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Thread: When should archers start firing?

  1. #1
    Member Member nmdca30lx's Avatar
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    Are the archers equally accurate in all distances, from the moment that the bow cursor gets green? If not when is the best moment to start shooting. I notice that my archers many times run out of arrows too soon without inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.
    Could anyone give any hints?
    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    1) Shoot with archers just inside max range.
    2) Fire from higher ground if possible.
    3) Make their formation two rows deep. Three rows isn't too bad either.
    4) Target low armored, high value troops.
    5) If on flat ground, give them a clear line of site.
    6) Archers tend to overshoot charging units, and don't take target motion into consideration when aiming.

    MizuYuuki ~~~
    Clan Takiyama ~~~

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    The closer, the better. So, do not allow your archers to fire as soon as the cursor changes to green, wait untill your opponent gets closer. Additionaly, you may want to direct the fire of your archers by double clicking on the unit you want to decimate. However, be careful with this option, it may cause high frienly fire casualties. Your archers will fire at the unit regardless whether it is engaged with your other units or not. To lower the casualties from friendly fire use the fire at will option, but in this case your archers will fire at the closest enemy unit.
    Lional of Cornwall
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member Vanya's Avatar
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    Order your archers to fire on their taisho. His death in battle raises the morale of your army, for he is now considered a hero. Once your general is dead, the rest is irrelevant. Just charge like a formless mob and victory will be assured.
    [Sips sake, eats popcorn]

  5. #5

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    The point that they begin to fire on their own is the maximum possible range and their kill rate is minimal. When arrows are a premium I wait until the enemy unit has advanced within the "green range" to begin firing. That way, the whole unit is vulnerable to archer fire and all my guys will be able to fire.

    Still, what you do depends on the goals. If I'm camping and defending with large numbers of archers, I keep my archers in rows of 2 and let them fire at will. It's the maximum density of incoming arrows and really demoralising for the enemy. I can usually drive back infantry with this method while slowly advancing my own infantry against their archers.

    If I'm defending but archers are minimal, I do what I described at first. At a bridge, I line them up in 3s and don't fire until the enemy reaches the bridge (mass carnage and mass morale hit). It really does depend on situation and terrain what you do. The only hard rule of thumb I've found is always keep them in either rows of 2 or 3 as in any other formation they'll piss through ammo just as quickly but fire less arrows.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member Kurando's Avatar
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    There are probably more than a few highly-skilled players that can beat him 1-on-1, but for what it's worth I consider Puzz3D to be THE most informed player in the game so I'd take his advice to heart nmdca30lx + those other guys seem to make sense too...

    Modern civilization is a vast conspiracy against silence

  7. #7

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    In theory, closer should be better, but the tendency to overshoot increases as the trajectory gets flatter. This effect tends to offset the gain in accuracy as range diminishes. I don't have any test numbers handy, but I remember archer kills being much flatter than you would expect over most of the range. That's why I suggest using the archer just inside max range. You want to be just inside max range to ensure that all men in the unit fire, so that you get the maximum kill rate. A unit that has lost men still retains all of it's unused arrows, but the kill rate will be lower.

    In a recent test of archers in 3 rows firing on a stationary YS (flat map, fine day, range 4000), I was getting 1 kill for every 30 arrows fired. That's about 2 kills per 60 man volley, and you have 28 volleys. That's a potential of 56 kills. You can do better firing from higher ground or firing at units on a bridge.

    It's only necessary to single click on a unit to target it.

    MizuYuuki ~~~

    _________Designed to match Original STW gameplay.


    Beta 8 + Beta 8.1 patch + New Maps + Sound add-on + Castles 2

  8. #8

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    It depends on the situation.

    First off, the higher the ground your archers are on, the longer the range, the better their accuracy (arrows dont fly ballistically) and when the enemy comes up the hill they slow down to a trickle and pack close together.. perfect to be hit by arrows.

    Always put archers on 2 or 3 rows deep.

    Always target the most dangerous enemy melee unit. Concentrate fire from ALL archers on that one unit for about 2 or 3 salvos, then switch target to next dangerous melee unit or at your discretion, keep shooting the first one until its left with few men.

    ALWAYS try to pick high ground with a forest behind or right next to your archers. Even if it means not taking advantage of a higher hill somewhere else. If your archers are threatened by cavalry or by yari sams, you can run there and cut them down with your archer's swords. Of course, trees dont help vs. no-dachi or monks, but thats the units you SHOULD target first with arrows.

