How is Cavalry to be used in this game?

KingEroc1st

Recruit
Best answers
0
like the title said, what is the intended use of cavalry? in terms of situations, formations and commands? how many to have in terms of % of your army?

if you know please tell me the answer and your source, if not you are welcome to post any speculations you might have here.
also i'm interested in how do you personally use your cavalry? aside from cheating how do you maintain and manage your army? how do you replenish loses etc.

I've been using them like how i've read in books and online about historical warfare. knowing their weakness of polearms and powerful ranged attacks, i have been conservative, sometimes shields up and only going in to flank. but i experience lots of casualties despite careful controlling of their positioning (with infantry or archers i basically set it and leave it, using a couple of commands all battle, but with cavs i have to move them constantly).
so nowadays i've only been using them on mop up duty, literally sitting behind my archers all battle until the opponent is on the run with 20% of his troops left, when the opponent is routing i charge them from behind with the cavs, and still, my men get mauled. i'd say despite making up about 15% of my army, 50% of my casualties come from that formation 3.

i remember seeing an youtube experiment with the different troops and using a army of only 1 type of troop vs an equal power ai with mix soldiers. of course in many cases he's using strictly highest tier units when the opponents might have 20% recruits, but the armies have equal power levels so in most cases he would be outnumbered. the results are that an all infantry or archer or horse archer army would be completely viable, in some cases very dominant, especially if you exploit to their strengths. but the cav only army got destroyed facing more upgraded troops (still wrecked those looters though), despite requiring more control from the player.

are they currently too underpowered?
 

AnandaShanti

Knight
Best answers
0
They're a work in progress and are currently under powered and hard to use effectively. I put them on fallow me and drag them behind the archers and charge them, then put them back on fallow me and so on. Think of them like a big clumsy boomerang. Also if I'm dehorsed they can come guard me or be told to dismount so I can take their horse. I never elect to make Cav and only take them from prisoners or rescues. I feel only horse archers and ranged foot units are functional enough to raise from scratch ATM, but I'll use anything I get for free.

Btw this thread would do better in the Citadel forum or it's single player sub.
This is tech support forum actually for "game doesn't run" "game froze" "thing doesn't work"type stuff.
 

Radimov

Recruit
Best answers
0
I play on 1.4.0 of the game, it's my first time playing a Mount and Blade game and never watched people for their tips about tactics and such (this is just a background for you guys to know where im coming from ).

This is the composition of my Clan/Army


I barely lose any units, even when im out numbered and depends on the enemy composition army as well. im not going to tell which
units i have but i can describe you my combat style. AnandaShanti said it is a work in progress but i don't think they need any kind of buff or nerf, i can use them quite effectively and they sure are very useful.

(Enemy who main's Melee units) - My formation:
1 - Archer units wide formation and ahead of the Melee formation
2 - Melee with the shield wall with some distance behind the Archers
3 - Horse Archers i put them on the flank besides the Archers
4 - Cavalry slight behind the Melee units on the left flank usually ( The position of this group varies with the composition and positions of the enemy Army )

Execution:

1 - Archers look for any high ground, if there isn't any i choose open and leveled areas, rain arrows from mostly mid range so you can be more accurate and deal some damage and the main thing is forcing them to come to you.

2 - Enemy charges at you, issue command to your melee group to form ahead of the Archers, Charge with Horse Archers because they will circle around them and the enemy will be distracted with your melee force, in terms of Cavalry use them to flank them real hard, if the enemy doesn't break from this they soon will, i use them to flank if im on foot, but if im leading them i will charge from Behind.

You can use this way to attack even if the enemy has Archers, usually the difference is that the enemy will be guarding their archers and will force you to engage, if that happens you do:

Execution - Rain arrows like before, after YOUR Archers take a few hits form the melee ahead of the Archers and charge and when they get somewhat close, you support them with the Horse Archers and the Cavalry ( for better outcome use them on the opposite sides of each other )

The big vs formation you want to know is how i deal with the Army if they are composed mostly by Cavalry and Horse Archers right? since you mainly ask how we use the Cavalry.

