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sever14
09-11-2006, 12:40
Do Brettonaian players ever use the lance formation, cuz from limited experience i have never seen it used? Is it even worth it?

samw
09-11-2006, 13:28
Do Brettonaian players ever use the lance formation, cuz from limited experience i have never seen it used? Is it even worth it?

Um, what?

Yes, is the simple answer. It maximises attacks, minimises frontage and gives rank bonus at 3 models not 5. Every Bret player uses it unless very particular circumstances forgo it.

Commissar Vaughn
09-11-2006, 13:36
I dont use it but im not a normal bretonnian player. Every other player does cos its so powerful!

would you like to explain why you dont like it?
I just avoid it cos I think lines of knights charghing looks better than a silly long column! Plus you can sweep multiple units off the board with a single chagre, a lance has to do a three point turn to come back for a second charge. Im a very 4th edition player, I belive bretonnians should have cannons and crossbows and knights on foot, not pegasi!

Inkosi
09-11-2006, 14:04
I just avoid it cos I think lines of knights charghing looks better than a silly long column! Plus you can sweep multiple units off the board with a single chagre, a lance has to do a three point turn to come back for a second charge.


Its not silly looking. Historically heavy cavalry would use a wedge formation which is triangular in shape with the tip pointing towards the enemy. In this formation, heavy cavalry do the most damage when they charge the enemy.

It is however impossible to have the wedge formation in Warhammer thus they replace it with the lance formation which is similar in shape.

this topic has however gave me some thoughts about manouvering. Hmmm.

yphead
09-11-2006, 14:57
hi
the formation is also very good at protecting your sorcereses (oohh spelling), however the new magic lores have toned that down a bit. The sorcer....magic caster can be placed in the middle of the 2nd rank and therefor cannot be targeted.
the down side is that all of the offencive bonuses (extra attacks) are gained only for the first round of combat inwhich you charged....i'll have to check but i think you even loose the rank bonuses........

Commissar Vaughn
09-11-2006, 15:14
Its not silly looking. Historically heavy cavalry would use a wedge formation which is triangular in shape with the tip pointing towards the enemy. In this formation, heavy cavalry do the most damage when they charge the enemy.

.

Really? :( Where did u get that from?

And to be honest its very silly looking when a bloke 5 ranks back can poke sombody with his lance, over the shoulders of all his mates. the old triangle looked ok, but a rectangle thats pretending to be a triangle is daft!:p

Mephistofeles
09-11-2006, 15:41
He doesn't poke over their shoulders, it represents them riding into the enemy, breaking up the enemies formation and hacking left and right and "poking" as they pass by the enemy. Not poking over eachother.

And regarding the historical thing, it's not really a "new" fact that Knights fought in such formations. The long line you say you like better on the other hand I cannot see used until the Renaissance (GAH! spelling!). Perhaps it was used earlier, but it was not very effective. The lance-formation was the formation of choice for knightly assaulst. Why do you think Brettonians use it, you don't really think GW actually made something up themselves do you? :P

Commissar Vaughn
09-11-2006, 18:19
Well its just that very account ive ever read of a conroi of men at arms or knights or a squadron of dragoons or lancers in later years were trained to ride knee to knee(i.e in lines and very close together) to achieve "maximum shock impact". TBH i cant remember where ive quoted that from but its a phrase that stuck in my head.

Im actually wander if GW got confused with the terminology: A lance in real life (apart from being a big pointy stick) was the name for the smallest subunit of mounted warriors during the middle ages. c1360 according to chaucer. It actually consisted of one knight, a couple of mounted men@arms or squires and a couple of mounted archers. Lances would be grouped into squadrons etc and of course the size varies depending on the year and nationality involved!

Im just wandering if GW had heard of the "lance formation" and assumed it meant the formation was shaped like a lance, rather than a group of soldiers (who would probably not have actually fought in such close proximity) that was simply termed "a lance". Once multiple lances joined up it apears the more hevily armoured bods would lead the way , the other would follow and lend a sword when neccessary or possibly take care of spare lances(as in the spikey stick!) and horses for everyone...

Before the invention of the stirrup in the west there is of course no mention of shock cavalry charging in lines. Cos it couldnt!
But ive never heard of heavy cavalry fighting in a tringular formation! ever!

Take agincourt, or crecy for example: did the french nknights fight in lines(albeit rather deep lines) or did they fight in triangles? well i always thought it was intended to be lines (cos thats how they trained) . Its well known that the knights at agincourt all wanted to be the one to lead the charge: A lance formation with one knight at the front would have caused a lot of arguments! The reason why so many nobles died that day is cos they were all trying to be at the front! And got clobbered for it.
I can see how knights would achieve a triangular formation during a charge but its not intentional, not the result of training and is NOT a disciplined manouver that would have ben effective on the bttlefield! Basically the knight in the middle at the front is the one thats about to give the order to charge, hes probably the one whos going o set off first as well, and becouse hes in charge he may well be very wealth and have a very good horse, which can gallop faster. ...this would have meant that the knights were not in a disciplined formation, and would have lost some of their shock impetus as a result.

Question for you sir! Why if the triangular lance was so effective did everyone stop usng it, as mestofeles says after the rennaisance? Perhaps theyd found that lines were better, perhaps maybe it was never used at all!

Edit: Just had an amusing thought about the lance formation: If you kill the guy at the front, he and his horse get knocked down and trip up the two behind, who inturn impede the progress of the 3 behind them and so on ad infinatum....I think the domino effect of falling knights would be a very good reason not to use this fomation ever....

And can you imagine what would happen to knights in that formation without the ladys blessing getting shot at by cannons and bolt throwers? absolute massacre! rather than the 1 you can kill if the cavalry are in a line, and historical reports of knights being protected from cannon balls by a watery tart are slightly rare.
historical formation? I think not.

