Archers are part of the standard troops available to all factions in Stronghold Legends, and remain unchanged to how they were in previous games of the series.
They are a much less powerful version of Crossbowmen, and do not wear Leather Armour of any kind to protect them from arrows.
Due to this fact, they are a fast and mobile troop, and can easily run around the map at probably the fastest speed of all units. They do also have a much longer range than Crossbowmen.
You will need a bow to recruit an Archer, which is produced through the Fletcher's Workshop. Due to the lack of protection by Leather Armour, Archers can be killed by Crossbowmen in a single shot, and an encounter with certain Special units can be catastrophic if not handled with extreme care- especially considering Archers must be stationary to fire. You will also need a single recruit from the campfire before you can recruit an Archer.
Archers are best placed on your walls or towers to protect your castle against invaders, Dragons or other magical creatures, and are also good units to help protect your neutral estates against attack as well, especially if you station them on top of the Village Keep.
Archers can be incredibly effective in dealing with Armoured units, such as Knights- but only when in numbers. If you're caught out in a situation where you may need to face hand-to-hand combat, keep withdrawing a section of your Archers that is closest to the immediate enemy far enough that they won't be attacked, but not too far so that they can no longer fire. Periodically pulling back your troops in this fashion can greatly help in defeating armoured units.
Archers are capable of protecting nearby units from aerial assualt by Dragons, White Witches or other similar units, however it is highly recommended that you station them nearby Dragon Harpoons for further protection. Dragon Harpoons attack not just Dragons but all of the units who can attack you from the sky, providing further protection and preventing further damage done to both your troops and castle.
Note that Archers are vulnerable to Vampiric Creeper attacks. If you are playing against a player who is currently the 'Evil' faction, you must ensure you take adequate measures to protect your Archers against these attacks or you could risk losing large swathes of your troops to the enemy. Vampiric Creepers can also climb up walls and attack your troops stationed on gatehouses or towers as well, so it's important you keep this in mind.
Tip: Archers supplement Men-at-Arms very nicely. If you're planning an ambush, to (re)capture an estate or need to cover a lot of ground in a short time, these units work very well together, move at similar speeds, and can both deal a lot of damage out to even the most resilient troops, especialy in groups. Use this tactic wisely.