This is a guide for Tiger Knight: Empire War, made for those of you that would like to focus on playing as archers for your main general character, or for your soldier squad.
Basics Of Archery
First we need to cover a few basics about playing archers. When you play as an archer you can’t JUST be an archer, it’ll require you to get into melee combat as well, and that makes archers complicated. If you are a beginner, don’t expect to super snipe your enemies for easy long range kills. The accuracy for the bows from levels 1-4 is horrible, the damage is low, and the arrow travel speed is very slow.
Arrows always shoot slightly left center, this is why the accuracy sucks so bad. If you shoot rapidly the arrows will either fall short and lose velocity or will land anywhere inside the crosshair area. If you want your arrows to actually land where you want them to go, you have to compensate by aiming to the right just a bit, almost as if you are aiming at the enemy’s shoulder.
Rapid shots have sloppy accuracy, hold the arrow for a second before letting it go so that the crosshair will shrink and your accuracy will increase. Refer to the example pictures for a good place to aim your bow.
Furthermore, even if you master the accuracy you will have to try to hit moving targets that never stay still, while 50 enemy soldiers are also charging you. If you don’t get a perfect headshot, expect to fill your target with at least 5 to 6 arrows before you can get a kill. If you want to be successful as an archer, especially a low level one, you’ll need to follow a few basic tactics to stay alive and be effective on the battlefield.
Choosing Your Gear
Tiger Knight’s soldier tree is rather generous and allows you to choose between a longbow and a short bow pretty early on, and the training tutorial missions also allows you to test out the two different bows so that you can determine which style you prefer better. Bows don’t have combo attacks, but they do utilize charge attacks.
Short bows: The short bow has short range so it does well in close combat, the damage is lower, and the accuracy is dreadful — however, it is predictable and with a little bit of practice you can master where and how to shoot your arrows. Due to the short range you will need to be relatively close to the action to get good shots. The benefits of the short bow however is its speed. Not only will you nock arrows faster so that you can loose them upon your foes, but the charge attack shoots off a rapid fire barrage of about three arrows in quick succession. If your arm is steady and your aim is true, you can get three arrow headshots for a total of about 60-80 damage, which can really deal out massive damage to several foes at once from a skilled archer.
Longbow: The longbow has very long range so it is better to use at long range, close range combat is difficult to get clean hits in. The longbow also has high damage and superb accuracy (especially at higher levels). However, it shoots very slow because the draw weight is a lot higher, so it takes a bit of time to aim and loose your arrows. The charge attack is very deadly because it shoots off a high damage arrow that can pierce its target, and by pierce, I literally mean that it goes all the way through. I was once able to get a double kill headshot because the arrow went through one general’s head and hit the second.
Double quivers: This is optional. I ranked S within the first few tries of the archery training the first day I played (I was horrible with horseback melee though), as a result, I went full archer build and skipped on using a horse altogether. You will run out of arrows quickly during combat, so a second quiver will give you wiggle room for extra shots. That leaves you with one slot left for a melee weapon.
Fire is your friend:
As for other gear, fire arrows are your best friend. A recent update from Tiger Knight: Empire War moved the fire arrows out of the cash shop gold currency and made it a normal copper currency, so I carry between 60-120 fire arrows. You can get a lot free from the daily missions and by playing the Epic War mode as rewards. Fire Arrows deal out damage over time, so even though the short bow does little damage, shooting consecutive fire arrows into your foe can do massive damage. Equip them in one of your item slots from the storage menu to use them in battle. I almost always use fire arrows against enemy players.
As for armor, it depends on if you want speed or protection. I prefer speed. As long as I stay back and out of harm’s way I am automatically safe, so being able to get to the field and away is more beneficial for me. I personally wear cloth armor because there is nothing worse than a horse charging you and the general has a club, smacks you in the head and sends you tumbling across the field (this can literally happen). Cloth armor will protect you from blunt damage. A speed cloth build however will allow you to actually sidestep incoming arrows (and sometimes horses), so it is up to you if you think it is better.
However, your main foes will probably be spear cavalry and rival archers, so I highly recommend metal armor to combat their piercing weapons.
Choosing Melee Weapons:
As for weapons, you have four slots to utilize, so that gives you quite a few options.
Speed Dagger: The dagger/ Bronze short sword has a really easy three hit combo you can activate, and if you combine this with light cloth armor you will have a high sidestep and turn rate. Get to your opponent’s back and combo them to death for an easy kill. If you are any good with your bow their life should already be low by the time they get close to you. The downside is that the dagger has low damage and a very short range. Most of the time though, the light armor and weapons makes it easy to just turn tail and run for the hills!
