Hi rsk112! Welcome to gaming ECW and VWQ!
While not the "expert" on VWQ, I can give you what we do in our VWQ games. While we are not "100%" official VWQ rules as written (I know that phrase will drive Clarence nuts
) we have tweaked the rules a bit to give us the style of play we enjoy. And it seems to bring about historical outcomes A LOT!
On to your questions.
"Can cavalry be different sizes?"
Yes. We have horse regiments "TYPICALLY" with of 2 squadrons, with 2 stands in each squadron. We have had (due to the OOB from the original battle) smaller regiments of a single squadron (2 stands) of horse as well. We have also had a maximum of 4 squadrons for very large regiments of horse. But we always have keep the squadron size as 2 stands.
We use Robert Giglio's books (VERY RECOMMENDED) ECW OOBs from battles/scenarios to put together our armies/battles. Lots of great stuff there.
The number of cavalry figures on the stand is more as you desire, but we typically base them 2 or 3 to a stand.
"How does this formation of 4 stands affect the number of attack dice and durability?"
The formation of the unit definitely affects the attack dice in VWQ. In our games, each stand in the front rank fights at contact, but secondary ranks do not until subsequent rounds of melee (if any). In practice, we find it VERY helpful to have that secondary squadron in the rear involved in melee.
Here is a combat example:
Red team with 1 squadron trained gallopers charges Blue team with 2 squadrons (in 2 ranks) of trained trotters.
Provided both sides make their morale checks to charge/counter charge, the melee combat factors would be:
Red Team: 6d6
(3d6 per stand of gallopers). They need 4+ on any dice to hit.
Blue Team: 6d6
(3d6 per stand of trotters). They also need 4+ to hit.
Let's say both sides do 2 hits, but no casualties. No morale test is taken. So they are locked in combat.
Next Round of Combat:
Red Team: 6d6
(3d6 per stand). Need a 7+ to hit (mounted at halt).
Blue Team: 12d6
(3d6 per stand, front and back rank). Need a 7+.
The odds are definitely with the blue team rolling 12 die vs the Red team's 6 die.
Anyone else with opinions/options on this?