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Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Multiplayer » Archers in Multiplayer
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Topic Subject:Archers in Multiplayer
Tom_Bear
Ashigaru
posted 03-22-11 12:34 PM EDT (US)         
So I have only played a few battles so far, but I've only come up with fairly limited uses for bow units in 5000 pt matches. I'll field with only a bow samurai or bow samurai and 1 bow ashigaru, and have the rest a mix between katana, yari ashigaru and cav.

I've had other people field 3 or 5 bow units against me, and it never works out well for them. As for me, I'll send my archers out to pick off a focused target (maybe a yari in prep for a cav action).

thoughts? counter-points? Have I just been getting lucky? I'd like to see archers put to a really important use like they were in RTW, but haven't seen it so far.
AuthorReplies:
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 03-22-11 12:41 PM EDT (US)     1 / 30       
Hi Tom_Bear!

Welcome to Total War Heaven.

I think you're right, I have not yet lost a battle to someone fielding large quantities of archers.

I personally take no more than one unit, sometimes none! I think they're expensive for what they are, and the kills they rack up. When I do deploy a unit of archers the opponent is usually so busy trying to wipe them out that they don't focus on breaking the morale of my units in melee.

When defending in a siege battle though, it's a different story

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
Gnarlyhotep
Ashigaru
posted 03-22-11 01:29 PM EDT (US)     2 / 30       
I only take two bow units at 5000 points, usually one samurai and one ashigaru (sometimes two samurai, never two ashigaru). Don't underestimate the utility of fire arrows.

They do require a bit of micro though, as you don't want to let them continue shooting into your melee. Have to keep on top of them.

I'm going to see about unlocking the bow-monks, as their whistling arrows could be a major game changer.
Tom_Bear
Ashigaru
posted 03-22-11 08:56 PM EDT (US)     3 / 30       
Thanks for the welcome! I trawled Heaven games way back for Age of Mythology, so when I went looking for a clan it seemed right.

Fire arrows are indeed handy. I think I'll always field with at least 1 bow samurai, because it helps hold the initiative. People often freak out when they're being shot at, even if its not doing much. You can 'encourage' people into engaging on your terms: charging at you uphill, things like that.
Liam_the_Spartan
Banned
posted 03-23-11 03:56 AM EDT (US)     4 / 30       
I have come across multiple warriors who stand there and wait for me to attack. Archers encourage them to come out of hiding.

I usually have 3 bow ashigaru in to battle. They aren very good, but teamed with my retainers of archery perfection, they kill many.

Bow ashigaru aren't very good. But trust me, you want them. Try and shoot their general.
BeerMatt
Ashigaru
(id: Olondi)
posted 03-23-11 05:33 AM EDT (US)     5 / 30       
@Tom_Bear - I found Rome: Total War Heaven after spending WAY too long trawling Age of Empires Heaven back in the day.

I think my armies are a little too bow-heavy, from what has been said here.

-+- Non sequiturs and weak puns a speciality -+-
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 03-25-11 11:15 AM EDT (US)     6 / 30       
How many bow units do you employ, Matt?

The beauty of it is there isn't a 'vanilla' army, everyone needs to experiment with what they like best and once their skills are refined then they'll be adept whatever their army selection is.

Last night I faced a guy who used way more archers than I, coupled with Matchlock Samurai and Naginata Monks. The only battle so far I wished I had more ranged units. I lost, but only just. Couldn't get my cavalry unto his ranged units quickly enough. The morale damage those matchlock infantry do is staggering.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
Gnarlyhotep
Ashigaru
posted 03-28-11 12:50 PM EDT (US)     7 / 30       
I had a rough experience with a general the other night, who layered a good defence to make it impossible to charge without a huge morale shock. Layered blocks of archers and matchlock up front, a weak line of katana behind, and then blocks of yari ashigaru on the rear and flanks.

I plinked away with my bows for a while, whittling down his bowmen, and then charged the front with my samurai, figuring i could absorb the damage and quickly route his melee weak army. I did not count on the morale shock of the matchlocks, it just devestated my army. I couldn't bring my cavalry units to bear, due to the crafty placement of yari troops.

In retrospect, if I had to do it again, I'd have my archers whittling away the matchlocks first, then send the charge in while the archers are trying to counter mine.
Tom_Bear
Ashigaru
posted 03-28-11 12:56 PM EDT (US)     8 / 30       
That's a replay I'd like to see when we have a place for that.

The best thing I've found v matchlocks is archers, take advantage of their short range. I don't field extra archers for this though, just gives my bow samurai something to focus on.
Gnarlyhotep
Ashigaru
posted 03-28-11 01:04 PM EDT (US)     9 / 30       
I do have a replay of it, and I should've just been more patient and tried to maneuver more. I went a bit too WWI in tactics and went hey-diddle-diddle right up the middle on the charge.

