Archers need a nerf.

Arches OP?

  • Yes

    Votes: 81 27.6%
  • No

    Votes: 102 34.8%
  • Buff Armor instead

    Votes: 138 47.1%

  • Total voters
    293

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hruza

Knight at Arms
So... what tactics are y’all using? 😀 must be a little different from each other

F6. On desert map. Full friendly damage. I did not even adjust their formation so that more of them can get the first charge, did not made them flank or order them in to shield wall.

You can test it yourself. Just use enemy commander on foot else AI will make him priority target and go chase after him instead of charging archers.
 
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hruza

Knight at Arms
So... what tactics are y’all using? 😀 must be a little different from each other

Did a test with much larger size and while cavalry still won, it made difference:

FnDFmy3.jpg


What happened was that huge mass of cavalry bumped in to each other as they converged on target that was significantly smaller then them and got stuck, which then allowed archers to draw their swords out, swarm horsemen and hack at them. And then even more horsemen got stuck on horses without riders.

I wouldn't consider this to be a typical game engagement. You'll newer going to engage force of 300 archers with 300 cavalry in the actual game. Plus those archers did not shoot the cavalry, they effectively turned in to infantry and used their melee weapons, so archery and arrow damage did not even matter.
 
Did a test with much larger size and while cavalry still won, it made difference:

FnDFmy3.jpg


What happened was that huge mass of cavalry bumped in to each other as they converged on target that was significantly smaller then them and got stuck, which then allowed archers to draw their swords out, swarm horsemen and hack at them. And then even more horsemen got stuck on horses without riders.

I wouldn't consider this to be a typical game engagement. You'll newer going to engage force of 300 archers with 300 cavalry in the actual game. Plus those archers did not shoot the cavalry, they effectively turned in to infantry and used their melee weapons, so archery and arrow damage did not even matter.
I cannot help but think you should try the tests again with different archers. Imperial archers wear **** armour and are t2 compared to everyone else. I'm sure that's skewing results.
 
Did a test with much larger size and while cavalry still won, it made difference:

FnDFmy3.jpg


What happened was that huge mass of cavalry bumped in to each other as they converged on target that was significantly smaller then them and got stuck, which then allowed archers to draw their swords out, swarm horsemen and hack at them. And then even more horsemen got stuck on horses without riders.

I wouldn't consider this to be a typical game engagement. You'll newer going to engage force of 300 archers with 300 cavalry in the actual game. Plus those archers did not shoot the cavalry, they effectively turned in to infantry and used their melee weapons, so archery and arrow damage did not even matter.

I cannot help but think you should try the tests again with different archers. Imperial archers wear **** armour and are t2 compared to everyone else. I'm sure that's skewing results.

Both good points. On the one hand, I feel like a t2 archer unit getting 2:3 kills on higher tier heavy cav - and mostly in melee - is way, way too good for the t2 archer to be performing in that situation. But the point is taken that 300 on 300 in a vacuum creates odd gameplay problems (e.g. too many knights agro-ing on too few targets) that might not come up quite as much in a campaign battle.
 

kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
Both good points. On the one hand, I feel like a t2 archer unit getting 2:3 kills on higher tier heavy cav - and mostly in melee - is way, way too good for the t2 archer to be performing in that situation.

On what grounds? The problem here, is that people are making "oh this ration doesn't seem to be right" assumptions on arbitrary whim, without really looking into comparable historical data. It's been brought up in the (stupid and frustrating) huge spat I had with some Musashi fanboy, but during the spat I've laid out the numbers for the casualty rates during the period of 1467(Onin Wars) - 1637(Shimabara Rebellion) in feudal Japanese Sengoku era: over 70% of casualties were caused by projectile weapons, despite the overall number of archers rarely exceeding 20~30%, and overall number of muskets not exceeding 10%, in typical Japanese army of the later Sengoku period.

