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Lancer cavalry ( Shock cavalry) how do they differ from spear cavalry? and which are they?


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As I understand this type of tactics was developed by nomadic tribes.

At some point Alexander commanded a similar type of troop.

 

History

A lancer was a type of cavalryman who fought with a lance. Lances were used for mounted warfare in Assyria as early as 700 BC and subsequently by Persia, India, Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome.[1] The weapon was widely used throughout Europe and Asia during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by heavy cavalry, before being adopted later on by light cavalry. In a modern context, a lancer regiment usually denotes an armoured unit.

 

The Companions (Greek: ἑταῖροι [heˈtairoi̯], hetairoi) were the elite cavalry of the Macedonian army from the time of king Philip II of Macedon, achieved their greatest prestige under Alexander the Great, and have been regarded as the first or among the first shock cavalry used in Europe.[1] Chosen Companions, or Hetairoi, formed the elite guard of the king (Somatophylakes).

 

Companion cavalry would ride the best horses, and receive the best weaponry available. In Alexander's day, each carried a xyston (long thrusting spear), and wore a bronze muscle cuirass or linothorax, shoulder guards and Boeotian helmets, but bore no shield.[4] A kopis (curved slashing sword) or xiphos (cut and thrust sword) was also carried for close combat, should the xyston be lost or broken.

 

The Companion cavalry of the Diadochoi (Alexandrian successor-states), were even more heavily equipped. Seleucid Companions were noted to have worn lighter, but not otherwise dissimilar, equipment to the cataphracts at the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC, which may have included partial horse armour and leg and arm protection. Ptolemaic Companions and Antigonid Companions were also equipped with a large round aspis cavalry shield unlike the Companions of Phillip and Alexander.

 

‘Companions’ was a title not used by the Seleucids in its original sense. It was replaced with different and various grades of ‘Kings Friends'. However, the title 'Companions' was kept as a regimental one. There was only one regiment or unit that held the title of Companions in the entire Hellenistic world though; the Antigonids and Ptolemies had different names for their elite cavalry regiments.

 

How you see us is not the same as the Roman cavalry, or the previous classic Greek cavalry.

However, the defeat of Roman legions by Parthian horse archers at Carrhae in western Mesopotamia in 53 BCE marked merely a shifting of boundaries between ecospheres on topographical grounds…

 

The first use of couched lances was in the 6th century B.C. It is unclear whether the Scythians or the Massagetae were the first to develop the tactics.

Iranian tribes such as the Massagetae were believed to be the originator of the class of heavy cavalry known as cataphract. During the time of Achaemenid Persia cavalry was the elite arm of service (as was the case in most civilizations), and many Persian horsemen such as the bodyguard unit of Cyrus the Younger were rather heavily armoured by the standards of the era. By the time of Alexander's invasion cataphract units with both men and beasts being fully encased in armour were already in use by the Persians.

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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Of course the lance was used from horseback for a long time, but what was novel with macedonian hetaroi was that they put together a number of mounted lancers and they decided for the first time to try to charge infantry in closed formation. They themselves used a wedge formation they made up for that.

Before that, it appears that the lance was used in 1v1 combat between horsemen, much like jousting, at least this is what appears in roman accounts of spolia opima, with the first accounted case in fifth century BC (semi-legendary, Livy wrote about that in first century BC, and the following, similar but more grounded, case of spolia opima is from the same period).

So, the difference between simple spear cav and shock cavalry may be just that you need to organize and train a division of your army specifically for charging into enemy lines, and than you have shock cav, otherwise you don't. Consider that only great generals ever had the power to make reforms to their armies.

In westwern Europe it appears that cavalry was used exclusively as a skirmish force for the whole duration of 0AD timeframe, probably not because shock cav was completely unheard of, but more likely because skirmisher cav was more helpful in the context of heavy infantry centered warfare in use in the mediterranean basin.

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2 hours ago, alre said:

Of course the lance was used from horseback for a long time, but what was novel with macedonian hetaroi was that they put together a number of mounted lancers and they decided for the first time to try to charge infantry in closed formation. They themselves used a wedge formation they made up for that.

Before that, it appears that the lance was used in 1v1 combat between horsemen, much like jousting, at least this is what appears in roman accounts of spolia opima, with the first accounted case in fifth century BC (semi-legendary, Livy wrote about that in first century BC, and the following, similar but more grounded, case of spolia opima is from the same period).

So, the difference between simple spear cav and shock cavalry may be just that you need to organize and train a division of your army specifically for charging into enemy lines, and than you have shock cav, otherwise you don't. Consider that only great generals ever had the power to make reforms to their armies.

