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Meagre Heart

What are the finer points of dismounted cavalry?

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Since getting Forrest in the Confederate campaign I had only paltry success with him on horseback, but as soon as I dismounted him and put him into some cover he started tearing through the Union! I immediately added two cards of cavalry to each of my Corps to give provide more options.

A few questions:

Cavalry gets a bonus to morale damage, does this apply even when dismounted? 

Skirmishers seem to get a bonus to standing in cover, and in some cases benefit more from fortifications than regular infantry. Does this also apply to dismounted cav?

If I've selected Cavalry as the second tier general upgrade do those bonuses apply to both mounted and dismounted?

 

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The Soldier    246

I have this feeling that Skirmisher-type units (meaning Skirmishers, Detached Skirmishers, and both Dismounted Carbine Cavalry, though Mounted Carbine Cavalry deal the same damage Dismounted) deal more morale shock than other Infantry units because of how quick their volley is.  They won't make a soldier flinch if they're shooting the front, from the sides and rear, they're damned effective.

Dismounted Carbine Cavalry are pretty much identical to Skirmisher units in every way except what weapons they can use.  Same cover bonuses, same volley style, same movement speed, etc.  Except Cavalry units can be 50% bigger than Skirmisher units, so yeah, Carbine Cavalry are nice.

I don't remember exactly what the Tier 2 Corps Cavalry buff is, but I think it should apply to both Shock and Carbine Cavalry.

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10 minutes ago, The Soldier said:

I don't remember exactly what the Tier 2 Corps Cavalry buff is, but I think it should apply to both Shock and Carbine Cavalry.

Thanks for responding! I was curious from a gameplay standpoint if when dismounted the cavalry 'becomes' a skirmisher unit and no longer receives Cavalry specific bonuses from the Corp commander.

It's interesting what you said about the additional morale damage being attributed to increased volleys. While certainly more bullets = more terror, I've noticed Cavalry induces a morale failure with fewer bullets fired than infantry. Am I simply stuck in a confirmation bias?

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The Soldier    246
2 hours ago, Meagre Heart said:

It's interesting what you said about the additional morale damage being attributed to increased volleys. While certainly more bullets = more terror, I've noticed Cavalry induces a morale failure with fewer bullets fired than infantry. Am I simply stuck in a confirmation bias?

I think the fact that Skirmishers put their entire volley in at once rather than stretching out the volley over time is what makes the such good morale killers from the flank (because Morale Shock).  Although skirmishers might just deal more morale damage overall, can't be sure.

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I have some bold plans for my next campaign. I think with the cover bonus from rank 3 Dismounted Infantry perk along with the rank 3 Defensive general perk you can build very resilient woodland skirmishers. I can't wait to see how I can leverage these guys. 

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Karri    17
On 8/8/2017 at 6:07 AM, The Soldier said:

I think the fact that Skirmishers put their entire volley in at once rather than stretching out the volley over time is what makes the such good morale killers from the flank (because Morale Shock).  Although skirmishers might just deal more morale damage overall, can't be sure.

Skirmishers seem to make more damage per soldier, and take less damage as well. Though I think the damage might be capped as well(so that extra large skirmisher unit don't do massive damage). Or perhaps it was so that the number of skirmishers didn't have much effect? No idea, guess I need to play through a campaign again...

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Hitorishizuka    136
10 hours ago, Meagre Heart said:

I have some bold plans for my next campaign. I think with the cover bonus from rank 3 Dismounted Infantry perk along with the rank 3 Defensive general perk you can build very resilient woodland skirmishers. I can't wait to see how I can leverage these guys. 

They might be resilient but keep in mind Skirmisher cavalry range is pretty short. It's possible for them to get shot at without being able to return fire if they're supposed to be fighting head on and standing their ground.

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HansGruber    12
4 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

They might be resilient but keep in mind Skirmisher cavalry range is pretty short. It's possible for them to get shot at without being able to return fire if they're supposed to be fighting head on and standing their ground.

Pattern 1861 has 300 range. Frank Wesson has 275. Infantry brigades max range is fixed at 300.

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Hitorishizuka    136
3 minutes ago, HansGruber said:

Pattern 1861 has 300 range. Frank Wesson has 275. Infantry brigades max range is fixed at 300.

The dps on the longer range guns they get just isn't that good. I guess if you just want them to sit there and distract it's fine, but you could have just brought a full brigade of cheap rookies and given them garbage guns to do that...

