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Author Topic: Archer Armor  (Read 3004 times)

Halo

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Archer Armor
« on: June 15, 2011, 06:26:56 pm »

I recently discovered (the hard way :) ) that fortifications don't actually protect your marksdwarves from enemy arrows, they only prevent enemies from pathing through those tiles. Since I prefer my arches up on the tower, and not down in the coffins, time to armor them up.

Considered these dwarves will only be taking arrow fire, and they should never actually have to deal with melee up int he towers, how much armor is best? Should I outfit them with the same steel suit the melee guys have, that seems a little extreme, but on the other hand the leather armor I had them in before obviously was insufficient. What sort of happy medium do you guy use?
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Jetriot

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 06:35:56 pm »

Elite archers can shoot through those fortifications but that is it. Otherwise they have to be next to the fortifications to fire an arrow through them. As long as you build a moat or have fortifications on a wall these are generally a safe option. If elite archers are involved just keep your own archers off the wall.
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Organum

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 06:36:14 pm »

Metal armor doesn't fare well against blunt attacks and, sad to say, arrows and bolts are calculated as being blunt attacks.  If leather isn't working for you and building your fortifications higher isn't an option, I'd suggest mail. It covers more of the body than plate does, and from a roleplaying perspective it makes more sense for your archers to wear it than plate.
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mrtspence

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2011, 07:01:53 pm »

Metal armor doesn't fare well against blunt attacks and, sad to say, arrows and bolts are calculated as being blunt attacks.  If leather isn't working for you and building your fortifications higher isn't an option, I'd suggest mail. It covers more of the body than plate does, and from a roleplaying perspective it makes more sense for your archers to wear it than plate.

This is bogus, as far as I know.

Arrows and bolts have the [EDGE] tag in the RAWs last time I checked, meaning they are calculated like other edged weapons. They just have very low contact area and often very high velocity, meaning they punch through armour rather well (kinda like how whips act as lightsabers, cracking skulls through even the toughest, best helms).

Leather armour is not better than metal armour under any situations, as far as I have seen and the RAWs indicate. Also, even if they were blunt attacks, steel plate would be better than leather or only chain--non-rigid armour gives almost no protection against blunt weapons at all!

Steel or better armour will keep your dudes safe the best, so give them lots. Mail and plate is recommended. I have seen arrows make it through armour every once and a while, but it is rare, and usually was somewhere where there was only mail and no plate.

If you wanna keep your archers lightly armoured for roleplaying sake, that is totally fine (although I prefer the idea of badass dudes in full plate with crossbows to less badass dudes in leather/chain with crossbows), but practically, you want them armoured exactly the same as your other dwarves (although I'm not sure they can use a shield whilst firing the crossbows).
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Organum

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 07:05:39 pm »

Metal armor doesn't fare well against blunt attacks and, sad to say, arrows and bolts are calculated as being blunt attacks.  If leather isn't working for you and building your fortifications higher isn't an option, I'd suggest mail. It covers more of the body than plate does, and from a roleplaying perspective it makes more sense for your archers to wear it than plate.

This is bogus, as far as I know.

Arrows and bolts have the [EDGE] tag in the RAWs last time I checked, meaning they are calculated like other edged weapons. They just have very low contact area and often very high velocity, meaning they punch through armour rather well (kinda like how whips act as lightsabers, cracking skulls through even the toughest, best helms).

Leather armour is not better than metal armour under any situations, as far as I have seen and the RAWs indicate. Also, even if they were blunt attacks, steel plate would be better than leather or only chain--non-rigid armour gives almost no protection against blunt weapons at all!

Steel or better armour will keep your dudes safe the best, so give them lots. Mail and plate is recommended. I have seen arrows make it through armour every once and a while, but it is rare, and usually was somewhere where there was only mail and no plate.

If you wanna keep your archers lightly armoured for roleplaying sake, that is totally fine (although I prefer the idea of badass dudes in full plate with crossbows to less badass dudes in leather/chain with crossbows), but practically, you want them armoured exactly the same as your other dwarves (although I'm not sure they can use a shield whilst firing the crossbows).

wat

I apologize for not actually knowing what I'm talking about, it's something I worry about often but luckily for the unfortunate people I try to help more knowledgeable people tend to swoop in and come to the rescue if I'm wrong.
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monk12

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 07:55:07 pm »

Actually, I think that leather's high elasticity (compared to steel, anyway) factors in to reducing blunt attacks. The problem with only leather armor is the aforementioned edge tag- bolts and arrows will cut through.

What you need to do for maximum protection (in any case, actually) is layer your armor. Outfit them in plate to deflect some of the bolts and circumvent the cutting edge of the bolt. At this point, a direct hit will be converted into blunt damage instead of glancing away. If you also have a layer of leather underneath, that will help absorb some of the force. The Wiki has a good introduction to layering armor.

