Archers too weak

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
BornGinger
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:18 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by BornGinger » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:04 pm

It's interesting how two sentences about longbows can cause such a "heated" discussion. No wonder some nations use political agitators to stir up trouble before they come in to "take control" of the situation by occupation.

What I actually was thinking about with my words above was the range of the archers with longbows, maybe will be more than three or four squares, and still deadly especially when used in a group.

MVP7
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by MVP7 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:08 pm

Don't beat yourself over igniting the discussion BornGinger :D. The longbow discussion has been a long time coming and it's becoming increasingly topical with the timeline nearing middle ages.

Longbows don't and almost certainly won't have increased range over other bow types though. I faintly remember RBS saying that a lot of the modern research and evidence point to the longbows being rarely used at particularly long distance. Instead the extra power was used for better effect at typical effective shooting ranges.

MikeC_81 wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:22 pm
I have no clue who is saying that top-end Mongol bows were only "pretty good"...
... This could be a case for creating armoured piercing bow-mounted cavalry units for elite Turks and Mongol units whenever they get their treatment in FoG2. That as always is a developer's call as to how much differentiation is required before they are willing to create a new unit type for them.

Certainly, the Longbow does fall into the same category of unique outliers in my opinion.
This is basically what I mean. Longbow: without a question a unique weapon type (part of the code from start); Mongol war bow: maybe for the elite if there's really that big difference...

I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that Longbow and Mongol bow were at very least equal in power and flexibility. Draw weight of both weapons is practically limited just by human physiology and both weapons have wide variety of specialized arrows (icluding armour piercing). Both groups developed the institution of archery as weapon of war to near perfection. If the high level of training and effective tactics is not enough to depict longbow in FoG2, then why would it be enough to depict Mongol war bow?

MikeC_81 wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:22 pm
Anyone who is versed in archery today understands the mechanics of how a bow works understand that the English Longbow was simply the best bow you could make out of a single piece of wood. Mechanically and technologically, the top end composite recurve bows of that era would make the Longbow look like stone-age technology but were a lot harder to make. The question is why there is the disparity where eastern archery is sometimes recorded in historical sources as "meh" against heavily armoured infantry and at other times was the scourge of God.

There could be many explanations for this from ammunition type and weight to maybe the fact that not everyone who was a Horse Archer carried this time of powerful composite recurves. We know even the Mongols used simple wooden recurves for hunting.
The effect of the weapon alone should not be overestimated as a reasons for military success or failure. Within reasonable limits the the effect of training, morale and tactics on the overall performance is far greater than the properties of a weapon (even more so with bows than many other weapons I'd say). Even the best and most powerful weapon is only as good as its wielder.

That being said, many less professional horse archer forces would no doubt rely on bows and arrows more suited for hunting than large scale warfare against armoured opponents. According to Ian Heath's Armies and Enemies of Crusades the Turks used relatively light arrows and often opened fire from hundreds of yards away when the effective range against armour would be well under 100 yards like for the longbow. This is also where lot of the stories of "Franks" with dozens of arrows stuck harmlessly on their armour come from. It's a combination of sub-optimal tactics and weapons.

There were countless different flavors of horse archers: There were disorganization tribesmen who were only there for easy loot and would refuse to attack and even flee if faced by any opposition; there were undisciplined Turks ("Turks" also being a broad generalization of many different peoples) who would often shoot their arrows from too long distances (especially if there was a risk of return fire by infantry) and would often concentrate their fire on horses if the riders were too well armoured; while some, like the Mongols, were a highly trained and organized fierce military forces that would operate very systematically and efficiently. There's just as much variety in horse archers as there is for any broad class of warriors and they can't be thought of as one homogeneous type of unit.

I think most peoples with specialized war bows have also used different tools for hunting. I doubt the English used their heaviest longbows for hunting and even these days you don't go deer hunting with a machine gun.

