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-The Classic Cavalry Charge -by Paul Bruffell-


The effective use of shock heavy cavalry can be devastating for the defender. But how do you use such cavalry effectively?

These heavy cavalry are no match for massed ranks of steadfast reliable infantry with spears. To be effective they need to hit the enemy in the flank or, preferably, in the rear.

Below is a screenshot of Alexander's household cavalry charging in to the rear of a Persian infantry block. In two turns the Regular Persian spearmen were routed with enormous losses.

When you look at the combat modifiers it is easy to appreciate why they are so effective.

The Elite HC in Wedge formation gain the following positive modifiers :

  • +1 if attacking the rear, right rear, or left rear of a non-pike/non-long thrusting spear unit.
  • +1 if unit is 'Elite'.
  • +1 if a non-militia, non-levy unit is charging in to contact.
  • +2 if charging in or subject to uncontrolled advance to the rear of a unit.
  • +2 if Heavy Cavalry charging in to contact.

A total of +7 for an attacking unit can easily cause losses of over 50 men in one turn.

Companion Cavalry Charge

Shock Cavalry

So why were those Persian infantry facing the other way?

Look again at that screenshot and you will see a Macedonian phalanx facing them.

This pins down the Persians and prevents them from turning to face the rapid envelopment from Alexander's cavalry.

More to come...