I'll see about uploading it when we have hosting available.
Army Ranger
Ashigaru
posted 03-28-11 03:45 PM EDT (US)     10 / 30       
I like to use bow cavalry and matchlock ashigaru in my army. The player i fought last moved his general ahead of his army for some reason and he got shot by the matchlocks!I use the European gunsmith (+ 5 Accuracy) so they are pretty accurate but i think they should have longer range.

I once fought someone who had 7 samurai bowmen and surrounded me on a peninsula with them(I forget what map) I eventually tried a charge but his 1 unit of warrior monks killed what was left of my army!

Are siege weapons unfair? I used one the other day and the other player called me a "siege noob"!!!
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 03-29-11 05:00 AM EDT (US)     11 / 30       
The problem I have with using siege weapons is that you need to use one of your retainer slots to allow you to field it, plus the Mangonel will cost you 800 Koku. For that same amount you can field pretty much anything else - Yari Cavalry for example.

I haven't lost a battle yet to an opponent with siege weapons, with the only exception being a 3 v 3 which was nothing short of a disaster

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
EnemyofJupitor
HG Alumnus Superbus
posted 03-29-11 05:45 AM EDT (US)     12 / 30       
Any battles I've won with the Mangonel have come mostly from flanking attacks rather than decimation of his force from afar.
Though the moral kinda helped.

And I shall go Softly into the Night Taking my Dreams As will You
Army Ranger
Ashigaru
posted 03-29-11 07:50 AM EDT (US)     13 / 30       
What i did was i hid the mangonel in the forest and lured his army in with bow cavalry and my standard troops, once he advanced well within range i opened fire on him. The fact that i destroyed his cavalry with bow cavalry didn't help him.

I don't think there unfair, you have to waste a retainer slot on them and the have pretty low ammo. The guy i played was just a sore loser!
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 03-30-11 02:38 PM EDT (US)     14 / 30       
Yeah it sounds like he was. They aren't personally to my taste, I don't like to wait, I'd rather take the fight to the enemy and force him to adapt to me.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
Cheesewiz
HG Alumnus
posted 03-30-11 04:15 PM EDT (US)     15 / 30       
I've been using bow ashigaru with significant success during my first several battles, and I've managed to beat some 5 and 6 star players doing something that I suppose they aren't used to.

Typically, I field my general, 3 katana samurai, 3 bow ashigaru, and one yari ashigaru. This varies on cost and experience of the particular units in use, usually plus or minus a light cavalry for quick strikes when I see the enemy botch their advance.

What I've been doing is using the +2 accuracy retainer, and setting all of my units up initially completely on top of each other. A huge wad of troops. I wait for the enemy to get ready, and then I select all of my units, let the clock tick down to 15 or 20 seconds or so, strike the gong, and sprint my units to the middle map high ground or some other critical location. Typically, the bonus buildings are secondary targets. Because I have control of the timing when I wait for them to get ready first, I universally beat them to the high ground, where I let my archers stop just before the peak of the hill, or perhaps the top of it. They fire at will until the samurai can run past and set up a position at the steepest point. The high ground is so significant that bow ashigaru can best the bow samurai with even mild increases, and since the enemy will likely move his units into firing range before he orders an attack, he'll suffer additional losses then, too. In every fight except for one so far, this has worked beautifully. In one of my three losses the enemy simply had swifter units, in another I was outflanked by hidden units and routed before I realized what had hit me, and in a third the guy was a 6 star with simply better troops.

But, in conclusion, using cheap archers to whittle down the enemy's experience units on the onset of battle seems viable, and I'm positive that it is why I have managed to peak at rank 930 last night, though now I'm sitting at 1300 something.

Ex-Seraph Cheesewiz - Former WICH Webmaster, AOE3H Webmaster, & RTWH Staff, HeavenGames LLC
World_in_Conflict_Heaven || Age_of_Empires_III_Heaven || Support_HeavenGames || The_Playpen || Do_The_Right_Thing
Hunterufus
Ashigaru
posted 03-30-11 05:00 PM EDT (US)     16 / 30       
I went from using little archers in multiplayer to none at all, instead replacing them with mangonel

I find it far more useful than you guys, and it has swung the battle in my favour many times, as well as meaning that they have to come to me. The moral effect that it has on the enemy is great, and a direct hit on a unit can rout it straight away. Never enough ammo though.

Baggies great escape!

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Bender, be careful! That's the ship's diamond filament tether. It's unbreakable.
Bender: Then why do I have to be careful?
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: It belonged to my Grandmother.
Waffentraeger
Ashigaru
(id: Daelon)
posted 03-30-11 10:15 PM EDT (US)     17 / 30       
If I am playing in 2's or 3's I will go full-bore on the archery units and take 8 bow samurai, with a total of +10% bow accuracy through retainers.. With several bow samurai units experienced up to level 3/4 they can deal out some hefty damage quickly..
Tom_Bear
Ashigaru
posted 03-31-11 12:36 PM EDT (US)     18 / 30       
I can attest to the effectiveness of Mangonels, having been on the recieving end.

