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Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

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Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Martin on Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:29 pm

As a novice player, I would very much appreciate some guidance on how the approach should change when playing with the new Waterloo engine.  I have some specific questions below, but in essence I’m asking whether it’s still necessary to micro-manage at the squadron level?

1. I take the point made recently by Uncle Billy that there are advantages in TC’ing cavalry commanders in order to prevent them engaging prematurely.  But do you still need them TC'd once you send them into action against (a) other cavalry and (b) infantry?

2. Will cavalry brigadiers try to concentrate 2 squadrons against single enemy squadrons?

3. Will cavalry brigadiers initially keep some squadrons in reserve?

4. Will cavalry division commanders initially maintain a brigade in reserve?

5. Do you still need to TC individual squadrons in order to get more than one to charge a single enemy squadron?

6. If ordered to advance, will a brigade maintain formation - eg a 1 or 2 rank line of squadrons?  

7. Is it possible to order an entire brigade to charge at once?

8. Does the AI ever order an entire brigade or division to charge at once?

9. Do the scout and screen commands work as intended, or will they just get you into trouble?

10. Is it now sensible to attack enemy batteries with cavalry – ie has the 15-man casualty deduction (and consequent risk of rout) been removed?

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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:46 pm

From what I have observed.
1. If I want the entire cavalry brigade to do it's thing I unTC the brigade commander. I give the commander a stance, usually Probe or Attack. That gives the cavalry its head and late in a battle they will finish off the enemy.
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Dunno, I've never had one.
5. No. In fact it is better not to TC in this case.
6. Yes, but it will switch to the fighting formation which is a single line of squadrons as it nears the enemy.
7. Dunno, I never tried it. I would guess the brigade commander would decide for himself whether to carry out such an order.
8. I've never seen it. He will order successive charges at a target though.
9. Press Scout and you'll never see them again. But they will find the enemy and keep in contact with him. But you will never know where contact is made. I've not used the Screen command.
10. Yes for the most part. It just depends on when the charge comes in the artillery AI thinking cycle. Sometimes the charge will be carried out before the arty AI has acted and routed the gun off the field. For the most part it works fine. I've lost several batteries due to AI cavalry charges, even my Russian guns. Crying or Very sad None of the guns were captured.

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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Martin on Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:11 pm

Excellent stuff.  Thanks.  Just the sort of response I was looking for.

"10. Yes for the most part. It just depends on when the charge comes in the artillery AI thinking cycle. Sometimes the charge will be carried out before the arty AI has acted and routed the gun off the field. For the most part it works fine. I've lost several batteries due to AI cavalry charges, even my Russian guns.  None of the guns were captured."

Just to be clear......there is no deduction from squadron strength when a gun is lost (however it is lost).  Correct?

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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:22 pm

If the gun is actually captured then 30 men are deducted. That is hardcoded, compliments of NSD. If the gun routs or surrenders, there is no deduction.

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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Martin on Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:49 pm

Yikes!  That's a heavier penalty than in G/burg!  So capturing a couple of guns could easily rout a squadron.  

OTOH, from your initial response, it looks as if capture is much rarer than rout or destruction.  Have I understood correctly?  In the old game, going after guns - even from flank or rear - was a mug's game.  Am really hoping that's no longer the case.

Do we know way some guns are captured and others destroyed?  Is it random?

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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:17 pm


If the gun is actually captured then 30 men are deducted. That is hardcoded, compliments of NSD. If the gun routs or surrenders, there is no deduction.
When I captured a gun yesterday in an SP game my cavalry didn't show a loss of 30 men.

Martin - Kevin changed the KS mod so that artillery pieces will now rout if enemy gets very close. However the AI has to do a calculation/reaction process which runs in cycles and if it misses one and the enemy charge gets to the gun before it checks again, the gun is captured instead of routed.

A gun surrenders when it is captured by a unit that has no artillery in its division (same system as in GB). White flag for a few seconds then gun vanishes.

