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NPC Troop Ranged Proficiencies - Poll

Keep ranged troop proficiencies the same or improve them?

  • They are fine as they are.

    Votes: 5 27.8%
  • 50% increase should fix the problem

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • 100% increase is needed to fix the problem.

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • They should be reduced, not increased.

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • 25% increase is more balanced.

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Increase them, but just Bow and Sling users.

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Increase them, but just Bow users.

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Increase them, but just Sling users.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Increase them, but just Throwing Weapon users.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Increase them, but just Throwing Weapon skirmishers, not main line infantry.

    Votes: 2 11.1%

  • Total voters
    18

Users who are viewing this thread

Shaxx

Squire
I am thinking of improving the accuracy of all ranged proficiencies on soldiers with any type of ranged weapon... maybe by 50% or 100%. As their accuracy is quite terrible, the only problem is it is not save compatible so I held off until I was starting a new game, which happens to be coming up in a few days, so I am curious for other players opinions on the matter.

It seems like you can side step a lot of the attacks by them (skirmishers, archers, infantry with javelins and so on and so forth) fairly easily. I do not know if lack of proficiency is even the problem with this instead possibly a deeper engine AI issue with movement tracking. Regardless of that, at long distances with slingers or archers I find they can even have a hard time hitting large bodies of soldiers who are sitting still. Thrown weapons at medium to close range are also fairly poor in accuracy, I have seen several dozen get launched by a large force at a single rider charging at it, and none of them hit the rider...

Now the player can of course tell his soldiers to hold fire until the enemy is closer, but the AI cannot do this... so what should be done, if anything?

I should mention that I am not trying to make archers into their 12th century counterparts, I just want to make them and their spear and rock chucker friends not so hilariously laughable.

Any personal experience with messing around with these values would be appreciated, along with any other insight into this possible change... and a vote on the poll.
 

Queue

Duke
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I think the primary issue is the non-throwing weapons, they need more accuracy. I don't have an issue with the throwing weapons because they are meant to be thrown at large groups, by other large groups. But the non-throwing weapons could definitely use some sort of re-balancing, not to the level of Warband, far from it, but still to make them more useful.
 

Utfred

Veteran
Maybe I'm just the only one feeling this but to me missile accuracy (taking bows away cause, yes, they are terrible) is insane. I cannot recount the times I died from a sling lead while facing those guys with my shield up.

If you increase their stats by a substantial amount I'm afraid you're going to make missile heavy factions like Irishs and Britonnics, overpowered as their missile 'corps' will kill a lot of your troops while skirmishing away during the battle's last phase. The first skirmishing phase will also be terribly deadly for you. Overall I'm afraid the fighting might end up looking like the vanilla version where a group of 30 good skirms simply placed in front of the ennemy can turn the tide before the most fun part of the battle even started.

You may think missile accuracy isn't great in VC because you don't see a lot of green names popping up while throwing javelins, but that doesn't mean it's not damaging them and their shields. If you really work for it and hold the high ground, you can start disbanding your foe's shieldwall before the fight even started with a good skirmishing. Just have to hold fire until they're close enough, and avoid melee until all javs are spent.

Again that's just my opinion though and I don't think it's the most commonly encountered out there so don't take that as a representative pov.

PS : Regarding bows however I side with the post made above, they could use some improvements, especially their damage against non-heavily armored NPC. Even Finn Archers firing in the back of a shieldwall don't cause that much damage
 

Laizenbh

Knight
I think "pure archers" like brittons or Finn need more PD and maybe increased proficience but for god sake dont increase nothing on those damm Irish skirmishers.
 

Shaxx

Squire
QWW said:
I don't have an issue with the throwing weapons because they are meant to be thrown at large groups, by other large groups.
Historically, you mean? I must admit I have never researched their use in small scale engagements... I know their certainly how I win most duels, throwing spear to the neck beats just about anything, if you can hit it.

