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Are cavalry charges lame in your opinion?

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Helz

Knight
Yes, that's the point I keep bringing when people start with why I can't ram footmen to death with my horse. There is this thing called physic and action-reaction law. Collision works both ways, it damages object been collided to but also object that collides and with equal force.
Speaking of basic physics, Force = Mass * Acceleration. Increase the mass of an object, you increase its force. A 2000 lb horse charging into a 200 lb man is going to crush the man.
So in case of the truck and car colliding, more portion of the force of the impact will cause damage to the truck, because truck is harder to displace then a car.
Yes, this is why when a train runs into a car, the train is destroyed... Or why a defensive lineman is afraid of the kicker...

I've taken plenty of physics courses in college, and all of your posts on the subject are incoherent rambling. That you pretend to be an expert on this subject suggests to me that you are just as uninformed about everything else.
 

five bucks

Sergeant at Arms
Why are you guys debating if horses will charge carelessly into a mess of pikes/spears though?

We are still discussing a game though. Ingame it helps if cav has a counter (ontop of other cav beeing a counter) and horses rearing when a pointy stick (as you guys call it) is presented to them as a threat helps with that. Both for single and multiplayer. Prevents the AI or player snowballing the campaign and gives people in multiplayer a counter to cavalry to prevent it from dominating completly.
This started because Hruza claimed that "cavalry are ineffective against formed disciplined infantry", and that "horses physically can't charge through ranks of spearmen". When I said that horses actually can charge short spears, he argued the length of the polearm doesn't matter, and that "horses can't charge at men with sharp sticks because they are afraid."

If the game worked that way, then melee cavalry would be underpowered: needing more investment for less usefulness, because short spears are one of the most common weapons in Bannerlord. To have even T1 recruits carrying your counter would make cavalry pretty garbage.

That's why I showed that you can make horses charge suicidally into pike formations, because it's the most extreme example that horses are not afraid of sharp sticks. Of course, charging long pikes was a bad idea. But I do think that lance cavalry should be able to charge at formed ranks of short spears and win.

So, I say: make melee cavalry countered by long pike infantry, go even with shield infantry/ranged infantry/ranged cavalry, and be the counter to shock infantry (who lack a shield or pike for protection). Melee cavalry will in addition be useful for flanking attacks, but it will not be their only function, thus meaning they do not become completely pointless to have if the enemy forms a circle. In this way, melee cavalry will be worth the investment and will have a balanced role in gameplay. (Of course, these should just be soft counters. Unit tier, morale, terrain, flanking attacks and formations should all play a part).
Obviously they wont if they see the danger.... But I think in that also lies part of the problem. I think alot of factors are at play to determine if a horse is scared or not. Battlefield noises and smells probably are a part of it.A metal tip reflects light that shines on it and just a pointy stick or a broom wont. So that alone might give the horse a visual que about something beeing dangerous as well. Overall though I think its a matter of circumstances and it probably differed from horse to horse as well. To take other animals of an example of that, not all dogs can be trained to be seeing-eye dogs for example.
If a horse was afraid of shining metal they wouldn't get anywhere near any sort of battlefield covered in guys in shining armor. Even Hruza has said that horses wouldn't be afraid of spears otherwise they would be afraid of their rider's own spear. I do agree of course that in real life anything could happen due to strange circumstances, but I think I've pretty conclusively shown by now that as a general rule, warhorses can be made to charge men with sharp sticks, either because their heads are down on the bit, their eyesight is poor, or you can train the fear out of them.
The example of the guy charging into a pike formation seems more like an oddity, a rare occurance then something that happened regulary. Otherwise, why would they bother report it at all if it happend all the damn time?
Of course, no disagreement there. I don't think it happened all the time. Charging long braced pikes is a very poor strategic choice. I was just using it as an example that warhorses can be made to charge sharp sticks.
I feel cav charges can be alot better done in the game. The riders miss so much of their attacks against infantry its kinda weird.
Yep, this is the major problem with cavalry at the moment.

