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Thread: So which is it?

  1. #1
    Member Member Al Qasim Hussein's Avatar
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    I recently acquired the ability to build both and haven't had a chance to test them out yet as only one province can currently build them (it's kinda been my missile building province, you see...).

    I've got some stacks of both, with some infantry, etc. but I was wondering what everyone's thoughts/preferences were on/between the two. I've compared the unit stats at Total War Assembly and it wasn't too helpful. I guess arbs are more accurate and lethal, but you can't hit an xbowman w/ a big ol' shield.
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  2. #2
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Arbs by default

    They have simply got a much heavier punch for the same reloadtime. Try a Custom battle between the two and you will notice the Arbs simply overpower the xbows. The Pavise only makes them last longer (it adds 3 to Armour).
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  3. #3
    Freedom Fighters Clan LadyAnn's Avatar
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    Arbalaster also has 20% longer range.

    In MP, whenever I fielded a Turkish army, my poor crossbowmen got shot down like flies by those dreadful pavise arbalaster And Turks has no arb. nor pavise

    Playing under the cressent-star-on-green flag is resorted to rushing or evasive tactics and if you got caught in a shooting match, you are dead.

    Although MP is not a reflection of SP gameplay, you would have some idea of how the units are used.

    Annie
    [EDIT: here is the TWA stat interpretation:

    range: arb.: 6000 xbow: 5000 -> arb can shoot first and another arb. unit could be out of range behind and keep shooting and out of reach.

    accuracy: arb. 0.75, xbow 0.70: slightly better for arb.
    lethality: arb: 1.25 xbow 1.0: dont know what this is
    armour modifier: arb: 0.3 xbow: 0.5: this is a big difference if you try to shoot armoured troops (other than another arb or xbow). An armour of 7 guy will have his defense stat reduced by half, to 3.5 against a crossbow, but only to 2 when an arbalester bolt try to find him).
    power: arb 3, xbow: 2. Dont know what this means.
    ]



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  4. #4
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Lethality is the chance the bolt will kill the intended target after having penetrated the armour (meaning after the Armour Mod). But in reality I think it is only 20% of the number given, or something along those lines.

    Power is the number of lives the bolt will kill. Has little effect in MP besides killing the general at ranges. Is more importan in SP where you can face the dreaded Jedi Knights.

    Also the TWA is wrong about the Armour Mod, it is really 0.4 for the xbows.
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    Member Member pdoan8's Avatar
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    Arbalest and Passive Arbalest for me too. I have never trained a single Passive Crossbow.

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    Member Member Cooperman's Avatar
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    pavise arbalasters everytime
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  7. #7
    Member Member Spetulhu's Avatar
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    Arbalests if you can build both. Not that pavise crossbows are bad either if you can`t get pavise arbalesters. These guys really helped my poor Egyptians after they became available.
    If you're fighting fair you've made a miscalculation.

  8. #8

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    Don't bother with the Xbow if u can build palvise aba, they are much more deadly than Xbows when killing amoured units and those shield are very handy in blocking enemy's arrows.

  9. #9
    BLEEEE! Senior Member Daveybaby's Avatar
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    Dont place too much face in the results of 1-on-1 testing of units to determine whats best. Full battles have outcomes based on more complex effects than 2 units standing facing each other and firing until everyone dies.

    You may find pavise crossbows are better depending on your situation. If youre using them for defence it *might* be better to go for the pavise crossbows until you get pavise arbs, as their extra shields will soak up enemy missiles (especially those from normal archers), and if youre on a hill, the range advantage the enemy might have if he's using arbs will be negated.

    However, bear in mind that Pavise units are VERY slow, and even though theyre heavily armoured this really only protects them from other missile units - they will still get massacred in melee. So: you will have to make sure you move them out of the way with plenty of time to spare when the enemy charges.

    This slow speed also makes them pretty useless if youre attacking - this is where cav archers or xbows come into their own.

  10. #10
    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Well since we are indeed talking about Pav xbows and pav arbs we can safely determine which is better by a simple faceoff. If it had been arbs vs pav xbows it would have been another matter entirely.
    You may not care about war, but war cares about you!


  11. #11
    Member Member Al Qasim Hussein's Avatar
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    It was regular Arbs vs. Pavise Xbows I happened to get both units available at the same time (or maybe that's how they come up? I don't have the tech tree handy&#33

    Anyways, I tried it out last night in my 'Great Sweep of Evil Muslim North Africa' HRE military campaign (no SP campaign, but a planned military action during a campaign, or the usual definition of campaign...nevermind). Arbalesters are absolutely incredible. The xbows were ok, I had two of them and two arbs both in the battle. I have never, and i mean never[I] seen my opponents units disintegrate like that. I got the opportunity to set them up on opposing ridgelines, firing into the center of the army (a crossfire, for those tacticians out there) and there were Almohads keeling over left and right. Had I four arbalesters instead of 2 w/ 2 xbows I might have routed them right there. Wow.
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    Member Member pdoan8's Avatar
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    Passive only have more defense and move slower than the regular one. So if you are compare their killing capability, arbs are still better than Passive Xbow.

