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FW: (TFT) more on Cavalry Charges

>From: Thorn [mailto:edt@dopey.ne.mediaone.net]
>Subject: Re: (TFT) more on Cavalry Charges

>Also, let's be clear on what we're testing for.  "Can 10 lancers get
>through 25 halberd and sword?"

This is a little long so bear with me please.

In answering this I used troop types from the Roman era. The definitions of
combat units were a little surprising. This is more along the lines of
tactical ramblings since I havn't playtested this in TFT yet. (I was
supposed to last night but re-built my computer instead) 

First the Cavalry

Lancers:	These were light mounted troops. They were armed with a
lance and most likely had backup lances. They did not have any missle
capabilities. The lancers wore little armor (probably leather) and had no
stirrups to help with directing their horses. The mounts were unarmored.

Light Cavalry:	Mounted missle troops. Light cavalry were usually armed with
short bows and sometimes slings. They wore little to no armor and thier
mounts were unarmored. The troops would have melee weapons only for defense.

Heavy Cavalry:	These units wore scale and had mounts fully armored in
scale. They would be armed with swords and shields. These troops are slower
than other cavalry and have difficulty manuevering.

Now the Infantry

Light Infantry:	These troops have no armor and are armed with spears. While
not as valued and diciplined as heavier troops they would still be well
trained and use to working with each other. Unless the troop was green or an
ad-hoc assemblage of peasants they should not break while receiving a
charge. The unit will rout if after the charge if casualtieas are high

Medium Infantry:	Armed with short swords and shields. These troops
would have little or no armor. These troops would use the Roman shield wall
in fighting. The would also be three or more ranks deep.

Heavy Infantry:	These heavy troops would be carrying over 30 pounds of
equipment with them everywhere. They were armed with swords and spears and
had leather armor and shields. heavy infantry also used the shield wall in

With these definitions Lancers and Light Cavalry should not charge a ready
cohort of infantry from the front. The Light Cavalry was not designed for
melee so I will drop it for the moment. Lancers have an advantage with long
lances and with the momentum of thier mounts. Unfortunatly this momentum
also gives any defender with a polearm a devestating weapon. The cavalry can
cut down many but not all of the front line at the initial clash, and thier
mounts can push/trample some of the second line. The defenders will be
receiving the charge with polearms or swords, cutting for the riders or the
horses. The first wave of cavalry will be cut down. The second wave of
cavalry will most likely make it into the infantry cohort but then become
enmeshed. Once engaged being mounted is more of a hinderence. A mounted
fighter does not have full range of movement and can not form a shield wall
with his fellow units. If some of the cavalry is able to extricate itself
from the wall of infanty it would need to regroup to prepare another charge.
This could take some time and is not always easy on a battlefield even for
trained units. It is easier in TFT since one mind can move all the units and
movement is not simultaneous. (i.e. you can move one unit and then move
another beside it, as opposed to five or six individual men on a battlefield
trying to regroup at a preset location for another charge)

A Lancer unit against a unit of Light Infantry may break through if they can
do enough damage in the initial clash to cause a rout. Experienced infantry
would know this and realize that after the first charge they have the
advantage. An inexperienced squad of infantry or barbarian/peasants may
panic and fall into disarray. This lack of cohesion would allow the Lancers
to cut the infantry down and break through the line.

Heavy Cavalry would have similiar problems with charging a line. Armor and
armored mounts would offset some of these problems. The heavy armor also
makes them less manuverable so after the first charge the units would have
to slug it out with the infantry.

Final Analysis

If the attacker is a Lancer unit I would give the advantage to the defending
infantry unless the infantry is made of irregulars. If the attacker is Light
Cavalry they should ride into missle range and then pull out. 

If Light Cavalry charges (without first weakening the defenders with several
rounds of missle fire) I would give the advantage to the defending infantry
as if the attackers were Lancers. With enough missle fire I think Light
Cavalry would be on par with Light Infantry, but not  Medium or Heavy

Heavy Cavalry should be able to overpower Light Infantry and be a match for
Medium Infantry. I would give Heavy Infantry the advantage of heavy Cavalry.

I think this reflects the reality (or maybe just my reality) of mounted
combat. The SHOCK effect of these units is their ability to outflank an
enemy. This outflanking has been reflected in an earlier post. Someone
mentioned setting up the infantry in a diagonal. This would give the
defenders less of an advantage. In mass combat it is difficult to realign a
force, the ability to attack a forces flanks or rear decreases the defenders
cohesion and can force a rout. Causeing the enemy to rout is the job of
SHOCK units. Few units can simply blow through a prepared and trained
infantry unit with a frontal assault. Even with Heavy Cavalry versus Light
infantry the cost is prohibative since your Heavy Cavalry represents a much
larger investment of resources such as trained manpower, equipment, and
money, than the Light Infantry.

Does this fit the playtesting data? 
I open the floor to flames/questions

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