MVP7
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by MVP7 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:01 pm

Here's some interesting quote regarding the efficiency of Mongol bows from Ian Heath's Armies and Enemies of Crusades. They are based on advice written to rulers of the West by Friar John of Plano Carpini in mid 13th century:
... he stressed the imporance of good quality of arms and equipment, particularly recommending good strong bows and crossbows... the arrows for these to be manufactured in Mongol-fashion so that they are sharp enough to pierce their strongest armour.
Armour should consist of double-mail, which arrows from Mongol bows could not easily pierce, plus a helmet and any other available armour.
I also found an article with translated passages from Friar John's writings with some actual sources for once. http://www.deremilitari.org/RESOURCES/S ... arpini.htm
When they make their arrowheads, they must, according to the Tartars' (=Mongol) custom, dip them red-hot into salt water, that they may be strong enough to pierce the enemies' armour.
The takeaway here (in my opinion) is that the armour piercing capabilities of Mongol bows would certainly be at least as good as those of English longbows.

stockwellpete
Field of Glory Moderator
Field of Glory Moderator
Posts: 9517
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Archers too weak

Post by stockwellpete » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:20 pm

Scartabelli wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:02 pm
If the devs will try to go the "realistic" route I bet a lot of people will complain that they are too weak, simply because most people believe that longbowmen were some kind of killing machines while they really weren't.
It depends on who they were shooting at. Unarmoured contingents of Scottish infantry, or Genoese crossbowmen without their pavise suffered terrible losses, while armoured French knights on horseback were often severely disrupted. At Agincourt, where the French knights dismounted after the initial mounted attack had failed, the effect of close-range archery fire from English archers on the flanks was to cause the French knights to bunch up and then flounder as the soaked ground churned up into a muddy morass.

I just looked up one of the discussions that we had about the longbow in FOG1 back in 2011 . . .

https://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewto ... 84&t=21614

Scartabelli
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:23 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by Scartabelli » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:13 pm

We know that arrowfire alone was more than capable of turning back attacks large and small.
If so then why did English used difficult terrain and field fortifications? If the firepower was enough to drive the opponents off they wouldn't need them. If English longbowmen really had such firepower how come French started dismounting? Massed infantry is far more vulnerable to any kind of fire than cavalry. Shouldn't they be shot to pieces by archers?

In 1352 at Mauron in Brittany, there was a quite a large battle between Guy de Nesle’s forces and those under the command of Sir Walter Bentley. The standard English formation was countered by dismounting two of the three battles and placing them in the center and one of the flanks while third consisting of around 700 men remained on their horsebacks. The French cavalry charge was successful and they managed to drive off the English archers deployed in front of them. In the meantime, the two dismounted battles in the center and opposite flank not only managed to reach the English line and engage in melee but even pushed the English men-at-arms to the back of their fortified position. Unfortunately for the French their commander de Nesle, got himself killed after which the English counterattacked and managed to push the French forces away. The French cavalry, however, managed to safely retreat with minor losses.

This battle nicely disproves one of your statements:
Anytime Longbowmen had the chance to set up defensive works and could plant roots, they were impossible to dislodge.
Apparently, the French cavalrymen at Mauron didn't know that ;)

In the battle of Auray in Brittany, in 1364 Bertrand du Guesclin also tired to advance his forces while dismounted, only this time they've been equipped with pavises to further protect them from English archers. One again French forces managed to reach English lines but ultimately they lost hand-to-hand combat. Their commander was captured while French forces routed.

The French opening cavalry charge in the battle of Agincourt also manage to reach English lines despite their firepower.

Summing this up, maybe "you", whoever you guys are, know that arrow fire was enough to drive off attacks large and small but I think that the matter is far more complicated. The key to English victories lays in their stance and position represented in using difficult terrain and field fortifications as well as their discipline AND of course their firepower that caused some casualties and disorder. This mixture allowed them to repel any attacks which in case of feudal armies (at least some of them) was enough to rout the enemy.
You do not have records of formations of archers of any other region in Europe performing these same feats outside the English.
Riiiight... Absolutely not. I mean, the battle of Nicopolis in 1396 definitely never happed and Janissaries definitely weren't using a very similar tactic in many, many other battles in Balkans and Central-Easter Europe both earlier and later.

