|>> || 1418455242654.png -(70264B / 68.62KB, 300x291) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. >>53765 |
Interesting thread OP. It's too bad you didn't give us a setting as that'd really change my mind but from anywhere pretty much? Ok h-here I go.
Army of horsemen with short spears, sharp pointed thick metal shields and grappling hooks. These spears have very thick handles and the shield can be attached to the spear then, secured to the horse by the rope and its harness can actually be used as a plow and shovel.
The strategy is simple. My horsemen can till the battlefield beforehand, putting in entrenchments and even begin setting up fields for crops in the event of a long siege. These horses are all farmhorses either levied or stolen from local peasant towns, given warhorse training and set to purpose.
Once the tilling begins, the horses are set to graze and the horsemen begin digging entrenchments, lining the outside with staked barricades and palisades. The thick shield can be secured at a different angle to the spear haft and it becomes an ax for chopping palisade stakes.
The formation for battle is very simple. Once the entrenchments are dug in, they are filled with pitch either made on site from burning lumber or brought out to battle. This will create terrifying burning moats around my army, essentially making a movable temporary fortress.
Some of the trenches will not be filled with pitch. Instead they will be filled with supplies further dug into the earth to protect them from spoilage and looting, then protected by my second class of soldiers. These soldiers are archers with longbows trained to fire as a group in dynamic patterns with the aid of a spotter. All archers are trained as spotters so if the spotter falls, any one of them can take his place. Essentially the spotter gets behind a large shield with a crescent lip at the top and a thick helmet. His task is to shout orders to the archers. AIM 4th QUADRANT, UP 45 DEGREES. The archers will all aim by a system of quadrants assisted by the shape of the trench, which will be formed as a half circle and separated into sections marked off by numbered sticks. Their bows line up with these with notches which help them make calculated shots within a degree of difference. Basically so long as the spotter stays alive and someone can take his place fast enough if he dies, the archers can lob volley after volley at the enemy without ever having to be visible to them. Optimally there will be double trenches, so the first one can be filled with pitch then the one behind it will be filled with archers. The benefit of this is it obscures even vision of the trench. The enemy archers will have a hard lobbing trebuchet shot accuretely into the trench because it will be obscured by a thick wall of smoke. All archers also have thick shields protecting them, which they must fire around. This is a little added protection against incoming projectiles and can be used to seal a tunnel if a trench is overrun, until it can be taken back or the tunnel's escape route can be used to evacuate.
The spotters will situate themselves in front of the burning trenches, usually in front of another smaller trench. The trench formations will be very complex but this does not need to be done if I have the high ground. Only if I am at a disadvantage with my enemy on elevation. If I have elevation the spotter can take position on a pinnacle above most of the smoke and battle and deliver orders by using a flag system which is relayed by a second spotter in the trench to the entrenched archers.
So what do the horses do once they are behind the burning trenches? My horsemen get on them and begin moving in patrols, coming out from around to the front of the trenches in a scythe formation, cutting into the enemy force and then retreating behind the trench while the archers fire consistent volleys. They will carry very few things with them when cutting out in front and are trained to swing the grappling hooks at enemies and rip them away from their formation, dragging them behind to be either knocked to pieces, stabbed or trampled by the other horsemen. These grappling hooks are very heavy and very sharp. Being hit with one is about a 50% chance of being hooked and just getting hit with it can knock a poorly armored man out. Thick, heavy knights are especially vulnerable to this, their cumbersome armor has a lot to hook onto. They can be ripped from their horse and dragged away. Any soldier my horsemen hook from the rest of the army is dragged back behind my line, where they will be stripped of their weapons and armor and swiftly executed if being dragged has mangled them. If not they will be enslaved.
Half of my horsemen will carry burning bolas, Saint Anthony's fire, flaming spears and other burning projectiles. The tactic is to come charging at full speed out from behind the burning barriers, unleash burning hell on my enemy, drag away a few of them screaming for their lives and then retreat behind the burning trench, which will issue volleys of arrows at any brave enough to chase after their hooked comrades.
Hopefully the tactic would be terrifying enough to get quick surrenders.
If not, my horsemen will be on the lookout for unoccupied gaps in the front line. On the next pass, horsemen will begin digging more trenches on these gaps while the archers rain hell. The advance will be very slow, like watching the hour hand of a clock ticking by, but it will advance. As my horsemen drag the enemy behind our line, if we get hungry enough we can begin eating the enemy, making sure to throw the remains of our dinner at them on the next pass.
I think this tactic would work frighteningly well.
Turning it into a siege would be simple. Make the trenches into a ring around the sieged city, put my army outside the ring and then make a second ring outside my army. Run horsemen patrols outside and inside the ring in a well timed fashion. This keeps enemy forces at bay and mutilates anyone emerging from the sieged city. Eventually they will starve and I will be well fed by the attempts to rescue the city from any outside aid.
Essentially macro tactics will be slow strangulation of the enemy, while micro tactics would be fast, brutal hit and runs designed to bring back supplies supplemented with precision volleys of entrenched archers.