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Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

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Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  WSH Baylor on Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:03 pm

While I don't rely upon Wikipedia as reliable resource, here is a an article that some might find interesting, especially scenario designers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavalry_in_the_American_Civil_War

Please pay particular attention to this excerpt:

"This represented a change from previous eras, in which offensive action was the primary mission. In the Napoleonic Wars, for instance, there were instances of massive cavalry charges used for tactical envelopments of infantry formations. The technology of the rifled musket, which emerged in the 1850s, put an effective end to this practice. While swiftly moving cavalry could overwhelm infantry whose weapons fired accurately only 100 yards, the infantryman with a rifled musket (accurate to 300 yards or more) could fire multiple rounds in the time it took the cavalry to reach his position. And a horse and rider were easy targets.

Offensive actions were certainly not unknown, however, but they were more frequently employed against enemy cavalry than against infantry."'

Unfortunately, we have been experiencing that type of "cavalry action" (Napoleonic Cavalry Action posing as ACW Cavalry Action!) in our recent ACW games.  Scenario designers, we all greatly appreciate your work, but please refrain from imposing Napoleonic Cavalry tactics upon your American Civil War scenarios!

Thanks.
J
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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:53 pm

I wouldn't rely on that Wikipedia article Jack.

I don't accept that the rifled musket made a significant change to the range or lethality of infantry firepower. You only have to read letters and study battle accounts to see that smoothbore muskets were effective to 100 yards but minie rifles only effective to 150 or so (claims of 300 yards are really not supportable at least as an effective range or a range at which ACW troops frequently opened fire). Smoothbores and minie rifles had similar lethality. There may have been a perception by ACW cavalry commanders that the minie rifle was more dangerous. There were successful cavalry charges in European wars in the Crimea (1854-55), Italy (1859) and the Austro-Prussian War (1866), and almost all armies in these wars had minie rifles. Only the Russians in the Crimea still carried smoothbores.

It wasn't until the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 that knee-to-knee cavalry charges against infantry became almost hopeless and it was the breech loading rifle that at last gave infantry a significantly rapid firing weapon with enough reach to stop cavalry.

Even in the 1870 campaign there were still attempts at massed cavalry charges against infantry (which failed) but massed cavalry vs cavalry charges still took place in the Napoleonic style. The battle of Mars la Tour or Gravelotte - St Privat saw division sized French and Prussian mounted clashes.

In my view ACW cavalry operated differently to European cavalry for cultural, societal and topographical reasons, not military ones, also possibly terrain added a further hindrance to massed use. Until mid-war there were also not enough mounted troops with the main armies for massed action by when the idea of them being mounted infantry had become accepted and giving them effective carbines was another nail in the mounted charge coffin. Where there were large masses of cavalry early in teh war these tended to operate as detached raiding forces (again cultural and topographical differences caused this).

We can resolve the Napoleonic tactics by making the ACW cav the in-game type that cannot charge.

Or, we should not have large numbers of cavalry in large infantry battles. As you say it wasn't used that way and always spent time on the extreme flanks watching the periphery of the army, or was off at a medium distance countering scouting moves of enemy cavalry. I think we could limit cavalry in our ACW games to a squadron or two per side, no more.

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Corrections

Post  WSH Baylor on Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:28 pm

Well, Diggers, if you read the opening lines of my post, you would see that I immediately stated that Wiki was not a source I relied upon!

Second, when presenting information, it is incumbent to qualify the source.  For example, the author of the Wiki article, while not following Chicago style of writing (or any other recognize format), did present a short bib which does help to authenticate his sources.  For example, I have personally known Edward Longacre since the 1980s when were both serving as adjunct faculty members at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Metropolitan Community College.  During many post-night school sessions, our topic of conversation was the ACW cavalry including their tactics.  If you read Longacre, you will find sufficient evidence to confirm the article's assumption.

