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Thread: Is there really a use for missle units?

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    Default Is there really a use for missle units?

    Playing as Romani and my army usually consists of 3 cavalry units and the rest as hastati, princepes and triari. I use slingers to garrison my cities but never in battle, do you think I will ever need missile units? I have already conquered the whole of italy, sicily and greece and never lost a battle. I am playing M/M I could up the difficulty but then the ai gets retarded by ganging up on me and making stack after stack which they could never afford.

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    Member Member stupac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Romani don't have really all that great missile units. You can often get balaeric (SP?) slingers as mercenaries in many of the theatres you'll be fighting in, which are pretty much unstoppable, with 2 units of them and legion or 2, you can win heroic victories with only a couple casualties it seems. But as for faction units, accensi are the worst slingers in the game, though with experience they can be decent. Leves and later, velites, I like to have just for realism, and they can really wreak havoc on unarmored foes, I've often had javelin armed units reduce enemy levy units by 1/2 on level terrain by expending their volleys, though I play on huge unit scale and missiles are more effective. But when it comes down to it, you can win battles easily with just heavy infantry, though I still like to have missiles, and they can be effective in reducing the enemy so you don't have to work your infantry as hard.
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Well I don't control the baleric isles I do have Krete, maybe I will recruit some Kretian archers when I get the marian reforms.

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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    i have to half agree with you here. most of the time my infantry have to close lines with the enemy cos theyre slingers wreak havoc on my own troops. all the same, as mentioned before, they can be devastating to unarmoured troops, as i found out campaigning in gaul
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    Member Member stupac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Quote Originally Posted by nanoman88
    Well I don't control the baleric isles I do have Krete, maybe I will recruit some Kretian archers when I get the marian reforms.
    You can hire them as mercenaries all over the place, which I think the romans frequently did. You can hire them for certain on sardinia and corsica, and I think also in sicily, iberia, and north africa.

    Edit: why wait till marian reforms, you should be able to hire kretan archers in level 4 local MIC. Though they are pretty worthless against armored enemies. At least slingers get armor piercing.
    Last edited by stupac; 03-01-2008 at 19:42.
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Get Iosatae instead. The Gallic slingers are more than decent. You can recruit them in a lvl 2 regional barracks.

    They are quite useful, especially in dealing with Gasaetae.

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    Βασιλευς και Αυτοκρατωρ Αρχης Member Centurio Nixalsverdrus's Avatar
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    Default AW: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Slingers are a bit overrated imho. They are not so extremely useless against heavily armoured opponents like archers, ok. But against non-armoured opponents archers are more effective because they have a higher attack value.
    Last edited by Centurio Nixalsverdrus; 03-01-2008 at 22:02.

  8. #8
    WotD 2D graphic Dude Member Gebeleisis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    well without the missile units,how do you think the cavalry based factions could've survived?
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    The Rabbit Nibbler Member Korlon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    I especially enjoy using missile units during sieges where the walls are low (no ladders or siege towers to use). Kind of a exploit I would say, but I grab a unit or two with high defense rating. I grab some missile units to shoot at the unit guarding the breach that I made with a battering ram. They generally run away. I send the unit with the high defense rating in and put it on guard mode blocking a small alleyway. Then enemy then swarms in. I stick my missile units still at the outside of the walls relatively in position behind the enemies that are trying to kill my one unit. Easy pickings.

    As for field battles, I usually don't have way too many slingers as they're usually spread out and unwieldy, especially with their low angle of trajectory. Archers are nice to have. I put them behind my line of infantry, usually flank them with more infantry. Javelineers I like a lot in field battles. They're large in number, small amount of ammo but they hit hard. I send them behind enemies and stick some javelins in their backs.
    Last edited by Korlon; 03-01-2008 at 22:30.
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    I use missile units a lot when sieging a city, if you have a few of them you can annihilate at least a few enemy units from your side of the walls before they have any chance to run away. I don't think they are very useful in open field combat though. I would think they would also be useful when defending a city, but I only had to defend a very small number of times so I dunno.

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    Member Member Mr Frost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Archers and slingers are quite useful .
    That annoying skirmisher cavalry unit for example ; don't waste your expensive cavalry , shoot the mongrel !

    Enemy skirmish infantry in the way of your mercenary Gallic troops eye-watering charge ? Not if your archers and slingers kill them first ! {Note , Pelstati and similar have reasonable armour , you need slingers to get the best results on them} Now your charge hits their expensive troops .

    If you fight horsearchers , you have zero chance without lots of good archers {mounted or foot} and slingers for the armoured ones !

