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Thread: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

  1. #121

    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    I grew up riding horses. They will charge people - that is just a fact. It is not theory with me, I lived it.

    That being said; they will avoid, at all cost, sharp pointy things.

  2. #122

    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    That being said; they will avoid, at all cost, sharp pointy things
    Yet there were examples of horsemen charging pikes / bayonets head on. Both in Antiquity, in Medieval and from 16th century onwards.

    So I guess what you wrote here is true regarding untrained horses. Or maybe charge against a sharp pointy thing looks differently than we would imagine - maybe it looks like in my hypothesis (see the previous page), so horses maybe ride very close to pikes and then suddenly stop, then riders just engage in melee (trying to plunge through pikes walking rather than charging at full speed, or trying to break enemy pikes with chests of horses first, before plunging into enemy line). In such case a horse would jump into enemy pike and break it - of course I assume it refers to jumping into a wooden pole, not into a sharp point of a pike. This would require plunging into enemy pikes not frontally, but at some angle (from side) in order to avoid being harmed / hit by its sharp point.

    An interesting discussion about the same subject also takes place here (I post there as Peter):

    Examples of charges against pikemen (from Antiquity, Medieval, 16th century onwards) are mentioned there.
    Last edited by Domen123; May 16, 2012 at 02:05 PM.

  3. #123

    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    Quote Originally Posted by betto View Post
    if the turks were using the longer 7m pikes of phalanx post alexander the winged hussar charge probaly would have failed. the longer stick always wins.
    Depends. If the sheer mass of cavalry is big enough, maybe not.

    In the battle of Gaugamela, Persian and Indian cavalry armed with long spears managed to break through the line of Macedonian phalangites (pezhetairoi) at the point of contact of taxis (one taxis = "paper strength" of 1536 phalangites) under command of Simmias and taxis under command of Polysperchon:

    Quote Originally Posted by Arrian, Anabasis, III, 14
    (...) Simmias and his brigade were not yet able to start with Alexander in pursuit, but causing the phalanx to halt there, he took part in the struggle, because the left wing of the Macedonians was reported to be hard pressed. In this part of the field, their line being broken, some of the Indians and of the Persian cavalry burst through the gap towards the baggage of the Macedonians; and there the action became desperate. For the Persians fell boldly on the men, who were most of them unarmed, and never expected that any men would cut through the double phalanx and break through upon them. When the Persians made this attack, the foreign prisoners also assisted them by falling upon the Macedonians in the midst of the action. But the commanders of the men who had been posted as a reserve to the first phalanx, learning what was taking place, quickly moved from the position which they had been ordered to take, and coming upon the Persians in the rear, killed many of them there collected round the baggage. But the rest of them gave way and fled. The Persians on the right wing, who had not yet become aware of the flight of Darius, rode round Alexander's left wing and attacked Parmenio in flank. (...)

  4. #124
    Judeman266's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    I thought that these articles I found provided some useful historical information and practical application to the subject by using historical sources, research, and application of the techniques to procure results.

    Some significant quotes are here:

    Charge of horse vs infantry:

    "This is not to say that the effect of a charging horse impacting a foot soldier was inconsequential, or even incidental. I have witnessed first hand the impact of an armored knight and horse, colliding with a standing squire. The unfortunate lad was thrown a good fifteen feet and had the wind knocked out of him, while the show was halted and an ambulance was called to remove him from the field on a back-board. (He was only shaken up.) The Knight probably counted on the footman's fear of just such an impact to act as a kind of "psychological" weapon, to help open the wall. No doubt in combat, trampling an opponent is preferable to being killed, but it still places the horse's most delicate points of anatomy, his legs, at high risk. Without discounting the effect of a horse to ground collision, I say only that this was not the rider's primary intention but rather should be considered as a secondary effect of a shock charge."

    On the purpose of the stirrup:

    "Stirrups are a logical step in progression to aid in "rising" from the seat, which must be accomplished from the knees without them. ... They are perhaps best employed in assisting the rider to "rise" in his seat and so isolate the movement of his body from that of his horse. Such isolation is most helpful in firing projectile weapons like bows. This is likely the reason why the stirrups originated in the great horse cultures of the east, which are known as excellent mounted archers."

