Topic: Bow and Crossbow

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  • #21333
    GreatOne
    Participant

    I am new to this game and i really like it, but one thing drives me mad.
    Why xbow (crossbow) is so weak compared to bow?
    Maybe i haven’t played long enough, but right now i can see that in DMG bow=xbow
    Range of bow is > that xbow (7 to 6) that is strange
    Yes accuracy of bow is a bit lower, but you can shoot 2 arrows for 1 bolt per turn!
    The only + of xbow is 15% more armor ignore, so what do you think about xbow right now?

    #21353
    rydinhigh64
    Participant

    crossbow also has an increased hit chance (15%), as well as penalty for range is only 3% per tile (vs bow which with called shot its 2%, reg shot 4%). The biggest bonus, of which some of us discuss on the forumns, is its insane damage on crits (head shots). Because of the 50% dmg to body, a head shot will hit the target for anywhere from 30-55ish damage (and if there is no armor on the head it can easily be a 1 shot kill). For example, if you have a bowman versus orcs, u will be mostly wasting your turn unless they have no armor, vs the crossbow will decimate their armor and actually deal some damage. Additionally, while the crossbow range is shorter, it allows you to use a better helemet (max helmet w/out vision loss is 90, and the lower range alows you to use a helmet that decreases vission. So in summary:

    Early game advantages: + hit chance, disadvantages: 1 shot per turn, expensive to reload
    Late game advantages: armor penetration, disadvantages: only 1 shot

    hope this helps some.

    #21354
    nope100500
    Participant

    Crossbows have 70% armor penetration with specialization. They are devastating against right targets (extreme armor, low-to-medium hp).
    Unfortunately, this “right targets” category is mostly limited to your bros.

    #21355
    hruza
    Participant

    Why xbow (crossbow) is so weak compared to bow?

    It isn’t. I find it quit balanced and fairly historically accurate.

    Maybe i haven’t played long enough, but right now i can see that in DMG bow=xbow

    That’s realistic. Xbows weren’t more powerful then bows. They both use human muscle energy to fire, so they are bound to be more or less on par.

    Range of bow is > that xbow (7 to 6) that is strange

    Again, realistic and historically accurate. Xbow bolts are very short and they don’t maintain stability well in flight. Longer the distance, more they start to wobble which increases drag and shortens the range.

    Yes accuracy of bow is a bit lower, but you can shoot 2 arrows for 1 bolt per turn!

    You can only shoot 2 unaimed shots with poor accuracy and penalty to damage and lower range (effectively equal to xbow). If your archer is very skilled and target is close, he can pull it off. But otherwise you need aimed shot which cost the same as xbow shot. Except xbow is still more accurate anyway.

    so what do you think about xbow right now?

    If you have very skilled archer (70+ skill) and your opponents are not heavily armored, go for bow. In any other case xbow will be probably superior.

    Xbow is more accurate, have better armor penetration (enhanced further by perk) and allows you to shoot and move, or other way around at the same turn. Of course that requires xbow to be already loaded at the beginning of the turn. This is advantage easy to miss but very useful if you use shoot tactically. For example since xbow comes already loaded at the start of the turn, you can fire at the enemy, retreat 3 tiles and shoot at him the second time as he closes next turn. At the same time, you can only fire 2 weak shots from bow, which are inferior in damage, accuracy and equal in range. In other cases you can move xbowmen in to firing position and fire at the same turn, making it impossible for enemy to react.

    Overall both bows and xbows are well balanced, they have their strengths and weaknesses and which one is better depends on circumstances.

    #21361
    Sekata
    Participant

    Only issue here is the suggestion that crossbows and normal bows require similar muscle strength to fire. The crossbow requires muscle strength to set the bolt, but firing is just pulling the mechanism. Crossbows were very accurate at short range and compared to training that a longbowmen had to undergo to utilize and maintain his/weapon crossbows were much easier to operate. Some career soldiers that operated the longbow show significant deformation of their shoulder/clavicle from extended use of the weapon. The crossbow removed the need for intense training to become an effective long-range soldier. The 15% accuracy makes sense in historical context, and bolts could punch through armor, but historically had a shorter range than bows, especially the longbow. As @hruza has stated, this is historically accurate.

