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Thread: Archer elevation

  1. #1
    Research Shinobi Senior Member Tamur's Avatar
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    Default Archer elevation

    Another day, another 3000 dead infantry...

    Hypothesis:

    Archers are deadlier when firing downhill

    Method:

    therother brought a lot of Bow Ashigaru, I brought a lot of Loansword Ashigaru, and we met on a mountainous map. I can't remember the name, but using any map with varied elevation (which, it must be said, is not too hard in this game!) you should be able to reproduce the results.

    We ran two sets of tests.

    First, I lined up single units of Loansword Ashigaru six ranks deep at what I estimate to be a 40 ft elevation drop from therother's archers, who were in 2 ranks and normal formation at the top of a ridge.

    Second, I lined up single units of Loanswords, again six ranks deep, at the same elevation as the archers, who were again in 2 ranks, normal formation.

    In both cases, the general was present to keep the infantry from routing too early.

    Results:

    I even labeled my graph this time...



    When I was typing in the data, and then looking at this graph, it appeared that the elevated archers might have a slight edge though the difference didn't look striking. To examine that further, I summed accumulated kills across time, and here's the result:



    You can see that kill rates are about as smoothly aligned as experimental results can get. The difference in every test case was that the downhill units routed one round earlier, even though their population was identical to the unit on flat ground.

    Conclusion:

    It appears that our hypothesis was wrong -- archers do not kill any more when shooting from high elevation than they would otherwise.

    But, it also appears that units downhill from archers suffer a slight morale penalty which led to the earlier routing.

    As always, more testing and other data is very welcome.
    Last edited by Tamur; 04-29-2011 at 21:42.
    "Die Wahrheit ruht in Gott / Uns bleibt das Forschen." Johann von Müller

  2. #2
    Research Fiend Technical Administrator Tetris Champion, Summer Games Champion, Snakeman Champion, Ms Pacman Champion therother's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reseearch: Archer elevation

    We also did some tests with the archers at low elevation. The effect was not very substantial: high elevation vs normal and low elevation vs normal virtually indistinguishable. However, low vs high there is at least some evidence of a difference although it's not particularly statistically significant.
    Nullius addictus iurare in uerba magistri -- Quintus Horatius Flaccus

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  3. #3
    Member Member Daevyll's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reseearch: Archer elevation

    Has range been measured? I would expect an advantage of elevation would be that range is increased, giving an advantage in an archery duel because you get a 'free' shot while the unit downhill walks into range.
    I've tried to establish this in battle, but nothing really conclusive.

  4. #4
    Research Fiend Technical Administrator Tetris Champion, Summer Games Champion, Snakeman Champion, Ms Pacman Champion therother's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reseearch: Archer elevation

    Did my best to measure range, using a couple of fully spread out ashi archer units. As far as I could tell, there's little range difference standing at the top of a hill versus on flat ground.
    Nullius addictus iurare in uerba magistri -- Quintus Horatius Flaccus

    History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there -- George Santayana

  5. #5
    Heaps Gooder Member aimlesswanderer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reseearch: Archer elevation

    With extra range and damage from elevation, archers would be even more deadly... but since I don't use them much, it suits me better now.
    "All things are born from darkness, and all things return to darkness". Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind


  6. #6

    Default Re: Archer elevation

    Very much like what you did here but I do not think the loan swords are the best unit to test the "deadliness" of the archers. Samurai with better armor would make better targets. Armor reflects a portion of the arrows fired. With extra elevation the damage of the arrows should be higher and a smaller amount of arrows would be deflected, consequently killing more men. Loan swords have so little armor that an arrow that hits almost certainly kills. So your test was more or less a test of accuracy, and not deadliness, imo.

  7. #7
    Research Fiend Technical Administrator Tetris Champion, Summer Games Champion, Snakeman Champion, Ms Pacman Champion therother's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archer elevation

    to the Org lampekap.

    You make a very good point, it may very well be that the extra impact elevation provides is not well represented in our current data. We were going to test various other units but have not found the time recently (I think we have only very preliminary data for Yari Samurai).
    Last edited by therother; 05-05-2011 at 16:47.
    Nullius addictus iurare in uerba magistri -- Quintus Horatius Flaccus

    History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there -- George Santayana

  8. #8
    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archer elevation

    I must admit, this result is what my gut has been telling me after numerous SP battles. TW games have created this notion for us that elevation is better, but in TWS2 it seems like it's nowhere near as important as it used to be. I have not noticed any differences in killing power or range from archer on hills as opposed to elsewhere. The morale penalty for being lower is important and can tip a battle, but it is mainly a melee vs melee factor, not applicable to archers.

    However, there is another terrain factor that needs to be tested with archery: forest. Do units take fewer casualties from archers when they are in a forest as opposed to on a plain? I think they do, but stats would be nice. For comparison purposes, it would also be interesting to see exactly how much protection units get when they are stationed on the walls of forts/castles, as those clearly provide a significant bonus. Is a forest the equivalent of half the protection of a fort wall? A third? A quarter?

    To keep adding things on, I'm also very curious about the effectiveness of the Bow Samurai defensive emplacement shield things. Is it better to deploy in the open with those active, or in the forest without them? Also, the length of the shield defenses that are erected can vary greatly by unit depending on positioning and ranks. Does the visual representation of the length have any bearing on how effective it is for the unit?
    Last edited by TinCow; 05-05-2011 at 17:38.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Archer elevation

    Quote Originally Posted by therother View Post
    to the Org lampekap.

    You make a very good point, it may very well be that the extra impact elevation provides is not well represented in our current data. We were going to test various other units but have not found the time recently (I think we have only very preliminary data for Yari Samurai).
    Thanks! This is an interesting forum, maybe I will contribute something if I get the chance. Again, I very much like the way you and others come up with reliable and repeatable methods of putting your hypotheses to the test. Veritable myth busting, lol

    Suggestion if your tests allow; what about shooting uphill, is there a penalty? If there would be a penalty and a bonus the elevated archers would have double the advantage so to speak in an archer v archer fight.

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