    Reason for use of a leather jerkin or chainmail:

    "The lance is forced back into the armpit, where it is gripped between the pectoral muscle and inside edge of the biceps and triceps. We learned fairly quickly that to perform a pass wearing only a light shirt or jacket would often result in a tear or abrasion commonly called a Quintain Burn. If the rider's grip was weak, the lance would slide back causing friction burns along the arm and chest. Repeated passes in one rehearsal often resulted in ugly bruises and bleeding. The effect was reduced when practiced in a leather jerkin or chainmail, though that too had its own peculiar tortures."

    Impact of charge on rider and horse:

    "If the angle of impact was too oblique, the lance would skip off the surface of the shield, and torque back against the rider's face, neck or chest. In order to prevent clothes-lining himself, or hitting his horse with the butt of the lance, we developed a technique called "windmilling". This was achieved by instantly releasing the "armpit grip" and raising the lance above the rider's head. The momentum of the point was allowed to carry the tip counter-clockwise, clearing the horse and rider' heads, and brought to a stop by the strength of the wrist alone. A weak grip could result in the lance simply flying away above and behind the rider. This exact move was also useful when the lance penetrated a shield or target, and the rider needed to release a lance to prevent himself from being unhorsed."

    "If the lance does not break, then the rider must continue to "push" through the hit, either penetrating the target, or "unhorsing" it. This was accomplished while simultaneously moving the bridle hand forward even as the body recoiled backwards, and strength was expended to maintain the contact.
    One of the biggest misconceptions about shock combat is that the combined weight of horse and rider is directly translated to the lance - As if somehow the horse, rider, and lance were one rigid mass. In fact, they may move down the field as one, but at the moment of impact, they react as separate units.
    In reality the rider's body acts as a shock absorber, or buffer, between the lance and horse. It cannot be stressed enough that the rider's own strength and weight are the key to translating the mass of the horse into the force of impact. Although the size of the medieval warhorse gradually increased over time, the effective size of the lance and horse interface (the rider) did not."

    In this second article the author describes a possible reason for knights being pictured with lances overhand and underhand

    Possible reason Knights are pictured with lance overhand and underhand in the Bayeux Tapestry:

    "But what to make of his reference that the chieftain "... bore a great long dart, which he cast with much skill." One might be tempted to say that without saddle he could ONLY throw the "great long dart" and would never couch it. But by referencing Froissart's contemporary mention of tilting at posts and breaking "light" lances, I think it is more likely that the Irish utilized a very light lance - something longer than a "spear" or javelin but not as heavy as the lances used by the English. Such a lance could be used over hand, underhand, thrown OR couched - just like the images on the Bayeux tapestry illustrate."

    Sections of the Bayeux Tapestry illustrating lances held overhand and underhand

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Here are the links to the articles:
    Last edited by Judeman266; September 24, 2012 at 03:59 AM.

  5. #125
    Ichon's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Domen123 View Post
    In a car crash of pedestrian vs car, when a car moves 60 km/h, a pedestrian has only 15% chance of surviving and even if he survives, he usually becomes a permanently disabled person. If a car rides 50 km/h, a pedestrian has some 40% chance of surviving, but even if he survives he is usually disabled.

    The chance of surviving of a pedestrian depends on the speed and weight of the car (on its kinetic energy, which is Ek = 1/2 * m * v2). Now take into consideration, that for example Fiat Seicento weights ca. 750 kilogrammes. Vast majority of passenger cars don't weight more than 1,5 tonne.

    Kinetic energy of a Seicento driving 60 km/h is about 104,17 kJ.

    The average weight of combat horses in late medieval was something between 800 and 1200 kilogrammes. Their maximum speed during charge (so in the moment of striking enemy lines) was some 45 - 50 km/h. This is not the end of the whole story, because we must also add the weight of a knight and his armour to this (and horse's armour if it had any). Knights armour's weight (full plate armour) was usually between 25 and 55 kilogrammes. The knight himself could weight - let's say - some 80 - 90 kg. If the horse was also armoured, then its weight was also bigger than 800 - 1200 kg (after adding the armour's weight).