Or, really, keep detaching and replenishing skirmishers from a real brigade that's right behind them, so they get the best of both worlds. If that real brigade is even using 1863s or Fayettevilles or something then they get the additional 100 range to boot.

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HansGruber    12
1 hour ago, Hitorishizuka said:

The dps on the longer range guns they get just isn't that good. I guess if you just want them to sit there and distract it's fine, but you could have just brought a full brigade of cheap rookies and given them garbage guns to do that...

Or, really, keep detaching and replenishing skirmishers from a real brigade that's right behind them, so they get the best of both worlds. If that real brigade is even using 1863s or Fayettevilles or something then they get the additional 100 range to boot.

What the hell are you saying? Sit there and distract? If you used skirmisher cavalry to shoot at the front then they are dead anyway. They are used for mobility to get good ground or shoot from the flanks. At that point even the Enfields can do great (much more with the very accurate Frank Wesson). The point is there are carbines that have good range that you don't need to go too near all the time. The fact that you have an assumption that they will be standing their ground and go muzzle to muzzle is a bit funny. You probably have that habit.

lol I'm done. 

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26 minutes ago, HansGruber said:

What the hell are you saying? Sit there and distract? If you used skirmisher cavalry to shoot at the front then they are dead anyway. They are used for mobility to get good ground or shoot from the flanks. At that point even the Enfields can do great (much more with the very accurate Frank Wesson). The point is there are carbines that have good range that you don't need to go too near all the time. The fact that you have an assumption that they will be standing their ground and go muzzle to muzzle is a bit funny. You probably have that habit.

lol I'm done. 

Hans, your points are well taken.

But, with all due respect, Hiro is like the original cavalry master of this game. one of the first posts I ever read when I joined this forum was his dissertation on shock cavalry way back when. He's been around a long time. 

How much he has played recently, I can't say. There was a time when Shock Cavalry reigned supreme and Dragoons were expensive recon units because they were good for nothing else. Cavalry changed dramatically over development. But he usually has a reason for saying what he says. 

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On 8/7/2017 at 7:47 PM, Meagre Heart said:

Since getting Forrest in the Confederate campaign I had only paltry success with him on horseback, but as soon as I dismounted him and put him into some cover he started tearing through the Union! I immediately added two cards of cavalry to each of my Corps to give provide more options.

A few questions:

Cavalry gets a bonus to morale damage, does this apply even when dismounted? 

Skirmishers seem to get a bonus to standing in cover, and in some cases benefit more from fortifications than regular infantry. Does this also apply to dismounted cav?

If I've selected Cavalry as the second tier general upgrade do those bonuses apply to both mounted and dismounted?

 

Mobility is still a beautiful thing. The real value of cav is their ability to MOVE, quickly. I find their greatest value is out on the flank, in the saddle, helping turn an enemy line. But thereis definitely more than one way to skin a cat, and I look forward to seeing what you find out. Let us know. 

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1 hour ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

Mobility is still a beautiful thing. The real value of cav is their ability to MOVE, quickly. I find their greatest value is out on the flank, in the saddle, helping turn an enemy line. But thereis definitely more than one way to skin a cat, and I look forward to seeing what you find out. Let us know. 

Will do! My CSA game has slowed down because I want to take some time with the speculative battles in the final campaign (Hall's Ferry Road, etc), but once I get to see these guys in their element I'll let you know. 

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Col_Kelly    352

Personally not a fan of dismounted cav except for a few rare situations : being charged while in woods, having to hold your ground when no one else can do it, and shooting at artillery from cover. Other than that cav is always better mounted imo since it can easily run away to avoid getting shot and can also quickly get on a brigade's flank.

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Hitorishizuka    136
6 hours ago, HansGruber said:

What the hell are you saying? Sit there and distract? If you used skirmisher cavalry to shoot at the front then they are dead anyway. They are used for mobility to get good ground or shoot from the flanks. At that point even the Enfields can do great (much more with the very accurate Frank Wesson). The point is there are carbines that have good range that you don't need to go too near all the time. The fact that you have an assumption that they will be standing their ground and go muzzle to muzzle is a bit funny. You probably have that habit.

lol I'm done. 

Your continued inability to read and continued self-righteous attitude should astound me at this point but it doesn't.

Meagre's initial speculation was about the defensive capability of dismounted skirmishers. The only point this is relevant is if they're getting shot. If they're getting shot on the flanks or rear, you screwed up and while there's some minor value in taking traits to mitigate screw-ups in advance, in this particular case it's better to just use them better and not put them in that situation to begin with. Because of that, we make the starting assumption that they're intended to be "resilient" by way of getting shot at up front and letting others (real infantry) shoot back, which is the point to which I warn them that there are still downsides to using them this way.

