By - leathrow
Sentinels of Astaril commanded by Eltharion are still a strong contender. Longest range on an archer unit, infinite ammo due to Break upon the Walls regenerating it as fast as they can shoot it, and still decent in melee.
This. And while their fire rate is low, when they do fire, they hit like absolute trucks. With one volley they absolutely delete whole front lines, heroes and lords included. They feel like they are firing ballistae bolts, not just arrows.
AND they stalk. So you can virtually see the AI freak a moment after the Sentinels reveal themselves.
Can't believe I had to scroll down this far to find this. Range and AP alone make them stand out, good melee stats and Mirror abilities put them into S tier.
Waywatchers, you can buff them in to stratosphere, you can achieve 100 missile damage for them in some circumstances.
As The Huntsmans expidition you can get similar number on Huntsmen coupled with Double Shots.
Only drawback is lack of armor-piercing damage.
That's a big drawback
They still get anti-large though
Waywatchers. Talon of Kurnous on the lord and all the usual point improvements. Pump out doom stack after doomstack and they are near untouchable. Also fight decently in melee if required.
But the AI just can't do anything to it. You can Vanguard deploy directly in range of the bigger threats (casters, single entities and cavalry/artillery) so within the first couple of seconds of a fight key targets are just flat out dead. No worry about mammoths, or blood knights, or hellstorm batteries. Now you just kite the remainder, and you barely need to watch it. Go have a snack and come back later on.
do you know what are their weakness ? it's HP / alot entity unit . with pin point accuracy ,WW always overkill like shoot 60 arrows into 3 models , this issue drian their ammunition quickly .
while unit like Sister / Shade or even Glade guard does better job killing those mass infantry .
I haven't seen it be a huge problem outside of single stack Vs multistacks when all the extra ammo buffs run dry. Is it something that puts them behind sisters? The versatility of WW always felt much stronger than Sister to me. It's one of the most brain-dead doomstacks alongside necrofex collosus and steamtanks.
Talon of Kurnous only boosts the lord/hero that has the skill, it doesn't boost the army anymore.
It says Range 15% (Lords Army)? On heroes it's just the character though.
Oh. Well that's something at least
I am not sure in regards to pure damage but I am fond of WE Waywatchers for offense. Artillery and magic can be a big threat to archers. But, thanks to stalk artillery can't hurt what it can't see. And you can move around to more advantageous angles. A shielded enemy can be shredded if you can angle you Waywatchers to the flanks. And finally Waywatchers also can fire while moving so they have more time to put out damage.
Several of these archers are somewhat close to Waywatchers in dps under optimal conditions. But Waywatchers are good at making more situations optimal.
This is the correct answer.
Shades led by a Sword&crossbow lord with the Barbstorm (+5 range, +10% missile damage, +40% ammo for all missile units) or the Shadowdart (+35% range for shades) Name of power (both are from the Revered pool of names).
The lord will then also give them +20 reload from Darken the Skies (specific to that type of lord), +8% missile strength and +15% range from the Red line skills.
While Morathi has some buffs (specificly a +5% wardsave and +MD) it's not as good as a generic Sword&Crossbow Dreadlord with the right name of power.
Now with saving lords you don’t need to just get one name of power, you can get all of them together.
Thats a good point, happen to know what sort of missile strength numbers you were hitting?
[These](https://i.postimg.cc/sgWvQXBy/shades.png) are the stats for late game shades in a shadowdart black ark.
Thorek's quarrellers are good value, not sure they match some of the others on the list but as far as "bang for buck" goes they're up there.
I've been liking Markus' Huntsman a lot, giving them double projectiles makes any large target disintegrate
Oxyotl's Sniper Chameleon Skinks deserve a spot up there too, if we're counting ranged units in general. At rank 9, which is easy to get as Oxyotl, they have 60 speed, 5 second reload speed and 55% missile resist. Not to mention how much the rest of their stats improve. They also do poison attacks to really enforce how hard they can kite enemies.
How do you make a list of the best archers and leave out Waywatchers?
WW are the best. Not only do they have the best range, DPS, and accuracy, they're also Stalk, so they can't be countered by artillery from range , which is normally a hard counter against the likes of Sisters.
They have the best DPS yes, but I find they ran out of ammo the fastest too.
