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Army Research / Thoughts on 2mm Figures?
« Last post by eques on Today at 10:39:09 AM »
Does anyone use 2mm scale? How do you like it?  What base size do you use for them?
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: cavalry wheeling
« Last post by Patrick Waterson on July 25, 2017, 08:14:44 PM »
the problem with the J shaped charge is that if both units are moving there's a risk that they'd both miss.

Yes, although I envisaged two infantry lines fighting in place when the cavalry woke up to its options - although if things are in a state of flux, going beyond and turning round to come in behind the enemy unit makes it hard to miss. :)

Whether it would happen in real life is surely a matter of how we got to be in the situation.  I can't see a cavalry unit moving up to formate on the corner of an enemy infantry unit.  But if it had originally been engaged to the front and it's enemy had disengaged or fled, something akin to this could happen.

What it would do would again depend on the battlefield situation.  If moving up with no opposition to interfere, I think it would seek to swing out wide of the fight and deliver a charge into the enemy flank or rear.  If opposition is about, it might attack it or hang back to cover the flank of its own infantry.

This makes good sense to me.  Manoeuvre room is life to any form of cavalry except cataphracts and similar bulldozer types, who are probably anyway not that great at manoeuvring outside the straight and narrow.

Which makes me wonder: on the tabletop, should there be a mandatory distance between the flank of a friendly heavy infantry unit/element/manoeuvre component and any friendly cavalry contingent to reflect this, and if so, then how much?  (Naturally, if one dismounts one's own cavalry, no gap would be needed, which brings to mind English Hundred Years' War practice.)

Quote
If it came to be in the situation by departure of its enemy to the front, it would come down to discipline.  Would it break ranks to pursue, in which case parts of it would doubtless clash with the flanks of the infantry unit.  If it held discipline, it's leaders may still feel that pursuit of the enemy to the front is the best option.  It might push on past the flank then regroup behind the infantry, which would return us to whether it would be free to deliver an attack into the enemy rear.

In all of these options, there is the question of how much would our cavalry be working to strict parade ground formation in the midst of a melee?  We know that impact cavalry down the ages knew the idea that it should try to hit the enemy together, rather than in dribs and drabs.  What happens after that, though, seems to become more fluid. 

Again, I am inclined to think this a good analysis.  The question of formation keeping is probably where culture comes in: our typical classical types will probably seek to get the unit lined up before going in, whereas a typical mediaeval feudal contingent may put cohesion as a lesser priority, Franks and Normans may well weigh in somewhat piecemeal as long as the banner is foremost in the charge and Mongols would go by the letter of their orders.  Following impact, does the cavalry keep fighting or pull back for another charge?  I think this would depend upon the cavalry's enthusiasm and discipline on the one hand and the amount of shock and disruption they instilled in the enemy foot on the other.  An enemy formation needs to be shaken rather than stirred for the cavalry to do much good (or harm) by staying in contact.

Richard - we shall let Asclepiodotus have the last word, though whether we both think he is saying the same thing can remain an enigma. :)
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: cavalry wheeling
« Last post by RichT on July 25, 2017, 10:35:01 AM »
Concerning ranks, we should let Asclepiodotus (Tactics 2.4-6) have the last word:

"Now when one file (lochos) is placed beside another, so that file-leader (lochagos) stands beside file-leader, file-closer (ouragos) beside file-closer, and the men in between beside their comrades-in-rank (homozugoi), such an arrangement will be a formation by file (syllochismos), and the men of the files forming the same rank (homozugoi), front-rank-men (parastatai), and rear-rank-men (epistatai), will be called comrades-in-rank (parastatai) because they stand side by side.

The assembly (syllochismos) of all the files constitutes a phalanx, in which the rank (tagma) of the file-leaders (lochagoi) is called the front (metopon), the length (mekos), the face (prosopon), the mouth (stoma), the marshalling (parataxis), the head of the files (protolochia), and the first line (proton zugon); and the rank [lit. that] behind this consisting of rear-rank-men (epistatai) running the length of the phalanx, is the second line (deuteron zugon), and the rank [lit. that] parallel and behind this is the third line (zugon), and the line behind this is the fourth, and similarly the fifth and the sixth and so on down to the file-closer (ouragoi); but taken all together everything behind the front of the phalanx is called its depth, and the file, from file-leader to file-closer, is the file in depth.
   
And those who stand behind one another in this formation are said to form a file (stoichein), but those who stand side by side are said to form a rank (zugein)."

