Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

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usr-sbin
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Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by usr-sbin »

I am relatively new to Wesnoth and I was wondering which do you prefer in multiplayer and why? I normally choose the elvish archer over the fighter for a number of reason that I will list. I know that it depends on who you are fighting but for your initial recruit against a random would you choose one over the other?

This is my summary and I'm not sure how good/relevant it is.

I normally choose the archer over the fighter because they have one additional movement point which allows them to grab villages quickly and more efficiently, which I think is important. Although one movement point isn't that much and the is always the elvish scout with 8 movement points to grab villages which I see as its main job rather than to fight. Also they are more likely to be able to ZOC the enemies weaken units more effectively than fighters.

Although the archers cost 17 gold which is 3 more than a fighter and they only have 29 health compared to the fighters 33 which makes them more fragile and they cannot be expected to hold a position without support for a long time, but the extra 4 health that a fighter has wouldn't be useful in holding a position either unless they were supported by either a shaman or more units to prevent them from being surrounded.

I think that the archer is more versatile overall and I think that that is very useful, for example the elvish fighter specialises in melee and as such has a 5-4 attacks and only a 3-3 ranged attack whereas an archer has a 5-2 melee and 5-4 ranged attack. Therefore the fighter can do a maximum of 20 damage in melee compared to the 10 damage an archer can do however the fighter can only do a maximum of 9 ranged damage compared to the archers 20 damage. Although this is only 1 extra point of damage it still makes it better at its weaker attack than the fighter is however it could be argued that it probably isn't worth paying 3 more gold for one point of damage when money is tight in multiplayer and I would agree but somehow the archer seems the more attractive option. Consequently it could be said that although the spearman and dwarvish guardsman have a poor ranged attack 6-1 and 5-1 respectively it doesn't make them any less useful or versatile.

Finally the archer gets an extra 10% in the forest which means that although they have less health they can survive longer in the forests than a fighter can, however this is all dependent on luck.

What do you choose and why?

(sorry about the chunky post :S )
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Caphriel
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Caphriel »

The fighter, because if you recruit a bunch of archers and come up against an undead that recruited a bunch of skeletons, you might be in a bit of trouble. Archers are flimsy, expensive, and need support from more durable, melee-focused units. I might recruit a single archer for village grabbing and to diversify my force, by if I roll up rebels my initial recruit is going to be mostly fighters, with one or two scouts, depending on the map.

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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Eskon »

Archers' main damage is pierce, so they are overall superior to fighters when fighting against enemies weak to pierce and strong against blade, namely horses. On the other hand, fighters are superior against opponents with pierce resistance and weakness to blade, saurians for instance.



But that is neither here or there. The thing is, elvish fighters and elvish archers are very different units, and there are situations when either is better or worse than the other, depending on the enemy forces.

A unit with a strong melee attack is best used for attacking range specialist units and defending against melee specialist units. In the former case, they deal lots of damage with few retaliation; in the latter case, they will deal plenty of retaliation ot the enemy's chosen form of attack.
A unit with a strong ranged attack is best used for attacking melee specialist units and defending against range. It's the exact other way around.

Understanding this, the correct answer to your question is "It depends, and usually both". If, for instance, your enemy recruits a mainly melee force, you'll use fighters to defend, and archers to attack. If your enemy for some reason decides to spam ranged units, you'll use archers to defend and fighters to attack.

There are some other things to consider; for instance fighters are a bit less susceptible to being countered, since their main damage type blade is not resisted more than 40% by any unit except ghosts (they don't count), whereas pierce might end up resisted 60% (skeletons, woses) or 50% (heavy infantry). Against factions that don't have any really hard pierce counters, like drakes, northerners and Knalgans, archers are pretty safe to recruit.

Also, ranged power tends to be a bit more expensive than melee power, measured in gold-per-damage and gold-per-ranged-unit-HP. Most generic ranged units are just weaker and/or more expensive overall than the faction's main melee unit. Just look at Rebel Archer/Fighter, Loyalist Spearman/Bowman, Northerner Grunt/Archer, Knalgan Fighter/Thunderer, Drake Clasher/Burner. Even the undead Skeleton/Skeleton Archer conforms to this; the skeleton is more expensive, but 7-3 is a great deal stronger than 6-3 for lawful or chaotic units (also, still more HP. Skeletons are a special deal though). For this reason, it's usually more sensible to recruit more of the more cost-effective melee units, except to counter a strange recruit by the opponent.