    To summ up - let's assume that a horse + knight's weight was some 1300 kg and they were riding some 50 km/h. Now we can count what was their kinetic energy - my result is 125,36 kJ. Even if a horse + knight weight is 1200 kg and their speed 45 km/h, their kinetic energy is still 93,75 kJ (which is not much less than 104,17 kJ).

    To summ up - heavily armoured medieval knights could achieve bigger kinetic energy than modern Fiat Seicento moving 60 km/h. And a modern Fiat Seicento moving 60 km/h kills 85% of people if there is a crash, and vast majority of the remaining 15% are becoming permanently disabled.

    Fiat Seicento kills by simple power of crush - without any additional weapons (like long lances). Medieval heavy cavalry had bigger power of crush and moreover it also had dangerous weapons (like lances as well as close-combat weapons like Zweihander seen in the sculpture above).

    Also let's think a bit - let's say that we have a Fiat Seicento driving 60 km/h on one side and several lines of medieval troops on the opposite side. How do you think - would several lines of medieval infantry be able to stop a Fiat Seicento (which has lower kinetic energy than Medieval knight) or not?

    That's why I think that cavalry vs infantry in Vanilla M2TW is not powerful enough. During frontal charges cavalry often stops after crushing maybe one or maybe two lines of enemy infantry. Imagine a Fiat Seicento moving 60 km/h and being stopped by a single or double line of people...
    Great observations and sources on this thread so far and really the only caution I have is about the idea cavalry would charge at anything much above 45 km/h and that being hit by a horse is same as being hit by a car. As much as a person can be hurt by such impact so would the horse.

  6. #126
    Incomitatus's Avatar Ducenarius
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    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Ichon View Post
    Great observations and sources on this thread so far and really the only caution I have is about the idea cavalry would charge at anything much above 45 km/h and that being hit by a horse is same as being hit by a car. As much as a person can be hurt by such impact so would the horse.
    Not necessarily. It depends upon where the energy from the impact goes. The more efficiently energy is transferred from the horse to the object it impacts, the less damage to the horse. It's the same principle behind karate chopping a board - if you hit it hard enough that it moves out of your way (ie, breaks) you don't hurt your hand at all, but if you don't hit it hard enough to move it, you can break your hand.

    Fundamentally, there is a world of difference between hitting an immovable object and something that can be forced out of the way upon impact. Also bear in mind that while a horse will charge into a body of men, it almost certainly will aim itself between two people, so it's not hitting either square. Both will be glancing blows (to the horse) - still solid, but not as solid as hitting straight on.

    A horse has enough mass that if it hits you at any speed, you are going to move. The energy is going to be in you for the most part. The horse won't stop so that kinetic energy is transferred into you, like the board. The horse might get bruised, you will get broken.

    I also want to add that earlier in this thread, and in the OP, it was argued that a horse won't run into a solid object. Total BS. I used to own a horse, granted he was flippin' crazy, but he'd run as fast as he could into his fence. Busted right through it more than once, after repeated charges. He once ran into my mother, too, in the middle of a wide open field with plenty of places he could have gone that didn't involve colliding with the human.

    I'm just going to go out on a limb here and assume that anything a horse will do of it's own volition, it can easily be trained to do on command. I will also assume that, as a general rule, anything horse A will do by his own volition, horses B, C, D ad infinitum can usually be trained to do.
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  7. #127
    Akrotatos's Avatar Vicarius
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    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    Thread necromancered but I just wanted to thank everyone for their incredibly informed opinions. I read everything and I am finally convinced of the power of the charge!
    Gems of TWC:

    Quote Originally Posted by Setekh View Post
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  8. #128

    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Akrotatos View Post
    Thread necromancered but I just wanted to thank everyone for their incredibly informed opinions. I read everything and I am finally convinced of the power of the charge!
    Thank you man!

    Just one more - FINAL - account describing a cavalry charge, that will convince you ONCE AND FOR ALL !!!

    This account was written by a very reliable man... Winston Churchill himself !!! And he personally charged there !!!

