Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

  1. #1
    Man behind the screen Member Empirate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Posts
    246

    Default Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    Hey all.
    I am just playing a H/H campaign as the Sicilians, using Lusted's LTC mod (highly recommended!). I'm having a lot of fights against Venetian and sometimes Milanese armies, being at peace with just about everybody else.

    In some recent battles I noticed how much Pavese Crossbowmen depend on lucky timing, as well as on position. I always used PavX very much like other missile infantry, just with the idea in the back of my head that using them in a missile duel wasn't a waste. Using any other type of foot missiles in a duel with other foot missiles always annoyed me because of the many casualties I would take even in winning. Now I noticed that with both sides having Paveses, small things would massively impact the outcome of a missile duel.
    I just fought a defensive battle last night that may serve as an example. My forces were lined up on a slight ridge, and the Venetians had to get to me. I used two PavXes, but also two Mercenary Crossbows and two Muslim archers, none of them with more than two chevrons. The Venetians had no fewer than eight PavXes, along with a lot of Italian Spear Militia. They marched up in good order, and my men started shooting once they were in range. They got off about two salvos at extreme range before the Venetians stopped and began firing themselves. Those two salvos, however, played absolute havoc with their formation: They needed time to reorder their men before loading their crossbows, and in the meantime, they got shot up some more, so individual men needed still more time to reach their new places in the formation. When they finally started shooting, some men hadn't even loaded their crossbows, some got shot once they stood up from loading, and some managed to shoot, but seemed to lack accuracy. I won the missile duel hands down, all due to a slight elevation in the ground that I could use to my advantage. The Venetians were forced to charge and got their buhts handed to them.

    On other occasions, I have seen the tricky thing about Paveses: Once the men stand up to fire, they're very vulnerable to being shot themselves. So keeping up a steady barrage at a single unit or two will cause heavy casualties even against Paveses. As long as you order two or even three units to fire at a single target unit, Paveses are not much use, and the target will get reduced quickly. Then you just switch targets. Granted, you lose a lot of ammo that way, and quickly, but you can also quickly get rid of enemy PavXes. The AI never seems to concentrate its fire on one unit. Thus, with even or slightly inferior numbers of missile troops, you can decimate AI armies even in missile duels. This even works with other than Pavese forces on your side.

    Against PavXes, use the one or two salvos you get from higher ground well to disrupt their formations, then once they start firing at you, concentrate on one or two targets. Using PavXes, you need a solid standing position to fire, don't march them up to the enemy, especially under fire. PavXes are a largely defensive weapon due to their long reload times. To make the most of their ability to remain in partial cover while reloading, you need higher ground, and it's imperative to disrupt enemy missile fire by using cavalry (preferably quick and light). Just scare enemy shooters into double-timing away from your cav. In the meantime, your PavXes can take up a nice elevated firing position, load and loose their bolts into the disorganized enemy. I find this to be the best use of light cav outside of router chasing: scaring the enemy foot missiles into retreating, drawing out enemy melee infantry into missile range. Don't engage with the light cav, though: The whole point of a missile duel is to make the enemy assault your fortified position after getting shot up.
    Last edited by Empirate; 08-24-2007 at 14:45.
    People know what they do,
    And they know why they do what they do,
    But they do not know what what they are doing does
    -Catherine Bell

  2. #2
    Research Shinobi Senior Member Tamur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    #2 Bagshot Row
    Posts
    2,676

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    Interesting, thanks Empirate. I had sort-of noticed the same thing in a few recent battles in KotR. I couldn't pin down exactly why I was having such good luck with the Pavise 'bows, but did notice that it put the enemy formations severely out of order. So this conclusion explains it all.
    "Die Wahrheit ruht in Gott / Uns bleibt das Forschen." Johann von Müller

  3. #3
    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    In a hopeless place with no future
    Posts
    8,646

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    The ridge probably meant all your xbows had a clear shot against the army. Otherwise, any men beyond the second row in a unit will often end up firing at a 45 degree angle, and with crossbows those shots do no damage. Thats why hills are especially valuable to xbows.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  4. #4
    Member Member Skott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    Like you, I noticed early on when it came to crossbow men you can do more damage if you time the firing properly. You want the arrows to hit them as they stand up to fire. I tell my bowmen to fire right after the enemy crossbow men bend down to reload. By the time the arrows reach the enemy they are standing face to the arrows. This allows them to take a full frontal shot as opposed to when they are bent down and got their shields to block incoming arrows. More damage done and more death.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    Quote Originally Posted by Caledonian Rhyfelwyr
    The ridge probably meant all your xbows had a clear shot against the army. Otherwise, any men beyond the second row in a unit will often end up firing at a 45 degree angle, and with crossbows those shots do no damage. Thats why hills are especially valuable to xbows.
    An archer's line-of-sight isn't blocked by members of his own unit. Other friendly units, yes, but not his own.

    A unit of archers only four wide and 28 deep fires just as well as one 56 wide and two deep.

    Utterly unrealistic, but true, and useful to know.