Third, in Alethea D. Sayers', she quotes Jack Coggins, a renown CW historian and author in her article Introduction To Civil War Cavalry:  "Due to the increased performance of the rifled musket, charges against infantry were rare, and often scoffed at by the foot soldier. When charged by Union cavalry, a Southern general said his men would respond with the cry; "Boys, here are those fools coming again with their sabers; give it to them.'" (Coggins, 50)  I might add that Sayers produces enlightening evidence to support her hypotheses.

Fourth, there are many doubters as the change wrought by the rifled musket, however, I tend to believe that while the impact is questionable depending upon the quality of the troops, it is undeniable there WAS an impact!  The reload time is one area that is often chosen to explain the low or non-existent impact.  I would assert that the reload time is entirely upon the experience of the unit.  For example, I would expect the Wisconsin Black Hats to have a much more rapid reload time than the 12 Wisconsin Militia. Nevertheless, it appears that this argument remains unsettled with many supporting your hypothesis including our esteemed colleague MTG.

Fifth, what happened in the in the 1850's Crimea or the 1870's Franco-Prussia war does not pertain the tactics in the ACW.  Perhaps it is your perception that is incorrect, not the ACW warriors perceptions.  Of course there were the charges between cavalry units such as Custer vs. Stuart as you described.  There is no doubt that the pre-war was studied by many military observers who selected what they considered adaptable and ignored those components that weren't.

Sixth, as your view on "why" the ACW cavalry operated as it did, there is no doubt that all the reasons you give influenced their development, but you are unequivocally wrong in eliminating the military.  The pre-war history of both the 2 regiments of "regulars" plus the many pre-war militias and how they influenced development of tactics must be considered.  For example, the Catfish War in eastern Nebraska produced leaders who would have an influence on their development including John Thayer who commanded Lew Wallace's division at Shiloh.  He was prominent in eastern Nebraska as a member of the pre-war mounted militia.  

Or Robert Livingston who had been a prominent Nebraska member of the pre-war militia from Nebraska City.  He later went on to serve in the first two years of the war as infantry in the First Nebraska Infantry, then promoted to Colonel of the First Nebraska Veteran Volunteer Cavalry.

Finally, I absolutely agree with your final two paragraphs of summation and any serious gamer who wants the SoW to "play out" as accurately as possible must agree as well!  As usual, it has taken us the long way around the berry bush to reach agreement but we are there at last!  It just makes the berries sweeter!  LOL

J
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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  mitra on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:09 pm

Jack, during the first session, my infantry division has been half destroyed because of cavalry charges of Martin (not only because of them, but in good measure yes), but the same Martin before the match told me he feared the cavalry will become useless because of fatigue malus set in the courier mod for balance the higher bonus in the melee. Personally I think he used very well his cavalry, fighting dismounted and charging at the last as last measure and retreating at the end. The same for what I could see did Richard and Longstreet against you, they fought both mounted and dismounted and charged at the very last time, and I appreciated the federal attack on the ridge over the objective.

COnsider this: in the game, in the melee especially, the number of men makes the difference, and also if graphically the infantry seems always bigger or equal you can see the cavalry regiment in this battle frequently are of bigger dimension and that is why they won so easily. We can discuss if it is the case to reduce to standard the melee bonus in the courier mod, but this is a decision I leave to Kevin because he worked hard on his mod and the last decision is to him.

We can discuss if this is historical or not (I'll come later on this), but the game has not historical components (at example the volley fire or excessive wheeling) because of technical limits of actual engine and many historical limits were imposed by the predominant doctrine of commanders more than from physical limitation, but players play for fun not for mentality's simulations. So how many and what type of cavalry will be in the scenarios is something has to be planned by the designer on the basis of what effect he wants obtain and the tactical possibility he wants give.

For me the best solution to a tactical strenght (also if generated by the limit of game) is to think and adopt better tactics, because this is also is the fun of this game, not cut the problem.

