had a habit of stampeding cattle and exploiting the confusion. Elsewhere most other forces used some combination of Archers and dismounted men at arms to create a situation for the cavalry charge to exploit, rarely did anyone try to just force an engagement with just cavalry and if they did it often ended up like Agincourt.

There are also some alibi's in this thread as well when referring to cataphracts and the heavily armored cavalry of the Renaissance era, this cavalry was wholly different and did not rely on breaking through from mass, but rather they relied on their heavy armor to make them impervious to the enemy and would instead fence the enemy. Such cavalry would focus on approaching slowly as to maintain their order and formation in order to provide mutual support. For them charging at speed was actually dangerous as for one a pike or spear couldn't penetrate their armor unless they impaled themselves upon it, and for two losing cohesion meant getting isolated and that was pretty much the only way they could be brought down. This is why the source on page 5 of this thread refers to the cataphracts just trotting up to their enemies and beating them with maces while the enemy couldn't do anything about it. This was possible in real life because IRL the armor they had was actually very effective. Pikes and spears could do very little to actually harm someone in armor, however that was not their purpose. The pike was meant to be an obstruction to keep the enemy cavalry at bay while halberds, bills, poleaxes, and the like did the work. At the same time the cavalry lance was not meant to fight the pikemen which weren't the primary threat but instead to fight those with the shorter purpose built armor defeating weapons. Eventually the bills and halberds vs lances were replaced by musket vs pistol as firearms were developed.

I would suggest reading "battle studies" by Ardant du Picq. He breaks this all down much better and he was actually a contemporary of actual cavalry charges.

As for the game I have found two mods that make cavalry much better and actually capable. These are RTS camera, it allows you much greater control of your troops allowing you to pause the game and give orders and it allows you to have melee forces engage enemy formations which is really important for when you want your light cav to charge archers but not the enemy shield wall. The other useful mod is companion respeccing which allows you to train captains into specialties much more easily, and saves you headache in the long run. This makes a huge difference because having the right skills, for the troops you want to use makes a a reasonable.
 

five bucks

Squire
Of course, we celebrate the notable survivors of that fraught situation ....... how many were lost in the same circumstance, like Richard III ?
Richard was apparently dehorsed when separated from his main force and heavily outnumbered, which makes quite a bit of difference to one's chances of survival.
Cavalry generally could not overcome formed infantry in good order regardless of weapons used by either side as long as the weapons posed a threat.

It was not the material effect of a charge which destroyed the enemy but wearing them down until they broke formation and could be destroyed in the pursuit.

Now this isn't to say that a frontal charge could not succeed as they obviously did. However the mechanism by which they succeeded had little to do with the weapons and was instead decided by morale. Basically combat in those days was a big game of chicken, whoever broke first got annihilated.

I would suggest reading "battle studies" by Ardant du Picq. He breaks this all down much better and he was actually a contemporary of actual cavalry charges.
I've just found and read all sections of his book relevant to cavalry. Yes, his opinion does in some ways seem to match the statement you make above, though not exactly. There are some things that bear keeping in mind.

1: His general statements on the effectiveness of cavalry frontally attacking infantry are based on a handful of examples from the ancient and modern-era (as in, for his day), but not medieval. As has already been discussed here earlier, 1800s melee cavalry had an additional disadvantage relative to infantry which their early medieval counterparts did not- accurate, powerful, common firearms carried by every single infantryman. Ancient cavalry, on the other hand, were less effective than their medieval counterparts in a direct charge because the stirrup hadn't yet been introduced, so it was difficult to hit someone on the ground while wearing 20kg of armor and not fall off; du Picq notes this when he quotes Xenophon.

But medieval warriors, thanks to the stirrup, were more stable when attacking from horseback. And they didn't have to worry about every single infantryman they charged also being an effective ranged combatant as well.