Also Hussites, they definitely didn't use field fortifications in combination with high firepower and other troops in support to win battles. I mean, both the Hussites and Turks and didn't have longbows! No wonder they never made a mark in history, right?

Ok, seriously now. Marshal Boucicault who commanded the French in the battle of Agincourt was also commanding Fench troops at Nicopolis where he learned his lesson about the archers holding defensive position and supported by other armed units. What he tried to was the further development of the tactics employed in the battles of Mauron and Auray unfortunately for him everything went wrong at Agincourt. The flank charges were undermanned and cramped for room and were effectively neutralized by the defensive stakes; their missile-men were not utilized but were rather pushed behind the vanguard of men-at-arms whom they should have been supporting. The attacks on foot were swept by archery, blunted by the mud (with the resultant exhaustion of the men-at-arms) and repulsed by the relatively fresh English men-at-arms. (once again, it is proof that English tactic was relying on combined arms rather than the strength of archers alone).

So to quote you again on longbows:
unique weapon common only to English armies that gave them a significant tactical edge and was the primary driver of battlefield success for them when given a chance to deploy and defend a static position. This is not even disputable.
Although you are right that this weapon was or less common only to the English (cough, cough Welsh cough, cough) as evidenced form other examples of defensively deployed missile troops who managed to get similar results without longbows. English longbowmen were most definitely more dangerous than their counterparts from other European and non-European regions but it is commonly overstated as their firepower was definitely not enough to win a battle. They relied heavily on terrain, field fortifications, discipline, and combined arms tactic.

I don't think that in the game they should be in any way more special than having above-average quality. Especially that longbow already exists in the game files and it seems id does batter than "regular bows" against heavier armor. I'm ok with this depending on how much better that is.

Scartabelli
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:23 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by Scartabelli » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:51 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:01 pm

The takeaway here (in my opinion) is that the armour piercing capabilities of Mongol bows would certainly be at least as good as those of English longbows.
While the sources you provided are interesting there are few things to consider. First of, tempering arrowheads wasn't done just by Mongols. Second of, the armour piercing capabilities of longbows and any other bows are questionable. I am personally against such a mechanic in the game unless it will only slightly improve their efficiency against armoured opponents. Especially because the armour rating in the game seems to be also including shields in it. No matter how strong your bow is or how well made your arrows are, there is no way they will render shields useless.

Another important thing is that Mongol bows didn't have higher draw weights than other composite bows. While the average recurve bows among most of the nomadic and sedentary cultures had an average draw weight of 55-90 pounds. There were Mongol bows reaching 120 or (supposedly) even 160 pounds of draw weight. But so were Hungarian or Ottoman bows. For example, 46 recurve bows from the collection of Topkapi Palace Museum and the Military Museum in Istanbul have an average draw weight of 120 lbs. 7 of them, however, have draw weights reaching 160 lbs. So why exactly Mongol bows should be special?

I think you are focusing on their bows too much. Mongol amazing efficiency in battle comes from a combination of different factors.

Here you have some interesting thing to watch. It is not a scientific test but still should give some insight. The bow used in the video has 150lbs draw weight while the breastplate is a very good reproduction made of non-industrial steel.

In case the first link fails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej3qjUzUzQg

stockwellpete:
It depends on who they were shooting at. Unarmoured contingents of Scottish infantry or Genoese crossbowmen without their pavise suffered terrible losses
Well in such case both Scots and Genoese would most likely suffer similar losses when faced with any other massed archers. Let's say, janissaries.

TheGrayMouser
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4660
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:42 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by TheGrayMouser » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:53 pm

Since the game focus is on getting the “balance” or “interactions” between reasonably historical forces correct, we might need to suffer the long bow perhaps being Better versus heavily armor mounted than contemporary eastern bows, even if that was not the case, to ensure 100 year war battles work . But as noted by MikeC, any sword capability English longbowmen get will reduce shooting penalties , and that could be enough not to need any new weapon system.

