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I've often thought that the usage of hand weapons on cavalry in no way represents the additional momentum that a mounted soldier has over his counterparts on foor, when clashing in armed combat. Picture the devestating charges of sword-armed cuirassiers, or the punishing damage inflicted by heavy cavalry in the crusades, often without lances.
If we consider that a foot warrior with a hand weapon has a better defence, I propose the following addendum for mounted warriors with hand weapons:
"The additional momentum of mount and rider gives the weapons wielded a substantial impact, capable of cracking apart armour
Any mounted model with a hand weapon will count his attacks with that weapon as Armour Piercing, although only when charging."
Please discuss/criticise/comment - this still makes spears a more viable alternative for light cavalry as they benefit from a +1 strength, but bridges the middle ground, and makes even light cavalry dangerous in terms of teh wounds they can cause (which is as it should be).
On the flip side, I feel that spears and halberds get short shrift as they offer modest bosts, but Hand weapon and shield substanially (15%) increase the combat resilience of a unit. Some units benefit from flexibility, but it is sad to see e.g. Empire halberdiers and spears choosing to opt for their hand weapons/shields when faced with a cavalry charge.
Add the following descriptions for Halberds and Spears when used on foot:
"As cavalry commaders will tell anyone who will listen, spears and halberds are weapons of the commoner and an affront to the martial honour many Knights have.
However, time and time again, they have been proven an effective deterrent to cavalry charges, as horses shy away and their riders are tipped from the saddle.
A unit armed with spears or halberds may....<this is where I haven't a clue - thought about allowing them to auto-hit in the first round of combat? Or add +1 to combat resolution?>
AFAIK, all cavalry have the option of cavalry spears/Lances that give them +1/+2 on the charge any way.
Apart from Chaos Knights , who are ST 5 , and dont realy need any boosts do they?
So as far as I am aware, all cavalry strikes at str 4 to 6 on the charge.
Why do you want to make them better?
I have not got a problem with adding special rules if there is a good case for a particular unit.Or better still reducing the PV on some units if they 'desperatley need' it.
But I dont know why you want to make this change?
All cavalry don't have the option of spears or lances...but even light cavalry would have an advantage over infantry when striking with their weapons, where infantry win on CR.
I'm talking about units such as marauders and pistoliers/outriders, not heavy cavalry such as Chaos Knights....
Perhaps our views on cavalry are slightly different?
I belive light cavalry is fast and manouverable, and used to support other units, by takng out war machines, attacking enemy flanks etc.
Heavy cavalry is used to take out enemy units 'head on'.
IF you want to give light cavalry a boost....rather than make the attack of cavalry units stronger directly, by giving them AP.(Which makes some unit VERY powerful and others just slightly better.)
Why not just let the cavalry negate 1 enemy unit rank bonus on the charge?
Or something like that?
Just a thought ..
as for improving cavalry, i dont think that armour piercing on charge is neccesary, however, cavalry should be able to use lance formation ( not the 3 by 3 formation of bretonnians) that is a wedge, this was the actual formation of some roman,greek,or carthaginian cavalry units.
realisticly, this formation would cut a unit in half, its scary enough when you watch the front rank of your unit die, but watching a third of the unit die and your seperated form half of them would absolutely break your nerve. In game terms, i would have this be an actual wedge, where every time the charging cavalry kill one model in contact for each one in contact, the unit would shift up one more and two more riders would attack in addition to the ones that already did.(however, cavalry models will only get their full number of attacks the first time they attack in the wedge formation, so say a unit of dragon princes in wedge charges some swordsmen, the champion gets three attacks, if he kills a model, two more dragon princes will attack(4A) and the champion gets one more attack, for a total of 5, if they kill three, two more will attack, and the first three will get an attack, for a total of 7. now, when the unit fails to kill one ennemy per model, the wedge stops, and the next two cavalry get their attacks( but not the ones that are in front of them) and the combat is over, and ennemies get to attack back ( the ones that the cavalry failed to kill in addition to the models in corner to corner)
if this rule was used, bretonnians in wedge formation would get ranks, and would negate ranks of the ennemy unit. however, this rule would be extremely complicated, and i would only use it if you were playing against 18+ year olds that have some form of inteligence
Now for spears, if the unit with spears did not march last turn, they may use phalanxe, and fight in one more rank than usual. A unit in phalanx will only charge their movement, not double, but can choose to break the formation if the ennemy flees from their charge or in combat. when charged, spearmen strike in initiative order, and the front rank gets a plus one to its Initiative. when charged by cavalry, spearmen get +1S
for pikes, same thing exept can fight in four ranks in phalanx , the first ranks gets +2I when being charged, the second rank gets a +1I , and the next two strike at normal initiative. pikes get a +1S and are armour piercing against cavalry.
