Archers on hard mode are kinda pathetic?

They’re nice in normal mode because they can pick a lot of enemies off fast enough that it doesn’t matter too much that they’re fragile. On hard mode, though, even a fully leveled archer’s range and damage isn’t enough for them to actually kill anything before it kills them. They’re just too fragile. I can have them 1v1 a kobold archer and watch them lose despite having significantly higher attack power, simply because their health is so pitiful.

I’d keep them around anyway if clerics could heal them, but they keep running from their attacks and getting too far away from the rest of the party for anyone to heal or cover them. It’s at the point where I’m switching them all over to knights and swearing off archers entirely. Is there some quirk or trick I’m missing to make them good for anything?

A sane (minimal) party includes:

  • A knight to draw aggro and tank damage
  • A cleric to heal
  • An archer set to “spikey arrows”
  • A mixture of footman, archers with plain arrows and archers with fire arrows to do actual damage

If any of these are missing it’s bad party, because:

  • Without the knight (who has awesome “defense” bonus) everyone else takes too much damage, and tend to cower too much without the knight’s courage buff
  • Without the cleric, you get worn down in larger fights until people start fleeing and/or dying
  • Without the “spikey archer” your mallee people end up chasing enemy archers all over the map (while taking damage from other enemy archers)
  • Without someone to do actual damage it takes too long to kill enemies; which increases the damage you take (dead enemies do no damage)

Note: If you’re not lazy (like me); it can be helpful to change your archer’s arrow types to suit the enemy before each fight. Fire arrows are better for big targets that take a while to die (but are wasted on small targets that die quickly). Plain arrows are better for large groups of small targets that die fast. Spikey is a good for enemy archers but pointless for mallee enemies.

My standard party is 11 people - 2 knights, 2 clerics, 2 archers with spikey arrows, 2 footman, 2 archers with fire arrows, 1 archer with plain arrows. This is a bit of a luxury, but gives backups when people take too long to get to the fight, or get too injured.

I also “cross-train” military. For example; an archer that has level 6 farmer, level 6 footman and level 6 knight has 150 HP more than an archer that only has level 3 footman (or about 440 HP instead of 290 HP).

My village has only 24 people in it at this point. If hard mode is asking for an 11-person party to keep me adequately protected, hard mode is broken. = /

Hard mode is hard…

Don’t forget that the enemies tend to depend on your own kiingdom value. If the enemies start getting too hard, you can sell everything (except raw materials) and buy raw materials; and stop building new buildings (and maybe remove existing buildings), to lower your kingdom value and make enemies easier.

It hasn’t honestly been “hard” so much as a poorly balanced, headache-inducing slog, honestly?