    It was a charge that took place in year 1880:

    "The heads of the squadrons wheeled slowly
    to the left, and the Lancers, breaking into a trot, began to cross the
    Dervish front in column of troops. Thereupon and with one accord the
    blue-clad men dropped on their knees, and there burst out a loud, crackling
    fire of musketry. It was hardly possible to miss such a target at such
    a range. Horses and men fell at once. The only course was plain and welcome
    to all. The Colonel, nearer than his regiment, already saw what lay behind
    the skirmishers. He ordered, 'Right wheel into line' to be sounded.
    The trumpet jerked out a shrill note, heard faintly above the trampling of
    the horses and the noise of the rifles. On the instant all the sixteen
    troops swung round and locked up into a long galloping line, and the
    21st Lancers were committed to their first charge in war.

    Two hundred and fifty yards away the dark-blue men were firing madly
    in a thin film of light-blue smoke. Their bullets struck the hard gravel
    into the air, and the troopers, to shield their faces from the stinging
    dust, bowed their helmets forward, like the Cuirassiers at Waterloo.
    The pace was fast and the distance short. Yet, before it was half covered,
    the whole aspect of the affair changed. A deep crease in the ground--a dry
    watercourse, a khor--appeared where all had seemed smooth, level plain;
    and from it there sprang, with the suddenness of a pantomime effect
    and a high-pitched yell, a dense white mass of men nearly as long as our
    front and about twelve deep. A score of horsemen and a dozen bright flags
    rose as if by magic from the earth.

    Eager warriors sprang forward
    to anticipate the shock. The rest stood firm to meet it. The Lancers
    acknowledged the apparition only by an increase of pace. Each man wanted
    sufficient momentum to drive through such a solid line.
    The flank troops,
    seeing that they overlapped, curved inwards like the horns of a moon.
    But the whole event was a matter of seconds. The riflemen, firing bravely
    to the last, were swept head over heels into the khor, and jumping down
    with them, at full gallop and in the closest order, the British squadrons
    struck the fierce brigade with one loud furious shout. The collision was
    prodigious. Nearly thirty Lancers, men and horses, and at least two hundred
    Arabs were overthrown.
    The shock was stunning to both sides, and for
    perhaps ten wonderful seconds no man heeded his enemy. Terrified horses
    wedged in the crowd, bruised and shaken men,
    sprawling in heaps, struggled,
    dazed and stupid, to their feet, panted, and looked about them. Several
    fallen Lancers had even time to re-mount. Meanwhile the impetus of the
    cavalry carried them on. As a rider tears through a bullfinch, the officers
    forced their way through the press; and as an iron rake might be drawn
    through a heap of shingle, so the regiment followed. They shattered the
    Dervish array,
    and, their pace reduced to a walk, scrambled out of the khor
    on the further side, leaving a score of troopers behind them, and dragging
    on with the charge more than a thousand Arabs.
    Then, and not till then, the
    killing began; and thereafter each man saw the world along his lance,
    under his guard, or through the back-sight of his pistol; and each had
    his own strange tale to tell.


    On this occasion two living walls had actually crashed together.
    The Dervishes fought manfully. They tried to hamstring the horses,
    They fired their rifles, pressing the muzzles into the very bodies of
    their opponents. They cut reins and stirrup-leathers. They flung their
    throwing-spears with great dexterity. They tried every device of cool,
    determined men practised in war and familiar with cavalry; and, besides,
    they swung sharp, heavy swords which bit deep. The hand-to-hand fighting
    on the further side of the khor lasted for perhaps one minute.
    Then the
    horses got into their stride again, the pace increased, and the Lancers
    drew out from among their antagonists. Within two minutes of the collision
    every living man was clear of the Dervish mass.
    All who had fallen were
    cut at with swords till they stopped quivering, but no artistic mutilations
    were attempted."
    Last edited by Domen123; February 23, 2013 at 06:59 PM.

  9. #129
    Hoplite of Ilis's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    Interesting post. Of course it's all about a game, but you guys could also take a look at Xenophon's (you know the ancient general) "About Horsemanship" book.

  10. #130

    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    Let me point out I am not an expert on anything I am about to talk about, and I may therefore be talking total bollocks.

