"The bow remained an important military weapon after the fall of Rome, although less so in areas of Europe covered by dense forests." - Excerpt from the Archer description
Archers and all other non-siege weapon or Artillery ballistic units fall under this category. These units are the most cost-efficient ranged units throughout the Age of Empires series games. Their ranged attacks easily massacre infantry, though their low armor and Hit Points make them vulnerable to fast Infantry, such as Eagle Warriors and Woad Raiders. Another major weakness of archers are cavalry units, which can take out multiple archers, due to their fast speed and high average attack. Archers are also ineffective against siege engines due to their short range, low amount of hit points and the decent pierce armor present on said siege engines.
Archers are one of the four combat forces on land, the other ones being infantry, cavalry and siege weapons. Apart from the Slinger (who is available at the Barracks during the Tool Age), all archers, mounted or foot are trained at the Archery Range.
There are both foot archer and ranged cavalry lines, but mounted unit lines may not be available to all civilizations. Armor upgrades are available at the Storage Pit and range upgrades at the Market, whereas Alchemy and Ballistics are both researched at the Government Center, along with the Nobility technology, which affects (among others) ranged cavalry units.
- Improved Bowman
- Composite Bowman
- Slinger (The Rise of Rome)
- Chariot Archer
- Elephant Archer
- Horse Archer
- Heavy Horse Archer
- Assyrians : +40% Archery Range unit fire rate
- Egyptians: +33% Chariot, Chariot Archer and Scythe Chariot hit points
- Hittites: +1 Archery Range unit damage
- Minoans: +2 Composite Bowman range
- Persians: War Elephant, Armored Elephant, Elephant Archer units 50% faster
- Phoenicians: -25% War Elephant, Armored Elephant and Elephant Archer cost
- Yamato: 25% Horse Archers, Scout, Cavalry, Heavy_Cavalry, and Cataphract cost
Archers and CivilizationsEdit
- The Egyptians, Hittites, Minoans, and the Yamato are the only civilizations to have available all technologies that benefit exclusively archer units, whereas the Persians are the only ones to have all available archer unit available.
- On the other hand, the Greeks, Minoans and Romans lack all ranged cavalry lines.
- Civilizations with prominent archers include the Assyrians, Egyptians, Hittites and Persians. The Minoans also boast the best foot archers, despite lacking all 3 ranged cavalry lines.
- All three civilizations that lack 3 out of 4 Archery Range unit lines are located in Europe. This is partially justified, as neither Greeks nor Romans were renowned for mounted archery traditions.
- About the Minoans on the other hand, it is unknown whether they practised archery on the first place, as most details concerning their warfare are shrouded in mystery.
- Main article: Archer Units (Age of Empires II)
In Age of Empires III, Archers are barely used by European civilizations, being replaced by Gunpowder Units. Few archer-type units exist, and are primarily Native American. They function as light infantry and are effective against heavy infantry. The remaining units available from the Barracks are either firearm-wielding infantry or melee infantry.
- Longbowman (British only)
- Besteiros (Upgraded Crossbowman, Home City Card required and only available to the Portuguese)
- Chu Ko Nu (The Asian Dynasties, Chinese only)
- Keshik (The Asian Dynasties, Chinese only)
- Yumi Archer (The Asian Dynasties, Japanese only)
- Yabusame (The Asian Dynasties, Japanese only)
- Shinobi (The Asian Dynasties, Japanese only)
- Ikko-Ikki (The Asian Dynasties, Japanese only)
- Arrow Knight (The Warchiefs, Aztecs only)
- Cetan Bow (The Warchiefs, Sioux only)
- Bow Rider (The Warchiefs, Sioux only)
- Aenna (The Warchiefs, Iroquois only)
- Main article: Archer Units (Age of Mythology)