Returning to the historical cases; I agree perfectly with Martin: again in the 1866 the austrian cavalry unsupported charged two italian divisions of infantry at Custoza: she failed becasue countercharged from the cavalry but forced to form the squares. About civil war tactics, I attach you a extract from the Bloody Crucible of COurage of Brent Nosworthy of author expert of 1700-1800 warfare: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9HfKiUYoDwzQTRCYjhNNy1vSVU/edit?usp=sharing

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:02 am

Hi Jack, nice debate!

Alethea D. Sayers quotes Jack Coggins, a renown CW historian and author in her article Introduction To Civil War Cavalry: "Due to the increased performance of the rifled musket, charges against infantry were rare, and often scoffed at by the foot soldier."
The issue I have with these kind of statements is that in order to KNOW that the minie rifle would stop a massed cavalry charge better than a smoothbore would, horse units would have to (1) do such charges, not once or twice but many times, and (2) the charges would have to be MASSED charges in Napoleonic style, not the trifling handful of men who did attempt to conduct such attacks in the early war period and (3) then such events would have to be directly compared to similar events of Napoleonic battlefields. Where are the brigade and division sized mass cavalry charges of the ACW? There weren't any because in the ACW neither side used cavalry in such masses until late in the war or except as raiders.

One cannot claim the minie rifle stopped massed cavalry charges (and smoothbores didn't) when massed cavalry charges were not attempted. This is the fundamental flaw in "the minie rifle was better" argument.

Some small mounted charges were attempted and driven off and these results appear to have made cavalry officers think such charges were tactically unwise, and led infantry commanders to think they could stop cavalry. In fact no true test of a massed charge was made I don't think, or at least such events were so rare to not give statistically useful data.

There also seems to have been a general concensus before the ACW war or very early in it that infantry firepower could stop a cavalry charge. Where did this come from? This is where I suggest that cultural and societal differences between ACW and European troops to do with tradition, training, general motivations, fear of harsh punishment, draconian drilling, styles of recruiting, longevity of service, respect and treatment of officers by men and men by officers (or the lack of) and many other factors created differences in how American soldiers and European soldiers fought mounted (and dismounted). I could go on for pages about this one topic as I think its fascinating and critical and yet I have seen very little discussion about it anywhere. Many writers seem to think that ACW armies were "Napoleonic armies in kepis and slouch hats" yet nothing could be further from the truth. They were two fundamentally different approaches to the conduct of war, each created by different cultures to fight by different means and for different political motives and ends. Such apposite environments are bound to produce different military machines and minds that lead them.

There are many doubters as the change wrought by the rifled musket, however, I tend to believe that while the impact is questionable depending upon the quality of the troops, it is undeniable there WAS an impact!  The reload time is one area that is often chosen to explain the low or non-existent impact.  I would assert that the reload time is entirely upon the experience of the unit.
Of course an action against a well-drilled and well-motivated infantry formation is going to be a tougher prospect than one against a wavering half-trained militia, but these factors aside there is almost no difference in the loading and firing process between a minie rifle and a flintlock smoothbore other than the use of the percussion cap which was clearly easier and quicker to fit and gave more reliability in damp conditions, but as for troops being generally well drilled I feel that average Napoleonic troops would be better drilled in musketry than average ACW troops. Had both held the same weapons, the Napoleonic soldiers would have fired faster. It only needs one good point blank volley to stop a cavalry charge due to the falling horses and men. Firing at 300 yards and again at 150 and again closer is really gaining you nothing. Only a volley at 20-40 yards will deter a mass of disciplined mounted troops. You can do this equally well with a Brown Bess as you can with an Enfield and the steadier drill of better disciplined Napoleonic troops would be more likely to ensure they held their fire until this critical distance.

By 1870 you have a war where both sides are armed with breech-loading rifles, the French Chassepot using a brass cartridge (the Prussian Dreyse needle-gun used a stiff card cartridge) and the Chassepot was a bolt-action rifle, the first truly modern rifle, the firing and action of which would be very familiar to any soldier up until the end of the Second World War. While the "bolt" action of the needle gun was different, it used the same principle. Only with these weapons could infantry now pour out sufficiently rapid volumes of fire, with enough accuracy and to a long enough range, to destroy mass cavalry charges.

