[ARCH] A how-to archery guide for the Common Man



  • EDIT: Up-to-date as of August 7th 2013.

    Disclaimer: this guide is tailored for Team Objective matches, and is also designed to assist newbies rather than experts. Try to keep that in mind when reading and when making suggestions/criticisms.

    There are some Archers out there on the Chivalry servers - perhaps one in every 50 - who control their reticule with mechanical millimetric precision, for whom headshots are the norm rather than the exception, and whose unbelievable accuracy suggests some level of telepathic prescience. These are the Archers who, when you check the scoreboard after being killed by them for the fifth time, have K:D ratios of 5:1 or more.

    This guide is not for those people. Nor, unfortunately, will it help you become one. In my experience such people have generally honed their skills over years and years of playing first-person shooters. They’re often Counterstrike veterans, or maybe they were on Battlefield pro teams. Perhaps they’ve even been hardcore gamers since the days of Quake. But regardless of their background, they all derive their skill from one of 2 places:

    1. Exceptional natural ability (in other words, genetic lottery winners)

    2. Thousands of hours of FPS playtime and training

    If you’re reading this guide with the goal of improving your utility as an archer in Chivalry, chances are very good that you do not fit into one of the above categories. Nor can I help you get there – the only way to the top is through a LOT of practice.

    What I can do is show you how I do well in team games. I’m not great – my aim sucks and my target-leading is abysmal. [EDIT: my aim is now slightly improved - see aiming section below!] But I do consistently finish in the top 5 on the scoreboard. Here’s what I do right - and what you’re probably doing wrong - in a quick, three-point summary:

    1. You’re using the wrong type of weapon on the wrong type of enemy. Crossbows are for taking out archers; straight bows are for taking out everyone else (some caveats apply - see below).

    2. You’re too far away. No, I mean it, YOU’RE TOO FAR AWAY. I HAVE TO SHOUT YOU’RE SO FAR. CAN YOU EVEN HEAR ME? HELLLOOOO? Being an archer does NOT mean you’re a sniper – you should be in close to the action and getting your hands dirty. You should have as many deaths as a melee user of similar skill level.

    3. You have a sword for a reason - use it. At least one third of your kills, and potentially as many as two-thirds, should be with your melee weapon. No, seriously – if someone’s running at you, take out your sword. If an ally nearby is in a one-on-one duel, take out your sword and help him. See a badly injured enemy hanging around on the edge of a scrum? Don’t bother trying to shoot him, just stab him in the back.

    Want more detail? Want to turn the above points into something that will actually help you? Want to criticize my theories and call me insane? Read on!

    Now without any further do, allow me to present:

    THE ARCHERY GUIDE FOR THE COMMON MAN

    Loadout

    Choosing loadout is usually a one-time-per-game thing that should be pretty straightforward. Trouble is, I see lots of Archers misusing their weapons, or simply picking the wrong loadout entirely for the map or for the team composition they’re facing. Such mistakes, however are easily avoided by making the right choices - simply follow the easy lists below to determine which loadout you should be playing.

    Choice #1: Crossbow or Straight Bow?

    Crossbows are generally poor at taking out enemy melee, and more efficient at taking out enemy archers. There are several reasons for this:

    1. To reload a crossbow, you have to stand still. This generally means that in order to avoid being unceremoniously decapitated mid-reload you will need to be further away from the main fight, or else spend most of your time in-game running and hiding every time you need to reload. Since you are necessarily further away, it will be difficult to hit those quickly moving enemies in the main scrum and you are more likely than a regular straight bow archer to hit your allies by accident; and as I’m sure you know, no-one is more detested in Chivalry than a team-killing archer.

    2. If you’re targeting enemy archers, chances are they’re a long way away from you - a ways back from the main melee on the other side of the map. Crossbow bolts fly faster and further, and make it much easier to hit distance targets.

    3. Regular and heavy crossbows kill enemy archers in one hit, provided you hit them above the knees.

    4. Targeting enemy archers is often a waiting game - they will (if they’re any good) head back behind cover to reload, and you must wait for your quarry to pop out again to take the shot. This waiting suits crossbows far more than straight bows, which you can only draw back for so long before being forced to cancel the shot.

    Straight (normal) bows are much better for killing enemy melee opponents. When targeting enemy melee, you WILL be close in and near to the main fight (more on this below), and straight bows are much better in this role:

    1. They reload faster leaving you less open to a charge.

    2. You can also move while reloading, making it more difficult for enemies to reach you.

    3. They out-DPS crossbows (assuming you hit your targets at an even rate with each).

    So which should you pick? To decide you’ll need to take a look at the composition of the enemy team. Are there a ton of archers? You might want to consider taking a crossbow to keep them in check. Primarily melee? Go for a straight bow.

