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Thread: Pikes and Aquies

  1. #1
    Member Member Del Arroyo's Avatar
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    Exclamation Pikes and Aquies

    What's up with the pikes and the arquebusiers? Both units are pretty much at the top of the tech chain, and I've been waiting this whole campaign for a chance to use these great long pointies and boom-sticks... but according to my limited 1 on 1 tests in Custom Battles, they both suck. The Pikes lose to EVERYTHING, INCLUDING cavalry, and the arquebusiers can't hit the broad side of a barn.

    So, in short, what the hell is the point of teching up for these units anyway? Are the only good high-level units the Knights? And what the hell is the deal with gunpowder artillery? It seems to be a bit more powerful on the whole, but it still can't hit towers. Ballistae are still the only artillery I know of that can actually hit towers. And seeing as Trebs and Mangonels seem to have no problem knocking down walls in the first place, and they don't BLOW up, is there really any point in teching up for gun artillery either?

    I look forward to your opinions.

    DA

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    Well I'm in a late GP byzantine campaign and I'm using a lot of culverins and serpentines, they never blow up and are about as good at hitting towers as ballista and at a longer range.

    Pikemen are excellent at charging, gun powder units are completely useless, unless you tweak their stats to make them more like muskets.

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  3. #3
    Minion of Zoltan Member Roark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    I don't rate pikes, unless they're the swiss armoured kind...

    I only ever play Viking or Early period, so gunpowder isn't something I usually have access to. Not that I'd want to... It kinda destroys the whole "medieval" feel to the game, for me...

  4. #4
    Philosophically Inclined Member CountMRVHS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    You're right; regular pikes are generally crap. Low morale, vulnerable to missiles. I imagine the trick is getting the right situation where they'd be useful. Custom battle setups are useful for general tests, but actual campaign battles are of course rarely like that. Usually you can tweak it to make your pikes at least somewhat useful. However the real issue is, if you can make pikes, you may as well grab Switzerland and make SAPs instead. In my Italian campaign I trained some pikes in Tyrolia (for the valor bonus) but never used them. Why bother? Unless you're far from Switzerland, go for the SAPs, which in my battles went head-to-head against ANYthing the AI threw at me and came out with hardly a scratch. Granted, I had better generals.

    Gunpowder troops can be useful though. I get the most use out of them in bridge battles, where I'm defending and can set them up one on each side. That said, I hardly ever get to the gunpowder stage in my campaigns; this Italian campaign was my first-ever GA campaign where I started from Early and actually kept playing to 1453. I hardly trained any gunners, but I made plenty of cannon-types. Serpentines and culverins seemed the best. Organ guns seem nice, but they have tiny range and you have to wait for just the right time. A single volley can rout units, though.

  5. #5
    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    Gunpowder artillery? Well for the most it can turn. Hitting towers is a function of accuracy which is a function of valour. But aside from that, mostly that it can turn is good. Mangonels and trebuchets tend to be useless for anything other than castles, as you can just get out of their line of fire.

    I've never used gunpowder units much myself, but basically they are good at killing high armour units and putting moral penalties onto units. Just don't expect anything more than that. Remember that at this time gunpowder weapons were very primitive and were novelties for a while.

    As for pikes, I tend not to use them. Yes they get a decent rank bonus and are good at defence. But they need to be in too deep a formation and very easily get wrapped around.

  6. #6
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    In my experience, the main problem with pikes is that they're vulnerable to missiles. If I give them an armour upgrade or two, they can usually take care of themselves after that. Which is why (as Roark and the Count have already pointed out) I often take Switzerland if it's nearby--the SAP are definitely superior to the "vanilla" type.

    It's also useful to remember that pikemen are at their best when fighting cavalry--particularly when *defending* against cavalry charges. They are less effective when attacking, although they're still decent at it.

    As for aquabusiers, I rarely if ever train them. Of course, part of the reason is not many of my games get far enough along where I can train them, but I also simply don't find them to be that effective. They're short range with poor accuracy, and even a light rain reduces their guns to nothing more than expensive clubs.
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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    Arqs can be useful even for killing, but only at point black range. You'll need to turn off the skirmish mode and fire when the enemy is inside the skirmish area (so a no, no vs cav), or pin the unit down. Arbs is generally better.

    Cannons are exellent on the other hand.

    Don't use pikes outside swiss pikes and SAP:s. I guess that they are better on huge size than standard size though. Better rank bonus.
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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    Apart from the Swiss Armoured Pikemen and Swiss Pikemen, normal Pikes suck. They can't even hold off a charge of knights!!!!

    As for Arquebusiers, they're even worse. Stick to archers, and even arbalesters, they are way better. Cannons on the other part are excellent, especially in sieges. Normal siege equipment like Mangonels are useless.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    Well cannons (especially culverins) are great once they manage to get some valour. I recently played a campaign where I trained my four culverin crews to valour 6-7 on continuous bridge assaults. Lets just say in the end in every bridge assault I got 150+ kills per culverin unit. Also they were specialised in killing off dangerous enemy generals

    Also Arqs do have some things that make them quite good.
    They're actually very lethal in point blank range. I remember a MP game where I charged an enemy's arqs with Knights and I lost 13 men in one volley and my knights routed. Also another good factor about the Arqs is their low price and upkeep.Also the -6 morale penalty they give for the unit being shot up helps a lot.
    Last edited by AggonyDuck; 07-27-2005 at 13:42.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Pikes and Aquies

    For gunpowder the Handgunners are not that bad. If you can get then around back of something. Have them fire one shoot then charge, all most any unit will route. If they hit some thing with there shot.
    What, you never seen a Polock in Viking Armor on a Camel?

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