6 hours ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

How much he has played recently, I can't say. There was a time when Shock Cavalry reigned supreme and Dragoons were expensive recon units because they were good for nothing else. Cavalry changed dramatically over development. But he usually has a reason for saying what he says. 

I still make a point to put out a slow video once a week, mostly aimed at walking through the entire phase or battle primarily for beginners. My current campaign stretches from something like patch 0.79 to 1.03 so far.

The ROF fix/buff that got put out awhile back was godlike for Dragoons and the forest nerf for Shock Cavalry was killer. I still keep some brigades of shock cavalry around but I use them as effectively throwaway brigades in the back half of the campaign to tie up fortifications on the assault primarily rather than the pack hunters they used to be, especially given the way the campaign transitions to attacking fortifications and the increasing numbers of infantry that can easily support each other and stymie charges.

Edited by Hitorishizuka

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I just started anew and tested some "new" (for me ) tactics with skirm cav. Had excellent results especially in smaller scenarios on Union side. Sent them through forests in flanks or even the rear of enemy units, dismounted and started to unleash hell. At 1st Bull Run they reached 900 kills to 50 dead. Similar K/D ratio at River Crossing and Crossroads. Today I'll see how good they are at Shiloh.

 

Edit: It seems though as if the firing rate is higher when the guys are dismounted.

Edited by Hjalfnar_Feuerwolf

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The Soldier    246
8 hours ago, Hjalfnar_Feuerwolf said:

Edit: It seems though as if the firing rate is higher when the guys are dismounted.

Do note when not given a fire order and are moving to another destination, they reload slower.  Happens for Infantry, Cavalry, and Skirmishers (and for artillery, they stop reloading completely when moving).  Cavalry don't reload faster while dismounted in my experience.

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Tragopan    0

I tried using a Cavalry Corps with mostly Enfields to be able to hold good ground with great mobility, but I could not get enough Enfield rifles to outfit all of them and keep them reinforced, and they could not hold up to infantry brigades even in cover because they'd get charged. Unfortunately the other weapons they get access to cannot fire at the same range as infantry, so more times than not they'll just get shot at. I am not sure if it is possible to use them as they were used historically. 

I did have a lot of success using them to flank on large maps though, or micro managing them to assault infantry  in overwhelming force. It was very effective but not very fun because the micromanagement is just too tedious. It is a high risk high reward sort of gamble cause all it takes for your expensive cavalry to get wiped out is letting them pursue just a little too far, or their own skirmishing behavior making them abandon 100% cover just to keep the enemy at a certain range. Made a little album though!

Cavalry Corps

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4 hours ago, Tragopan said:

"... but I could not get enough Enfield rifles to outfit all of them and keep them reinforced, and they could not hold up to infantry brigades even in cover because they'd get charged..."

"I did have a lot of success using them to flank on large maps though, or micro managing them to assault infantry  in overwhelming force. It was very effective but not very fun because the micromanagement is just too tedious. It is a high risk high reward sort of gamble cause all it takes for your expensive cavalry to get wiped out is letting them pursue just a little too far, or their own skirmishing behavior making them abandon 100% cover just to keep the enemy at a certain range..."

 

Well, as Tragopan highlighted here, these were also my conclusions. The cost of keeping these guys reinforced with veterans is debilitating and the lack of effective gear available to purchase makes it impossible to field more than two or three at a time at Rank 3.

I had a few very memorable moments of charging my infantry through a fortification then immediately rushing my dismounted cavalrymen in front of them to soak incoming fire. They did marvelous, and once I reformed and refreshed my line I could make them fall back and continue my advance. This is probably a combined cost of over 75k across the span of the campaign for a handful of clutch moments, which is a little too rich for my blood. 

To summarize my brief experiment: why would you spend so much money on horses and then refuse to use them? 

