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Thread: Archers with Phalanx

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    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Archers with Phalanx

    Does anybody have any tips on using archers with a phalanx, historic use or otherwise? I have found the phalanx to most effective used offensively instead of defensively, e.g., ordering them to attack the enemy instead of waiting for the enemy to throw themselves onto my spears (though that works as well). With an offensive use of the phalanx, archers seem to be just a liability. I have the skirmisher use down, is the archer use the same thing?
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    See this discussion:

    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...ck-of-hoplites

    Cliff Notes....yes, you skirmish them to death, and other than Sacred Band, Spartans, or Armored Hoplites, you can win easier than you might think.

    With horse archers...meh.....it's like taking candy from a baby
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    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    That thread seemed to be on attacking phalanx with archers, unless I missed something. I am talking about my own archers with my own phalanx. It is especially bad with Macedon and Seleucia, their standard archers have poor range, so by the time the enemy is in range my phalanx is engaging them. Horse Archers would be better, they could move behind my phalanx and shoot while they are moving, but I try not to use a lot of units I can't retrain on a campaign. Neither Macedon nor Seleucia can train archer cav, unless you count Seleucia's elephants. Again, training is an issue, this time by location. True, with archers, and especially HAs, ideally they are not touched, but I have been distracted too many times and had enemy units hit my archers and decimate them. Armoured Elephants would work there again-hmm…and then bring them into play when I need them. Nobody really could do them too much damage even when I am distracted. But the realism comes into play as well. And just how realistic are Armoured Elephants? I don't like skirmish mode, the units make stupid movements on it or wait too long to run.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  4. #4

    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    If enemy is going to engage and you still want to fire with foot archers you could just keep on running away or using cavalry to harass in order to buy more time.

    Usually I just have archers keep firing and send my phalanx unit forward to engage, the I have the archers provide supporting fire. I don't really care about friendly fire in this case when it is minimal compared to the amount of casualties you can cause to the enemy.
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    I am talking about my own archers with my own phalanx.
    My bad...

    I use archers and pike in R1 much the same way as Shogun....archers in front. If the enemy won't engage, you keep shooting. If cavalry gives chase, you retreat them behind the phalanx. Rinse and repeat until you are out of arrows. Then send in the pike...

    I don't really care about friendly fire in this case when it is minimal compared to the amount of casualties you can cause to the enemy.
    That might be true with low level vanilla archers, and heavily armored pike. Try that with high-level Cretans, or Chosen Archers, and you can kiss half your phalanx unit goodbye Can't even count the number of times my archers shot my own troops in the back (ie. that all-too-familiar red-red-red blinking of a front line unit that just got hosed) until I learned to put the archers in front and then retreat behind the infantry.

    .....and did you audition for the Longshanks role in Braveheart? I sure as hell wouldn't want to be an elite pikeman in your army.....
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 06-14-2014 at 08:04.
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    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    ETA: never mind - wrong forum.
    Last edited by Ludens; 06-14-2014 at 11:40.
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    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    So I have come to the conclusion that as Macedon, archers will not play a heavy role in my armies. The enemy closes too quickly for the Macedonian archer's range to come into major play, and I have the cav to deal with enemy infantry and missile units. I always end up sending my cav to deal with enemies on my flanks, and then I hit enemy missile units while the cav is out. I have more Peltasts and Merc Peltasts in my armies to seal my flanks, I guess my Merc Peltasts are filling the role of Hypaspists, I know the comparison is not that great, but once they get some experience they do decent in hand-to-hand combat.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    Basically the same thing I do with Macedon. Their cav is just sooooo good I do have at least one stack with Cretans, tho'....once expansion happens into Anatolia, and Kydonia is flying the "Jolly Roger", you have three provinces to recruit them. They go primarily to the Middle East to deal with Chariot Archers.....

