Norscan Berserkers are anti-infantry and have low armour. Which means they should be a prime target for Empire Knights.
Considering Empire Knights are also anti-infantry and have high armour. Berserkers
However when put these up against each other it is not the one-sided matchup you would expect. I've tested it multiple times on high unit settings and the same results repeats itself. The Berserkers were also braced for most of the charges, it becomes a little chaotic with the AI after all. I am cycle-charging.
The first charge is usually the best trade since Berserkers doesn't have their physical resist up etc. After that it goes downhill.
The Empire Knights can trade in their favor, but they always end up badly hurt(10-25% health left) before they rout the Berserkers.
I understand that I should avoid the Berserkers when they have buffs up, but this doesn't sit right with me. Stage 1 takes 30 seconds of fighting to reach which translates to about two charges from cav. Then it is 30 seconds of 20% physical resist followed by 30 seconds of melee attack bonus and physical resist. Then we get the final 30 seconds of physical resist, melee attack and rampage. That is a grand total of 1 minute and 30 seconds that I should avoid charging Berserkers? That's absurd.
However if you do wait all that time, you can finish off the Berserkers with about 50-70% health remaining on Empire Knights. 70% IF you get good charges. Which is another point that annoys me. Also worth noting that I am routing the Berserkers. If they stay in the fight they could probably sink the Knights to 30-50% hit points.
Why can Berserkers trade so well against a cav unit in the same price tier? They are anti-infantry specialists. They are hard countered by ranged units after all. Why not be countered by cav aswell? It's much harder to get cavalry charges than firing missiles.
It's also worth noting that if you just change to Reiksguard the matchup changes drastically. Reiksguard can finish off Berserkers with 50% health or more. Which is still a high ammount of value that Berserkers can pull off in my opinion. You will get a better result if you wait 1 minute and 30 seconds though.....
Bracing helps them I understand that, but why are they performing so well against cavalry?
Which brings me to the Cav Beta. I don't know if it is collision modifiers that are the problem because bracing is always there. The Beta does seem to fix the charge vs charge problem, but not the matchup itself. That gives me the fear that there will still be a lot of infantry that can trade favorbly with cav. As long as they brace. If the cav gets wounded it loses it's effectiveness. Cav is usually more expensive than infantry. It cannot take the trades that Empire Knights gets with Norscan Berserkers. In other words, you don't have to kill off a cav unit to render it ineffective.
And if heavily armoured cav cannot charge into regular infantry, why do we buy it? If they can only go after the softer targets why not just go for light cav? Only keep them for cav vs cav engagements? Bracing should help soften the blow for the defending infantry, not allow them to retaliate evenly. Most Cav that is supposed to be "anti-infantry".
How to fix the trades between infantry and cav? I don't know the answer. Higher charge bonuses would probably just create more trouble across the board. If there was any way to add aditional charge bonus vs infantry for shock cav, that could help. And for meele cav they could get melee defence vs infantry(That is only applied against non anti-large units).
Another possible aid could be to add a "dazed" effect on charge against infantry. "Dazed" reduces melee attack for X seconds and should(hopefully) solve the trade-off problem. Regular infantry can "soften" the blow, but not trade evenly with cav. The cav can still kill them, but it will take longer because of bracing. Charge defense vs large naturally cancels this effect. The problem with this is ofcourse that it could function as support for melee engagements. So it has to be applied on an entity based level to avoid imbalance. I am not sure if the effort required would be worth it.
The Norscan Berserkers however I believe the answer is simple. Reduce their weapon strength and meele attack by 10-20. Replace the number with bonus vs infantry instead. They should be punching above their weight against infantry, not by punching everything else aswell. The bonus vs infantry should also be a significant buff against infantry, considering vigour will have a drastically reduced effect on them.