Are cavalry charges lame in your opinion?

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five bucks

Sergeant at Arms
There is one thing that really frustrates me in this game (even though I love Bannerlord) and those are Cavalry Charges.
My preffered combat style has always been on horseback as a shock cavalry.
Cavarly was supposed to charge in a tight formation to deal massive damage into enemy lines, from the powerful Macedonian Companions to the legendary Medieval Knights with their couched lances.

Now I know Total War and Bannerlord are two completely different type of games, but sadly in Bannerlord you just don't get the feeling of a cavalry charge, at all.
I try to micro my army (composed of infantry, archers and shock cavalry mostly) in order to face the enemy at a certain angles so when I order the charge they just don't randomly go wherever they want, but it doesn't matter and still happens that when I order my cavalry to charge it is infuriating to see they break formation and follow single cavalry archers instead of charging as a pack to the rear or flank of the enemy line rendering the charge completely useless and dying to stray arrows.
To make matters worse, they sometimes do go and attack the enemy line from an angle I want but most of them just freeze when they crash against a foot soldier as if they were a wall.

Does anybody else feels the same way about it?
Melee cavalry (especially with spears) is too weak right now yeah. I think mainly because they miss too often and are way too inaccurate. Obviously there should be some inaccuracy but not this much.

The game should ultimately be balanced so that:
  • Two-handed long polearms can be braced in the ground (I know this is on their list of things to do) to stop cavalry charges in a 90° radius in front, while shorter one-handed polearms, the sort you can use with a shield, cannot.
  • Large shields are counted as anti-cavalry charge shields that can stop cavalry charges while in shieldwall formation. Small shields cannot.
  • Melee cavalry charging any equal-tier infantry formation which does not have braced polearms or a shieldwall to act as a defense will inflict massive damage. The infantry formation can counter this by standing on unfavourable ground for a cavalry charge, or hiding behind an allied formation, or hoping for a lucky swing and for the couch to miss, or (if archers) shooting them down on the approach.
  • Melee cavalry charging an equal shieldwall formation gets stopped/reared up, inflicts shield damage, but takes no damage and deals no damage in the charge (unless they broke through a shield).
  • Melee cavalry charging an equal infantry formation with braced two-handed pikes gets reared up and takes massive damage. The melee cavalry can counter this by using allies as a distraction and charging from the side or rear, the "hammer and anvil" tactic.
Right now it kind of feels like the opposite. Melee cavalry charging even looters needs multiple attempts to kill them if they're trying to couched charge, and melee cavalry charging shieldless, pikeless two-hander shock infantry tend to get gangbanged instead of the other way around because shock infantry have some kind of superhuman ability to perfectly hit a charging horse for massive damage.
There is some evidence suggesting cavalry charges never worked the way we think they might have (smashing horses galloping at full speed vs masses of armed men) but instead they might have nudged and probed their way into formations (at a walking speed) until gaps appeared and then ran through those gaps until all cohesion on the other side broke.

I wonder what the physics and mechanics of real ancient/medieval battles actually looked like.. I guess we’ll never truly know.
I wound up in a very lengthy argument on the topic here https://forums.taleworlds.com/index...ggestions-updated.433527/page-18#post-9574723 and did a fair bit of research into it, reading primary sources of various battles from the 1000s time period, and also university papers/articles written on the topic of Byzantine, Norman and Frankish cavalry.

To save you going through the whole mess, the overall conclusion I came to was that charging couched lance cavalry could indeed frontally gallop at full speed at masses of well-trained, well-disciplined, armed men and smash through (example: Battle of Dyrrhachium and Siege of Dorostolon), so long as the infantry formation didn't have long braced pikes that outreached the lances of the cavalry, or a solid shieldwall of big shields. In the case of a solid shieldwall, the cavalry would sometimes need to employ the gap-finding tactic you talked about (example: Battle of Hastings) or sometimes they could even break through (example: Siege of Dorostolon again where the Byzantine cataphracts literally rode down the shieldwall).

You're right that we'll never know the exact physics of real life medieval battles. Ultimately the goal for the purposes of gameplay should be something that looks believable at face value.
 
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Melee cavalry (especially with spears) is too weak right now yeah. I think mainly because they miss too often and are way too inaccurate. Obviously there should be some inaccuracy but not this much.