Now, certainly there are differences between between the west and the east, and the general consensus seems to be western armies relied on fewer number of troops due to the limitations of the feudal system, but were more regularly trained and with better armor. and the relative efficiency of bows in such environment were lower. (In contrast, a centralized bureaucracy made it possible for the east to raise huge number of troops reliably and consistently, but at the same time at the price of less training and relatively poor equipment, making ranged warfare more favorable)

So it would be unreasonable to expect a game that takes early-medieval Europe to show similar stats to that of late-feudal Japan, but the point is that we have to base our expectations somewhere. I don't see that "base" in these type of "I don't think that's right" arguments.


But the point is taken that 300 on 300 in a vacuum creates odd gameplay problems (e.g. too many knights agro-ing on too few targets) that might not come up quite as much in a campaign battle.

Usually the problem with cavalry when left to AI control, is that they don't act as a group.

The don't use the overall breadth of the formation to initiate a charge that hits the target formation in a "line of battle," so to speak, but bunches up in a few places. Also, after the initial attack, the cavalry has no concept of regrouping at a further position, and re-initiating a second charge. After the initial charge, all cavalry fight as an individual and loiters around the target, iand then charges in individually. More than anything, it is at that phase where the cav lose most of their momentum, hinders each other, and mass losses occur.

Admittedly, the greatest practical problem (and failure) on part of the devs, is that they did nothing to improve the AI, and the AI has noo concept of fighting as a unit. They just pretend to be a unit standing in formations, but has no algorithm that prompts them to use actual military tactics as a unit.
 
The problem here, is that people are making "oh this ration doesn't seem to be right" assumptions on arbitrary whim, without really looking into comparable historical data.
The thing with a video game is that, unless it is designed for the purposes of simulation accuracy or education, the only relevance of realism or historical accuracy is the extent to which adhering to those things helps people easily relate to the experience. If the consensus of the playerbase is ignorant of the details and specifics of what really happened, the game risks alienating itself from its players by forcing the issue of historical realism against the expectations of the playerbase on average.

As frustrating as it is for a purist or expert on the subject matter, in entertainment media it is more effective to tailor the experience towards the expectations of the masses than to take an educational approach. I applaud when entertainment is accurate and educational and hope for more of it, but it is unrealistic to expect that as the norm.
 
On what grounds? The problem here, is that people are making "oh this ration doesn't seem to be right" assumptions on arbitrary whim, without really looking into comparable historical data. It's been brought up in the (stupid and frustrating) huge spat I had with some Musashi fanboy, but during the spat I've laid out the numbers for the casualty rates during the period of 1467(Onin Wars) - 1637(Shimabara Rebellion) in feudal Japanese Sengoku era: over 70% of casualties were caused by projectile weapons, despite the overall number of archers rarely exceeding 20~30%, and overall number of muskets not exceeding 10%, in typical Japanese army of the later Sengoku period.

Now, certainly there are differences between between the west and the east, and the general consensus seems to be western armies relied on fewer number of troops due to the limitations of the feudal system, but were more regularly trained and with better armor. and the relative efficiency of bows in such environment were lower. (In contrast, a centralized bureaucracy made it possible for the east to raise huge number of troops reliably and consistently, but at the same time at the price of less training and relatively poor equipment, making ranged warfare more favorable)

So it would be unreasonable to expect a game that takes early-medieval Europe to show similar stats to that of late-feudal Japan, but the point is that we have to base our expectations somewhere. I don't see that "base" in these type of "I don't think that's right" arguments.

Really do appreciate the historical insights. I do think you’re missing the whole context of the thread, though, and thus the thrust of my argument. The thread is about archer gameplay- and proposed nerfs, alternatives like buffs to potential counters.

In any case, for gameplay purposes, I’m sure there’s no need to explain why equal #s of any t2 vs any t5 troops shouldn’t be trading at a 2:3 kill ratio. (Even t2 infantrymen shouldn’t trade that well with t5 legionaries.) Especially a t2 unit designed to be a ranged unit fighting with a t5 unit designed to be a melee unit should not trade that well.

