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Light Horse shooting armoured cavalry

Light Horse shooting armoured cavalry

Postby Capt D » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:15 pm

Before I go into my query let me say that I really like these rules. That said in a recent recreation of the battle of Arsuf (and the preceding practice games) a couple of issues arose which made me want to further investigate. The issue I have investigated so far relates to LH shooting European knights (armoured Cavalry).

So the situation was as follows. The crusader knights (armoured cavalry, Strength and Discipline of 3) charged through their infantry (a house rule to reflect actual historical occurrence for this battle – the infantry take a casualty make for interpenetration) into the mass of Saracen LH. As in the historical battle this was very successful until the Saracen cavalry got involved. All OK say far but over two turns lots of LH units were shooting at the knights and it was like shooting at a Tiger Tank. In one turn 7 LH units shot at a single knight unit and did not produce a single casualty marker. 5 of the LH units were shooting into the flank or rear.

This rather upset the players controlling the Saracens as they thought it was impossible for LH to affect armoured cavalry and has rather blinkered their view of the rules. My counter arguments that their shooting dice were below average throws whilst my defensive dice throws were better than average, including to pass discipline tests on the few occasions it was needed (this was helped by an attached Captain!!) did not seem to change their view. Consequently I decided to investigate further and concluded that there may be a concern with LH shooting at armoured cavalry, specifically when shooting at the flanks/rear. So Mark Polkovnik’s opinion/thoughts on this would be welcome.

So my investigation involved a lot of dice rolling and here are my findings.

LH shooting at Cavalry (2 vs 3 dice) – this includes rear/flank shooting as well as frontal shooting

Against unarmoured - 12% score hits, 26% force a discipline test (out of 400 throws)

Against armoured - 7% score hits, 16% force a discipline test (out of 400 throws)


LH shooting at Cavalry flank/rear (3 vs 3 dice) – 1 additional die for shooting at rear/flank shooting

Against unarmoured - 35% score hits, 42% force a discipline test (out of 400 throws)

Against armoured - 22% score hits, 28% force a discipline test (out of 400 throws)

A hit in this case is causing 1 or more casualty markers.
A forced discipline test is forcing 1 or more discipline tests.

For shooting at cavalry frontally I have no problem with the chances of causing a hit or a discipline test as this seems to reflects historical accounts for this period. However, European cavalry/knights were susceptible to Saracen LH when surrounded. I do not think that as the rules stand the chances of inflicting casualties reflect this. I also appreciate that the cavalry/knights armour also covers their back but there is no shield on their back and there is more exposed horse flesh from the side or rear (though I do not know if the LH would have targeted the horses).

Two of the possible house rules I am thinking of applying are either: (a) if shot in flank or rear the unit does not get its armour (though I dislike this option as I think it may have to large an impact with other troop types when in flank/rear shooting). (b) Shooting at flank or rear gets an additional shooting dice. I am more likely to go with option b but have so far not looked into how this would affect other troops if shot in flank or rear. Mark must have left the bonus for flank/rear shooting out of the rules for a reason!

And before anyone starts using this as an excuse that LH shooting (may also apply to light foot) is totally effective, early in the battle 3 LH units in 1 phase shoot an armoured spear infantry unit and routed it. Mainly due to my poor discipline rolls (damned dice!!)

The other situation that I am investigating further is LH in melee with armoured medium foot in the flank/rear supporting heavier friends in melee frontally. On a number of occasions the LH were destroyed. I still think this was more due to the attackers throwing below average dice rolls against my better than average dice rolls. If on investigating further I perceive an issue I will discuss it more in this forum.

And the Arsuf battle outcome – a historical result occurred, though with possibly fewer casualties in the crusader mounted? Interestingly other recreations of the battle on the same day using different rules on the whole ended with a defeat for the crusaders – mainly as a result of shooting!!! Therefore, any changes to shooting factors in Sword and Spear should be treated with caution. So over to you for comment. :)
Capt D
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:38 pm
Location: Bury St Edmunds

Re: Light Horse shooting armoured cavalry

Postby Capt D » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:19 pm

Correction I should have referred to Mark Lewis not Polkvonik :D
Capt D
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:38 pm
Location: Bury St Edmunds

Re: Light Horse shooting armoured cavalry

Postby Phil Portway » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:24 pm

Capt D

Your example: 7 LH units firing from any where, will still only get 2 dice for each unit unless you have BONUS DICE so would roll 14 dice (minus bonus dice ) in total, against the 7 attack the knights would roll 21 dice and would be able to reduce any one from each attack by 1. Then with Discipline of three, the knights should be almost impervious to LH.

I play both Saracen and Crusader and I to am frustrated by the hardness of knights but not put off by the rules in any way, shape or form!
Phil Portway
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 9:19 pm
Location: Morden, Surrey

Re: Light Horse shooting armoured cavalry

Postby Phil Portway » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:55 pm

Capt D wrote:The other situation that I am investigating further is LH in melee with armoured medium foot in the flank/rear supporting heavier friends in melee frontally. On a number of occasions the LH were destroyed. I still think this was more due to the attackers throwing below average dice rolls against my better than average dice rolls. If on investigating further I perceive an issue I will discuss it more in this forum. 


If you charge LH in the flank of an enemy that has already fought to their front the LH would roll 5 dice (Strength 2, Impetus 1, fighting into a flank 1, friendly in contact with enemy 1), where as the Med foot lose impetus (already fought, dice turned to 1) or hit (in flank) so would roll 3 dice against your 5. Also look at page 22- post combat.

It's all about the sequence in which you use LH. If you charged your LH in before your heavier unit the Medium foot (If fresh, dice allocated & not moved) would get 4 dice to your 3 (you would lose impetus due Med foot spear, but still get 1 dice due to charging the flank).

I took out all my opponents armoured cavalry ( 2 units, he was using Saxon) with my Norman LH like this on Monday.

I always have a read of the rules before a game, mainly the unit characteristics (Section 15) and I read the Melee (section 10), as these are normally where questions arise when playing.
Phil Portway
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 9:19 pm
Location: Morden, Surrey

Re: Light Horse shooting armoured cavalry

Postby Capt D » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:16 pm

Thanks for your comments Phil.

I agree with you about the melee situation plus I was rolling better dice than the attacker. I should say this happened in the practice games as well which is enough of a co-incidence for me to look into it further. Over the next few weeks I will be doing a lot of die rolling. Hopefully to remove any concerns. Unfortunately, my opponent still had a negative impression of the rules when this was combined with the LH shooting issue.

I agree that armoured cavalry should have some resilience when shot at by light horse but that resilience should be less (though still some) in the flank or rear. At the moment the resilience to shooting seems to be equal whether from front, rear or flank. It should not blow away the cavalry very quickly but have a weakening affect. At the moment there does not seem to be sufficient weakening/accumulative affect when shot at from flank/rear.
Capt D
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:38 pm
Location: Bury St Edmunds

Re: Light Horse shooting armoured cavalry

Postby Phil Portway » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:55 am

There are about 12 - 15 who now play S&S at our Club, but one member has now refused to play it due to some concerns, but he has only played two games and lost both by poor initial deployment and very poor dice rolling to my most excellent dice rolling. He also (against my advice) placed dice elsewhere from the action. I was trying to advise him through both games, but fell on deaf ears! :roll:

It was not the rules where the issue lay but with him. ;)

He then played impetus against a S&S player, won, so now wants play impetus, where he will only possibly play one or two people! :roll:

If 12 - 15 players start playing S&S over their previous/preferred sets, it must have"something"!
Phil Portway
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 9:19 pm
Location: Morden, Surrey


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