As for rebels, I tend to recruit more fighters than archers, mainly for this reason. Another reason for this is that the rebels also have mages, which have strengths different from archers which are also quite important depending on the matchup, and shamans, which cannot defend themselves very well (they tend to survive rather well in forests, but they do rubbish damage against anything not skeleton) and thus need protection from fighters too. Woses cannot often be effectively utilized because they can be hard-countered rather harshly. I do use archers in defense, especially strong archers, even against melee. 6-2 is quite respectable. When facing a mainly ranged horde, archers go in front. But I try to avoid putting archers anywhere except forests or possibly mountains; on hills I try to have my resilient fighters.
Last edited by Eskon on December 30th, 2009, 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jarkko
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Jarkko »

I am very much new to Wesnoth and it seems, that there is some kind of fortune hidden in Archers - against orcs, at least. From my experience, archers seem to be good at taking out Wolf Riders and Grunts especially when attacking from woods. Their performance against Troll Whelps are somewhat mediocre, at least if I'm aiming to weaken them - but if an Orcish Assassin is around, it can be a "no dice" -situation pretty easily.

Nevertheless, at the moment I'm currently playing a random map, where the AI got a nasty upper hand... By a stroke of bad luck their side just has the majority of villages in the map - Combine a pack of Wolf Riders with vast region of open plains and numerous villages and you get... Well let's just say, that I'm currently having an army of about 20 men and I'm facing nearly twice as much orcs. The stream seems endless.

Basically I can only thank my archer defense line - and the mercy of the randomizer, that created a nice patch of forest area, in which I'm still holding the lines - okay, the AI forcing troops right to the point blank range deserves a mention, too.

When it comes to fighters - I've had a couple of successes with them. It seems, that fighters could be used as a cannon fodder, or as village fortification. But I think, that if you get a fighter leveled up to an Elvish Captain, the Leadership's damage increase on nearby units seems to form a nice defense.

End of my newbish remarks
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by usr-sbin »

Jarkko wrote:I am very much new to Wesnoth and it seems, that there is some kind of fortune hidden in Archers - against orcs, at least. From my experience, archers seem to be good at taking out Wolf Riders and Grunts especially when attacking from woods. Their performance against Troll Whelps are somewhat mediocre, at least if I'm aiming to weaken them - but if an Orcish Assassin is around, it can be a "no dice" -situation pretty easily.

Nevertheless, at the moment I'm currently playing a random map, where the AI got a nasty upper hand... By a stroke of bad luck their side just has the majority of villages in the map - Combine a pack of Wolf Riders with vast region of open plains and numerous villages and you get... Well let's just say, that I'm currently having an army of about 20 men and I'm facing nearly twice as much orcs. The stream seems endless.

Basically I can only thank my archer defense line - and the mercy of the randomizer, that created a nice patch of forest area, in which I'm still holding the lines - okay, the AI forcing troops right to the point blank range deserves a mention, too.

When it comes to fighters - I've had a couple of successes with them. It seems, that fighters could be used as a cannon fodder, or as village fortification. But I think, that if you get a fighter leveled up to an Elvish Captain, the Leadership's damage increase on nearby units seems to form a nice defense.

End of my newbish remarks
The archers will be good against the wolf riders and grunts because they have no ranged attack so you don't take any damage also being in the woods reduces the amount of time the orcs and wolf riders will hit your archers. In the long term you need to get more villages as your economy will be so weak that you will not be able to replace the amount of losses that you will eventually sustain. For this job I would suggest using elvish scouts to retake the villages as they have a good amount of movement points and they have a ranged and melee attack whivh the wolf riders do not have.
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Taimat
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Taimat »

