All archers of all civs, lined up
Archers are the counterpart to the swordsmen, shared by all civs. They are a core part of tower garrisons, although they cannot capture towers themselves.
If archers are stationed on towers, they become immune to direct attacks, including magic, and receive a bonus to their health and damage. Their damage is increased by 1 - if there are enemy soldiers at the door, the archer dropping stones receives a damage boost of 2. This boost is added after the usual damage calculation and is not affected by fighting strength.
Archers are inferior to swordsmen up to a certain amount. Later on, however, their range allows them to reach a critical mass that prevents all other units from approaching them. From that point on, archers become the dominant all-purpose-unit.
A combination of swordsmen and backpack catapultists can work as a soft counter. This is risky, however, as positioning is key - if the enemy archers are allowed to flank or otherwise reach the backpack catapultists, the archers will destroy them in short order.
The only true hard counter, which is very costly, is the "Punish archers" spell that the mayans possess. Beyond that, the best course of actions is to produce archers of your own.
- Mayan archers, as well as the L3 archers of the trojans, attack one tick slower. This makes them about 5% weaker than their counterparts.
- The archers of the Dark Tribe have stats that put them between the L1 and L2 archers of the other civs.
- Archers are the only unit that can attack manacopters.