NakedFisherman
09-11-2006, 18:31
He doesn't poke over their shoulders, it represents them riding into the enemy, breaking up the enemies formation and hacking left and right and "poking" as they pass by the enemy. Not poking over eachother.

Which, of course, leaves out the part where such a formation could also result in the enemy surrounding the knights.

Mazian
09-11-2006, 19:14
such formations depended on breaking through enemy infantry units and comming out the other side then sweeping round and comming back again, if they got bogged down in a mass of infantry they were finished. when facing any kind of polearm it was usefull to have an initial point of impact with the weight of the rest of the charge following the breakthrough point to minimize equine losses to the spear/pike/halbard which are the best answer to a heavy cavalry charge besides armor piercing ranged fire (your longbows at agincourt for example). once you are inside the length of the spears then they cease being a threat to the horses. if you were fighting foot troops that did not have polearms then smashing into them on a broad front could result in rolling up thier front ranks but even then you didnt want to get bogged down vrs infantry.

Maz

Mephistofeles
09-11-2006, 20:05
Mazian pretty much covered it up pretty well. The reason why it stopped being used with the coming of the renaissance was that every random joe and his mother suddenly had an armour piercing ranged weapon. Not nice to get shot down and then impede the movement of eveybody behind. That's why early medieval knights could have use of the formation, bur not late medieval or early renaissance Dragoons...

I highly doubt it was a formation used ALWAYS. It was effective when attempting a breakthrough of pike or pole-armed infantry, or against other cavalry. That's the way I see it.

Hate Train
09-11-2006, 21:37
Lance Formation is mean. So yes, people use it. It is absolutely fantastic.

eldrak
10-11-2006, 01:23
All heavy/medium cavalry should use "lance" or similar formation imo. I bet you can't find any other wargame where cavalry fights in formations that are wider than they are deep.

Single line cavalry against most infantry would be very stupid/suicidal.

Reckoning06
10-11-2006, 05:53
Actually you all are looking at the "triangle", aka wedge, as a crushing power.
Well the wedge was used but usually only on units with short ranks, ex. archers.

The fact is, in medieval warfare the amount of kills an charge would inflict didnt matter. The knights who led most forces were of the known that it was more important to cause your enemies forces to break. This was achieved by flanking.
Long lines of cavalry units where used in coordination with infantry to cause the enemy soldiers to feel surrounded. The idea was to cause panic amongst the troops so that they fled.
If you are a soldier in a pitched battle and notice that all you see among you is the enemy and their is no sign of your ally units, what would you do?

Also, you could be mistaking, as noted, the knight who lead the charge as the tip of the wedge.
Richard the Lion Heart was very often at the tip of this "wedge." Not because they planned it, but simply because he was crazy as hell.

On one of his campaigns he sent his foragers out to gather food and wood at the tree line near by. The foragers reached the tree line and where ambushed by Saracen Horsemen. King Richard sent knights to rescue these foragers promising that they would be followed as soon as they were ready. As the knights engaged the Saracen, many more came charging towards them.
An adviser suggested it would be best if he didn't endanger himself against such odds. King Richard snapped and said, "When I sent my loved comrades out to war it was with the promise of bringing them aid. And if I fail to do this, so far as i can, I shall deceive those who trust me. And should they meet with death in my absence-which I pray may never happen-never more will I bear the name of king." He then lowered his lance and charged into the Turks leaving the other knights scrambling to follow.-Richard The Lionheart, the mighty crusader, by David Miller, Pg. 203.
So...single line cavalry is actually not suicidal but the wedge was a formation that was used intentionally.
-all information from book noted above and from -Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades, 1000-1300, by John France-

Commissar Vaughn
10-11-2006, 07:00
it still seems the lance was more a result of the lead knights being more impetuous rather than an arranged and organised formation.

I dont think the richard the lionheart comment above counts as a wedge formatiotn, more of a race to be first at the foe!

I still havnt seen any examples of a "lance formation" used in combat...anyone?

sever14
10-11-2006, 12:45
To bring this post back on track from a history lesson, do brettonian players use the "lance" formation and is it effective? cuz i have never seen it used...

TheWarSmith
10-11-2006, 12:59
a HUGE yes and another HUGE yes.

The only exception to this is units of 6 grail knights often will form wide to protect against cannon/bolt thrower fire, as well as getting an extra 2 attacks on the charge, which is usually better than having the rank bonus and it makes them survivable in 2nd round.

505
10-11-2006, 15:34
yes brets use the lance in fact when they first came out people cried foul as they claimed it was too good (that and thier ward save)

but its not

TheWarSmith
10-11-2006, 15:37
PLEASE don't start a "brets are cheese" flame, but the lance is really good, that's true. It's really good to compensate for other weaknesses in the army, such as inferior infantry, limited shooting, and limited magic.

Cruentus
10-11-2006, 17:18
I'm not convinced (as a Bret player) that the Lance is 'all that'. In order to get a +1 CR, you need to have 6 knights. On the charge, you get 5 attacks. If I line up like every other cavalry force in the game, I still get 5 attacks, saving the cost of one knight, but lose the +1CR. Is that a huge difference?

In addition, I'm less susceptible to Bolt Weapons, Cannons, etc., and have a MUCH smaller flank (in case I don't blow through the enemy).

Unless you have a boat load of knights in a lance (9-12), chances are you're not breaking through a full static CR of +5 anyway, unless you use a ridiculously priced magic item like the Banner of the Lady (and everyone uses it anyway) :rolleyes:

In the new edition, with enemy infantry being 5-wide, I think a case can be made for using Bret Knights in non-standard formation, and they would still be as effective. You could use smaller units, for multiple charges, and may get a little more maneuverability out of it.