    As DaveyBaby said, Passive Xbow might be better depending on the situation. The shield can absorb enemy fire while your Arbs killing the enemy missile.




  13. #13

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    Yup, Arbs are brutal at attacking battles. Keep a row (or two) of spears in front of them, and they take on all comers. It's great seeing a cavalry attack come in and get cut to pieces before hitting the spears... Hmmmm....

    And on Bridge Battles My God 2 Spears, and 4 Arbs (Ammo notwitstanding) will carry the day against pretty near anything.

    I have Pav Arbs in my current campaign, but am yet to see them in battle. I'll only use them for defense, as they don't need to move so much.

    Of course in my current game I'm only building +4 Armour + (1 or 2) Attack troops, so that may have something to do with it.
    The ignorant shall be ignored

  14. #14
    Senior Member Senior Member LordTed's Avatar
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    An arb without a shield is faster if any one has noticed.

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    Member Member TheViking's Avatar
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    i only used xbows a couple of times when i started to play this game. Now i always wait till I get bow guild so i can train arbs. and i dont train xbow during those year it takes to build it. its only 6 or 8 years dont remember
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (LordTed @ Dec. 21 2002,01:53)]An arb without a shield is faster if any one has noticed.
    Which is exactly why I only use pavise Arbs for Defense, keeping my nimble arbs for offense. But, as I invariably keep my missile troops behind the spears, it's probably irrelevant, as the spears soak up the enemy's missiles anyway...
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  17. #17
    AKA Leif 3000 TURBO Senior Member Leet Eriksson's Avatar
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    turks don't get arbs wierdly enough the tech tree shows the arb as a common unit
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  18. #18
    Member Member Katasaki Hirojima's Avatar
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    You do realize when you stick your arbs behind the Spears your also shooting the Spearmen in the back? Arbs have a very low trajectory when fireing, so while they may fire up over the spearmans heads while the enemy is far away, as soon as they get closer to the spears your Arbs are going to fire THROUGH your spearman to get at the Enemy. ALways put missiles in front if you Don't like friendly fire, which inflicts a morale penalty on yourself for missile losses.

    Also, Pavise's are not used in combat, as the Crossbow is a two handed weapon. Thus they get no Sheild benefit in Melee. This means that a regular arb is better for Melee then a pavise because They're faster, cheaper and have the same punch. I never use Pavise units if I don't have too. Too slow and too weak.
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    Member Member Exile's Avatar
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    There is nothing like a volley from a group of arbalesters when it comes to cutting down the enemy's strongest knights or footmen. 4-5 arbalesters can make even the best armoured and most powerful enemy unit functionally ineffective in 2-3 good volleys. Particularly if the target is standing.

    I love using my arbalesters to cut down the enemy's vahguard unit (usually royal knights or such)

    Another note about the arbalesters straight line shot - I've seen them not be able to hit their target if there's a dip or swell which can break the straight line - it's often difficult to see at a glance.
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  20. #20

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    Katasaki Hirojima I'd rather lose a crappy spearman than a unit of Arbs.

    In my experience in a 1200 men battle I'm only losing 5 - 10 of my own men to FF. I suppose I should look at the log to confirm, but it's fairly light.
    The ignorant shall be ignored

  21. #21

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    Exile absolutely. The Arb is sooooo slow to fire, but more than makes up for it with those Sabots he seems to use. Even better, with the slow ROF he can sit on the field for an entire 60 minute battle, all the while mowing down armoured units.

    I hadn't noticed the hill effect - I'll pay more attention to that, I had noticed they are virtually useless on enemies coming through trees, but then all missiles are, yes?
    The ignorant shall be ignored

  22. #22
    Member Member hoom's Avatar
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    Most of the time, missile soldiers (singular) won't fire if they don't have a clear shot. They'll load and aim, but there is no fire.
    Someone from CA said that.

    A remedy to this as defender is to put the arbs on a steep slope behind the spears.
    Basically it is better to put your spears on the flat at the bottom of the hill if it allows the arbs to fire better.
    maybe those guys should be doing something more useful...

  23. #23
    Member Member Al Qasim Hussein's Avatar
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    Arbalester weakness I was fighting the last of the Almohads in a desert battle and the arbalesters in my group (armor +1, the black shield) were totally exhausted before half the battle was gone. In this state each volley might take one or two (if ANY) moderately good units, or 5-6 peasants. And that was on a lucky volley. So exhausted arbalesters must not be able to lift their weapons when they're that hot and tired.

    Guess I'll have to bring more arbs as reinforcements for desert battles and just withdraw and reinforce when they have no more stamina bars left.
    God does not play dice.

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