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Thread: Horse archers : oh, come on...

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    Village special needs person Member Kobal2fr's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Horse Archers have always been a smidge overpowered in TW games. OK, make that a HELL OF A LOT overpowered, especially in Rome and M2TW where they could fire on the move, 360░, while zooming around faster than anything else. I thought back then they needed some toning down but this ?! This is going too far.

    HAs have been neutered to hell and back.

    I was so looking forward to playing with Tatars and Khazaks again in the Russian campaign but, boy, boy are they disappointing. If you don't know, not only do they only fire when the entire unit it at a complete stop, but they have the narrowest field of fire, much narrower that that of infantry.

    So... what's their point, then ? Mobility ? Meh. They are quite fast, but by the time they've circled around a unit and more importantly, taken the loooong time to align just so and wait for the one or two stragglers still stuck in a wall or tree, the target unit has already wheeled, or formed a square. Firepower-wise, they're of course laughable compared to a 3-rank line firing by rank. Charging after a few shots in the back isn't an option, since they're even weaker than regular cav. Skirmishing doesn't make sense : they have the same range as infantry, are much more vulnerable to fire, and again, can't fire while moving back.

    Carabineers and camel gunners are the same - on paper they look as powerful as ever, but in practice, they're suck on a stick.

    I'm unhappy about this.
    Anything wrong ? Blame it on me. I'm the French.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    I'm currently going through a campaign as the French and I have had to re-adjust my tactics with all types of cavalry, but I like it.

    Horse archers bugged me but I found ways to deal with them in MTW2. The Dragoons, Light Dragoons, and their equivalents feel pretty good to me. I keep them in hiding until I see an opportunity to move around to the enemy's rear and either melee their artillery or form up behind their general and let loose a volley or two. Essentially I am using them to set up cross fires which normally causes the enemy army to panic and flee.

    I understand that the pathing is aggrevating with walls and trees so I just avoid setting them up on obstacles. You just have to move them a couple yards in one direction or another to get nice even ground to set them up on.

    Also keep in mind that muskets are very different from bows. These are highly inaccurate weapons when compared to a bow. They best way to guarantee hits is to fire in volleys as they do. A shooting circle isn't going to cut it with muskets. Additionally most of these units are infantry that were just given horses. So just think of them as smaller units of infantry with increased mobility and a higher charge rating, their abilities define their role.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Remember those Spanish dragoons in Kingdoms? lol

  4. #4

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    The worst about the horse-archers I think is the reload-time. It takes them almost twice as long to "load" a new arrow than infantry-man to load their muskets...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobal2fr View Post
    I was so looking forward to playing with Tatars and Khazaks again in the Russian campaign but, boy, boy are they disappointing. If you don't know, not only do they only fire when the entire unit it at a complete stop
    This may not be HA related, as it's true of (almost?) all other units without certain tech upgrades. I've watched multiple units of dragoons and light infantry get hung up on various bits of terrain and take 30-40 seconds to get one or two men sorted out before they started firing despite the other 118 being in rank.

    Does anything operate in the "fire while running" fashion anymore?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    HAs were only really well represented in STW/MTW imho. In ETW they are underpowered and that is historically plausible. I personally am most happy about this.
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    HAs were only really well represented in STW/MTW imho. In ETW they are underpowered and that is historically plausible. I personally am most happy about this.
    Ditto.

  8. #8
    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marquis of Roland View Post
    Remember those Spanish dragoons in Kingdoms? lol
    I always thought of them as some kind of centaur sniper division, trained from birth to pick off a moving target at a full gallon from 100 yards.
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    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    I've noticed this in both my Indian and Ottoman campaigns. Not only do mounted archers and gunners not fire on the move as they should, but also they don't skirmish anymore. So, basically like infantry skirmishers they are just expensive suicide troops and no use to anyone.

    Personally, I'm rapidly having to rethink my strategy for units in ETW, simply because the historic army compositon can't be used as it should be. I'm even thinking of abandoning muskets armed infantry now simply because they refuse to react sensibly to local threats. It seems the only safe option is to build masses of swordsmen and zerg the whole battlefield.

    Oh! BTW - Don't order your men to use their plug bayonets...apparently they don't know how to remove them again so it just converts them into expensive spearmen.
    Last edited by Didz; 03-23-2009 at 21:21.
    Didz
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    you aren't supposed to be able to remove plug bayonets, it says so in the description. :/

  11. #11
    Member Member Tsavong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Didz View Post
    ...and zerg the whole battlefield.
    Works for me ;)


    except when it doesn't

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    The drunken Duke Member Suraknar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    I find cavalry is not that responsive as in previous games of the series for some reason, maybe it is pathfinding issues.

    But they react very slowly, and will not fire if some of the cavalry like 2-3 are still in the move, it seems everyone in the unit must have come in line properly positioned and then only do they fire.

    Lets see if things improve next patch.
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  13. #13
    Village special needs person Member Kobal2fr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ordani View Post
    This may not be HA related, as it's true of (almost?) all other units without certain tech upgrades. I've watched multiple units of dragoons and light infantry get hung up on various bits of terrain and take 30-40 seconds to get one or two men sorted out before they started firing despite the other 118 being in rank.