Granted, I haven't tried it, but I think it would be interesting to explore.

Nagrael
10-11-2006, 17:19
What wikipedia has to say on a lance formation..aka a wedge formation.


A flying wedge or flying V is a charging technique in which troops are arrayed to form a V- shaped wedge formation or boar's head.


[edit] Military uses
If the point of the wedge can breach the enemy line, the following troops can widen the gap. As successive ranks of the wedge engage, they can draw their opponents' attention away from previous ranks, thereby protecting them.

This tactic relies on momentum and penetration. If the point of the wedge can be stopped for even a moment, the wedge can be easily enveloped in a pincer attack. The tactic is especially effective when used by armored and heavily-armed infantry against shield wall defensive formations, where defenders link their shields to form an all-but impenetrable wall, such as was used at the Battle of Hastings. The flying wedge can be used to knock a small section of the wall open, and flank the enemy from inside their own line. The wedge is still used in modern armies, especially by tanks and other armored units. An example of this is the Panzerkeil or Armored wedge used by the Germans in World War II.

The flying wedge formation is used ceremonially by cadets at the United States Air Force Academy during the annual graduation parade, when the soon-to-be commissioned first-class cadets (seniors) leave the Cadet Wing. This is the reverse of the acceptance parade, held each fall, when the new fourth-class cadets (freshmen) join the Cadet Wing in the inverted wedge formation.

Lieutenant Frederic Henry
10-11-2006, 19:49
Yeah. The wedge was never actually used. There's no possible amount of training able to train men and horses to fight in that formation. Historically, in the middle ages, it never happened. Cavalry charged in a rather straight line, rolled up the ranks of the infantry units, and were then supported by infantry who came charging into combat behind the knights. A mounted man in static combat against an infantry man still has a suitable advantage (for one thing, a thousand pounds of angry horses biting and kicking stuff), as well as after he has left his lance in the first guy, he is sitting way above the average soldier swinging down a weight based weapon (often a mace, axe or boradsword), which gains momentum in the downward movement. Not to mention, he is hitting the most vulnerable parts of his opponent (skull, shoulders, spine, neck) while the enemy is either trying to kill his destrier, or is hitting his legs, lower torso (ultimately, yet not immediately, fatal), or shield.
Decent tacticians never confronted static polearm formations with cavalry charges (not's that to say it didn't happen...); do you charge you're opponents Leopard Company with knights? The common way to deal with this sort of position was to to bombard it with missile fire. As it was static, it couldn't advance to drive off archers or crossbowmen; and if it broke ranks to drive off it's attackers, it was easy prey for a cavalry charge.

I have an idea; to settle this debate, why doesn't someone find a historical account of a wedge formation being used (citing a reliable historical source... NO FICTION) in a historical western style battle? That is to say; I don't give a damn if Persian Cataphracts or Alexander's Companion Cavalry, or Malmuk cavalry used a lance formation- I want to see a historical account of German, French, Spanish, Italian, or English Knights charging in one, or multiple, wedge shaped formations. I am fairly confident this will not be found; and, if it is, it is a historical inaccuracy, anomaly, or forgery.
Cheers.


Edit: That's fantastic that Cadets use it at West Point. However, that is also extremely irrelevant. Bretonnians represent a medieval heavy cavalry formation; not 20th and 21st century officer cadets doing a ceremonial horse dance. While those tactics may have been highly developed and used in the early modern and revolutionary periods, there is no historical account of it as a medieval heavy cavalry formation. And wikipedia can go bugger itself. It's written by users. And, as members of a diverse online community, we know that 'users' for the most part are not a reliable source for anything.
Re-Cheers.

TheWarSmith
10-11-2006, 20:14
well, that's the point. 6 man knight units aren't enough to break fully ranked units, whether they're bretonnian lance, 5 wide, or non bretonnian knights.

But when you get to 9 you have +2 CR and 7 knights attacking, but minimizing attacks back.

Nagrael
10-11-2006, 21:00
I've read that the Knights Templar (I know..a lot of what is said about them isn't true but still) used the wedge with the idea being that the cavalry would charge in causing the enemy to back in onto their own which would result in confusion and then the infantry would clean up.



Another sweet Wikipedia lookup:

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


All that said. I'm no expert on medieval warfare but I guess the main thing to remember is Medieval knights didn't have wizards hurling spells at them and all that either :P

Nkari
10-11-2006, 23:56
I'm not convinced (as a Bret player) that the Lance is 'all that'. In order to get a +1 CR, you need to have 6 knights. On the charge, you get 5 attacks. If I line up like every other cavalry force in the game, I still get 5 attacks, saving the cost of one knight, but lose the +1CR. Is that a huge difference?

In addition, I'm less susceptible to Bolt Weapons, Cannons, etc., and have a MUCH smaller flank (in case I don't blow through the enemy).

Unless you have a boat load of knights in a lance (9-12), chances are you're not breaking through a full static CR of +5 anyway, unless you use a ridiculously priced magic item like the Banner of the Lady (and everyone uses it anyway) :rolleyes:

In the new edition, with enemy infantry being 5-wide, I think a case can be made for using Bret Knights in non-standard formation, and they would still be as effective. You could use smaller units, for multiple charges, and may get a little more maneuverability out of it.

Granted, I haven't tried it, but I think it would be interesting to explore.

Do the math dude, how many knights will it take to get 1 combat res ?
and how many more ppl will probably strike back when you are 5 wide vs 3 wide..

Static combat res is king, especially when you are only wasting 24 pts per rank.. having more than 9 knights severly limits the manouverability of the knight unit tho..