MikeC_81
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
Posts: 756
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:28 am

Re: Archers too weak

Post by MikeC_81 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:28 am

Scartabelli wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:13 pm
We know that arrowfire alone was more than capable of turning back attacks large and small.
If so then why did English used difficult terrain and field fortifications? If the firepower was enough to drive the opponents off they wouldn't need them. If English longbowmen really had such firepower how come French started dismounting? Massed infantry is far more vulnerable to any kind of fire than cavalry. Shouldn't they be shot to pieces by archers?
Arrow fire in combination with fieldworks to prevent easy access to archers. I don't know what you think strawman arguments will get you here. Every post on this topic I have made clear.
Scartabelli wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:13 pm
In 1352 at Mauron in Brittany, there was a quite a large battle between Guy de Nesle’s forces and those under the command of Sir Walter Bentley. The standard English formation was countered by dismounting two of the three battles and placing them in the center and one of the flanks while third consisting of around 700 men remained on their horsebacks. The French cavalry charge was successful and they managed to drive off the English archers deployed in front of them. In the meantime, the two dismounted battles in the center and opposite flank not only managed to reach the English line and engage in melee but even pushed the English men-at-arms to the back of their fortified position. Unfortunately for the French their commander de Nesle, got himself killed after which the English counterattacked and managed to push the French forces away. The French cavalry, however, managed to safely retreat with minor losses.

This battle nicely disproves one of your statements:
Anytime Longbowmen had the chance to set up defensive works and could plant roots, they were impossible to dislodge.
Apparently, the French cavalrymen at Mauron didn't know that ;)
:roll: You need to read over the accounts again. You are plainly wrong on the facts again. I had to take the time to reread my material to make sure before I didn't misremember the battle came and called bullshit on this. Here is one that is free.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=uVZ893 ... 22&f=false

or you can use a slightly more detailed one but you have to pay for it "The Crecy War" by Alfred Burne. That one has a nice discussion on the sources as well.

The English did not have time to dig in and simply offered battle with a height advantage though on their left it was negligible. Hence the failure to stop cavalry on the French left. The infantry on the French centre and right were crushed by English bowmen and men at arms who did not have the benefit of major defensive works other than the slope of the valley. The French line may have managed to make contact, that is unknown, but was obviously in no shape to put up a fight of any sort and was quickly routed on the right. It is important to note that the wing opposite the archers FLED FIRST while the French centre pushed the English men at arms back up the slope. When the Longbowmen pursued the fleeing French, with some following the fleeing French down into the valley, the others quickly engaged the French centre from the flanks and aided the English men at arms in routing them as well. As the French fled down the valley and tried to climb the opposite side, they were thoroughly massacred by the Longbow shot as they struggled up the other side of the hill.

It is plainly obvious that it was the English archers that won the fight. While the English men-at-arms did well to hold the centre against superior numbers, they were not the primary driving factor for the English yet again obliterating a much larger French force. This time without the aid of excessively difficult terrain or stakes (which were not employed at that time). It is true that the French cavalry retired with light losses. But then again I never said English Longbows were invincible. I pointed out the numerous battles where they failed to deploy properly to give themselves the ability to maximize their weapon's potential.
Scartabelli wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:13 pm
In the battle of Auray in Brittany, in 1364 Bertrand du Guesclin also tired to advance his forces while dismounted, only this time they've been equipped with pavises to further protect them from English archers. One again French forces managed to reach English lines but ultimately they lost hand-to-hand combat. Their commander was captured while French forces routed.

The French opening cavalry charge in the battle of Agincourt also manage to reach English lines despite their firepower.
I am not familiar with sources on Auray but I am going to have to ask you where your account is from given your pattern of stretching the truth. I cannot even confirm force composition with what is written and available to me. Even if Longbows were present in numbers, were entrenched properly, and still failed to produce results this *one time*, should that one incident override the tidal wave of interactions throughout the war up to and including its conclusion. I have already spoken at length about Formigny. Did the French just forget how to deal with Longbows at the very end of the war this one instance?