I’m willing to believe the issue is cavalry AI vs other issues, but I feel like (largely based on my own experience) the combat performance of cavalry is lacking for some reason. Even if we’re not sure cav should be a counter to archers - and I think they should be - it should at least be a decent option to fight archers if only because of their mobility.
 

kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
In any case, for gameplay purposes, I’m sure there’s no need to explain why equal #s of any t2 vs any t5 troops shouldn’t be trading at a 2:3 kill ratio. (Even t2 infantrymen shouldn’t trade that well with t5 legionaries.) Especially a t2 unit designed to be a ranged unit fighting with a t5 unit designed to be a melee unit should not trade that well.

I actually severely disagree with this.

Again, the whole "a unit of X-tier should not be winning against a unit of superior Y-tier" type of arguments are very arbitrary. It is without a doubt a very familiar notion. But why did it become so familiar?

It comes from decades ago, when a game had no way of depicting different combat conditions, so to depict which units are relatively strong or weak, the games used to rely on such concept of tiers which numerical bonuses or modifiers would be added to manipulate how the fight proceeds, to a certain direction.

For example, a strategy game circa. Age of Empires, would depict a spear unit having X amount of bonuses attack and defense against cavalry units, because the combat was in a simplified, RTS format. But in real life, there are any number of situations where cavalry would readily crush spearmen, and modern levels of combat depiction have certainly advanced enough to portray such differences. The terms like "tier2" or "tier5" are merely stages of advancement, and we should not expect it to mean a higher tier is always advantageous, or victorious against a lower tier.

Those "tiers" are not an objective standard of strength. It's merely an arbitrary distinction of stages within the internal advancements of that particular unit -- meaning: the relative strength of advanced tiers is only comparable to different tiers of that same unit, not other units. If a t2 spearman is objectively doing way better than that same line of spearmen unit at tier5, then that's a problem. But there is no guarantee that tier5 spearman should always do better than a tier2 unit of other grade. The most common example of people confusing this is the "oh the looters shouldn't be killing my tier-X unit..." complaints. But it doesn't matter if you're tier2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 -- enough rocks thrown at your head and it will die.

Much the same, it doesn't matter if it's a tier2 archer or a tier5 archer. They shoot arrows from far away. Range advantage is range advantage regardless of what tier the opponent melee unit is. It doesn't change. If there are enough conditions working in favor for the unit with that range advantage, then regardless of the tier, the opponent unit will suffer.

This is why I'm more interested in the actual AI behavior. When the AI behavior is fixed, or at least scripted in a better way to more adequately represent reality, then my guess is lot of these "oddities" would probably cease.



(ps) One very obvious example, would be the utter lack of the concept of "fear" in the AI behavior. The AI does not falter. It just has a set morale level. And so long as the morale is above that level the AI doesn't even bat an eye even when dozens of horsemen are charging you. If the game was Total War, a successful head-on charge to unprotected archers would inflict morale damage through the charge itself + initial losses + unprotected, and would case a state of "wavering." They system would determine in that wavered state the archers would cease fighting and all start to rout... and then, if they are not chased down, they will recover morale and regroup, and then return to the lines.

But nope. No such thing in Bannerlord. The cavalry behave poorly, and the archers' ability to fight is only governed by the moral threshold. Inexplicable restrictions -- like melee speed debuff on horseback exist as well. (... WTF is with the melee speed restrictions when every horseman in the game is resting on stirrups? It's not as if they are ancient cavalry...)
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
The problem comparing kill rates in the MB and real life is that kills did not matter in real battles as much as they do in the game. Real battles were not fights between individual soldiers, they are fights between formations. People don't fight to the death usually and casualties in actual fighting were relatively small -about just 3%. Majority of casualties were inflicted in the pursuit of fleeing forces and then they still rarely exceed 10% on the loosing side.

