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Bobby Fiasco

Cavalry is in a good spot right now

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After all the updates and many changes, I feel like cavalry is in the sweet spot right now. They're great for scouting and supply raids, can fight well dismounted, can still harass artillery, skirmishers caught in the open or routing units, and they get massacred by prepared infantry.

This all seems historically accurate to me! As fun as it was to have melee cavalry around wreaking havoc, that felt more Europe: 1809 than America: 1862. Plus I hated getting utterly wrecked by all those 3 star confederate cavalry units.

Thanks for all the tweaking, developers!

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Now we just wish for larger cavalry units.  Why can't they upgrade in size like infantry brigades?  I'm fine with a cap of 1,500, but when the enemy can hit your little 750 strong unit with brigades of over 2000...kinda offsetting

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Far as I can tell, we're talking about dedicated cavalry units and not "mounted infantry", who were infantry that moved about on horses but did not fight on them (unlike cavalry, who could fight mounted if forced due to their use of shorter weapons and breach loading weapons).

I really wanted Mounted Infantry as a thing in UGCW.  Nothing like riding all around the Union army to flank them with a surprise mounted division, or even Corps.  Expensive, sure, but would be awesome.

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1 hour ago, The Soldier said:

Far as I can tell, we're talking about dedicated cavalry units and not "mounted infantry", who were infantry that moved about on horses but did not fight on them (unlike cavalry, who could fight mounted if forced due to their use of shorter weapons and breach loading weapons).

I really wanted Mounted Infantry as a thing in UGCW.  Nothing like riding all around the Union army to flank them with a surprise mounted division, or even Corps.  Expensive, sure, but would be awesome.

The thing is that all cavalry for the American Civil War was essentially a dual role unit.  The US Cavalry started as Dragoons and Mounted Infantry regiments (who could do both fight mounted or dismounted) and then even the new "cavalry" regiments were designed to fulfill both roles. 

I like how in game it allows more carbines to become available to re-equip the cavalry as that is exactly what happened.  There are reports of regiments going into battle with only 2-3 companies going into action with carbines...the rest had pistols and sabers.  Then as the war went along and the production caught up the commands became very well armed.  The 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6th US Cavalry all were full equipped from pre-war and arrived usually just needing remounts.  The 5th...well Davy Twiggs saw to them having nothing when the "returned" from Texas...except a couple companies that defied orders because they were in the Indian Territory or far enough away that they could escape the treason.

Could make weapon where the mounted units could have (some) rifles but then be hurt by the slow reload times and a melee penalty.  Might work well that way.   Expensive, but I do like the idea.

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I'm talking about a distinction between Mounted Infantry and Cavalry, even during the Civil War.  Cavalry were specifically created for the express purpose of reconnaissance and strategic maneuvers (as earlier in the war, your single shot, very short carbines are not going to be beat massed volleys of rifle fire).  Mounted Infantry, on the other hand, are pretty much a regular infantry unit handed horses.  They can't fight or shoot while mounted and use horses for the sole purpose of moving around the battlefield, and dismount to engage the enemy.  Also, UGCW doesn't really represent the mixture of weapons that brigades can be equipped with, so the mixed rifles thing wouldn't be fitting in.

I don't want Cavalry to have another thing stuffed onto them.  Would be better to make Mounted Infantry a different brigade type or subtype of the Infantry brigade (since that's where Mounted Infantry get most of their attributes from).  Would function identically to an Infantry brigade while in combat and dismounted, of course.

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Along with mounted infantry, it would be neat if there were horse artillery as well. Say 10lb and below (were there any Napoleon HA?) could be equipped with horses and move, limber and unlimber faster than conventional artillery.

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I'm still of the camp that thinks melee cavalry were overnerfed. They were always fairly useless late because of everything turns into fortification warfare or everyone's in a big blob anyway so they can't do anything but even now early their killpower is down enough that they have a very tiny, finicky niche.

When that niche works right (Union on Antietam for example) they're pretty funny but it's otherwise hard to justify taking any, especially compared to good sniper skirmishers and skirmisher cavalry are now in that broad role right now.

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7 hours ago, Bobby Fiasco said:

What's this strategy? Sounds fun :) 

Cavalry is useful for most of the battle because you can use melee cav to chase down the starting Confederate skirmisher cav, then you can have them on the border and cheese kill two full brigades later as they path onto the map. Then there's still plenty of ground for them to maneuver around and sideswipe Confederate forces streaming back north to counterattack the Church and at the end of the second phase you can still get them south into Sharpsburg and cheese the artillery that start there again.

