The range is the most important factor of the longbowman. With high range, it is harder for enemy to reach the longbows, during which time, they are receiving volley after volley. They do good damage and if very easy to keep alive with any type of unit in front to soak up damage.
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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 (Imperial Age).
Use in Combinations
they usually act as meat shield