Enemy composed by mainly Cavalry and Horse Archers:
(First situation if the enemy as BOTH categories)

1 - Melee and Archers same formations and positions as before
2 - Cavalry will stay behind the Horse Archers(in wide formation) and you should position them in the same spot that the Enemy Horse Archers are coming from

Execution:

1 - Melee and archers will deal with the Enemy Cavalry, since you have the Archers ahead of the Melee they will rain down arrows to the Cavalry, after they come to close change positions with the Melee Units and make them face the enemy, since they have shields up they will block many attacks, if you are on foot you should help them as well, this is the main focus in trying to kill as fast as possible the Cavalry.

2 - Let the Enemy Horse Archers get a little closer, you don't need to move your Horse Archers UNTIL you command your Cavalry to Charge you should do this when they are somewhat close/mid range, Charge with your Cavalry and after all your Cavalry units pass trough your Horse Archers you command them to Charge as well so they will be helping your Cavalry.

3 - These steps is only if the enemy as also foot soldiers: after all that fight if you haven't manage to kill MOST of the Cavalry you still have to give up on your Melee unit to block and distract the Cavalry and use them to engage the incoming foot soldiers, you should always leave the Shield wall formation while this is happening, because the main point is to STALL until your Archers or Cavalry deal with their sides, while your Melee is occupied you should stay helping your Archers with the Cavalry, the Enemy Cavalry should always be your priority doing this, they can disrupt you formations, they are annoying to your Archers (as they should be xD) and they flank a lot, so until you deal with that you have to believe in your soldiers and the soldier composition you made.

4 - After dealing with the Cavalry you need to see where your help and the Archers would make the most difference... if there is still a lot of Horse Archers you should help them with your Archers while you Alone will try to flank the Enemy Melee units ( If they have Archers you should go with your Archers and clean as fast as possible so you can Charge at full force the Enemy Archers, you can use your Horse Archers to help your Melee unit at this point).

(Second Situation: Enemy is composed mainly by Cavalry)

1 - Same spots as before, only take action when they are somewhat close, Charge them with your infantry while in Shield Wall and support them mainly with your Cavalry and Horse Archers, leave your Archers in wide formation looking at them them.

The only time i Charge ahead with the Cavalry and Horse Archers is if:
1 - Enemy as few Archers/Cavalry/Horse Archers, BUT i always want to be close after their first charge so im able to help them with the rest of the army.

The deaths outcome will depend on your Army composition (even though i said Archers i didn't mention which, this applies to all your other units as well) and decision making.

i hope you can understand my explanation, and all this is how i play, it doesn't mean that it's the only way of course.

If you want more information about how i deal with other type of Armies just ask me :wink:.
 

Doofus

Recruit
Best answers
0
On easiest setting I find if I have 50% or more cavalry or horse archers I hardly lose any in field battles. I take on enemies 3 to 4 times my size pretty easy. I'll admit I don't manage my armies much. I tend not to use infantry archers as they seem weak to me in field battles. If possible I try to keep the highest level units I can. Money hasn't been a problem. I tend to recruit from captured prisoners mostly if I can. On easy setting battles are more challenging, which is good, except the game mechanics overwhelm you with constant armies against you so you pretty much always end up losing in the long run. Horse units don't seem to be a detriment in sieges, they just don't provide an advantage either.
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
Best answers
0
i find the recruiting process of this game tedius and time consuming (in terms of game days spent which is relevant since you might only have 3-4 days before an enemy army is at your gates). it takes me a complete round around the entire continent to only pick up no more than 20 cav units in their tier 2-3 forms (sometimes still infantry), and have to fight tons of looters bandits and minor faction to level them up, which is a process that would take like 50 game days. now how on earth would you get an cav only army i don't know because they are dying like flys for me. don't get me started on the throwing cavs like the sturgeon hardened brigands etc, they die even faster.

what i find is even if the enemy is routing and running away, they are only running from my infantry. when i ride close on my horse or when my cavs come around, they point their spears and stun us with the horse rearing mechanism and their archers all focus fire. even when completely demoralized and just running for their lives.

