These are tier 1 units, they can hit from 2 tiles away, and you’ll see a hail of arrows land on your enemies. Each archer shoots 3 arrows each, and they act more like a “softening up” unit (they hurt your enemy, but don’t delete them). Consider them more like a preliminary attack unit much in keeping with their historical use. Archers can attack at one range (point blank range), so do keep that in mind.
The Bowmen is very squishy, and they can be upgraded into multiple classes.
The Archer is a direct upgrade to the bowmen unit. You get a significant attack and defense bonus as an archer, and it is the only way to get to the ultimate archery class – the Warbow. You will need 2 obsidian to become a Warbow, but it is a 3 tile range unit, and that is incredibly useful. Massing Warbows will destroy your enemies. Try to leave these units in the backlines though, as they are squishy.
The Horsebow is a light squad, archery unit. They can attack from 2 tiles away however they can also perform ambushes and hit and run – very useful skills to have. The Raider is the upgraded version, and when they are on offence they will attack and then if they get counter attacked, they get a big evasion bonus.
Crossbowmen are unique as strength is not a factor for these units – the strength of this class comes from the weapon itself. If you have a low strength unit, consider upgrading them to crossbowmen. Also, these units get a bonus against plate armour units, which is kinda nice. That said, they also have a zero magic stat, as their weapons are super strong.