Realism argument aside, here is all I want done with cavalry, and overall troop balance things that impact cavalry:
  • Make stabbing polearms more effective.
  • Make stabbing/couching polearm using AI much more accurate vs infantry- they should only be missing their couches like 5% of the time unless they have a low weapon skill. It shouldn't take 9 couch attempts to kill a looter. This should make them able to slaughter shieldless infantry, which is what I want.
  • Add bracing to polearms in SP. Can only be done with long two-handed polearms (pikes). Deals momentum damage based on the speed at which something runs onto it. Will kill or seriously wound a charging horse (depending on horse's armor) and make it collapse and throw the rider, but will also knock down and damage the pike holder in the process of having a 500kg horse fall on them.
  • Give a medium-sized increase to the physical impact and push-through of cavalry charges. Not to the amount it was pre-release, but between that and now. Right now even the heaviest cavalry has a tendency to get bogged down in the first few ranks of a loosely packed archer formation. Instead, it should be that a braced pike formation will skewer a cavalry charge in the first rank, but knock both sides over. A cavalry charge can knock down the first rank of a tightly packed shieldwall without injury to the horse and rider, but get bogged down without inflicting casualties. Any other sort of tightly packed formation should get bogged down about 5 ranks in. But if it is a loose infantry formation with no shieldwall or braced pikes, a cavalry charge should just smash right through it and retain most of its momentum.
  • Make armor more effective so that ranged infantry/cavalry can't slaughter melee cavalry so easily.
  • Reduce the accuracy of ranged infantry and melee infantry against fast-moving targets so they can't slaughter melee cavalry so easily.
  • Make the morale system work better so that cavalry charges provide some small amount of morale damage, and a T6 formation of cavalry charging a T1-T4 formation of pike/shield/shock infantry will make them break and run, if something else has already lowered their morale.
 
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Mabons

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Make cavalry work like it did in Warband, charges into the enemies ranks and then stays in prolonged melee until I pull them back out. The cycle charging is what ****ing kills the AI as they don’t co-ordinate the 2nd charge together at all and just end up going in as dribs and drabs clogging up the ones behind and causing an absolute cluster****.

Just look at the total war games for how cavalry should be. It might not be totally historically realistic but medieval 2 total war is the best example for me of how cavalry should work, a good frontal charge from the strongest cavalry can wipe out anything it targets, except pikewalls, schiltroms and stakes. When they charge they maintain cohesion and present a wall of cavalry, current Bannerlord has your men end up blocking the way of your other men by targeting the middle of the enemy formation rather than the enemies directly to their front.

Cavalry could be super powerful in Singleplayer BL, and allow the AI to use the Multiplayer bracing feature, and allow us to control their weapon choice. But no, it won’t happen if you ask me, it’s too much control and as far as I see it’s Talewords goal to take away as much freedom and control from the player as possible. Just like the Total War franchise is doing.
 
Make cavalry work like it did in Warband,

Then we will have full cavalry parties where you just need to f1 - f3 at the start like it happened WB... doesn't seems fun. Honestly i don't see any point to do it, it wouldn't be fun and there isn't any kind history based evidence to do it, if it matters which I heavily doubt it.

To be clear, I am not against improve cavalry... but the WB model wasn't good neither.
 

Mabons

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Then we will have full cavalry parties where you just need to f1 - f3 at the start like it happened WB... doesn't seems fun. Honestly i don't see any point to do it, it wouldn't be fun and there isn't any kind history based evidence to do it, if it matters which I heavily doubt it.

To be clear, I am not against improve cavalry... but the WB model wasn't good neither.
The warband model wasn’t good because the infantry were garbage at fighting horses. We heard from early development of Bannerlord they actually had infantry formations(with spears/pikes)that could stand against cavalry and decimate a frontal charge with no or little casualties but they removed this because they felt it was too powerful and negated cavalry use. (I mean, I didn’t hear it officially but someone said it).

The problem is now both the cav and infantry in Bannerlord kind of suck to the point you just use archers because it’s less effort. You take minor losses while you easily kill up to 80% of the enemy army before they even get close.
 

froggyluv

Grandmaster Knight
NW
Havent played the game in at least 3 months but the last time i did it wasnt even a tactical issue but a Cav unit issue. That being they hadnt properly calibrated the AI's Cav attack and they seemed to literally miss their swings and lance thrusts way too often. The unit needs to function properly and with expected results before you start applying real world battlefield tactics. They were possibly overpowered in Warband (though i preferred that) but their attacks worked at any angle often cutting angles as well as a really good human player.
 
Is there a reason that cavalry cannot keep up with my character after any formation is made? I’m generally only on a basic *horse* so it doesn’t feel like I should be outpacing the line. When leading infantry on foot that discrepancy doesn’t seem to exist.

I imagine this (being slower) plays a role in the damage dealt from both cavalry weapons and from horse charges.
 

