Archer and Marksman
|• Ranged attack
|• Ranged attack
• Double attack
Heroes with a specialty
- Valeska the Knight has archers as a specialty, which increases the attack and defense skills of any archer or marksman each level she attains after the 2nd level, and gives them a speed bonus of 1.
- Gelu the Ranger can upgrade Archers and Marksmen (also Wood Elves and Grand Elves) into Sharpshooters.
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They are critical in the early game, together with the Griffins, due to them being almost the only Castle ranged attackers, having good damage and also the marksmen's twice shot. However, with each ranged attack in a turn, the Marksmen will use up two shots, not one. Still, getting them damaged should be avoided, due to their hp and defense stats being equal and respectively lower than the level 1 Pikeman and Halberdier.
Attack of 6 is average, Defense of 3 is just bad. Combined with 10 Health they are very vulnerable to just anything that can hit them. Speed of 4-6 is below average, but Marksmen should still be able to act before at least some early game opponents.
Probably best spells to use on Archers are Precision and (Advanced) Bless if they are upgraded to Marksmen. Defensive spells will not be of much use, as they are very fragile to begin with, unless you can protect them from melee attackers with Force Field and enemy has no way of dispelling it or their own ranged troops. Low health and quite good ranged damage makes Marksmen great targets for direct damage spells. Advanced Curse is also very effective.
While Archers are basic ranged troops and not much to speak of, Marksmen are very cost-effective troop upgrade, as they literally deal double the Archers' damage, provided they live to use their double shoot ability and it's not overkill. They don't get any other bonus apart from +2 Speed, however.
In Castle army they provide basic ranged firepower, softening targets up for stronger melee troops to wipe out. In early game Pikemen and Halberdiers are good troops to pair Archers with, as they are quite tough, strong, and can tie a stronger enemy stack long enough for Archers to whittle it down. 1 Archangel can resurrect up to 10 Archers or Marksmen.
Obviously the best secondary skill to combine with Archers is Archery. Another important skill is Tactics as they are incredibly fragile and should be kept away from melee. Leadership can be useful until morale bonus becomes redundant. Valeska specializes in Archers and Orrin's specialty greatly increases their damage.