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Cavalry Movement Idea (unit rotation and acceleration)

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Hello everyone,

I have an Idea for cavalry gameplay that may help with realism and the dancing/ turn time debates for cavalry. I am quite excited about it.

I noticed that the iteration I used of @ValihrAnt mod had a slower rotation rate for cavalry than other units. I am thinking that adding acceleration to cavalry movement could be a great thing, even if it is challenging to program and a somewhat distant vision (I am not smart computer man). 

I am thinking that when moving in a straight line, cavalry should accelerate until they reach max speed. Perhaps cavalry should start off as fast as a spearman but then reach max velocity after somewhere between 1 and 3 seconds. If unit rotation can be made to happen while moving, and is tied to unit velocity, then depending on how the pathfinder calculates the turn the unit will make, the horse slows down to a pre-calculated velocity for that turn of a certain radius. If a player wanted to reduce how much the cavalry slowed over a given path, the player would avoid using waypoints, which shortens the radii for which turns happen. If the ordered movement was greater than 90 degrees in either direction from where the cavalry face, then the cavalry would have to do a (current speed) stationary rotation. Example: cavalry attack group of archers/spears, cavalry try to run away, so they start from fighting position (stationary), rotate to face the click, and then accelerate away.

Exciting Benefits of cavalry acceleration:

  1. 180 degree turnaround for a group of cavalry, like in a retreat or an attempt to turn around, is slower and potentially costly (entrapment).
  2. Cavalry are more disadvantaged on clogged parts of the map than infantry.
  3. Players using cavalry would need to be more careful not to get trapped or engage a bad environment.
  4. Players could not use the fast disengagement speed of cavalry as a crutch for bad fight decisions.
  5. Cavalry would no longer be used the same as infantry but with higher hp and speed, and would now be a more complicated choice to make.
  6. Cavalry would be made to have higher damage to account their more restricted usage envelope (disadvantages would peak in cities and forests).
  7. Cavalry would be given a greater top speed such that for the standard ~1200 player, their speed would be the same as it is in a24 on average.
  8. Could create cause for " heavy cavalry tradition" or available for civilizations that have spear-cavalry: free, instantaneous, p3, tradeoff tech: citizen spearcav +(1 to 2) pierce and hack armor, +3 seconds of acceleration time (from spearman infantry speed to maximum cavalry speed).
  9. Also, it would become harder to use masses of 100+ cavalry because the cavalry would have to turn around more things, meaning that 25-45 cavalry could be very effective as part of a diverse army. This change would also make cavalry less spammy and less OP in large numbers, but also more powerful in smaller numbers (this would also encourage p1 rush which is very weak right now).
  10. Creates a high skill ceiling unit rather than simply a stronger, faster version of the corresponding infantry unit.
  11. Makes it possible to use pikes (which should be better than spears vs cavalry, but maybe worse against other melee) against cavalry by flanking and encircling a group of attacking cavalry before they have the chance to accelerate away. This should not be easy in every situation, but more likely in suitable environments.

I think many of you may say that even if this is possible, that it is too complicated a mechanic to have in the game. I disagree, if there are good animations like horses leaning into turns, rearing to turn around as they do the stationary rotation (like in the movies), people will understand the limitations of horses fairly quickly and won't be that upset about the changes.

If it is super frustrating to use horses because of how much of the map is covered in cliffs, trees, and cities, then perhaps making tree-bunches smaller (more wood per tree) and cliffs smaller would mean that general movement is easier and then also more possible for cavalry. Another change that will help this is reduced city size (in a24 slow train times and new building types (arsenal and elephant stables and cavalry stables) and defensive building spam have practically doubled the size of cities from a23. These map simplifications and changes would make more space and make the map feel bigger and less frustrating anyway, even if there is no cavalry acceleration.

I am curious to see what you guys think! And especially from the smart computer people who know how to do these things, how challenging/ possible would this mechanic be to create?

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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I read through some of the comments on that link, and it seems fairly accurate to what I was describing. Any chance someone could make this into a mod so people who are interested could take a look at how it goes in game. 


I'm imagining you have cavalry going at full speed and then some spears block your path and you have to choose whether to skirt by them and go to whatever is behind them, or turn all the way around and go through the process of stopping and turning and accelerating away. Players could do a 180 turn without stopping or slowing by simply making a series of clicks in a circular order.

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In all the 4v4s I have played, a combo of cavalry has been the most effective thing against archers in some cases.  But these changes would make archers more vulnerable to smaller groups of cavalry, but also make cavalry trappable in some cases like giving them no way out of a pocket except through some spears, archers could even be used as bait lol.

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13 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

I read through some of the comments on that link, and it seems fairly accurate to what I was describing. Any chance someone could make this into a mod so people who are interested could take a look at how it goes in game. 

0 chance on that, since one needs to modify cpp code. Someone could bundle it

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3 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:


Thats too bad. Hopefully at some point the topic regains interest among the balancing advisors and developers, and some progress could be made with this. I feel it would be a great way to make battles more exciting as well as balance the different units.

Thanks for the answers about this @bb_!

I will try to make something tomorrow. Windows only.

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You can drop this in your installation folder then enable the acceleration mod.

You might want to backup pyrogenesis.exe before applying this patch;


  • DISCLAIMER 1: I am not the author of this patch, so I can't make adjustements to it. I merely rebased it to work with A24, All credits go to @bb_
  • DISCLAIMER2: You CANNOT play with people that DO NOT have this patch and this mod.
  • DISCLAIMER3: The code has changed quite a lot since then and it may not be applicable to A25
  • DISCLAIMER 4: Expect bugs.
  • DISCLAIMER 4: This will obviously only work on Windows.


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Sorry for taking so long to get back to you @Stan`

I successfully put 0ad on windows this afternoon, checked it out and it worked just fine. I went to install the mod, but I am having a hard time extracting it to anywhere, much less the correct location. When I use the "extract all" function it immediately says it was interrupted, and gives an unknown error, this also happens whenever I try to copy the .json file anywhere. I tried extracting it straight to desktop to see if it could be extracted at all, the error showed up, and the extracted files were there, only without the .json file. I am assuming that the installation folder is just the folder I created to install 0ad into. 

Do I need to extract the whole downloaded package to that install folder or just a part?

Any help would be great. Apologies in advance if what I am asking is obvious.

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