Unsupported artillery now approached by enemy (to about musket range or a bit longer) will limber and retire which is a nice feature and a very sensible addition to the vanilla game. In the SP game I mentioned above I had a French battery that was duelling one of mine and winning so I sent a flanking battalion of jagers through a wood to get close to it and it retired which felt quite realistic. Driving an enemy battery off this way is better than bombarding it away and quicker.

Enemy guns supported by either cav or inf won't retire though and AI cav loves to ride down skirmishers! Embarassed

Getting back to cavalry I think their AI routines are the single biggest improvement in the new game after infantry auto-square decisions. I have once or twice given a cav brigade commander a probe or hold order and he's gone and made a real mess of the enemy for me. Squadrons do still end up deep in the enemy position and are hard to withdraw but this isn't really a complaint, more an observation of the correct way the game shows the nature of cavalry command control.


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Martin on Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:46 pm

Thanks Diggers. That's all good background. Now to try and put it into practice.....

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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Charmead on Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:02 pm

OK so I have had a chance to employ cavalry in the MP games as a brigade commander. Talk about fun! And cool! And awesome! And when you can read a map correctly it works even better! I have yet to explore all its capability and wanted to extend Martin's original thread a bit. study study

Martin's original questions (correct me if I am wrong) were more from a Division or Corps commander perspective when employing a cavalry brigade (to TC or not to TC et al). Not as a brigade commander commanding squadrons

OK so my question ... in the MP games when one is a brigade commander ... I am curious what other players have found as regards TC vs non TC cavalry behavior at squadron level. I will do some experimenting on this before a weekend game but being lazy I am looking at others' experiences so I can learn with less effort. Idea Idea

So automatic stock orders like "screen" or "guard" or "run-down the weak dogs" or "aggravate Roland" or "use turret machine gun for Kevin" or "dismount and run away" or "help commander read map" are these ALSO effective/usable at the squadron level? I tried it one or twice by un-TC-ing a squadron for the "run down the weak enemy like the dogs they are" or two but was not sure if they were responding due to orders or reacting just because they were in close proximity anyway. Question

Or is the assumption that at this level if you want them to do something then just TC them.

Reason why I am curious is I can envision (have envisioned, have encountered) some occasions where I might prefer to TC part of my brigade but give general guidance (no pun intended ... "guidance from a general" for the slow-witted) to a squadron or two. Like the case where if you un-TC a brigade commander he might attack a unit in successive charges ...or fake a charge repeatedly or whatever. Otherwise if I TC my guys and do charges I must ride with them if I want them to stop or fall back or whatever since it takes a courier (vice shouting real loud, which none of you -- and clearly not my own units -- hear on TeamSpeak during a game) to get them to do something. And that takes skill. And quickness. And directional ability. So, like it takes things I do not possess. No No

Any thoughts from other cavalry-crazy commanders who can actually read maps? bounce

Cheers

Char-de-mead-de-map jocolor geek




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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:27 pm

Like everything else in the game, it depends on the situation. As a brigade commander, you have much greater control over the squadrons than as a division commander. Unless the enemy gets close, (within 200yd. or so) the squadrons should remain inactive. That means you can safely leave some of your force well behind the line unTC'd and not have to worry about them getting into trouble. UnTC'd also means that if the enemy advances more rapidly than expected, they will defend themselves while you are off doing something else.

When I want to attack the enemy, I will usually order 1 or 2 squadrons to the target and leave the others in the rear. I don't usually TC any of them. The attackers usually know what to do although there is always the danger that they will charge the wrong target. If you do TC them, you have to be very close the whole time to micro-mangage them. That can be difficult. After a successful attack, I frequently have to TC the squadrons to get them back behind the line to safety. Otherwise they tend to look for additional targets which I may not want.

The attack weak units command is best used in the later stages of the battle. The cavalry will seek out guns and broken battalions as targets. When you give this order, you are essentially waving goodbye to the squadron as you will likely never see it again. It is very difficult to recall it. It searches the entire map for easy prey.

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Re: Advice on using cavalry in Waterloo please

Post  Charmead on Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:36 pm

Excellent advice tho there was nothing in your post about use of armored vehicles. Cool
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