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Re: (TFT) Targeting Horses and their Riders
In some games I have played, and some historical accounts I have read, there have been social reasons no to attack horses, e.g.:
* It may actually be considered a crime to deliberately attack a horse.
* It may be considered bad to attack horses for spiritual reasons - e.g. bad karma, offending gods or transgressing religious rules.
* It may be considered cowardly or ignoble to attack a horse.
* Commanders may tend to train and/or give orders to attack riders rather than horses, for whatever reasons.
* A horse may be valuable enough, that destroying it is not considered a good idea, or is something a lord doesn't want his minions to do, even if it might be a slightly effective tactic.
* I have read many accounts that wounded horses are a piteous and horrible spectacle.
Practical reasons not to attack a horse:
* An attacked horse might be much more likely to attack (or even go berserk), while if you don't attack it, it might not attack, so by attacking it, you may be creating an opponent.
* Horses can take more effort to kill than the rider, probably don't need to be killed to win the fight, and may have some protective gear themselves (even if only cloth or leather).
* After the combat, if you win, it can be useful or valuable.
A technical consideration, is I wonder how likely it is for an arrow (or X number of arrows) to actually stop a horse that is charging. I don't know the answer, but I suspect it might take an average of quite a few arrow hits, as horses are big and arrows small, and it can certainly take a long time to stop a bull in a bullfight...
I also think that there would be some chance of hitting the horse rather than the rider, or vice versa, when attacking a mounted figure or their mount.
And, TFT doesn't mention the cover penalty of horses or mounted figures, but it seems it would be greater than a standing human figure.
On the other hand, I think attacking horses probably is a valid tactic and often pretty effective. Despite all the considerations, I've seen a lot of horses get shot and/or their legs slashed, to good effect.
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