Please register for Total War Access to use the forums. If you're an existing user, your forum details will be merged with Total War Access if you register with the same email or username. For more information please read our FAQ’s here.

Crossbows or composite bows?

ShaunTheMadShaunTheMad Junior MemberPosts: 9Registered Users
So I put down a little bit of money to get some gold and assemble my dream team army. Last unit on the list an an Elite ranged unit. I'm trying to decide between composite bows and crossbowmen. The crossbow seem better, but I'm not clear on thier firing restrictions. It also says the composite bows fire faster, but how much faster.

Has anyone plated around with these units?


  • VRODVROD Posts: 54Registered Users, Banned Users
    edited March 20
    Composites have medium piercing arrows that are good against lightly armored units. They fire faster which makes them great when hitting a soft target but have a shorter range compared to Longbows and Viking archers. Flurry makes this unit dangerous when used on soft armored units.

    Crossbows on the other hand have heavy piercing arrows that can be used against heavily armored units. They can only fire forward and to their sides but can fire through a friendly unit infront of them. They are a great unit if used properly plus they can use Sheild Wall to protect them if necessary.

    It's hard to say which is better than the other because it all depends on your setup, units used and your strategies.

    If you give me an idea of how you want to approach battles then I can give you a better opinion. But both are good just very different.

    I personally like the crossbows over composites because it fits in with my setup and most of my strategies. BUT, I have been playing this game for awhile now and have a good understanding of how to use them effectively. It may take some time to learn.

    Hope this info helps.

  • VRODVROD Posts: 54Registered Users, Banned Users
    Looks like the composites take around 5 seconds to shoot compared to the 8 seconds for the longbow on their second shot. And around 15 seconds for the crossbow to reload and shoot.
  • HybridHybrid Junior Member Posts: 651Registered Users
    To clarify on the crossbow firing restriction... they can fire at the following:

    1. Over the heads of a friendly unit not fighting. This means they get a "freebie" volley at the start of a battle, and if you put them in the back row they may fire over the guys waiting in the 2nd row.

    2. Into the melee directly in front of them. (Better break out those skills that make invincible or protect against friendly fire.)

    3. If they are in the "melee row" and not currently fighting, they may fire into a melee one space adjacent, or over the heads of a friendly unit not fighting.

    They may not, under any circumstances, fire diagonally or over the heads of a friendly unit currently fighting.

    Hot tip -- crossbows are quick on the draw, but have an extremely long reload. But this reload time is bypassed if you have them move or cancel firing.

    Crossbows are extremely good versus the AI, and can be good against other players. I disliked composite bows because they're only good against soft targets, but I've seen them used to good effect when dueling other players who used them.
  • ShaunTheMadShaunTheMad Junior Member Posts: 9Registered Users
    Okay all good to know, though I'm still having trouble deciding. Right now I have to longbows in the back and a highly offensive frount line with two Viking swordsmen and knightly cav with Invictus and shield wall, and re-enforce to help them last.

    I was thinking of putting the crossbowmen in the center to serve as a range/Melee duel role thought I'm not sure how many shots they whould get off. The composite bow whould be to replace one of my longbows, so the limited range concerns me.
  • HybridHybrid Junior Member Posts: 651Registered Users
    The crossbows and composites are good at what they do, but specialized. Crossbows need to be in the right spot for best effect, and have friendly fire safeguards. The composites will pulverize soft targets once they get in range, but that's the only thing they can do.

    The strength of longbows is their versatility. They're long range and have decent effect against all targets. Back when I was playing, I played with 2 longbows, 1 javelin. Crossbows and composites are not a requirement for success.
  • ShaunTheMadShaunTheMad Junior Member Posts: 9Registered Users
    So I did end up going with the Crossbowmen. The composites definitely have a lot of damage output but thier limited range makes them tough to fit into my current lineup. I've been putting the crossbowmen in the center right behind my knights. Using shield wall, then Invictus, then persision shot to insure there is no friendly fire and my frount line holds. It's been working great so far in duels and against the AI. Thanks for all the tips.
Sign In or Register to comment.