QWW said:
But the non-throwing weapons could definitely use some sort of re-balancing, not to the level of Warband, far from it, but still to make them more useful.
From what I can tell, the proficiencies are nearly the same from bottom to max for most troop trees when compared to Native, so not sure why it feels so different from the accuracy levels in Native, perhaps edits to the weapons themselves (which I do not think) or some other engine mechanic under the hood.

Utfred said:
Maybe I'm just the only one feeling this but to me missile accuracy (taking bows away cause, yes, they are terrible) is insane. I cannot recount the times I died from a sling lead while facing those guys with my shield up.

If you increase their stats by a substantial amount I'm afraid you're going to make missile heavy factions like Irishs and Britonnics, overpowered as their missile 'corps' will kill a lot of your troops while skirmishing away during the battle's last phase. The first skirmishing phase will also be terribly deadly for you. Overall I'm afraid the fighting might end up looking like the vanilla version where a group of 30 good skirms simply placed in front of the ennemy can turn the tide before the most fun part of the battle even started.

You may think missile accuracy isn't great in VC because you don't see a lot of green names popping up while throwing javelins, but that doesn't mean it's not damaging them and their shields. If you really work for it and hold the high ground, you can start disbanding your foe's shieldwall before the fight even started with a good skirmishing. Just have to hold fire until they're close enough, and avoid melee until all javs are spent.

Again that's just my opinion though and I don't think it's the most commonly encountered out there so don't take that as a representative pov.

PS : Regarding bows however I side with the post made above, they could use some improvements, especially their damage against non-heavily armored NPC. Even Finn Archers firing in the back of a shieldwall don't cause that much damage
I think norse warrior archers actually have the best power draw, bow proficiency, arrows and bows, as you mentioned "even finnish archers".

I do not think I have ever been killed by a sling... most either miss or hit my shield or me for low damage (with mail armor on). But last I really heavily played was version 2.0, maybe something changed.

Also, we are simply talking proficiency here and not any other stats, which is just accuracy related. And I am aware of the ability javelins and such have against shields... but they have to hit them. I can recount very few body of infantry to another body of infantry exchanges where more than 20% of thrown weapons hit any one. Memorable because I literally would face palm when it happened, disappointed at the lack of spectacle, the enemy's ineptness and my soldiers failure.

Laizenbh said:
I think "pure archers" like brittons or Finn need more PD and maybe increased proficience but for god sake dont increase nothing on those damm Irish skirmishers.
I think damage is a whole other area, bows at this time were not very good, vikings had the best tech in the bow/arrow arena at this point in time, but some exceptions should and would be made, like Norse Warrior Archers probably do not need any accuracy buffs due to their decent (for an archer) melee gear and melee stats.
 

Utfred

Veteran
I can recount very few body of infantry to another body of infantry exchanges where more than 20% of thrown weapons hit any one

Aren't you a bit too far away when you're throwing? Don't know for other players but 80% of my javs hit.

I think norse warrior archers actually have the best power draw, bow proficiency, arrows and bows, as you mentioned "even finnish archers".

My bad I thought the Finn Archers were. I've tried it with Norse warrior archers as well though and they don't perform really better unless you put them really close.

As for the sling... well i'm guess i'm just reckless or unlucky.
 

Shaxx

Squire
Utfred said:
I can recount very few body of infantry to another body of infantry exchanges where more than 20% of thrown weapons hit any one

Aren't you a bit too far away when you're throwing? Don't know for other players but 80% of my javs hit.
As I mentioned in the original post, the player can game the system a bit and solve this issue by a small margin, but the AI is not capable of this, thus as a house rule I never really used the tactic myself.

Utfred said:
I think norse warrior archers actually have the best power draw, bow proficiency, arrows and bows, as you mentioned "even finnish archers".

My bad I thought the Finn Archers were. I've tried it with Norse warrior archers as well though and they don't perform really better unless you put them really close.

As for the sling... well i'm guess i'm just reckless or unlucky.
I think perhaps I simply did not face any of the better slinger units in the game very often... what I am thinking is:

Base Archer units for Angles and Saxons have their proficiency increased to 130 to meet the base non peasant/slave Briton/Irish Slinger unit's sling proficiency, with the bow being innately more accurate, and having a smaller learning curve, this seems fair, considering by further diving into itemkinds1, bows definitely have less damage than slings.

