Why Play Cavalry?
Cavalry has a huge and obvious advantage over a foot soldier: his horse.
Utttilizing the extra speed from your horse you can travel around pretty fast and get into multiple fights while an infantryman has got to walk or run for quite a some time untill he reaches his next opponent.
Furthermore a horse is kind of a 'protection shield'. Most attacks from the ground will land at your horse and not at you which can extend the time you stay alive each time and therefore allows you to kill more often.
Besides that the speed of your horse will almost guarantee that just one sword swing will kill any enemy if it lands. That is mostly true for the right and left swings because the up swing and the stab attack on horseback are harder to control and aren't suited for most combat situations against infantry.
Undoubtly another major advantage in being able to stomp an opponent and so nulify his block and slash at the same time which will leave the enemy nearly defenceless. Also enemies with low health will die from the stomp resulting in extra kills.
Lastly a rider has some disadvantages that mostly have to do with the terrain. In short the speed of horse is dependant on how tilted the ground is. Rocks and other objects can block movement severely but all this will be talked about in depth later
But Which Cavalry Class To Play?
Assuming that you are among the lucky 2-5 people that got a place in the cavalry or general classes, you need to carefully pick your class and unit.
My personal favourite is of course light cavalry and most importantly hussars. There is a good reason for this. While a light horse is definately easier to die, it also maximizes the rest of the advantages you have as a horseman that i mentioned earlier. A light horse is extremely fast and manouverable meaning that you can jump from fight to fight at will without worrying about people hunting you. Also its manouverability will help you dodge hits if you get stuck in a fight and use the horse correctly. Despite that a slash at top speed will almost always result in a kill if it lands and the timing between a moving horseman slashing an enemy who is stabing back with a bayonet can help you get a slight edge that if used correctly can allow you to kill even a prepared infantryman.
There are other light cavalry units too like the lancers(not great britain) and chevaulegers(austria only). Note that these while using light horses are not as fast as a hussar or a mounted jager(the rheinbund hussar) and they also have less manouverability, which i think has to do with their riding skill.
Lancers have a lance as a main weapon extending their reach far beyond that of a sword, which translates to the ability of killing a soldier on the ground at a safe distance. Be careful though timing for a lance hit is crucial and a normal attack may not always end up as a killing blow. Except that you can't block with a lance and while blocking isn't really necessery when going for a lot of kills in TP, it still is a major disadvantage. Also don't think that you'll have enough time to draw your sword in case you need to block because that isn't the case under most circumstances. Furthermore the couch lance with X is a sure kill if the enemy doesn't dodge it or kill your horse but it takes some time to recharge untill using it again which limits the time you are killing people. Also you need to know that a normal lance stab has a longer 'cool down' time than a sword swing which puts you at a disadvantage when there are many nearby enemies and so kills.
Lancers though can give you an advantage in kill hunting in case you have a terrible ping. The fps and ping affect your gameplay with any unit but considering the fact that handling a hussar, whose sucess at kill hunting is heavily dependant upon evasion of enemies and well-timed attacks, someone can realise that playing hussars or any other sword cavalry becomes extremely difficult. The lancer doesn't have this problem. The timing of his lance attacks, while important, doesn't have to be perfect in every situation so if you are lagging a lot you should consider switching to the lancer unit of your nation.
Chevaulegers are like dragoons with a light horse. They have a cavalry musket and a straight line cavalry sword which is a bit longer than a saber of a hussar or a lancer. I don't play them much but from what i have done with them i can tell that their longer sword can help in duels against other cav with light horses whose sabers aren't as long. In short except if you are planning to shoot somebody with your musket or about to cav duel you can use them but they are worthless compared to a hussar at kill hunting in TP.
Another light unit are the british light dragoons(obviously only great britain) but there isnt much to tell about them. They are just a hussar unit with a shorter range and more inaccurate cavalry musket. I think they are about as fast as hussars but i am not entirely sure because i never play them. Well main difference with hussars is just that their uniform isn't as flashy but they can do just as well as a hussar at kill hunting.
Medium cavalry(Most Dragoons)
Well not much too say here. Medium cav is mediocre at kill hunting compared to light and heavy cav. You get a medium horse which is as you can imagine slower than a light one and faster than a heavy one and that comparison is the same for its health and manouverability. Your main 'advantage' is having a cavalry musket but i think just slashing enemies is much faster than shooting them, mostly missing, and going through the 16 second reload progress. Sure enough they have longer swords, except for the prussian dragoon that has a normal saber, which helps at fending off cav but it won't do you much better than a saber at killing infantry. You may think that medium horses are good because they wont die as easily as a light one but aren't as slow as a heavy one but that isn't really helpful. A medium horse will die just as easily as a light one from a well timed bayonet stab even at full health. My personal opinion is that they aren't much use at kill hunting compared to light cav especially hussars.