And 9 knights(command etc) vs 20 or lets say 25 inf with command.. the inf has outnumber and 1 extra rank more than the knights, the knights hit with 8(knights)+7(horses) attacks vs the inf, wich will probably kill 3-5 ppl in total depending on what they fight. That leaves very few ppl hitting back, and if they where 20 from the start, the knights now outnumber the infantry, so the infantry only has +1 from ranks more than the cav now.. and the cav kills more..

get it ? ;)

Commissar Vaughn
11-11-2006, 03:05
Well Ive been looking and I can't find a historical example of heavy knights charging in a triangke formation rather than a line or column.

Infantry used it during the saxon v danish wars and during the hundred years war (and either side of both!) as it forced the enemy to flow around the formation as they chargd , or enabled them to break through the enemy formation. But I cant remember cavalry using it nor can I see any advantage it might give them/

505
11-11-2006, 04:16
PLEASE don't start a "brets are cheese" flame, but the lance is really good, that's true. It's really good to compensate for other weaknesses in the army, such as inferior infantry, limited shooting, and limited magic.

Im not (I play them and HE) I was stateing that when they came out there was a cry

but the same cry gos out with every new army it seems

I find them very balanced though I handicap myself with no archery

Rowenstin
11-11-2006, 10:59
I bet you can't find any other wargame where cavalry fights in formations that are wider than they are deep.

Hey, I did. Look at these quotes from De Bellis Multitudinis (wargames research group), a wargame with extensive historical research behind (quotes badly translated by me):

Knights: Representing all those nobles or armored riders with high morale that charge at the first opportunity, without shooting, with the intention of penetrating and destroying the enemy with the momentum and violence of their impact. This impetuous charge that allows them to sweep other inferior cavalry and all infantry, expect the most dense, is their Achilles heel too because it moves them to a secure destruction against masses of archers with longbow or light cavalry simulating a flight and being pursued recklessly (Note: in this game bows are deadly against cavalry)

Then the game it classifies Knights into superior, Ordinary and Inferior. Relevant quotes:

Superior: French knights or nobles and elite units permanently movilized [...], that gallop to the combat without worrying about the formation.

Inferior: Knights or men at arms without skill with the lance [...], fighting often in deep wedge formations. [...]

Units in DBM can often "support" other units in front of them, working at almost all purposes as only one unit in combat. Inferior Knights can "support" other Inferior Knights, representing the wedge formation, but no other kind of knights can do so.

Lieutenant Frederic Henry
11-11-2006, 20:44
I think you mis translated wedge witj 'lance' (Inferior: Knights or men at arms without skill with the lance [...], fighting often in deep wedge formations. [...]). As someone said before, the 'lance' was a medieval organizational term in the early 14th century, as professional armies, rather than levies, began to arise. A lance consisted of a knight, his squires, and men-at arms. In battle, however, these 'lances' were all combined into one large cavalry group, with the knights fighting in the front rank being supported by the men at arms and squires. Plus, that's a wargame. Hardly historical canon.
Cheers.

Cruentus
12-11-2006, 01:58
Do the math dude, how many knights will it take to get 1 combat res ?
and how many more ppl will probably strike back when you are 5 wide vs 3 wide..

Static combat res is king, especially when you are only wasting 24 pts per rank.. having more than 9 knights severly limits the manouverability of the knight unit tho..

And 9 knights(command etc) vs 20 or lets say 25 inf with command.. the inf has outnumber and 1 extra rank more than the knights, the knights hit with 8(knights)+7(horses) attacks vs the inf, wich will probably kill 3-5 ppl in total depending on what they fight. That leaves very few ppl hitting back, and if they where 20 from the start, the knights now outnumber the infantry, so the infantry only has +1 from ranks more than the cav now.. and the cav kills more..

get it ? ;)

Well, Dude, I get it, but its also not a sure thing for the cost of 9 knights versus any kind of foot infantry.

And, since we have to maximize frontage, if I charge with 5 or with 3-wide, the same number of chaos warriors, or empire swordsmen (all 5 in a 5-wide) will have the chance to hit me back.

I've also seen my lances bounce off gobbos due to rubber lance syndrome. The only sure way I've found to beat full static res infantry is using the banner of the lady, which is very expensive...

505
12-11-2006, 02:08
Well, Dude, I get it, but its also not a sure thing for the cost of 9 knights versus any kind of foot infantry.

And, since we have to maximize frontage, if I charge with 5 or with 3-wide, the same number of chaos warriors, or empire swordsmen (all 5 in a 5-wide) will have the chance to hit me back.

I've also seen my lances bounce off gobbos due to rubber lance syndrome. The only sure way I've found to beat full static res infantry is using the banner of the lady, which is very expensive...


there is no such thing as a sure thing;)

you are right with lance or 5 wide the enemy will have all 5 touching you (no chaos warriors though as their bases are a bit larger) howevre the difference lies in....how many are still alive IF I have 10 knights to get me 2 ranks I get 5 knights who get to strike first (plus 5 horses) If I am in the lance with only 9 knights I get 3 full ranks and 7 knights (and more importantly in my games 7 horses) who get to strike.

now in my experiance 7 is always better then 5 and 3 ranks is always better then 2

is it enough mabey, maby not but it is better in that aspect (we still give you a real nice flank to attack:p

but you can't really use rubber lance syndrom to arguee away the lance formation goodieness

showmydog
12-11-2006, 05:56
Knights aren't meant to hit Block units head on like that.
I'd rather two units of 5 or six than one of 10, because knights don't need ranks. They are manouverable and hit flanks of units. 2 units gives you a better chance at this.

Thus comparing Lance formation to a Wide line is difficult, as they each serve different roles.

Rowenstin
12-11-2006, 06:17
I think you mis translated wedge witj 'lance'

I don't think so. The context (not shown) is quite clear; it doesn't reference a small unit, but to hundreds of knights.