The point is that cavalry in Bannerlord is very effective against archers in any game-realistic conditions. To lose cavalry fight against archers you need to really screw something. Use vastly inferior force, attack in impossible terrain or something of that sort.
 
I would suggest the realistic battle mod:

- Infantary will always keep their shield in front of them (not only in shield wall formation)
- Armor and Damage type was changed
- Battles are a lot longer and more fun

 
I did. Look at the first test I have posted.
I saw it long after, oops.

Still, the results of putting archers up against cavalry is... inconclusive. It kind of boils down to how the player commands their archers.

Using Palatine Guard (probably not a good baseline archer tbf) vs Vlandian Vanguard, I had the following:

With the f6 delegate command, cavalry ran down archers fairly easily. Archers got into skirmish range and constantly turned around and retreated as cavalry closed in. The results was that they were overrun. They did take out more cavalry than spearmen do, but spearmen are useless atm.

When I personally had them take a position and stand in loose formation however, they did better. When the cavalry came close, I charged them and actually got quite a few kills. We won quite handily.

Of course, I'll run the test a few more times when I can, but that's my observation.

Also again, spears are literally useless. Veteran Falxmen, Elite Menavliatons and Shock Troops however counter Elite Cataphracts super hard. As in no deaths hard.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
I saw it long after, oops.

Still, the results of putting archers up against cavalry is... inconclusive. It kind of boils down to how the player commands their archers.

Using Palatine Guard (probably not a good baseline archer tbf) vs Vlandian Vanguard, I had the following:

With the f6 delegate command, cavalry ran down archers fairly easily. Archers got into skirmish range and constantly turned around and retreated as cavalry closed in. The results was that they were overrun. They did take out more cavalry than spearmen do, but spearmen are useless atm.

When I personally had them take a position and stand in loose formation however, they did better. When the cavalry came close, I charged them and actually got quite a few kills. We won quite handily.

The problem here is that in your example you are using your archers effectively as an infantry. Real infantry is much more effective at that. In the real game battle conditions if you turn your archers in to infantry trying to fight cavalry, you have already lost archery fight, because your archers are not doing what they should be doing and what they are best at -shooting their bows at the enemy infantry. Depending on the circumstances that can cost you a fight or lead to unnecessary casualties.

Moreover nerfing bow damage won't make any difference if you use archers as an infantry against cavalry.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn't have any problems dealing with AI archers using your cavalry, unless your cavalry is simply numerically inadequate for the job. You should also avoid fighting enemy cavalry with your own archers, because there are better units for the job and your archers will not be doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Generally I think that players have problems with archers in Bannerlord because coming from Warband they tend to expect them to be harmless in field battles. I certainly did that mistake when I started playing Bannerlord. Once you realize that archers in the Bannerlord are not as useless as in the Warband and you adjust your tactics and army composition accordingly, you shouldn't have massive problems dealing with them.

Similarly cavalry in the Bannerlord is not as overpowered as it was in the Warband. It's still very powerful when used right, but it's not all conquering force anymore. And I think that's good for the overall balance of the game. You can't just raise army of knights and let them loose at the start of each battle and except them to win with minimum casualties, as you could in Warband.
 
The problem here is that in your example you are using your archers effectively as an infantry. Real infantry is much more effective at that. In the real game battle conditions if you turn your archers in to infantry trying to fight cavalry, you have already lost archery fight, because your archers are not doing what they should be doing and what they are best at -shooting their bows at the enemy infantry. Depending on the circumstances that can cost you a fight or lead to unnecessary casualties.

Moreover nerfing bow damage won't make any difference if you use archers as an infantry against cavalry.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn't have any problems dealing with AI archers using your cavalry, unless your cavalry is simply numerically inadequate for the job. You should also avoid fighting enemy cavalry with your own archers, because there are better units for the job and your archers will not be doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Generally I think that players have problems with archers in Bannerlord because coming from Warband they tend to expect them to be harmless in field battles. I certainly did that mistake when I started playing Bannerlord. Once you realize that archers in the Bannerlord are not as useless as in the Warband and you adjust your tactics and army composition accordingly, you shouldn't have massive problems dealing with them.

