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Archery units slaughtering firearms units

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by GlobularFoody, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. GlobularFoody

    GlobularFoody Warlord

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    Most of you seem to have completely missed the problem. Archery units can kill firearms units in 1-2 attacks and take zero damage while doing it from 2 hexes away. The very least they could do is let the gunpowder guys fight back, these units are just plain useless the way it is now. I just marched my minutemen to an enemy city and I had about 5 units just wiped out without even being able to attack once. Pikemen are superior units than musketmen/riflemen and are much cheaper to produce.
     
  2. HiroHito

    HiroHito Prince

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    ^this.
     
  3. pzschrek

    pzschrek Chieftain

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    Nah, that's BS. In history, whenever well-formed, well-led firearms meet archers, archers die.

    As far as the Zulu War, 15,000 British crushed 35,000 Zulus, losing about 2,000 casualties to about....wait for it...over 10,000 Zulus casualties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Zulu_War

    You are remebering the battle of Isandhlwana, where a column of something like 1200 British and African auxiliaries were caught with their pants down and slaughtered by 20,000 or so Zulus. But even in this battle, more than twice their number of Zulus fell.

    At Rorke's Drift, less than 200 determined, fortified British troops held off thousands of Zulus, causing about a thousand casualties until the Zulus gave up and left.

    There is something to your point, it's just your example that's bad...for much of the transition period between muskets and bows, bows were the tactical superior, but it takes a hell of a lot longer to train an archer to hit a target at 200m than to train a bunch of peasants to line up and pull the trigger. Plus you have the emotional factors of noise, gaping wounds, etc that count for more than you might think.

    Tough to model this in game, I agree. Best way might be to minimize crossbows impact on at least riflemen and up. (Musketeers can suck it up.)
     
  4. PotatoOverdose

    PotatoOverdose Prince

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    TBH, early muskets (and the minuteman replaces the musket unit) and blunderbuss were pretty bad in terms of accuracy at range. They had no rifling grooves, fired lead balls, and had significant reload times.

    A well trained archer can hit a target with great precision at or around 300-400 yards (this varies depending on the bow type (e.g. longbow,recurve, composite, crossbow, Nu, repeating Nu) and terrain) and can fire again without any special mechanism (like the repeating Nu) in under 10 seconds. If you get hit by an arrow musket ball in a critical portion of your body, your dead either way.

    In point of fact, many European armies did not immediately switch to muskets from there various bowtypes because of these drawbacks, and there are many, many recorded instances of early musket armies being defeated by archery forces. This changed with the development of rifling grooves, but prior to this, non rifled fire arms were more of a close quarter combat weapon.

    The second important point is terrain: If you have a group of riflemen (not musketmen mind you but actual rifled weapons) standing in an open field and a hail of arrows flies out of the forested hill 300 yards away, rifle men will die and no clear targets will present themselves in the forested hill. They can fire at the hill, but without the ability to aim and the attackers having the advantage of cover, the riflemen will get slaughtered. The clothes a riflemen or musket man wears will do nothing to prevent arrows from killing the soldiers.

    When people look at conflicts for fire arms regiment versus archery regiment, they tend to look at units who have rifled weapons fighting units that have bows across an open field. But remove the rifled weapons and replace them with smoothbore muskets and/or put the archers in concealed positions on a forested hill and you have a very different result. In point of fact, during the conflict between minutemen and redcoats, rifling had been developed, but since civ V treats minutemen as musket men, we have to overlook this discontinuity.

    TL,DR: Archery with its thousands of years of honing of design and skill>early smoothbore muskets, especially if archers have favorable terrain. This changes with rifling, but before rifling having archers beat musketmen is not unrealistic in many situations.

    Edit: all of the African campaigns are poor examples of this, as IIRC the Boors and Brits had rifling, and the campaigns also featured the introduction of the Gatling.
     
  5. psweetman1590

    psweetman1590 Emperor

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    A lot of you don't seem to realize just why we switched from archers to muskets, historically. It was not because of the effectiveness of the firearm. As has been noted in this thread, muskets were half as fast to fire as a longbow. They were less accurate (which is why they had to be fired en masse to be effective). They had no more penetrating power or force than an arrow (advanced arrows and skilled archers could penetrate a knight's armor). So why then, did longbowmen give way to musketmen? Two reasons.

    Time and money.

    Musketmen required almost no training, while longbows took a lifetime to master. Muskets could be mass produced (by the standards of the time), longbows had to be carefully crafted. In short, why hire 100 longbowmen when you could hire 500 musketmen instead? Thus the end of the era of longbows.

    The problem, as I see it, is that civ doesn't model this effectively. The make the musket a more expensive, more effective unit. It should be the other way around! The musketman should have the same stats, but be significantly cheaper, thus showing that the unit, one on one, was inferior, but that it was a moot point because you could have more of them.

    crossbowmen/longbowmen should keep their bombard, though. They could be fired in a bombarding arc quite easily. Can't do that with muskets. However... if you have muskets, you should also have cannon. Get to smashing those bowmen, cannoneer.
     
