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Thread: How much cavalry do you use?

  1. #1

    Default How much cavalry do you use?

    I guess it's kind of army composition but just wanted to focus on cavalry and see what the approach of others is.

    Firstly leaving aside all-cavalry nomad style armies - assuming the army has some kind of infantry line. Also this is for later game full stack or near full stack armies, for lesser armies I just go with a similar proportion. I have 19-unit 'full stacks' due to the convenience of merging, I personally never retrain anything except garrison.

    For what I consider 'cavalry-heavy' factions e.g. Pahlava, Hayastan, post-reform Saka etc., I like to use 6 units - two cataphracts, 4 medium lancers. For nomadic or ex-nomadic factions I also throw in 2 horse archers.

    For 'normal' factions with a tradition of using good cavalry but not necessarily en masse, e.g. Macedon, successors, Carthage, I use 4 units, generally two heavy and two light.

    For 'infantry-heavy' factions, Rome and KH, I usually use two units of whatever I can pick up and use them defensively or to chase routers. I try to avoid too much hammer and anvil tactics as factions who didn't really fight that way.

    Obviously these aren't hard rules, just what I generally aim for. What's your approach?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    3-6 including general in full stack, depending on faction and availability. Max two heavy, mostly I prefer multi-purpose cavalry like Raskumezenai or heavier Iberian cavalry.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    As little as possible to give the ai a chance to flank and use their own. Usually general plus two, one on each flank. The maximun I ever use is 4+general, two for each flank. I also restrict unit composition (no more than one of each unit), and heavy cav is at most 50% of the total (including the general).

  4. #4

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Well I find the default AI tends to go for the flank no matter what you have. However if you have infantry there it often keeps trying to go around, if cavalry it is more likely to charge them, which means you have to charge first and the whole line seems to engage better, at least for my taste.

    The AI is actually not bad if the armies are reasonably matched. If it could protect its general a bit better and you don't go straight for him it can hold a while. Killing the general has too great an effect on morale, not in historical terms but because it's too easy for a player to do.

    The only thing I don't like is that the AI doesn't really hold a formation or see any value in doing so. I used to play with a formations submod but it's been a while and can't remember if that was better.
    Last edited by Camcolit; February 16, 2021 at 05:30 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    For field armies, I have 3-4 units plus the FM bodyguard. I mostly use light cavalry.
    Garrison armies have fewer cavalry.

    All that being said, I am not above occasionally using fully mounted half-stacks for quickly getting rid of bandit spawns

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Depends on the faction. With KB I often use up to 10 cav units, with Rome usually use only 2 or 3 and with steppe nations I even use full cav armies unless I need to siege down a walled city.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    4 to 6 tends to be my favorite for cavalry especially since i cannot micromanage cavalry in two flank so i prefer to put all of them in either one flank or at the rear wating enemy flanking move.

    Roman and Koinon Hellenon despite being infantry focused has a large cavalry manpower in the form of equites romani or hippakontistai respectively which mean even as them i still deploy 4 cavalry and considering it's much easier to retrain them than with a more better cavalry i tends to stick with them unless i can reliably train and retrain other better cavalry.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Unless I play a nomad faction (when the entire field army can be made of cavalry) it's between 3 to 5 on wings or hidden behind the main line.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.


  9. #9

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Seems people have pretty similar policies on this. I find that going from 4 to 6 or more units of cavalry is where it starts making a real change to the general tactics of the army. When I use 6 units of lancers as Pahlava say, I find it quite different to using 4 units as Makedon. With so much of your army turning into hammer you start doing without the anvil. I do a lot more maneuvering and charging unengaged troops as Pahlava or other 'cavalry' factions. It's fun but quite a lot more micro. With Makedon my cavalry tends to stand around until the time is right for the decisive action.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Depends on faction and availability. Garrisons usually none, the exception been those with a tradition and specific cavalry troops.

    On field armies, not counting the general, for infantry factions usually 2. One lighter and one heavy. If the army is big or the army is coming from more cavalry oriented regions within the faction it may go up to 3-4, specailly if there is differing kinds (skirmisher, medium versatile, shock...). I can sometimes have only 1 specially early game.

    On settled factions with good access to cavalry, 4 tends to be common. 3 is often a granted. Maybe on an odd ocassion I may even field a bit more if I feel like the circumstances regarding where the army is pulled from and the enemy/terrain. But going over 4, speicially if the BGs are also cavalry would be very very rare.

    With nomads, cavalry is gonna be always at least 40% of a field army, often a majority. To be honest if I don't have as much every time its because of how many siege battles there can be at times.

    We will either find a way, or make one.


  11. #11

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Depends. For Romani, it's always 1-2. For Gauls and other better cavalry factions, it's usually 2-4. Their cavalry is also much better, and they tend to rely a lot more on it whereas as Romani you can just use infantry for everything, but after Marian Reform I'll b ecome more reliant on cavalry again anyway.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  12. #12

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Do you use more cavalry after the Marian reforms for historical or gameplay reasons? Or both? I don't think I've ever played the Romans in EB2.
    Furthermore I believe capitalism must be destroyed.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    I use it for both, really. Actually, let's say that as early as the Second Punic War and Rome employed 50-70% of its cavalry assets from a varying poll of mercenaries, allies and so on.

