The beauty of horse archers

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Matjillam1, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Matjillam1

    Matjillam1 Chieftain

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    I've never used horse archers a lot (except when I rarely was Mongols)

    But in my last game, they REALLY showed their worth:

    Alexander DoW'ed me in pretty early game (gee, was I surprised ;))

    He went after a city on a great city site with 10-12 units consisting of 4-5 cats, 2-3 swords and 4-5 phalanxes. I only had 1 archers and 1 axe in my city, so I was like: "SHIIIIT!".

    Luckily, the borders of my city was big, so I had 3 turns before they reached my city, and a little more before they would have bombarded the defences.

    Without construction, I couldn't get cats to cause collatoral dmg, so I had to think of something else. Suddenly I thought of horse archers, so I quickly traded me to Horseback Riding with Isabella (same religion, my buddy :))

    Well, I whipped some horse archers very quick and had 6 of them when they reached my city. I gave them all that reatreat promotion and attacked.

    And then they showed their totally brilliance. They was about 50 % chance of winning every fight = dmg to the cats. If they lost, they reatreated (40 % chance) = dmg to the cats.

    Suddenly, my 6 horse archers totally demolished the whole stack without me loosing even 1. They got great xp, and Greece suddenly wasnt a threat.

    A little later, they came with another stack a little larger with 4-5 spears. My group of now 10 horse archers totally demolished that one too. I lost 2 horse archers :)

    Man, in the early ages, horse archers RULE for defending against stacks with cats. Also their quick movement, so u can just have a stack of them in the middle of your empire.

    Well, a little experience/tip from me :) thx (btw, I'm an emperor player, and it works gr8 there).
     
  2. zombiestomp

    zombiestomp Chieftain

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    i agree that HA are good. the problem is the research costs.

    where they shine is in the field. the problem is, most players war on the offensive where there are effectively two counters: spearmen and archers. great for pillaging wars, but usually the idea is to capture cities. here, the HA either loses (-10%+-50%) to archers or is annihlated (-10%+-100%) by spearmen.
     
  3. druidravi

    druidravi King

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    They are good as open ground attackers. Give them flanking to destroy those cats. The tech is too costly to self research though , and trading it from AI is one extra tech for WFYBTA .
     
  4. Moxxa

    Moxxa Warlord

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    Flanking is definetly the way to go for horse archers. You can use them as a replacement for catapults for softening up the tougher defenders as the battles move farther from your borders. They are more expensive and less effective overall for this purpose, but if you've tried to warmonger on emperor at normal speed, you know movement speed is priceless. They may not do collateral damage, but they get to the battle twice as fast. I'd rather have a 30% chance to win and a 30% chance to retreat than a 50% chance to win.
     
  5. King of Town

    King of Town Adventuring

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    I love horse archers, they are worth the cost it takes to get them as early as possible. If you get tehm later, the AI will have already built spears to counter. Spears usually seem like the last thing they buuild, so I can usually destroy them quickly, and get to their metal resource to pillage it. If you don't have an early UU to beeline HA's are worth it if you want early war.
     
  6. alex00809

    alex00809 Chieftain

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    I like them but seem like not to use them often cos I always canot meet a horse within my terr...

    build 5 as mobile force, 2 for defence, 3 to attack!
     
  7. Betruger

    Betruger Warlord

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    You don't have to give them Flanking promotion do destroy cats.
    They have Flanking ability, which is by no means connected to Flanking promotion.
    It can be a bit confusing, but every HA, even an unpromoted one will deal damage to catapults in stack.
     
  8. StrategeryBush

    StrategeryBush Warlord

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    Horseback Riding is expensive, but the AIs will give you good value in trade if they don't have it, which mitigates some of the costs. Building your Horse Archers in a city with a Stable allows them to start with Flanking II; which also makes them immune to first strikes. Even as big underdogs there is a huge chance that they will live to fight another day.