    The suggestion that they require the same muscle energy to fire is where I feel the urge to speak up. They also shined under different conditions and in that sense one was more powerful than the other under conditions suited to the weapon (longbow at extended ranges, crossbow in closer engagements). Even considering that, some bow designs allow for an extremely powerful shot at short range and the ability to puncture through armor as well. There is absolutely no way that all three (composite bow, longbow, crossbow) have the same velocity at the same points in their fire or have the same amount of power at the same point in their flight. Their “power” was not comparable, and definitely not the same.

    And again this is not a history sim. I highly doubt all of the weapons abstracted into the game were at use during the same period in history. Anachronism is part and parcel to the fantasy genre as bits are often taken from varying parts of history, and often certain weapons and customs simply did not exist outside of a very specific context. The knight would not exist without the creation of the stirrup, which took place in the steppe’s farther east than the source material for this game. In short, no geographical equivalent to the steppes = no stirrups = no knights. It doesn’t stop there. No equivalent to ancient China & Korea + no avenue of trade and commerce to spread it = no crossbow. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess how technology and armor design would have changed if humans found themselves sharing the world with dangers like the ones in BB. Considering that armor changed with the time to adapt to different challenges, they would absolutely not look like the pieces in game, since those items look like items directly from our world. Different weapons were similarly adapted to contend with challenges presented by armor and other conditions. Games like this fall apart when subjected to that sort of historical scrutiny.

    This game is fantasy, and is enjoyable as fantasy. It is also meant to be enjoyed as a game. Balance issues should not be sacrificed for a historical accuracy that could not exist given the context.

    #21364
    LasseFin
    Participant

    Only issue here is the suggestion that crossbows and normal bows require similar muscle strength to fire. The crossbow requires muscle strength to set the bolt, but firing is just pulling the mechanism. Crossbows were very accurate at short range and compared to training that a longbowmen had to undergo to utilize and maintain his/weapon crossbows were much easier to operate. Some career soldiers that operated the longbow show significant deformation of their shoulder/clavicle from extended use of the weapon. The crossbow removed the need for intense training to become an effective long-range soldier. The 15% accuracy makes sense in historical context, and bolts could punch through armor, but historically had a shorter range than bows, especially the longbow. As @hruza has stated, this is historically accurate.
    The suggestion that they require the same muscle energy to fire is where I feel the urge to speak up. They also shined under different conditions and in that sense one was more powerful than the other under conditions suited to the weapon (longbow at extended ranges, crossbow in closer engagements). Even considering that, some bow designs allow for an extremely powerful shot at short range and the ability to puncture through armor as well. There is absolutely no way that all three (composite bow, longbow, crossbow) have the same velocity at the same points in their fire or have the same amount of power at the same point in their flight. Their “power” was not comparable, and definitely not the same.

    And again this is not a history sim. I highly doubt all of the weapons abstracted into the game were at use during the same period in history. Anachronism is part and parcel to the fantasy genre as bits are often taken from varying parts of history, and often certain weapons and customs simply did not exist outside of a very specific context. The knight would not exist without the creation of the stirrup, which took place in the steppe’s farther east than the source material for this game. In short, no geographical equivalent to the steppes = no stirrups = no knights. It doesn’t stop there. No equivalent to ancient China & Korea + no avenue of trade and commerce to spread it = no crossbow. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess how technology and armor design would have changed if humans found themselves sharing the world with dangers like the ones in BB. Considering that armor changed with the time to adapt to different challenges, they would absolutely not look like the pieces in game, since those items look like items directly from our world. Different weapons were similarly adapted to contend with challenges presented by armor and other conditions. Games like this fall apart when subjected to that sort of historical scrutiny.

    This game is fantasy, and is enjoyable as fantasy. It is also meant to be enjoyed as a game. Balance issues should not be sacrificed for a historical accuracy that could not exist given the context.

    Yes, it’s definitely kind of weird how arrows and bolts have the same damage throughout their flight. Arrows are not particularly aerodynamic and lose velocity over its flight and bolts even less so because they were wider and shorter, which produces even more drag. Hmmm, this could even make a very good suggestion for the game. Perhaps arrows and bolts should decrease in damage the further the target is. This would kill two birds with one bolt, with so many complaining about ranged balance and the change would still be realistic.