    Tired of those Phantom generals {you know "the General who cannot die !"} ? Try whittling his bodyguard {and maybe some of his own hitpoints} with slingers before you try to melee him .

    Want to draw the enemy onto ground of your choosing ? Archers and slingers are long range skirmishers and baiting the enemy into moving unwisely is one of the main reasons they were use in real life .

    Got an Elephant problem {or scythed chariot for that matter} ? Not if you have archers and especially slingers !

    A liberal showering with fire arrows can greatly lower enemy moral .




    There is lots of uses for those units . Given you sound like you would only use them sparingly , you should probably {playing Roman} hire Mithroporoi Toxotai Kretikoi {decent archers} and Iaosatae {the Celtic slingers someone mentioned above} . One unit of each is plenty in most situations .
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    maybe you should use two groups of slingers and bowmen in the same army. i remember that the celts can supply both, and IIRC they're not half bad, as well as being cheap to train and keep. that way youre prepared for unarmoured as well as armoured troops, and being romani you may have already conquered a region that gives you the above troops! good luck man
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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Missle units are first of all usefull in sieges. You can kill about 1/3 of the enemy units with your slingers before the ram has even touched the wall.

    In field battles it depends very much on the level of equipement of your foe. That is, archers and slingers are more or less useless against phalanx and other heavy armoured enemies, but can create a bloddbath amongst lesser armoured enemies. In my Sweboz armies I have about 1/4 to 1/3 (in the ealry game even 1/2) archers when marching against Gauls, German rebells or Baltics. The result is striking.

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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Whenever I've played Baktria or Haysadan my armies always seemed to be half filled with slinger and archers of all stripes. Properly used you can shred even elite phalangites with them, and a dense screen of slingers is something even cataphracts will feel (the archers are conversely very good at doing away with the assorted lighter chaff, leaving the sling-boys free to do their can-opening job).
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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    With Baktria I found the most effective army composition is archer-spearmen (a lot of them), phalanx (Panto-Phal is enough), a FM or two and some medium cavalry.

    Horse-archer armies don't stand a chance against this force because they are outclassed in firepower by the foot archers and can't charge against the phalanx either. Even Seleukide armies have serious troubles against it because the archers will kill all their support units before the phalanxes clash, leaving the field to your cavalry.

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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Yeah, lot of good reasons for using missile troops mentioned in this thread. Although I would say they are a lot more useful on offence than defence in pitched battles. As you can send them ahead to do damage before your main force arrives, and expend a much higher percentage of their missiles before real contact is made

    Also a couple no-one else seems to have posted. Use them as a screen in your own army to get those undisciplined barbarians constantly charging at one of your least useful units miles away from the rest of the battle.

    Also, they can be used as fodder in your own advance. The enemy ends up doing all their damage to these units which are cheap to replace - usually trained in low MICs etc - while your main heavy infantry/cavalry groups can often get into combat - or at least in a position to throw their javelins - having acrued very little damage.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    I got to mention the satisfaction of using fire arrow spam to make the enemy elephants panic, thus squashing their own army's front lines. Even if you just kill the elephants, they still usually fall over and crush a boat load of their allies.

    The Bosphoran heavy archers have a slightly lower than top range but with armor to make up for it. The Indian patiyoda archers are also useful, given their main armament. I use heavily armored archers like those two to make the AI's cavalry and phalanx units go where I want them to. The AI really likes attacking missile troops with cavalry. Best to get rid of those first.

    Archers with their fire arrows also serve as an immediate demoralizer. That's very important if you don't have a lot of cavalry in place or light forces are blocking your cavalry's optimum charge route. That tends to happen with the custom formations that put the AI troops in two lines.

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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    A very cheap but very effective little army: 4 units of classical Hoplites with 2 units of Cretan Archers on each flank. They make mincemeat out of every force of the same size. (Add a unit of Hippakontistai to cut down what remains after the lethal combo of arrows, spears and swords)

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    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Iaosatae get my vote every time. They make mincemeat of anyone when experienced, and are versatile, and they have many more shots than the archers so it really all balances out, especially where I use them most; sieges. Usually I just stand my slingers in front of wooden walls, and fire at will until all the enemy has retreated to the town square, exposing their backs in the process (just taking a few Gallic towns brought my iaosatae as the Arverni to triple bronze, this way), then halting their fire and turning off fire at will. Then I advance my rams, stopping in front of the wall without ramming. Some units would begin running forward again to anticipate the ramming. My slingers drive them off again with directed fire. Further losses. Then I begin ramming, and as this goes on more units will come forward again, and I whittle them down even further. By now only the town square unit is left, and my iaosatae will have conserved their ammo (I always leave a last few salvos for the endgame).