    Choice #2: The calibre of your bow

    First off, I would never recommend taking either the light crossbow or the shortbow. In my experience their short range makes it really tough to hit anything; plus you’ll miss not being able to make those distance shots. The real choice is between the “regular” and “heavy” calibres, and this decision will need to be made based on the map you are playing. Is it a large, open map? Take a heavy bow (heavy crossbow or war bow) - their extra range and higher projectile velocity will help you hit those distance targets. Is it a smaller, denser map, or do you expect to be even closer to the action than usual? Take a regular bow (crossbow or longbow), and feel the benefit of greater DPS and quicker movement speed when looking down the sights.

    This choice has particular implications for straight bow users. Since you’re targeting enemy melee you need to be able to react quickly when one breaks away from the fight and charges you. Playing with a war bow significantly lengthens the amount of time it takes to cancel a shot once you’ve pulled the trigger, leaving you open to attack for much longer.

    Choice #2a: Arrows: Broadhead or Bodkin

    Credit to Evil Minion for this info: I was under the impression that Broadheads did extra damage to Men-At-Arms - it turns out they do not, and Bodkins and Broadheads deal equal damage to MAAs! This means that you should NEVER take Broadheads as their only purpose is anti-Archer, and if you’re going anti-Archer then you took the Crossbow, right? ;)

    A caveat on loadouts

    If you have a very strong preference for one setup over all others - if, for example you simply can’t hit the broad side of a barn with anything other than a crossbow - then by all means take what works best for you. And have fun experimenting - I’m currently having a blast playing with a crossbow and one-shotting vanguards in the noggin! But be very aware of the limitations outlined above: keep them in mind at all times, and actively develop strategies to minimize them. However, in order to grow as a player I would still recommend taking the time to learn to shoot well with all bows, in order to expand your potential utility.

    Positioning

    Crossbow users

    1. Since you’re targeting enemy archers (yes, you are, don’t argue with me!) chances are enemy archers will be targeting you too. Forget those stupid shields they make you carry (in fact, take the extra ammo option instead) - what you really need is a good spot for cover. This can be almost anything – a tree, a rock, a wall, a pillar – but you need to pick a spot and reload, while crouched, behind that obstacle every time! It still astounds me how many crossbow users reload out in the open, making for easy kills. Once you’ve found your ideal spot, as a crossbowman, you will likely be quite stationary until either you run out of good targets from that location, or the general melee moves too close to you, at which point you will need to pack up and move.

    Reloading behind cover is not enough, however. To avoid arrows through your forehead, you need to avoid being exposed for more than a couple of seconds. Strafe out of cover, find that target, shoot, and strafe immediately back to safety. If you take your sweet time to lock onto your target, you’re already dead. If you can’t find any targets, save your shot, duck back into cover and strafe out in the opposite direction next time. DON’T LEAVE YOURSELF EXPOSED!!!

    On a related note, if you seem to be drawing a lot of enemy fire – well, that’s EXCELLENT! The more enemy archers are shooting at you, the fewer are shooting at your teammates in the main melee. Don’t go and hide in a corner and cry – keep up the threat.

    2. You know how you’re now following my advice from point #1 above: carefully reloading behind cover, and ensuring you’re not standing out in the open like a lemon? Yeah, most Archers don’t do that. Find those players who have NOT read this guide, and make them play for it :D

    3. You’re probably too far away. You should be far enough away that you won’t find yourself targeted by enemy melee, but no further. The closer you are, the easier it is to aim and to predict target lead time, and the more kills you will get. This may mean that you die more as well, but that’s alright – deaths are unimportant (especially in Team Objective matches).

    Straight bow users

    1. YOU ARE TOO FAR AWAY. I can’t stress this enough: you ARE targeting melee users and you DO need to be up close and personal to get those kills. Arrows from straight bows have a travel time that’s too long to make them of any use at a distance. Of course, if your enemy is running in a straight line at a consistent pace you can adjust your aim to compensate; unfortunately, however, this is rarely the case, and to land those shots you need to be close enough the render lead time a relatively unimportant factor. You should stay just out of charge range of enemies, but close enough that in a pinch you can draw your sword and enter the melee. This also means that if you are playing with the War bow, you will need to keep a slightly greater distance than you would as a Longbow user.

    Being close also means that, when necessary, you can help further the objective (e.g. by pushing the cart or taking (or denying) the hill).

    2. You should ALWAYS be moving, or in other words (in case that wasn’t clear enough), you should NEVER be standing still. Standing still will lead to your immediate death by enemy crossbow; constant movement means that a good 80% of those shots that would otherwise have hit you will miss.

    3. Cover is still your friend. You will, of course, be constantly moving around the field as you follow the melee but where possible, draw your bow from behind cover and shoot as you exit it.