    About the claim that since both crossbows and bows have similar power because they are powered by muscle; I agree that’s not necessarily accurate. Crossbows in the game are described to be pulled with pull-levers or windlasses, which provide great mechanical advantage. For a longbow, you are simply pulling back the bowstring and are limited by your physical strength and endurance. For a crossbow, when you are winding up the windlass or pulling a lever, you are essentially expending energy over a longer period of time through the pulleys and leverage, so you are no longer limited by the power of your muscles. Roman artillery/ballistas are technically muscle powered as well, but they are massive and much more powerful and can potentially launch projectiles with thousands of joules of energy, but you are spending maybe 5 minutes to wind it up and doing 10 times the work (energy expenditure) as a handheld crossbow.

    What is interesting is that historical handheld warbows and war crossbows do fall within similar frames of initial energy though, at roughly 100-150 joules. That must’ve been some kind of sweet spot. Some handheld siege crossbows could get 200+ joules, but those would’ve had massive draw weights. So there is some credence to the claim that warbows and crossbows do similar damage.

    About anachronism, actually, the devs placed a pretty clear focus on the historical period for the human arms and armor in this game. This was one of the cool things about this game, it’s that they at least made an effort to base it off a historical period in reality rather than have a weird pseudo-medieval-renaissance world like D&D or something. It’s supposed to be late 13th to early 14th century, just before the invention of actual shaped plate armor. I’ve asked Paul the artist to go into detail about the inspiration for the arms in armor in the lorebook, so we will be able to read about it soon. I’ve seen quite some contemporary artwork which shows plenty of the weapons in the game.
    There are a few weapons which may or may not have existed in that period. For example, the greatsword, which, by modern definition, usually refers to the massive 16th century swords. However, it could be that the greatsword in the game actually refers to the XIIa or XIIIa blades that Ewart Oakeshott refers to as the “Grans espees d’Allemagne” or Great Sword of Germany, which were recorded to have been used as early as the 12th century and during those periods referred to as “grete swerd”. These would be considered longsword proportions by modern categorisation.
    Steel prod crossbow is also questionable, but some historians date the beginning of the usage of steel prod on crossbows to be around 1310. So it’s plausible that they existed, but were probably not very common.
    Most other weapons and armor can be easily found in manuscripts and tapestries of the period.
    The devs also mentioned that they may be introducing DLC/expansions in the future which might add other regions of the world, so we know that the gameworld we are playing in is not the entire world of Battle Brothers.

    #21366
    hruza
    Participant

    I did not mean that they all have exactly the same power. There of course are differences in between bow and bow and crossbow and crossbow. They come in different powers. However historically they all caped about the same power. And that power is limited by what human muscle can draw. You can have bow or crossbow only as strong as archer pulling it is.

    Now it’s true that crossbows, with exception of the lightest ones are not pulled by hand. In basic form crossbow is fixed to the ground with the feet and string is pulled up. Unlike bow, this involves muscles of essentially whole body to get involved. This can be further enhanced by using things like belt hooks, goats-foots, spanning hooks and windlasses. Therefore crossbows have usually much higher “draw weights” (which is measurement of how much power it requires to draw them). This makes many people claim that crossbows were more powerful then bows. The thing is, crossbows have much shorter limbs and much shorter draw lengths -which means that they propel bolts on shorter distance. As a result they’re not as effective in transferring energy as bows are. Therefore when it comes to effective power output, bows and crossbows comes about equal in general.

    #21371
    GreatOne
    Participant

    Thank you for your ideas and thoughts i really like that so many people said their ideas

    About bolts being smaller and lighter version of arrow it really depends if you google it yo ucan find massive iron/steel bolts that were much heavier and could do massive damage but ofc we also had small wooden bolts with iron endings, but still after you learn perk Bow Mastery you start to shoot even at more distance 2 more tiles than xbow.

    About getting 70+ ranged skill i have 3 archers and they have right now 62-67 range skill on level 4-5 so i think getting 70 skill is possible.