I am not saying ACW troops were not good soldiers, but they, and the war they fought, was DIFFERENT.

What happened in the 1850's Crimea or the 1870's Franco-Prussia war does not pertain the tactics in the ACW. Perhaps it is your perception that is incorrect, not the ACW warriors perceptions.
You misunderstand. What happened in Europe is very relevant because in Europe men armed with minie rifles COULD NOT deter massed cavalry charges. European horsemen continued to charge in massed formations onto infantry with success until at least as late as 1866, a year after the ACW war ended. Yet ACW cavalry could not do so against men armed with the exact same weapons. Why?

When I mentioned perceptions I was referring to ACW cavalry officers having a perception that minie rifle fire might be dangerous rather than actually knowing it was from personal experience. If ACW cavalry officers did have experience of minie rifle armed infantry stopping a cavalry charge while European minie rifle armed infantry could not stop a European cavalry charge, then what is the cause of that difference? We are back to my argument about differences in culture and society.

The pre-war history of both the 2 regiments of "regulars" plus the many pre-war militias and how they influenced development of tactics must be considered.  For example, the Catfish War in eastern Nebraska produced leaders who would have an influence on their development including John Thayer who commanded Lew Wallace's division at Shiloh. He was prominent in eastern Nebraska as a member of the pre-war mounted militia.
This information only underlines what I am saying about different cultures, different topography, different politics. European cavalry carried a tradition of centuries extending back to the feudal era and a somewhat arrogant and hot-headed mindset that went with it. "Dismount to fight? What rubbish! We're cavalrymen!" etc, etc. America had many wise and learned military men but they all came out of a unique political circumstance in 1783 which created a new nation with new values, priorities and native lands to explore and conquer.

The culture was different. It produced different kinds of armies, different thinking.

However to close this off, I certainly agree with you that I feel our ACW scenarios should involve fewer cavalry (unless we are doing a raid type game) and it should be unable to charge mounted against infantry AT ALL.

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Mulberry Bush

Post  WSH Baylor on Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:33 pm

Diggers, we have been dancing around the same Mulberry Bush!  Your last paragraph sums it up nicely!!!  LOL

As to anything that happened in Europe is immaterial to what happened in the ACW!  Again, you summed that up nicely...to quote:  "The culture was different. It produced different kinds of armies, different thinking."  Naturally, the few professional soldiers in the American army (remember, there were less than 14,000 me in the total U.S. Army, spread from coast to coast and of those, the officer corps was quite small and quite provincial.  There were "thinkers" like McClellan and look where that got him!  LOL  

"Some small mounted charges were attempted and driven off and these results appear to have made cavalry officers think such charges were tactically unwise, and led infantry commanders to think they could stop cavalry. In fact no true test of a massed charge was made I don't think, or at least such events were so rare to not give statistically useful data."  Damn, Diggers, I hate to agree with you so much!  

"You misunderstand. What happened in Europe is very relevant because in Europe men armed with minie rifles COULD NOT deter massed cavalry charges. European horsemen continued to charge in massed formations onto infantry with success until at least as late as 1866, a year after the ACW war ended. Yet ACW cavalry could not do so against men armed with the exact same weapons. Why?"  I would presume that the European armies were more professional than their American counterparts.  As I said above, the U.S. Army only numbered 14,000 shortly before the war and a large portion of those men "headed south!"  Out of the 176 officers of the five original regiments, 104 cast their lot with their native Southern states when the Civil War broke. As a result of this, not only did the Union cavalry have many green and untested troops, their officers were inexperienced too. In contrast, the Confederate cavalry had more experienced leadership which contributed to several years of battlefield superiority."  (Alethea D. Sayers)

Compounding the problem:  There were only 2 cavalry regiments in existence in the U.S. Army when the war began and they were not authorized until 1855.  Additionally, there were 2 Dragoons and 1 Mounted Rifles prior to that date as Alethea D. Sayers points out in her aforementioned monograph: "Introduction To Civil War Cavalry".  To quote:  "By the end of August 1861, thirty-one volunteer cavalry regiments had been raised for the Union Army. When the first year of the Civil War came to a close, the North had eighty-two new regiments of cavalry. (Urwin, 112)"  (Incidentally, Greg Urwin is a professor in LA and a re-enactor.)  Now, how much training does it take to develop a cavalry regiment that will "charge" a line of infantry???  

