Specifically 13th century pre-cannon era medieval armies. Like you might see a few cannons around but they're largely not normal and considered very new/dangerous. The primary kingdom does not possess any.

A rival kingdom with inferior numbers possesses magical archers that can fire arrows over 2 kilometers away. With the exception of range- the arrows function as normal arrows.

For example, if the max range for a normal archer was 200 meters and could go into a human body, these magical archers can have the same result at 2 kilometers. If the normal archer can hit a bullseye at 100 meters, the magical ones can do so at 1 kilometer due to the magical nature of the bows allowing them to see 2 kilometers away just as easily as a normal archer could see 200 meters away.

The arrows will always survive the flight- no breaking from being fired so hard etc. They also correspondingly would be stronger the closer you made it towards the archer- though when they strike something after being fired they're no more durable than a normal arrow. Said archers create arrows without effort every time they draw back their bowstring- though firing the bow takes as much effort, again, as their normal counterpart when related to range.

If an army of say 5,000 with appropriate amounts of every troop type were to attempt to cross through a pass guarded by 4 of these magical archers, 2 on either side, what strategies could they use to hopefully pass with the least damage to their numbers/VIP soldiers?

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry if this one is too broad or something, I get the sense I let the site down if I don't ask a question for a few months. $\endgroup$ – Friendlysociopath Sep 20 '17 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ Questions asking "How would group x react to y?" are often too broad for this site. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Sep 20 '17 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ Would, "Could group X deal with Y" be more specific? $\endgroup$ – Friendlysociopath Sep 20 '17 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ That's "How would group x react to y?" $\endgroup$ – sphennings Sep 20 '17 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ This is impossible to answer because how a strategy can be applied is very much depending on a lot of factors; one of them is location. How long is the pass? How the archers are positioned? 2-2? 1-1-1-1? How far they are from each other? $\endgroup$ – Vylix Sep 21 '17 at 14:19

The only answers I can see to this involve either hordes of cavalry if they can get at these super archers or "sentry removal" specialists. Cavalry can cover the killing ground fast and come to "handstrokes" which is not an archer's forte. With sentry removal specialists it's a matter of you can't shoot people you don't see until they wrap garrotes around your necks.

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I do not think these 4 would be a big deal. Essentially they are snipers. Very pathetic snipers; they could not aim because they do not have scopes and people cannot see 2 kilometers. They would be shooting arrows at what they thought were masses of people. Sort of like mortars, except the arrows do not blow up.

A lot of counter-sniper tactics seem like common sense to me, though maybe not to a medieval. For example:

When the trajectory of the bullet can be sensed, backtracking can be done to calculate the sniper's location.

Calculating position would be a lot easier with an arrow than with a bullet, especially an arrow that was very likely to stick in the ground since the archer could not see what he was "aiming" at. One arrow like this plunking into camp and people would put helmets on and charge off in the direction it came from; the archers had better have a horse handy and be ready to run.

People who knew about possible mystery arrows flying into camp would actually keep their helmets on. My read is that the arrows at Agincourt were mostly bad because there were a lot of them and the horses did not have armor.

This scene from Game of Thrones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlw4EJE5yAs&feature=youtu.be&t=32 is instructive about how to approach an archer. I think if I tried it I might want a bigger shield and approach at a run, but I am less badassed than Jon Snow. A bunch of guys with armor and shields who knew the general area of these archers would be hard for 4 superarchers to do much with. A bunch of guys with armor and shields and a handful of regular archers would be the end of these 4.

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