    4. Stay aware of your surroundings. Between the time when you’ve clicked the left mouse button and you’re waiting for your bow to draw fully, take a look around you and make sure no-one’s flanking you. Do the same thing in between your shots. Keep track of where your enemies are and use that information to ensure you are never surprised by them.

    Choosing your targets

    In order to maximize the number of kills you can get at your current skill level, you need to prioritize your targets. The following is a list is organized from most important to least important - that is, if you’re choosing between two targets, pick the one that possesses the highest quality from the list.

    1. Targets that are close.
      Proximity is the most important quality a target possesses. I see archers trying to deny this simple fact of physics almost every game as I watch them shoot fruitlessly at the enemy spawn. Closer targets are bigger, their lead time is slower, and they are less likely to change direction while your shot is in mid-air. Choose them first.

    2. Targets that don’t have shields.
      People with shields are really hard to hit. Luckily the majority of the Chivalry population has not yet realized this, but it is something you should be aware of. If an enemy shield-user is running from right to left their shield will cover the majority of their body. If they’re running towards you, they will likely raise their shield. If they’re running away from you, they may put their shield on their back. Don’t even bother trying to shoot them unless there are no other options.

    Note that this means Vanguards make excellent targets, every time. :P

    1. Targets that are not near allies.
      Team killing is bad. It can usually be avoided if you’re close to the melee, but the occasional mistake does happen. Again, this is placed at #3 on the list because it is preferable to shoot (carefully) at an enemy locked in combat with an ally, than at a non-in-combat-shield-user at a similar distance, or at a non-shield user who is much further away.

    2. Targets that are moving in a predictable, straight line.
      These are the targets you can lead your shots with, and be sure you’ll hit them if the lead distance is correct. If they’re zigzagging it becomes a game of chance, which is best avoided if possible.

    3. Targets with low health.
      Killing a target is always more valuable than wounding one, primarily because health does regenerate over time whereas death is a more permanent contribution.

    4. Targets that are a threat to you.
      This is at the bottom of the list because if a melee enemy is a threat to you then you should be taking out your sword. If your aim under pressure is anything like mine, you are not going to hit them with that last desperation shot.

    Aiming

    Aiming is primarily improved through practice. That being said, there are a few strategies I can suggest:

    1. Use your zoom. All the time. I have it bound to the ALT key, which makes it very easy to use.

    2. Make fine aiming adjustment using your arrow keys to strafe, rather than moving your mouse left and right.

    3. Learn the projectile speed of each bow and get a feel for the drop rate over distance as well as the time it takes for your arrow to reach your target.

    4. Until you’re more comfortable with lead times, aim for the body rather than the head.

    5. (Optional) Buy a mouse that permits on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment. This way, while you’re aiming you can have very fine aim control, and then ramp it up higher for melee combat. This is far from a cure-all, however - I have this feature and only use it very occasionally. It is not as useful as it sounds.

    Otherwise: just do your best, let practice slowly improve your aim over time, and above all don’t get frustrated - we all suck to begin with!

    Melee combat

    Quick aside: I’d like to plug lemonater’s Archery guide here which can be found at http://www.chivalrythegame.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=85&t=8511 - I didn’t see his guide before making mine, and we seem to be of one mind on many points (though he’s much more concise about it!) so go take a look!

    You have a sword for a reason - use it. I see so many archers sitting back shooting when they could make a much greater contribution at that moment by getting into the fight. Even if you succeed only at providing a distraction, that can be very helpful to a hard-pressed ally.

    That being said, archers are squishy. If you run into a fight and stay there you will find that your head resembles a craked egg in less time than it actually takes to crack an egg. This relegates you to a specific role – dash in, dash out. Find that enemy who’s lingering on the edge of the fray, dash in and stab him once, then dash out. If you miss and he moves closer to his friends, pull back immediately. If you get targeted by a melee user, run back to your allies unless you’re confident in your bladework. Use your extra 50% backstab damage by targeting enemies who are facing away from you, and retreat before they can turn around.

    When you’re making the decision as to whether to engage in melee, remember: the more people in a scrum, the smaller the difference one extra person makes. This is not only due to the the sheer number of players (and the increasing probability of random team-damage as more people LMB their weapons) but also because, as an squishy squishy archer, you need to keep track of the location of EVERY enemy and teammate when you engage in melee. Failure to do so will likely result in a one-hit KO. Therefore it is generally more advisable to assist the lone teammate facing one or two enemies, than the army of 10 teammates fighting 12 enemies. It is ESPECIALLY inadvisable to assist those 4 teammates who are fighting one enemy - your good intentions will only result in your head being chopped of by one of those blithely oblivious allies you were so eager to help.