Plus, that's a wargame. Hardly historical canon. Cheers.

The challenge was to find a historical wargame in which knights didn't charge in a triangular shaped formation. I found one, and while it's too true that wargames aren't encyclopaedias, DBM it's not the one with the least research behind it.

Nkari
12-11-2006, 10:25
Allso, a lance consisting of 5-6 KOTR is more manouverable than 5 KOTR wide, and they still hit just as hard.. But it all depends on the situation, but 9 times out of 10 imho the lance is superior vs the "wide" knights.. Allso, when you use the lance you will get 2 lances into combat with one unit, nearly dubbling your attacks (depending on his frontage)..

Arhalien
12-11-2006, 10:35
What's nasty about the bret lance is that it gives the knights not only the killing power, but also the rank bonus to take on infantry from the front and break them. Other cavalry that can;t use the lance need to have about 15 (3 of 5) to get anything near the combat res to break a ranked infantry unit from the front.
Fluffwise this makes sense. The brets only really ahve their knights to kill things and men at arms aren;t brillinat anvils. Other armies have more reliable infantry to hold against an enemy charge before and let their cavalry hit the chargers in the flank, so their cavalry don;t need to be able to break all and sundry on a full frontal charge.

I think.

:) This could be total rubbish :)

Steel_Legion
12-11-2006, 11:15
only with ever unit... everyone loves 8 S6 attacks on a charge :D well everyone except those about to recieve it

505
12-11-2006, 21:22
of course to each thier own. I ussually play themed armies for fun. heck I got a 5:15 win ration hehe anyways some find the wide work out great more power to ya (I use my dragon princes that way...only cause I can't use them any other way) but thats one way to distinguish them

if you don't think the wedge is historical fine...this is a fantasy game its not supposed to be historical (based on mabey but don't mean it is) but you don't have to use it...for me mathimatically they work better with more hits

by the way another historical game that allows it is medievil toatl war (again the challenge is to find a game not necissarrily is it accurate)

Inkosi
13-11-2006, 01:41
Didnt know a statement i made on the wedge formation would create such a big stir.

It existed. It probably wasnt there in medieval but trust me, tactics and warfare wise, medieval could never compare to Ancient china.

Ancient china had the wedge formation. Not called wedge formation but it was triangular in shape and used with the same purpose.

As far as i know, when the mongolian hordes invaded europe, the most popular and most used formation was the square formation. Too rigid and was thoroughly exposed by the fast light cav of the mongols.

Tactics and formation wise, europe was far behind ancient china.

Inkosi
13-11-2006, 01:51
Which, of course, leaves out the part where such a formation could also result in the enemy surrounding the knights.

basically you dont even understand warfare or basic logic.

we dont even need to use troops.

Lets use some basic everyday life examples. For example if you have a piece of wooden board.

What would you use to pierce it? A square block? or a sharp nail or drill?

Why are drills and nails sharp and basically triangular instead of being square size? Because it makes it easier for them to pierce through.

Have you done military drill before? When everyone is ranked up tightly and someone charges right through in the middle do you think its easy for the people on the left and right to turn and gang on them. not forgetting that others are following through as the triangle wedges itself in.

If you are not in the military before you wouldnt understand how it is so refrain from speaking about what you dont know about and confuse others.

* Seen LOTR : Return of the Kings? Seen the part where the Heavy cav break the lines of the sieging army? If it was not a flank charge and the enemies were not disiplined and not pike or spear, their charge would have broken cause they charged in a line. A fully ranked up spear/pike defense would have broke the charge easily. in that scenario,a wedge formation charge would have a higher chance of breaking through.

505
13-11-2006, 03:06
and military use it still today but mainly to keep eyes on each flank

(tankers, helocopter and infatrymen)

MarcoPollo
13-11-2006, 03:12
These are very good points Inkosi. The relationship between the nail and the square board is very clear.

This analogy is easily applied to the Great wall of China. It was constructed to keep barbarians out of China, but it is a military farce. All that is need is to apply a force of 50,000 troops over a very small frontage of the wall.

The physics behind the analogy is also self evident. The ability to pierce the board comes down to the force applied over the smallest area. That is why a wedge or nail can pierce. The force : area ratio is very high.

This is also evident in GW. Force to "pierce" a unit is call combat resolution. This is a result of ranks, banners, and killing prowess. If I can create a large force:area ratio on a unit sufficient to break it, then I am doing my job.

Thinking about some of the best units to do this, I can recall the bret lance, and things like Khorne Knights. So if I can combine 2 units of 5/6 models on the front of a unit, then I can apply a very large force:area ratio for a relatively minimal price.

Kedlav
13-11-2006, 11:25
There's a difference between nails & boards, the Great Wall of China, etc. and knights actually using this formation. While in an abstract way, it may make sense, in practical terms it does NOT. You're talking about undisciplined, glory-seeking men who believe in naught but their own superiority to everything in existence. Look at all the English/French battles in the late Middle Ages where infantry triumphed over cavalry. In almost every case, generals and leaders were unable to reign in the impulse to charge, if they even attempted to.

A formation like the wedge would require an immense amount of discipline, trust, and experience in fighting as a unit. It is impractical in many situations and has a number of known issues(flank vulnerability, getting bogged down, etc.). Historically, it was rarely used at best by cav, but instead favored by shock-style infantry units lacking reach weapons(pikes/spears).