    Playing Montezuma, they were invaluable to me in softening up archers (pre catapults) so that single Jaguars could actually beat fortified archers in cities, or two Jags could take down a wounded Axe. They are also good enough defenders that you can stack one with your Jaguars (or swords) so that the AI won't send out Axes to kill your Jaguars when they have to cross unwooded terrain.
     
  9. Kerran

    Kerran Chieftain

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    I was under the impression that the HA has to survive the battle in order to do a Flanking Attack on siege weapons in the stack, which is where the flanking promotion comes in since it makes your HA more likely to withdraw instead of die.
     
  10. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    Flanking promotion gives them higher withdraw chance which means greater chance to survive and hence damage the cats. It is you that is confused...
     
  11. druidravi

    druidravi King

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    I know that .They do flanking damage to cats/trebs when they survive the attack by winning or withdrawing . Now in big stacks there are spears/pikes/maces where your chance to win+withdraw ~ 10-20% with combat promotions. On the other hand with flanking promotions you can get 50% withdrawal at 5exp and so better chance to do flanking damage.

    edit: treble crosspost ;)

    Kerran welcome to Cfc [party]
     
  12. Betruger

    Betruger Warlord

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    I'm aware of all that.
    In ancient age though it seems to me that giving them combat I + bash is more beneficial than flanking promotions.
     
  13. Wejer

    Wejer Mentor

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    Horse Archers are better in Multiplayer, where fields battles are more common. If your opponent is cowering in his/her city, then you have already won.

    Big downside is the expensive tech cost.
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If their tech wasn't so expensive, they'd be a top notch unit. Instead, they're just good.

    You've already discovered their strength in the field and on active defense, and I think your story speaks for itself.

    People here say they suck for taking cities, but that isn't really true. Alone, they do. However, it's good to have troop balance for defense and whatnot so you should have HA's once you have the tech. Then, when taking cities, flanking 2 promoted HA's should be the first normal units to attack after the standard suicide siege units (making odds for all better). They can do damage or win outright (and usually will vs archers and any classical age unit except spears), with a much higher survival % than other units. This means lower war weariness because you're less likely to lose units. It also means higher hammer efficiency, which is a very good thing in wars. It also means more highly promoted units. This is also convenient, because they can stay back to heal and then catch back up to your SoD later due to their movement.

    Are they the end all be all? No. Would you want to use them as the dominant force in your troop mix or exclusively? Absolutely not. Does having them somewhat early on via a tech trade or such and using them to raise efficiency help? Definitely, and it's a good idea if you have horses and a willing tech trade partner (assuming you want to war).

    Edit: If you can get them, multiple CR promoted swords or maces are better for lead attacks on cities during this time, depending on their odds of winning and what is defending. However, with barracks + stable flank 2 HA's are very, very easy to get, unlike CR II or III melee that early on. Of course, the HA softening things up might help you get CR III units and keep them alive (picking off workers early never hurts either). Strategic use of troops is important.
     
  15. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    they're great for romping through an enemy empire pre-longbows. just use flanking 2 h. archers to wear down spears. you'll lose a few, but overall you'll do a lot of damage with your 2-move units quickly moving through the enemy empire which halves the amount of time they have to whip/build units!
     
  16. Quotey

    Quotey Emperor

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    Yuck, Alex sent a stack of Spears at you? He should just be building Phalanxes. Silly Greeks!

    How do Numidian Cavalry stack up to everything? And that other HA UU... Keshik?
     
  17. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    NC get free flank 1 and they keep it when promoted. yummy.
     
  18. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    They also have only STR 5 but +50% vs. melee
    They make pretty decent city attackers until Longbows or Pikes appear
     
  19. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    yep, they are a good uu and hannibal's financial helps you get there faster.
     
  20. Matjillam1

    Matjillam1 Chieftain

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    Well, phalanxes wouldn't help him, cause they only get +def against chariots :) He had to build spears

    NC is gr8 for defence, especiallly if the AI forgot to bring spears (Happened to me once. 6 NC demolished Monty's army of cats + axes + jaguars getting insane XP)
     

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