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Melee cavalry just shouldn't exist... All cav should be better in melee in the open but very brittle if encountering resistance imho

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I've found melee cavalry useful early in the game, for capturing stray supply wagons, driving off pesky skirmishers and distracting enemy infantry formations & cannon. By constantly feigning an attack from behind then retreating out of seight you can force enemy batteries to constantly be turning to & fro (IE not firing on your units). If there is an isolated cannon I'll charge it, but 2-3 in a group can seriously hurt or wipe out smaller melee cavalry units. You also have to be careful when charging enemy units to force them to break. This worked for me on one occasion and the enemy infantry routed but I could not get my cavalry to respond to orders to give up the pursuit & ran right into a fresh enemy unit & were wiped out. I was raging! I've also used melee cavalry to draw away enemy infanrty who would otherwise join others in charging my own infantry lines (same kind of tactic as used on enemy batteries).

As others have noted, as the war drags on into the fortified lines stage the uses for melee cavalry tend to dry up. I've captured or recovered lots of carbines and despite not being a huge fan of dragoon type cavalry I've made decent use of them as dismounted skirmishers in some battles. For the cost I'd rather just use regular skirmishers where possible. 

I do think the balance of cavalry works well for this game. Shock melee cavalry would be great but it could really upset the balance in favour of a canny human player who could simply send massed cavalry on wide flanking manouvers & then charge in to the enemys rear, trapping them like the Romans at Cannae. As it stands you can try this tactic but it won't be a one stroke killer blow as in games like the Total War series. I also like the way routing enemy units regroup relatively quickly instead of fleeing the field. Annoying when the battle is obviously won/lost, but more challeging to play against.

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16 hours ago, McMonkey said:

I've found melee cavalry useful early in the game, for capturing stray supply wagons, driving off pesky skirmishers and distracting enemy infantry formations & cannon. By constantly feigning an attack from behind then retreating out of seight you can force enemy batteries to constantly be turning to & fro (IE not firing on your units). If there is an isolated cannon I'll charge it, but 2-3 in a group can seriously hurt or wipe out smaller melee cavalry units. You also have to be careful when charging enemy units to force them to break. This worked for me on one occasion and the enemy infantry routed but I could not get my cavalry to respond to orders to give up the pursuit & ran right into a fresh enemy unit & were wiped out. I was raging! I've also used melee cavalry to draw away enemy infanrty who would otherwise join others in charging my own infantry lines (same kind of tactic as used on enemy batteries).

As others have noted, as the war drags on into the fortified lines stage the uses for melee cavalry tend to dry up. I've captured or recovered lots of carbines and despite not being a huge fan of dragoon type cavalry I've made decent use of them as dismounted skirmishers in some battles. For the cost I'd rather just use regular skirmishers where possible. 

I do think the balance of cavalry works well for this game. Shock melee cavalry would be great but it could really upset the balance in favour of a canny human player who could simply send massed cavalry on wide flanking manouvers & then charge in to the enemys rear, trapping them like the Romans at Cannae. As it stands you can try this tactic but it won't be a one stroke killer blow as in games like the Total War series. I also like the way routing enemy units regroup relatively quickly instead of fleeing the field. Annoying when the battle is obviously won/lost, but more challeging to play against.

First on, you know the F key orders a fallback move of your unit, meaning pressing it several time lets units in close combat leave said engagements and gives you back control. It also gives you the option to retreat units without exposing your back, as units in a fallback move don't count as being shot in rear.

I also quite like how the cav situation is right now, especially as it is historically fitting. Neither side ever had really good close combat or charge cavalry, because they lacked the trained horses AND riders for that. But both sides heavily utilized cav as mounted light infantry, which had a huge impact in quite some battles like Gettysburg, where Buffords cavalry held off Lees forces long enough (with the help of some serious errors on the CSA side) for the Union to occupy the highly advantageous terrain. This most likely won the battle. And in the game you are absolutely capable of doing exactly the same, I certainly did so once (just for fun) with my 3- and 2-star-skirmcav concentrated in one division at Gettysburg, digging in and holding of repeated charges by the rebels.^^ With Sharps Carbines and Spencers they are devastating...

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