The base norse archer will be raised to 130 to meet the others, but will no longer have a staggering 35 point proficiency superiority over the other first tier archer units and will still have better melee stats.

The tier 2 archer/ranged unit for Britons will be increased to 220, to meet the highest proficiency of faction based ranged infantry troop in any ranged skill (in this case throwing). This seems fair with their history with bows, they will still have less quality bows and less power draw than norse warrior archers, but will be more accurate, as the bow was considered a somewhat unsuitable route for a proper warrior in norse culture.

Furthermore, Finnish Archers and Camp Defenders, being mercenaries, and needing a reason to justify the expense, will have their proficiencies increased to 235 and 225 respectively, following the same bonuses they had over Briton Tier 2 Archer units.

And perhaps javelins and throwing spears should be left untouched, as they are a bit of a sleeping dragon...
 

Queue

Duke
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Shaxx said:
QWW said:
I don't have an issue with the throwing weapons because they are meant to be thrown at large groups, by other large groups.
Historically, you mean? I must admit I have never researched their use in small scale engagements... I know their certainly how I win most duels, throwing spear to the neck beats just about anything, if you can hit it.

QWW said:
But the non-throwing weapons could definitely use some sort of re-balancing, not to the level of Warband, far from it, but still to make them more useful.
From what I can tell, the proficiencies are nearly the same from bottom to max for most troop trees when compared to Native, so not sure why it feels so different from the accuracy levels in Native, perhaps edits to the weapons themselves (which I do not think) or some other engine mechanic under the hood.

My point when it comes to throwing weapons the damage is devastating, so increasing the accuracy too much would make them very powerful. They are even more effective when thrown in large groups when the infantry lines meet in the game.

As for the bows, Native's bow speed hovers around 90, while Viking Conquests is around 60. So in Viking Conquest the bows are weaker. I disliked the power of bows in Native, they ended up too strong in my opinion, but the bows in Viking Conquest seem to week, I would never sub out infantry for archers right now.
 

Shaxx

Squire
Ahh, the speed, that must have been it. It looks like a minor tweak to archers is all that I will do.
 

Queue

Duke
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Shaxx said:
Ahh, the speed, that must have been it. It looks like a minor tweak to archers is all that I will do.

Yeah, I personally would put it at about 70-80ish , unless you're going for that Native feel.
 

Ivan Khan

Knight
WBVC
I think this is going back to the historical arguments that were brought up before. To me the current system seems to capture the time period where missile weapons had degraded from Roman times. I think  majority of historians who write on the subject consider the Norse reintroduced the bow as a martial weapon in Britain. As for the Norse Warrior Archer they have no problem causing serious damage. As for javelins they are nasty problems, and thrown spears are devastating if delivered at close range. As for the slings, crossbows, and other than Norse bowman, the fact that they not mentioned as having an effect on the battles of the period is telling. If they were the battle winners they would become a few hundred years hence you think they would be mentioned. But, they are not, this is a time of shield walls, spears and melee weapons.
 

Shaxx

Squire
Ivan Khan said:
I think this is going back to the historical arguments that were brought up before. To me the current system seems to capture the time period where missile weapons had degraded from Roman times. I think  majority of historians who write on the subject consider the Norse reintroduced the bow as a martial weapon in Britain. As for the Norse Warrior Archer they have no problem causing serious damage. As for javelins they are nasty problems, and thrown spears are devastating if delivered at close range. As for the slings, crossbows, and other than Norse bowman, the fact that they not mentioned as having an effect on the battles of the period is telling. If they were the battle winners they would become a few hundred years hence you think they would be mentioned. But, they are not, this is a time of shield walls, spears and melee weapons.
I think if they were effective, which I am not saying they were, there is a chance they were simply left out of what little historical accounts that exist because bows were not exactly considered glorious and the people using them were not nobles or warriors or anything of that ilk.