There's no doubt its an effective tactic in game terms, if at times broken(I'm looking at you, grail knights + knights of the realm on the front end charging), but that doesn't mean its in any way viable in terms of real battle tactics for heavy cav units in real life outside of a very select set of situations(breaking relatively thin, wide lines with minimal force, for example)

Commissar Vaughn
13-11-2006, 11:42
I'd like to remake the point that with most heavy cavalry throughout the ages, it would be very hard to persuade them that they couldnt all be at the front! And if everyone wants to be infront then they must all be in a line!

fair enough that infantry did it, I can see that, but not cavalry. In warhammer we use units of 10 knights, not to hard to deply in a lance formation....can you imagine trying to persuade a regiment of 300 real life knights to deply in a wedge formation? it'd be a mile long column and massacred by guns who dont have to worry about ward saves! Quite apart from the arguments about who gets to go at the front, and the problems of him obstructing the whole formation if he slows or falls (likelyas hes the easiest and most obvious target, and would probably be feling very exposed when most of his mates are miles behind him!), I cant think of any heavy cav that trained and fought together as a unit often enough to manage this, until the 18th century when standing regiment of national armies started to appear and serve together for longer than a couple of battles, and even then they fought in lines!

Inkosi
13-11-2006, 14:12
dont you guys read my post 1st?

*smacks my forehead.

DIDNT EXIST IN MEDIEVAL DOESNT MEAN IT NEVER EXIST AL ALL.

It existed in ancient china. Period.

Go read up on some history and you would know medieval was way behind ancient china in terms of warfare and tactics.

And regarding being shot at. Been in the army before commander vaughn?

i have. So i can tell you. It easier to shoot at a whole line in square formation charging you than a long column or a wedge formation charging you.

why? they are charging you in a line/square, everyone has something to shoot. If they come in a column not everyone has a clearshot. you think its as simple as in warhammer?? Heard of crossfire?Everyone's arc of fire would be overlapping each other and their line of sight is blocked at a certain angle.

Furthermore with everyone shooting at a smaller frontage less people are killed during the charge. Everyone would get shot at, but the wedge formation or long column reduce the casualty. get that straight.

Open up your eyes guys. Medieval isnt the entire history of planet earth. Ancient china had warring history since 800/700 BC? Used chariots in 300/200 BC? Moved onto more cav based since 200BC. During the HAN dysnasty somewhere around 100-200AD, the emperor send armies of Cavalry to the borders to get rid of the raiders bothering his empire. The Cavalry numbered in tens of thousands.

That is only an example of how cavalry played an important part in ancient china. If you lot wish to improve on your info on warfare dont miss out ancient china. I may like medieval and their shiny knights but they really cant compare to ancient china.

Europe only took over china after the industrial revolution.

505
13-11-2006, 14:47
you mean there is a world outside of Europe? :D

NakedFisherman
13-11-2006, 14:59
It existed. It probably wasnt there in medieval but trust me, tactics and warfare wise, medieval could never compare to Ancient china.

What was the formation called?

Most Chinese troops were undisciplined volunteers and conscripts.


During the HAN dysnasty somewhere around 100-200AD, the emperor send armies of Cavalry to the borders to get rid of the raiders bothering his empire.

The emperor was a child in the later Han period and wasn't even in control.

Commissar Vaughn
13-11-2006, 15:22
Inkoski:
Ah so columns and wedges are better able to take fire than lines? Right. I think the duke of Wellington would disagree somehow...

Im not in the army, but as nowadys nobody marches onto the battlefield in nice lines or colums with shiny uniforms and colours blazing like the sun, Im wandering what army you've been in....nowadays Im fairly sure you get to told to spread out a bit, lie down, find a rock, and generally avoid making yourself a target for a bloke with a surplus of ammo and twitch in his finger. The somme taught us all that large dense formations of men are a bad idea, if your army is still fighitng like that I for one dont want to join...

As long ago as 800bc eh? Was under the impression that it was a lot longer ago than that. Greece and Egypt were fighting proper wars between 3 and 7 thousand years ago werent they?....I may have made that up actually but I think Im only slightly exaggerating.

But back slightly to on topic, I still dont think the wedge is a realistic cavalry formation and though youve pointed out that the Chinese used cavalry ages ago you havnt even implied they used a wedge formation either, and I cant remember reading about anyone else using it. Maybe they did, but I'd like at least a footnote in a book mentioning it please, or a website or something. I wandered for a mo if Charlamagne and his lads used it, as they were the earliest shock cav in western europe, but there doesnt seem to be much info around about that period.

I think the wedge works for infantry and tanks, but I cant see it working for heavy cavalry as an offensive formation.