    There are three crucial elements in this argument - the rider, the horse, and the poor sod who is in the way of them both.


    The instinct of a horse to run away from things is not easily conquered, which is why many horses refuse to jump over fences or fail to get over steeples in equestrian competitions - but if a horse sees an disorganized group of people, such as a mob of protesters or the long-suffering Peasants unit, they will run 'through' the unit - they will aim at the gaps they perceive in the mob, and in theory, this means that the horses would pass through the gaps like a golf ball through cheese. However, a group of horses will inevitably hit SOMETHING if it runs through a mob, and it will keep going until every horse stops - if only a few horses stop, they will be pushed aside by the horses behind them, which is an important element not represented in TW games - once a cavalry unit starts a charge, it is bloody difficult to stop!

    Against an organised, solid block of large men, all with armor, shields and pointy objects, standing firm, no horse is going to throw itself in a million years. Even if a horse got past the spears of a group of Hoplitai,they would break legs and crack skulls against the shields and armor of the enemy. We know this, and so does the horse!


    Horse riders are not idiots - they know as well as the animal beneath them that if they run headlong into a rank of pikes, they are toast. Expensive, well-armored toast. If you tell them to charge a flank, or a rear, they'll be much happier, and much more willing to get their animals up to full speed, and faced with the wrong side of a unit, much more likely to break it apart.

    Poor Git

    If a hundred men stand facing 20 horses and stand close together, with bristling pointy deathsticks, the horses will not go at them. If a hundred men face the other way, or break and run, they are going to be disorganized, and very soon they will be disorganized dead people.

    I've tried to make the argument as simple as possible, that's my tuppence. Thanks to the mod developers, because this really is a cracking game - arguably better than RTW or M2TW!

  11. #131

    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    I know this post hasn't been active for over a year and I don't know if my point has already been made (as I'm playing while writing this comment), but I think it should be clear the OP's argument is not based on evidence from the warfare of the "Hellensitic period".

    Now, that's not to say that his argument is entirely wrong (However, I do note some flaws in his argument, from his use of Napoleonic Cavalry to the idea that the cavalry charge was "solely""purely psychological."). In fact, there are some incredibly valid points in Titus' argument, however, his valid and invalid (my perspective, of course) points add up to an argument both out-of-context and blatantly incorrect when seen as a whole. For instance, it's established fact by the 18th(ish) century that Cavalry charges relied heavily, or even entirely, on a psychological aspect. Which makes sense as cavalry still maintained "light" and "heavy" roles while losing much or all of the armor that their predecessors might of worn even 200 years earlier. However, that doesn't apply to the Hellenistic times.

    However, PI is set just before and during the Hellenistic period, meaning that this is a time of warfare in which cavalry, though varied, had the ability, or attempts, to physically charge infantry units. This can be seen throughout the Hellenistic period, from Alexander's Granicus, Issus, and Gaugamela to Caesar's Alesia and Pharsalus.

    Of course, that doesn't mean that the Cavalry was some sort of warhammer to smash through units. In fact, despite its advantages, the cavalry charge was a costly maneuver. For example, the Hetairoi at Gaugamela lost half its combat horses throughout the battle, with the dismounted riders dead or presumably linking up with the hamippoi. At the same time, contradictory to both "modern logic" and the OP's argument, Hellenistic rulers continued to utilize cavalry charges.

    [A simple testament to physical cavalry charges can be seen in the interpretations of Hellenistic cavalry equipment. From cataphracts to companions, it's obvious that there was a physical aspect. For instance, given the equipment of a late(r) cataphract, is an entire cataphract unit supposed to veer off (with all their heavy armor and somewhat bulky lances) if some legionary formation doesn't break? That's nonsense, you'd lose more heavy horse before any contact than during the conflict.]

    And I apologize if I got hot-headed and posted in a resolved issue, but I felt that my point (if it is original in this topic) needed to be posted.

  12. #132
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Cavalry: The sole (severe) historical flaw of this mod

    Edit - deleted my suggestions because I think the guys have done good job with combat
    Last edited by Col.KanKrusha; August 15, 2014 at 02:14 PM.
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