You can see this in a number of later recorded incidents in the middle ages where it appeared in a number of engagements that only the knights and nobles would be counted for posterity, despite their being 10 or 20 times as many fighters from non noble backgrounds spilling the most blood.
 

Ivan Khan

Knight
WBVC
Shaxx said:
I think if they were effective, which I am not saying they were, there is a chance they were simply left out of what little historical accounts that exist because bows were not exactly considered glorious and the people using them were not nobles or warriors or anything of that ilk.

You can see this in a number of later recorded incidents in the middle ages where it appeared in a number of engagements that only the knights and nobles would be counted for posterity, despite their being 10 or 20 times as many fighters from non noble backgrounds spilling the most blood.

Very true. But, the time of strong kings, feudalism and aristocracy is as well a couple of hundred years off. As to lack of sources that is a huge problem. That is why most military historians of the period end up relying on archaeology. This is of course why we now realize many of the accounts of the middle ages are skewed to the aristocracy. During the Viking Invasion Period though there is little evidence of missile weapons. There are lots of skeletons that show horrendous melee wounds though.

All being said though, the historic record is very poor in some areas.  But, look at one of the huge battles at the end of this era, the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Again, just what happened is not 100% clear, but if the there were effective missile troops on either side you would think it would be a lot harder crossing the river. And, looking at the next major battle in Britain Norman archers (who were becoming an effective arm) are prominently recorded. 
 

Utfred

Veteran
Ivan Khan

Well as you said Stanford bridge happened in 1066, a few weeks before Hastings. This battle was won thanks to (bretons/normans?) archers that destroyed the saxons after theses guys decided to break the shieldwall to soon. So yes you can easily say that by the 11th century the bow became an important weapon. If the normans bothered to bring archers across the Channel (transporting 8K men is a pain!) it's probably cause their efficiency had already been established.

The fact that bows aren't mentionned earlier can be explained (yet it's not a proof) by the fact that chroniclers were not as thorough back then with their description : the mythological aspect prevailed over the historical one (something that wouldn't last though). In that context you'd rather mention the brave lord and his guards instead of giving a detailed description of the whole army. 

As for the lack of missile wounds, arrows are rather easy to identify (smaller holes) but I don't think it's the case for slings lead (don't always breaks the skeleton) or javs (which would have looked pretty similar to spear wounds I assume). Besides this archeological forensics technique works with very few 'samples' : it's accuracy isn't optimal.

You can also add that most missile weapons were not necessarily meant to kill but to disturb, to injure and to break shields. So their record is very likely to be lighter than other melee weapons on human remains.

At last, you can always remember this : Hunting was a basic activity in 9th century Britain (wasn't reserved to the nobility yet) and the armies were mostly made of levied civilians that knew how to hunt. In that regard it is hard to assume that the use of the bow really disappeared. Especially for picto/celtic populations who survived for quite some time with guerilla tactics.

 

Ivan Khan

Knight
WBVC
Utfred,

I think you hit it when you said middle weapons were to disturb. That is exactly what they currently do.

As for wounds from slings during the Roman period these are clearly found. The best of that age left injuries in skeletons. Archers are more gauged by number of heads left on battlefields.

As for Picts they were not know as bow hunters. What little we see is they used a type of crossbow. As for Irish the bow was almost u know there prior to Norse invasion.

The British would have had access to Roman knowledge of bows (very common for soldiers in the late empire). But, the compound bows which would have been readily available before the collapse of commerce would have left them unavailable. If the Welsh archers actually existed in numbers prior to the Viking invasion is a touchy question.  But, even those how argue for it, admit it was used for ambushes and not open battles.

As for the Anglos and Saxons they used bows like you say as arms for non-soldiers hastily easier to support armies. Poorly trained these type of archers are generally not effective.


 

JuJu70

At last, you can always remember this : Hunting was a basic activity in 9th century Britain (wasn't reserved to the nobility yet) and the armies were mostly made of levied civilians that knew how to hunt. In that regard it is hard to assume that the use of the bow really disappeared. Especially for picto/celtic populations who survived for quite some time with guerilla tactics.

