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How the Hell do I defeat Horse archers

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Beau Vine

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SVC
It's because inf is in the archers way and sometimes archers block other archers. It's realistic and somehow different than in Warband. Just use a different setup, don't expect arrows to go through your soldiers heads without damage. So they don't shoot at all.

To be honest:AI could be a little bit smarter at that point. Moving some meters out of formation to find a spot to shoot from shouldn't be a problem or big deal. Because they stick in their formation they often block themselves or get blocked by other troops nearby.

Getting out of formation is how you get Gleive'd. What also works is spreading the archers (F3-F3), and putting them in an elevated position. I'm yet to find a map, even in Khuzait steppes, that doesn't have many better and worse hills for this, often you just have to back off a little to get troops in neigh unassailable position.

Another aspect is, AI often turns slowly. This results in archers never shooting and always turning, getting slaughtered by horse archers. It's the same problem in tournaments. AI turns slowly -> easy win for experienced player. Just circle around them.
Crossbowmen seem particularly bad at dealing with this.

BTW, I've confirmed - mounted archers shoot a lot more to the front than to the back. Because if their shot gets out of possible angle, it shoots straight - so catching the tail of enemy archers is very doable even if you can't get on their right flank. Just not with charge or straught up follow - sometimes I tell them to disengage or go to a far away point - just so they re-align, and you can have then follow for more flanking.
 

Honved

Knight
Horse archers will inevitably circle their targets counter-clockwise, because they can't shoot at any significant angle to the opposite side. All you need to counter that is an obstacle to your left, or failing that, use the map edge either to your left or behind you to prevent them from getting around you. As soon as the HA stop circling, their horses become easy targets for your own ranged units. You can also lead part of your infantry or cavalry to where they're heading (but NOT directly at them), because you already know in advance roughly where they're going to go.

I play HA a lot (my reflexes have slowed down quite a bit over the years, so I'm a mediocre melee player), and I'm well aware of my forces' strengths and weaknesses. As long as those HA can circle, they're difficult to hit, but as soon as they stop, they're toast. A good cavalry player MUST keep those mounted units in motion, while a good infantry player should try to do whatever it takes to slow or stop them, and use terrain to hinder them whenever possible.
 

Odione

Regular
Hey y'all. I've been in the Custom battles trying to find the perfect strategy to beat mostly horse archer builds, and have come up mostly empty handed. The composition of my army is usually 10% cav, 45% inf, 45% archers. If this is a bad mix let me know, but I've been using it against mostly horse archer builds with 10-20% inf to no success. I've even been continuously cranking the amount of horse archers down so that I outnumber them by around 100/70, still no success. I try all the formations, but find that the archers are just not able to put up enough kills in their circle formation, while infantry sit in their square and get absolutely pummeled before the enemy infantry even arrives. Can anybody help a man out.

Ride behind them and attack with a long 2H weapon, chop, chop, chop they dead. :mrgreen:
 

Pymous

Veteran
Like it was already reported, the main issue is that Arrows do full damage, whatever the distance travelled. This has a huge impact on gameplay and makes things really weird (like in Total war games, and basically most of games).
This is why you can have "God Tier" mounted units which combine Speed + Damage + Long range + Precisions (+Armors, etc...) without any real drawbacks.
In reality, mounted units would charge to close range, Fire arrows, then go back before contact in order to make some damage (especially for armored units). They are then vulnerable themsleves to arrows/bolts and could be intercepted by others cavalry (even heavy cavalry).

The solution would be to have arrows/bolts make more damage at close range, and lower as the distance increase (especially versus armored units).
 

Kharille

Knight at Arms
ah, good to know, hold fire. Smart. Don't want them wasting arrows. Just not used to moving from Warband. At least this gives you more options for stealth.
 

barcibus

Veteran
I run my infantry and archers either to the tallest hill, or some big barrier that acts like a wall on a side (even if it's not that big), or to the edge of the map, or to within trees... or all of those at once on some maps. I have them face the HA, while keeping an eye to have them face the oncoming foot soldiers when they're in range. I put my mixed cavalry on follow, then go intercept the HAs. If I'm low on health I just tell my cavalry to advance.

I get mixed results depending on the numbers involved and the terrain.
 

mehmeteking

Veteran
WBVC
Reposting my reply from a similar thread:

My approach is to have some horse archers and lancers in my army. When the enemy horse archers show up, I start chasing them and command all my cavalry to follow me. What you need to do is to stay behind them and to their right. They cannot shoot right, so in order to shoot at you they wheel left. When they do so, and if their speed is reduced to an extent that you can catch up with them as is often the case, you command your lancers to charge. As they meet the lancers they will switch to melee and lose all advantage.
 

RavenMount

Recruit
The issue I have dealing with horse archers is when I'm on defensive. In battles where I'm out-number, I rely on infantry to hold the line while cavalry flank the back. But if I send out my cavalry to chase the horse archer, there is a chance they don't get back in time when the infantries clash and my line got overrun.

Even if I hold my calvary back, there is still a chance they decide to go after the horse archers instead of charging the back of the enemy line.
 

