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Calvary - 6/6/2007 5:00:04 AM   
netjam99


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Some of you 'Generals" with high ratings...clue me on on Calvary on the tactical map. Guess I am trying some of my old "Rome Total War' moves and using it to flank infantry pinned up againist my 'steady gray line.' Anyway I just don't get good results, the casulaties I cause with Calvary are small...and often they get tangled up with other enemy units and panic.

What do you guru's of the battlefield do with Calvary? Just use if for those beginning options where you might go for a sneak attack or raid supplies...then just hold it back during the battle?

Been getting to where I just use Calvary during battles to put General Lee or Jackson safely behind the lines as an expensive honor guard. Anyway all advise accepted...from Generals with at least 7 to 8 averages on Tactics and Command.

S!

Netjam99
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RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 6:27:49 AM   
Drex

 

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They are great for locating the enemy if you don't have balloons. And with the right attributes and upgrades,they are indeed effective fighting units, able to attack more than once per turn. I use them to reach and destroy supply wagons (the AI does that  alot.)

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RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 7:29:33 AM   
Gil R.


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Don't use them against infantry unless the infantry is already disorganized (and depleted, ideally). If you try to charge an infantry brigade that's in line formation and at high morale and full strength that cavalry unit will be toast.

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RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 8:09:21 AM   
dude

 

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I find the best use for my Cav is to go supply hunting behind enemy lines... just give them the Signal Corps trait and either another Signal Corps trait or scoutting.  The first SC trait let's them ignore the yellow zones... while a second one lets them ignore the red as I recall... though the scouting trait is handy too.

What I've been doing is creating a Cav Division for each Army.  I then send the Cav brigades out on either flank and one up the middle to spot the enemy force... once located I continue around his flanks and look for any supply wagons just waiting to be hit. 

I've also noticed the AI likes to chase after my Cav units.  So If I find the enemy heading around my flank or not coming on the way I want I can frequently lure him into position by dangling a Cav uint in from of him... I can usually prevent any attacks by keeping just out of range... the AI moves to firing range... then I move back out... rinse repeat... and this little game of cat and mouse usually winds up with a AI unit right in the middle of a trap. 

It's really fun to do if you can lead them off one at a time.  I had a battle go well into three days because I spent the first two evening the odds...   He had slightly more units (because he called for help) and I was on the attack.  I was able to lure a unit off every few turns into a well positioned line of infantry and arty on a hill and decimated them before they could even get in line.  It was one of my more enjoyable battles. 

The third day finally had me with a slight advantage in troops so I launched an assult that broke his back after a few hard fought turns.   (I had a corps with 2 cav, and one arty, and 2 Div w 5 inf each, AI started with 16 inf plus called in a div with another 3 inf. our quality was about even both sides stared with an average of 4 moral.)

I couldn't have done it without the Cav to lure his units off first and scout his location.  I was able to pinpoint him... and thereby find me a nice piece of ground to set up in before he found me.  I only had one unit finally break when I got greedy and tried to use a Cav unit to Charge one of his units from the side... big mistake... my Cav took big losses, broke, and routed... luckliy this was on the third day and the battle was nearly decided.

I generally avoid using Cav in charges vs infantry any more.  I learned my lesson in my early games that it's mostly a waste.

Dude

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RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 2:54:26 PM   
Ironclad

 

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The best use for cavalry is for scouting and then using it to distract and immobilise part of the enemy's strength enabling you to achieve local superiority of forces on part of the front. One cavalry unit is better than none but it really needs a minimum of two to determine the enemy main lines of advance and then to cause a major distraction to the flank or rear. (Wrong war but Napoleon's use of his cavalry to hold in check half the Russian army at the battle of Friedland comes to mind).

Threatening enemy supply normally prompts the AI to respond in force so these are valuable targets - however attacking them too enthusiastically can be counter-productive if it exhausts supplies and so reduces cavalry mobility. If the enemy have one or few supply wagons then it may be worth the sacrifice to try and eliminate them but often the threat can be just as distracting.

For this role I prefer cavalry to be very mobile rather than hard hitting - so scouts and quality horses are preferable to horse artillery. Despite that I do like to give cavalry something better than improvised/shotgun when I can afford it so that they can cause decent casualties when engaged. A good cavalry commander is also very useful to accompany a cavalry raid. Of course if you are facing an AI with cavalry then self defence becomes a higher priority.

