Cavalry in M&B

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seelowe41
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Cavalry in M&B

Post by seelowe41 »

Morning chaps, just finished my first Cavalry unit for the RJW project, any suggestions on how best to use them on the battlefield?
Cover the flanks?, terrain grab or hold back for to plug a gap or exploit any breaks?

http://dusttears.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11 ... valry.html

We are not talking wall to wall entanglements just yet, so there should be some room for maneuver.

Cheers

Stu
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JimLeCat
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Re: Cavalry in M&B

Post by JimLeCat »

Hi Stu,

From memory, they are very vulnerable to fire, so keeping them on reserve on blinds to exploit an opportunity is most likely the best approach. Covering the flanks is likely to get them killed once they are spotted (if they are on the table, then they are too close in anyway for this role). Grabbing terrain would work, if they dismounted to hold it as infantry once there. Plugging gaps would also work if they used their speed to get there first, but they would, I think, mostly want to dismount to hold after that (unless it was other cavalry they were trying to stop!).

The basic problem, I think, is that the ranges in M&B are too close for cavalry vs. infantry in most cases. They should either be (rarely) charging from the offset, or dismounted off table and advancing as infantry. To really use them as cavalry, you probably want to design scenarios around that (cavalry patrols meeting, cavalry skirmishing on the flanks of a larger battle, cavalry attempting to pursue a retreating enemy force, etc.), rather than just add them to an infantry force in a predominantly infantry fight...

Cheers,
Jim
seelowe41
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Re: Cavalry in M&B

Post by seelowe41 »

Thanks Jim. To be honest I had not thought about keeping back on blinds to protect them from enemy fire. historically we have used blinds to get to grips early on rather being held back, the next scenario is a recon type affair so that would certainlt work.
Cheers
Stuart
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BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Cavalry in M&B

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

JimLeCat wrote: Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:46 pm The basic problem, I think, is that the ranges in M&B are too close for cavalry vs. infantry in most cases. They should either be (rarely) charging from the offset, or dismounted off table and advancing as infantry. To really use them as cavalry, you probably want to design scenarios around that (cavalry patrols meeting, cavalry skirmishing on the flanks of a larger battle, cavalry attempting to pursue a retreating enemy force, etc.), rather than just add them to an infantry force in a predominantly infantry fight...
Sorry, I've only just seen this (hey, I've been really busy for the last 9 years, all right?) and have two observations.

First, with the exception of the British, who used the standard SMLE rifle - which was originally designed as a cavalry weapon - most of the Great War cavalry arms used carbines which had inferior range and stopping power. Taking Jim's point about limiting cavalry to cavalry-on-cavalry engagements, should British cavalry be the exception to this because of how they were armed in relation to other cavalry, and enemy infantry.

Second, worth bearing in mind that British cavalry officers were taught to fight TWO types of battle: the infantry battle, and (obviously) the cavalry battle (which is the main reason that so many of them were in higher levels of command early in the war). Infantry officers were - equally obviously - only taught to fight one sort of battle.

Finally, a question: was this dual education typical in other armies - were, for example, French or German cavalry taught to fight both infantry and cavalry-type actions?
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JimLeCat
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Re: Cavalry in M&B

Post by JimLeCat »

And the prize for resurrecting an old thread with a relevant response goes to...
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BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Cavalry in M&B

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

Hey, I may be slow but I do get there.....eventually. 8-)

Of course, if you go Eastern Front, you can have massed cavalry hacking matches between the Austrians and Russians!
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Captain Reid
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Re: Cavalry in M&B

Post by Captain Reid »

There were lots of small cavalry actions in 1914 between British and Germans featuring both mounted charges (cavalry vs infantry as well as cavalry vs cavalry) and cavalry acting as mounted infantry.
Retreat and Rearguard 1914 by Murland has details, including the classic observation by a British officer that 'a lance doesn't go as far in as one might think'.
Good scenarios might include a couple of guns firing on advancing Germans, then needing to retreat covered by the cavalry.
Most charges against infantry seem to have been launched from folds in the ground on the infantry flank, so blinds might be a good way of achieving that.
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Tomm
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Re: Cavalry in M&B

Post by Tomm »

And of course.... High Wood.
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