 

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The Soldier    246

If you ask me, the best Carbine Cavalry weapons are (in order from cheapest to most expensive) the M1859 Sharps Carbine, the Frank Wesson, and the Spencer Carbine.  Now, as a baseline rule, the lower the rate of fire, the crappier the carbine is - in a world where you live and die by the speed of your legs and the size of your horse in flanking missions, having a long range but slow firing carbine such as the Burnside or the Pattern 1861 Enfield makes for terrible weapon.  You're not going to be holding the line with cavalry, ever, so range is pointless, and trading range for rate of fire in most circumstances is not worth it.  Hence why the M1859 Sharps and the Spencer are so good - they're reasonably accurate but have excellent rates of fire to take advantage of putting multiple volleys into the flanks of enemy brigades.  The Frank Wesson is an exception, however - it's got good range and exceptional accuracy, which makes up for the lack of rate of fire, moreso than the other slow firing carbines mentioned before.  Suck it up, take casualties, and give 'em hell.

All other cavalry carbines are terrible - the 1862 C.S. Richmond carbine (no one remembers you), Maynard (less-than-mediocre stats across the board), Smith (good rate of fire but horrible accuracy), and of course the 3 starter carbines, the Sawed-Off, Cook & Brother, and M1855 Sharps.  Don't bother.

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Hitorishizuka    136

As I said before, if your main use for them is taking fire to save your infantry then you could have equally have accomplished this with detached skirmishers from normal infantry brigades basically for free, since you really don't care about veterancy or what kind of damage they're doing.

Mostly agreed with weapon evaluation though IME the accuracy on the Smiths is 'fine'. They're worse than the 1859 Sharps but not so far as to punt them down a tier. Neither are in the same tier as the Spencer Carbine, which is one of the best guns in the entire game.

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3 hours ago, The Soldier said:

All other cavalry carbines are terrible - the 1862 C.S. Richmond carbine (no one remembers you), Maynard (less-than-mediocre stats across the board), Smith (good rate of fire but horrible accuracy), and of course the 3 starter carbines, the Sawed-Off, Cook & Brother, and M1855 Sharps.  Don't bother.

Part of my dismounted cavalry 'tests' included making 750 man units equipped with the sawed off shotgun. My hope was that by massing them and relying on their high damage I could quickly shock brigades into retreating, even in woodlands. 

This, ah, didn't work as planned.

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kjchan    4
On 8/15/2017 at 3:39 PM, Tragopan said:


I did have a lot of success using them to flank on large maps though, or micro managing them to assault infantry  in overwhelming force. It was very effective but not very fun because the micromanagement is just too tedious. It is a high risk high reward sort of gamble cause all it takes for your expensive cavalry to get wiped out is letting them pursue just a little too far, or their own skirmishing behavior making them abandon 100% cover just to keep the enemy at a certain range. Made a little album though!

Cavalry Corps

This point was very interesting to me.  I had envisioned making in the later stages of the game a sizable contingent of Cav troopers armed with at a minimum breechloaders if not repeaters to make large scale flanking or rear attacks.  

If you're willing to do the micro management though, are you saying its a viable strat?

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Tragopan    0
20 hours ago, kjchan said:

This point was very interesting to me.  I had envisioned making in the later stages of the game a sizable contingent of Cav troopers armed with at a minimum breechloaders if not repeaters to make large scale flanking or rear attacks.  

If you're willing to do the micro management though, are you saying its a viable strat?

Oh yes definitely. If you look in my album I make extensive use of flanking fire to rout and weaken infantry brigades. Note that I dismounted them in order to act as dismounted skirmishers like they should be historically.. but it is probably better to leave them in the saddle.

I will say that dismounting them in that last example, the foresty minor battle, proved to be better than keeping them mounted though. They worked very well cycling attacks in the forest, concentrating fire on the infantry brigades.

It works very well as long as you can micromanage all of them to keep up pressure while also not allowing them to retreat from good cover, nor be charged down or flanked. It's very easy to allow a skirmisher unit you told to hold to die cause an infantry brigade charged it when you weren't looking. 

Another good example of dismounted fighting I can think of is the Right Flank during Fredericksburg. Those heavy, wide swathes of forest are perfect for Carbine Cavalry. Dismount and give them attack orders en masse. What this does is as units fire they retreat to the rear due to their skirmisher behavior and other units run up cause they were blocked previously. It creates a steady stream of fire. This works great on 1 star and less infantry brigades. For Veterans you'll need to micromanage your dismounted cavalry to hold on the flanks and fire. Isolated infantry brigades are the bread and butter of a Cavalry Corps in my opinion. Overall the constant 90%+ cover bonus you'll get from being in the forest will help mitigate any firepower from the infantry. 

Unfortunately I do not know how effective that tactic will be as the war goes on and more accurate rifles come into play. It depends on the enemy infantry's volley being ineffective. 

Edited by Tragopan

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