I tend to go for archers. Forests are pretty damn common, and most big hitters are melee. Actually, most units are melee period. Rebels have the best ranged units (Arguably), especially if you get dexterous. The frist thing you'll fight are usually scouts - Cavalry have no range attack and are weak to pierce, elf scouts are balanced between the two, but wont hold up long against a dedicated archer. Drakes...Dont really need an explanation. a Turn 2 saurian village rush could be trouble, but isnt very likely. Archers to much better than fighters against any undead you're likely to come across - Bats, ghosts, and maybe the odd ghoul on a small map. Knalgans? Just watch for thunderers after a few turns. Till then, anything fast will be weak (footpad) or melee (griffon). Wolf riders were already mentioned. An assassin will likely lose in a straight up shootout with an archer unless traits went against you or you cocked up. Still a bad idea to start said shootout, but you have a fair chance of winning. To top that off, running three archers on the first turn isn't a horrible idea. three assassins is :D

It is still a very good idea to keep a scout ahead of your archers, though. You see they went for skellies/saurians/thunderers/mages/adepts, you have time to pull the archers around and send in fighters. If you can get them around the side and smash the squishies/ weakened melee, all the better.

Thats why I like 'em, archers are faster than anything that kills them reliably. If you DO know what team they are, it's probably better to go fighter with a wose maybe for undead and an extra fighter or two for orcs.

Granted, I suck royally, so a fair bit of this may well be crap. Oh, one last thing - Archers have overall better upgrades. A sharpshooter (Or is that the level three?) kicks royal amounts of arse, and can kill a fair few things in one turn. Rangers are situational, but overall a great melee/range combo. You get a good patch of forest in the middle of a map though, and they're insane. Never liked Elf heroes, and captains have giant targets painted on their foreheads at levelup.

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Zachron
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Zachron »

Jarkko wrote:I am very much new to Wesnoth and it seems, that there is some kind of fortune hidden in Archers...
Welcome to the forums. I understand that it is easy to see what I would call false fortune. These are statistical patterns that occur within a game, but over time do not persist, only they are noticed whenever they occur, thus reinforcing that these patterns exist. It's not that these patterns do not occur, it's more that these patterns do not reoccur with any consistency. Although, we do tend to notice such patterns, an objective look at all of the random numbers and results over several battles will show that randomness is being properly honored and that probabilities are accurate. Our minds notice these patterns because of their seeming irregularity. A comparable phenomenon is our imaginations causing us to see shapes in the clouds...

Now that I've eliminated "false fortune." I will elaborate on the particular dynamic between Wolf Riders and Elvish Archers. Wolf Riders have no ranged attack, as such they do not retaliate at all against Elvish Archers... On the other hand Elvish Archers will retaliate against Wolf Riders' attacks because the Elvish archer has a weak melee attack. Now I'll presume that you are deploying the Elvish Archers in the forest mostly. In forest tiles Elvish Archers get 70% defence, and Wolf Riders get 50% defence. This means if both are in the forests, The Wolf Rider would only have a 30% chance to hit on each strike, but the Elvish Archer would have a 50% chance to hit on each of it's strikes. This means that when the Wolf Rider attacks the Elvish Archer, the Elvish Archer has a 34.3%(3 strikes at 70% chance to miss) chance of coming out unscathed, but the Wolf Rider only has a 25% chance of coming out unscathed (2 strikes at 50% chance to miss). But when the Elvish Archer attacks the Wolf Rider with the Archer's ranged attack, the Archer will always be unscathed, yet the Wolf Rider will have only a 6.25% chance of being unscathed... Odds are, two out of the three strikes the Wolf Rider makes will hit, and one of the 2 strikes the Archer makes will hit, and the two strikes will be close to the same amount of damage. When the Archer attacks, it is likely 2 out of 4 strikes will hit. So playing the odds, the Wolf Rider will hit the Archer once for every three hits the Archer scores against the Wolf Rider... This is assuming the Wolf Rider Attacks from a forest. The Wolf Rider would have better odds attacking from A village, mountain, or Castle. The Wolf Rider would have worse odds attacking from flat ground, sand, water, or cave floor.
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CMaster
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by CMaster »

A few more numbers: I like to use what I call effektive health to compare units in different situations. It is the average amount of hit points an enemy has to deal (with misses counted) to kill a unit. It can be calculated by dividing the hit points (HP) by the enemies chance to hit (CTH). For the elvish fighter/archer in the forrest I get

fighter: 33HP / 40%CTH = 82.5EHP
archer: 29HP / 30%CTH = 96.7EHP

Consequently an archer in a forrest survives better than a fighter since the enemy has to use more strikes/units on average.

