why do horse charges only cause a stagger?

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five bucks

Knight at Arms
Err.. they do defeat things easily. I really have no clue as to what you're talking about when you say "can't defeat things easily"
Maybe if I rephrase: "easily" means "without needing much micromanagement or help from other troops, this troop will inflict high casualties with low losses against certain units of the same tier and quantity."

This applies to lots of different units in Bannerlord. It does not apply to most melee cavalry, despite the fact they cost more.
because this game isn't some SRPG game that has neat rock-scissors-papers relationship between troop types
Overall, it does. Run some custom battles. Almost all 2h shock troops will slaughter shield+1h users. Almost all large shield users will easily soak up arrows to get into melee. Almost all braced polearm users can slaughter melee cavalry.

The unfortunate exception? Melee cavalry. There isn't anything they do really well against.
I really don't understand why you're thinking something needs to "defeat something easily" to have tactical value, because tactics is a measure of value as part of the army group, not a DPS meter.
Further down you say the value you think cavalry brings, and I point out why other troop types do it better.
Already, the cavalry pretty easily decimates archers when done in the right way, right numbers, right situation. Same against infantry, same against horse archers, same against any other troop type for that matter.
"The right situation," of course. Anything can be good if you tailor a situation very specifically to make its flaws irrelevant.

If, when comparing within a tier, you have:

* Unit which is good in some situations and costs a warhorse (Banner Knight),

* Unit which is extremely good in almost every single situation and costs a warhorse (Khan's Guard)

* Unit which is extremely good in many situations and does not cost a warhorse (Fian Champion)

Then which are you going to pick for your limited party size?
I find most of these types of complaints where people say "A can't do B" in this game, results from either (a) misconceptions on historical battles (as clearly can be seen in this very thread about cavalry charges)
You don't have any basis to say this whatsoever, as I have clearly demonstrated the historical argument for devastating cavalry charges with actual evidence while you have provided none.
Take for example attacks against archers, as you've mentioned. In many cases I see the common mistakes of..
  • (a) riding in head-on against sufficient numbers of archers from a distance without drawing their fire through other troops
Read this.

Cavalry where both rider and horse are armoured should be able to ride directly at archers in an open field and survive.
"oh, cavalry is supposed to be good against archers"
I actually said archers should go roughly even with cavalry, under equal circumstances.
Cavalry has a way to deal with any troop type, and if not alone, as part of a combined arms maneuver, which, is EXACTLY how they should be.
There are historical examples of unsupported, solely cavalry parties defeating much larger infantry forces, such as the Battle of the Lake of Antioch. So where does this "EXACTLY" come from?
Cavalry is still the most significantly powerful and useful unit type in the game by far.
Ranged cavalry (eg Khan's Guard) is. Melee cavalry isn't.

50 Khan's Guard can defeat 600 recruits alone. 50 Banner Knights can't defeat 200.
Their speed alone is plenty enough to be valuable, for example, you see enemy formation in the opening phase of the battle try to move to a better spot?
You simply ignore them because your archers are already on a hill, protected by shield infantry. Or your Khan's Guard just ride around them and shoot them till they die.
The enemy has their own cavalry protecting the sides?
Your archers shoot them, then proceed to shoot the enemy. Or your Khan's Guard just ride around them and shoot them till they die.
The enemy has horse archers attempting a envelopment tactic?
Your archers... Shoot them. Or your Khan's Guard just ride around them and shoot them till they die.


Agree with a lot of what's been said here.

I'd also like to point out that cavalry (not counting over powered khan's guard) is the only unit type that I am not really afraid of :

Archers and xbowman are accurate and do tons of damage (they should really tone done ranged damage especially at medium-long range).
While sword and board infantry are not that scary, you can quickly get overwhelmed/backed into a corner being unable to kill them fast enough. The one that are equipped with throwing weapons are very scary though.
Two handers are very very scary, one wrong move and you're back to spectator mode.
Cav on the other hand? I can count on one hand the number of time I've been couched lance (and I played 80% of the time on foot). The AI seems pretty bad at aiming from horseback.
When getting charged the highest outcome (if you don't kill the mount/rider in the first place) is to fall on the ground for half a sec. And knowing that it'll take at least 30sec for the rider to cycle back, I ain't too worried.
So yeah cav can be disruptive and annoying but that's about it.

To be fair when controlled by the player, I find that a small contingent of heavily armored cav has a valuable tactical role. Since they're good at being annoying, having them charge a shieldwall then retreat is a nice way to mess with the enemy formation and opening it for your archers.
Sadly the AI isn't good enough to pull that kind of thing, mostly doing kamikaze charges into your shieldwalls/archers' kill zones.


Grandmaster Knight
The lack of effective striking from Melee Cav is to me the far greater problem -in all the other versions of M&B cav (Knights) may have been overpowered but it felt close to fighting another human in PvP in terms of their very effective ability to change attack angles, use their horse to bump & roll your defense etc.. this felt far better in terms of gameplay than these impotent guys in Bannerlord. Id far rather have OP knights and then design a good AI defensive counter strategy to fight them than what we have now
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