    Depending on situation, fire at max range, always. "Depending on situation" means if you are on defense vs. many enemy units and you dont want to run out of arrows early. That will be your decision though, an archer that doesnt use all his arrows is a wasted archer anyway.

    Remember that a melee unit can charge and get into melee range with archers before the archers can shoot off all their ammo.

    By concentrating all of your archer unit's fire on one unit (the most dangerous, aka monks or no-dachi) they can kill off most of that unit's strength down to a # that your archers will be able to handle on melee combat.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Here is a result of a few test runs, H2 SA against H2 YS, on the ironing board, spring, good weather. I used the SA in a skirmish mode, 3 men deep formation, fire at will option.

    Rows are volleys (1st,2nd, etc.) colums are test runs (1st, 2nd,etc.)

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sum....avg/volley
    1 - - 4 - - 1 - 2 1 - 1 - 2 - - ...11 ...0.7333
    2 1 - - 2 - - 2 2 1 - - 2 1 1 1 ...13 ...0.8666
    3 2 - - 1 1 - 2 - 2 1 1 1 - - 1 ...12 ...0.8
    4 2 1 - 1 - 1 1 - 1 1 1 - 1 2 - ...12 ...0.8
    5 3 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 3 - 1 3 2 ...22 ...1.4666
    6 1 3 1 3 5 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 4 2 3 ...30 ...2
    7 1 - 1 3 1 1 1 - 2 3 - 1 3 - - ...17 ...1.1333
    8 3 2 2 - - - 2 - 1 1 1 2 - - 1 ...15 ...1
    9 - n n n n n 1 1 2 2 1 1 n 1 - ...9 ...1

    - means no kills
    n means not fired (i.e. had not time to do so)

    The result shows (a) that archers on average can fire 8 volleys before YS can reach them. (b) Accuracy increases as range decreases. The best volley is the 6th, followed by the 5th. The drop of accuracy after the 6th is explanied by the fact that the YS switch to quick march from march just before the 7th volleys hits them. Obviously during the 8th and 9th they are charing with full spead. I am sure that were they approach with the same speed the 7th, 8th and 9th volleys would be at least as efficient as the 6th. This shows that the closer the better
    Of course, you should not allow the bastids to charge you!!!!!

    BTW, everyone else is correct in pointing out that distance is not the only factor. First of all, have you got enough supporting troops (YS against cavalry, nagis against ND and monks, etc.) or not? If not, obviously you have no choice but to fire at them as soon as possible hoping to rout them before they can reach your archers. Second, do you expect a single charge or not? If you expect a single charge then again you should fire as soon as possible, since as Tac said "an archer that doesnt use all his arrows is a wasted archer anyway." However, if you have sufficent support and you expect repeated charges (or prolonged combat) then, I think, it is worth to be patient and allow your opponent closer than max range before you start shooting at them.


    [This message has been edited by Cheetah (edited 02-28-2002).]

    table is far from perfect, hope you see the results

    [This message has been edited by Cheetah (edited 02-28-2002).]
    Lional of Cornwall
    proud member of the Round Table Knights
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    Death before dishonour.

    "If you wish to weaken the enemy's sword, move first, fly in and cut!" - Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei

  10. #10

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    Cheetah,

    Nice results for a moving target. The arrow's time-of-flight is an additional factor here, and I believe accounts to a large degree for your reduced kills at long range. I do see the flat kills vs distance in the first 4 volleys in your results that I've noticed in static tests. Certainly the ai should be switching the YS to march quickly after the 4th volley rather than the 6th to stay under the arrows as long as possible. BTW, the 6th volley in your table totals 32 kills rather than 30.

    Just a note: I have noticed differences in test results on ranged units between custom battle and online/LAN battle; specifically when doing some musk vs archer tests. At this time, I'm not sure if this is just statistcal fluctuation or some difference in parameters.

    MizuYuuki ~~~
    Clan Takiyama ~~~

    _________Designed to match Original STW gameplay.


    Beta 8 + Beta 8.1 patch + New Maps + Sound add-on + Castles 2

  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Puzz3D you are correct as ever, it is indeed 32!

    As far as the online/LAN concerned I have heard this rumour before, but I never had the opportunity to test online. BTW, one would expect the same results.
    Lional of Cornwall
    proud member of the Round Table Knights
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    Death before dishonour.