Apocal

Master Knight
Is there a reason that cavalry cannot keep up with my character after any formation is made?
Three reasons:
1) you have higher Riding skill than most of the cavalry you're leading.
2) you ride in a straight line, while the AI rides towards their spot in the (moving) formation then towards whatever target.
3) the AI riders rub against one another.
 

Helz

Knight
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.
This would be news to the winged hussars of Poland. It sounds like an excuse to avoid fixing problems with the AI. 'Oh, and there's evidence that walking up and down stairs is dangerous, so our siege towers are working as expected.'
The unit needs to function properly and with expected results before you start applying real world battlefield tactics.
Yes, I agree, and think that "Charge!" is a basic function for cavalry.
 

Ningauble

Veteran
Actually, hruza's side of the argument here is part of perfectly legit and respected military historians' and war gamers' revisionist musings on the puzzling practicalities of cavalry charges through the ages. Which we will never really understand, even reading ( ? unreliable ) primary sources, where you can't hang on every ( ? translated ) word etc. Read John Keegan et al - probably elan and other psychological factors were key to a successful cavalry charge / arm. The famous charge at Salamanca vs a French square is also worth a look. Then, of course, there is Crecy ........

For certain, movies are not showing " realistic " portrayals of cavalry charges ( or anything else ! ).
The exigencies of horse - age campaigns and battles, stategically, operationally, tactically, also cannot, to be fair, be anywhere near realistically played out in any " rainy - afternoon " game, or " historical society re-enactment ".
But anyway, why not proudly create in BL a state - of - the - art, professional, well - thought - out, " satisfying " and logical, medieval battle simulation system ,TW, not the current AI nonsense? Take a leaf from the table - top wargamers' books ( reference generations now of " academic " translations of perceived historical realities into gaming systems that, generally, try to be credible ( and hence are immersive ), and not arcade - style amusements.

Re charging into shield walls and such, common sense would suggest that you avoid getting your valuable, and likely " bonded " ( and the relationship works both ways ), mount(s) killed under you, at just about all costs, especially as it would probably prove the death / capture of you as well ........... we are talking real cavalrymen and their real horses here ; it is something of a nightmare even in MB and Bannerlord !

But, when blood's up ..........
 
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Count Delinard

Lord of Uxkhal
Global Moderator
WBNWVC
This would be news to the winged hussars of Poland. It sounds like an excuse to avoid fixing problems with the AI. 'Oh, and there's evidence that walking up and down stairs is dangerous, so our siege towers are working as expected.'

Excellent job at completely missing the point.
 

hrhi260

Recruit
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.
What you say might be true, because even though they will kill alot of men when the engagement happens, they will lose their speed and then they will be stuck, however if we are talking about attacking from the side lines, or the back where there aren't many soldiers gathered in one place and there is space between them that would be perfect for an attack, they would charge in, kill many soldiers and then repeat.
 

Ningauble

Veteran
The way we play a game battle, to annihilate the opposing force, at some conceded cost to our own, seems not to be the way many ( not all ) Western European ( and interestingly, Japanese ) medieval " battles " were fought out, just like animals generally rely on bluff and display, rather than fighting to the death. Power pageantry to impress, a clash of cultivated reputations, fierce and proud demonstration, one " unprofessional " collection of peasants, militia, and a few nobles and their retinues, would get the upper hand in the morale contest, the other " bunch of amateurs " would slink away; a developed art form that is hard to understand now. " No ( valuable ) warhorse ( or especially, heaven forbid, some lord ) has to die " .......... then there is Towton. And as for Crecy, just plain, ignoble, murder !

In game, we ride horses like motorbikes over the battlefield, ramming them where we please ( with no careful eye even for what is underhoof etc ). Flesh and blood horses are much more complicated, and surprisingly fragile and high maintenance, and bygone horsemanship is not appreciated by the vast majority of ( city - living ) gamers. Also in game, there is no representation of our considerable support tail, our retinue of horse boys and squires, farriers, et al, helping us "out the back " ie camped with the baggage train, with fresh remounts, new lances, during the battle time and again recycling back to them, etc. Hence the French could mount umpteen charges at Crecy. In game battles instead are one - take, one - dimensional, over in a few minutes, seemingly using a football match mentality.

But in any event, we probably do not want to play a tediously accurate medieval real life simulator ......... just a great BL game.
 