    I understand why thinking that xbow is slower that is why we gave him 1 shot per turn compared to bow is ok, but 2 shots have almost same hit chance and the problem is that picking right perks 2 shots gives archer insane boost.

    For example:
    Overwhelm will allow you with 1 archer to debuff enemies so hard (2 shots are more than 1)
    Berserk will allow you to make another shot after kill, crossbowman wont be able to do it coz of 7 ap reload (or you will make 1 shot but next turn you will make reload shot and thats all, no AP for reload)
    Fearsome – (coz in total 2 shots on medium distance have higer chance to hit than 1 shot from xbow)
    Fast Adaption – can compensate your accuracy at low levels and again 1 xbow shot miss +8%, 2 arrows +16% chance to hit enemy on next turn.

    And don’t forget Bow Mastery that gives you in total +2 range over xbow
    You know that having even 10% chance to hit that nasty back-line must kill enemy is much better than having 0 chance to shoot at it at all.
    For example ghosts you don’t need to damage them hard, you need to just kill it before it gets close to your men and makes them run like little girls.
    And one more huge + of bow is that you can make a move and shot at least 1 arrow and it won’t affect your next turns and with xbow you can retreat only once, coz on next round you will do reload and after it shooting (In this case i really recommend for game devs to make xbow shooting 4 ap and reload 4ap, for much better balance)

    Sorry for huge text i just REALLY love xbows in games and it feels kinds weak compared to a bow, or just same, but cost of xbow is not same it costs much more (and yes i know that historically xbow were not so cheap as bows)

    #21373
    Sekata
    Participant

    Crossbows are fairly powerful as they are in game. How much have you toyed around with them and the variations? I say they’re powerful for the following reasons.

    The bow is fantastic and can stand well on it’s own early game, especially when you can get a brother up to 70 ranged skill. It’s not all that fantastic when it comes to fighting armored units though. A double tap on an orc warrior or a hedge knight does laughable damage even with a warbow. Overwhelm might be useful in this case, but you wind up bringing a longbow unit capable of laying down rapid but ineffective fire when you could have brought a crossbow/backline specialist who can utilize armor penetration.

    There are also two variations above the mid tier crossbow that are very strong. The heavy crossbow has increased armor penetration, and the crossbow that you can get from the goblin overseer (I forget the name) even adds knock-back to the already powerful equation. Late game I’ve had crossbow units that can out right kill a unit and heavily wound another through strong armor in one turn once berserk and fearsome have been unlocked. Berserk on its own can very strongly increase damage output even if you have to spend the next turn with a reload.

    The +15% increase to hit chance and the armor pen capability is what makes crossbows powerful. With the crossbow mastery perk, the armor pen value even jumps up to monstrous levels for the previously mentioned high tier crossbows.

    The longbow is fantastic for lightly armored units, but the crossbow is a must for heavily armored unit types. Either way, a heavily trained ranged unit is easily an mvp. I know there’s a bit of debate on the forum about specialized range. I like them. I’ve had engagements with 2 longbow specialists where “plethera of orc young” don’t even make it to the shield line. When an orc warrior is a part of the equation though, I’d much prefer a crossbow.

    #21374
    GreatOne
    Participant

    Thank you for your opinion i need to test xbow vs orcs (i am new so never had a fight with them)
    For me main problem is enemy archers who can kill my brothers without shields really fast and in this case i saw that +2 range really does matter besides Aimed Shot has even higher accuracy at max distance that xbow usual shot and that is what drives me mad that xbow is something more like mid range weapon.
    Btw have you tried giving xbows/range weapons to your first row? how it works?

    #21375
    Sekata
    Participant

    Thank you for your opinion i need to test xbow vs orcs (i am new so never had a fight with them)
    For me main problem is enemy archers who can kill my brothers without shields really fast and in this case i saw that +2 range really does matter besides Aimed Shot has even higher accuracy at max distance that xbow usual shot and that is what drives me mad that xbow is something more like mid range weapon.
    Btw have you tried giving xbows/range weapons to your first row? how it works?