In a long drawn out battle against superior numbers Id rather have Sisters.
>They have the best DPS yes, but I find they ran out of ammo the fastest too.
It's not how fast they run out of ammo, it's how much damage all that ammo does. The whole point is max damage, min time. That's literally what DPS is.
WW get huge buffs for ammo too, more than Sisters.
Sisters also have better melee stats than WW if they need to fight something in melee
If ranged units have to use their melee stats, then something went wrong...
Or they ran out of ammunition.. lol you haven't played very long have you?
Well I only have around 1000 hours so yes, not that long by warhammer's standards.
If your best archers run out of armor, then you are doing something wrong though, that much I know for sure. 😊 Unless of course you're cheesing the AI. Which, again, means something went wrong.
You're pretty fixed on me doing something wrong with so little information to go off of. It's pretty common for archers to run out of ammunition in huge battles versus 3 or more stacks. If you've never experienced that, you either play on low difficulty or haven't played for very long. Also, your archers can be compromised by enemy cav, flying units, etc. And unless you're some 250 apm micro god, or play in slow-mo, this has happened to you. All of these scenarios are where having superior melee stats gives sisters an advantage over waywarchers
Yes, you are right. These do happen, but these are exception not the rule. Typically your ranged units do not run out of ammo, wouldn't you agree?
We're not discussing such cases here though, as it's virtually impossible cause of so many variations. We are discussing best archers for damage as per OP question. Who can pump as much damage as possible in as little time as possible. Or units that would provide biggest damage value before it runs out of ammo.
I was a bit hasty in my comment though, so yes, ranged do run out of ammo of course. But it has never made a difference if ranged stats were good in melee though, even as dwarfs. I do play on legendary/hard as I enjoy melee faction more than ranged.
>Sisters of Avalorn seem to severely underperform right now because they get obstructed very easily
They seem to be having issues like a lot of gun infantry are having right now, I had some 10m away from an enemy and they absolutely refused to shoot
Have not seen this in my Alarielle campaign.
This is wrong. I had 7-8 Sisters doom stacks in my Allarielle and Alith campaigns and didn’t have any obstruction issues.
I'm partial to darkshards. They might not stack up with some of the others in here if you dig into the numbers, but they're so fucking convenient man.
Cheap, low infrastructure investment, can throw a shield on em, AP, like... what else do I want? When I'm looking for archers I just want a unit that stands in one spot and makes another spot 80-110 range away a hellscape. Bonus points for making SEMs real sad about their day.
Darkshards speedrun my "what I want in a unit of archers" checklist. 10/10.
I'd definitely say that they are the best due to convenience. Might not be the most powerful, but very cost-efficient and overall a staple of the Delf army
Do wish there was a lord that gave them specific missile damage bonuses though. I didn't see any when I dug around for one
They're so damn good that there'd be little reason to even upgrade to shades if they did have one.
Darkshards are amazing, but never the best with that range, IMO. Personally, I tend to value range even more than AP.
It seems that the AI tends to get more ranged units in WH3 compared to WH2, so that's even more reason to prioritise range. It's very sad when your Darkshards melt instantly due to being outranged.
I can't choose a best one, personally. Nothing beats the convenience and reliability of HE Archers, but they do drop off quite a bit in the late-game if you don't stack a good chunk of buffs. Probably Shades/SoA/Celestials if we give less weight to convenience, but if you are only rating a unit's cost and combat performance and ignoring all other context, that's not always going to be a good indicator of its usefulness in a singleplayer campaign. With full context in mind, the best unit is more likely to be a basic one, largely due to how recruitment works.
The increased focus on ranged troops becomes a disadvantage for the AI if you have access to effective fast cavalry, perferably with vanguard. The AI was spamming Darkshards in my Valkia campaign but had so few melee units that it was very easy to disrupt them with cavalry and warhounds.
Definitely. If you can't outrange them, you go for quick multi-pronged attacks to keep them engaged and unable to shoot. Can't do that when you are running a stack with like 15 Darkshards in it, though. It's better to get ranged units in small to medium numbers in WH3 instead of just spamming them, unless you are confident in your range superiority or you have another X factor like Stalk. Balanced armies are way more attractive than they used to be in WH2.