  6. Ashbery76

    Ashbery76 Warlord

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    This game is not a historical simulation but fun gameplay based on history.
     
  7. nomooon

    nomooon Chieftain

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    that is a great idea, but then for balance issues it cannot work to perfection because what do you with the units that share an era with these cheap musketmen, and what do you do with units that come immediately after these cheap musektmen? If you keep their cost high still then there will be balance issue with upgrading and you might even not want to upgrade your army for a very long time. If you lower their cost also then you might see a strange effect that units after the bow era have generally lower cost than units in the bow era
     
  8. ruskyandrei

    ruskyandrei Warlord

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    I don't see what the whole issue is about anyway, 1v1 a unit of musketmen will actually easily kill a unit of crossbowmen in the game. Sure they'll take a hit while on the approach but unless the bow unit has a lot of upgrades and maybe a great general, they'll still be quite capable of killing them next turn (once you actually engage, there is no chance for a bow unit to survive).

    If you are complaining about losing a unit of muskets to concentrated fire from a city + a unit or two of archers, what can i say, tough luck ? bring some cannon ? Nothing wrong there. Those minutemen aren't running around with assault rifles you know.
     
  9. psweetman1590

    psweetman1590 Emperor

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    Well, what you could do is just start scaling unit costs upwards after the musket era. By the industrial era, units become much more expensive than medieval units. So while a LB might cost, say, 100, a musket would cost 80, a rifleman would cost 120 (and be far superior to a longbow), and then up again from there.
     
  10. digitalcraft

    digitalcraft Warlord

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    I assumed they did that anyways, musketmen take less turns to complete than samurai for instance and are 2 less strength. And apparently they only get to hit people with their guns, no bullets so the samurai are better in every way.
     
  11. dannythefool

    dannythefool King

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    A 16th century longbow was accurate up to around 200 metres. An 18th century musket was accurate up to around 50 metres.

    Rifles are a different thing. I think they aren't ranged because they were historically not used for long range combat, but it's still a bit strange that late game gunpowder units are mostly close combat in CiV.
     
  12. Scaramanga

    Scaramanga Brickhead

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    Seeing as how most musket duels ended in draws because of the inaccuracy of the weapons, it is conceivable that a disciplined and well-positioned archery unit could take out musketry infantry if they don't let them get a clear shot. Time to change tactics?
     
  13. Sonereal

    Sonereal ♫We got the guillotine♫ Supporter

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    Probably because most people in their right minds don't use rifles or muskets for indirect fire like you do with archers and x-bows.
     
  14. Tridus

    Tridus Warlord

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    You're the only person in the thread talking about infantry. Infantry's strength is so much higher that you'd need an insane amount of promotions and a GG for a Crossbowman to do more then annoy an Infantry unit.

    Muskets are an entirely different story, and are actually really bad ranged weapons. It's even mentioned in the Civopedia entry for Longbowmen that one of the major causes for the decline of them in favor of muskets was simply how much longer it takes to master a bow (the English longbow especially).
     
  15. Chief of Staff

    Chief of Staff Chieftain

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    I would propose a solution to this situation when facing off archers: Make sure you keep some archers around and rest of them upgraded to serve as counter-force against their archer army. I think combined arms tend to work better than having a force that exclusively relies on a single type of weapon for an infantry unit, especially if enemy archers have some tactical advantages over your early gunpowder units.

    Really, I think it might be even better if you do possess horse resource and build mounted units to outflank the archers and then throw in mixed force of archers and early gunpowder units. Either way, you would need to upgrade your remaining archers once tactical advantage of enemy archers against your increasingly advanced gunpowder units (and eventually mechanized ones) starts to diminishes.

    Sure, these solutions above might be a bit more expensive but think of them as insurance against units that would have advantages over your newer units for a while. Besides, you can disband one or two units in one branch like cavalry, archery, or gunpowder to make room for training some units in another branch. It's just matter of adapting the composition of your army to the situation that requires it. Combined arms tactics is usually one of the best doctrine in the military.

    At best, these solutions above are theoretical and may need to be refined as I haven't gotten to the point where I am facing situations like this yet.
     
  16. The Leviathan

    The Leviathan Warlord

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    You do know that early gunpowder units were not impervious to arrows right? When gunpowder was invented archery wasn't instantly obsoleted. In fact the only reason early gunpowder units started replacing archery wasn't because it was more effective than archery, it's because it took much less training and resources to field them.

    I think this game does a pretty good job of representing that because archers can still do some damage to early gunpowder units, but will get torn apart if the gunpowder unit gets into melee with them.
     
  17. GreyIago

    GreyIago Chieftain

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    This is a hilarious conversation.

    "Boooo the game is too hard I can't adapt my strategy."
     
  18. rabidveggie

    rabidveggie King

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    Don't bring a gun to a bow fight
     
  19. GreyIago

    GreyIago Chieftain

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    Better:

    Don't bring a relatively new weapon to a fight against a veteran weapon?

    I mean, you all do realize that we are talking about firearms where, during a war, opposing sides would line up at close distance and take turns firing...right? lol
     
  20. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    They should give the gunpowder units big bonuses against archers, so that the archers hurt less.
     

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