    Regarding weapons, I highly recommend using the short sword. It’s an excellent stabbing weapon and - in the right hands - permits its user go toe-to-toe with any of the other melee classes. It has superb damage output and has a great balance between reach and speed. Using a dagger I find it difficult to riposte (i.e. get in close enough) after a distance parry; conversely, I find that while the sabre’s range is useful it doesn’t make up for its slower attack. The short sword hits the sweet spot for me, but use whatever weapon works best for you.

    A few more specific tips for melee:

    1. Distance parry. This is an incredibly useful skill that I can’t stress enough. As your enemy swings to hit you, move out of range then, as his weapon passes you, dash in and stab him. Alternatively, move in close to bait him into a swing, then move out of range as the swing occurs. Rinse and repeat until his stamina is exhausted.

    Experienced players will fall to this less often, but it is a lifesaver against most melee enemies.

    1. Keep moving. I also can’t stress this point enough - while it applies to all classes, it is particularly crucial for Archers. If you find yourself standing still to hit someone, chances are you’re already dead. You should be constantly strafing and twisting, winding a sinuous dance around your enemies. Use your speed to your advantage, keep your direction changes unpredictable, and distance parry as necessary.

    2a. Some people don’t realize that it’s possible to sprint while in combat. You can’t sprint backwards, but you can sprint forwards; and you will absolutely need to get into the habit of doing so if you are to have any chance of closing after distance parries, or escaping from a flanking enemy. I bind sprint to my CAPS key because I have small hands and it’s easier to reach than SHIFT, but do whatever works for you.

    1. Use Alt-swings and downwards stabs to get around enemy shield users. While distance parrying is an excellent skill, sometimes it’s preferable to get up in your enemy’s face and stab away. Blocking short sword stabs at close range is very difficult - use this to your advantage.

    2. Strafe left to right, and turn, as you swing. Start out looking in one direction as you begin your stab, and turn to look at your enemy as you follow through. This can make it difficult for enemies to parry as your sword point changes location mid-swing.

    3. If someone charges you and you’re still using your bow, for god’s sake take out your sword at the first opportunity – you’re probably not going to hit them with your bow and it really isn’t worth trying.

    6. Maintain situational awareness as your top priority. Know where everyone is around you - how fast that flanking Vangaurd is moving, whether your teammate with the warhammer is about to swing at your head, and which archers are currently aiming at you.

    At least one third of your kills, and potentially as many as two-thirds, should be with your melee weapon (unless you’re a crossbowman). Get familiar and comfortable with your melee weapon, and use it to turn the tide of battles. You usually should not be engaging alone, but as an archer you can do wonders as a support to your allies.

    –-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As I said in the introduction, I’m a shitty archer. I can’t hit targets to save my life (literally!), so I’ve had to develop strategies to get around this handicap. The above guide the result of my research, and while I’m no expert, I am rank 30 [EDIT: rank 39 now!] and I contribute to my team every game. If you’re getting frustrated with archery give some of these ideas a try – and let me know how they work for you!

    –------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDIT: Video guides on Archery will be added below as I find them.

    The first few minutes of the video below contain some excellent examples of well-timed distance parries and footwork movement in melee combat. The player is also ridiculously good at aiming - good enough to make using a crossbow in FFA work in his favour (although bear in mind he’s judiciously edited the clip to highlight his killstreaks and remove any bits where he gets killed while reloading) - but I’d recommend watching for the melee.

    [youtubehd:y9cu2qt5]990NEHe8aho[/youtubehd:y9cu2qt5]

    This next video is again included primarily for the melee component. The player uses a short sword exclusively and demonstrates some excellent turn-to-hit stabs, as well as using alt-swings and face-hugging downward stabs to get around shields. Note the timing on a lot of his initial attacks as he interrupts opponents who are charging him - this can be very effective.

    [youtubehd:y9cu2qt5]EfAVA4RFCXA[/youtubehd:y9cu2qt5]

    This video really demonstrates good battlefield positioning by a straight bow user. He’s aggressive, he’s up close to the fight and he’s constantly moving. He often looks around him between shots and does a great job of maintaining situational awareness. He uses cover really well without being wedded to the idea of always needing it. Take note of how close he is to the action, and how often he pulls out his sword to help his allies.

    He also makes an excellent case for using broadhead arrows in conjunction with the Warbow (which will get you on-hit KOs on enemy archers).

    [youtubehd:y9cu2qt5]AeH4AdLwbKc[/youtubehd:y9cu2qt5]



  • Really helped me to be a better archer, thanks.



  • Excellent tutorial.

    I few things I would add.

    I disagree with the Bow choice. For several reasons;

    I find the Longbow to be a poor bow overall. It doesn’t do the damage needed nor does it fire quickly. If you want to do damage, Warbow, if you want to fire quick Shortbow. I don’t see much point in taking the middle ground here.