The game should ultimately be balanced so that:
  • Two-handed long polearms can be braced in the ground (I know this is on their list of things to do) to stop cavalry charges in a 90° radius in front, while shorter one-handed polearms, the sort you can use with a shield, cannot.
  • Large shields are counted as anti-cavalry charge shields that can stop cavalry charges while in shieldwall formation. Small shields cannot.
  • Melee cavalry charging any equal-tier infantry formation which does not have braced polearms or a shieldwall to act as a defense will inflict massive damage. The infantry formation can counter this by standing on unfavourable ground for a cavalry charge, or hiding behind an allied formation, or hoping for a lucky swing and for the couch to miss, or (if archers) shooting them down on the approach.
  • Melee cavalry charging an equal shieldwall formation gets stopped/reared up, inflicts shield damage, but takes no damage and deals no damage in the charge (unless they broke through a shield).
  • Melee cavalry charging an equal infantry formation with braced two-handed pikes gets reared up and takes massive damage. The melee cavalry can counter this by using allies as a distraction and charging from the side or rear, the "hammer and anvil" tactic.
Right now it kind of feels like the opposite. Melee cavalry charging even looters needs multiple attempts to kill them if they're trying to couched charge, and melee cavalry charging shieldless, pikeless two-hander shock infantry tend to get gangbanged instead of the other way around because shock infantry have some kind of superhuman ability to perfectly hit a charging horse for massive damage.

I wound up in a very lengthy argument on the topic here https://forums.taleworlds.com/index...ggestions-updated.433527/page-18#post-9574723 and did a fair bit of research into it, reading primary sources of various battles from the 1000s time period, and also university papers/articles written on the topic of Byzantine, Norman and Frankish cavalry.

To save you going through the whole mess, the overall conclusion I came to was that charging couched lance cavalry could indeed frontally gallop at full speed at masses of well-trained, well-disciplined, armed men and smash through (example: Battle of Dyrrhachium and Siege of Dorostolon), so long as the infantry formation didn't have long braced pikes that outreached the lances of the cavalry, or a solid shieldwall of big shields. In the case of a solid shieldwall, the cavalry would sometimes need to employ the gap-finding tactic you talked about (example: Battle of Hastings) or sometimes they could even break through (example: Siege of Dorostolon again where the Byzantine cataphracts literally rode down the shieldwall).

You're right that we'll never know the exact physics of real life medieval battles. Ultimately the goal for the purposes of gameplay should be something that looks believable at face value.
From the several sources I have read, that's pretty much the consensus, I'd just add that on the XII-XIII centuries, it was quite common the cavalry charge would fizzle as they were approaching the opposite formation...then they would return in order to regroup and charge once again. Also, they'd change the horses as they tire (the richest knights would have more than 5, the destrier being the top notch option although only few could afford them). That's heavy cavalry though, light cavalry had different tactics obviously.
 

Gadheras

Regular
Would been nice if you could given the order to charge "group"... Assuming the enemy's units is grouped as well. So If I want my cav to focus on their cav archers, I can have them do that. Or if I want them to charge their line of archers, they would focus on that. Just as I would want to issue command to my infantry to charge their infantry and not decide to run after some lonely cav archer.
 

SteelBrain

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Would been nice if you could given the order to charge "group"... Assuming the enemy's units is grouped as well. So If I want my cav to focus on their cav archers, I can have them do that. Or if I want them to charge their line of archers, they would focus on that. Just as I would want to issue command to my infantry to charge their infantry and not decide to run after some lonely cav archer.
This. To get my Cav to attack the right target, I basically command them to follow me, run completely through through the unit I want them to target, and before they reach the same unit give them the charge command. Just about the only way I've found to have them not chase the lone retreating peasant. That's not commanding a smart army, that's leading your troops on a leash like a group of lost ducklings.
 

Yertyl

Regular
Melee cavalry (especially with spears) is too weak right now yeah. I think mainly because they miss too often and are way too inaccurate. Obviously there should be some inaccuracy but not this much.

The game should ultimately be balanced so that:
  • Two-handed long polearms can be braced in the ground (I know this is on their list of things to do) to stop cavalry charges in a 90° radius in front, while shorter one-handed polearms, the sort you can use with a shield, cannot.
  • Large shields are counted as anti-cavalry charge shields that can stop cavalry charges while in shieldwall formation. Small shields cannot.
  • Melee cavalry charging any equal-tier infantry formation which does not have braced polearms or a shieldwall to act as a defense will inflict massive damage. The infantry formation can counter this by standing on unfavourable ground for a cavalry charge, or hiding behind an allied formation, or hoping for a lucky swing and for the couch to miss, or (if archers) shooting them down on the approach.
  • Melee cavalry charging an equal shieldwall formation gets stopped/reared up, inflicts shield damage, but takes no damage and deals no damage in the charge (unless they broke through a shield).
  • Melee cavalry charging an equal infantry formation with braced two-handed pikes gets reared up and takes massive damage. The melee cavalry can counter this by using allies as a distraction and charging from the side or rear, the "hammer and anvil" tactic.
Right now it kind of feels like the opposite. Melee cavalry charging even looters needs multiple attempts to kill them if they're trying to couched charge, and melee cavalry charging shieldless, pikeless two-hander shock infantry tend to get gangbanged instead of the other way around because shock infantry have some kind of superhuman ability to perfectly hit a charging horse for massive damage.