nowadays my army is 70% ranged and 20% infantry with a few horsemen here and there. i have shield wall set up in front, archers always on elevated ground behind so they still have full vision. horse archers on the right side facing enemy from a 45% angle (since their charge always circles from the right). and i basically use my cavs on the left with shield wall to tank enemy left flank cav charge (which doesn't always come, some enemies don't have cavs or don't flank with them) while my horse archers counter charge enemy right side flank (they'll circle around instead, avoiding enemy charge). my shield wall basically stop most of their cavs dead in their tracks and the archers above will pick them off so quickly its not even funny. with this formation i basically have a box killing field. enemies will get arrows rained upon them as soon as they are 150 m away. and by the time they are about 20-30m away my horse archers get around them from behind shooting from all angles. my cav would withstand enemy charge with 0 casualties if they are on shield wall facing the right direction, sometimes a horse dies here and there, but the rider finds an replacement from dead enemy's horse. at the end of the battle when the winning bgm turns on and the enemy is routing completely, i put my cavs on charge and they get a few kills. if i don't pull them back immediately i'd start seeing deaths. considering how little trample damage they are able to dish out, charging cavs face first into enemy infantry is literal suicide, you'll lose more men despite them being much heavily armored and on horsebacks
 

KyDeezy

Recruit
Best answers
0
like the title said, what is the intended use of cavalry? in terms of situations, formations and commands? how many to have in terms of % of your army?

if you know please tell me the answer and your source, if not you are welcome to post any speculations you might have here.
also i'm interested in how do you personally use your cavalry? aside from cheating how do you maintain and manage your army? how do you replenish loses etc.

I've been using them like how i've read in books and online about historical warfare. knowing their weakness of polearms and powerful ranged attacks, i have been conservative, sometimes shields up and only going in to flank. but i experience lots of casualties despite careful controlling of their positioning (with infantry or archers i basically set it and leave it, using a couple of commands all battle, but with cavs i have to move them constantly).
so nowadays i've only been using them on mop up duty, literally sitting behind my archers all battle until the opponent is on the run with 20% of his troops left, when the opponent is routing i charge them from behind with the cavs, and still, my men get mauled. i'd say despite making up about 15% of my army, 50% of my casualties come from that formation 3.

i remember seeing an youtube experiment with the different troops and using a army of only 1 type of troop vs an equal power ai with mix soldiers. of course in many cases he's using strictly highest tier units when the opponents might have 20% recruits, but the armies have equal power levels so in most cases he would be outnumbered. the results are that an all infantry or archer or horse archer army would be completely viable, in some cases very dominant, especially if you exploit to their strengths. but the cav only army got destroyed facing more upgraded troops (still wrecked those looters though), despite requiring more control from the player.

are they currently too underpowered?
I have 700 hours playing, 13 runs and finished the game twice. I've played about 50 hours on 1.4.1

IMO, cavalry have 2 main issues,

1. They don't keep strong formations i find that the column formation works better than skein (less deaths when they punch through a line) however even then, they form an amorphous blob then all get caught up in the enemy,
2. They do not flee and reform. If they're caught, they engage fully. Fleeing while blocking and reforming would be tops.

My latest run, run 13 on 1.4.1 i had about 100 cavalry in an army of 500. I've scrapped that run and started over because in the late game all they do is clutter the field and die.
 

KyDeezy

Recruit
Best answers
0
I play on 1.4.0 of the game, it's my first time playing a Mount and Blade game and never watched people for their tips about tactics and such (this is just a background for you guys to know where im coming from ).

This is the composition of my Clan/Army


I barely lose any units, even when im out numbered and depends on the enemy composition army as well. im not going to tell which
units i have but i can describe you my combat style. AnandaShanti said it is a work in progress but i don't think they need any kind of buff or nerf, i can use them quite effectively and they sure are very useful.

(Enemy who main's Melee units) - My formation:
1 - Archer units wide formation and ahead of the Melee formation
2 - Melee with the shield wall with some distance behind the Archers
3 - Horse Archers i put them on the flank besides the Archers
4 - Cavalry slight behind the Melee units on the left flank usually ( The position of this group varies with the composition and positions of the enemy Army )

Execution:

1 - Archers look for any high ground, if there isn't any i choose open and leveled areas, rain arrows from mostly mid range so you can be more accurate and deal some damage and the main thing is forcing them to come to you.