At any rate, if you managed to physically reach the English lines but were so disordered that you were compelled to retreat in short order, in the case Agincourt, before your supporting infantry got close were not stopped by arrow fire then??? Or is playing semantics that interesting to you? The French infantry at Agincourt was also forced to the middle by arrow fire and subsequently flanked by the bowmen. If armoured protection was such that Longbows were not dangerous to infantry according to you, why did they start bunching up the way they did? We don't know exactly how many died or were incapacitated by arrow fire alone but the effect on the French is plain to see.

Scartabelli wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:13 pm
Although you are right that this weapon was or less common only to the English (cough, cough Welsh cough, cough) as evidenced form other examples of defensively deployed missile troops who managed to get similar results without longbows. English longbowmen were most definitely more dangerous than their counterparts from other European and non-European regions but it is commonly overstated as their firepower was definitely not enough to win a battle. They relied heavily on terrain, field fortifications, discipline, and combined arms tactic.

I don't think that in the game they should be in any way more special than having above-average quality. Especially that longbow already exists in the game files and it seems id does batter than "regular bows" against heavier armor. I'm ok with this depending on how much better that is.
Yes, you are a clever lad indeed reminding us that the English Longbow was technology stolen from the Welsh even though everyone knows that and still refers to it as the English Longbow. That certainly showed me nevermind it has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. :roll: Grats on being clever though!

Show me another medieval army which regularly had foot archers comprise the majority of its force for as long as the English did and relied so heavily on them to deliver victory. You can't. No one else in Europe regularly had between half and three-quarters of its army comprised of missile troops. Maybe the Chinese did but I am far from an expert on that field. At the end of the day, you can't find anyone else doing what the English did for as long as they did in Europe.

At no point did anyone say that the Longbow was invincible or good tactics and terrain were needed for it to have full effect. To the contrary, I have pointed out the many times when the English failed to do its due diligence or were surprised by attacks from another direction that led to their defeat. At the end of the day, you clearly overreached with your original comment. No amount of Hussites and their mounted crossbowmen or Jannasaries is going to change that.
FoG 2 Post Game Analysis Series on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKmEROEwX2fgjoQLlQULhPg/

melm
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 496
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:07 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by melm » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:42 am

Gaznak wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:28 pm
Longbows are in the game files right now if you want to take a look. They are equivalent to regular bows when shooting at up to protected, and better than reg bows when shooting at armored and above. They are outshot by crossbows when targeting heavy armor, but better in all other circumstances.
It does make sense.

MVP7
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
Posts: 764
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by MVP7 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:32 am

Scartabelli have you been reading my posts at all? The first thing I said in this thread about longbows was that in my opinion longbow (or any other bow) doesn't really need a separate weapon type and how the weapon itself is not that important compared to training and tactics of the user.

I also already stated that the reason why I keep bringing up the Mongol bow specifically is that there's some decent information about it. Any other bow of similar capabilities is obviously similarly capable. It goes without saying that nothing short of ballista will shoot through plate and the underlying armour and still do damage. I keep posting about the capabilities of Mongol bow because I want to point out that longbow isn't that special outside of Western Europe and any "longbow" capability in FoG2 should also apply to other comparable bows.

leonardus68
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:43 am

Re: Archers too weak

Post by leonardus68 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:05 am

So, I think the discussion go far away from the topic. Let the 'longbow' dispute alone and tell me why archers can't fire behind first enemy unit on a flat terrain ! Sorry, it's plain stupid and mostly, unhistorical.

rbodleyscott
Field of Glory 2
Field of Glory 2
Posts: 22423
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:25 pm

Re: Archers too weak

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:45 am

leonardus68 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:05 am
So, I think the discussion go far away from the topic. Let the 'longbow' dispute alone and tell me why archers can't fire behind first enemy unit on a flat terrain ! Sorry, it's plain stupid and mostly, unhistorical.
I think you will have to provide some actual historical evidence that it is unhistorical. Not including cases where the archers were part of, or attached to (and hence effectively part of), the non-archer unit in front of them.
Richard Bodley Scott

Image

Post Reply

Return to “Field of Glory II”