In an emergency a well armed cavalry force can be used as a highly mobile reserve able to cause heavy firearm casualties to infantry particularly when fresh and attacking flank or rear. But once continually engaged the casualty count will usually develop to your disadvantage. Much better to keep your cavalry out of prolonged conflicts where possible and remember to avoid costly charges.

< Message edited by Ironclad -- 6/6/2007 3:40:26 PM >

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RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 4:48:16 PM   
jkBluesman


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If you get a surprise attack before a battle, do you think it is worth using it to e.g. raid supplies or is the disadvantage of fatigue for most of your cavalry units too great?

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Post #: 6
RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 6:00:26 PM   
Ironclad

 

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I am probably more cautious now knowing the advantages of cavalry in the game. Terrain choice is another limiting factor.

Raid supplies, feint and cavalry reserve are favourites. Flanking seems wasted on the defensive. Surprise attack I now tend to avoid. When I started playing that looked a great option especially suitable for CSA on the defensive even more so when I experienced a highly successful one from the Union AI. Trouble is every time I selected it I have found myself in a worse position than the enemy (army split/lousy terrain - often divided by a river), also cavalry fatigue is more critical when having to fight up close.


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RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 7:38:42 PM   
dude

 

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I almost always just use Cavalry Reserve.  I find I do just fine if I can send my cav out to scout the enemey location and then find a good spot of terrain to work with.  Using the terrain to it's fullest, especially rivers is critical.  The cavalry plays its part by locating the enemy and possibly delaying them.  Having them fatigued to start can only hamper this so I've never found it worthwhile to use an other option than CavRes.

Dude

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RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 8:12:25 PM   
Gray_Lensman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dude

I almost always just use Cavalry Reserve.  I find I do just fine if I can send my cav out to scout the enemey location and then find a good spot of terrain to work with.  Using the terrain to it's fullest, especially rivers is critical.  The cavalry plays its part by locating the enemy and possibly delaying them.  Having them fatigued to start can only hamper this so I've never found it worthwhile to use an other option than CavRes.

Dude


I tend to agree with you. I wonder how many other players do the same thing, since the penalty (fatigue) is pretty tough (even at low percentages, if it hits). Maybe the penalties for the other actions should be lowered a little bit somehow, to make them more interesting choices, but I understand the thought behind the fatigue factor being used.

You can still take the risks of the other choices, but if you get hit with fatique (whether) the mission succeeds or not, at least you can still use the cavalry for long range scouting purposes, which may be the designers intention. Just don't risk them in a fire-fight unless/until they recover from their fatigue.




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RE: Calvary - 6/6/2007 8:34:16 PM   
Ironclad

 

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Interesting question whether the fatigue possibility is more damaging to a smaller or larger cavalry force in an army. With the latter you can usually rely on one or more of the units to remain fresh - especially if accompanied by cavalry commanders - which gives the option of scouting assignments tailored to the different range capabilities based on the fresh/fatigued mix. On the other hand the larger the force the more valuable becomes their potential maximum impact especially for combat.

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Post #: 10
RE: Calvary - 6/8/2007 1:42:31 AM   
briny_norman

 

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I find that if you equip the cavalry units with good weapons and get the dragoon upgrade, cavalry becomes an incredibly effective unit. They are then able to hit the enemy units in the back, causing heavy casualties, especially if you keep shooting instead of moving away after the first volley. I can usually get at least three volleys from an un-fatigued cavalry unit and when fired into the back of an enemy brigade it will easily cause > 500 casualties in all and effectively destroy the unit's morale sending the men fleeing in the next turn.

Remember to go into line formation, that will give you extra firepower. Just be careful you don't leave your cavaly units exposed after the raid. I usually make sure they at least face the nearest threatening enemy units at the end of the turn if it is not possible to move away completely. Or, in very hostile situations, I only let the cavalry fire one volley and then use the rest of the movement points to get them to safety again. Hit and run tactics.

Actually, I don't use them to hit supply wagons that much. Not that it's not a sound tactic, I just don't enjoy it as much.

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RE: Calvary - 6/8/2007 3:00:29 AM   
Ironclad

 

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I agree that it is far more enjoyable decimating an infantry unit with fire power (when suffering minimal loss) than a supply wagon even if the latter doesn't fire back. Of course to create a distraction any vulnerable targets - whether wagons or exposed infantry - will do to draw the AI's attention.

The real problem is that every fire exchange uses up supply and a cavalry unit without supplies is going to be far less mobile - and so more vulnerable and less of a threat. Ideally I like to send low supply cavalry raiders back to the main force for topping up - so its useful to have several units in play to keep the threat going continually.

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Post #: 12
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