Shields: Sometimes I equip a shield as well to make up for my squishy armor and to make blocking easier, if you do this, take off the second quiver. I prefer a large shield to cover my body and legs because rival archers will target you and it will raise your chances of blocking all incoming arrows. Besides, if you get into melee combat it’ll help with that as well. The starting wooden shield isn’t that bad due to its large size, but it will break easily.
Spear: The spear gives you range and high damage, this is great to keep your enemies back and away from you. With most spears you can also equipped a shield with it. If you are getting into close combat a lot, heavy armor is also a good choice to go with it. But, it is quite slow and clunky, so if you need to retreat it will be difficult.
Pike: As I said above, horses will be your main problem since they can close the distance so fast, so a pike is a good weapon, but you can’t use a horse or shield with the pike. If you press X you will hold the weapon out to impale rushing soldiers. Holding your pike out may seem like low damage, but the damage multiplies based on speed, so if the horse is running fast it will do more damage. A well placed charge attack towards a charging horse can sometimes kill them instantly. Alternatively, make friends with a pikeman and team up! Both the spear and pike can be unlocked pretty fast from the low level Wei line.
If you get a pike, one tactic you could do is have a spear for your main weapon, pike for your second, and your bow and arrow for the third and fourth slots.
Horses: If you choose to use a horse yourself, be aware that running on foot and on horseback will decrease your accuracy. The faster you move, the lower your accuracy will be. So either spend a lot of time in training shooting from horseback (which they have a specific course for), or stay on foot and take your time with each shot while standing still. While on a horse, you also won’t be able to shoot behind your left shoulder, so you will have to adjust your body and aim to get a clean shot.
You can get more arrows by taking over the bases with the feather wing icon above them. Capture the base and click the flag and it will slowly recharge your arrow supply.
Tactics And Engaging In Combat
Try not to solo enemy generals on your own, you’ll just die. Try to play like a tactical shooter game. Let your allies engage the enemy, sneak up and then engage from the side to flank the enemy with arrows; if you can also gain higher ground, even better. If the enemy notices you, run back and get help from your allies. Don’t be afraid to tell your archers to stand and guard and leave them behind to cover your retreat. Give them the melee command to make the enemy think you will stand your ground. Remember, they are expendable and can be replaced back at base, but if you die, you stay dead.
If you choose to main as an archer, you can also try using Wei pikeman soldiers to protect you while you stay back. This will allow you to have a bow and double quiver build and let them deal with the melee combat.
After level 3 your archer soldiers will gain the ability to place down a smog bomb. This is good and bad. It is good because it drains a small amount of life over time, but it is bad because it can affect both you and your team and will obscure your vision; as an archer, that sucks for you. I only use it if my opponent is charging me and I have no room to retreat, or as a desperation measure to blind them then attempt to back up and run away.
Aim For the Horse!
Enemy cavalry is your main enemy, they move so fast it will be hard to get a clear hit in with your slow arrows. Study their movement pattern, lead the target and aim in front of them, then fill their darn horse with arrows! The horse is way bigger than the soldier, so it makes for an easier target. Take away their speed and you are left with a normal foot soldier. Besides, when the horse dies and the general hits the ground you will now have about 2 seconds to fill him with as many arrows as you can, or charge him before he can get on his feet and unleash a deadly melee combo on him!
Adjutant Of Choice
Personally, I think that Cai Mao is a decent Adjutant for archery because he gives you two new formations that you can use that are good for archer squads, and he also has a Dispatch command so you can tell your troops to run to a specific location without you. The Wing style formation where your soldiers divide into two groups is great for cavalry because if they choose to charge into one group, you still have a second group to shoot arrows into their back.
The F5 key will allow you to activate Archer vollies. When activated this will trigger a zoomed out tactical view of the stage and will show blue circles where the arrow’s will impact most. Let those circles gather and cluster together for maximum accuracy. If the circles turn red, it means something is blocking your line of sight or something is in the way (such as the roof or a canopy from a building), so you will need to change positions a bit to get a clear shot. If you see red numbers pop up it means you hit your enemy, grey numbers are your allies… yeah, if you aren’t careful you can team kill.
There doesn’t seem to be a real range limit for Volley, so if you have a clear line of sight and you know where the enemy is, most of the time you can launch a volley from one end of the stage to the next. I don’t rely on vollies because they often times miss, and if you play an entire game using only vollies your kill count can sometimes be as low as single digits. But if used right, it can be a devastating attack to wipe out dozens of enemies at once.
The flooded city stage is an archer’s worse nightmare since there are so many rooftops to block your arrows. If you can’t make good use of the vollies and you notice you’re missing a lot or doing low damage, sometimes it is better to move closer to the action and help your soldiers and team to personally get kills. Last but not least, remember to hold down shift to zoom in for more accurate shots. Trust me, it helps a lot!
That’s about everything you need to know about playing an archer. If you have further advice or tactics, share it down below in the comments.