When du Picq actually talks about medieval warriors, he acknowledges that they were more effective than earlier counterparts: "The fighting of the Middle Ages revived the ancient battles except in science. Cavalrymen attacked each other perhaps more than the ancient cavalry did, for the reason that they were invulnerable: it was not sufficient to throw them down; it was necessary to kill when once they were on the ground."

2: While du Picq did partake in some battles, I don't believe it was as a cavalryman. Perhaps it would be better to read a contemporary account from an actual cavalryman.

Werner Behm of the Mecklenburg Hussars, on what he did at the Battle of Möckern in 1813:

Already we could see an enemy square. Both wings of our regiment extended beyond it, but all veered in to the centre and a dreadful crush developed, so that in the 2nd Squadron, some horses and riders were lifted off the ground. Luckily for us, the side of the square facing us fired too soon. The order "March! March! Hurrah!" rang out and we charged at the enemy. A group of riders in advance of our main body crashed into the corner of the square like a battering ram and broke it away from the other infantry. The wings of the regiment were ordered to close in and we surrounded the square on all sides. On the left wing Leutnant Schüssler was killed and Rittmeister Damm was wounded in the arm. At the first shock, several of our men had penetrated the square in several places, including Cpl. Woltersdorf, whose horse received several bayonet wounds in the chest, but crashed into the square and out again. At the front of the square, which had been the steadiest side, Cpl. Benzien of the 3rd Squadron had charged into the thickest part and had caused chaos, as had Cpl Rheinhold of the 4th Squadron. Many other troopers followed their example. We later counted 60 horses with bayonet wounds in the chest. In a few places the square held firm. And these points, the troopers turned their horses to the left in order to be able to use their sabres, and edged up to the enemy, trying to hack at the officers who were ordering their men to fire. These suffered many cuts to their faces. Gradually the square was crushed together into a shapeless mass; there was no way out for them. Many duels broke out between the hussars and the infantry."

Then we have some historical examples written about by Lewis Nolan, a British cavalry officer, who states "the safety of the infantry does not depend upon the courage, upon the steady discipline and firm behaviour of the square, but rather, solely, on the forbearance of the
cavalry." He writes of the siege of Trichinopoli, 1753:

The Mahrattas, much reduced in numbers, but still determined to have their revenge, formed in two ranks, the second at some distance behind the first; they then advanced steadily up to the bayonets; the English took a deliberate aim, poured upon them a most deadly fire, and down went the leading ranks, men and horses: the Mahrattas had drawn the fire, as had been agreed amongst them; but over their prostrate bodies rushed the rear rank like infuriated fiends, to avenge their fall, and, dashing in through the bayonets, these horsemen killed every man in the detachment.

At Wertingen, 1805:

Murat, at the head of three divisions of cavalry, surprised and defeated General Auffenberg's Austrian corps of nine battalions, four squadrons: the infantry was formed in square and made a gallant resistance. Many fell under the sword; 2000 prisoners, of whom fifty-two were officers, eight guns, and three standards, fell into the hands of the French.

At Waterloo:

The next square to us, was charged at the same time, and were unfortunately broken into (by the French cavalry) and retired in confusion, followed by the [French] cuirassiers.

At the Battle of Dresden 1813, the Austrian square- despite being tightly formed and wielding bayonets- had wet powder and could not fire, so Latour-Maubourg's lancers simply advanced at a trot and skewered them with their lances of superior reach, killing multiple with impunity. Eventually the Austrians broke, but they did not run away at the first charge.

So, in conclusion, direct cavalry charges could in fact charge unbroken, formed infantry in tight formation and succeed. The morale of the infantry did not have to be broken (I have also already demonstrated this earlier in the thread but whatever).