Heavy Cavalry and Generals
Alright we got to the opposite side of the story now. Heavy cav is slow and its manouverability is at the very least bad. At first it gives someone the opinion that it takes away from a cavalryman the advantages we talked about in the first section of the guide. But that is not the case! At least not entirely. A heavy horse will mostly not die from just one hit even if it is a shot, a well timed slash or stab you name it. That allows you to rush an enemy who is prepared without fearing your horse dying underneath you as you charge, if it is at full health. Most people will try to kill the horse and that gives you the opportunity to take the hit with your horse, stomp them and kill them as they try to stand back up. And that is for prepared enemies. In case you are trying to backstab an enemy and he attempts to turn at the last second and stab your horse you also won't fear that it will immediately die. It will mostly survive the hit allowing you to either escape or kill the foe. Besides that you can stay alive longer because your horse won't die. Combine these with a longer sword, especially a heavy cavalry saber from the mounted french grenadiers or a heavy cavalry officer unit, and you gain the ability to deal deadly damage to most dismounted enemies. You actually trade the ability to go from fight to fight with the ability of fighting longer without dying. That's very handy in small maps or maps with very rough terrain but is a disadvantage in open and more flat maps.
About Unwritten Rules And Roleplaying
A deathmatch is in short a free for all. In TP there is some roleplaying though and some unwritten rules like holding your sword up means you dont want to fight. First of you need to know these rules and choose which to follow because they aren't mandatory.
I strongly recommend following only the:
1->up block= let's not fight. Note that you don't have to accept someone's up block but if he constantly up blocks and you reply by up-blocking yourself then you shouldn't go back to fight that said person at that time. On the other hand if you don't accept somebody's up block you can just kill him and it is fair and square.
2->don't kill musicians and medics intentionally. By the way this doesn't apply to musicians who are holding a weapon in their hands and are fighting too. As for medics just don't kill them even if they have a gun. You never know when you will need a heal and they are kindhearted enough to give you one
There are as you might imagine other unwritten rules too but following them will limit your kill targets severely so the best thing is not to follow them when you want to go kill hunting.
Next up i mentioned that TP has a lot of roleplaying, which includes sailing and conquering the big ship for example. If you are seriously going to kill hunt you should ignore all of that. These are things that will only slow you down.
Next we have kill targeting.
The basic rule for this is:
Always go for the easiest kill and prioritize your targets.
What do i mean by that? Let me explain:
1. Go after sapers first because their axes are to slow to kill your horse in time so they are wide open save for the ones that know how to block well. Stomp those and slash them while falling with your horse on them. Besides that most sappers spawn with the construction hammer in hand and some forget to change to their axe in time which means they are defenceless untill they switch to that. Also some are confident with defending themselves with their short sword instead which is useless against cav though. Also killing them may annoy some people but most will think no less of you.
2. Go after artillery crew. They are easy to kill because only their ramrod has a long reach and their short sword are near useless towards mounted targets. Also their long ramrod can only deal a small amount of damage to even a light horse.
3. Hunt sailors who are not armed with pointed objects like spears. Even if they try to defend themselves with a short sword,an axe or club most can't kill your horse fast enough because shorter objects like these are a bit slower and sometimes out of the reach of your sword and demand skill to be handled correctly. If they are skilled though this will be shown by the way they fight and mostly if they block well or not. Avoid them if they are skilled enough to take you down because even if you kill them eventually you will have wasted precious time on a single kill.
4. Kill infantry officers next. They are in default armed with a pistol and sword as weapons. Most will attempt to shoot your horse with their pistol close range and light horses will be killed by that. Jump just about then they try to shoot or rush them before they have fully steaded their aim and kill them. Once they draw their sword you had better leave them be. You will have a speed advantage that will help you kill them if you realease a slash with the right timing but you will lose too much time doing that in most cases especially if they know how to block effectively.
5. Your last target should be normal infantry or generally anyone armed with a bayonet musket or any long pointed weapon. Either backstab them or kill them when they are aiming their musket on you. If they haven't fully aimed yet just rush them but if they have avoid the shot by going to either side slightly or by jumping and then sideslash them before they change to melee mode. If they are prepared and they are facing you then avoid them because ,while there are methods to kill them, it will just be a waste of time better spent at killing other targets.
0. This category includes targets that i personally don't prefer to kill because i think it is very dishonorable to do so but are eligible to kill even by the unwritten rules. First are AFKs, in short people who are not playing and their character is just standing somewhere and then we have the completely unarmed people. If you want a really high kill score you can kill them but i just don't like doing something like that. You may not have that kind of 'honour' problem as i do though.
-1 and 6. Other cavalry. Not only is killing other cav a tough and timeconsuming thing to do when they are mounted but i also think you are better off having other cav as non-aggression people so you don't have to bother with them chasing to kill you which might or might not end well but in any case will take a long time. I also believe in the cav unification so i would never personally attack other cavalry or generals as i have stated in the cav unification discussion in the tropical paradise steam group. Of course even if you don't support that, killing mounted cav will in most cases take time and is not very beneficial for your kill score. If they are dismounted then i would still not kill them but if you want to then know that they fall under the 4 category of officers.
Some of the things i am going to mention here have also been stated before but some have not so it is better to read all of this part as it is quite important.
