I bought a sword for the Northerners. Sadly, they don’t have Footmen first, they have Archers first. So the sword is useless until I can manufacture a Carpenter’s saw, and thus make a bow.
Meanwhile, the baddies stack up outside the gates and can’t be engaged until I put the flag outside them.
You pretty much have to start with a loadout that contains a bow for Northern Alliance.
I suggested that it would be nice if a random vendor, maybe the one selling wood items, could sell a bow early in the game for Northern Alliance. With Rayya’s Children there is a vendor selling Wooden Swords early on to help them get some fighters going.