2 - Enemy charges at you, issue command to your melee group to form ahead of the Archers, Charge with Horse Archers because they will circle around them and the enemy will be distracted with your melee force, in terms of Cavalry use them to flank them real hard, if the enemy doesn't break from this they soon will, i use them to flank if im on foot, but if im leading them i will charge from Behind.

You can use this way to attack even if the enemy has Archers, usually the difference is that the enemy will be guarding their archers and will force you to engage, if that happens you do:

Execution - Rain arrows like before, after YOUR Archers take a few hits form the melee ahead of the Archers and charge and when they get somewhat close, you support them with the Horse Archers and the Cavalry ( for better outcome use them on the opposite sides of each other )

The big vs formation you want to know is how i deal with the Army if they are composed mostly by Cavalry and Horse Archers right? since you mainly ask how we use the Cavalry.

Enemy composed by mainly Cavalry and Horse Archers:
(First situation if the enemy as BOTH categories)

1 - Melee and Archers same formations and positions as before
2 - Cavalry will stay behind the Horse Archers(in wide formation) and you should position them in the same spot that the Enemy Horse Archers are coming from

Execution:

1 - Melee and archers will deal with the Enemy Cavalry, since you have the Archers ahead of the Melee they will rain down arrows to the Cavalry, after they come to close change positions with the Melee Units and make them face the enemy, since they have shields up they will block many attacks, if you are on foot you should help them as well, this is the main focus in trying to kill as fast as possible the Cavalry.

2 - Let the Enemy Horse Archers get a little closer, you don't need to move your Horse Archers UNTIL you command your Cavalry to Charge you should do this when they are somewhat close/mid range, Charge with your Cavalry and after all your Cavalry units pass trough your Horse Archers you command them to Charge as well so they will be helping your Cavalry.

3 - These steps is only if the enemy as also foot soldiers: after all that fight if you haven't manage to kill MOST of the Cavalry you still have to give up on your Melee unit to block and distract the Cavalry and use them to engage the incoming foot soldiers, you should always leave the Shield wall formation while this is happening, because the main point is to STALL until your Archers or Cavalry deal with their sides, while your Melee is occupied you should stay helping your Archers with the Cavalry, the Enemy Cavalry should always be your priority doing this, they can disrupt you formations, they are annoying to your Archers (as they should be xD) and they flank a lot, so until you deal with that you have to believe in your soldiers and the soldier composition you made.

4 - After dealing with the Cavalry you need to see where your help and the Archers would make the most difference... if there is still a lot of Horse Archers you should help them with your Archers while you Alone will try to flank the Enemy Melee units ( If they have Archers you should go with your Archers and clean as fast as possible so you can Charge at full force the Enemy Archers, you can use your Horse Archers to help your Melee unit at this point).

(Second Situation: Enemy is composed mainly by Cavalry)

1 - Same spots as before, only take action when they are somewhat close, Charge them with your infantry while in Shield Wall and support them mainly with your Cavalry and Horse Archers, leave your Archers in wide formation looking at them them.

The only time i Charge ahead with the Cavalry and Horse Archers is if:
1 - Enemy as few Archers/Cavalry/Horse Archers, BUT i always want to be close after their first charge so im able to help them with the rest of the army.

The deaths outcome will depend on your Army composition (even though i said Archers i didn't mention which, this applies to all your other units as well) and decision making.

i hope you can understand my explanation, and all this is how i play, it doesn't mean that it's the only way of course.

If you want more information about how i deal with other type of Armies just ask me :wink:.
Likely this works for you because you're in the early game when there are few troops and there is no troop respawn. Hit the mid or late game and it's a mess, even with micro. I could be wrong here, but I'm struggling hard to make them work late game 🥺

Have your tried this with larger battles?

Source: I have 700 hours in this game.
 
Last edited:

karijus

Regular
Best answers
0
I always used my cav simply - had like 30~% of my army in the form of heavy cav, just get them to follow me on the flank and charge myself and them into archers, or whatever the situation demands, wipe everything out.

That was on older patches though - it might be a bit harder now with the 1h/2h perk fix, infantry/archers might be fighting back harder, and polearms are not yet "fixed", while being one the main weapons of cav. Are you using noble high tier cav or just peasant cav? I found that only high tier nobles are very effective.