1. If you can always go for a backstab no matter the target and preferably with a right or left swing. The only way for someone to counter this is to be listening closely so he hears you riding towards him and turns at the last second to stab your horse.
2. If someone is not a low threat target and you failed to sneak and backstab him and he is now prepared for your attack the best thing is to save time by running away and switching to another target rather than staying to fight.
3. If you want to get more kills by adding normal infantry(with bayoneted muskets and such weapons) steadily to the killing menu then go after infantry while they are engaged in melee with someone. Just rush in a fight and slash around. For that the best are 3 or 4 way fights because it minimizes the chances of all the combatants noticing you like what can happen when you rush a 1v1 and it also doesn't involve too many people, which could lead to your horse halting because it stumbled onto too many bodies. Of course rushing 1v1 or 5 way and bigger fights is ok but you just may have more chances of getting killed. At any rate if you see a fight between inf nearby rush it before the combatants die and kill at least one. There is also a chance that someone might have low health and will die because he got stomped by your horse.
IN GENERAL ALWAYS RUSH INF FIGHTS AND DUELS.
4. If you lose your horse then don't struggle to survive. It is far better to die immediately. Why? Because this way you can quickly respawn with a new horse and start killing people fast once more. Going on foot will only waste your precious time you need to kill people. My personal suggestion is that if you are not killed immediately after you lose your horse then kill 1-2 people and then let someone nearby kill you. Try to survive only if you can secure a nearby new horse.
5. If you see someone going somewhere 'safe' but withing close range kill him immediately. A good example of somebody on a safe place is someone who is going up a ladder. They think they can't be rushed upon anymore and don't pay attention behind them. If they are close to the bottom of the ladder or stairs then just jump and slash them dead. Another exmple of such safe places are low height fortifications made especially from sappers.
6. Don't charge into docks but kill people who are getting to them. Charging into docks is pure suicide but the people who are heading to a dock and have just entered it sometimes won't pay much attention behind them giving you a window of opportunity to rush from behind and kill them.
7. Don't go into buildings. It is a suicide mission for obvious reasons(small space)
8. Prefer to fight in open spaces where you can dodge attacks and easily switch targets. In short narrow roads are a bad place to be.
9. If someone just spawned and you happen to pass by immediately rush and kill him. He just spawned or respawned so he is not entirely ready and if he is ready his first thought will be to shoot you but you will be too close and kill him before he fires.
10. If someone is aiming at you then if he hasn't readied his aim then rush in before he does and kill him. If he has then jump or move to the side to avoid the shot and then rush in before he changes to melee mode.
11. If you stomped somebody and he fell down completely but you missed your swing then turn sharply and slash him before he gets back up. If he doesn't block in time or doesn't have the chance to block yet he will take the hit and most likely die.
12. The left swing with a sword is faster than the right one whether you are on foot or on horseback. But with the speed of your horse the left swing becomes MUCH faster than the right one. The time frame during which a swing reaches an infantryman is the opening he has to stab you with a bayoneted musket. With a left instead of a right swing that time frame is limited so much that only with a lot of luck or experience will an infantryman make it to hit you before you do. I was reluctant to post this but after some testing in the last few days i can say with relative safety that it will give you a significant avantage. Though i still don't recommend facing a prepared infantryman with a bayoneted musket head on, with a left swing at full speed you can bypass the stab and kill the enemy before the stab reaches you. You can reinforce this by not only swinging left at full speed but by turning to the right at the time you swing. This will help so that even if you fail to kill the enemy you will have that slight chance to keep your new direction after turning and evading the stab of the infantryman. This is obviously done with a swing at the tip of your saber. This means that you must have a relative distance with the infantryman, which you won't close, but it will be just enough for your swing to barely reach your opponent.
These screenshots are some of my attempts using these tactics. If you make it too then post your own screenshots on steam or in the cav unification thread in the Tropical Paradise Steam Group.
Using a hussars only:
Using a lancer only:
I hope this guide can help anyone out there who wants to go cav kill hunting in Tropical Paradise but please people take it easy on me for this guide because it is my first one so i barely knew how to write it effectively. Furthermore what is included in this guide is definately not every tactic for kill hunting with cav in TP there is because while i have been playing Napoleonic Wars for quite some time and especially in TP i obviously DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING.
I'd like to repeat one thing as well: this guide along with playing cav in Tropical Paradise most likely won't help you get better at cav. The only thing that can help your cav skills is training (which can definately help in deathmatch cav kill hunting too) that is gained through exercise in cav regiments and by fighting regurarly in the Cavalry Groupfighting server.
Anyway i thank all of the people who will read this guide and i would be grateful if i could have some feedback for edits and improvements to it.
Sidenote: Editing will most likely not be made before the coming Thursday due to real life things i have to take care of
EDIT 1: A small adition to the section 'But which cav class to play?' in the context concerning the lancer class has been made.
EDIT 2: HUGE EDIT IN THE 'Basic Tactics' Section. I added a 12th tactic which is quite important.
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