  6. #6
    Relentless Bughunter Senior Member FactionHeir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    8,115

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    I guess you are lucky you got the enemy to reform.
    What keeps happening to me is that the enemy gets shot up by my missiles and refuses to reform, so that it ends up having no center but a right and left flank, which causes even more missiles to miss and makes them quite inviulnerable to artillery fire as well.
    Want gunpowder, mongols, and timurids to appear when YOU do?
    Playing on a different timescale and never get to see the new world or just wanting to change your timescale?
    Click here to read the solution
    Annoyed at laggy battles? Check this thread out for your performance needs
    Got low fps during siege battles in particular? This tutorial is for you
    Want to play M2TW as a Vanilla experience minus many annoying bugs? Get VanillaMod Visit the forum Readme
    Need improved and faster 2H animations? Download this! (included in VanillaMod 0.93)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    A friendly reminder that this is not MTW. Many things are different. It may be hard for us old-schoolers to line our missile units up in 4 or 5 deep formation, but as Rhedd pointed out, it makes no difference.

    This is especially handy when you face a lot of enemy knights and you have more missiles than spears, you can make a single deep line of missiles to fit behind your front line of spears. All the missiles will fire with the same low trajectory shots, just make sure they are not too close to the spears, or they will shoot up in the air.

    Like so, where S is spears and A is archers. This does not represent making your spearmen 2 ranks deep, its just to give an idea of the shapes of the units.

    Code:
    SSSSSSSSSSS  SSSSSSSSSSSS  SSSSSSSSSSSS
    SSSSSSSSSSS  SSSSSSSSSSSS  SSSSSSSSSSSS
    
    
    
    AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA
    AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA
    AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA
    AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA  AAAAAA
    EDIT: This is for archers, xbows won't be able to fire over the spears unless they are on a hill. Possibly this makes the entire reply OT, but I spent a long time writing it so....
    Last edited by ReiseReise; 08-25-2007 at 04:48.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    I also use this oddity to my advantage when I intersperse archers (crossbowmen) with spearmen (or other infantry) in my front line. The archers are the unavoidable weak spots in the line, so it's best to minimize their frontage.

    Code:
    ssssssssssss AAAA ssssssssssss AAAA ssssssssssss
    ssssssssssss AAAA ssssssssssss AAAA ssssssssssss
                 AAAA              AAAA
    ... is better than...

    Code:
    ssssssssssss AAAAAAA ssssssssssss AAAAAAA ssssssssssss
    ssssssssssss AAAAAAA ssssssssssss AAAAAAA ssssssssssss
    Last edited by Rhedd; 08-25-2007 at 06:34.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    Formation depth might not have much of an impact on shooting ability, but it greatly affects your archers' survival rate. In a pure missile duel, deep deployment will ruin your day, as wider formations are less likely to get hit by arrows than deep ones when fired upon from the front.
    So I'd say if you can do it and there are no other tactical concerns, go with the wider formations - it will save lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caledonian Rhyfelwyr
    ...any men beyond the second row in a unit will often end up firing at a 45 degree angle...
    Just a minor observation, the launch angle when archers fire "high" is about 75 degrees.

    "That's what we need : someone who'll strike the most brutal blow possible, with perfect aim and with no regard for consequences. Total War."

  10. #10
    Throne Room Caliph Senior Member phonicsmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cometh the hour, Cometh the Caliph
    Posts
    4,859

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    I find it very effective to stagger the firing times of my pavises - especially when they are firing at a single target, this maintains a constant rate of fire against the opponent and breaks up the formation nicely.

    a way to achieve this without too much micromanagement is to deploy them in a staggered, echeloned formation and leave them on fire-at-will, so that each unit starts firing at a different time as the enemy approaches.
    frogbeastegg's TWS2 guide....it's here!

    Come to the Throne Room to play multiplayer hotseat campaigns and RPGs in M2TW.

  11. #11
    Man behind the screen Member Empirate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Use and Misuse of Pavese Crossbows

    FactionHeir, your point is, unfortunately, a very valid one. If you have artillery, you can't easily use it against a missile unit that has been hit with conventional fire. I typically try to have artillery fire at the middle of the enemy melee infantry. Usually the general unit stays right behind them, so a wide shot may mean near-instant win through general death, while normal hits will do most damage against melee infantry. I noticed that missile infantry will often spread out when fired upon, while melee infantry will do this much more rarely.

    Phonicsmonkey, I've tried this, too, it seems to work quite well. You truly want to maintain a constant barrage instead of individual salvos. This is also the best against PavXes, as it ensures you hit them once they stand up.

    As far as deployment is concerned, I try to maintain wide, thin formations all the time: More depth is seldom useful tactically, while having a wider line either forces the enemy to spread out so you can punch through them, or makes them vulnerable to being outflanked. Also, missiles seem to miss because they fly short or long, not wide to the sides. So thinning your ranks makes your forces less vulnerable to missile fire. I also often deploy in a slightly convex or half-hexagon formation, so the staggering of missile units happens automatically.
    People know what they do,
    And they know why they do what they do,
    But they do not know what what they are doing does
    -Catherine Bell

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO