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(TFT) Horse Speeds

This is in response to mtapley's weight effects on a mount's speed post, which
in the archives is titled "Re: TFT Digest V3 #1045", and includes an awesome
and very handy chart.
Now that I have my books with me, I see that mtapley is right and I'm wrong.
As per Advanced Melee pages 31-32 a mount loses 6 MA when carrying up to 3x
ST, loses 8 MA when carrying up to 4x ST, and 10 MA when crrying up to 5x ST.
It can't generally move in a battle situation at more than 5x ST.
mtapley's charts are right on the money regarding speeds of horses...but I'd
offer up these as tweaks to their full kits:
1) The Light Cavalry, riding a light horse (20 ST) instead of riding horse,
could actually ditch the cloth barding to reach an MA of 20. However, a self
respecting cavalry lancer would carry a shield if he's only wearing leather,
which will add between five and fifteen kg. Let's assume a small shield at 5
kg, and all you need to do is get rid of 1 kg of thrown/healing potions and
you've got a 20 MA horseman. An adventuer-type would require an extraordinary
mount...22 ST...to include the miscellaneous gear. A cavalry man as part of a
larger army might have food and water, but would probably have to give up the
healing potions and what have you.
The Heavy Cavalry mtapley suggests also is over-weight for my generic 30 ST
warhorse. Also, it doesn't include a shield, which is actually appropriate for
the period (assuming fine plate is rennaissance or war of the roses equivelant
armor). But in TFT, if you're using a one-handed weapon and not carrying
a small shield, you're kind of sub-optimal. So add a small shield which also
adds 5 kg., so we're up to 163.5 kg and we have to get it down to 150 kg. A
Knight of this sort wouldn't bother carrying water/food/miscellaneous gear on
his warhorse...he'd have a secondary pack horse and riding horse for that. So
we save 5 kg there but that only pays for our shield. The obvious place to go
is with cloth or leather barding instead of chain, reserving chain and plate
barding for only those truley wealthy noblemen capable of buying/breeding
extraordinary horseflesh (up to 36 strength). Maybe at the top end of that
they can even put on plate barding which again
 would be appropriate for the period.
But I'd propose an earlier, pre-fine plate style knight from 1066 to the early
hundred-years war. A Norman with chainmail, tower shield, spear (instead of
lance), and mace only comes to 111 kg, 117 if you decide a lance is
appropriate for that period, and so long as the horse is un-barded that's
under 4x ST of a generic warhorse (120 kg threshold) so the Warhorse is moving
at a pretty good clip of 16 MA. Similarly, an Ivanhoe-era knight with
chainmail, large shield, lance and bastard sword is only 112.5 kg, again
providing a 16 MA knight. It isn't until you start loading on the plate and
half-plate that the generic warhorse slows to 14 MA.
So for simplicity's sake, when building figures for one-off miniatures
skirmish battles, as opposed to full-on role-playing campaigns, I'd just say
treat a Warhorse as 16 MA unless its rider is wearing plate, or the horse has
leather barding, in which case it drops to 14 MA. Light horses are trickier,
since it's much more difficult to get a cavalryman's kit under 100 kg.
But, in general, I still maintain that at 16 MA cavalry controls when melee
occurs on their own terms. So long as they half-move at 8 they can't be
engaged (halted) by a single footman, at top speed they outrun even the
swiftest foot pursuer, and the fact that they can move 16 and still attack
gives them an enormous advantage. So long as the battlefield's large enough,
it's really no problem for them to maintain a 16 hex distance and circle the
footmen until they find an advantage in initiative and can charge. The
footmen's only defense is a strong formation without flanks and set polearms.
That, or massed archery, since without any barding those horses are gonna be
very vulnerable to even 1D6 arrows.
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