Author Topic: Basic Cavalry Guide  (Read 854 times)

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Offline MKNine

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Basic Cavalry Guide
« on: October 16, 2013, 11:46:26 PM »
Massed cavalry attacks are prevalent on most maps in competitive settings. Therefore we need to either have more players willing to play cavalry or develop builds and tactics that can defeat these charges, which usually occur immediately in a sudden charge, or after waiting for the zone to be reduced to a sufficient amount where the infantry will be easily caught in an open area and destroyed. I am therefore going to write a quick guide that will show you how to put together a decent cavalry build and a few general tips on how to use them.

Part I: Setup and Perks

a) Spear Cavalry


Fig. I Spear Cavalry

Armour Type: Almain Munitions Cuirass

Medium armour offers a good compromise in between protection and encumbrance. The Almain Cuirass is superior to the other types of medium armour because it protects your arms with mail instead of leather (better protection against projectiles) and your legs with plate (a horseman will often be hit in the legs). The extra encumbrance compared to the basic Munitions Cuirass is also barely noticeable, if at all.

Helmet: Bascinet or Galloglass Bascinet. Make sure you choose a low profile visor, either the houndskull or roundface. In this game an open visor that extends vertically above your helmet actually expands your head's hitbox so a Dogface klappvisor will at least double the size of your head.


Fig. II The open Dogface visor doubles your head's hitbox; the mail coif also provides no protection!

Shield: Hand Pavise with every customization option as 'Standard'. Not as tough as the steel shield, but offers better protection from projectiles and has less encumbrance.

Main Weapon: The optimal spear is the Partizan Spear of the Easter Passion (Imperial - Standard - Convex - Standard) due to it's ease of use and range.
Unfortunately it costs a lot of coins to unlock (for those who weren't around to unlock it for 5000 coins  :) )

The Boar Spear does more damage, but has less range and is harder to use. The Corseque might be usable, but I have never tried it out.

Secondary Weapon: You will rarely need to use it from horseback since spears do not break, so choose a weapon that you know how to use on foot. The Battleaxe, Almain Warhammer or Mace are all good choices.

Perks:

Man-at-Arms
  • Highwayman - Allows you to quickly switch to your secondary after falling off, or to quickly shuffle your shield around
  • Riposte - Useful when fighting on foot with your sidearm
* You can replace Highwayman or Riposte with either Shield Breaker (noticeable increase of damage vs. Shields) or Break Block (your charged attacks will disrupt an enemy's downblock allowing a second spear cavalry to score a hit)

Shield Bearer
  • Shield Expert - Reduces Shield Encumbrance, so always use this
  • Shield Bash - No longer causes a shield bug as far as I know, but can be replaced by Shield Wall

Surgeon
  • Second Opinion - Always use this as cavalry, and target vulnerable opponents, especially the wounded
  • Barber Surgeon - You probably won't be reviving many people, so you might as well be able to do it quickly

Cavalry
  • Heavy Cavalry
  • Horse Master - Better turn radius is more important than top speed in my opinion
*Horse Racer increases your maximum speed. It can be considered on open maps as it may help dodge enemy ranged fire. Turn Radius is still most important on maps with narrower/smaller spaces.

Horse - Barded Irish Draught is ideal because it has a lot of stamina for a barded horse. If the Barded Palfrey Noble Horse is more affordable then use it instead.

b) Lance Cavalry


Fig. III Lancer

Armour, Helmet & Shield: Identical to the Spear Cavalry build

Main Weapon: War Lance (Hardwood and Blunt Tip). The War Lance is tougher than the tournament lance and the blunt tip will knock cavalrymen off their horses (when hit from the sides or rear)

Secondary Weapon: The Gallowglass Half-Lang and Longsword are ideal for use on horseback. With Convex they will deal a surprising amount of damage and are easy to use against infantry and other horsemen with stabs and slashes.

However these large swords (with Convex) are slow and will break very quickly if you are using them on foot, so another viable choice is to use a Warwickshire Soldier Sword or Italian Side-Sword with Hollow Grind or similar.