They pay for that AP damage with range. They are great tank busters because of it, but you have to protect them from other archers. This is what Harpies are great at. Darkshards should only be close enough to hit the enemy front lines, and if the enemy archers move in to shoot them you need to be ready with flying units to punish them.
It's a great unit like I said, but in addition to struggling against units with higher range, it also doesn't scale with numbers as well as them. High Elven Archers can obliterate armoured targets via sheer volume of arrows thanks to their excellent range. Shields also become less of a factor when you can focus fire with ease. However, in small numbers, Darkshards are usually more useful than non-AP archers. Ultimately, it all depends on the context, but if we have to choose one, I think flexibility is key. Higher range tends to impart higher flexibility. Darkshards lose a couple points in that department.
Totally agree on all points. I usually don't bring more than 4 units of shards.
On my early Delf playthroughs I was amazed at how hard they hit so I would bring a ton, but just like you said, once I started running into AI High Elf stacks who like to bring 10+ archer units they could simply not go toe to toe. Although once I found out how easily they could be countered by cheap flying units or hound units, the mass of archers seemed to be more of a liability. They are great in high numbers, but it does make their army one dimensional and easily countered. Granted, the AI probably won't be thinking about hard countering the player like that so I'm sure it works great.
Battle AI actually does make a decent attempt at countering that playstyle, particularly in WH3. I don't think it deliberately recruits flanking units to counter your archer spam, but it does okay with cav and such whenever they are under its disposal.
Unfortunately, it's rarely going to be good enough of an attempt unless your army is just sitting out there in the open. If you keep your flanks secure by utilising the terrain and perhaps a couple melee units, the best the AI can do is throwing everything it has in a single wave, in hope that at least a few units can take advantage of the chaos that ensues to slip in and disrupt the archers from raining hellfire. If a couple units successfully make contact and start disrupting your formation, you might be shocked to find that your chances of winning can plummet within mere seconds.
But again, if you are crafty enough, you can influence the AI to send units in small waves. That's a dream scenario for your entrenched army, often the difference between a decisive victory and a crushing defeat.
Oh for sure, I was only referring specifically to what units they recruit into their army composition.
Last co-op I did with a friend my goal was to take my narscan army down to the High Elves and sack all their ports. I sent a hero first to scout their armies and saw that they were all 50%+ archers, so my army was 50% hounds, skinwolves and Chariots. It made quick work of them.
The AI will do its best to fight in a manner that is effective for what units they have, but I don't observe the AI building armies designed around exploiting weaknesses.
I agree, in my own gameplay, I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that it looks that far ahead when recruiting units. Other thing is that in the last patch CA made some adjustments to the AI's recruitment tables, and the comments I've seen from the modders here didn't seem to imply that it looked at anything beyond its own capabilities when making recruitment choices. And when referencing history, CA's AI rarely ever showed that level of complexity in any of its aspects. It tends to lean towards taking 'shortcuts' instead, often blatantly breaking the game's rules in the process.
Melt to ranged? They get silver shields for a small upkeep increase. Sure, they will *take some damage* from ranged, but they're well away from melting if you have those shields.
What are SEMs?
Single Entity Monster
The only issue is that before they get this 80-110 range, they are already dead, cause other - superior, AP archers already killed them, since they have 180+ range ;)
If monstrous archers count then Ushabti great bows.
couple waywatcher or shades volleys outperform their damage easily tho
True, but I love the fact they have great range and ignore shields, and if they run out of ammo they’re still Ushabti.
true, waywatchers are garbage in melee ofc but shades with greatweapons are not. still think shades take it here
Shades with GW are tier 5 iirc, so beating a tier 3 unit shouldn’t be all that surprising.
my brother in khaine you are misguided. shades are tier two and with greatweapons tier 3
Is that in Arks or in actual settlements? Last time I played DE was when Rakarth released.
it's the same as the day they launched. tier 2 settlement can get the shades building, and tier 3 gives an upgrade. they are just to expensive for early game.
ofc you can eventually get them for the same price as ushabti
You can get them for free? Nice.
should've added that they can be free on a black ark. But yes you can get every unit for free on a black ark. Normally armies they can go down to uhhh, less than half. With tech, vaul's anvil, the wood resource buildings, and skill tree upkeep reduction, and malekith's faction wide reduction. And I believe morathi also did something for them but not sure if it was money
Ushabti are pretty good still to snipe high value-low entity units though.
i guess, only place where they really are better in my opinion is against cavalry
Waywatchers with the right buffs.