Bonus battle: Los Yebenes, where Polish lancers smashed through the lines of sabre-armed carabineers who tried to block their escape.
The Normans typically did not charge straight into enemy formations and when they did, they used strategems to cause disorder first.
No disagreement about the "typically". This is about whether you can do it, even if it's not the best option.
From an in-game perspective, the player should get better results by flanking, but still be able to succeed in a frontal attack. Otherwise you get the situation of cavalry being totally useless against an enemy they can't flank.
This is actually why the Cavalry at Hastings performed so poorly initially. The archers were unable to be effective due to the angle and shooting at a shield wall, consequently the cavalry was unable to break through and was repulsed every time.
The actual reason is they were charging up a steep hill, potentially into barricades (possibly something like pic related)
w9St3pG.jpg


and despite this, they still made an impact according to both sources.
Just because you didn't wipe the enemy away in a single charge doesn't mean you "performed poorly". Killing enemies in your charge and losing some of your own men is a neutral result. Also, retreating to attempt another charge doesn't mean you didn't kill anyone.
The battle did not turn until the Saxons broke formation and charged down the hill to be slaughtered, twice. It was only after most of the army was destroyed that the Norman charges finally succeeded on what was probably a very demoralized enemy.
This has already been addressed as incorrect in the thread. The feigned/real flights only drew out a part of the Saxon force; when they were killed, they were replaced by other men and the shieldwall held. Keep in mind that the feigned flight occurred before the afternoon; by this time, according to the sources, numerous Normans had died as well. If the feigned flights had killed "most" of the Saxon force, the battle would not have lasted for the other half of the day. As for morale, both sides would have probably been demoralized.

When the Normans charged and succeeded, from the information we have on Hastings, it was into an unbroken formation of tightly-packed infantry which included some of the best heavy infantry in the world at the time.
This is why the Normans actually preferred smaller horses because they were better for turning around in case of a failed charge
Bachrach estimates Norman horses were 15-16 hands, and 14.5 hand horses were found at the 8thc Saxon burial site of Rullstorf. For comparison, massive horses like Clydesdales are 17 hands, while a miniature horse is 12 hands.
This was important because if the enemy failed to break then the mounted knights would be at a major disadvantage in a fight because multiple infantry would engage each one of them.
That's a disadvantage, but on the other hand they had the advantage of raining blows down from above on the enemy's heads, their own heads being safely out of reach, and of their horse's body pushing and trampling the infantry. Also as above examples have shown, cavalry can break right through squares of men if needed.
There are also some alibi's in this thread as well when referring to cataphracts and the heavily armored cavalry of the Renaissance era, this cavalry was wholly different and did not rely on breaking through from mass, but rather they relied on their heavy armor to make them impervious to the enemy and would instead fence the enemy. Such cavalry would focus on approaching slowly as to maintain their order and formation in order to provide mutual support. For them charging at speed was actually dangerous as for one a pike or spear couldn't penetrate their armor unless they impaled themselves upon it, and for two losing cohesion meant getting isolated and that was pretty much the only way they could be brought down. This is why the source on page 5 of this thread refers to the cataphracts just trotting up to their enemies and beating them with maces while the enemy couldn't do anything about it. This was possible in real life because IRL the armor they had was actually very effective. Pikes and spears could do very little to actually harm someone in armor, however that was not their purpose. The pike was meant to be an obstruction to keep the enemy cavalry at bay while halberds, bills, poleaxes, and the like did the work. At the same time the cavalry lance was not meant to fight the pikemen which weren't the primary threat but instead to fight those with the shorter purpose built armor defeating weapons. Eventually the bills and halberds vs lances were replaced by musket vs pistol as firearms were developed.
Yep, all pretty consistent with what I'm saying.
As for the game I have found two mods that make cavalry much better and actually capable. RTS camera, it allows you much greater control of your troops allowing you to pause the game and give orders and it allows you to have melee forces engage enemy formations which is really important for when you want your light cav to charge archers but not the enemy shield wall.
RTS camera is a good mod, yeah. Even if they added the ability to charge the right formation when you want to vanilla it still wouldn't make up for how much melee cav sucks right now, though.
 
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