Chapter 6: Ranged Units

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Chapter 6: Ranged Units

Post by ^Marcus Cornelius^ on Sun 08 Jun 2008, 16:40

6. Ranged Units

6.1. General Overiew

Ranged units represent the capability of your army to hit enemy from a distance, i.e. not yet engaging into melee. A good army has always some range capability, and it is not recommended going on battlefield without any of this type … unless some of your team mates will cover your deficiency with his ranged units.
Ranged units could be:
- Archers & slingers
- Horse archers
- Artillery.
Some melee infantry are provided with some javelin ranged capability. Lethal capability. It will be discussed with melee infantry (7.2 Melee Infantry).

The primary factors to keep in mind in choosing ranged units are:
- Range
- Armour
- Attack Factor for Missile Units

With more range you have the capability to hit first. Hit the enemy with 2 volleys before he can hit you and his archer unit will be reduced 20% in men.
With more armour your units will die slower than enemy’s under shots.
With more attack factor for missile your units will kill faster than enemy’s.

6.2. Archers and Slingers

Archers probably will be the backbone of your range capability.

They could be classified in three class according to their lethality.
Low Class (cost <= 300): Simple class of archers. They have low cost, short range, low protection, and low missile kill rate. These are archers, slingers, hunters, berbers archers.
Mediun Class ( 300These are lombardi archers, virgin foot archers, sassanid desert archers.
High Class (cost >= 500): highest cost, outstanding performances. These are choosen archers, goth raiders, eastern archers: very long range, very good protection, very good missile attack factor.

If your strategy is first to win the archer duel and with your faction you can only choose lower quality archers than your opponent, it is better if you upgrade your archers … or better if you change faction.
The most common and effective upgrade with archers is on their armour.
Upgrading their valour: melee attacking boost has almost no use with archers.
Some archers (eastern and choosen) has almost decent stat even in melee. So it could be of some use even upgrading their valour. But this is a refinement for veteran players … better simpler things for new players.

Foot archers have the capability to use fire arrows. Fire arrows have no particular effect on infantry.
But fire can have its particular efficiency on two targets:
- Elephants: they seem to be very scared of fire. Throwing fire at them is a good way, after many volleys, to have them run;
- Artillery: Onagers could be countered by fire arrows. They can be set alight after some volleys.

6.3. Horse Archers
Horse archers are powerful weapons.
The cantabrian circle (CC) formation given to most barbarian horse archers is a powerful tool. Horse archers performing CC are difficult to hit with enemy missiles. So the capability to perform this formation is the most important distinction to be made in choosing horse archers.
Roman factions do not have archers with this special formation.

In summary, horse archers can be used in three manners.

1. Shooting at missile troops: if they can perform special formation cantabrian circle troops they become almost unhittable by enemy archer shots. So they are the most powerful tool against armies that base their strength on missile archer power.

2. Shooting at melee troops and cavalry. Horse archers can give the capability to move quickly against missile troops around the battlefield. They can be used to harrass enemy armies. They can be brought on enemy flank easily and shoot at more vulnerable flank and rear of enemy units.

3. Charging at infantry, missile foot units, cavalry and horse archers as light cavalry can:
- counter light cavalry units or decimate heavy cavalry,
- chase routing enemy units
- charge into the back of melee infantry units.
These tasks need better stats to be performed. High class horse archers can do this.

Next there is a classification for horse archers.
No Cantabrian Circle Class: all horse archers without special formation cantabrian circle. Roman western and eastern horse archers cannot perform CC. The cost of these horse archers is not so low, their stats are not so bad, but they cannot perform CC and thus they are too vulnerable to enemy foot archer shots.
Low Class (500High Class (cost>700): these are costly horse archers. Very good for use against missile enemy troops if performing CC. They can also be used in melee. But be aware, they are not heavy cavalry.
Their stats in melee are comparable to light cavalry or a little bit better.
These are alan horse archers, hunnic archers, sarmatian armoured horse archers, hun elite warriors.

6.4. Artillery

Artillery is a powerful tool. It is often banned. Many players do not like having to deal with it and say it spoils the game. I am not of that opinion. Artillery is simply another tool of the game, another aspect.
Talking about artillery, we are talking about onagers. This is the only unit among artillery class worth the cost. The others do not have onager range and power of shot.

The main characteristc of artillery is its range. It has double the range of most archers.
It has little use as a counter to enemy missiles but its strike is powerful: many kills per shot.
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^Marcus Cornelius^
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