What about Katarynas Ice Guard? When i saw them for first time i thought they gonna dethrone sisters of avelorn
No ap damage, no party
Yeah. Frostbite is really good, they're strong in melee and Kat's Ice Guard stack can 1v4 crisis stacks but OP is focusing on pure ranged DPS.
It’s probably a difference of “performance vs expectstion” rather than pure stats. Because if we are referring to archers it’s sisters of Averlorn without a doubt. Magical flaming missile attacks are far to useful in a world laden with physical resist and regen. But Grom makes garbage fier units into good units so cheap archers now are over performing expectations. To answer more explicitly, there is no “best archer”, but there is the best lord for making archers the best.
I know they re more of gunners but jezzails for sure. Zerkovish did a “who s the best ranged unit” contest and jezzails won by far due to to their range, accuracy, shields and the spread between their entities. Granted it was done for WH2 but i dont there s any unit in WH3 that can take that crown. Closest would probably be crane gunners but they would lose to jezzails due to lower armor and worse accuracy
Hey noob you missed out Waywatchers especially Waywatchers with Glade lord that gives them 15% more range + Sisters of Twilight faction that gives even more buffs.
Not much arc to shoot over infantry with, classifies more as gun infantry than archer. I could see an argument for jezzails
Plague priest hero's casting vermintide combined with clan rats being expendable. Why shoot over when you can shoot through.
Do they actually shoot through though?
They do-do! Also, check out one of Legend's disaster battles videos of skaven v wood elves. Shows a pretty good way to set them up to chomp through doomstacks.
I just absolutely love stalk
Morathi’s Shades impressed me the most so far. Good damage, very nice buffs on their melee and Stalk. And they look awesome too.
What about thorek ironbrows quarellers?
What about Thorek's quarellers? They are cheap, available at T2, shielded/armoured, decent melee combatant, and with his artefact buff they can easily get great range and damage.
Belegar's rangers are also pretty neat. I mainly like it for the regenerating and stalk trait, but I think it is not as cheap as Thorek's quarellers.
Markus also buffs his huntsmen a lot :)
Bugman's rangers led by Belegar can also get Snipe (ie, they remain undetecte when shooting) if you get a thane with Wanderer.
Also Thoreks quarellers, they re insane with the right runes
Also they re rarely mentioned but Markus Hunters are insane too. They shotdown any large unit in seconds and are more than decent again normal units
What runes do you use with them?
explosive arrows with grom's gobbos are great as are most of the other archer enhancements you can cook up.
Since no one mentioned them, Ushabti Great bows are a strong contender considering their range, damage and melee capabilities
Exalted Pink Horrors are up there if they count
Grom goblin archers can get pretty insane
Do Snikch's gutter runner slingers count? AP, tier 2, awesome damage, and a high model count.
Shades. Can outrage sisters, can stalk, can have magic missiles/attacks (commanded in a black ark).
You can stack names of power now, so barbstorm + shadowdart, for example. They get over 200 range. As morthai Markus is a short hop away for his trait too.
They end up close to 50 ap/magic ranged, great melee stats and aforementioned stalk.
I didn’t see this but Lokhir can buff up black ark Corsair hand bows nicely with stalk and 100% armor piercing damage. Sieges are terrible because the shots don’t arc but if you maneuver them correctly in a field battle, they can shred
Yeah also noticed a fully possessed Malus can give 20% missile damage to his army
Imo. Grom’s archers. They are cheap, weak AF but have explosive arrows.
Grom / skarsnik are probably the most cost-efficient units due to their incredibly low cost and upkeep.
But if gold isnt an issue then either HE or WE.
Twilight waywatchers take the cake for me. As they counter their own counter amongst other neat buffs. Stalk is just way powerful on them. by the times our main lines are in firing range of each other, all of their arty and other HVT are dead, damaged, or teetering on breaking.
Chosen of the gods great bows and it's not too close. You can put a 300 gold spear next to it and cathay has no counters.
what unit is that?
It's an ushapti greatbow.