    A Warbow is an excellent weapon particularly with Broadheads. A Broadhead shot from a Warbow will 1 shot archers and almost kill a MAA. It also fires quicker then a Crossbow.

    Firing at a Full Health knight/vanguard with any arrow is going to take a couple of hits, so you may as well take the broadheads so you can get those fairly easy 1 shot archer kills. My exception to this is when the other team has very few archers/maa, in which case the advantage of the Broadhead is greatly reduced.

    With the Shortbow, I find again that Broadheads are better. Mainly because with a shortbow, you’ll be shooting damaged targets fairly close in battle. The biggest threat to you is a MAA closing the distance fast, so hopefully your broadhead will kill them with 1 shot (if they are damaged).

    The Shortbow is really only to be used at fairly close range, it is also very effective at this job. You WILL have to use your secondary weapon often, since you are close to battle. I find the scimitar or Cudgel particularly effective. Daggers I find just don’t kill quickly enough.

    The other plus with a shortbow is because it fires about twice as fast as a Warbow you get twice as much practice in the same time ;)

    As the OP says, GET CLOSER, stay behind the first row of your team mates, when/if they die move back to the next line. Beware of enemy archers, they will target you. Shoot at wounded targets. You will be surprised at how often 1 shortbow arrow will kill.

    Also, archers that get very high KD Ratio use melee quite often. Think this, every time you die to a melee weapon, that was an opportunity for another kill, one that high KDR archers gain.

    A trap I often find middle-skill archers fall into is that they see me charging at them and they (often rightfully against middle-skill foes) strike as soon as I’m in range thinking it’ll surprise me. My standard rule fighting ANY archer is to rush in, then as I get in their weapon range I back out slightly. Very often that aggressive first strike of an archer will miss, however my hit wont…
    Don’t fall into this trap. (o so tempting it is, I know)



  • @Toll:

    Excellent tutorial.

    Glad you liked it!

    @Toll:

    I few things I would add.

    I disagree with the Bow choice. For several reasons;

    I find the Longbow to be a poor bow overall. It doesn’t do the damage needed nor does it fire quickly. If you want to do damage, Warbow, if you want to fire quick Shortbow. I don’t see much point in taking the middle ground here.

    This is an interesting point, and I didn’t make the recommendation lightly. I haven’t actually done a carefully controlled playtest, but from what I can tell the Damage-Per-Second with straight bows drops as you go down from Warbow to Longbow to Shortbow, with the Shortbow having the least DPS of all three. For this reason I would never recommend using anything other than the War Bow, except that I’ve found that it takes to long to reload when I’m playing close up to the melee, and I end up getting caught off guard by enemy melee fighters. The Longbow, on the the hand, does fire fast enough that I almost always have time to switch to my sword even when I’m in close; and since it fulfills this role, dropping my DPS again by choosing the Shortbow doesn’t seem to provide me with any further advantages.

    @Toll:

    A Warbow is an excellent weapon particularly with Broadheads. A Broadhead shot from a Warbow will 1 shot archers and almost kill a MAA. It also fires quicker then a Crossbow.

    Very true - however I find that particularly for people who are not great at aiming, the extra speed and range of the crossbow over the Warbow really make a difference at that range. I also find that archer-sniping involves a fair bit of waiting as you wait for your quarry to pop out from behind cover to take their next shot. This waiting suits the crossbows far more than the straight bows, which you can only draw back for so long before being forced to cancel the shot.

    @Toll:

    Firing at a Full Health knight/vanguard with any arrow is going to take a couple of hits, so you may as well take the broadheads so you can get those fairly easy 1 shot archer kills. My exception to this is when the other team has very few archers/maa, in which case the advantage of the Broadhead is greatly reduced.

    Honestly, my experience is that far more players choose Vanguard or Knight than MAA, and that if you’re not going specifically anti-archer it’s simply not effective to choose Broadheads.

    @Toll:

    I find the scimitar or Cudgel particularly effective. Daggers I find just don’t kill quickly enough.

    Absolutely - I’ve seen the cudgel in particular be devastating in the right hands. I’ve tried them all and still prefer the short sword, but you should pick whatever weapon works best for you.

    @Toll:

    The other plus with a shortbow is because it fires about twice as fast as a Warbow you get twice as much practice in the same time ;)

    Now there’s an advantage I honestly hadn’t considered - good point!

    @Toll:

    Also, archers that get very high KD Ratio use melee quite often. Think this, every time you die to a melee weapon, that was an opportunity for another kill, one that high KDR archers gain.

    Yes! Melee is just as important, if not more so, than good ranged skills.