Perks:

Identical to the Spear Cavalry build, except that Shield Breaker/Break Block are not recommended.

Part II: Training

To be effective with the spear or sword from horseback, you will need to familiarize yourself with how these weapons work (their speed and range)

This can be learned by using the practice mode which has an area dedicated to cavalry:


Fig. IV Centuries ago, this jousting ground saw jaw dropping Knightly contests, your training sessions will be far less entertaining, however.

Place yourself facing a target dummy and try to find the maximum range of your spear. Then reverse, and charge at the dummy to practice releasing your attack at the right moment. Do this until you hit with each strike.

The next phase is simply to move around the grounds, up and down each row of targets while hitting them with your spear. You should be able to hit them reliably.
The dummies are also perfect for practicing with the sword since they are similar in height to a real enemy unlike trees or other objects.

Horse Movement:

The horse has three 'speeds' which you can cycle through with the standard movement keys (W and S). The SHIFT key will give you a great increase in speed at the cost of stamina (it is important to keep in mind that pressing SHIFT works from all typical movement speeds, and even if you are motionless)

Pressing SPACE will bring the horse to a sudden halt, like a handbrake.

Practice cycling through the different speeds, coming to halt quickly and accelerating quickly again by pressing SHIFT.

You can jump off your horse safely by pressing E at any time, but keep in mind that your horse will continue to move forward if you do not bring it to a halt beforehand.

Being in control of the horse's movements is very important as it allows you to get around quickly while avoiding obstacles and threats. It also allows you move in a less predictable manner.

General Tips:

Your Shield: As a horseman, the primary function of your shield is protection from enemy projectiles and also from lances. Therefore as you move around the map ALWAYS hold your shield block up and facing the general direction of the enemy. When moving away from the enemy's position you should place the shield on your back by pressing 4. This is crucial because your Munition's Cuirass only protects your back with Mail and leaves you vulnerable to ranged. This is also a good reason to use the Highwayman Perk, it increases the speed at which you can move your shield around!

Your Spear: The Spears in the game still suffer from the same 'dragging bug' as the thwo-handed swords used to. This means that a fully extended thrust that misses a target can still be dragged onto the target and inflict damage despite being at a stand still. This is useful when you know an enemy is taking cover behind a corner or obstacle, you can release your thrust early as you come around said corner and hit your target as early as possible without having to stop or make additional maneuvers allowing the perhaps bandaging or reloading enemy to prepare a block.

Your Role: Spear Cavalry generally plays a support role and is most effective at picking off enemies who are already engaged in melee or distracted by ranged fire. Instakills with the spear are rarer than they used to be, and you are very vulnerable to enemy ranged weapons, so do not charge in alone. Always attack with the support of your infantry and ranged or friendly cavalry and try to attack from unexpected angles. Your speed allows you to quickly change targets and even forcing a downblock on someone who is already engaged in melee is useful.

Enemy Lancers: Lancers are a major threat, since an incoming lance will instakill you or knock you off your horse. If you see an incoming Lancer, prepare your shield block and hold it high and do your best to avoid it completely. Lance hitboxes are strange and don't always seem to correspond to the actual physical location of the lancetip so do not take any risks. If you have succesfully dodged the lance press SPACE to come to a halt and try to pursue the lancer, once you are behind him you must meutralize his horse to break his lance at the very least.

Enemy Spear Cavalry: When fighting enemy spear cavalry, you must use your movement skills to the best of your ability, and you must know when to release your strike as early as possible and also aim for the head of the horse if you can. Do not aim for the rider unless he is already bleeding and you are approaching from the side or rear. Also many of your strikes will have enough range to hit both horse and rider anyway. A horse rider can also block incoming attacks aimed directly at him with his shield or even with any downblock.