Similarly cavalry in the Bannerlord is not as overpowered as it was in the Warband. It's still very powerful when used right, but it's not all conquering force anymore. And I think that's good for the overall balance of the game. You can't just raise army of knights and let them loose at the start of each battle and except them to win with minimum casualties, as you could in Warband.
Spear infantry and shield infantry are atrocious at dealing with cavalry atm. And like I said, polearm infantry like Menavlilatons and Shock Troops are horrendously effective. Then again, those guys tend to kill everything except archers. But otherwise, spear infantry really don't work as they should.

The point of the test was to see if cavalry work as a proper anti archer counter or not. And they do... sort of.

Nerfing bow damage would make a difference actually. The amount of damage they'd be capable of metting out to cavalry before an inevitable clash would be significantly different. The bigger thing is that they wouldn't be capable of utterly decimating infantry though.

I don't agree with your little 'moral' though. In my experience, enemy cavalry have a tendency of riding too far ahead of their troops, and often lack the numbers to do anything to your archers. With an army full of nothing but archers, you can put a terrible hurting on them, absorb their charge and then still have enough power to then deal with their infantry, who aren't really well equipped. But that's more on AI stupidity than anything else.

Anyway, my bigger concern is horse archery and how archers aren't able to counter them.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
Spear infantry and shield infantry are atrocious at dealing with cavalry atm. And like I said, polearm infantry like Menavlilatons and Shock Troops are horrendously effective. Then again, those guys tend to kill everything except archers. But otherwise, spear infantry really don't work as they should.

Spear infantry is good at stooping cavalry, it however lacks killing power due to how much damage most spears do. Or lack of damage to be precise. If you however combine spear infantry with 2H or polearm infantry, combined they can be very effective against cavalry.

Also javelin infantry can be fairly effective against cavalry, as long as it can get decent volleys out.

I don't agree with your little 'moral' though. In my experience, enemy cavalry have a tendency of riding too far ahead of their troops, and often lack the numbers to do anything to your archers. With an army full of nothing but archers, you can put a terrible hurting on them, absorb their charge and then still have enough power to then deal with their infantry, who aren't really well equipped. But that's more on AI stupidity than anything else.

Yes, that's the AI issue. Although it's also exaggerated by the fact that player armies are generally composed of top tier units while AI armies are 50% recruits and tier 2. Which I think is fine for the gameplay balance purpose.
 
Spear infantry is good at stooping cavalry, it however lacks killing power due to how much damage most spears do. Or lack of damage to be precise. If you however combine spear infantry with 2H or polearm infantry, combined they can be very effective against cavalry.

Also javelin infantry can be fairly effective against cavalry, as long as it can get decent volleys out.
That's how I wished it worked, but from testing out those 2h infantry against Elite Cataphracts of the same number, spear infantry are completely pointless. It was extremely one sided, no amount of armour or anything allowed the Elite Cataphracts to inflict a casualty. Why bother with spear infantry when you can just have more rhomphaias or war razors.

Also funny enough, the one test I did run with Vet Falxman that had casualties was because I didn't have them hold fire. By the time they were throwing axes, cavalry were all over them. Next test I had them hold fire, and they did a lot better.

Sure, you could say that handaxes aren't as good as javelins, except I tried getting Sturgian Vet Warriors against cavalry. They did better than spearmen, but worse than archers and lost.
 

Eggs Benedict

I think you should be able to buy ammunition instead of always having infinite arrows for archers/crosbowmen/javelin trowers
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
That's how I wished it worked, but from testing out those 2h infantry against Elite Cataphracts of the same number, spear infantry are completely pointless. It was extremely one sided, no amount of armour or anything allowed the Elite Cataphracts to inflict a casualty. Why bother with spear infantry when you can just have more rhomphaias or war razors.

Well, there's some logic in that, I agree.
 
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