The Archer, the most basic archer unit in Age of Empires II

"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 are ranged units that fire arrows to inflict damage in the Age of Empires series. Their attacks easily decimate infantry, though their low armor and hit points make them vulnerable to fast infantry, such as Eagle Warriors and Woad Raiders, and cavalry units. Archers are ineffective against siege weapons due to their relatively short range, low amount of hit points and the presence of decent pierce armor on such units.

Age of Empires Edit

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.

Civilization bonuses Edit

Archers and civilizations Edit

  • 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 three ranged cavalry lines.

Trivia Edit

  • 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 practiced archery on the first place, as most details concerning their warfare are shrouded in mystery.

Age of Empires II Edit

Main article: Archer units (Age of Empires II)

Age of Mythology Edit

Main article: Archer units (Age of Mythology)

Age of Empires III Edit

In Age of Empires III, only a few archer-type units are used by European civilizations, having been superseded by their gunpowder counterpart. All ranged infantry units that counter heavy infantry and light cavalry with their ranged attacks are considered light infantry. There is no unit in Age of Empires III that has a direct attack bonus against light infantry, but they are still easily countered by artillery and melee cavalry (heavy), and some heavy infantry in melee mode. That is because light infantry units share a similar set of statistic values such as low hit points, low hand attack, and no siege resistance, which makes them vulnerable to melee and siege units. Light infantry units in Age of Empires III are:

Unit Description
Tupi Blackwood Archer
Seminole Sharktooth Bowman
Carib Blowgunner
Inca Bolas Warrior

The WarChiefs Edit

In the first expansion the definition of light infantry changes drastically. In The WarChiefs, light infantry units are infantry units that have 6 speed and more (exception the Rodelero). All units formerly tagged as light infantry are no longer considered as such. Technically, units like the Crossbowman are only defined as ranged infantry or long-range infantry. The only unit type that makes former light infantry units different from units such as Musketeers or Highlanders is the heavy infantry tag they do not own.

Some new long-range units in this expansion do not have a bow or crossbow as a range weapon, but they are still considered as archers as long as they do not use gunpowder weapons. The exception is the Tomahawk which, despite using axes, is considered a gunpowder infantry, as he was made to the replacement for the Musketeer for the Iroquois.

New archers of this expansion are:

Unit Description Civilization
Slinger. Good against heavy infantry.
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Arrow knight
Arrow Knight
Long-ranged noble that fires flaming arrows. Good against artillery and buildings.
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Eagle runner knight
Eagle Runner Knight
Nobleman that flings javelins from an atlatl. Good against cavalry and Coyote Runners.
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Bowman. Good against infantry.

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Cetan bow
Cetan Bow
Foot archer. Good against infantry.

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Bow rider
Bow Rider
Ranged raiding cavalry. Good against cavalry.

Flag sioux large normal

The Asian Dynasties Edit

In this expansion more tags were added to the game info, but the archer tag does not appears as such. Now, the tag 'unit with gunpowder weapon' is used to differentiate archer units from gunpowder units. If a long-range unit does not have this tag, it is considering as an 'archer'.

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