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  1. #1
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    Archers bonus vs mounted units

    Does anyone see the reason why Archers in the original battle system have +1 to their missile rating against mounted units? I've never seen anything similar in any other system. Is there anything about longbows and crossbows that makes them more efficient against mounted units?

    Most importantly, is this something that should be kept or done away with when developing a new battle system for Birthright?

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    Junior Member stew31r's Avatar
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    It's more of a real world thing than a battle system thing. The most effective deterrent to cavalry after a pike line or spear wall is missile troops at range. Horses will start to panic if hit with enough arrows/bolts/javelins. Horses are also a bigger target and thus more likely to be struck by volley fire than the riders. Wounding or panicking horses so that they are combat ineffective as just as good as killing them. The are several historical references to the effectiveness of mass missile fire at disrupting if not out right turning cavalry charges.

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    Ah, thanks, that makes sense. I was wondering about this because the archers seem a bit too strong in BR War Cards system. I've made a tool to test performance of units in one-on-one battles and it seems Anuirean Archers will defeat any other unit except Elite Infantry and Knights with ease. Even with Elite Infantry it's 50:50 odds so only Knights count on defeating the Archers most of the times. Doesn't seem very balanced to me since same-priced Infantry can't even defeat Irregulars 50% of the times.

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    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    A much used example is the English Longbowmen at the battle of Azincourt when they stopped the French cavalry. There were other factors involved: weather and resulting thick mud, the funneling effect of the field, etc... but it was an effective demonstration of the value of the longbowmen.

    The difference between the infantry and the Knights tends to be armour and the speed at which the unit moves. Infantry cannot move as fast as horses at a gallop, so it stands to reason that if the knights can clear the distance to the archers faster, taking less damage and once there, the archers don't have a lot in the way of armour and weaponry with which to defeat the knights at close range. Household archers like those of the Dukes of Burgundy were fully armoured, most other archers were only partially brigandine or jacks, or no armour at all.
    Last edited by Jaleela; 10-03-2011 at 01:40 PM.
    d'estre bons et leaulx amis et vrais ensemble et de servir l'un 'autre envers et contre tous

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    Member rjurikwinds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless One View Post
    (...) I've made a tool to test performance of units in one-on-one battles (...) Doesn't seem very balanced to me since same-priced Infantry can't even defeat Irregulars 50% of the times.
    Yes; I just LOVE Irregulars. Cheap, easy to muster, cheap, good movement, versatile stats, cheap... did I mention CHEAP? Now don't take me for a goblin-rabble type of guy, but when you have a domain to run and you don't have gold bars growing on trees, Irregulars are a Erik-sent blessing!

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjurikwinds View Post
    Yes; I just LOVE Irregulars. Cheap, easy to muster, cheap, good movement, versatile stats, cheap... did I mention CHEAP? Now don't take me for a goblin-rabble type of guy, but when you have a domain to run and you don't have gold bars growing on trees, Irregulars are a Erik-sent blessing!
    And yet you never let me put the warcard 'goblin rabble' into play in RW. Sigh, whatever else you could call them they were dirt-cheap fodder and the 1/8 GB maintenance was just too cute for words.

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    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    The Archer bonus vs. cavalry is very sound.

    The fact that their original Missile 4 is way too strong against stuff like heavy infantry is another matter.
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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    I think the core of the problem is that units have way too few Hits which are way too easy to loose in the original Birthright battle system. For example, Anuirean Cavalry has no problem charging across the whole battlefield to attack Anuirean Archers, but they will probably get hit by their "last shot", which brings them down to a single hit with stats roughly equal to those of the Archers, while Archers remain unharmed. Elite Infantry might seem in better situation, but their Move of 1 gives archers at least 2 shots, making it probably for Archers to score 2 hits, not to mention chances of R or D result.

    Actually, the dominance of Archers in a world with where soldiers don't use shields (if you take a look at warcard illustrations) might be justified. The only problem is that they are very cheap. Increasing the price of Archers might be justified considered that Longbowmen are much more difficult to train that ordinary footmen and that longbows, although relatively easy to produce, depended on a single type of wood which almost grew extinct in Europe because of longbow production.

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    Junior Member splinter's Avatar
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    i wonder why the rjurik archers have not the +1 against cavalry and how come in the book of regency, the rjurik cavalry has a missile rating of 1. the orginal cavalry warcard has no missile rating.

  10. #10
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    They probably forgot the cavalry bonus or didn't agree with authors of the boxed set. About the Book of Regency, it was never really published so they either forgot to synchronize the values with other sourcebooks or the values in the BoR were meant as an errata. We'll probably never know about either of the problems.

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