"One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one hath arrow and bow; otherwise one prateth and quarrelleth."
— Friedrich Nietzsche
Light infantry unit with medium-powered range, able to take out slow-moving targets but must be protected from cavalry and light infantry.
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Strong versus heavy infantry.
Archers are the main ranged units of your army. Adept with a bow, these men rain down arrows on your foes, making them useful in picking off slow-moving melee units or targets with little or no HP left. Archers however have one weakness: cavalry. As it is hard to hit moving targets accurately with a bow, cavalry are the bane of Archers (although there are some factions with archers able to face them on) and as such, you should escort them with heavy infantry at all times. Equally dangerous are the Militia — these units, trusting in their shields and swords alone and disdaining most body armour, are more than a match for archers. Heavy infantry such as Foot Saburai, although easily taken down by archers in one-on-one combat, can easily overpower archers in huge numbers once they close in.
Some factions, however, do not train archers as normal, but instead host a variety of specialised bowmen who use the same weapon, but in different ways. Factions bordering the eastern fringes of Europe may discover they have access to Caucasus Huntsmen, whether through proximity or by migration. Others such as the Welsh, Moors and Papal States however have access to various archery styles, with some placing emphasis on lone wolf action, and others enhanced infantry support. All told, however, the rules still remain the same: archers function best when they are attacking and are not being attacked themselves, thus they should be either well-supported or well-protected at all times.
- Rush Crush — Massed infantry can easily overwhelm archers. Bring your own heavy infantry as a "moving wall" to protect them.
- Sniper — The Welsh do not train archers, but instead have a rather interesting unit, called the helwyr. The helwyr as a whole is a scout unit, with a highly accurate long-ranged missile attack. While Welsh helwr can hide in forests if things get too hot, its less reputable cousin, the brigand, has halved hitpoints, but trains much faster, making it a superb mercenary unit for those capable of getting it.
- Caucasus Huntsmen — Russia, Poland, Hungary and the Turks recruit toughened Caucasus Huntsmen which are tougher but slower than normal Archers.
- Zanji Bowmen — The Arabs of Andalus raise Zanji Bowmen which are are extremely fragile: they have lower hitpoints than normal archers, but are very fast on foot, and are also suited to operations in high-attrition areas, making them perfect for border raiding.
- Vaccari — In central Italy, it is an open secret that the Papacy and the supporting Italian nobility have access to marksmen, hired killers who while are slower and of weaker constitution, are far more deadly because of the strength of their srchery and their ability to slip into cities unseen.
Archers have 3 different appearances, dependent on which civilisation you are playing:
Humans have practiced archery since very early times, and attested to in the Bible's with the mention of bows and arrows used by Isaac hunt some game for his brother Esau.
Early bows were simple "self bows" (made from a single stave of wood), with arrows having stone or bone arrowheads. It was an important part of warfare until the 15th century when its importance started to decline due to gunpowder weapons. By the late 18th century, it was making a comeback yet again - as a sport.