How is Cavalry to be used in this game?

King Yngvar

Squire
WBVC
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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.
Underpowered? They slide through formations holding spears without any form of collision. Against infantry they are definitely not underpowered. They might be against archers though, even full mail barding can't seem to stop an arrow.
 

Hammerhi99

Recruit
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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
The mechanics regarding foodsupply, prosperity etc. are completely broken atm. And the KI has MASSIVE advantages in this context. I NEVER saw a starving town or castle as long it belonged to the KI. There are castles that can maintain a garrison of 200 troops + 700 men militia easily and it´s totally regardless whether you raid it´s villages (the castle will STILL make +food) or you lay a siege on it. Only way to thin the defenders out is by taking out their siege engine-crews. But you will think twice before even bother about taking such a castle if you can lose it in a heartbreak right afterwards because YOU off course are not able to put only a 20 men garrison into it.
 

Hammerhi99

Recruit
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Underpowered? They slide through formations holding spears without any form of collision. Against infantry they are definitely not underpowered. They might be against archers though, even full mail barding can't seem to stop an arrow.
That changes at the moment you give up shield wall and put them into a line. Then the cav will have way more losses. Same thing vise versa, when they come close to the archers, because at that moment the archers will most of the time stop firing and running around instead.
 

King Yngvar

Squire
WBVC
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That changes at the moment you give up shield wall and put them into a line. Then the cav will have way more losses. Same thing vise versa, when they come close to the archers, because at that moment the archers will most of the time stop firing and running around instead.
That makes no logical sense.
 

Hammerhi99

Recruit
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That makes no logical sense.
Well, a shieldwall doesn´t stop cavalry at all, the cav simply rushes through it (as you mentioned correctly). Shieldwall works fine against ranged attacks, thats all. The problem with shieldwall is, that your soldiers rather fight back PLUS, if they do, block each others weapons because they stand too close together. When they stand in a line, however, your infantry WILL fight back and they don´t block each other anymore. They won´t stop the cav entirely but they will cause casualties to them. You may have experienced yourself how much harm a single recruit with a spear can do to toward a rider. And don´t forget that your infantry-line also have ranged weapons (javelins, throwing axes etc.), which they don´t use at all when they stand in a shieldwall. You may have experienced a well aimed javelin in your face also. :wink:

Archers on the other side change to melee attack if you come to close to them but they have no long meleeweapons for selfdefence, so they aren´t such a threat toward cav.
 
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King Yngvar

Squire
WBVC
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Well, a shieldwall doesn´t stop cavalry at all, the cav simply rushes through it (as you mentioned correctly). Shieldwall works fine against ranged attacks, thats all. The problem with shieldwall is, that your soldiers rather fight back PLUS, if they do, block each others weapons because they stand too close together. When they stand in a line, however, your infantry WILL fight back and they don´t block each other anymore. They won´t stop the cav entirely but they will cause casualties to them. You may have experienced yourself how much harm a single recruit with a spear can do to toward a rider. And don´t forget that your infantry-line also have ranged weapons (javelins, throwing axes etc.), which they don´t use at all when they stand in a shieldwall. You may have experienced a well aimed javelin in your face also. :wink:

Archers on the other side change to melee attack if you come to close to them but they have no long meleeweapons for selfdefence, so they aren´t such a threat toward cav.
Realistically, a shield wall should make it harder for the cav to just glide through with no casualties on either side.
As for the archers, their arrows can easily slay the most heavily armored knights in the game since armor doesn't work properly.
 

flavior flavius

Recruit
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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
Prosperity is supposed to also represent population. You have more people and they eat more food. I think the penalties are a bit too harsh at the moment though.
 

HalfMetalJacket

Regular
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I'm reading some strange things here. No idea how cavalry are underpowered at all. They're really quite brainless to use. An army of cavalry is all you really need. Archers will hurt you, but even they'll get rolled over quite quickly. The only things that can stop cavalry are shock troop infantry with polearms or other cavalry.
 

Seppel

Recruit
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Problem with Cavalry is the Speed Bonus in the Game, usually if your Cavalry just charges in they get slaugthered either by Archers or their Horses get killed by Infantry.

Best way to use cavalry is by using horse archers which when told to charge will circle around the enemies and kill a lot of them with their bows or at least weaken them, when archers are empty just let all of your cavalry charge, (melee cavalry stays behind till archercavalry is empty)
 

Gelimer

Recruit
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The key with cav is to divide it into smaller groups.

Unfortunately in the current version of the game, the groupings you make in your party do not get saved so I have to do it before every single battle in my game ( if anyone knows a mod that lets you save your party groupings that would be great).