Someone did a test and imperial recruits could beat or inflict huge losses against vlandian knights in even numbers battle lol, though I also tested vlandian banner knights, and those mopped the floor with inf. So wait for polearm perk fix I guess or get high tier noble heavy cav.
 
Last edited:

Radimov

Recruit
Best answers
0
Likely this works for you because you're in the early game when there are few troops and there is no troop respawn. Hit the mid or late game and it's a mess, even with micro. I could be wrong here, but I'm struggling hard to make them work late game 🥺

Have your tried this with larger battles?

Source: I have 700 hours in this game.
Just for reference what do you guys consider mid/late game?

I have 122 hours this game, it's not a lot compared to you for sure ^^, but i was already in command of a 1200 unit Army vs a 1000 Khuzait Army and my way worked, of course there was some decent amount of losses due to the tiers and type of units that the A.I recruit, the most i lost in Cavalry was like 3 and a couple of wounded, BUT it's really dependent of the composition of the Army. I can try to capture the fights, it's way better than writing right? xD

I really prefer to battle alone than the A.I doing their dances with the Infantry just back and forth taking unnecessary hits or just sending the Cavalry to charge mindlessly. My infantry is mostly composed by Throwing "tanks", i use some Legionaries in mix for sure.
 

KyDeezy

Recruit
Best answers
0
Just for reference what do you guys consider mid/late game?

I have 122 hours this game, it's not a lot compared to you for sure ^^, but i was already in command of a 1200 unit Army vs a 1000 Khuzait Army and my way worked, of course there was some decent amount of losses due to the tiers and type of units that the A.I recruit, the most i lost in Cavalry was like 3 and a couple of wounded, BUT it's really dependent of the composition of the Army. I can try to capture the fights, it's way better than writing right? xD

I really prefer to battle alone than the A.I doing their dances with the Infantry just back and forth taking unnecessary hits or just sending the Cavalry to charge mindlessly. My infantry is mostly composed by Throwing "tanks", i use some Legionaries in mix for sure.
Oh wow, yeah that's big enough. I'd love to see how you're handling your mounted fights. I need to learn this.
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
Best answers
0
I always used my cav simply - had like 30~% of my army in the form of heavy cav, just get them to follow me on the flank and charge myself and them into archers, or whatever the situation demands, wipe everything out.

That was on older patches though - it might be a bit harder now with the 1h/2h perk fix, infantry/archers might be fighting back harder, and polearms are not yet "fixed", while being one the main weapons of cav. Are you using noble high tier cav or just peasant cav? I found that only high tier nobles are very effective.

Someone did a test and imperial recruits could beat or inflict huge losses against vlandian knights in even numbers battle lol, though I also tested vlandian banner knights, and those mopped the floor with inf. So wait for polearm perk fix I guess or get high tier noble heavy cav.
i basically only used banner knights and elite cataphracts, of course their earlier versions at first. not even druzinik champions or vanguard faris as i found those are less armored and die more easily.
If i was incurring losses when im charging their infantry or something sure. but when they have already routed and on the run? not even funny. half the times i just f1 f7 with my cavalry if i the opponent doesn't have enough of their own. or sit them behind my archers. they are so expansive and hard to come by but die as fast as tier 3 infantry...

how do you manage to keep a stock of heavy cavs? it takes me like 100 game days of recruitment to get like 30 of them (mostly tier 2 at that). and i have to be so freaking careful so they survive and level to tier 6, then they just sit there look pretty cause when i charge i lose them.
 

KyDeezy

Recruit
Best answers
0
i basically only used banner knights and elite cataphracts, of course their earlier versions at first. not even druzinik champions or vanguard faris as i found those are less armored and die more easily.
If i was incurring losses when im charging their infantry or something sure. but when they have already routed and on the run? not even funny. half the times i just f1 f7 with my cavalry if i the opponent doesn't have enough of their own. or sit them behind my archers. they are so expansive and hard to come by but die as fast as tier 3 infantry...

how do you manage to keep a stock of heavy cavs? it takes me like 100 game days of recruitment to get like 30 of them (mostly tier 2 at that). and i have to be so freaking careful so they survive and level to tier 6, then they just sit there look pretty cause when i charge i lose them.
bandit farming -> leadership disciplinarian -> noble troop is overtuned. Very easy to staff your army with 60-70% noble units late game always
 