Yes, hunting bows used by Anglo-saxons and Britons were not longbows, and would not cause a significant damage to an armored body over a reasonable distance (25 yards or longer). Hunters not equal professional archers. It is believed that the longbow was reintroduced to Britain by the Norsemen, so it's unlikely there were any kind super archers in England at that time. Norsemen believed in melee combat as the only way to gain glory, so the only people who used the bows were beggars (very poor) who could not afford anything else. Once they survived a battle, they would gain a decent melee weapon and would put their bows away. The first known mention of en masse use of bows by the Welsh is from mid 11 century, but plenty  of information about battles prior to that and very little mention of bows. On top of that, keep in mind that warfare in England was drastically different from continental Europe, Italy or European part of Byzantine Empire where bows were more wide spread. So is the use of cavalry for example. In essence, missiles were used to soften the shieldwall, disable the shields, wound and disable some soldiers and knock them off balance (mentally). Missile weapons in VC achieve this goal, not ideally, but to a great degree. At the same time, player can become a master archer and knockout enemies rather easily, so in our eyes there is a degree of balance - player can master archery and be deadly, AI missile troops are auxiliaries, and the close range damage is deadly to destroy shields, and make player stop charging into skirmishers.
 

Utfred

Veteran
Historians still struggle to decide if the Franks started using heavy cav in the 8th century. It's hard to find good descriptions of Charlemagne's armies : why some petty king from Englaland would get one then ? As you said, you have to wait the 11th century to ear of bows en masse. It's also at this time that you first hear of regular heavy cav formations, though archeology tends to proove it existed earlier.

11th century happens to be the one of the gregorian reform, a measure that will completely transform the intellectual life of Europe. Studying late middle-ages is much easier for that very reason. I don't think armies are getting suddenly more bow-heavy at that time, they're just being betterly described.

As for hunting, I don't think this should be minimized : 1°) It's a dangerous activity, requires some kind of bravery/ 2°) It also requires accuracy and piercing damage : You don't go through hides like butter. Yes being a hunter doesn't make you a soldier, but it still makes you a pretty good shot. One that can badly wound a beast with only one arrow.

Finally I believe that whole theory of Norse reintroducing the bow as a wartool in England is exagerated. Especially if they didn't consider the weapon that much as you mentionned.

In the British Isles the weapon was first recorded as being used by the Welsh in AD 633, when Offrid, the son of Edwin, king of Northumbria, was killed by an arrow shot from a Welsh longbow during a battle between the Welsh and the Mercians

Proves two things : - Celts were using warbows in battle (not huge longbows perhaps) prior to viking invasions and they were in fact pretty good with it (might not be the case for the picts indeed).

- The son of a king is likely to wear SOME kind of armor, even in the 7th century. Some bows may have been more deadly than we may think

So my point would be this : archer accuracy is good overall, they can't do **** in front of a shieldwall and that's fair enough. But they could have (a bit) more damage instead of taking 12 hp away from a naked guy. A broken infantry formation should suffer like it suffers from slings against a good bunch of archers. The speed of the bow is also too slow as said earlier. These are the two tweaks that may bring an interesting change to gameplay without messing up the game's balance.

Missile weapons in VC achieve this goal, not ideally, but to a great degree.

Yes, apart from slings sometimes and the bow of course I'm pretty happy with what VC achieved there. But it doesn't mean modders should'nt explore alternative views of the time period. Especially if it adds strategic depth by reinforcing some archers a bit.
 

Ivan Khan

Knight
WBVC
Utfred said:
Historians still struggle to decide if the Franks started using heavy cav in the 8th century. It's hard to find good descriptions of Charlemagne's armies : why some petty king from Englaland would get one then ? As you said, you have to wait the 11th century to ear of bows en masse. It's also at this time that you first hear of regular heavy cav formations, though archeology tends to proove it existed earlier.

11th century happens to be the one of the gregorian reform, a measure that will completely transform the intellectual life of Europe. Studying late middle-ages is much easier for that very reason. I don't think armies are getting suddenly more bow-heavy at that time, they're just being betterly described.