Lieutenant Frederic Henry
13-11-2006, 19:04
Inkosi: Your points, while undeniably valid, have no place in a discussion of the historical Medieval uses of the wedge formation. No one is denying that it is a very effective formation, or that the Mongols or the Chinese used it to great effect. However, we are discussing Bretonnians; a fantasy army based on the High Medieval period of France. As someone said before, militarily, large formations of knights did not train together as a group. In effect, the King of France did not call all of his nobles together to practice their wedge formation. Knights trained at their own castles or strongholds with their own sergeants and retainers, yes; but not with other knights, for the most part. The use of cavalry was more that of a hammer, than that of a nail. Cavalry formations were used to sweep aside large infantry units. To use an analogy, as you so love, imagine a wave of knights washing the infantry away, rather than a wedge driving into, seperating, and rear charging the infantry formation in question.
Also, in regards to your military training and whatnot: this is the 21st century. Tactics, as well as warfare on the whole, have changed drastically since the middle ages. Your military training is rather irrelevant in terms of this discussion. As is mine. It is rather pretensious to liken contemporary military thinking to that of generals almost a thousand years dead.
Also, you state that shooting at a wedge formation limits casualties. Really? With all those tin cans riding in a deep tightly packed formation, a cannonball (which were used at that time) tearing through it in a straight line would limit casualties? Explain the logic behind this? Not only that, but condensing the formation of knights exposes it to the potential of fire saturation, as well as being shot in the flanks. If a line of archers are firing in a straight line at an oncoming 'wave' of knights, the knights are only really exposing their heavily armored front, protected be a shield, to the ensuing arrow storm. The self same line of archers firing at a wedge formation charging straight at them are able to concentrate fire on the flanks of the formation, thus targeting areas of the armor not as dedicated to defensive measures (i.e. no shield), and as a result, more casualties will ensue.
As pertaining to your espoused theories of Chinese military superiority; yes, we are aware Europe isn't the only continent on the planet. Thank you for literarily beating us over with the heads with this fact. I would never have known that China, let alone Chinese history, existed before you opened my eyes in such a stunning and odious fashion.
And you know what, that fact might be relevant- if we were discussing the formation of a Cathayan Army book, or the influence of Asian military experience on Eauropean minds in the Late Modern Period. However, we're not. Chinese military history has very little place in a discussion of Medieval European historical military theory, or it's practical application on the tabletop battlefield.
Just my thoughts. And please, try to be more receptive to the ideas and theories of others, rather than insulting them. As you may find after reading my post, no one likes being belittled. Be open to the possibility of view points that are not your own, and try to weigh the value of other perspectives before leaping upon them and damning them. Otherwise, sir, you have some very valid points. Your nail analogy was a very good one, and your knowledge of Chinese military history seems very well founded. Hopefully you will find a thread where your ideas can contribute the furtherance of the discussion at hand. I am truly sorry this was not the one.
Cheers.

Arhalien
13-11-2006, 19:18
.
Also, you state that shooting at a wedge formation limits casualties. Really? With all those tin cans riding in a deep tightly packed formation, a cannonball (which were used at that time) tearing through it in a straight line would limit casualties? Explain the logic behind this? Cheers.

In game terms this is countered by the blessing of the lady. My dwarf friend fired a cannonball straight through a KotR lance, 8 wounds, 2 killed. You should have seen the look on his face when the bret player rolled all those 5s.

NakedFisherman
13-11-2006, 20:23
In game terms this is countered by the blessing of the lady. My dwarf friend fired a cannonball straight through a KotR lance, 8 wounds, 2 killed. You should have seen the look on his face when the bret player rolled all those 5s.

Eight wounds? He had a 3x8ish unit?

Lieutenant Frederic Henry
13-11-2006, 20:44
Arhalien, I believe you misread me. Good point about the blessing though.
What I meant to say was more to the effect of an imagined real world situation. You're perfectly right; in games terms the lance is no more vulnerable to shooting than any other formation (and much less than many). Inkosi and I were more so debating the game application of these ideas to an actual battlefield. I hope this clarifies some things.
Cheers.

Commissar Vaughn
13-11-2006, 21:45
hate that blessing, The amount of 5s some bretonnian players roll Ive given up shooting at them, just advance with pikes and try and drive them from the field!

505
14-11-2006, 00:33
[QUOTE=Lieutenant Frederic Henry;1071775]Inkosi: Your points, while undeniably valid, have no place in a discussion of the historical Medieval uses of the wedge formation. No one is denying that it is a very effective formation, or that the Mongols or the Chinese used it to great effect. However, we are discussing Bretonnians; a fantasy army based on the High Medieval period of France. QUOTE]

how come the issue was finding in history the use of the wedge to prove its usfullnessand someone comes up with a good argument thats asian and all of a sudden its a european only not historical?

anyways its all a real meaningless argument anyways it is a game its got its theories behind it. if you want it to be historical lets discuss pegusus and hipogriffs.

mabey the midevil never used it (as the evidence shows) but man telling a guy his argument was usless cause it don't fit what you were defending

Inkosi
14-11-2006, 00:34
What was the formation called?

Most Chinese troops were undisciplined volunteers and conscripts.



The emperor was a child in the later Han period and wasn't even in control.

The above statements just show your ignorance about ancient china history.
I cant even be bothered to rebutt them. Anyone who has studied ancient china history would laugh at your statements. I assume you re a european? i dont need a european to tell me about chinese history when i am a chinese.

Dont talk about chinese history if you dont enough about it.

just cant help for the last point. Later Han stretched close to 200 years and there were 10+ emperors. The 1 you are talking about ruled in the ending of han and was more of a puppet like you said. There were several young emperors like him towards the end of tha Han dynasty. The young emperors did not rule for 200 years i assure you. Ancient chinese were not immortals. The one i talked about was in early Han. Wu emperor of Han. 4th emperor of the Han dynasty.

* sorry for going off -topic here, but when history is concerned, mr smarty-pants got to be corrected before he invents new history to confuse fellow forum mates.


I used the chinese as an example because people were saying the wedge formation did not exist at all.

I used modern military because it is similar. Arc of fire. you guys are thinking it is easy to fire at the flanks of someone when you are in a tight formation.
No it isnt. If you have done military drill before you would know when you are in a formation ranked up its very tight. its not as easy as just shooting to your left or right. You shoot in front. straight ahead. A whole wave of cav coming at you would get shoot at by EVERYONE. everyone would have a clear shot.

I am not comparing modern tactics with medieval. Arc of fire is a valid thing whether back then or now. Try forming up in a tight formation holding toy bows and guns. life size would be better and maybe you can get a better picture.

Kedlav
14-11-2006, 05:22
China = France ?

Does not compute and is irrelevant to the discussion. My knowledge of Chinese military history is generally listed to the Art of War and a few accounts of just how bad Genghis rocked China(among many, many others). Either way, its irrelevant to the discussion of Brettonian lances.