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hruza

Knight at Arms
Speaking of basic physics, Force = Mass * Acceleration. Increase the mass of an object, you increase its force. A 2000 lb horse charging into a 200 lb man is going to crush the man.
Yes, this is why when a train runs into a car, the train is destroyed... Or why a defensive lineman is afraid of the kicker...

I've taken plenty of physics courses in college, and all of your posts on the subject are incoherent rambling. That you pretend to be an expert on this subject suggests to me that you are just as uninformed about everything else.

Yet you have somehow missed Newton's third law. Which brings a question what were you doing during those courses ad how were you able to graduate.

Five Bucks examples stand:

No, my reply stands: Been killed on pikes does not equal willingly impaling itself on a pike.

your retort is incredibly weak:

as the inference is drawn - they charged and died by Pike.

And again, dying by the pike does not mean willingly impaling itself on pike. You playing with words and changing killed on the pikes to died by a pike makes no difference.

I guess you could try and get a signed legal affidavit from the horse before it died as to its state of mind on how willing he was, how coerced or possibly just "overlooked the pikes" but that makes about as much sense as continuing this argument.

And you still failed to bring any source about how and when were war horses trained to collide in to spears. I have asked you to back up your claim with sources several times already. Now you pretend I did not ask.

The warband model wasn’t good because the infantry were garbage at fighting horses. We heard from early development of Bannerlord they actually had infantry formations(with spears/pikes)that could stand against cavalry and decimate a frontal charge with no or little casualties but they removed this because they felt it was too powerful and negated cavalry use. (I mean, I didn’t hear it officially but someone said it).

Cavalry been able to roll over infantry and infantry been able to defeat cavalry are two mutually exclusive things. Buffing first cavalry because it can't roll over infantry and then buffing infantry so that cavalry can't roll over it will net you nothing. You will end where you have started.

Which is why devs have removed it. It's a question of balance.

Which brings me back to what I am saying from the start. You need to get rid of fake rock scissor paper mechanics of Total War games. It's A completely unrealistic and B it works in RTS game but not in RPG game with FPS mechanics. Cavalry was not stronger then infantry and infantry was not stronger then cavalry. And they both were not stronger or weaker then archers.

The difference lies in what is called Tactic. That is what matters is how are different units used. If used correctly, cavalry can defeat infantry or archers and vice versa. This is aspect that should be worked on in MB battle mechanics. Heavy infantry in formation should defeat frontal charge from cavalry, just as was the case in reality. But then clever cavalry should seek to use it's advantage in mobility to strike infantry at weak point. When it's not formed, to the flank or to the rear. And combine attacks from different directions or work with archers and infantry.

Buffing or depuffing units won't achieve anything. Because making one type of unit stronger will make all others weaker. It's a slide with one unit on one end and another on other end.
 
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Apocal

Master Knight
We heard from early development of Bannerlord they actually had infantry formations(with spears/pikes)that could stand against cavalry and decimate a frontal charge with no or little casualties but they removed this because they felt it was too powerful and negated cavalry use. (I mean, I didn’t hear it officially but someone said it).
It was here, in case anyone doesn't believe Mabons:

About infantry vs Cav. We are still trying to find the right balance. We did have -at one- point unbreakable wall of spears and quickly decided to make the infantry act more foolish. Otherwise Cav vs Inf is not fun at all. In real life no Cav formation charges directly to the infantry. They did get into charge numerous times just to turn back at the last moment. It was a battle of nerves. The infantry "died" many times before finally that last cav charge is real this time. (The cav charge becomes real when the cav commander decides the inf formation has lost its nerve and about to break.) since we cannot simulate this in the game it is somewhat OK to make inf act a bit goofy.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight
So, if cavalry did not charge directly and just simulated many times and turn back, while archers supposedly were able to decimate cavalry according to some people... How is possible that cavalry were so much effective during medieval time? Was it all about undisciplined infantry and people being brainless and do not being able to think about getting tons of archers to punish these horsemen simulating charges and turning back at last moment?

Seriously, there are too much information about medieval battles which make no sense at all. People were not brain death for sure, and while it is probably true that horsemen were not able to directly charge disciplined infantry most of the time, it is also true that disciplined infantry were really rare at that time, and archers were not able to kill armored enemies in seconds.

Cavalry usually dominating the battlefield during 800-1200 is something we can find/read everywhere, and while it is not easy to reproduce the reasons because cavalry was so effective in that time, I would like to see cavalry being more viable in the game to represent the cavalry importance in that time. Elite archers/infantry are more effective and infinitely easier to replace than cavalry, which makes cav them totally pointless in Bannerlord.