I wound up in a very lengthy argument on the topic here https://forums.taleworlds.com/index...ggestions-updated.433527/page-18#post-9574723 and did a fair bit of research into it, reading primary sources of various battles from the 1000s time period, and also university papers/articles written on the topic of Byzantine, Norman and Frankish cavalry.

To save you going through the whole mess, the overall conclusion I came to was that charging couched lance cavalry could indeed frontally gallop at full speed at masses of well-trained, well-disciplined, armed men and smash through (example: Battle of Dyrrhachium and Siege of Dorostolon), so long as the infantry formation didn't have long braced pikes that outreached the lances of the cavalry, or a solid shieldwall of big shields. In the case of a solid shieldwall, the cavalry would sometimes need to employ the gap-finding tactic you talked about (example: Battle of Hastings) or sometimes they could even break through (example: Siege of Dorostolon again where the Byzantine cataphracts literally rode down the shieldwall).

You're right that we'll never know the exact physics of real life medieval battles. Ultimately the goal for the purposes of gameplay should be something that looks believable at face value.
Interesting read. But from a gameplay perspective, spear infantry should probably remain strong against cavalry, because otherwise...what would be? Archers? Horse archers? Stopping cavalry is the main strength of spear industry, and it is already relatively easy for cavalry to avoid charging straight into them. If they do that, they should be punished.
 

orgat

Recruit
Commenting on the original post, the problem starts with the fact you can't tell your troops which enemy to charge.
I found this to be very lacking and annoying from my day 1 of playing this game.
I mean, come on, do I really have to babysit them and guide them all the way to the right enemy formation and only then charge? when it's sometimes too late and they don't gain enough momentum.
 

five bucks

Sergeant at Arms
Interesting read. But from a gameplay perspective, spear infantry should probably remain strong against cavalry
Yep, I agree and that's what I'm trying to say. That is, so long as that spear infantry has long enough spears that they can be braced. My bad if my post wording was obtuse.
 
There is one thing that really frustrates me in this game (even though I love Bannerlord) and those are Cavalry Charges.
My preffered combat style has always been on horseback as a shock cavalry.
Cavarly was supposed to charge in a tight formation to deal massive damage into enemy lines, from the powerful Macedonian Companions to the legendary Medieval Knights with their couched lances.

Now I know Total War and Bannerlord are two completely different type of games, but sadly in Bannerlord you just don't get the feeling of a cavalry charge, at all.
I try to micro my army (composed of infantry, archers and shock cavalry mostly) in order to face the enemy at a certain angles so when I order the charge they just don't randomly go wherever they want, but it doesn't matter and still happens that when I order my cavalry to charge it is infuriating to see they break formation and follow single cavalry archers instead of charging as a pack to the rear or flank of the enemy line rendering the charge completely useless and dying to stray arrows.
To make matters worse, they sometimes do go and attack the enemy line from an angle I want but most of them just freeze when they crash against a foot soldier as if they were a wall.

Does anybody else feels the same way about it?
I think the best way is you lead the cavalry and charge on enemy archer line by yourself.

then it should at least cause some distraction for enemy archer, force them can't focus on firing.
 

kisstraszi

Recruit
Yeah melee cavalary is kinda useless now. They can't aim properly and the trust damage is low too.They should have do something with the speed bonus. And of course melee unit with hammer and sickle can hit your head and neck when you are on horse...
 
Uhm, I remember that @mexxico said time ago that TW wanted to avoid a battle system dominated by cavalry like we had in WB. He argued that the need to have a warhorse to promote a foot soldier to knight was one of the mechanics to limit the number of cavalry units.

IMHO the 'inefficacy' of mounted units seems to be related with this idea to make mounted units weaker, maybe they will be tuned up when infantry will be able to brace the spears to keep it balanced.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight
Uhm, I remember that @mexxico said time ago that TW wanted to avoid a battle system dominated by cavalry like we had in WB. He argued that the need to have a warhorse to promote a foot soldier to knight was one of the mechanics to limit the number of cavalry units.

IMHO the 'inefficacy' of mounted units seems to be related with this idea to make mounted units weaker, maybe they will be tuned up when infantry will be able to brace the spears to keep it balanced.