The topic is how you use your cav, well i divide the melee cav into 2 groups and deploy each on the flanks and babysit them ( charge, disengage charge etc). Later I press F6 when i m busy focusing on something.

I use loose formation for all my units but i only use 10% (heavy) infantry in my armies so... everything else is crossbows/archers and cav. If i would command normal infantry with shields i would use line formation or shield wall depending the context ( line or square vs cav , shield wall vs inf ).

I flank with archers or cav, i use horse archers either in column or loose formation depending the context ( loose when i am in their rear and some archers shoot at us so i want everyone to shoot back , column when moving around the enemy flanks.
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
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Prosperity is supposed to also represent population. You have more people and they eat more food. I think the penalties are a bit too harsh at the moment though.
yes but don't you think more people also make more food and more trading? and towns with high levels of prosperity also generally have more money. like when you open the trade menu top left shows their cash flow. with more money they can surely buy more food despite higher prices.
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
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I'm reading some strange things here. No idea how cavalry are underpowered at all. They're really quite brainless to use. An army of cavalry is all you really need. Archers will hurt you, but even they'll get rolled over quite quickly. The only things that can stop cavalry are shock troop infantry with polearms or other cavalry.
I'm currently running an army with 400 men, including 150 archers, 20 horse archers, 80 cavs and 150 infantry. against someone with 300-400 men, I would charge then regroup my cavs 3-4 times a fight, they end up getting 20-30 kills while my infantry get 100-150 just holding their shield wall, and my archers get 200 standing still all fight (both squads are set it and leave it, i don't touch them the entire fight, while having to manage the cavs every 10-15 seconds or they start dying). aside from disrupting enemy formation cavs are really bad at the game.
also since cavs are hard to come by they are my original group full of tier 4/5/6. and almost all my infantry and archers are lower tier troops i'm training. i already have hundreds of tier 5 elite soldiers sitting in the garrisons that i'm not even using. if i was bringing my tier 5 archers and infantry the cavs wont even get to see action before the enemy are all gone. and if you ask why i don't attack with the cavs earlier? they die faster than looters that's why
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
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Well, a shieldwall doesn´t stop cavalry at all, the cav simply rushes through it (as you mentioned correctly). Shieldwall works fine against ranged attacks, thats all. The problem with shieldwall is, that your soldiers rather fight back PLUS, if they do, block each others weapons because they stand too close together. When they stand in a line, however, your infantry WILL fight back and they don´t block each other anymore. They won´t stop the cav entirely but they will cause casualties to them. You may have experienced yourself how much harm a single recruit with a spear can do to toward a rider. And don´t forget that your infantry-line also have ranged weapons (javelins, throwing axes etc.), which they don´t use at all when they stand in a shieldwall. You may have experienced a well aimed javelin in your face also. :wink:
shield wall WILL block cavalry if you make it thick enough. a 1-3 layer wall might not, but if you got 5+ lines of troops they will stop dead in their tracks most of the time, if not they'll slow down so much the archers behind shoot them down anyways. pretty much every time a cavalry formation charges me they all die without doing anything.
soldiers in shield wall won't attack as much but also WILL hold formation, which is defensive and allows your men to not die. also shield wall soldiers Will use throwing weapons unless you tell them to hold fire. against an enemy wave of infantry charge i've noticed much much less casualties when i'm using shield wall other than line or charge. frankly the most of the damage dealing is left for my archers on the hill anyways, and when enemies try to flank and surround my shield wall they'll just be exposed to the archers even more. that's also when i charge in myself and cut down a few causing a quick rout.
 

AnandaShanti

Knight
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Underpowered? They slide through formations holding spears without any form of collision. Against infantry they are definitely not underpowered. They might be against archers though, even full mail barding can't seem to stop an arrow.
They don't connect their attacks consistently. It doesn't matter if they can get through a formation, they're supposed to slaughter them where they stand. Also I find a skein shuts down even a large Cav attack. Cav has a high likely hood of getting taken down by even recruits too, it has to do with how they get too close on attack, miss the attack, then stand around for a bit getting wailed on. You can make use of them but they're certainly not working very well and are under powered for what Cav should be. Saying they're better then even worse infantry isn't saying much.

