I didn’t say the archer was my only counter. I said he was the specialized counter, I bring crossbowmen as well. The counter archer is a specialist, and I find a well built one to be great for taking out marksmen as well as unarmored units.
Mercs are only ever encountered during missions with clear skull difficulty ratings. Tell me this @hruza: how often have you been attacked on the worldmap by a roaming band of mercenaries outside of any quest event? Does it happen often? By the time you’re righting mercs, you’re usually well equipped to handle them. When you aren’t the event option tells you that you can walk away. Missions that involve bandits are absolutely dependent on engagement. Missions that involve merc events do not. Even if I haven’t been, I’ve been pretty fine with it. They are not every other battle, and usually spawn with nets instead of shields.
We haven’t even talked about numbers yet. So @hruza, how often have you been able to field 15 soldiers instead of 12 to make up for the roles you replaced with crossbowmen? Crossbowmen who, are pretty likely to get 1-shotted by the enemy crossbowmen (perks and all) until they can get to a ripe old level? Never? Shame. This raider defense mission has protection target locations pretty close by, so you’re looking at a 12 vs 22 with 6+ crossbowmen. Damn you world gen rng. I know, you can walk away. The other issue just comes to the fore. On the spectrum of gaming vs gambling, I like video games that reward good play. There is no amount of good play to account for high initiative 6+ marksmen and unfortunate world gen in the early game.
The enemy can and does pick battles. Are you telling me that every single pack of direwolves/bandits/orcs runs straight for you? Absolutely not. Some do and some don’t. That suggestion is a bit silly.
I stand by every single point that I’ve made. My guy might get 1-shotted by a 2h or an orc. That’s fine, I accept and expect it. 2h are usually named enemy units or fallen heroes-high tier units. Berserkers are pure damage/no armor. They run straight at you and have to close to do anything. Marksmen are way more common. 2h and orcs actually have to close with you to do damage, and can very easily be focus fired themselves. Even then they start some distance away and you have a turn or two to stack odds in your favor with proper positioning. Maybe take the high ground. They don’t have ridiculously high initiative like marksmen do to move before anyone else does. Sometimes your soldier isn’t just wounded in that 1st round. Sometimes he’s outright killed. No time to move out of range. Raider frontline is not always unshielded either, so the “Pick off his frontline” is not always an option.
In the current build, enemy raiders usually move to cover exposed marksmen. Not every time, but often, so the claim that they often expose themselves needlessly is complete bunk. With the nerf to bullseye that makes it fairly difficult for your own backline marksmen to take out the priority units. When they don’t move into cover or have high ground they usually have allied cover. Maybe in 1-3 fights I’ll see an archer remain exposed for a few turns, but not too often.
I have argued the point you are making here on the forum. This game is about stacking the odds in your favor. It’s in my forum account history. I’ve also said that you will take losses, here and on other threads. The devs have stressed it. I have too. Again, not the issue. Stop assuming that because I dislike an enemy type that I can’t handle the game. It’s condescending as hell and will instantly turn me into a giant douche-bag. Most of the things in the game can be future proofed against. A shield brother with a shield wall has a heightened chance to at least hold the line against a 2h character. An unshielded character getting rapid fired by high initiative crossbowmen 1st round hardly allows for counterplay. I understand that the map can turn just as often in your favor, but are the stakes for the AI in terms of time spent recovering from an encounter the same for the player? Absolutely not. It is in no way satisfying to take a bandit mission for 900 gold only to lose a brother that took 400 gold to hire and 12 battles to train. Losses are a part of the game. That’s fine. It’s annoying that it comes from one of the most common enemies in the game with high tier perks and rewards that are in no way proportional to the losses.
You still assume great circumstances too. Does the game always allow you to have kite shields, enough crossbows for a full crossbow backline, enough money to buy or replace them? Tools to get the ones you have up to snuff? No. No it does not.
I’m finding it fairly difficult not to type profanities into the reply box. Stop. Assuming. That. I. Can’t. Play. The. Game. Or. Take. Losses. Those aren’t the issues. To be clear, the strategies you’re mentioning work. I’ve used them. Some more than others (marksmen are seldom without cover). The risk involved with fighting a frequently appearing enemy that starts showing up in the early game is not proportional to the reward. That is my issue.