In westwern Europe it appears that cavalry was used exclusively as a skirmish force for the whole duration of 0AD timeframe, probably not because shock cav was completely unheard of, but more likely because skirmisher cav was more helpful in the context of heavy infantry centered warfare in use in the mediterranean basin.

wedge formation was not used to charge head on , rather it was used for maneuvering around the battlefield and due to it's increased turn rate it was ideal to exploit gaps in enemy lines to get behind the enemy and go for softer targets or to just hammer and anvil , that's the "penetrating" quality that most people often misunderstand. Of course they didn't use wedge to charge head on, that would be suicidal for the first ranks and specially the the leader of the formation, that is to say alexander.

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Posted (edited)

One thing that sets them apart in the game is their weapon.

 

In the case of the Iranian peoples:

 

The kontos (Greek: κοντός) was the Greek name for a type of long wooden cavalry lance used by the Iranians, especially Achaemenid successors' cavalry, most notably cataphracts (Grivpanvar). It was also used by the Germanic warriors of the south as a pike. A shift in the terminology used to describe Sarmatian weapons indicates the kontos was developed in the early to mid 1st century AD from shorter spear-type weapons[citation needed] (which were described using the generic terms for "spear"—longhe or hasta—by Greek and Roman sources, respectively), though such a description may have existed before the Battle of Carrhae, in which Parthian cataphracts, in conjunction with light horse archers, annihilated a Roman army of over three times their numbers.

 

As shown by contemporary artwork, the kontos was about 4 metres long, though longer examples may have existed; later Parthian and Sassanian clibanarii (Middle Persian: Grivpanvar) reportedly used kontoi of longer lengths; only highly trained cavalrymen such as those fielded by the Arsaco-Sassanian dynasties could have used such weapons. It was reputedly a weapon of great power compared to other cavalry weapon of its time, described by Plutarch as being "heavy with steel" and capable of impaling two men at once. Its length was probably the origin of its name, as the word kontos could also mean "oar" or "barge-pole" in Greek. Thus, it had to be wielded with two hands while directing the horse using the knees; this made it a specialist weapon that required a lot of training and good horsemanship to use. In addition, most Parthian cavalry (even possibly including cataphracts) carried bows, so this meant daily practice with the weapons.

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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Posted (edited)

Macedonian.

In the Macedonian army of Philip II and Alexander the Great, the cavalry unit termed the prodromoi carried skirmishing equipment for scouting and outpost duties, however, the cavalrymen of this unit are sometimes referred to as sarissophoroi, "pikemen" or "lancers", which leads to the conclusion that they were sometimes armed with an uncommonly long xyston (believed to be 14 ft long), though certainly not an infantry pike (sarissa). They acted as scouts reconnoitring in front of the army when it was on the march. In battle, they were used in a shock role to protect the right flank of the Companion cavalry. Persian light cavalry took over scouting duties when they became available to the Macedonian army following Gaugamela; the prodromoi then assumed a purely battlefield role as shock cavalry. Four ilai, each 150 strong, of prodromoi operated with Alexander's army in Asia.[4]

 

At Gaugamela, the prodromoi under Aretes were responsible for finally routing the Persian left wing cavalry, winning the battle in this sector.[5]

 

In the primary sources Arrian mentions that Aretes commanded the prodromoi, in the same context Curtius says that Aretes commanded the sarissophoroi. It would appear that the same unit of cavalry was known by both names.[6] It is possible that the term prodromoi was used in two different ways in the primary sources. Firstly, to indicate a particular unit, the prodromoi/sarissophoroi, and secondly, for cavalry of any type engaged in detached scouting duties.[7]

 

The xyston (Ancient Greek: ξυστόν "spear, javelin; pointed or spiked stick, goad (lit. 'shaved')"), a derivative of the verb ξύω "scrape, shave", was a type of a long thrusting spear in ancient Greece. It measured about 3.5–4.25 meters (11.5–13.9 ft) long and was probably held by the cavalryman with both hands, although the depiction of Alexander the Great's xyston on the Alexander Mosaic in Pompeii (see figure), suggests that it could also be used single handed. It had a wooden shaft and a spear-point at both ends. Possible reasons for the secondary spear-tip were that it acted partly as a counterweight and also served as a backup in case the xyston was broken in action. The xyston is usually mentioned in context with the hetairoi (ἑταῖροι), the cavalry forces of ancient Macedon. After Alexander the Great's death, the hetairoi were named xystophoroi (ξυστοφόροι, "spear-bearers") because of their use of the xyston lance. 

