Cavalry vs Infantry Mindset differences Dec 2, 2010 11:22:49 GMT -5
Post by on Dec 2, 2010 11:22:49 GMT -5
It's a great question, Steve. The way I, and many "artists," like to use the term "cavalry" is any force that is more mobile than the rest of a force. The most rapid ground force in your army performs "cavalry" roles, and the slower elements perform "infantry" roles. Its all about relative mobility, and has little to do with types of equipment or weapons.
Because in tactics, you usually have trade-offs between force and mobility...the greater force must have less mobility, and the fastest elements must have less force. That's the framework of the tactical dilemma, and why you talk about these forces separately.
This being so, it also means that the methods used, and the types of leaders you need, are different for your mobile forces vs. your more powerful but slower forces.
Of course, you have gradients all between...pure infantry that walks on the battlefield (even if it is initially transported there); mounted infantry (or Dragoons in its lightest form) that can fight mounted for speed, or dismount and fight for force (not as fast as cavalry nor as powerful as pure infantry...something in between), and cavalry that does all its fighting mounted...very fast, but not as "powerful" (meaning less staying power, less density).
All U.S. Cavalry of our historical era were Dragoons...able to fight mounted or dismounted, as the situation warrants. This is typical of "poor" militaries, who can't afford a plethora of specialized forces.