    Did I mention my slingers outrange the archers so before the archers defending the town can open fire, they're running and facing their backs to me because I struck first?

    My assault troops storm the breach, sweep away whatever pathetic opposition remains, and surrounds the town square. Then I bring up my slingers, and put them behind the surrounders. Fire two salvos, and the enemy should nicely and obligingly rush out of the town square to engage. Once they rout, battle over.

    Either that, or keep firing until they die. That, or (in rare occasions) my slingers run out of ammo, my assault troops storm in (they have overwhelming superiority now) and slaughter the whole bally lot of 'em.

    It's a real force multiplier. Now you can trap whole fullstacks in a city and whittle them down. Run out of ammo before the killing is done? No problem. Withdraw, come back again, besiege, and kill some more. Only when the skirmishing has brought the enemy down to manageable numbers, then assault and slaughter.

    Even accensi on double silver are a force to be reckoned with. Archers are only one-dimensional--they can only engage unarmoured units effectively. Slingers can do both, are longer ranged, and have more ammo, though admittedly their unit size is smaller. It's pretty balanced, but when you consider that many of the (civilised) faction enemies you will face are armoured in some way or other, it's really much more useful to have slingers.


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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default AW: Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Quote Originally Posted by pezhetairoi
    Then I advance my rams, stopping in front of the wall without ramming. Some units would begin running forward again to anticipate the ramming.
    That has nothing to do with the ram. They always come back after some time (and a lot of running around the town square). But they immediatly turn back when comming under fire. When you have breached the wall, usually one enemy unit is sent to the gate without running back under fire. Be sure to have javelin units behind the wall and you'll get this unit "for free".

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    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: AW: Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    It has a lot to do with the ram. I waited for 15 minutes directing fire once. After getting a few salvoes back and forth some of the units will just decide not to come out anymore after the current lot finish dying. I waited for 15 whole minutes with my rams not touching the wall, just waiting. Nothing happened while I ate my lunch in front of the comp.

    Then I started ramming, and they galvanised into action for more bullet fodder.

    There is a connection, though I grant that it doesn't happen quite every single time.


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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default AW: Re: AW: Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Quote Originally Posted by pezhetairoi
    Then I started ramming, and they galvanised into action for more bullet fodder.
    I see, then I did misunderstood it. Certainly the AI comes back when you start ramming, but not when the ram is moved to the gate or placed near the wall without ramming.

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  23. #23
    Clear the battlefield... Member Tarkus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    I've found missile units to be a great addition to my Roman legions. I've used Balearic slingers, Numidian archers and Cretan archers to devastating effect against the Carthaginians (Numidians) in nothern Africa and in Iberia, and am beginning to outfit my forces in northern Italy with Iosatae in preparation for the Gaesatae horde. Do not underestimate their value!
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    As Saba, I rarely used any other soldiers than generals and archer-spearmen to conquer the Arabian Peninsula. However, face to face with the phalanxes of the Ptolemaioi, I was toast...
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    Pincushioned Ashigaru Member Poulp''s Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    I'm surprised no one mentioned the #1 use for missile units yet; clearing an enemy town square. Archers are handy in this situation, thanks to their ability to shoot overhead, or rather over the buildings.

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    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Possibly because a) many use slingers, and b) no one takes the time to actually move up units within range of the townsquare to clear it or drive them into attacking out of the square.

    I did do that as Baktria, though, with my 10 units of thanvare and spearmen. Clears the townsquare, but you get them all charging at you. My assaults take up to an hour and a half just so I get it right and rest my troops between engagements fighting their way up to the town square.


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  27. #27

    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Well I use a combination of Archers & Slingers. Why choose if you can have the best of both for cheap?
    Last edited by Tellos Athenaios; 03-04-2008 at 01:13.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    I agree with some people there. I like to use missile units against enemy archer units, especially missile using cavalry would be without them a really nasty problem. It is also a good way to at least slightly reduce strenght of enemy units.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    agreed- taking on missile cavalry without some of your own is a pain.....
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    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there really a use for missle units?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tellos Athenaios
    Well I use a combination of Archers & Slingers. Why choose if you can have the best of both for cheap?
    ...because I'm either Roman or Celtic, or West Greek. :D Two have no archers, and one might as well have no archers at all for all their effectiveness.
    Last edited by pezhetairoi; 03-04-2008 at 08:38.


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