    Crossbow is mostly useful against the Orc Warrior specifically, but honestly the first shot or two on a full health unit can still be underwhelming. It’s not a terrible idea to give throwing weapons to some of your frontline. Every now and again you’ll pick up a melee focused brother with a pretty good base ranged stat. Only issue with giving them crossbows is that they have to sacrifice their shield, which could be pretty dangerous if they have ranged soldiers.

    #21376
    GreatOne
    Participant

    Hmm why? xbow = 1 item. weapon+shield 2 items
    and character can have 2 items on him and 2 items in bag so it should be ok
    Ofc i am thinking about using fast hands perk to switch fast to melee+shield

    #21377
    Sekata
    Participant

    Hmm why? xbow = 1 item. weapon+shield 2 items
    and character can have 2 items on him and 2 items in bag so it should be ok
    Ofc i am thinking about using fast hands perk to switch fast to melee+shield

    Don’t get me wrong, that much works. It’s not a problem and quick hands helps. What I mean is that you can have a throwing weapon and a shield equipped at the same time, so that you can block ranged shots effectively while throwing them. The same can’t be done with the crossbow equipped since it takes the shield slot and the weapon slot. It’s not a long period of exposure with a shield in your inventory and quick hands, but it’s still a period of exposure to be aware of.

    #21386
    hruza
    Participant

    I understand why thinking that xbow is slower that is why we gave him 1 shot per turn compared to bow is ok, but 2 shots have almost same hit chance and the problem is that picking right perks 2 shots gives archer insane boost.

    It does not. Fast shot have 0% bonus and -4% penalty over each tile of distance.

    Crossbow have +15% bonus and -3% penalty over each tile of distance.

    Crossbow will always be more accurate and it only gets worst over distance. At 6 tiles it’s -24% for fast shot from bow and only -3% from crossbow.

    Plus fast shot is -10% damage.

    For example:
    Overwhelm will allow you with 1 archer to debuff enemies so hard (2 shots are more than 1)
    Berserk will allow you to make another shot after kill, crossbowman wont be able to do it coz of 7 ap reload (or you will make 1 shot but next turn you will make reload shot and thats all, no AP for reload)
    Fearsome – (coz in total 2 shots on medium distance have higer chance to hit than 1 shot from xbow)
    Fast Adaption – can compensate your accuracy at low levels and again 1 xbow shot miss +8%, 2 arrows +16% chance to hit enemy on next turn.

    Take Headhunter and Killing Frenzy for crossbow and watch enemies in armor die in one shot.

    And don’t forget Bow Mastery that gives you in total +2 range over xbow
    You know that having even 10% chance to hit that nasty back-line must kill enemy is much better than having 0 chance to shoot at it at all.

    Shooting at the backliner with 10% when there is target in front of him with 60% chance is waste of your archer, because on average you can kill backliner faster simply by first killing the guy in front of him then the nasty backliner.

    And one more huge + of bow is that you can make a move and shot at least 1 arrow and it won’t affect your next turns and with xbow you can retreat only once, coz on next round you will do reload and after it shooting (In this case i really recommend for game devs to make xbow shooting 4 ap and reload 4ap, for much better balance)

    You can retreat 2 tiles and shoot weak inaccurate shoot from a bow, while you can retreat 3 tiles and shot accurate powerful shot with high armor piercing from crossbow. Yes, you cant move again next turn with crossbow if you want to shoot again but then it’s still 3 tiles and 2 accurate powerful shots with crossbow versus 4 tiles and two weak inaccurate shoots from a bow over long run.

    Both bows and crossbows have their weak and strong points. In general one is not superior to other. What makes one superior to other is situation. If you need distance and enemy is not heavily armored, bow is better. If you need to take down powerful melee units in lot’s of armor, you can’t beat crossbow. Which is why it is best to have both in your party.

    #21455
    Namespace
    Participant

    Crossbows have the same armor effectiveness as bows right? So why would a crossbow be better against heavily armored targets? I rather attack twice with the bow and shred more of their armor than do a tiny bit of damage against their HP.
    Also, against orcs I have to move my ranged units around a lot so their warriors don’t get any ideas to knock back one guy and go after them.

    I think crossbows would have to be tweaked so they can make use of the berserk perk. Famed crossbows are probably also a lot better if they can literally one-shot any raider. Then again, famed war bows are probably even stronger.

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