Breaking off from the discussion of cavalry balance for a moment I must admit to being perplexed at how highly CB is valued on infantry currently, in spite of a recent change massively increasing infantry damage. For the record I'm in the camp of thinking that the bug fix is good as it increases the impact of visible stats which makes the game easier to balance and that infantry is currently overperforming pretty massively on the charge. There is no indication that buffing infantry performance was intended by CA and the shift in unit performance being so large does suggest that interunit balance runs counter to CA's previous balance goals. If you think the new paradigm is better than the old one that's a different argument and I'd prefer to just agree to disagree for the purpose of this thread.
I think the increased charge damage is occurring more broadly than simply in the infantry-cavalry match up but that's not something we can easily test and looking back on footage of older builds is not strong enough evidence to make this statement. Even in that circumstance I'm not sure the reasons for maintaining CB at the current level hold up.
One argument that was suggested was that keeping the CB high allows GW and other high charge infantry to perform effectively against spear units. If this is the goal of high CB I don't think it's succeeding. Spears have higher MD and more dispersed health both of which serve as a buffer against the additional DPS of a charge. Swordsmen, cavalry, monsters, etc. have always been more vulnerable to the damage boost from charges, while spears are and continue to be more susceptible to sustained combat where their inferior melee stats cause them to lose. In effect balancing damage dealing infantry for high CB results in the lower damage on the charge against spears when compared to every other unit class by price.
Another argument is that shock infantry are a unit class that should be preserved, but faction has a far greater impact on CB than individual unit, with the difference in CB between units within a faction being quite modest, with a few notable exceptions (forsaken, censor bearers). To be frank 4 to 6 CB isn't nothing, but when the starting number is 18 I don't think the difference is large enough to say there is a meaningful category of shock infantry (compare to cav where you'll see a difference of between 20 to 40 between shock and melee cav within a faction).
The last argument largely seems to be that the units were balanced effectively before the bug fix, but that's just an appeal to the status quo. CB was balanced around a bug so instead of trying to reintroduce some of the impact of that bug to maintain the current CB value, would it not make more sense to rebalance around performance now that the bug has been fixed?
Adjusting infantry towards more sustained combat stats by decreasing CB and raising MA, WS, and potentially MD in some cases helps sharpen the identity of all of the unit classes in the game. It allows for distinct shock infantry to exist while being distinct from the rest of the infantry, encourages healthier use of mobility by rewarding shock cav for using CB while rewarding players who force shock cav to remain in sustained combat with any infantry, and it improves the value of CDvL by making it the only way to avoid suboptimal trades when cavalry charges are occurring.
I guess I'm failing to grasp why infantry CB is given this level of importance.