    Does anything operate in the "fire while running" fashion anymore?
    I realize that, however for me it most often happens to cavalry running around. And it makes sense : if one guy in a marching line battalion gets separated from the pack, he can race and catch up. But a straggler can't run up to an already running unit.

    Also, horses really, really have trouble with walls if they don't happen onto them at a perfect 90░ angle, and when I'm micro-ing 3 or 4 units of HAs at a time and trying to anticipate the instant the AI unit will volley to move them back just before that, I don't have much time to babysit each...

    And Mystiqblackcat, I realize muskets aren't as precise as bows, but I'm not asking for mounted snipers. They can be as inaccurate as blind mice if they want, as long as they fire on the damn move !
    Anything wrong ? Blame it on me. I'm the French.

  14. #14
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    I just think if your going to include a unit type in the game, you need to do the research and model the way that unit works on how they actually worked in real life. If you not prepared to do that and make the model unit work the way it should work then you really have no business producing a game based on real history. Go off and make a fantasy game or something, and leave this market to people who care.
    Last edited by Didz; 03-24-2009 at 10:00.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    That's a little harsh isn't it? I rather have ETW than not and getting all bent out of shape over no move shoot on HA is kinda silly. Its understandable if not disappointing that they didn't bother implementing move fire for like 2-3 units.
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    I think dragoons are quite realistic in many ways. If you don't think so, try reloading your muskets ontop of a horse and getting shot at. It is far more difficult than if you are on foot.

    The reason Dragoons went out of favour is exactly that, the line infantry are far superior in terms of firepower and damage and with the advent of the machine gun, they became very expensive cannon fodder.
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  17. #17
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by antisocialmunky View Post
    That's a little harsh isn't it? I rather have ETW than not and getting all bent out of shape over no move shoot on HA is kinda silly. Its understandable if not disappointing that they didn't bother implementing move fire for like 2-3 units.
    Perhaps, but it true nevertheless.

    There is no requirement on Creative Assembly to produce a game based on real world history. They could just go to town with something like Command and Conquer Red Alert. Instead they chose deliberately to target a market with people like me in it, who have an interest in military history and thus will buy their game simply because its based on actual historical facts.

    Having targetted a market that is looking for authenticity, it seems only reasonable to expect that designers bother to do some research and actually produce what they promise. Had ETW featured Orc's and Goblins I might still have bought it, but would really be annoyed if the goblins couldn't fire from the back of their wolves, but the fact is horse archers could and did fire whilst moving. I actually have video footage should how it was done and exactly how accurate it was.

    Incidently, just for the record I consider the same rules apply to film makers, and TV producers. Basically, if you can't be bothered to get it right then just don't bother in the first place, would be my message
    Last edited by Didz; 03-24-2009 at 14:03.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Originally posted by Didz
    Perhaps, but it true nevertheless.

    There is no requirement on Creative Assembly to produce a game based on real world history. They could just go to town with something like Command and Conquer Red Alert. Instead they chose deliberately to target a market with people like me in it, who have an interest in military history and thus will buy their game simply because its based on actual historical facts.

    Having targetted a market that is looking for authenticity, it seems only reasonable to expect that designers bother to do some research and actually produce what they promise. Had ETW featured Orc's and Goblins I might still have bought it, but would really be annoyed if the goblins couldn't fire from the back of their wolves, but the fact is horse archers could and did fire whilst moving. I actually have video footage should how it was done and exactly how accurate it was.

    Incidently, just for the record I consider the same rules apply to film makers, and TV producers. Basically, if you can't be bothered to get it right then just don't bother in the first place, would be my message
    From the point of view of the history *buff*, you are exactly right. But its not a secret that TW games arent hardcore games in any of the fields they touch. They are not hardcore wargames, not hardcore historical simulations and not fully mainstream pc games although they are partly all of those. From the point of view of CA its hardly worth it to fully satisfy a part of the fanbase at the cost of not satisfying the others and i dont think that anyone has a right to blame them for their approach. On the other hand fans of one or the other element will always bother to post blaming them, which in a way goes to show how much they are addicted to the game.
    Last edited by gollum; 03-24-2009 at 14:18.
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  19. #19
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    From the point of view of the history *buff*, you are exactly right. But its not a secret that TW games arent hardcore games in any of the fields they touch. They are not hardcore wargames, not hardcore historical simulations and not fully mainstream pc games although they are partly all of those. From the point of view of CA its hardly worth it to fully satisfy a part of the fanbase at the cost of not satisfying the others and i dont think that anyone has a right to blame them for their approach. On the other hand fans of one or the other element will always bother to post blaming them, which in a way goes to show how much they are addicted to the game.
    True and I still watch 'Sharpe' even though its a load of rubbish. But if you are going to produce something deliberately for sale to people with an interest in history, you better expect to get criticsed when you get it wrong.
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    Member Member PBI's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    One could argue that the role and effectiveness of horse archers is about right even if the implementation is inaccurate - i.e. horse archers by this point have been rendered obsolete by gunpowder weapons. It would be far worse if the game were filled with horse archers wheeling around in circles with line infantry unable to hit them, rendering them overpowered.

