Khergit Strategy

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So it's always bugged me how weak the Khergits are especially since they're based on the Mongols who owned these guys in history.  The main problem is the AI's strategy.  When I hit them with my heavy cav, they always just charge in, hit a standstill, and then scatter.  But they've lost half their force by that point and they don't stick together.  Basically, they always get slaughtered.

The problem is they pretend they're heavy cav and just charge in.  So I was wondering if anyone has ever tried getting an army of Khergits, commanding them to follow you, and then simply riding circles around the enemy army peppering them with arrows, i.e. avoid all contact until the enemy is nearly dead.  If so, did it work?  With all their archers, it would seem like it could but the problem would be avoiding contact.  Have to do it with someone like the Nords or Rhodoks so you don't have enemy cav.
Yeah, it works pretty well, it is more difficult against Swadians, Vaegirs, and Sarrinids, but it is definitely do-able.  If you have about 75 Horse Archers, it can be devastating. Imagine that many arrows coming down on you constantly!
I tried doing that, and it seemed like too much trouble for very little payoff.  I had better luck with just 75 ground archers.  The problem is that horse archers do not aim correctly.  They seem to aim for the head constantly, and I think they might also not take into account their height difference while mounted.  So due to targeting inaccuracy, they're effectively only useful against a huge mob of foes.  Since a mob of foes is what will stop a horse's momentum, it's a case of 'between a rock and a hard place.'

The best use of horse archers is moving them across the map in a flanking position, then dismounting them in my opinion.
Horse archers should just be told to charge on the coat tails of your lancers, theyll collide once and then dance around them shooting
So basically if you're not a horse archer yourself Khergits are useless? I mean, I like to wade into the thick of combat with a charger and morningstar. If I ask them to follow me they die in droves, but I'm afraid they'll get cut down if I ask them to hold position in one place... having a auto-'skirmish' order like in Total War games would simplify things vastly.
I've written before a... hmmm... "strategy" for horse archers.
The truth is that if they are left at the default starting charge order, they rush and hit the closest enemy.
They collide and stay there unable to move, since they are all packed together.

IF and only IF, they manage to move from the starting attack, they perform like horse archers. Circling the enemy, raining arrows. That is IF they survive the wrath of their melee foes.

The player must control their suicidical first charge in order for them to be used effectively.
For this to work, they must start shooting arrows while holding position.

I've played a lot with them, utilising them like this. When the battle starts, immediately order them to follow.
Then, hold position slightly before they are in arrow range. When the enemy approaches, and they start shooting arrows, tell them to charge. They don't switch to melee weapons, at least the majority of them :lol:, they rush at the right flank and use properly their horse archer skills, dividing the enemy forces, making cavalry chasing them all over the map, inflicting casualties.

When their arrows are depleted, they switch to melee and charge the closest enemy, so, the player can use their initial horse archering to scatter the enemy, picking them up with the lancers ALWAYS following the player, his personal bodyguard and hitting force.
In situations where the tarrain isn't favorable for horses, dismounting them gives you a force of very good archers, just use them as you use the normal archers.
They are strong and good at what they do, just control them and don't leave them free to charge.
Excellent points Xt - trouble is - is it worth the hassle.  The vha are good and you have a good strategy but it feels like babysitting the one kind of soldier you shouldn't have to. Skirmish is needed from the start without the command shenanigans  - I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to patch in either and then the khergits would rock!

As they should
Remedius said:
Excellent points Xt - trouble is - is it worth the hassle.  The vha are good and you have a good strategy but it feels like babysitting the one kind of soldier you shouldn't have to. Skirmish is needed from the start without the command shenanigans  - I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to patch in either and then the khergits would rock!