Comparing European cavalry with American cavalry is like comparing apples to oranges!  That is why I claim that what happened in European cavalry conflicts has little or no relevance to ACW cavalry and scenario designers need to "cleanse" their brains of all the European doctrine when designing ACW scenarios.  I would suspect that European cavalry would have "cleaned up" on ACW cavalry.  Again, while the well-trained and profession armies of Europe may have struck the opposing infantry more readily, the American soldier would have given more consideration to charging against formed infantry with BAYONETS!  LOL  This supports your general thesis regarding the differences in culture, etc.

What happened in Europe is only relative when comparing how they compare to ACW, not their influence on American doctrine.  Rather, it demonstrates what a well-drilled, well-organized, well-led, well-trained, et.al such as the typical European can accomplish vs. the "volunteers" of the ACW.  So, essentially, there is little to be gained by comparison.  As you said, "Many writers seem to think that ACW armies were 'Napoleonic armies in kepis and slouch hats' yet nothing could be further from the truth."  The same can be said for scenario designers.  (Who said you were not very astute?  LOL)

Thanks, Diggers.  Always look forward to your notes.

J

PS Be sure to read the article by Sayers.
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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:18 pm

I have certainly enjoyed reading the discussion. I suspect the reasons for the lack of ACW cavalry charges against the infantry were due to several factors, some already mentioned; terrain, (most battlefields had substantial forest cover), lack of training, (Cavalry didn't really exist prior to the ACW. The one regiment that did only fought against Comanches in Texas), and rifled artillery, (it would not be possible to form a large cavalry contingent and not attract the fire from every gun within range).

Even on fields with no forest cover, e.g. Gettysburg and Antietam, mounted cavalry stayed out of the main fight. Pickett's charge would have been the perfect place to utilize cavalry as the ground was completely open. However, no sane commander would order such mission given the training level of the cavalry and the assembly point being within easy artillery range.

Whatever the reasons, the game cannot accommodate the mix of ACW cavalry and infantry. The infantry has no way to defend itself. Artillery does not have the effect it would in a real situation. If such battles are desired, we have a perfectly good Napoleonic mod to handle this. Although they are still execrable vultures in my book, at least the infantry has a good defensive resource.

So for ACW battles, I am going to modify the necessary csv files such that mounted cavalry meleeing with infantry will lead to the destruction on the cavalry unit. This result can be thought of as the effect from a combination of accurate artillery fire and volley fire from infantry. In other words, cavalry commanders will be forced to use their men as mounted infantry and not cuirassiers. The salad days are over.  Sad 

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...and the dismounted cavalry?

Post  WSH Baylor on Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:06 pm

OUTSTANDING, MTG!

Does this adjustment include the dismounted as well? Two things come to mind, which is why I ask.

First is the range of the cavalry weapons vs the infantry weapons. Perhaps that is already a component. Don't know. How does that effect a fire-fight?

Second, when the cavalry dismounts to fight, they lose one-quarter of their power because every 1-man-in-four retires to the rear to hold the horses. So if a cavalry regiment numbering 500 dismounts, they effectively have only 375 men that can participate in a fire-fight. How does that effect a fire-fight in the game?

Thanks, oh great One!

J
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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  mitra on Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:32 pm

So for ACW battles, I am going to modify the necessary csv files such that mounted cavalry meleeing with infantry will lead to the destruction on the cavalry unit. This result can be thought of as the effect from a combination of accurate artillery fire and volley fire from infantry. In other words, cavalry commanders will be forced to use their men as mounted infantry and not cuirassiers. The salad days are over.