Of course, the real problem is that goblins accurate enough to shoot past the fortifications are also accurate enough to shoot your dwarves in the face every time. Not much you can do about it other than try for numerical superiority, and withdraw when you see an elite approaching.

Stromko

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 08:04:47 pm »

Can units actually make aimed ranged attacks in Fortress mode? In Adventure mode, there doesn't appear to be any preference to the adventurer getting shot in the head, and the adventurer is unable to make aimed, ranged attacks.

I've had my Marksdwarves pelted by elite archers before, and they took wounds all over the place. They were behind fortifications and on towers so if it's true only elites can shoot through fortifications, they would have been shot by elites only.

Also, leather armor can't be stacked with breastplates due to them both being shaped armors. Chain shirts and breast plates are the best option then, as they're the only option for stacking. Well you could do leather armor with chain shirts on top, but both should be flexible types.

I don't know if Leather has a whole lot of benefit, or moreso than regular cloth, with the current material system.

Personally what I opted for was to only cover the vital organs of my dwarves with full armor (chain shirts, breast plates, metal helms), and have leather for the limbs. Since bolts and arrows shouldn't sever limbs (I say shouldn't; never say never!), organ and spinal damage should be the only major incurable injuries you have to worry about. I suppose they could still bleed out through the legs and arms (and the non-defensible throat), but protecting the heart and brain is most important.
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Naryar

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 08:08:12 pm »

If you do not plan to get your archers into melee, just give them a high-quality light-material shield, and train them in shield user and dodge.

They'll be fine even without much armor, though you can outfit them with hoods, cloaks and eventually leather/bone armor.
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Stromko

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 08:13:41 pm »

Shields strongly appear to be the most effective thing against ranged attacks of all kinds, but my marksdwarves seemed to have trouble being equipped with both at once. It took enough coaxing just to get them to have crossbows and quivers.

Historically it isn't that strange for crossbowmen to have shields-- I've read many of them actually deployed with something like a tower shield, set it up standing in the ground, then took cover behind it while loading and aiming.

It's more strange when you're deploying them in a static position where they already have fortifications and they're standing on a stone floor, though more to the point, again, I seemed to just have trouble getting marksdwarves to use both shields and crossbows. Perhaps it was some other issue entirely though.

Also I'm not sure about the layering after all. The wiki may be out of date in that respect, as caps and helms are certainly not combinable from what I can tell anymore *(Except in adventure mode).
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Montague

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 08:16:53 pm »

Archers are generally better with lighter-weight armor. heavier armor will slow them down and reduce their rate of fire and would be excessive anyways.

Give them a light shield, like Naryar said, a metal helm and maybe a chain shirt with leather armor. Maybe metal gauntlets, since you can't make them from leather.

Also, fortifications work just fine. They are just less effective if the enemy is on the same level as the fortification, like a "pillbox" or very close to the fortifications. Putting them a z-level above and maybe digging moats to keep them from getting into the blind spot or too close to the fortifications to shoot through them.

Also, yeah, crossbowmen especially would set up a big shield to take cover behind in the field.
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Sir Iryn

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 08:36:36 pm »

I was always under the impression crossbowdwarves couldn't use a shield and crossbow at the same time, is that not the case?
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Montague

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2011, 08:47:31 pm »

I was always under the impression crossbowdwarves couldn't use a shield and crossbow at the same time, is that not the case?

Not the case, so long as they have a quiver to hold ammo, they can use a shield. Works in advent mode too.
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Number4

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2011, 08:58:23 pm »

Think of it as this:

Lighter armor DOES INCREASE RoF? Can anyone confirm this? If it is true, I finally have a justification to don't equip my bow- and crossbowdorfs with full plate.
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Montague

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2011, 09:05:39 pm »

Lighter armor DOES INCREASE RoF? Can anyone confirm this? If it is true, I finally have a justification to don't equip my bow- and crossbowdorfs with full plate.

No, heavy armor just decreases RoF, the weight of the armor inflicts a penalty to speed, more accurately... the weight of anything in the dwarves inventory effects speed, if you've ever seen a hauler move a lead bin full of platinum blocks, you'd see the extreme of this.

 Dwaves have to be very strong or have a high 'Armor User' skill level to mitigate the speed penalty of heavier armor. Chances are your archers will not be very strong nor will get much armor user skill, since they don't spar. Unless you make the firing range a "danger-room" then you can get them to wear whatever you like with no penalty.

I only get full-time military full plate. The weekend warriors and archers get leather armor with maybe, a chainshirt, helm and gauntlets, depending on my metal supply. if your soldiers are not skilled and don't have good attributes, heavy armor can hurt them more then anything.
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Syrup Roast

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Re: Archer Armor
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2011, 09:55:24 pm »

I prefer the idea of badass dudes in full plate dual-welding crossbows to less badass dudes in leather/chain with crossbows
Better.
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