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Thread: Crossbows too strong?

  1. #1

    Default Crossbows too strong?

    The crossbow units avaiable to recruit in Sicily (Gastraphetes: http://www.honga.net/totalwar/rome2/...R_10_Crossbows), as romans even without auxillia barracks, are imo overpowered. By now, they are my favourite ranged weapon units, here's why:

    - At the begin of the battle I place them in front of my legions because they seem to be more effective when dont have to shoot over someones head. Because of their armor penetration skill they make serious damage to either elite units or even take out the enemy cavalry.
    - When the melee battle begins, I place them behind my infantry line and let them shoot the enemy cavalry (if theres any left) thats trying to flank, with deadly outcome for enemy cavalry.
    - After shooting off the enemy cavalry I use them to flank the enemy lines myself and shoot their infantry in the back - deadly outcome for enemy. I dont even flank with my reserve units or my own cavalry because of friendly fire, also the crossbows are more effective.
    - Once the enemy army routs I even send my crossbows in melee attack mode to hunt down the enemy. Deadly outcome to the enemy, beacuse the crossbows are fast units.
    - I make 200-300 kills per crossbow unit (at normal unit size) per battle.

    Possible solutions:
    a) Reduce the speed of these units. Crossbow units where always slow. (Is it possible to make ranged weapon units as slow as heavy melee infantry?)
    b) Reduce the ammunition, so you have to decide weither you take out the enemy elite units or the cavalry. They seem to have more crossbow ammo than archers have.
    c) Make them only aviable after some reforms - dont know if Im correct, but recruiting crossbow units 200 B.C. feels strange for me. I know late roman armies had crossbows, but I think it was only late like 300 A.D.

    Feel free to post your opinion and feel free to recruit an complete army of crossbows and play like it's Empire: Total War
    Last edited by motaboy; July 17, 2017 at 06:21 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Crossbows too strong?

    I agree, they are OP. Reduce the ROF to 3 or perhaps nerf the accuracy to make them primarily useful against stationary targets (siege).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Crossbows too strong?

    Gastraphetes was invented somewhere around 400 BC in Sicily, later on it was most likely even used by Alexander during siege of Tyre. They fired regular arrows but with much better force and great range although the construction must have been rather expensive.

    Currently they are capped at 6 or 8 I think but I would leave their stats as they are. I am more keen on either lowering their cap or slightly lowering their squad size.

    Below is the picture of how Hero of Alexandria thought it was designed:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    [img][/img]
    Last edited by KAM 2150; July 17, 2017 at 11:32 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Crossbows too strong?

    Quote Originally Posted by KAM 2150 View Post
    Gastraphetes was invented somewhere around 400 BC in Sicily, later on it was most likely even used by Alexander during siege of Tyre. They fired regular arrows but with much better force and great range although the construction must have been rather expensive.
    Hail to you, chief of battle systems team
    Indeed, I just read the honga site about these units (thats why I edited the post), I didnt know crossbows where invented that early. Thats what I love about these game, teaching us something about ancient history while playing. Great picture btw.

    Quote Originally Posted by KAM 2150 View Post
    Currently they are capped at 6 or 8 I think but I would leave their stats as they are. I am more keen on either lowering their cap or slightly lowering their squad size.
    What do you mean "they are capped"? You can only have 6-8 units of them or you can only recruit 6-8 till the needed men replenish? Maybe making them more expensive in recruiting and upkeep could also be a good idea. They are costly already, but by far the best units in invest/outcome ratio I think.

    edit / I just wanted to add: I just fought a battle in the syrian desert - all my legionaries where just leftovers with 10-20 men per unit. But 2 velites and 4 Gastraphetes where nearly at full unit size. So placed the crossbows on top of a dune and the 2 velites in front, legionaries in turtle formation so they dont get shot. I shot 4 camel archer and the general units even before they could attack me, hold up the enemy spears for just 1 min with my velites and flanked them with my crossbow --> heroic victory
    Last edited by motaboy; July 17, 2017 at 01:13 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Crossbows too strong?

    You can only have max of 6-8 of them in all armies combined.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Crossbows too strong?

    Was enough for me I'm pretty sure its 8, I just had 2 "main armies" with 4 crossbow units each after realizing how strong they are. I only used them after half of the campaign, but I think the campaign would be pretty boring if you use them from the start / after conquering silcily. I think my main issue with these units is that they don't have any weaknesses and work against all other fractions. Shooting down heavy holpites, shooting down horse archers, shooting down german elite units - all no problem for them.

    But I dont want to complain, I just wanted to show my opinion, do whatever you feel like - worked out very well with this mod

  7. #7

    Default Re: Crossbows too strong?

    I like the idea of lowering their unit size. That way they're still dangerous but more fragile, and can't get kills quite as quickly as they do now.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Crossbows too strong?

    What is however a reasonable proposal is to make them a slow unit. How gastraphetes actually looked like is debated. Most seem to agree that they were unwieldy weapons, heavy and more for siege warfare.

    Here is a reconstruction of a "light" interpretation from the Saalburg museum in Germany: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/C...n_Saalburg.jpg

    I will also make their reload a bit slower, I think.

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