Polybius uses similar terminology, as we would expect.
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: cavalry wheeling
« Last post by Erpingham on July 25, 2017, 09:22:02 AM »

Thinking further about this, it does bring up the question of what would happen if we had the classic tabletop situation of infantry units engaged with infantry units, but one side has a cavalry unit standing next door to the end friendly infantry unit but unengaged.

1) Would this actually happen in real life?
2) If it did, what sort of manoeuvre would the cavalry perform in order to close with and grievously harm the enemy?

Any thoughts?

Good questions and ones I'd also thought about after the initial exchange above.

Whether it would happen in real life is surely a matter of how we got to be in the situation.  I can't see a cavalry unit moving up to formate on the corner of an enemy infantry unit.  But if it had originally been engaged to the front and it's enemy had disengaged or fled, something akin to this could happen.

What it would do would again depend on the battlefield situation.  If moving up with no opposition to interfere, I think it would seek to swing out wide of the fight and deliver a charge into the enemy flank or rear.  If opposition is about, it might attack it or hang back to cover the flank of its own infantry.

If it came to be in the situation by departure of its enemy to the front, it would come down to discipline.  Would it break ranks to pursue, in which case parts of it would doubtless clash with the flanks of the infantry unit.  If it held discipline, it's leaders may still feel that pursuit of the enemy to the front is the best option.  It might push on past the flank then regroup behind the infantry, which would return us to whether it would be free to deliver an attack into the enemy rear.

In all of these options, there is the question of how much would our cavalry be working to strict parade ground formation in the midst of a melee?  We know that impact cavalry down the ages knew the idea that it should try to hit the enemy together, rather than in dribs and drabs.  What happens after that, though, seems to become more fluid. 
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: cavalry wheeling
« Last post by Jim Webster on July 25, 2017, 08:37:03 AM »

The 'revolving gate' pivoting on the man closest to the enemy seems out (or is it?).  My own particular conjecture would be a 'J-shaped charge', i.e. moving forward beyond the enemy line, turning round and then having a jolly good charge into the enemy rear.  A file or two could be left to cap the enemy flank for neatness if desired.

Any thoughts?

the problem with the J shaped charge is that if both units are moving there's a risk that they'd both miss.
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: cavalry wheeling
« Last post by Patrick Waterson on July 25, 2017, 07:59:28 AM »
One thing which seems uncontested about ancient cavalry formations is they tended to be deeper than later Western style (17th century on) ones.  I suspect it would be almost impossible to turn these on a fixed pivot, so they would use a moveable pivot.  The swinging gate pivoting move to swing a unit into the flank of another, so satisfying on a wargames table, would seem very doubtful in practice.

Thinking further about this, it does bring up the question of what would happen if we had the classic tabletop situation of infantry units engaged with infantry units, but one side has a cavalry unit standing next door to the end friendly infantry unit but unengaged.

1) Would this actually happen in real life?
2) If it did, what sort of manoeuvre would the cavalry perform in order to close with and grievously harm the enemy?

The 'revolving gate' pivoting on the man closest to the enemy seems out (or is it?).  My own particular conjecture would be a 'J-shaped charge', i.e. moving forward beyond the enemy line, turning round and then having a jolly good charge into the enemy rear.  A file or two could be left to cap the enemy flank for neatness if desired.

Any thoughts?
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Army Research / Re: Aechemenid Horses
« Last post by Erpingham on July 24, 2017, 10:11:35 PM »
..........., so I think that is good enough reason not to confine yourself to golden brown.

Nasty attack of 'ear worm' resulted from reading this.....anyone else affected??!! 😳
At least it's not mellow yellow  ;)
Quite rightly.
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Army Research / Re: Aechemenid Horses
« Last post by Jim Webster on July 24, 2017, 10:04:52 PM »
..........., so I think that is good enough reason not to confine yourself to golden brown.

Nasty attack of 'ear worm' resulted from reading this.....anyone else affected??!! 😳
At least it's not mellow yellow  ;)
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Army Research / Re: Aechemenid Horses
« Last post by Erpingham on July 24, 2017, 07:27:30 PM »
..........., so I think that is good enough reason not to confine yourself to golden brown.

Nasty attack of 'ear worm' resulted from reading this.....anyone else affected??!! 😳

Showing your age :)
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Army Research / Re: Aechemenid Horses
« Last post by Martin Smith on July 24, 2017, 07:11:51 PM »
..........., so I think that is good enough reason not to confine yourself to golden brown.

Nasty attack of 'ear worm' resulted from reading this.....anyone else affected??!! 😳
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