They have changed a battle system dominated by cavalry like we have in Warband for a battle system dominated by archers which is even worse in my opinion.

No totally sure if it is all about cavalry and infantry AI or if archers are OP, but I hope something gets changed for making archers feel as good as infantry/cavalry, instead of the the way to go for winning battles with easy.
 
They have changed a battle system dominated by cavalry like we have in Warband for a battle system dominated by archers which is even worse in my opinion.

No totally sure if it is all about cavalry and infantry AI or if archers are OP, but I hope something gets changed for making archers feel as good as infantry/cavalry, instead of the the way to go for winning battles with easy.
That is the post I was talking about...

Need of horse to upgrade horseman troops is a good feature in many ways.

If this rule was not be there most players would try to reach horseman troops all the time because they have several advantages compared to infantry troops both at combat and at map (speed bonus). By this rule we made reaching horseman troops a bit harder.

You can say why we are not paying other equipments of troops and answer of this question is making that kind of system needs so much work and balance. To allow this high tier equipments needed for one troop should cost 2K at most. First we need to make these equipments so cheap and player will be able to buy them from 10th day of game with first quest earnings (which is not good for gameplay). Also as player we should pay this cost to upgrade each troop and maybe we can get 1-1.5K as return from old equipments. Still in this case you need to pay about 1K per troop. This can be a design choice another game can try something like this but this system make Bannerlord completely different game. As player you need to earn 10Ks denar each day to be able to pay these upgrade costs if this is the case. Maybe in this scenario we can give all equipment from killed troops without applying a ratio as loot. However doing this make winning a battle totally a very profitable action then you will not need any trading actions or tax from settlements and also kingdoms lost several battles will left so weak aganist winners which would make snowballing problem worse.

As I said some other game can try this but it will have completely different gameplay from M&B series and it will have different dynamics.

I haven't played for few months right now so... maybe it has changed somewhat, but I hadn't the feeling that the archers couldn't be countered.

Anyway my feeling was that cavalry charge were to strong attacking from the front side and weak when doing to from lateral and rear. But it is very hard to balance it correctly when the formation to counter a charge do not exist (spear wall).
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight
That is the post I was talking about...



I haven't played for few months right now so... maybe it has changed somewhat, but I hadn't the feeling that the archers couldn't be countered.

Anyway my feeling was that cavalry charge were to strong attacking from the front side and weak when doing to from lateral and rear. But it is very hard to balance it correctly when the formation to counter a charge do not exist (spear wall).

For me there are currently two problems:

- AI has a huge margin for improvements: cavalry units miss a lot of hits, AI formation usually made silly mistakes like suiciding its archers in first line pretty fast at the beginning against a superior player’s archers army (instead of sending its infantry in shield wall first), etc.
- Archers rate of fire is unrealistically too fast.

Devs have said that they want to improve the cavalry AI some time ago, so let’s see what happen after that.
 

Calabanar

Sergeant
Melee cav in general is lame and so are spearmen.

It is no secret that, currently, the only competent units are those equipped with any kind of ranged weapon.
 
Ill copy paste my post from similiar thread here aswell:

Vanilla cavalry have multiple easily fixable problems.
A) Lances are too short so stabbing with lance (or regular spear) is more efficient than couching and foot infantry outranges cav anyway.
B) Charge distance in vanilla is too short, which means that cav dont have enough time to properly charge with couched lance (which is useless anyway - see above).
C) AI cavalry uses advance too often, advance in general is very bad order - foot soldiers dont throw javelins and cav does not charge properly.
D) Armor have too little efficiency vs projectiles, even less so when cav is charging against flying projectiles - this results in dead cav before it can cause enough chaos and damage.

When I say easily fixable I mean it, we already fixed all of these isues with mod, so devs can literally copy paste most of our solutions or come up with their own since they have better knowledge of their own code and better access to it then we do.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
Now I know Total War and Bannerlord are two completely different type of games, but sadly in Bannerlord you just don't get the feeling of a cavalry charge, at all.

Does anybody else feels the same way about it?

That Total War along with Hollywood taught generations of people completely fake impression about cavalry charges. What you see in Total War and Hollywood scenes is complete nonsense. Both from historical point and a basic physic as well. Not to mention horse self preservation instinct. From the powerful Macedonian Companions to the legendary Medieval Knights with their couched lances, they did not commit mass suicides by crashing full speed in to formed enemy lines. It's an incredibly stupid thing to do. And impossible too. Because you can't force horse to willingly impale itself on a stick. Not on any regular basis to be bale to make it actual tactic in battle:

I say that, as soon as the horse so disposed begins to see himself at the point of being struck by the points of the pikes, either he will by himself check his gait, so that he will stop as soon as he sees himself about to be pricked by them, or, being pricked by them, he will turn to the right or left. If you want to make a test of this, try to run a horse against a wall, and rarely will you find one that will run into it, no matter with what Elan you attempt it.
The Art of War from Niccolo Machiavelli


And before somebody comes with obligatory "but you can train horse to do it" ...no you can't. I have already asked people here to bring me any evidence of such training and nobody was able to bring anything. There is not a single piece of evidence that somebody ever done such thing.

