Suggestion: Block Facing and Cavalry Charges

Lord_Valentai

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So I came to a rather obvious (in hindsight) realisation yesterday; pike blocks negate cavalry charge regardless of facing.
To me, this was a little strange. Pike blocks are not Napoleonic squares which are essentially immobile formations which face every direction. Rather, they are formations of men using heavy and unwieldy pikes which cannot turn quickly, and are liable to panic if flanked.
Furthermore, in game terms, the blocks cannot fire in every direction like squares, and have a penalty if attacked from the rear.

Therefore I suggest that pike blocks lose their ability to negate cavalry charges when charged from the rear. The could also be driven from the hex in question if they lose the combat.

Naturally if there was one unit in block facing one direction and another towards the cavalry the negation would still occur.

Historical examples of this have occurred; such as in the English Civil War where charging cavalry of Cromwell’s was able to decimate the Royalist forces at Nasby and Marston Moor from behind.
In the Ren period, from what I’ve seen, Coutras was an example of the Huguenot cavalry charging in and breaking infantry from the flanks and rear.

The main reason for this though is mainly gameplay. As it is, melee cavalry have astonishingly little they can do. Since they are worth so many VPs it’s barely worth using them at all, and aside from driving off other cavalry they have little else they can do against a block heavy enemy. This would help change that by emphasising the weakness of block formations and giving cavalry a chance to break up infantry forces in certain situations.
 

trauth116

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I don't know about this - in that, you basically have to rate your own pike/shot units- as well as make some adjustments to the pdt -first for column fire (then make a decision regarding if you want to have your formation go into line... personally I think that might be a bit too much in that - if you are talking about a concentrated target - a line might not work so well - not a fat enough target imo.).

I think it is incorrect that a formed black cannot shoot in any direction; I'll check as I got some units I rated that way. I do think that if so it does so at the standard .25 modifier though (although I had not checked it to make sure apart from noting that it fired.). I was mainly interested in seeing how the AI handled these types - and they weren't really too bad.

Now the thing is - you have to adopt a different mode of thinking when using these - as basically the pike block is the formation that you would adopt to receive enemy horse. The other formations would be the unit set up for fire optimisation. You don't want to receive enemy horse in column though.

VP's -that is basically one guy's ratings and if they don't work for you, then you have to look into changing them to something different. That one guy was the lead scenario designer who created the OOB files.
 

trauth116

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Furthermore, in game terms, the blocks cannot fire in every direction like squares, and have a penalty if attacked from the rear.
Just checked, and although it doesn't look like the AI always fires when in block formation and approached outside of their frontal hexes (it might just be my morale ratings, actually) -and they did fire some when approached on the flank - when manually firing, you can fire to any direction while in a pike block. I am not sure what exactly you may have been doing in order to get other results.

Also -when it comes to charges -to compare Naseby to the 16th Century - might not be the best example. Even comparing the ECW to the Thirty Years War is probably not going to translate -as from what I understand - the armies in the ECW were used differently than to what they were used on the continent.

You put out there Naseby and Coutras- however one could just as easily put out there Rocroi and even Wimpfen as examples of pike/shot units that were virtually isolated by enemy horse and were able to stand. At Wimpfen it would have been because the attack was not able to be supported by any foot. At Rocroi - it was a bit different, and at the end of the day while it spelled doom for the Spanish empire - the point being the Spanish foot did not cut and run; because of this they were not wiped out. I admit that I have not really gotten all that into the French period just yet -so my info on Wimpfen would be based on a bit more research and source material at this point.

Combined units' ratings need to be somewhat diluted in order to account for not all of the manpower being in one or the other weapon type (not to mention having different levels of armor -and if you put any armour on it (maybe even a negative amount, you have to factor in that enemies shooting at you will be doing so with their 'vs armour fire strength'- with variations basically being how you would abstract ratios. Considering that all of this can be currently edited into the REN engine, one does not have to take my word for it -but rather with a bit of coding can try it out for themselves.

I will say though that AI is not really up to handling artillery imo. I think some of it can be far too mobile for the time period.
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On the other hand - if you are using different pike and shot units (as opposed to a joint capability type unit) -firing is a moot point; there isn't any. But what you do have is a nice big target that is going to be vulnerable to fire combat -potentially very vulnerable. If you don't think the fire results are heavy enough, then it would be time to look into adjusting the weapons' effects in the PDT file -although I would say that it is a bit tough to be too critical, in the sense that the engine currently does not allow for fractions (in other words - you could only do x1 x2 x3 etc, but not 0.25x, 0.5x, 0.75x or 1.5x etc...) -so flexibility is a little limited.

The points I am trying to make are practical ones, in that there are a number of ratings to play around with.
 
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