    The in-game unit of Equites Romani is weak, but it is good for screening the legion, pursuing skirmishers, and also being left on reserve to pursue routers. The big killers and bulk of your force are your heavy infantry. I usually employ this layout up to Marian Reforms:

    5 hastati
    5 principes
    6 Socii (all sorts of infantry, from mercenary celts and germans, to cohors sociorum, hostatos mirikatas, in sum any regional infantry that is good for the role depending on circumstances)
    1 triarii
    1 General
    2 Equites Romani (sometimes I replace it with Epades Dessis)

    The best auxiliaries you can recruit early on, when you take Cisalpina, are undoubtedly the Epades Dessis, or Mercenary Cisalpine Cavalry. They're good for skirmishing, maneuvering behind enemy backs, charging them, and also pursuing routers. They're not very good at prolonged melee and you should keep them away from it.

    Equites Romani is also good for this simple reason: even though it's weak, it's very cheap and easy to replace once you build enough colonies in Italy. That means, effectively, even if you lose a lot of them, you won't get so alarmed at it than with more rare and expensive units. It's also capable of decently holding up in melee against other cavalry, thus it's good for wearing down the enemy's cavalry assets before they can reach your rear, which is always important.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  14. #14

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    The fewer cavalry you use, the more grind-y battles become due to fewer cavalry for hammer-on-anvil attacks and increased reliance on infantry flanking. This may or may not suit your playstyle. Conversely, using more cavalry requires a ton of micro due to constant kiting maneuvers, coordinating cycle charges, and monitoring your outnumbered infantry. I personally like to play as an Eastern faction or a roleplayed "reformed" Western faction to justify the use of comically large cavalry arms. My favorite army was from my Pergamon campaign where the entire Attalid line had to be suicided due to them all taking turns holding the Spear of Achilles and developing severe dementia afterwards, resulting in a Perses officer becoming faction leader and instituting a sweeping military reform. The army composition was thus:

    1 Gen
    3 Lydian Lancers
    1 Late Hellenistic Heavy Lancers
    4 Late Hellenistic Medium Cavalry
    1 Cataphract Elephant

    1 Hellenistic Elite Heavy Spearmen
    1 Hellenistic Heavy Spearmen
    2 Hellenistic Medium Swordsmen
    2 Hellenistic Medium Spearmen

    4 Hellenistic Slingers

  15. #15

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    What you say is true, but remember: Romani infantry polls are always cheap and plenty, esp. if you build lots of coloniae, and also it suits historically the sort of approach they had to warfare. Camillan-Polybian approach to battles was always to use plenty of reserves and grind the enemy to death.

    ... In truth, however, we must remember this: cavalry really didn't succeed in becoming truly decisive and strong on its own until saddles, stirrups, and larger breeds came in from Asia. So most Greeks and Romans didn't have that, their breeds were also smaller, making them unsuitable for shock roles.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  16. #16

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Louise von Preussen View Post
    ... In truth, however, we must remember this: cavalry really didn't succeed in becoming truly decisive and strong on its own until saddles, stirrups, and larger breeds came in from Asia. So most Greeks and Romans didn't have that, their breeds were also smaller, making them unsuitable for shock roles.
    Oh dear, the stirrup myth. Stirrups have nothing whatsoever to do with shock cavalry, Alexander's Companions didn't need stirrups to charge home. What they do is provide side-to-side stability in the saddle, making for a more stable archery platform. They also make you less likely to lose your seat in a standing melee.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Romans and Greeks also didn't have the larger breeds employed by the Asians.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  18. #18

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    The aetolians and thessalians were greek and had a good cavalry tradition. And the thessalian and macedonian horses weren't asiatic, if anything they were thracian.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Oh dear, the stirrup myth. Stirrups have nothing whatsoever to do with shock cavalry, Alexander's Companions didn't need stirrups to charge home. What they do is provide side-to-side stability in the saddle, making for a more stable archery platform. They also make you less likely to lose your seat in a standing melee.
    Sorry but I have to disagree here...it's not a myth and you seem to fail to understand the point ,nobody is saying that stirrups are required to charge .But the increased stabilty and the higher saddle made the charge more effectiv since they allowed knights to couch lances instead of needing to hold them in both hands....like Alexander's Companions.
    Elder Scrolls Online :Messing up the Lore since 2007...

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  20. #20

    Default Re: How much cavalry do you use?

    Yes, that's also true. By the way, if you don't have any hands holding the saddle and no stirrup, your stability when charging with a barge pole lance is close to zero. Of course trained cavalrymen always found a way around this, but still, couched lance is a much better tecnhnique and also much safer.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

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