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 Post subject: Is Cavalry too weak?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:51 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 3:21 pm
Posts: 212
Is, cavalry (especially Rebel cavalry armed with pistols) rather too ineffective with the current state of the game engine?

Is cavalry capable of performing its historical battlefield role adequately?

Of course no one can deny it has one advantage - increased mobility - but perhaps this is more than off-set by the fact that cavalry is usually worth <i>double</i> (or a lot more in the case of HPS Gettysburg) the value of infantry and, often Rebel cavalry has very inferior weaponry too.

All this makes it a really bad idea to place <i>dismounted cavalry </i>in line against enemy infantry ... unless there's no alternative. Even cavalry armed with breechloaders is unlikely to inflict at least double the casualties it receives.

On the other hand, <i>mounted cavalry</i>, lacking the ability to deploy skirmishers (why is it that only infantry can deploy these?), is perhaps only good for one thing - scouting ahead until it bumps into the enemy, loses any further movement ability, and inevitably gets wiped out before it can retreat again.

So what use <i>is</i> cavalry if it can't scout effectively, can't break down large cavalry regiments to operate in more efficient squadrons (unlike Nappy cavalry) and has <b>no chance </b>of using its superior mobility to get out of trouble if it accidentally makes contact with the enemy, even if the enemy are only infantry?

Perhaps to be held in reserve and then used as an emergency force to plug a gap in the line if no infantry are available?

Or as mounted shock troops to wipe out isolated enemy units in ZOC melee eliminations?

Or, since cavalry's worth too many victory points to risk in combat, maybe just stuck on high ground to observe the enemy from a distance and, hopefully, make a quick getaway if they start to get too close?

Brig. Gen. Rich White
3 Brig. Phantom Cav Div

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:42 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1658
Location: USA
I think with this post I will address what I usually do with cavalry under existing rules. However, there are always special circumstances that force you to use cavalry where you normally wouldn't.

Rebel cavalry lacks the fire power to operate dismounted except for a few rifle armed units. Usually I keep them mounted and mobile. The fact that a disrupt makes dismounted cavalry permanent infantry also encourages this.

I rarely use cavalry to barrel down the roads in order to find the enemy unless I expect to only run into cavalry. I preferr to go cross country and look for high ground to place them on where they can observe distant roads, particularly intersections.

I do use mounted cavalry to block roads that pass through restricted terrain. A single cavalry unit on a road through heavy woods can reduce an enemy column to a crawl.

I do use cavalry to control my rear and flanks keeping enemy cavalry from getting at the easy kills in these areas. I consider this the traditional battlefield role of cavalry in the civil war. And, if the enemy doesn't do this also I will detach small regiments for raiding their rear. Taking out a few supply wagons is well worth the risk.

And, if I have significant cavalry advantage, like the Union on the afternoon of the second day at Gettysburg, I go hunting enemy cavalry.

Also, cavalry supporting infantry in any kind of flank attack can be a devastating combination. Use the infantry for slugging and the cavalry for isolation and surrounding.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)

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