Tips for Archers
Archers do low damage and can’t take a beating. They are good because they attack from range. To make them good you have to capitalize on this by only using them to attack from range, or maybe to defend from range. If you’re not attacking/defending from range then archers are a stupid inclusion. And you should never seek to attack/defend from range with any squad except dedicated archer squads, so archers are a stupid inclusion in every other squad.
A dedicated archer squad can be extremely strong because you can design it around assuming that it will never take any damage. Give them all your damage items and your health/armor reducing items and whatever utility you want them to have (I like the “attacks first when defending” item, which lets them oneshot most if not all attackers before they get a chance to do anything, negating the lack of defensive stats) and they do great with it. Do the same in a non-archer squad and that’s real stupid. Another reason why including them in non-archer squads is stupid.
You also happen to get two immortal/named archers, Jules and his girl friend, which means you can place both of them in front and even if they die it doesn’t matter because they resurrect. But you can’t do this with any other archers.
Actually, when you get the armor/taunt power, this archer squad can be one of the best targets, in situations with lots of ranged enemy squads, who otherwise would just be wasting your time by shooting (and doing 0 damage) to some other squad, and then you have to ‘manually’ kill it during some later turn, and of course it’s smarter to get them to suicide into the archer squad. But including archers in all squads to somehow mitigate this is just dumb. Defensive archers aren’t going to be killing attacking archers on their own, you’re gonna have to run up and melee them to death anyway, so it doesn’t save you any time. And in the case where the attacking archers are actually dangerous then the defensive archers don’t do anything to protect from that. And you almost never wanna use a squad with a few archers in it to be attacking from range into an enemy squad, since they usually bring so many healers that this helps them more than it harms them, like it does during every battle where you have allies and your stupid allies with their 2 horse archers in their cavalry squad keep shooting at enemy squads and just healing the enemies in the process.
It’s much better to be adding an equivalent number of healers instead.
I haven’t sat down and thought about any of this min/maxing deeply, or min/max my squads at all beyond obvious things like heavy infantry in front (and probably the back too, to protect from assassins) and then squishies in the middle,, but archers=stupid is just so obvious it’s not necessary to think about it. It’s as obvious to me as putting heavy infantry in front of your mages rather than the other way around.
There are a lot of good reasons to make one (1) squad, but beyond that I dunno if I’d even want a second one. If there was a lot of fighting in narrow hallways where having archers behind your frontline squads to attack from range then archer squads would be good (though probably worse than siege squads in that scenario), but that scenario is extremely rare. I think archers are only good when you can go all-in on capitalizing on their strengths, and that otherwise they are… they’re better than having no other unit in the squad, but they are worse than having almost any other unit.
Also, I think samurai are bad as well.
I think they’re really cool.
But I think they’re really bad. Every time I put them in a squad, where they were getting meleed I noticed that I’d rather haver had another unit, and where they weren’t getting meleed I noticed that I’d rather have had another unit. I tried putting them in a medium-range crossbows squad but it was just mediocre. Worse at range than warbows and worse in melee than anything else. So is there ever a situation where you want the same squad to be able to do both, interchangeably? Pff… I didn’t find any situation where that was the case. I would sometimes place my warbow squad in positions to get meleed, but they handled that better than the hybrid squad would’ve anyway just because their damage allowed them to kill enemies so well that they didn’t end up doing much, if any, damage to them.