Phalanx cannot be used when the unit is flanked or rear charged.....also, models on foot with shield get a +1 to their save against spears and pikes as they are easy to deflect and block( this cannot be combined with the +1 for Hand wep and Shield). This is so that spear/pike are really good versus cavalry, and good/ok against infantry.
Ive made a complete experimental rules section for warhammer, these are included, with loose/tight formation, volley fire, and others.. what do you think of these
If you want to use historicaly accurate formations and skills , why not just play Warhammer Historicals?(Or Armies Of Arcana, WBA-WBM- or any one of hundreds of wargames rule sets available for any period you like....?)
Or just add in the 'skills and drills' you want.
However it is important to apply these very carefuly otherwise its possible to loose the the slight game ballance there currently is.
you have a good point there, but i disagree with you because of these reasons; the models are worse, and the fantasy world is intriguing and more interesting than human history ( although both are very impressive), if there was really good models for say the romans, i would pick some up and get obsorbed into the game, now you do have a point that i could use warhammer historical rules, but use fantasy army lists ( modified somehow), i will look into that..
now as for game balance, the wedge formation i mentioned would work well against non-spearmen infantry, but when the wedge stops ( because they fawil to kill one ennemy per model in contact, which is highly possible) and the ennemy holds, the knights are sorrounded and will find a hard fight on their hands... and the spear formations work well against cav but are just Ok against infantry with shields.
You absolutely have a point, the game balance that is in place ( which is signifigant as long as no Lords are included) is delicate and can easily be disrupted, for every boost in power, you have to give a boost to another unit, and try and even the scales, however, you also dont want to have say cavalry and spearmen boosted, but not have a boost for other infantry, so if you change the rules at all, the rules for everything should be changed to maintain balance
Sorry to poke my nose in where it's not wanted, but..
Didn't they try and make the lance charge triangular with the old Bretts? But they removed it in the last Army Book, replacing it with it's current incarnation, with some slightly dubious reason: "In a game of squares and rectangles, a triangle doesn't really work". I think he had a point.. you'd have to change or redefine alot of the rules for a triangular unit, for example, where does it's front end and it's flank begin? and if it has no flank, doesn't taht make it a great defensive unit, unable to be flank charged? and if it has no front other than that one-inch-wide model, doesn't that make it a bit vulnerable once in combat? you're almost always automatically at -1 CR. And how would a punctured unit work out ranks? and where are they alowed to take casualties from? You see? it throws up alot more questions. I'm not saying it's impossible, it just needs a hell of alot of extra rules, which we can but hope wouldn't bog it down too much.
Anyway, my opinions. Feel free to rip me apart
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC
in 2nd Ed, there were rules for formations like the Testudo, the Square, cavalry wedge, archery wedge etc.
To be honest, a wedge isn't too difficult to manage, using the Bretonnian "abstraction" is a nice idea.
I see that there could be a whole section on advanced formations, andteh rules of WHFB are not so difficult that advanced formations can't be used.
However back on topic. The key was to make certain weapons more "balaced" against cavalry/infantry
Halberds and spears are already effective enough against infantry, but against enemies who rely upon the charge impact such as cavalry, spears and halberds SHOULD be scary.
I always thought that Cavalry untis should have to test on the mount's LD before charging a unit of spearmen.. to simulate a horse shieing away from charging a wall of spikes. A better trained horse gets a better LD.
Just my input on this
Last edited by Wolf Lord Herby; August 20th, 2008 at 19:35. Reason: spelling