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Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition
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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » An Evaluation of the Horse Archer.
Topic Subject:An Evaluation of the Horse Archer.
posted 06-21-99 11:23 AM ET (US)         
Hello again. As you may have gathered by my 'How to beat elephants' post, may favorite unit is the Horse Archer, or Heavy Horse Archer. There are many different ways in which you can use these little beautys in your game (that is if your civ can have them), so in this string I have tried to outline some of the ways in which they can be put to best use. . Hope it helps

The Horse Archer is probably the most verstaile unit in the game. It combines lightning speed, with a very good ranged attack, and when put to good use by a player who knows how to play them, they can be the deadliest unit in the game.

Infantry Killers...
I first started using horse archers to pick off my opponents infantry units such as the various swordsmen,
These units are very vulnerable to the horse archer attack. When they were moving to attack me it would be a quick click of the mouse, and they would have to start all over again, as my HArchers would be 3/4 of a screen away from them because of the speed deficit. So the message here is Beat and Retreat [/b]. Shoot your opponents brains out, and then quickly retire, only to start shooting him again

[b]Combined Arms...
Horse Archers are a deadly enough unit on their own, but when they are combined with amicable foot troops, they become even more deadlier. Its the classic combination of Horse Archer and Swordsman/Hoplite/Cavalry that has won so many games for me.In this instance the Horse Archers are positioned behind the infantry, as they pile the shots onto the oncoming enemy, and if there are any enemy left, they will have to deal with the foot troops. When comnined with cavalry they are even better. The main downfall of the Horse Archer in general is enemy cavalry. Enemy cavalry can combat the Horse Archers speed with their own speedy movement, and also far greater armour than infantry. So when HA are combined with friendly cavalry, you get the best of both worlds - Lightning Speed and Ferocious Combat power to equal that of the enemy cavalry's.
I see so many players on the zone saying 'Horse Archers are useless in hand to hand combat though, so I dont use them'.. aarrgghhhhhhh!!!!! Thats the whole idea of backing them up, so that if they do get in combat, they will have troops fighting with them who can deliver a big punch.

Hit and Run...
Horse Archers are THE most annoying unit in the game if you are playing against someone who is good with them. What I find is a good tactic is this. You group about 5 - 8 HArchers and start to scurry around the board. Eventually, ,if your opponent is remotely aggressive, you will find some of his units. Use the HArchers to 'bully' his units by rushing them and killing a couple, and if he starts to fight back, then just simply run away and find someone else to pick on hahaha. Eventually the group will start to diminish, and he would have killed them all, but not before devoting precious attention to it, meanwhile you have been building more!. Annoying isn't it. I remember once, I had about 20 HArchers on this tactic, in the early Iron Age, and in the end, my opponent got so intimidated by them running around, he was too afraid to do certain things, such as expand his town, out of sheer fear of my mounted menaces.

Terrain is Critical...
One of the things that can really mess Horse Archers up, is hilly or elevated terrain. One of the BIG advantages of the Horse Archer is their speed, and their ability to retire away from troops when they feel like, so when you start to get bogged down by mountinous terrain, and the enemy start to catch you up, then you have to start worrying. So if the map is set at Highland or the terrian is generally hilly or restrictive, then try to avoid basing your army around Horse Archers. Remember, you are only as good as the ground you walk on. Similarily, try to avoid slogging matches. If you feel that you are losing a battle then dont be afraid to retire if it is possible, remember that famous quote "He who fights and runs away...".

In conclusion, I have found Horse Archers to be a very able and powerfull unit, which takes a bit of practise to get used to, but when they are mastered, can cope with nearly any situation you can throw at them. Remember this though, as a fast attacking force, they are second to none... However, when a bigger punch is needed, say to attack the enemy's city, or kill the 25+ elephants coming your way, then more hand combat efficient units are needed.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this article as I have writing it

Ducks, romans, countrymen... Lend me your beaks - Duck Ceaser

[This message has been edited by The_Geo_Duck (edited 07-16-99).]

[This message has been edited by The_Geo_Duck (edited 07-16-99).]

posted 06-21-99 12:07 PM ET (US)     1 / 7       
Good points, all. I would like to point out that I like horse archers on hilly maps. True, they can't run away as fast, but put a dozen of the puppies on top of a hill and use your luring tactics to bring them to the slope. The elevation bonus damage destroys pretty much anything. Plus, if you get fired on by cats, you can run so fast down those hills, putting lots of distance between you and those nasty rocks.

Keep your stick on the ice.

[This message has been edited by Thorfinn (edited 06-21-99).]

posted 06-21-99 12:57 PM ET (US)     2 / 7       
Doesn't anybody get JIHAD anymore ? its the HA killer :-) Die bastard HA's attacking my 60 woodies die.......
posted 06-21-99 01:13 PM ET (US)     3 / 7       
i like ha's a lot too, they are deadly at long range and they pack a punch there is however one unit besides more ha's that can reverse ha's

compies and ele archeYS ( youll need alot of em )

in order to reverse em with compies, you have to

a. be minoan, or upgrade quicker before your dead,

b. horde, and get alchemy (you have time to get it since compies are a bronze and ha's are a iron unit after all)

Now ele archers are another story, i would prefer carthage for one , range upgrades of coures and alchemy

another thing you could reverse them with is with towers (duh, towers are the horsey killers) i might be wrong on some things just let me know

posted 06-21-99 01:29 PM ET (US)     4 / 7       
i like HAs, too, but i gotta go with scythes for the most versatile unit in the game. now a hittite HA/scythe combo, that's very nice.


posted 06-21-99 01:41 PM ET (US)     5 / 7       
ONE recommendation:

Use (H)HA as catapult protectors BEHIND the catapults.
MINIMUM (H)HA recommended group is 15, ideal is 20+.
You should not take more than 5 Cats in this group.
When the cats are under attack: immediatelly select them and do a "Stand Ground" command (this will impeach them from self-destructing...). Use the (H)HA in "auto mode" (stand ground) if light infantry or weak mounted units (such as chariots or SC) are attacking, direct group fire manualy if Heavy Cavalry or Elephants are being used by the enemy.

ONE word of advice:

If the game is laggy, refrain from using parties of (H)HA!... By the time they manage to react to your command of pulling them back, that boulder has probably already landed on them
If you insist in using them with lag, send an expendable unit to scout ahead of them and take the damage. A scout or better, a CA will do nicely. Have quite a few ready for that sacrifice, LOL!..
Still, with lag, they are at big risk.

posted 06-21-99 03:02 PM ET (US)     6 / 7       
If you are using the hit and run tactic, even if you must go up a hill, you can still outrun most units. The hand to hand combat units will slow down when they hit the hill to. When you reach the top, you will distance yourself from the enemy once again. Remember, horse archers are faster than cavalry.
posted 06-21-99 03:02 PM ET (US)     7 / 7       
Shoot, double post.

[This message has been edited by APC_Doink (edited 06-21-99).]

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