this is an open question. really. currently, unless you are ljos or amurite, one does not really have an interest to go to archers. unless you're screwed, without copper nor horses, you "might" want to get some archers to get defense while you turtle and hope for higher-grade units, or try for some iron. DISCLAIMER: Spoiler : So here will come a HUGE wall of text, sorry for the faint of heart, but the others know I'm prone to those. I'm just writing my "ideas" there, in hope I'll be able to play-test it in a personal modmod. However, that one shouldn't come very soon, or maybe even never. I'm not sure I'll have the time to learn, mod and play the mod. It's funnier (for the moment) to try to play the other mods that are updated way more quickly than I can play the games. So as I said, I'm just here to throw my reflexion in the open, mainly in order to not forget it. If you want to use some (which I suppose won't happen), feel free. If you want to comment, please do so !!! I love to have discussions like this. And it would help me do the right thing if ever I mod-mod this. now, why are archers bad : -they are costly -they need a costly building -they have so low attack str. -->-they are hard to level (never attack so few xp) -->they cannot counter attack/repell invaders/pillagers. -they are not so much better in defense than warriors which already get 25%CD. (archers are 5str , 25% city def, warriors are 3str 25%CD, 4+25% with bronze)... and iron warriors beats archers any-time (save on hills). Further in civ, esp in FFH ranged units are somehow wrong as compared with RL. Archers in FFH are strong defender, weak attackers. In RL archers are -strong ambushers, / hit-and runners, strong first attackers, -weak defenders (unless behind walls). -archers are costly to train, but very very powerful if you can afford them, but they won't be the one assaulting walls. so, what is the target? -a unit more interesting. -a unit closer to RL archers -a unit that can get xp -a unit that can help secure you empire -a support unit (ie, strong but cannot take the cities alone) I'll only speak about archer, LB being a stronger archer. 1): what did EitB do ? EDIT : cheaper archer, cheaper archery tech. However Axes are cheaper too so archers are not really improved. 2) what did RifE/MoM do? -ranged attacks -interesting disciplines. issues: -xp gain, -scalability -attack without risk is a bit imbalanced. -stayed with the assumption that ranged are good defenders. 3)My ideas : Spoiler : a) scalable/interesting Spoiler : archer can get bronze weapon Level-up -training yard/archery give passive xp to archers... but bigger amount -potency-like effect for ranged units (or only for defender leaders?) -valor-like effect on each archer -no need: +50% withdraw (or more) gives enough easy xp: either good xp as low odds, or +1 when withdrawing. b)ambusher Spoiler : -can do collateral (to half many units as catapults, with lower efficiency than cats) eg : 3 targets on top of the attacked unit -50% withdrawal (so they don't die at each collateral attack) --> my early collateral - -25%vs cities (for cities you will still need cats or many archers) nice addition : firearrows (enchantII) give +1str, +50%vs cities (total archers get +25% vs cities: flaming arrows are much more dangerous for a city than normal ones)) c) stack defender Spoiler : -increased defensive strike. 2 ways of doing it: -just up the numbers of chance to strike -def strike doesn't "use up" an attack : ie: one unit can DS all inter-turn if not killed AND if it had the chance. d)good once behind fortification: Spoiler : -+50% CD -"defender-like" : fortification bonus is doubled / tripled (ie 10 or 15% per turn until 50-75 instead of 5%per turn until 25%) -walls (and bowyer???) give +1str each to archer units in city for as long as present in city (either 1 turn, or removed after 1move) -forts give +1str to archer in it ? e)balance Spoiler : -reduce archer str to 3/3 or 3/4 or 4/4 depending on the choices above. invert enchant I and enchant II : +1fire str at KotE would go a long way to render archers interesting. and 25% to melee would still be useful as 25%=+1 as soon as you have 4-5str. f)what of blow-pipe / javeliner / darven slinger? Spoiler : -javeliner : more ambushing effect, even less city attack, less defending strength, evne fortified: -slinger, less 'humpf' in defense, but concussive damage, any rock is a weapon. -blowpipe : poison damage, more ambush than defense My Build 1) (untested for balance, normally XML only) Spoiler : Archer a)archer is 3/3 + bronze (as a warrior, less than axe), firearrow give +1str, +50%vs cities. b)collateral (5-10% to 3 additional units), 50% withdrawal, -25%vs cities c)unit can do DS all turn long (unless not-xml friendly) d)+25%CD, +25% hill def, fortification bonus is TRIPLED : +100% when in city : 6str, 8 with bronze (currently, it is 5+50%(25%CD, 25%def)=7.5) less than actual, better with bronze, but it scales less well if further %promotion are gained (hill def, combatI-V…Etc) but I stated that archers are not mainly for defense. e) archer is 3/3 and not 3/5. Spoiler : f): javeliner 4/3 str, 65%withdraw instead of 50%, 1 collateral targets (instead of 3) -50%vs cities instead of -25%, def-strike only once per turn only normal defensive bonus (+5%/turn) slinger -->cheaper. -->blitz -->+15% against melee and mounted. -->no increased fortification -->less collateral : 2unit instead of 3 blowpipe -->-1str, +2/1 poison str, -->otherwise, same stats as javeliner. g) LB : same but stronger : -5/5 str + bronze/iron or 5/6 -same number of collateral but higher damage % -higher def strike chance -higher withdrawal : 65% or so. Balance Well, without playing it nor doing a mod-mod, I think this should be balanced. -Being able to be an early collateral that can be hasted/commandoed makes it a nice alternative for cats, but less so when facing cities. -as a collateral hit-and-runner, it can really help weaken invaders/pillager so a "weak" other unit (archer /warrior) can do the mop-up. -if bowyer/wall/forts give +1str for 1turn (and citadel +2), you can really garrison unit and efficiently protect the surroundings: imagine a 4str unit (3/3 +bronze), buffed to 6 due to walls and bowyer in city… any unit less than 1 turn from it will be crushed: an effective iron-axe…+ can to collateral and has withdrawal rate. However balance can be made here -cost of unit : might have to be decreased or increased depending on use -withdrawal rate might be too strong… however, remember that 50%withdraw might seems huge… but the unit is "only" 3-4str (not counting the fort bonus as that would need more than my xml knowledge). So generally it WILL attack with very low ratings. (and it's more costly than warriors so it won't be able to be as cost-effective as "warrior-pults' without an innate withdrawal). -valor effect might be needed, -invert enchant1/2 ... (same as shadow1/2 can be inverted) -bowyer /citadel gives +1 str, walls/fort give only +1attack (same effect for anti-pillage, but less defensive str My Build 2)here Spoiler : My build 3) for MoM (which has ranged attack mechanics) : here Spoiler : 4) OTHERS 4a)Terkhen build 1): here Spoiler : build 2) : build1) updatedhere Spoiler : 4b)Tasunke build 1) here: Spoiler : or same build but archer 4/5 and no "+25%vs melee" What are your thoughts?