The only cavalry that can charge through ranks of spearmen is virtual one made using computer graphic. Because it does not have to follow basic laws of physic, biology or even common sense. It's just bunch of pixels going strait through bunch of other pixels on the screen.
 
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There is some evidence suggesting cavalry charges never worked the way we think they might have (smashing horses galloping at full speed vs masses of armed men) but instead they might have nudged and probed their way into formations (at a walking speed) until gaps appeared and then ran through those gaps until all cohesion on the other side broke.

I wonder what the physics and mechanics of real ancient/medieval battles actually looked like.. I guess we’ll never truly know.
That's interesting, I don't know anything about it history but in Bannerlord I find the Cav more useful under the Shield Wall command, both as a sheild to drop in front of ranged and to attack! It's not good to to attack head on into infantry but having shields up on charge (charge after SW command) they take less cheap shows and KINA hit more, they're not great offensively but I suspect moving slower lets them judge their attack a little better. And of course distracting and slowing enemies from reaching ranged is the main point of them.... IMO

I mean I'll swadian knights any day but for now I still make use of the crappy Cav we have.
 

five bucks

Sergeant at Arms
Uhm, I remember that @mexxico said time ago that TW wanted to avoid a battle system dominated by cavalry like we had in WB. He argued that the need to have a warhorse to promote a foot soldier to knight was one of the mechanics to limit the number of cavalry units.

IMHO the 'inefficacy' of mounted units seems to be related with this idea to make mounted units weaker, maybe they will be tuned up when infantry will be able to brace the spears to keep it balanced.
You can make cavalry less weak than they are now without making them completely dominant.
From the powerful Macedonian Companions to the legendary Medieval Knights with their couched lances, they did not commit mass suicides by crashing full speed in to formed enemy lines. It's an incredibly stupid thing to do. And impossible too.

I say that, as soon as the horse so disposed begins to see himself at the point of being struck by the points of the pikes, either he will by himself check his gait, so that he will stop as soon as he sees himself about to be pricked by them, or, being pricked by them, he will turn to the right or left. If you want to make a test of this, try to run a horse against a wall, and rarely will you find one that will run into it, no matter with what Elan you attempt it.
The Art of War from Niccolo Machiavelli


And before somebody comes with obligatory "but you can train horse to do it" ...no you can't. I have already asked people here to bring me any evidence of such training and nobody was able to bring anything. There is not a single piece of evidence that somebody ever done such thing.

The only cavalry that can charge through ranks of spearmen is virtual one made using computer graphic. Because it does not have to follow basic laws of physic, biology or even common sense. It's just bunch of pixels going strait through bunch of other pixels on the screen.
Hruza, as I have shown you in the past, that quote is not relevant to Bannerlord's time period.

I showed you heaps of examples from real history of cavalry successfully "crashing full speed into formed enemy lines". I showed you how pikes of the late medieval period, when Machiavelli was alive, were much longer and more solid than the short thin spears of the early medieval period, in which Bannerlord is set; and I showed why that means that cavalry can't charge a braced pike formation, but can charge a spear formation because they outrange them, the crucial difference.

Cavalry can't charge into braced long spears, aka pikes. But they can absolutely charge into spearmen with short spears. To say that "cavalry can't charge into spearmen" is inaccurate.
 
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You can make cavalry less weak than they are now without making them completely dominant.

Hruza, as I have shown you in the past, that quote is not relevant to Bannerlord's time period.

I showed you heaps of examples from real history of cavalry successfully "crashing full speed into formed enemy lines". I showed you how pikes of the late medieval period, when Machiavelli was alive, were much longer and more solid than the short thin spears of the early medieval period, in which Bannerlord is set; and I showed why that means that cavalry can't charge a braced pike formation, but can charge a spear formation because they outrange them, the crucial difference.

Cavalry can't charge into braced long spears, aka pikes. But they can absolutely charge into spearmen with short spears. To say that "cavalry can't charge into spearmen" is inaccurate.
They should probably charge under angle though, to avoid crashing into the line (which would end up in unecessary casualities) and only to pick of the infantry and break their morale. They accidentally sometimes do this in the game.
 
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