Isn't better set the cantcharge in drills for cavalry formations and set the melee values equal to those of infantry (so only the numbers and the edge weapon values will decide the result)? The autocharge cannot be avoided by the player nor the case when infantry charges immobile cavalry.

Even on fields with no forest cover, e.g. Gettysburg and Antietam, mounted cavalry stayed out of the main fight. Pickett's charge would have been the perfect place to utilize cavalry as the ground was completely open. However, no sane commander would order such mission given the training level of the cavalry and the assembly point being within easy artillery range.

I don't think any commander will have use the cavalry in this mode also in european context: attack frontally unsupported a organized and protected infantry line was a desperate measure or a tactical mistake of commander. The biggest problem is that during the civil war the cavalry on the battlefield was used in XVIII century fashion for cover the flanks not in coordination with infantry or as reserve to launch against the almost broken enemy: the biggest results against infantry was obtained with flanking and surprise attacks.

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:24 pm

Jack wrote:Second, when the cavalry dismounts to fight, they lose one-quarter of their power because every 1-man-in-four retires to the rear to hold the horses. So if a cavalry regiment numbering 500 dismounts, they effectively have only 375 men that can participate in a fire-fight. How does that effect a fire-fight in the game?
The game removes 1/4 of the men from the firing line when the cavalry dismounts.  That feature was added for the East Cav. Field expansion. So I don't plan to make any changes to dismounted cavalry.

Davide wrote:Isn't better set the cantcharge in drills for cavalry formations and set the melee values equal to those of infantry (so only the numbers and the edge weapon values will decide the result)? The autocharge cannot be avoided by the player nor the case when infantry charges immobile cavalry.
No, we want to allow mounted cavalry to charge each other.  That type of fighting although not common was also not unusual.  I suppose to be accurate, we would make it such that the rebels are at a disadvantage in mounted melees since they did not commonly carry sabers.

Davide wrote:I don't think any commander will have use the cavalry in this mode also in european context: attack frontally unsupported a organized and protected infantry line was a desperate measure or a tactical mistake of commander. The biggest problem is that during the civil war the cavalry on the battlefield was used in XVIII century fashion for cover the flanks not in coordination with infantry or as reserve to launch against the almost broken enemy: the biggest results against infantry was obtained with flanking and surprise attacks.

The cavalry attacks at Wagram and Waterloo were analogous to such a charge at Gettysburg.  Although actually, I was thinking of the scenario where rebel cavalry followed behind the infantry to exploit the expected breakthrough.  It wasn't done because it would have been suicide.

But that is my point exactly.  Cavalry in our ACW battles is used as if we were fighting a Napoleonic battle.  With the changes I am making, that possibility will now go away.  I will also make them bigger targets, so infantry and artillery have a better chance to hit them.  Mounted cavalry doesn't belong on the front line.  They should be dismounted.  If they are going to stand around and look pretty, they are going to pay a price.

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Hurrah!

Post  WSH Baylor on Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:33 pm

To paraphrase that good ol' Southern Song, "Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern Rights, Hurrah! Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag (of the infantry) that bears the single star!"

Didn't know the dismounted rules had already been fixed as to numbers. What about weapons range? No need to change there, I guess.

Thanks for explanation.

J
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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  mitra on Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:03 pm

No, we want to allow mounted cavalry to charge each other. That type of fighting although not common was also not unusual. I suppose to be accurate, we would make it such that the rebels are at a disadvantage in mounted melees since they did not commonly carry sabers.

I undestand this, but if you leave charge dismounted cavalry will not have any use against infantry because in any moment they can mount and charge at will and destroy themself, or being charged, to mount and destroy themself again at place of runaway or remain dismounted. At this point better avoid all the charges or use only the type 2.

The cavalry attacks at Wagram and Waterloo were analogous to such a charge at Gettysburg.

