Home Samurai culture Horse fighting tips from historical cavalry traditions

Horse fighting tips from historical cavalry traditions


In the last network test for Ancient ring, FromSoftware’s newest dark fantasy RPG, a few lucky gamers have learned to explore the game’s open world on horseback and battle enemies in mounted combat. Souls of demons, Dark souls, and other previous FromSoftware’s “Soulslikes” have always given their players medieval weapons and armor closely associated with European knights, Japanese samurai, and other equestrian warriors. Ancient ringThe new riding mechanics finally gave FromSoftware RPG fans the ability to use these weapon and armor sets for their intended purposes and even, potentially, to draw inspiration from the cavalry tactics of the pre-world. modern to improve their playing skills.


The riding gameplay seen in the Ancient ring Network Test is a mix of realistic and unrealistic features, each implemented to make roaming and horse fighting a fun and balanced experience. For starters, the “Spectral Steed” players can summon (a shaggy horse with horns called Torrent) can be summoned and returned using a key element and can perform a double jump in the air. This allows players to explore dangerous environments in the open world and then “tidy up” their horse without fear of losing it. On the more realistic side of things, players need to be concerned about the health of their horse when leading it into combat with infantry or other mounted enemies. If their horse “dies”, they fall to the ground and are knocked unconscious for a time, leaving them vulnerable to a devastating retaliation from their enemies.

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Once players have mastered the principles of horseback riding Ancient ring, they acquire a whole new set of tools to deal with both mobs of enemies and big bosses in the open world. Piercing weapons like spears become excellent tools for taking down wandering enemies and knocking down other mounted warriors from their mounts, while bows, weapons with long-range skills, Glintstone sorceries, and spells can be pulled while moving on horseback. Although Ancient ring ‘s mounted combat mechanics favor fun over realism, players of this RPG can still draw heavily on the techniques and tactics of real historical knights to improve their virtual equestrian skills.

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The history of combat on horseback is tumultuous, with the tactics, equipment and martial values ​​of militant riders changing from one era to another. First, there were warriors who mounted their horses on chariots, shooting arrows and throwing spears at their enemies while a charioteer guided them around enemy formations; this fighting style seen in Bronze Age video games lingers through national epics such as the Illiad, the Mahabharata, and The Tain, featuring demigod heroes such as Achilles, Cu Chulainn, and Arjuna fighting entire armies alongside a trusty charioteer, trusty team of horses, and a chariot full of weapons. After horses were bred with the strength and size to carry humans into battle, chariot-mounted heroes gave way to warriors who fought on horseback, using blankets, reins, shaped saddles. and stirrups to stay on horseback.

During these military innovations, a martial tradition of heavy cavalry emerged – armored warriors with armored horses (usually of a noble class) who could shatter more lightly armored forces with the weight of their charge and bring them down. forces that turned to flee. The aristocratic warrior traditions of mounted combat exist all over the world, but mounted combat in Ancient ring seems to be most inspired by “Cataphracts “ of certain Mediterranean empires and of the knights armed with plates and armed with spears of medieval Europe.

Judging by the gameplay footage revealed by Bandai Namco, four Ancient ring weapons are particularly useful in horse fighting. The “Winged Spear” and “Spear”, just like in the real-life story, give mounted fighters extra range and can knock enemies off their feet when used to charge attacks. Long blades such as the “Bastard Sword” and “Ordovis Sword” also give players more range when attacking enemies up close, making it less likely that their characters will miss their attacks when they attack. charge or overtake an enemy.

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Most people are familiar with the tropes of a medieval knight charging at his foe with a spear cradled under his armpit. However, the historical weapons and tactics used by knights and other heavy horsemen in the Middle Ages differ in some ways from how they have been portrayed in pop culture, especially games that depict medieval warfare, such as Frame and blade 2. When a charge was unleashed, a band of knights conserved the energy of their mounts by trotting up to the enemy, eventually accelerating to a gallop, then a full gallop at the last moment of contact.

After hitting an enemy with his lancer, the knight would drop his presumably broken weapon and switch to a sword, ax, or mace for close combat. Finally, they would fall back to the sound of the rallying trumpet, fall back in formation with their allies, and acquire new spears for their next charge. This heavy cavalry combat model perfectly adapts to both melee horse combat in Ancient ring and the best tactics players can use to charge their enemies; close the distance with a long-range “spear” or “winged spear”, switch to a sharp weapon when hacking an enemy up close, then roll out of range before being overwhelmed and prepare for the next charge.

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Contrary to popular stereotypes, pastoral cultures such as the Scythians, Xiongnu, Huns and Mongols did not have a monopoly on the military unit known as the archer on horseback. Agriculture-oriented states such as the Parthians and the Eastern Roman Byzantines made a point of forming their own elite battalions of mounted archers. Also, horse archers weren’t invincible warriors who crushed all other military before guns. The nomadic armies of the steppes could be and were repelled by infantry and heavy cavalry with the right amount of discipline and leadership. Yet like realistic games like Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord For example, there were few things more dangerous than an army of mounted archers with the skills to take down targets on horseback, the training to maneuver in sync with their comrades, and the logistical supplies needed to roam through. great distances. The daily way of life and the grass-fed herds of nomadic steppe cultures have granted them all three of these benefits.

Many forces of mounted archers throughout history are famous for employing a special tactic called “prancing” (described in this article “archery in video games” by military historian Bret Devereaux). A formation of mounted archers charged towards an enemy, shooting arrows all the time, then bowed and galloped, shooting back at any enemies who dared to pursue them (a tactic historically known as “Parthian shooting” ). The players of Ancient ring Equipped with the shortbow weapon, ranged weapon skills, Glintstone sorceries or long-range incantations can replicate this tactic against large numbers of enemies or deadly mounted enemies such as the Boss Sentinel of the tree. That said, Ancient ring players on horseback should be careful when employing this tactic; some charged ranged attacks can slow their spectral mount, while a poorly timed “prance” maneuver can expose them to counterattack – especially from other enemies on horseback.

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