Edit: Guess I should clarify I mean a skein of mounted archers will shut down a large Cav attack. I don't use infantry.
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
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there's a reason "call in the cavalry" is a saying. meaning call in the big boys the big guns the game enders the serious guys who will mop up the opposition without contest. that's because they were a battlefield dominator force. expansive and hard to equip and train, yes. but because of that, damn strong and effective. a cav charge should produce as many casualties as the number of horses upon impact. you should see a bigger wall of kill text when your cav charge connects than any archer formations shooting down on infantry.
but i need to send 50 cavs to kill 5 looters with 1 pass through. that's pathetic
 

King Yngvar

Squire
WBVC
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there's a reason "call in the cavalry" is a saying. meaning call in the big boys the big guns the game enders the serious guys who will mop up the opposition without contest. that's because they were a battlefield dominator force. expansive and hard to equip and train, yes. but because of that, damn strong and effective. a cav charge should produce as many casualties as the number of horses upon impact. you should see a bigger wall of kill text when your cav charge connects than any archer formations shooting down on infantry.
but i need to send 50 cavs to kill 5 looters with 1 pass through. that's pathetic
Peasant rabble like looters, sure. Archers, sure. But you're not realistically getting horses to slide unharmed through a wall of heavily armored spearmen with shields. Strangely enough, right now archers seem to be a better counter to cavalry than a tight packed infantry formation.
 

flavior flavius

Recruit
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yes but don't you think more people also make more food and more trading? and towns with high levels of prosperity also generally have more money. like when you open the trade menu top left shows their cash flow. with more money they can surely buy more food despite higher prices.
Sure, but does the food just magically appear at the city for the people to buy? Nope, it has to be carried there by caravans and parties of villagers. If that isn't happening then it doesn't matter how rich your city is, your people will have a food shortage.

I think a bigger problem is that village food output doesn't scale with hearths the same way that food consumption in cities scales with prosperity, leading to situations where a city's prosperity is many times bottlenecked by food output from local villages. It is especially bad with 1.4.1 because caravans get raided constantly in the insane amount of warfare going on, so they can't make up the difference.
 

KingEroc1st

Recruit
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Peasant rabble like looters, sure. Archers, sure. But you're not realistically getting horses to slide unharmed through a wall of heavily armored spearmen with shields. Strangely enough, right now archers seem to be a better counter to cavalry than a tight packed infantry formation.
do you think anyone here has charged cavs into tier 5 spearmen? I thought I'd need less than 50 tier 5 knights to knock down 5 looters with a charge but i was wrong. the problem is that they "slide" too smoothly and effortlessly pass units instead of colliding and knocking them down at the very least, maybe introduce trample, downed units take extra damage by being ran over. like now they take 3 charge damage and get up after 5 seconds. in reality, they'd have died from the impact and been crushed to meat sauce by the hooves.

personally i use infantry to trap cavs and archers on the hill to shoot them down. very effective combo. anything less than 30 knights will not return, let alone inflict casualties on my forces. like the imperial elite cataphract is wearing serious armor (tier 6 with 40+ defense points), in an arena match 1v1 i slash him for 5 damage in the chest cause his beast armor absorbed 45 damage. the same cataphract dies in 3 arrows from a tier 3 imperial archer... wtf???
 

HalfMetalJacket

Regular
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do you think anyone here has charged cavs into tier 5 spearmen? I thought I'd need less than 50 tier 5 knights to knock down 5 looters with a charge but i was wrong. the problem is that they "slide" too smoothly and effortlessly pass units instead of colliding and knocking them down at the very least, maybe introduce trample, downed units take extra damage by being ran over. like now they take 3 charge damage and get up after 5 seconds. in reality, they'd have died from the impact and been crushed to meat sauce by the hooves.

personally i use infantry to trap cavs and archers on the hill to shoot them down. very effective combo. anything less than 30 knights will not return, let alone inflict casualties on my forces. like the imperial elite cataphract is wearing serious armor (tier 6 with 40+ defense points), in an arena match 1v1 i slash him for 5 damage in the chest cause his beast armor absorbed 45 damage. the same cataphract dies in 3 arrows from a tier 3 imperial archer... wtf???
Spearmen are pitiful. A force of spearmen won't be able to take out an equivalent force of cavalry, its embarrassing how badly they get wrecked. They can only stop horses and... nothing else. They can't kill anything, they're completely useless.
 

kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
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You have to manually regroup them after initial charge, and either pull back, or blow through the enemy formation.

The AI sucks in combat situ right after the charge, so whilst they go in as a group, after initial contact they all loiter around and fight individually, getting in each other's faces... isolated and killed.

If you look at the kill announcements at right top of the screen, you will notice that at the initial charge it lights up with a streak of green, and then starts turning up red. In other words, right after that streak of green you have to manually command the cav to disengage and regroup into a mass again. If you miss this timing, the casualties ramp up.