Radimov

Recruit
Best answers
0
bandit farming -> leadership disciplinarian -> noble troop is overtuned. Very easy to staff your army with 60-70% noble units late game always
And another way is:
1- Prisoners - sell only the Tier 5 and the ones you don't want, keep the rest and if you have a city/castle put them there, so when you need to recruit you just need to take them out and pass a few days and voila easy recruits
2 - Garrison - If you have a city/castle donate troops to your garrison, i usually donate the high Tier and mostly infantry and archers, but if you have a overflow of cavalry you should donate as well, when you need you can simply retrieve them from there.

I'm never out of people, iv more 100 prisoners on my city waiting to get recruited, and also have more than 200 garrison high tiers on my city...
You can also do this method to improve the army of your companions party.

A.I ability to command and managing their armies now that's some concerning issues.
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
Best answers
0
i guess my dream of having imperial cataphracts in shiny armor has to be replaced by vlandian knights in penis helmets but thanks for your inputs.

i'll just wait for my 15 imprisoned knights to wanna join my forces, get fed properly and make some cash... in the mean time they can continue getting dragged in chains behind my pigs and cows as i march through sand and snow
 

Hammerhi99

Regular
Best answers
0
And another way is:
1- Prisoners - sell only the Tier 5 and the ones you don't want, keep the rest and if you have a city/castle put them there, so when you need to recruit you just need to take them out and pass a few days and voila easy recruits
2 - Garrison - If you have a city/castle donate troops to your garrison, i usually donate the high Tier and mostly infantry and archers, but if you have a overflow of cavalry you should donate as well, when you need you can simply retrieve them from there.

I'm never out of people, iv more 100 prisoners on my city waiting to get recruited, and also have more than 200 garrison high tiers on my city...
You can also do this method to improve the army of your companions party.

A.I ability to command and managing their armies now that's some concerning issues.
My problem with putting highlevel troops into garrisons : The messed up settlement economics. Too many garrisons just starved to death in my playthroughs allready.
 

Radimov

Recruit
Best answers
0
My problem with putting highlevel troops into garrisons : The messed up settlement economics. Too many garrisons just starved to death in my playthroughs allready.
Really depends i guess, you need to make sure there is food, i use trade a lot so maybe that's why i don't have an issue?
I have this city for a long time and i have no problems with it
 

Hammerhi99

Regular
Best answers
0
Really depends i guess, you need to make sure there is food, i use trade a lot so maybe that's why i don't have an issue?
I have this city for a long time and i have no problems with it

Not a big thing if you have only one city to care about. And if you have to fight against more than one faction you usually have other things to do, than doing supply trips between your settlements.

Btw. your garrison is expected to decrease on your second screenshot.
 

Radimov

Recruit
Best answers
0
Not a big thing if you have only one city to care about. And if you have to fight against more than one faction you usually have other things to do, than doing supply trips between your settlements.

Btw. your garrison is expected to decrease on your second screenshot.
Garrison is not militia, the negative -14 is the current food value they are taking/consuming, but yes you are correct, maybe some balances do need to work better in terms of food, maybe food production?
 

Hammerhi99

Regular
Best answers
0
Garrison is not militia, the negative -14 is the current food value they are taking/consuming, but yes you are correct, maybe some balances do need to work better in terms of food, maybe food production?
My bad... i just had one coffee by now 😁

But yes, the balancing is not optimal. And some cities seem to have overly sensitive economics. In my last playthrough "Makeb" was allways my "problem-child", in my current game it´s "Poros".

But we are getting off topic ^^
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
Best answers
0
i find it crazy how high levels of prosperity reduces food by that much. i mean is this game serious? so rich you starve to death? in my last playthrough, even with no villages raided and all castle fully upgraded and 0 garrison troops, my towns of poros and volstrum would permanently have 0 food unless i bring over 200 every other day so i literally didn't use the garrison mechanism in game since all my troops would quickly starve to death. currently my towns are good on food but that's because they are barely about 2000 prosperity. i'm doing ok now but i don't know what would happen in the future when i have more troops, need more troops while having higher prosperity and no food