Generally, it is more important to get 70% defense over 60% defense than it is to get 60% over 50%. Why? Because of the factor 1/CTH in the effective health:

20% defense: 1/80%CTH = 1.25
30% defense: 1/70%CTH = 1.43 (0.18 more than 20% defense)
40% defense: 1/60%CTH = 1.67 (0.24 more than 30% defense)
50% defense: 1/50%CTH = 2 (0.33 more than 40% defense)
60% defense: 1/40%CTH = 2.5 (0.5 more than 50% defense)
70% defense: 1/30%CTH = 3.33 (0.83 more than 60% defense)

Moving an archer from hills (50% defense) to mountains (60% defense) will add 14.5 to his effective health, moving it from mountains to forrest (70% defense) will add an impressive 24.2 to his effective health.

However, an archer that leaves the forrest to open ground (40% defense) will loose half of his effective health, a fighter will only loose a third. This means that an archer is much more dependent on the forrest than a fighter.

To wrap it up: If you are fighting completely in a forrest you don't really need fighters. But since most maps will contain other types of terrain as well, fighters are usually a must.
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by usr-sbin »

Thank you for your replies, especially Eskon as you have made me understand the need for more fighters and I shall use them more often.
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Tonepoet »

Caphriel wrote:The fighter, because if you recruit a bunch of archers and come up against an undead that recruited a bunch of skeletons, you might be in a bit of trouble. Archers are flimsy, expensive, and need support from more durable, melee-focused units. I might recruit a single archer for village grabbing and to diversify my force, by if I roll up rebels my initial recruit is going to be mostly fighters, with one or two scouts, depending on the map.
Actually if you're up against undead, the fighter kinda starts to fall short on its trademark versatility, only really being able to directly target adepts with any proficiency. In this case you'll probably want to go with Wose instead, who play the resistances very well. The only short comings the Wose have are a lack of speed and an inability to cope directly with ghosts, which the Elvish Archers can make up for. Arguably Mages might be a more preferable ranged unit in this case, but with their greater survivability, cheaper price and increased mobility, I think a decent case could be built for using Elvish Archers instead. They couldn't solo the match naturally, but no unit really can.

Of course, you could also go the Fighter/Mage route for an even better economy, but your individual units won't be quite as well suited to the match in exchange.
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Caphriel »

Fighters aren't great against the undead, but they are good for killing DAs, and they're more versatile in that matchup than archers, still.

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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by usr-sbin »

What do you normally level a fighter and archer into when you are in multiplayer? Are the different options useful in different situations or is for example the elvish hero better than the elvish captain because the leadership trait won't be as useful in multiplayer?
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Velensk »

In multiplayer I choose which I level up into depending if I'm on defense or offense or will be on either of those soon. Rangers/Heros are my defensive option and Marksmen/Captains are the offensive one.

If anything leadership is more useful in multiplayer than in single player.
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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Caphriel »

usr-sbin wrote:What do you normally level a fighter and archer into when you are in multiplayer? Are the different options useful in different situations or is for example the elvish hero better than the elvish captain because the leadership trait won't be as useful in multiplayer?
Generally a captain or a marksman. Rangers are generalists, and a ranger in a forest is very difficult to remove, but outside of forests they're not that durable. Marksmen, on the other hand, are like mages, and are wonderful for killing things like fencers, footpads, and thieves. Leadership is tremendously useful in multiplayer, because level 2 units are not that common under default settings, and that 25% damage bonus helps the rebels fight more evenly with aligned factions at their favored time of day, and lets them pack more of a punch when attacking during an aligned faction's disfavored time of day. If there are fewer units on the field, I'll choose the hero or ranger, though, because they're more effective when operating independently.

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Re: Elvish Archer or Elvish Fighter?

Post by Eskon »

Fighters are better against undead than archers are because they are better against adepts and skeletons. If the undead player starts to specialize in skeletons you need woses and mages, of course, but you don't really have the luxury to recruit many of those initially.

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