    @Toll:

    A trap I often find middle-skill archers fall into is that they see me charging at them and they (often rightfully against middle-skill foes) strike as soon as I’m in range thinking it’ll surprise me. My standard rule fighting ANY archer is to rush in, then as I get in their weapon range I back out slightly. Very often that aggressive first strike of an archer will miss, however my hit wont…
    Don’t fall into this trap. (o so tempting it is, I know)

    This is very true - it’s a bit of a guessing game sometimes whether if, as an Archer, you should wait and parry the first attack, or try and interrupt it as you described above.

    Thanks very much for reading and for the insightful comments! :)



  • Very nice guide. But I strongly disagree with this paragraph:
    @DifferentFrogs:

    Choice #2a: Arrows: Broadhead or Bodkin

    This one is easy – you should be taking Bodkin arrows 90% of the time, unless their team has a LOT of MAAs. If it has a lot of archers, well then you took the crossbow, so this choice isn’t even an option right? ;)

    The reason: Broadhead arrows do only more damage to Archers. They do the same damage to MaA as Bodkin arrows and far less against heavier armor. So taking Bodkin arrows is a must with Shortbow and Longbow. The only reason you want to take Broadhead arrows is to oneshot archers.

    If they were balanced (= higher base damage than Bodkin) this paragraph would be correct - so maybe after the next patch…



  • @Evil:

    Very nice guide. But I strongly disagree with this paragraph:
    @DifferentFrogs:

    Choice #2a: Arrows: Broadhead or Bodkin

    This one is easy – you should be taking Bodkin arrows 90% of the time, unless their team has a LOT of MAAs. If it has a lot of archers, well then you took the crossbow, so this choice isn’t even an option right? ;)

    The reason: Broadhead arrows do only more damage to Archers. They do the same damage to MaA as Bodkin arrows and far less against heavier armor. So taking Bodkin arrows is a must with Shortbow and Longbow. The only reason you want to take Broadhead arrows is to oneshot archers.

    If they were balanced (= higher base damage than Bodkin) this paragraph would be correct - so maybe after the next patch…

    Woah, I had no idea this was the case! I read somewhere early on that Broadheads are more effective than Bodkins v. MAAs. Since then I’ve noticed through playing more that Broadheads weren’t doing as much damage to MAAs as I thought they should be, but damn… no extra damage at all??

    I’ve updated the guide to reflect this new info - thanks very much for the correction!



  • Very true - however I find that particularly for people who are not great at aiming, the extra speed and range of the crossbow over the Warbow really make a difference at that range. I also find that archer-sniping involves a fair bit of waiting as you wait for your quarry to pop out from behind cover to take their next shot. This waiting suits the crossbows far more than the straight bows, which you can only draw back for so long before being forced to cancel the shot.

    I suppose the choice of weapon/arrow combination really comes down to the play style of the player.

    I am a very aggressive archer, think of Legolas (LOTR series) how he is almost point blank range. My rationale for this is; The closer to the target you are the less travel time/arrow drop you have to contend with. Which means you have a much larger margin of error, and the enemy has less. Until it gets to the point where you are in striking range of their weapon, then you have no margin of error to land that killing arrow…

    I’m also hyper aware of my surroundings, I can track roughly 7-8 targets in a 3D environment (the norm is about 3-4 and Action computer game players are around 6-7). So play style comes down to taking shots at wounded enemies and when I notice an enemy archer that is camping and firing away I like to kill them before they realize I’m aiming at them (they think I’m busy with the knight and MAA only meters away). This is the prime reason I take broadheads over bodkins with a Warbow. Simply because I can be highly confident of 1 shotting a camping archer, and killing most wounded opponents with a single arrow. If they don’t die from that arrow, a chop with a melee weapon usually finishes them. You will be surprised at how many extra kills you get using Warbow/Broadhead over Warbow/Bodkin. Mainly from 1 shotting archers (who usually use bodkins and can’t 1 shot you, that is important).

    If however I’m feeling extra aggressive I take a Shortbow with broadheads. I use the shortbow mainly to soften up an opponent and finish them off with melee, unless I can get away with firing more shots (usually when team mates are around). The beauty of the Shortbow is the firing speed. Basically you kill steal with it. :D



  • @Toll:

    I am a very aggressive archer, think of Legolas (LOTR series) how he is almost point blank range. My rationale for this is; The closer to the target you are the less travel time/arrow drop you have to contend with. Which means you have a much larger margin of error, and the enemy has less.

    Absolutely, and that’s one of the things I’ve tried to emphasize in my guide : if you’re going to be a straight bow archer you need to be in close and get involved in the action!