The problem with the cavalry is the poor cavalry AI. When you see 40 knights performing a clean charge against 20-30 archers and just killing 5-6 guys, and then going 100 meters away to regroup while my infantry is getting massacred in seconds, it is pretty evident that something is wrong. The problem is not related to cavalry stats or charge damage, the problem is related to poor cavalry AI and game mechanics. Infantry vs infantry engagements last for 5 seconds (same for archers who are able to kill enemies really fast), while cavalry units need like 10 minutes to kill the same amount of enemies.

Cavalry units kill enemies really slow which make them useless to support our infantry. My infantry gets massacred in literally seconds, while cavalry is taking like 20-30 seconds to regroup to make a second charge, so it is always a better idea to get more infantry to support my infantry, os just get archers which are overperforming comparing to other units.

It is silly to continue arguing about historical information, this is a game with some restrictions to represent real battles and all we should care is about all units being viable and useful in a similar level, which is not the case currently. Right now, spamming elite archers is like playing the game on ultra easy difficulty settings, while using elite infantry is like playing on normal, and using cavalry armies is like playing on hard.
 
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hruza

Knight at Arms
Si, if cavalry did not charge directly and just simulated many times and turn back, while archers supposedly were able to decimate cavalry according to some people...

Archers were able to "decimate" cavalry when correctly used.

How is possible that cavalry were so much effective during medieval time?

The same as was possible for archers and infantry to be effective during medieval times.

Was it all about undisciplined infantry and people being brainless to get tons of archers to punish these horsemen simulating charges and turning back at last moment?

And where would you get those tons of archers?

Medieval soldiers were not recruited in villages and then trained like in computer games. Medieval soldiers were raised in their social class, culture and geographic conditions. Aristocracy provided good heavy cavalry, towns provided heavy infantry and crossbowmen, hillmen provided good light infantry, Welsh provided archers, nomads light cavalry and serfs worked the fields and did not provide any soldiers. Generally speaking.

Medieval armies were levied. For most part you could not choose what will you levy, you had to levy what was available. And what was available was result of economy, traditions, geography.

People were not brain death for sure, and while it is probably true that horsemen were not able to directly charge disciplined infantry most of the time, it is also true that disciplined infantry were really rare (almost nonexistent) at that time, and archers were not able to kill armored enemies in seconds.

That depends where and when. Medieval period is a very long timescale. Norsemen produced excellent heavy infantry, just like Anglo-Saxons, Scots or some other people.

Cavalry dominating the battlefield during 800-1200 is something we can find/read everywhere

Cavalry did not dominate in that period, with some local exceptions. Certainly not in Western and Norther Europe anyway. Cavalry became more dominant after this period in the High Middle Ages. But that's much more related to economic changes then cavalry itself. Namely with increased feudalization and subjugation of free farmers in to serfdom. That on one hand depleted the prime source of Early Medieval heavy infantry in Europe, the middle class of free farmers and increased prime source of heavy cavalry, the aristocracy that lived off of the serfs.

The problem with the cavalry is the poor cavalry AI. When you see 40 knights performing a clean charge against 20-30 archers and just killing 5-6 guys, and then going 100 meters away to regroup while my infantry is getting massacred in seconds, it is pretty evident that something is wrong. The problem is not related to cavalry stats or charge damage, the problem is related to poor cavalry AI and game mechanics. Infantry vs infantry engagements last for 5 seconds (same for archers who are able to kill enemies really fast), while cavalry units need like 10 minutes to kill the same amount of enemies.

There are limitations of combat system and simplistic AI, but that's function of performance, visual quality and scale of battles. There is only so much hardware can do and AI needs to be reasonably simple for game to run smoothly. There are things that can be done with the AI and that I would like to see implemented but I wouldn't expect huge difference in AI quality. AI is far better then it was in Warband and devs deserve some praise for that.

Also, how do you manage to get your infantry butchered by 20-30 AI archers? That's basically impossible unless you run all 2H infantry.
 

Apocal

Master Knight
Also, how do you manage to get your infantry butchered by 20-30 AI archers? That's basically impossible unless you run all 2H infantry.
He didn't say his infantry were butchered by archers, he was comparing the killing speed of cav vs. archers (a few and very slowly) to infantry vs. infantry (high speed bloodbath).
 
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