As they should

Yes, you're quite right. After all, they're supposed to be born in the saddle. :lol:

They need some management, at the start of the battle to start shooting, and to regroup them when their arrows are depleted, so they do not rush at the new enemy reinforcements one at a time, practically suiciding... :???:

They're fast, on the map and at the battlefield, they inflict casualties and damage the enemy forces making them easy pickings for the player and the melee force. They're relatively safe from enemy archers due to fast moving. Their most precious skill for me is the making of enemy cavalry following them, leaving the infantry/archers vulnerable to lancers, enemy archers deplete their ammo without making much damage, and finally, you can catch those constantly retreating steppe and desert bandits, as well as choosing the battles you fight at will.
Also excellent points - I think numbers are also where they fall down - I have suggested elsewhere on the forum that they should be very cheap units (as paradox are using upkeep to restrict numbers) allowing bigger numbers ( I know - this poses problems for battle limits).

I also think they should be able to skirmish in force to maximise the arrow damage - running as needed but grouping again when able. I know - this is a tall order and indeed if the khergits are to operate as well as the mongols then impractical numbers must be involved but I do think there is at least scope for a Total War style avoid melée setting.
If your archers run out of ammo, couldn't you just have them retreat? Since they're fast and mounted, most of them should be able to do so easily, and your reserves could come in without you killing off your archers. Alternatively, you could retreat yourself after your troops did so that you could start a new battle, with fresh supplies of arrows.

Also, I had an idea about helping them skirmish. Currently there is no system to have your horse archers shoot and avoid melee. This could be changed if you edited their equipment to use only sharp melee weapons and only blunt arrows, I think by changing either the bows or the arrows, or both. Then order them to use blunt weapons only so that they can't use melee, and they might skirmish then. Haven't tried it myself, but it seems like a good idea.
I find the battle map handy with horse archers. I group them in their own special group called "Light Horse" or something, then hang back somewhere safe and click around on the battle map where i want them to go. If I see a group of infantry heading for them I pull them out of range; if the enemy line is scattered and they're not bunched up any more, I set them to charge and they do a decent job of circling the enemy and shooting.

I do suffer casualties among my Khergits (lancer or archer) more than any other cavlary though.
Good suggestions guys - I think there are some clever command jiggery pokery things you can do to help but you'd never have to withdraw your unit of carls or lukes during a battle - why should you have to for vha?

I know - this is long established seige tactics but open field ? Nah.  I can see why paradox never came up with a solution. I suppose you could have the quivers auto fill after a long fight or the concept of a baggage train or some kind of varlet ? Maybe a sub type of retreat to either rearm or reload ?

Dunno - starting to get complicated
You don't have to retreat melee units because they don't rely on ammo to do their fighting. And I don't see the harm in retreating - you basically reduce casualties for no cost. It's not like it's that hard to press F1, then F5.
Hang on - am I getting this wrong?

You won't get those men back once withdrawn?

I don't think you do -

So I say again - if you never withdraw carls and lukes in a battle why should you have to withdraw vha only to 'hope' you have some reinforcements who will have to be babysat again and probly at a less opportune moment in the battle
Withdrawn soldiers are available to use again, as far as I know, so long as you don't lose the battle. I've had allied farmers retreat before and then retreat again when battle began afresh, so I'm pretty sure they don't act like regular casualties. I'll try it out to confirm later.
Yes, you can use them in the next battle but they aren't available in the current battle. That's the point Remedius is making as far as I can tell.
Oh, I knew that. I guess I didn't adequately explain the strategy:

1. Order horse archers to retreat, and they should be able to do so with their fast horses
2. If you have reserve troops, they will come now, and you can keep fighting if you wish.
3. Otherwise, once all your troops are far from the enemy, retreat yourself by pressing tab so that you can start a new battle with fresh ammo supplies.

You could also just use the last step, but I think you'll take casualties if your troops are near enemies.

And once again, you don't need to retreat mamlukes and huscarls because they don't rely on finite ammo supplies. I mean, if you REALLY want your expensive VHA's to slaughter themselves pointlessly in melee, go right ahead. But I thought the whole point of the thread was to figure out ways we can avoid that?
manekemaan said:
does anyone have an idea why they changed the khergit tactic in warband? (compared to vanilla)
Khergits had a tactic in M&B? They seem more menacing in Warband to me, not that they have a tactic in WB, just that they seem less like a nuisance and more like an actual faction. Maybe an upgrade from mosquito to hornet.
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