    @Toll:

    I’m also hyper aware of my surroundings, I can track roughly 7-8 targets in a 3D environment (the norm is about 3-4 and Action computer game players are around 6-7). So play style comes down to taking shots at wounded enemies and when I notice an enemy archer that is camping and firing away I like to kill them before they realize I’m aiming at them (they think I’m busy with the knight and MAA only meters away). This is the prime reason I take broadheads over bodkins with a Warbow. Simply because I can be highly confident of 1 shotting a camping archer, and killing most wounded opponents with a single arrow. If they don’t die from that arrow, a chop with a melee weapon usually finishes them. You will be surprised at how many extra kills you get using Warbow/Broadhead over Warbow/Bodkin. Mainly from 1 shotting archers (who usually use bodkins and can’t 1 shot you, that is important).

    My experience is that newbie archers find it super tough to take out enemy archers, while they’re in close to the melee, without getting sniped or decapitated themselves - that’s why I emphasize crossbow use for anti-archer gameplay. But I think I’ll have to try taking Broadheads again and playing your way - maybe my opinion will change!



  • Logically it makes sense to to take bodkins, almost a no-brainer. However I find , with my playstyle at least, that broadheads earn more kills over time. This is simply because of the 1-shot archer kills, it adds up pretty quickly. So with that in mind, if the server has 1 enemy archer on the team, then taking broadheads doesn’t work out so well. Really they need to have 3+ archers for it to help a lot.

    It is also surprising that a lot of archers don’t realize that warbow+broadheads=1 shot archer kill (unless you hit legs). So you get a few ‘wtf 1 shot?’ comments.



  • @Toll:

    It is also surprising that a lot of archers don’t realize that warbow+broadheads=1 shot archer kill (unless you hit legs). So you get a few ‘wtf 1 shot?’ comments.

    Haha, those are the best. Until they accuse you of hacking :(



  • Archery is a point and click adventure minigame that came with the real Chivalry. It’s the class with the lowest skill ceiling. In this day and age who isn’t familiar with a shooter of some kind?

    The only thing you have to get used to is arrow velocities when leading your target, but you can learn that within an afternoon of playing.



  • @2maidens1chalice:

    Archery is a point and click adventure minigame that came with the real Chivalry. It’s the class with the lowest skill ceiling. In this day and age who isn’t familiar with a shooter of some kind?

    I wouldn’t say it’s the class with the lowest skill ceiling; if you play it the way that (in my opinion) it’s meant to be played, you’re in close combat almost as often as you’re shooting, requiring you to learn twice as many skills as any other class! Saying that it has a low skill ceiling is also implying that all FPS’s have low skill ceilings, which - as anyone who’s watch a competitive Counterstrike match will tell you - is completely untrue.

    @2maidens1chalice:

    The only thing you have to get used to is arrow velocities when leading your target, but you can learn that within an afternoon of playing.

    If you’re not already some uber-FPS-god (and I insert that qualifier because you may well be!), learning the correct leading distances requires MUCH longer than an afternoon. Things that must be taken into account when leading a target:

    • The velocity of the bow you’re using (6 different types)
    • The distance at which you’re shooting
    • The movement speed of the particular class you’re targeting
    • The angle at which they’re approaching you
    • The speed at which they’re running

    I find it super difficult to correctly judge lead distances, and even after more than 100 hours playtime I still suck at it.



  • A good rule of thumb is to aim 2 body widths in front of the target per second of arrow travel time.



  • Orrr…just use the arrow cam. I think it’s a cool feature and it helps me get hits on extremely high distances. If anyone argues that it’s not realistic I will agree but I will also argue that flashing red cursor upon hit is not realistic either.



  • Thank you for featuring my video on this =p (3rd video on Offensive archery)
    This was a pretty extensive and interesting to read guide.

    As a rank 40+ Archer, my load out is almost solely Warbow, Short sword, Broad arrows unless of course the other team has no archers.

    A lot of people tend to think Broads are useless but they don’t understand that having the ability to 1 shot an enemy archer greatly decreases the chances of your team being disrupted during melee and would also allow you to disrupt attacks on enemy melee too while the enemy archer is respawning.

    You’re essentially playing an aggressive support class with a straight bow. The real skill in archery is knowing where & when to shoot into a melee battle (Warning: Training for this comes at a great price).



  • @Z.OP:

    Thank you for featuring my video on this =p (3rd video on Offensive archery)
    This was a pretty extensive and interesting to read guide.

    No problem - I hope you don’t mind, it’s the best I’ve found so far! I’d also love to hear any feedback you have on any part of the guide.

    @Z.OP:

    As a rank 40+ Archer, my load out is almost solely Warbow, Short sword, Broad arrows unless of course the other team has no archers.

    A lot of people tend to think Broads are useless but they don’t understand that having the ability to 1 shot an enemy archer greatly decreases the chances of your team being disrupted during melee and would also allow you to disrupt attacks on enemy melee too while the enemy archer is respawning.

    I think your videos really do a great job of showcasing the efficacy of Broads. In fact, you’ve got a (temporary) convert in me: I’m going to play with them for the next couple of weeks and see how they work for me, and if I change my mind I’ll update the guide! I also hadn’t considered the disruption perspective, so I’ll consider that as well.

