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Holdfast: Nations At War - How to Horse

Written by Luftwaffle   /   Jan 5, 2020    

A guide detailing how to fight with and against cavalry.

Full Cavalry Guide

The Types of Cavalry

There are two classes of cavalry in Holdfast: 

  • Light cavalry.
  • Mounted infantry.

Light Cavalry

These are armed with a pistol and a saber. They get bonuses to melee damage and horse speed while mounted.

Mounted Infantry

These are armed with a carbine and saber. They get bonuses to shooting accuracy and damage while mounted.

Basic Maneuvering

There are six speeds your horse can move at, not including standing still. In order of speed and direction, they are:

  • Charge.
  • Gallop.
  • Canter.
  • Trot.
  • Walk.
  • Reverse.

You can tell what speed you have switched to by looking at the icon next to your horse's health bar:

To control your horse's speed, use the W and S keys. Pressing F will stop your horse and pressing Ctrl will slow it down. Holding down Shift will let you charge. Pressing Space while moving will make your horse jump. Pressing Z will allow you to strafe left and right.

  • In Walk, the icon will be a horse moving.
  • In Trot, the icon will have one arrow facing right over the horse. This is the maximum speed while reloading.
  • In Canter, there will be two arrows.
  • In Gallop, the icon will be a jumping horse.
  • In Charge, there will be a right facing arrow over the jumping horse. You will not be able to aim or slash.
  • In Reverse, there will be a left facing arrow over the walking horse.

Fighting with Light Cavalry


Typically, I use the pistol for attacking other cavalry. When fighting infantry, it may be worth shooting riflemen, flag bearers, and officers before closing with the saber.


This is your main weapon as light cavalry. While charging, you can only stab forwards, but otherwise, you can stab and slash left or right.


Especially in linebattles, stay away from the enemy's line of sight until they have fired. If you are in an event, there may be rules that state whether or not you can fire your pistol out of formation/during all charge.

Once the enemy has fired, charge at them with your saber. Make sure to keep mobile; hitting an enemy with your horse may kill them, but it will also slow you down. When you have broken the enemy's formation, slow to a gallop or a canter and use your sword and pistol on any enemies trying to stab you or your horse.

If you are attacked by another cavalry unit, try to hit one of them with your pistol, then use your saber. If they turn and run, you have two options to kill them: reload and shoot them or chase them down. Shooting is pretty straightforward. When chasing them, choose a side to pass them on and get ready to slash there. Charge while holding the slash and release it as you pass next to them. Assuming they have no backup and haven't reloaded, this should guarantee a kill.

In melee, your sword damage bonus and your speed makes you excellent for running down infantry. As always, don't slow down and you'll be able to take down all the infantry that comes at you.

Fighting with Mounted Infantry


This is your main weapon as mounted infantry. Use it to harass enemies at range and to kill other cavalry.


Unlike light cavalry, this is your backup weapon. Use only as needed.


Despite the title "mounted infantry," you are not actually infantry. Do not dismount unless the admin tells you to. Do use hit and run tactics. Move at a gallop towards the enemy, then fire and charge away. Once you are safe, reload and repeat. If you are attacked by cavalry, do the same thing as light cavalry. Your saber will do less damage than the light cavalry's, but it will still one-shot cavalry. It might not one-shot grenadiers or officers with guards, however.

When firing at enemies, don't try to aim right at them. This is extremely difficult given your own movement. Instead, aim at a point and fire once the enemy is in your reticle.

It is even more important not to let yourself be stopped, since your carbine doesn't reload as quickly as a pistol.

In melee, make sure to avoid the centers of groups. Take out enemies from the edges and be careful that the enemy doesn't stop you.

Fighting Against Cavalry

With a musket

Shoot the rider before he closes. If you miss, attempt to bayonet the horse or lead him into spikes or barricades. If the horse stops for any reason, rush in and stab the rider.

With a pistol and sword

Shoot the horse as it approaches, or the rider if you are an officer. Kill either with the sword, or keep firing until they die.

With a flag

The flag or spear might actually be the best anti-horse melee weapon in the game. It has long range and does a decent bit of damage. Shoot to make the horse stop (Or damage the rider to make him a one-hit kill) and stab.

With a cannon

Grapeshot is the best anti-horse ammo, but you can do it with round shot too. Aim for the horse's head (with grapeshot, you will hit the rider as well) and fire. If by some miracle the rider survives his horse's death, shoot him with your musket.

With rockets

You're kinda screwed. Rockets have a minimum range too far away to be effective against charging cavalry, so you're stuck with your sword and pistol.

Written by Luftwaffle.