Commissar Vaughn
14-11-2006, 07:58
Inkosi: So the ancient chinese used the wedge formation for their cavalry? Id be cool with that but so far you havnt actually tried to assert it youve just pointed out there were other countries that fought wars besides European. If you have any evidence that any cavalry used that formation please tell me where you got it from, cos i like to learn.:)

AS far as I can tell no cavalry in the world (which does include china...) have used a wedge shaped formation. Infantry yes. tanks yes, even aircraft for a while untill they realised it didnt work, but not cavalry...

And Ill still contest your assertion that the column is the winning formation. The duke of Wellington fought a very succesful campaign in 1805ish to 1814 based on the column being inherintly weak! Good rankbonus but no fighting power. The advantage the line has over every other formation is that every man in those two ranks can see to shoot! They dont just shoot straight ahead! they have at least a 90degree arc of fire! Wellington proved time and time again that the French columns the rest of the world thought were invincible could be stopped by a line.
The french fought in columns 200men across and 500plus deep. the Redcoats in lines 2 deep and 300-500 long. If we consider 1000men each closing to within bayonet range the actual fighting is done by 1000redcoats and 200 frenchmen....Even in h2h, cos the line wraps around the front of the column (negating its rankbonus :P) and the front of the column gets massacred , the leaders are dead , the banners captured and the rest of the column turns and runs! The line ALWAYS beats the column...well, almost always, theres always exceptions!

IF you were told you could only shoot straight ahead in your army Im wandering how good your training really was, are you allowed to turn around iff outflanked? And do u really still train to fight in ranked up regiments and perform volley fire?
I wander If youve confused your parade ground drill with battlefield drill of yesteryear. On the parade ground youve gotta stay practically on top of each other cos room is limited and youve gotta look dead impressive for the vips watching. On the battlefield you can spread out a bit so youve got room to turn your head! Of course some armies (and i suspect most have been guilty of this at one point in history or another) did march about the battlefield as though they were on a parade ground, they tended to be immacultaly dressed, beautiful to watch, in their obscenly gaudy uniforms and their marching in perfect time. Unfortunatly they tended to last about ten seconds in a fight against someone who wasnt as well dressed but did know how to put their bayonets through as many people as possible in a short space of time.


Ah damn it, time for work..

Pacman
14-11-2006, 09:36
If you are not in the military before you wouldnt understand how it is so refrain from speaking about what you dont know about and confuse others.


Good grief. I was in the military, and I think it has precisely no relevance to this discussion. Serving in a modern force teaches you nothing about ancient and medieval combat. Parade drill is only a highly abstracted derivative of battle drills, and is more closely related to Roman formations and drill than the medieval battlefield.

Lieutenant Frederic Henry
14-11-2006, 16:50
Pacman expresses my sentiments, as fellow ex-military personnel. Inkosi, exactly which military were you in, anyway? I do not mean to insinuate you are not/have not been in any military, or that you are a liar; however, we may be experiencing a different understanding of parade ground drill if we come from differing military backgrounds. I can only speak for US Navy drill personally, but obviously that is not the only military drill in the world. A point you have much belabored.

And, 505, obviously you missed my earlier points, in which I stated that it is not relevant to the discussion (of the historical uses and theories that contributed to the formulating of the wedge unit configuration by Games Workshop) if any other non-Medieval-Western army or civilization used the wedge. I believe my words were something to the effect of, "I don't give a damn if Alexander's Companion Cavalry, or Persian Cataphracts, or Mamluk heavy horsemen used the wedges (this can apply to Mongolian lancers, Russians, Turks, Arabians, Bedouins, Cossacks, Chinese, Japanese as well); someone find me an actual, credible historical account (No Fiction) of French, German, English, Spanish, Italian, or Austrian Knights, in or around the Medieval period, using the wedge." No one has yet. We are discussing the historical (in)accuracy of the Bretonnian lance formation. Anything that is not one of the nationalities listed above (the ones NOT listed in parentheses) is highly irrelevant to the discussion. If you are going to come on at the tail end of a thread and ask questions that have already been addressed, it can detract from the general direction in which the flow is heading.
Also, to adress another of your poorly spelled assertations, how does the Chinese use of a wedge formation of INFANTRY units have anything to do with a discussion about the historical tactical uses of a wedge formation for cavalry units in western-style 14th century nations?
Finally, we could indeed discuss the history, as well as the historical influences, of pegasi and griffons in a warhammer thread. Both of these were common heraldic and iconographic devices used in family coats-of-arms, medieval literature and art, and were part of the general folklore of the region and period. GW did not just make up such mythical beasts; rather, there are entire tomes and encyclopedic sets dedicated to fantastical bestialities written throughout the medieval period. That enough of a discussion, or should we start another thread?
Cheers.

Wintermute
14-11-2006, 18:09
Can we return this thread to its orginal topic which was this
Do Brettonaian players ever use the lance formation, cuz from limited experience i have never seen it used? Is it even worth it?

If anyone wishes to debate the use of Wedge Formations etc in the real world, please do it in another thread.

Wintermute
The WarSeer Inquisition

Lieutenant Frederic Henry
14-11-2006, 18:21
I have used it a few times. It works well.
Cheers.

505
15-11-2006, 00:25
I wasn't saying the iconagraphy wasnt used of pegasi, and griff. but if your making a issue of them not being historically accurate using the wedge then why do they have actual pegasi and hippogriffs.

megastar242
15-11-2006, 06:46
The lance formation is also good with the newer 5 front ranks, as you can charge with 2 lance formations and fit them in. Thus you should definately be able to break whatever it is you charged.

Kedlav
15-11-2006, 08:06
Yup. Smaller lances work great for double charges now with 5 wide frontages. I've always feared the small lance guy as an Empire player as it gives minimal targets for cannons, it reduces flank frontage against detachments, and a double charge can drop almost any unit(save flagellants). I've only figured out one way to beat this army so far(when done by someone competent), and its been utter cheese(tank)