    "If you wish to weaken the enemy's sword, move first, fly in and cut!" - Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei

  12. #12

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    Another trick I like is shooting the ashigaru units first. Sometimes, I shoot em up and make them rout.. and when the routing ashigarus are running through their own troops, I mob rush attack with everything I have.. the enemy army many times routs completely. Dont try this against honor 2+ units or morale improved enemy

  13. #13
    Provost Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    nmd, one more thing about archers. Don't forget that they are fast and they are samurai! Their value continues after the last arrow is gone. Have them charge into the enemies flank or reinforce another wavering unit. They can be very effective in melee in the right circumstances. They can catch slower fleeing troops.
    Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like bananas.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Senior Member Vanya's Avatar
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    An old Chinese proverb...

    "An arrow in the enemy's chest is worth 10 in the air."
    [Sips sake, eats popcorn]

  15. #15
    Member Member nmdca30lx's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for all these useful hints.

    Cheers,

  16. #16
    Toda Nebuchadnezzar
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    Gah!

    The obvious answer is Vanya's! I mean you cannot loose if you shoot your own Taisho and then charge the enemy. Shooting your own Daimyo is even better, you will be victorious in any battle after then!

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  17. #17
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Here is a result of a few more test runs. Everything is the same as before just I bought A3 (golden armour upgrade) for the yaris. That is: H2 SA against H2 A3 YS, on the ironing board, spring, good weather. SA in skirmish mode, 3 men deep formation, fire at will option. Rows are volleys (1st,2nd, etc.) colums are test runs (1st, 2nd,etc.)

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . ... sum ... avg/volley
    1 - 1 - - - - - - 1 - - 1 1 - - ... 4 ... 0.266
    2 - - - 1 1 - 1 1 1 2 2 - - - 1 ... 10 ... 0.666
    3 2 1 - - - 1 - - 2 - - - - 3 1 ... 10 ... 0.666
    4 - - 1 - - 1 2 1 - - 1 - - - 1 ... 7 ... 0.466
    5 1 - 1 - - - 1 - 1 - 3 - 1 - 2 ... 10 ... 0.666
    6 - 2 - - 1 1 - - - 1 1 1 - 1 - ... 8 ... 0.533
    7 1 2 2 1 3 1 2 - 1 1 1 - - - - ... 15 ... 1
    8 2 1 - 1 1 - - 2 1 - - - 2 - - ... 10 ... 0.666
    9 - - n - n - n n - n 2 - n n n ... 2 ... 0.133
    s 6 7 4 3 6 4 6 4 7 4 10 2 4 4 5 ... 76 ... 5.666

    - means no kills
    n means not fired (i.e. had not time to do so)

    More even results, only the 7th volley stands out. Note, that here YS started to march quickly before the 7th volley. Dunno why. Are they more confident? Finally, note that average kills per run dropped to 5.666 from 9.533 (previous result).

    [This message has been edited by Cheetah (edited 03-04-2002).]
    Lional of Cornwall
    proud member of the Round Table Knights
    ___________________________________
    Death before dishonour.

    "If you wish to weaken the enemy's sword, move first, fly in and cut!" - Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei

  18. #18

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    Cheetah,

    We do know that the ai does evaluate the relative unit strengths in making a decision about how to move a unit, and being attacker or defender makes a difference. However, I have also observed a random factor in what the ai does in multiple runs on the same units. My test involved giving the ai a musk while I had an archer. Sometimes the ai musk would fire from max range, but usually it would march to less than 1/2 range before stopping to shoot. It looked like a completely random decision to me. You'll also see this random effect in the ai's decision to attack left, center or right with the whole army if you replay the same battle several times.

    Your heavily armored YS is a bit stronger than a standard armored YS at each point along the approach. The strange thing is that it's the standard armored unit that would benefit more by running sooner. I think the ai is just evaluating the hth capability, and not the ranged fire capability in making it's strength assessment. That's why it will frontally assault musketts and get blown to bits. If you saw the unit switch to run at the same point in 10 consecutive tests, I would say it's a deterministic decision by the ai rather than a random one. There could be a small random factor being applied to some ai decisions to produce a slight variation in what it does, but my observations of the ai's muskett showed only two initial firing positions over many, many runs.

    MizuYuuki ~~~
    Clan Takiyama ~~~

    [This message has been edited by Puzz3D (edited 03-04-2002).]

    _________Designed to match Original STW gameplay.


    Beta 8 + Beta 8.1 patch + New Maps + Sound add-on + Castles 2

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