CONFESSION: The worst part about the battle at Ostagar for me was how it was executed. The Archers and Mabari hound charge makes sense, but why did Cailin’s forces leave the fortification of Ostagar and fight the Darkspawn in the open? Why not draw them back into Ostagar and fight them there? Also, why was Loghain’s force the ambush? His forces were heavily armored. They should’ve taken the brunt of the Darkspawn assault and had Cailin’s lightly armored forces do the ambush.
Actually, no, nothing Cailan did made sense.
Using archers would’ve made sense, if he didn’t restrict it to one volley of arrows. The archers were placed up near the front, which is just… not sound at all.
Ideally, the thing to do would have the archers behind a protective formation of soldiers (I think a phalanx is best suited) firing as much into the horde as possible.
Not what Cailan did.
Also, Cailan wasted the Mabari troops. While it’s true that Mabari troops have been known to take mounted Chevaliers down easily, we see quite clearly how Mabari vs. Darkspawn turns out when they charge into a never-ending horde.
They’re reduced to cannon fodder. So they were best suited as being support troops.
And yes, Cailan’s charge out into the open was not only idiotic, it was counter to what Loghain told him to do. Loghain told him to lure the Darkspawn to him. Luring means they come to you. Not meeting them halfway out in the open where a double envelopment is now possible because your flanks are exposed.
As for Loghain’s charge, well, it’s called the Hammer&Anvil strategy. At least in the general idea. But it’s best used with a superior amount of cavalry. Barring that though, Loghain’s men would’ve charged and sandwiched the Darkspawn — had they all been out in the field, which they weren’t when the signal was lit — between the two groups. Such an act would require a superior amount of forces on Loghain’s part compared to Cailan’s forces, if my military knowledge is up to par.