Beau Vine

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SVC
Like it was already reported, the main issue is that Arrows do full damage, whatever the distance travelled. This has a huge impact on gameplay and makes things really weird (like in Total war games, and basically most of games).
This is why you can have "God Tier" mounted units which combine Speed + Damage + Long range + Precisions (+Armors, etc...) without any real drawbacks.

What version is this?

The player does 16 flat damage if they're too far (unless it's a headshot?), although top tier units do seem to get kills on range longer than lower tiers. And they're bad with aim - so it definitely makes a difference how far you're circling - if you don't want your archers to run out of arrows you need to get close enough that they become in danger of getting killed by throwables or for stragglers to get caught too close to enemy.

In reality, mounted units would charge to close range, Fire arrows, then go back before contact in order to make some damage (especially for armored units). They are then vulnerable themsleves to arrows/bolts and could be intercepted by others cavalry (even heavy cavalry).

The solution would be to have arrows/bolts make more damage at close range, and lower as the distance increase (especially versus armored units).

A third step in damage could help, and the mechanic for it seems to already be in. This could help longbows to make a comeback (they could stay on two steps).

Again though - maneuvers you've described already help in game. One way to visualize this for people who want to try - you use your cav like a whip. pull back, right flank to align, slowly change to back and left flank as you look for an angle to charge for a bit, and break away for another loop. If game made it more effective I'm all for - but it does already do wonders.


Ride behind them and attack with a long 2H weapon, chop, chop, chop they dead. :mrgreen:
Even on realistic it works surprisingly well. But if that happens I prefer to focus lancers as they take a lot of time to kill for your troops. Last 2-3 units on battlefield are for me 2 de-horsed lancers which my troops just bunch around and interrupt eachother attacks.
 

kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
Love the people who obviously play on easiest and just say, "use your OP hero". When playing on realistic you get 2 shotted so unless you want to watch the rest of the battle under crappy AI this isn't an option.
You should easily be able to have 2:1 ratio of archers to their HA, place archers ahead of infantry (if behind infantry they wont fire) slightly favoring right side, as HA usually come to the left. Often times the HA group will retreat if they suffer a few losses before they can fire more than a few volleys. Place your Cav behind your army and charge if the HA goes behind you, make sure to monitor them, some might go for the enemy main army instead. At this point if you feel confident in the size and your HP, you can try and chase some down, but be aware that the main force of the enemy should be closing in soon if they are on offense. At this point i often pull my cav back and charge the front line once both infantry clash. The HA should be dimished enough to focus your Cav elsewhere, the last thing you want is your CAV tied up chasing stragglers.

I've experimented with both 2:1 and 3:1 ratios, and I think it's safe to say 3:1 would be generally more recommended. 2:1 advantage, often seems not enough in many cases.

So if we're going to suppress HA with more numbers, let's just go all the way and agree on "way more acrhers" than HAs. Better safe than sorry.
 

Dionaea

Veteran
Hey y'all. I've been in the Custom battles trying to find the perfect strategy to beat mostly horse archer builds, and have come up mostly empty handed. The composition of my army is usually 10% cav, 45% inf, 45% archers. If this is a bad mix let me know, but I've been using it against mostly horse archer builds with 10-20% inf to no success. I've even been continuously cranking the amount of horse archers down so that I outnumber them by around 100/70, still no success. I try all the formations, but find that the archers are just not able to put up enough kills in their circle formation, while infantry sit in their square and get absolutely pummeled before the enemy infantry even arrives. Can anybody help a man out.


Someone found a bannerlord variant of the total war corner camp cheese.

See the horse archers will circle, in a clockwise direction. So what you do is you park you army as far to the left as you can, the horse archers will get stuck there in a nice blob, they will still fire at you but your archers can fire in the mass group and should win the archery battle.

I haven't tried it myself yet but apparently it works
 

Tovias

Squire
I was using a lot of archers and a square formation. It helps if you have a hill, not so much for the high ground but because the horse archers will be forced to attack you from specific directions instead of having a full circle around you.
 

Ailliau

Recruit
The answer is probably the testudo formation if they put it in. aka a square with shields overhead fully closed in. that being said I really hate having to put my archers on hold fire when the enemy sends out their 5 something horse archers because if I forget while I'm chasing them down they will actually run out of ammo before they kill them half of the time. also, someone should do something about the ai turning the formation automatically they need to turn individuals direction but not change the formation. IDK why that's so hard but other games like total war do it as well. its a huge waste of time for a loose formation to rotate when the people in it could just turn around so much faster.
 

SkullSplitter

Hey y'all. I've been in the Custom battles trying to find the perfect strategy to beat mostly horse archer builds, and have come up mostly empty handed. The composition of my army is usually 10% cav, 45% inf, 45% archers. If this is a bad mix let me know, but I've been using it against mostly horse archer builds with 10-20% inf to no success. I've even been continuously cranking the amount of horse archers down so that I outnumber them by around 100/70, still no success. I try all the formations, but find that the archers are just not able to put up enough kills in their circle formation, while infantry sit in their square and get absolutely pummeled before the enemy infantry even arrives. Can anybody help a man out.
CTRL+ALT+F4 😉 😅
 
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