At Wagram it was used as stopgap facing a dangerous situation, like at Eylau, and suffer heavily, at Waterloo that it was bad used it is a fact.


But that is my point exactly. Cavalry in our ACW battles is used as if we were fighting a Napoleonic battle. With the changes I am making, that possibility will now go away. I will also make them bigger targets, so infantry and artillery have a better chance to hit them. Mounted cavalry doesn't belong on the front line. They should be dismounted. If they are going to stand around and look pretty, they are going to pay a price.

I agree to make them bigger targets, but if we leave the charge for use against other cavalry inevitably they will be mounted sooner or later near the infantry

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:49 pm

Davide wrote:I undestand this, but if you leave charge dismounted cavalry will not have any use against infantry because in any moment they can mount and charge at will and destroy themself, or being charged, to mount and destroy themself again at place of runaway or remain dismounted. At this point better avoid all the charges or use only the type 2.
We could make it impossible for dismounted cavalry to charge. They did not have bayonets, so that would be historically correct. Yes, the dismounted cavalry could automatically mount, charge and be destroyed, but this is now rare, I think. That is the risk the cavalry commander takes. He needs to pay very close attention to his troops. Historically, ACW cavalry was used primarily for scouting and screening. Fighting pitched battles with enemy infantry was not their main role. If the cavalry commander wants to use his men as line infantry then it is possible his command will quickly evaporate.

Full disclosure: you are debating with a person who believes the most noble unit on the battlefield is a battery of Russian heavy artillery. Not a lot of love left over for the vultures.

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:05 am

I always enjoy clashing keyboards with you Jack. It does my mind good to exercise my brain against someone else who is interested in the history. Yes - European cavalry and armies were very different to ACW cavalry and armies but in the respect I was referring to, they are identical. Minie rifle bullets will hurt attacking European horsemen just the same as they hurt Americans. My comments were aimed at those historians who claim that it was the better range and performance of the minie rifle that stopped cavalry charges. European warfare disproves this, because until the late 1860s in Europe, battlefield cavalry was succcessfully being used against minie rifle armed infantry.

It clearly wasn't the minie rifle that stopped mounted charges, but something else.

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  kg_sspoom on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:51 am

Well just an added observation.
I lost a fresh veteran regiment in the last scenario game in under 20 seconds, the casualties racked up so fast you couldn't keep up with the count. The infantry were formed up and facing the charge, firing away to no effect.

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  mitra on Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:02 pm

Because now in the mod the melee values are higher that the standard, but if they will be identical to the infantry, then the charge will become automatically something you will do when you are or desperate (which was the exact reason Martin charged me the first time, nor him or me know we known the effect) or in decisive advantage in number and morale, exactly like for the infantry charge: why to use the charge at this point when rapid fire carabines have better effect? If the cavalry can be also make more vulnerable to the fire also better. But see a 100 infantrymen unit destroy 400 cavalrymen or skirmishers do the same is a punch in a eye, it doesn't matter what historical reasons we can enumerate, people will remember only the graphical effect

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:42 pm

Mounted cavalry did not charge infantry. Dismounted cavalry did not have bayonets. If a player tries to do that, it is a mistake. He must pay a penalty. He shouldn't be rewarded for playing non-historically.

If you really want to have Napoleonic cavalry behavior in the scenario, just change it to use the nappy armies and mod.

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

Post  mitra on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:38 am

I don't speak of scenario in particular, I insert so much cavalry exactly because I had in mind his flexibile tactical use at Gettysburg, not because I wanted see them charge like devils (it was bad surprise because I was the first victim): the action of Buford brigade, the east cavalry field cavalry clash and the mixed mounted\dismounted attacks of Kilpatrick division at South Cavalry field; because in the wide context the scenario represent a flanking movement it was normal have the cavalry here. In another scenario context I would have used the type 2 (like I set for the backup scenario).

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Re: Napoleonic Cavalry vs. ACW Cavalry

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