Usually I don't worry about them too much, and have been able to kill the mangonel with sneaky light cav or advance in loose formation and let him waste shots on bad units. Even if he nails me, he has to commit units to defending it or have me kill it with cav.

However! I lost to hidden mangonels in a battle last night. After spending 10 minutes dancing our cavalry around, my main host slipped into range of the siege engines. Caught me completely off-gaurd, I ordered a reckless advance, wasted some cav trying to kill it, and was very narrowly defeated.

In short the morale shock to the actual player can be more devastating than the actual damage done to units.

Really fun battle though, the cav duel was fun as anything.
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 04-01-11 03:29 AM EDT (US)     19 / 30       
I played a guy who had a Mangonel hidden with the the bulk of his forces in the woods.

He used his general as bait but I didn't bite, knowing it was a trap I split my army in two and marched from two directions.

Once I was close enough he opened fire on my general, so I had to run him away. Looked like he'd use the inspire ability to boost it's accuracy, too. My infantry took a pounding from his (now unhidden) Bow Monk and his Yari Samurai were in a defensive stance around these archers/mangonel. I lost the battle in the end, had taken too many casualties, but it was close.

The tactics were a little cheesy, but it's not like I could've won had I kept my cavalry hidden for longer to use them at the best moment.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
Soulzityr
Ashigaru
posted 04-06-11 10:52 PM EDT (US)     20 / 30       
I tried an archer-heavy combination but I tend to lose my games when I do. I wish I didn't specialize in archery =/ they suck...
Army Ranger
Ashigaru
posted 04-07-11 01:29 AM EDT (US)     21 / 30       
He used his general as bait
Really? That's obviously going to be a trap!

Last time i put my mangonel in the woods it kept hitting the tops of the trees, so it was useless.

Anybody use bow cavalry? I love them especially once you can do circle and fire.

[This message has been edited by Army Ranger (edited 04-07-2011 @ 01:33 AM).]

Liam_the_Spartan
Banned
posted 04-07-11 03:46 AM EDT (US)     22 / 30       
It depends, I would still have sent 1 cavalry unit after it. Even if it was bait, bait sometimes gets eaten.
Tom_Bear
Ashigaru
posted 04-07-11 12:47 PM EDT (US)     23 / 30       
I now field Bow Cavalry in every battle, even in 5000 (but I more often fight 14 000 now).

I love the maneuvering before a battle starts. With a Bow Cavalry (with speed and accuracy upgrades) you get a huge advantage in this phase by making the enemy respond to you. Sometimes I get lucky and manage to lure enemy cav into a Yari trap, but I think its worth it even if they just end up taking hits in loose formation from a mangonel.
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 04-07-11 02:14 PM EDT (US)     24 / 30       
Is there an advantage to using Bow Monks other than their superior range?

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
Tom_Bear
Ashigaru
posted 04-07-11 03:53 PM EDT (US)     25 / 30       
They also have a faster reload speed.
Gnarlyhotep
Ashigaru
posted 04-07-11 05:27 PM EDT (US)     26 / 30       
Somewhat higher accuracy, and considerably higher morale too.

They will stand even after a general falls, where ashigaru will route if under fire and he's fallen, and samurai will, depending on casualty.

I don't think I've had bow monks flee without a down general and a concerted cavalry charge.
Hussarknight
Seraph Emeritus
posted 04-08-11 12:27 PM EDT (US)     27 / 30       
I don't think Bow Warrior monks are much good. I haven't got them myself, but I've had them against me a couple of times and wasn't particularly impressed. They don't do much better than Bow Samurai and their small unit size doesn't help much. In fact, I found one unit of Bow Ashigaru can beat them, if you use the inspire ability.

          Hussarknight
Liam_the_Spartan
Banned
posted 04-08-11 02:54 PM EDT (US)     28 / 30       
^^ Me too. Bow ashigaru are awesome!
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 04-10-11 02:18 PM EDT (US)     29 / 30       
Hmm, doesn't sound like justified extra cost to me. Plus, if you're relying on your archers to hold the line chances are you're in trouble already!

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
Hussarknight
Seraph Emeritus
posted 04-10-11 04:41 PM EDT (US)     30 / 30       
Yeah, Bow Monks are about as good as Bow Ashigaru when it comes to hand-to-hand combat.

I fought a battle against a player who used lots of archers and it was one of the easiest I've fought so far. I think I only lost about 10% of my starting troops because he simply didn't have enough units to hold his line. He did flank me with Yari Cavalry but that doesn't help much against an army consisting of naginatas and Yari Samurai.

          Hussarknight
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