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Archers, what's the point


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So after my last game I am a hairs breadth from melt binning all of my archers from every faction. RAV 3 on almost everyone means they usually are only hitting on 9-10. Mind you it doesn't help that my dice have been rolling rocks, but they are worse than useless. So how do y';all find archers working for you. What has helped you make them successful?

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RAV 3 needing 9-10 to hit means you're shooting at DV 12 targets which could be part of the problem. Most soldier models have a lower DV and are easier to hit, so target selection could be part of the problem. Also remember to use Focus Actions to improve your odds. I guess it depends on what you're facing and what you're trying to achieve with your archers. If your opponent is investing a lot of points in making his army resistant to ranged attacks, then dropping or toning down ranged might be a good option.

 

How many archers are you using, what are they trying to kill and what are your expectations?

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I shoot at squishies, or if I need 10's to hit everything, then I aim for the big boys and go for statistical scatter. Plus, it's an opportunity for you to shoot and potentially wound something before it even gets to you. And it forces your opponents to maneuver differently if you have a ranged threat.

 

The other very useful tactic with archers is to wait until your melee troops have gone in and smacked around a bunch of models, and then use the Ranged troops to pick off the wounded stragglers that now have lower DV, and may only need one hit to be killed.

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I am using between 6-8 Isiri Archers and they have performed like Stormtroopers. They can't hit the broadside of a barn with a barn-seeking missile.My Merc crossbowmen are just as bad. I'm getting to the point where they are like a boat anchor. They'll get a few more shots before it's buh-bye.

 

I'm interested in these thoughts and it may be that I Need to re think my strategies. Mind you, DV 11 deflect 1 troops are miserable for archers, so any other help will be appreciated.

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Also, based off of the fact that you are using Darkspawn, considering bringing Keridaan and giving him the Magic Ranged Weapon. That gives him 2 RAV 5 attacks before Focus; he won't increase the effectiveness of your Isiri Archers directly, but having his shots thrown in the mix should improve the overall performance of your ranged attacks early. Or, consider having someone like Guros lead your archer troop. Let him fly over, drop a Fireball on a group of models, and have your archers finish off the wounded ones with the 1-2 punch in the same activation.

 

~v

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The average DV in the game is 10. Soldiers, with Deflect included, still are at an average DV 10. This means a RAV 3 will hit 40% of the time. Focus first, and you are at 50/50 odds to hit the average.

 

If your opponents are regularly fielding DV 11 + Deflect troops, then yeah, I'd cut down on the archers for sure.

 

However, keep in mind that these numbers change in your favor during the game as enemies get injured. When I find myself facing higher DV enemies, I'll spend the first 1-2 turns just positioning my archers (on hills, or along the sides of the board). Then on turns 3+, they activate last each turn, and focus + shoot at any wounded troops. You should have 50/50 odds against models on their last tracks, or at least 40%.

 

Another favorite of mine is to put the archers with the Witch Queen. Have her cast Exploding Sacrifice. Anything that gets damaged should be -1 DV just from being on a lower track. The BIG bonus is that those models become shaken! That gives you +2 to hit them! Suddenly those DV 11 Deflect models are DV 9. Focus your archers, and you have a 60% chance to hit, usually finishing off whatever the Queen damaged. ::):

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I used to think archers were a waste. They don't work like machine guns or tank shells, though. And they don't work all the time. I have to be very careful with how I use them or I waste the points. I have to cater to their strengths. Leave them opportunities to land arrows in soft targets. Like War Dogs. I've stopped trying to pin down heavy models. Even 10 hunting stops being very fun. I field six crossbows and a range attack leader in some of my Merc builds and they usually do quite well, even as a distraction.

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I've found that in many games, the archers are the last models standing for one or both players. Around here we tend to have an early volley of arrows, typically aimed at non-ranged targets (to avoid defensive fire), then the melee models surge forward and the archers actually move back to keep well away from the scrum in the middle. At that point the archers are typically inching backwards trying to find their max range, so they can still fire on the troops in the middle while also staying as far away from the trouble as possible. They will pick off targets of opportunity. As others are saying, damaged models get finished off, etc. Also if an enemy model kills one of my models and is now no longer in b2b with anything of mine, it's perfect timing to send an arrow into it as pay back (I won't need to roll discipline on any of my models!).

 

In a 1,000 point game I often see 2-5 archers. They're not rock stars but they do have an impact. I've actually been thinking that I need to up my archer count some... Especially when facing enemies like the Reven which have a lower average DV, I can expect a bigger impact with those first volleys to soften them up on the way in.

 

 

In ages past in other editions I once placed moderately well in a tournament with a sizeable force of Piercers. I deployed the Piercers to be my main offense and set up a defensive screen in front of them with two pincer forces to either side to make 'em pay for coming in to root out the piercers. It worked alright.

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I used to think archers were a waste. They don't work like machine guns or tank shells, though. And they don't work all the time. I have to be very careful with how I use them or I waste the points. I have to cater to their strengths. Leave them opportunities to land arrows in soft targets. Like War Dogs. I've stopped trying to pin down heavy models. Even 10 hunting stops being very fun. I field six crossbows and a range attack leader in some of my Merc builds and they usually do quite well, even as a distraction.

 

Warwick is being modest. I can't count the number of times he has only taken like one crossbowman because that was all of the points he had left in his army. Then, that sole guy turns out to be his MVP of the game. Not only does he not miss a single shot the whole game, but he'll get charged by some big nasty, who then whiffs, and then the crossbowman rolls a nat 10 to hit on defensive strikes! Then he breaks b2b and shoots the big nasty again! It's absolutely insane! :wacko:

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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