    I know the comparison is not that great, but once they get some experience they do decent in hand-to-hand combat.
    Yep. The Illyrians can be a good addition once they get some exp and upgrades. Between the Cretans and the Illyrians, it's good to have at least one Temple of Artemis around for that +3 missile upgrade
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    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Basically the same thing I do with Macedon. Their cav is just sooooo good I do have at least one stack with Cretans, tho'....once expansion happens into Anatolia, and Kydonia is flying the "Jolly Roger", you have three provinces to recruit them. They go primarily to the Middle East to deal with Chariot Archers.....



    Yep. The Illyrians can be a good addition once they get some exp and upgrades. Between the Cretans and the Illyrians, it's good to have at least one Temple of Artemis around for that +3 missile upgrade
    Oh, I have one unit of archers, but with my Roman armies I have two, even with Rome's cav being good, it factors in less because I use my infantry in a different manner, I can protect my flanks with infantry because Roman infantry is more flexible. Roman skirmishers are less useful, though I still use them for historical accuracy. But Archer Auxilia have longer range than standard archers, so they are more effective because they can shoot from so far away.
    I use less Illyrians than Merc Peltasts, though the Illyrians are better. Merc Peltasts are more available. Actually, a Pantheion to Zeus gives +2 to missiles, so with an Armourer, they can get to gold. Artemis does it at a lower level, so that is where that comes in handy. By the time I really got an army going, I could get the Pantheion to Zeus in Bylazora, that is how long it took me to get going. I put trade temples in almost any towns with ports, so right off the bat, that is all Macedon has, so that is what I did.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    Actually, a Pantheion to Zeus gives +2 to missiles, so with an Armourer, they can get to gold. Artemis does it at a lower level, so that is where that comes in handy
    Takes a loooong time to get to 24k pop and the Pantheon, so yes, Artemis fills in until then. I put Artemis in Larissa because a) Larissa is a "fast grower" so you get it to lvl 3 pretty quick which gives even vanilla archers an edge; b) you recruit Cretans in the adjacent provinces so they scoot right to Larissa in one or two turns c) it's a short boat ride from Phrygia & Crete to Larissa with Cretan mercs.

    The enemy closes too quickly for the Macedonian archer's range to come into major play
    In the field, yes. But they can be quite effective when defending walls, which is where I use them. High walls give them better range, and you can retrain them in-city after a siege is broken.

    By the time I really got an army going, I could get the Pantheion to Zeus in Bylazora, that is how long it took me to get going


    I put trade temples in almost any towns with ports
    I use Ares sparingly because of the 'anger management' problem. I rely on the high influence of my 'retired' field generals to control newly conquered cities, and taking a -2 hit to influence doesn't help matters.
    High Plains Drifter

  11. #11
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Archers with Phalanx

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Takes a loooong time to get to 24k pop and the Pantheon, so yes, Artemis fills in until then. I put Artemis in Larissa because a) Larissa is a "fast grower" so you get it to lvl 3 pretty quick which gives even vanilla archers an edge; b) you recruit Cretans in the adjacent provinces so they scoot right to Larissa in one or two turns c) it's a short boat ride from Phrygia & Crete to Larissa with Cretan mercs.



    In the field, yes. But they can be quite effective when defending walls, which is where I use them. High walls give them better range, and you can retrain them in-city after a siege is broken.







    I use Ares sparingly because of the 'anger management' problem. I rely on the high influence of my 'retired' field generals to control newly conquered cities, and taking a -2 hit to influence doesn't help matters.
    With the constant attack this campaign (and how it seems populations grow more under siege), Bylazora was up pretty quickly, and I couldn't afford an real army for a while, well, I probably could have, but I focused on getting my money supply stabilized first and striking the enemy more sporadically.
    I use at least two archer units in cities as garrison, and now using more onagers as well, to counter enemy siege towers. With Macedon it is not really that big a deal since I barricade the streets with my pikemen, but if I can knock the siege towers out, I can have my units concentrate on defending one area, which means I need fewer troops in those towns. That said, I always try to have enough to have at least one at every point the enemy will attack, but I like to have my troops where all the enemies concentrate instead of accounting for the one unit that goes the different route. Also, by taking out the towers, I can have my archers hit the sap points, minimizing the areas my troops have to cover.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

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