Skirmishers are the counter to all Ranged class units. Feudal Age archers are easily countered by a group of skirmishers, though later age units will defeat them. Elite Skirmishers counter most ranged units, but need melee units to protect them due to their minimum range penalty. They are cheap and build quickly, and can supplement for an army if gold is hard to come by. The Skirmisher has high pierce armor and a bonus against other Ranged class units.
Technologies & Upgrades
Attack and Range:
Fletching: +1 attack and range (Feudal Age).
Bodkin Arrow: +1 attack and range (Castle Age).
Bracer: +1 attack and range (Imperial Age).
Total attack and range: +3 attack and range
Padded Archer Armor: +1 melee and pierce armor (Feudal Age).
Leather Archer Armor: +1 melee and pierce armor (Castle Age).
Ring Archer Armor: +1 melee and +2 pierce armor (Imperial Age).
Total melee and pierce armor: +3 melee and +4 pierce armor
Chemistry: +1 attack (Imperial Age).
Ballistics: Provides accuracy for moving objects (Castle Age).
Conscription: Non-siege military units created 33% faster (Imperial Age).
Yeomen: Foot Archer range +1, Tower attack +2 (Britons, Imperial Age).
Use in Combinations
Usually acting as a meatshield, especially to absorb arrow fire. Counters Feudal Age Archers.