I would disagree. We know what armies were like in the Roman Period, we know there decline. We do know from archaeology what horses were like in this period of Europe. With the fall of the Roman Empire breading stock had disappeared. Horses had reverted to a mongrol breed, somewhat like large ponies. Charlemagne likely benefited from his predessors contact with the Moors in Spain, who retained horse breeds for specific purposes. This is what is going on all over Nothern Europe. Military tactics and equipment is being rediscovered. And, the early recordings of the 11th century tell of armies far differnt than the Late Empire.

As for hunting, I don't think this should be minimized : 1°) It's a dangerous activity, requires some kind of bravery/ 2°) It also requires accuracy and piercing damage : You don't go through hides like butter. Yes being a hunter doesn't make you a soldier, but it still makes you a pretty good shot. One that can badly wound a beast with only one arrow. 

Finally I believe that whole theory of Norse reintroducing the bow as a wartool in England is exagerated. Especially if they didn't consider the weapon that much as you mentionned.

As I said, it is a touchy issue. The Celts of Britain were never know for using bows in Roman times. The Celts on the Continent used them maninly during seiges and and to protect camps. They like the Germans vauled melee combat more. As for hunters, they were not archers to stand in formation and exchange fire with enemies. They did excell at ambush tactics though, and that is how the Welsh are noted to use bows. As to the ambushed soldiers, they rarely are ready for battle and in full armour, that is the whole idea of ambush.

As to the Norse re-introducing the bow, there is little evidence of its use in battle before their arrival, and much evidence of it after. Though I disagree that it was only the poor that used them. As most Viking warriors started out as bowmen the retained the skill. In ship to ship and seige warefare (i.E. of Paris) bows were used extensively. There are also reports of the elite troops of Viking leaders being behind shield walls firing arrows at the enemy, acting as ranged troops until needed as a reserve. And, opposed to the short hunting bow necessary for stalking animals, the Norse bows were long self bows of yew up to six feet long and the draws estimated to be 100lbs (Woow! sound like an English Long Bow!). Again, the laws in Denmark which provided for military service generally required a bow. And, unlike many other Northen Europeans there was no stigma for the Norse using bows, even kings were know to use them.

 

Utfred

Veteran
We do know from archaeology what horses were like in this period of Europe. With the fall of the Roman Empire breading stock had disappeared.

I don't get what you mean here. Really I'm not ironic. Just don't see with what you disagree regarding what I said. If you think that I was claiming that clear army description started in the 11th century you're missing the point. Of course we know perfectly what roman armies were like. There's just a big lack of proper written sources since the fall of the roman empire and a slow recovery after. So obvious I didn't mention it.

As to the Norse re-introducing the bow...

Im not saying that Norse were not using them, or that theirs weren't good. I'm just saying they probably weren't the only ones. The six feet yew bow you mention is a germanic classic,, already existant during the 3rd century. From that perspective Saxons, Jutes and Angles (which are the danes christianised cousins after all) must have held onto some kind of archery. And once again you cannot say that use of warbows by the Welsh was non-existent. Interesting fact by the way, the welsh word for archer comes from the latin sagittarius which tends to reveal an archery tradition inherited as it was said from the Romans.

You say bows are mentionned a lot after the vikings arrived. Which event do you speak of previous to Hastings ?

As to the ambushed soldiers, they rarely are ready for battle and in full armour, that is the whole idea of ambush

They mention a battle not an ambush. If the anglo-saxons chroniclers could have dismissed the welsh skills by mentionning some treacherous ambush they would have done so. Besides you cannot say what the Saxons marching orders were, if they had to wear full-armor or not while being in hostile territory. That's very specific knowledge and nobody has it for the time period.

And, unlike many other Northen Europeans there was no stigma for the Norse using bows, even kings were known to use them.

It's not because a weapon is poorly considered by the nobility that it's not in wide use, it's in fact quite the opposite. Carbines, matchlocks and crossbows went down the exact same path here. However it explains why the use of bows is poorly recorded by christian copists and authors during the early middle-age.
 
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