 

The xyston was wielded either underarm or overarm, presumably as a matter of personal preference. It was also known, especially later, as the kontos; meaning literally "barge-pole"; the name possibly originated as a slang term for the weapon.

 

The xyston was wielded either underarm or overarm, presumably as a matter of personal preference. It was also known, especially later, as the kontos; meaning literally "barge-pole"; the name possibly originated as a slang term for the weapon.

The spear was a two-handed weapon.[1] It was held at the midpoint of the wooden shaft, instead of a typical lance, which was held just beyond that and this was due to the heavier weight of the spear.[4] Holding it in the middle required the soldier to have more control of his hold. Macedonian soldiers, when on extra-combat missions, would not use the spear in close confrontations, they would use a javelin.[1] The spear, being too long would prevent speed and would be a nuisance, in the case of any sudden fighting that took place

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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I could accept if the regular spear cavalry would be just a raiding unit, but the description of the Seleucid one calls them companions, the Macedonian is referred to as a lancer and the kushite one is called heavy cavalry.

Anyway, I think spear cavalry is underpowered compared to sword cavalry and spear cavalry could use +1 pierce attack.

Sword cavalry +1 pierce armor, 8.35 hack damage per second. Good vs. siege.

Spear cavalry +1 hack armor, 4 hack and 3 pierce damage per second. Good vs. cavalry

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5 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

Anyway, I think spear cavalry is underpowered compared to sword cavalry and spear cavalry could use +1 pierce attack.

Sword cavalry +1 pierce armor, 8.35 hack damage per second. Good vs. siege.

Spear cavalry +1 hack armor, 4 hack and 3 pierce damage per second. Good vs. cavalry

I can patch that.

The Xyston is quite big, so I guess that affects the agility of the Xystophoros. Therefore we can make the following changes:

1. Use the counters mentioned in the bellum mod

2. Give lancers more health

3. Lancers have slower speed and slower turning time.  

4. Lancers get a little bit of crush attack (maybe 0.5 or 0.7) because the long wooden stick flying past at 10m/s definitely can crush bones.

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8 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

it is no a small thing. That must hurt a lot.

 I think that while looking at a lance this size it is easy to assume that it would be of a similar nature to a jousting stick, but it is important to remember that cavalry at this time often lacked saddles, stirrups, and other equipment to make them effectual in charges.  Going at full gallop would in all probability dismount the rider as well.  The 'shock' factor was more a matter of the simple fact that horsemen engaging in melee was a rare occurrence and its success was probably more due to Persians breaking at the sight of these riders.  The Alexander Sarcophagus gives a bit better of an idea of equipment (or lack thereof) horses had.  The key takeaway to me at least would be that the lance was employed for the extra reach more than anything else, and as such, I would recommend giving cavalry equipped with this kind of weapon appropriate range to represent that fact.

image.thumb.jpeg.56ae1847fce910e21a4154f864e3345f.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

lacked saddles, stirrups, and other equipmen

I have it very clear. Still the load of these is very powerful. I have ridden horse.

I never dared to gallop.

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1 hour ago, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

well the spear cav available at the military colony right now is also  named as a companion but it is a spear cav. Ironically , after rank 3 these look more elite than the macedonian champ cav.

Well, heavier armor doesn't necessarily mean "mostest elitest." :) The most important aspects of Alexander's Hetairoi had little to do with their armor.  :)

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True but in a game , a unit's appearance must match their role and their cost/quality, the crisp white pauldrons and clean musculata chest piece gives  them a more professional air, only thing missing is the neat laurel crown.

mace_champion_cavalry.png.fcd81867a47ec8673a26f519851b0edb.pngmace_cavalry_spearman.png.74b97aa3ee03b95bbe09775270a7688b.png

I use the profile of the macedonian CS spear cav because it is the same as ther merc we are talking about.

Edited by PyrrhicVictoryGuy
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10 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Seles already have a melee cav right? It's a merc?

Mercenaries are unusable at the moment, and I foresee them also being bad in a25. From what I have seen of the merc changes, they will still cost 60 metal and not be rank 3, which is not worth it unless a player has 4-5 metal mines available.

Since seles effectively only have skirmisher cavalry and archer cavalry. It makes it extremely awkward to play their cavalry, and if archers along with archer cavalry are nerfed in a25 seles will no longer be a cav civ. 

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I think they can be represented in game by being glass cannon cav. Hard hitting yet very squishy, only to be used whenever the enemy units are engaging other (infantry) units. Very micro intensive, as they should be. Also another way to further differentiate the civs.

Would that work? I think that would simulate hammer and anvil quite well, on paper at least.

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