Enemy Infantry: When engaging infantry you should try to hit unsuspecting targets since your spear thrusts can be countered by shields and down parries. However each spear thrust will deal damage to weapons and shields so they cannot block your attacks indefinitely. However when doing this you must be accurate with your strikes to force your opponent to block. If you keep missing, your target will grow confident and will hit back at your horse to try to dismount you. Be wary of any long weapons (Halberds, Spears, Long Axes, Tho Handed Swords...) because if they are readying an attack and you miss, they will most likely kill you or your horse. You must bump into your enemies to interrupt their attacks especially if your strikes happen to be inaccurate.

Enemy Ranged: Same as above, if you are approaching an archer or crossbowman and you miss, they will have time to shoot you after your passage. Horses are vulnerable to ranged fire and Swallow Tail bolts will easily leave you bleeding after only one hit. So be accurate and force them into using their shields and weapons, which suppresses their ability to fire at your team mates.

Being dismounted: This will inevitably happen to you a lot, as barded horses just aren't as tough as you would expect them to be. When you are on your horse you need excellent visibility to hit your targets, avoid obstacles and see any threats headed your way, so keep your visor up. However the instant your horse goes down, close your visor. You are going to be immobilized for a couple of seconds, in which you can easily be hit or shot in the face. Hold your right mouse button so you can block with your shield as early as possible and look around you.

Your first priority is to get back on your horse if it is still alive. Press F to charge towards your horse and try to remount it. If not look for an enemy horse that you can steal. Remember to place your shield on your back if you are turning away from the enemy. If you are caught in melee it is best to leave the shield on your back and fight with your side-arm, another situation in which the Highwayman perk is very useful.

Jumping: It is possible to jump over an enemy and hit them in mid-air. This can be done to strike enemy's hiding inside carts on Mortimer's Cross or on top of wooden structures on Edgecote Moor for example. You can place the shield on your back to give your spear thrusts extra range! However, use this attack with caution, as your horse cannot turn while jumping and might leave you stuck against a bush or other obstacle! You can of course practice this against the target dummies which is how I learned it.

The 'Bump-Hit': It is possible to bump into someone with the horse, forcing them into an animation during which they are incapable of blocking and to hit them immediately with an underswing from your side-arm.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 11:07:35 PM by MKNine »

Offline Aeronwen

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Re: Basic Cavalry Guide
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 12:24:43 AM »
excellent guide - will be having a go soon.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 01:15:38 AM by Aeronwen »


12:39 - [IG] Lisen: wheres all the IG's?
12:39 - [IG] Aeronwen: no idea - out having lives?
12:39 - [IG] Lisen: unlikely but sure

11:53 - [IG] Aeronwen: hahaha I can try
11:53 - [IG] Lisen: Im pretty sure you will fail but that is something I like about you!
11:53 - [IG] Aeronwen: !!

Offline Thomas of Hookton

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Re: Basic Cavalry Guide
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 10:08:46 AM »
excellent guide - will be having a go soon.

finally!  :woot:

(and we need vids! :P)

waiting for the tips.. maybe my cavalry noobingness may yet be dealt with
'Nothing gives a fearful man more courage than another's fear.'

Offline MKNine

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Re: Basic Cavalry Guide
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 11:12:54 PM »
OP has been updated  :)

Offline philldo_raine

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Re: Basic Cavalry Guide
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 06:08:24 AM »
OP has been updated  :)

they are op and updated... good lord it is getting worse and worse :P

but good job  :cheers:

Offline Skinnyjean

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Re: Basic Cavalry Guide
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 03:33:16 PM »
Nice guide Mk :D

Offline AradorasXeon

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Re: Basic Cavalry Guide
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 01:32:13 PM »
I really needed this! Thanks, man!
King Regards,

              ~ Baby bon ~

Offline Madvillain

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Re: Basic Cavalry Guide
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 12:49:55 PM »
I could write some more info on the different spears, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, would you agree with me adding that info to the OP ?

Offline MKNine

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Re: Basic Cavalry Guide
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 03:20:12 PM »
I could write some more info on the different spears, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, would you agree with me adding that info to the OP ?

Of course, go ahead  :)