    It's a little unfair to argue horse archers being unable to fire when moving is down to a lack of research on CA's part, since they have had this ability in previous games; I suspect it has more to do with not wanting to spend too much time making essentially cosmetic changes to what is at best a niche unit and at worst an obsolete curiosity by this stage.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Originally posted by Didz
    But if you are going to produce something deliberately for sale to people with an interest in history, you better expect to get criticsed when you get it wrong.
    I am sure that counting the sales money of ETW prepares one well for criticism.
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  22. #22
    pardon my klatchian Member al Roumi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by PBI View Post
    One could argue that the role and effectiveness of horse archers is about right even if the implementation is inaccurate - i.e. horse archers by this point have been rendered obsolete by gunpowder weapons. It would be far worse if the game were filled with horse archers wheeling around in circles with line infantry unable to hit them, rendering them overpowered.

    It's a little unfair to argue horse archers being unable to fire when moving is down to a lack of research on CA's part, since they have had this ability in previous games; I suspect it has more to do with not wanting to spend too much time making essentially cosmetic changes to what is at best a niche unit and at worst an obsolete curiosity by this stage.
    Maybe, but it begs the question as to why bother putting them in the first place?

    It feels like the balance and implementation of units in ETW is worse than it was in MTW2. Now obviously I'm talking about MTW2:Kingdoms with a multitude of patches, but ETW just doesn't feel anywhere near as polished.

    I hope that the vaunted series of planned updates will address the many niggles and annoyances currently experienced. I can't even list the number of work arounds I've had to come up with to deal with buggy AI and unit "features".

    Pain in the ass. I'll not even mention the North American Indian armies.

  23. #23
    Insane Imperialist. Member Feanaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Playing as Martha, those Camel gunners are quite nice units... except they won't reload unless there's an enemy in range. Rather defeats the whole purpose of shoot and scoot, which is all they can do. They are plain useless most of the time, except that their range sometimes allows them to shoot out garrisoned troops.
    Last edited by Feanaro; 03-24-2009 at 17:48.
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    Village special needs person Member Kobal2fr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanaro View Post
    Playing as Martha, those Camel gunners are quite nice units... except they won't reload unless there's an enemy in range. Rather defeats the whole purpose of shoot and scoot, which is all they can do.
    That's also a problem with artillery. They'll only reload if they're in shooting mode. If you have them shoot, then stop for half an hour, then shoot again, they'll only start reloading when you give them the second shooting order. Lazy bums.
    Anything wrong ? Blame it on me. I'm the French.

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    Devout worshipper of Bilious Member miotas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobal2fr View Post
    That's also a problem with artillery. They'll only reload if they're in shooting mode. If you have them shoot, then stop for half an hour, then shoot again, they'll only start reloading when you give them the second shooting order. Lazy bums.
    sounds right to me. How can they anticipate how much powder they will need for the order you're going to give them in half and hour?

    On the subject of mounted gunners, i think they should be able to fire one pre-loaded shot in any direction while on the move, but need to stop again to reload. I just don't see how it would be possible to measure powder and load a musket on the move, and of course horse archers should be able to fire constantly even while on the move and in all directions. I haven't used them myself but what's been explained sound pretty silly.

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    Member Member Daevyll's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Didz View Post
    Had ETW featured Orc's and Goblins I might still have bought it, but would really be annoyed if the goblins couldn't fire from the back of their wolves, but the fact is horse archers could and did fire whilst moving. I actually have video footage should how it was done and exactly how accurate it was.
    I have it on good authority that, historically, Goblins didnt really ride wolves but preferred bad tempered poodles instead. With video footage as well.

  27. #27
    Insane Imperialist. Member Feanaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobal2fr View Post
    That's also a problem with artillery. They'll only reload if they're in shooting mode. If you have them shoot, then stop for half an hour, then shoot again, they'll only start reloading when you give them the second shooting order. Lazy bums.
    My artillery don't seem to suffer from this problem. They will happily reload at any time. Hit enemies? "No, senior, we cannot do that but we reload just fine."
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    I've changed my tactics completely. In RTW and MTW2, I just loved missile cavalry and would go for the factions with good missile cavalry. I'd use them to weaken the enemy so my infantry and melee cavalry would have an easy time mopping them up, if there's still any left.

    It's the opposite with Empire. I'm playing as the Dutch and have barely built any cavalry. I haven't built a single one except maybe a couple of dragoons and some light dragoons. I'm just spamming line infantry and bringing 2-4 pieces of artillery to the larger fights. That and a couple of grenadiers as well.

  29. #29
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    I'm not even bothering with that at the minute, massed sword weilding mobs is the way to go for me.

    Just form them in big columns and gank everything that moves.
    Last edited by Didz; 03-25-2009 at 23:24.
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  30. #30
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse archers : oh, come on...

    Explosive cannon shell in the face or burning turpentine wad of sheets in the face.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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