    @Z.OP:

    You’re essentially playing an aggressive support class with a straight bow. The real skill in archery is knowing where & when to shoot into a melee battle (Warning: Training for this comes at a great price).

    Yep, I don’t think there’s any way around those early-learning-stage teamkills! :P



  • @Z.OP:

    Thank you for featuring my video on this =p (3rd video on Offensive archery)
    This was a pretty extensive and interesting to read guide.

    As a rank 40+ Archer, my load out is almost solely Warbow, Short sword, Broad arrows unless of course the other team has no archers.

    A lot of people tend to think Broads are useless but they don’t understand that having the ability to 1 shot an enemy archer greatly decreases the chances of your team being disrupted during melee and would also allow you to disrupt attacks on enemy melee too while the enemy archer is respawning.

    You’re essentially playing an aggressive support class with a straight bow. The real skill in archery is knowing where & when to shoot into a melee battle (Warning: Training for this comes at a great price).

    This post sums it up. I’m kind of glad most enemy archers take bodkin though still :P

    I almost soley use broadhead as well, they come in far handier than bodkin in almost all cases. Kind of plugging my video here again lol, but I made a video of me in an FFA with Warbow/broadhead/cudgel and I thought it turned out pretty well. I will post more vids eventually on my channel with game sounds too. Great videos and guides here, archery isn’t as easy as some make it out to be.

    [youtubehd:18c5g9ad]45O8egLbPWo[/youtubehd:18c5g9ad]



  • @Anonymoose:

    Kind of plugging my video here again lol, but I made a video of me in an FFA with Warbow/broadhead/cudgel and I thought it turned out pretty well. I will post more vids eventually on my channel with game sounds too. Great videos and guides here, archery isn’t as easy as some make it out to be.

    Plugging is totally fine - this is an archer guide thread after all, and the more videos on varying playstyles, the better!. Currently at work, so I’ll have a watch it later tonight, but if it’s especially good I’ll add it to the guide :)



  • @DifferentFrogs:

    No problem - I hope you don’t mind, it’s the best I’ve found so far! I’d also love to hear any feedback you have on any part of the guide.

    If I had to say anything about the guide it would be the choice of Crossbows against other archers. It’s just not reliable, slow and the reloading of a cross bow really takes away your battlefield awareness. If the enemy archer is on the move in the distance there’s very little chance you would get a proper hit.

    Although I have noticed that they are becoming increasingly common in clan wars to take out the odd one or two archer on the opposing team (but this relies heavily on solid defence) they do become useless once the other team is advancing, you would only be able to fire 1-2 shots as opposed to 3-6 from a distance using a straight bow.



  • If you are targeting melee, use Longbow with Bodkins. If you are targeting Archers, use Warbow with Broadheads. If you want to kill both equally, use Warbow with Broadheads.

    From what I remember from the spreadsheet values (at work right now) the Longbow fires its projectile slightly faster than the Warbow for some reason and reloads faster. It may not seem like much looking at the 0.9 and 1.1 reload times (0.2 seconds? Pfffft) but it feels significantly faster when in combat and the extra Rate of Fire really helps to land consecutive shots on melee enemies. You’re rarely going to be firing at completely full health enemies and even if you do, if you are hitting the torso the Longbow is two hits and the Warbow is two hits, but with faster reload the Longbow is killing faster. DPS doesn’t matter so much as Hits To Kill. The only difference from Longbow Bodkin to Warbow Bodkin is the ability to one-shot headshot Vanguards, which isn’t that big of a deal, even if you’re solo, because a shot to the chest and a stab from your secondary will kill him anyway regardless of bow used, or just two shots as previously stated.

    The other huge reason to not use Crossbow is something you didn’t seem to touch on too much (though I did mostly skim) and that is MOBILITY. Being able to fire, turn, sprint while reloading, turn and fire is huge (aka Kiting) and not something that’s possible with Crossbows. Similar to Longbow vs Warbow, the only difference between Bows and Crossbows is the ability to one-shot an MAA in the chest; HTK is the same, 2, on anything else, though you will get one-shots if you can headshot everything with a Crossbow (which is not going to happen) yet you probably won’t be killing as fast as a Bow even with perfect headshots. When was the last time you saw consecutive kills in the killfeed from a Crossbow? They don’t have the RoF to score multiple kills in succession, which is what matters over one-shotting people. One hit in the chest is often all you need to do your job, either to soften a target for your melee or to clean up a wounded enemy put on the defensive by your melee.

    TL;DR = First paragraph is all you need for the short version. I do apologize for any grammatical mistakes and the dense blocks of text though, I couldn’t really break it up much more than that since all the points flow into each other.


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