Archers were guards armed with longbows, who patrolled rooftops and watched for possible enemies below. They usually initiated attacks against any intruder they noticed above ground. A well placed arrow could knock down an assassin from a rooftop.
Once provoked by an enemy approaching within a meter or so, an archer would cease firing arrows, and draw his sword or blunt weapon. Though accurate and deadly from a distance, archers did not pose a serious threat in close combat.
However, large groups of archers were capable of holding off an Assassin, with some attacking from close-range, and others from a distance.
High Middle Ages
Archers were stationed on the rooftops of every city, and on top of large wooden watch towers in the Kingdom. They usually guarded important areas or people, and strictly enforced the city's laws against civilians being up on the rooftops. The Templar Talal was also particularly skilled in archery, and had his own contingent of archers as his personal guard.
Archers took advantage of two varieties of ammunition within the Renaissance: ordinary arrows, and fire-tipped ones. Though the former was widely used, the latter was only notably used in three instances: attacking the horse-drawn carriage of Ezio Auditore da Firenze and Leonardo da Vinci in the Apennine Mountains, shooting down the Flying Machine both as Ezio infiltrated the Palazzo Ducale, and during the Battle for Forlì. Aside from attacking passing Assassins, archers also hunted down pickpockets or Borgia messengers, should they cross their patrol.
In Rome, crossbowmen and arquebusiers, each with superior weaponry, largely replaced and took on the role of archers. However, unlike archers, they did not possess a close combat weapon alongside their crossbows or firearms. Instead, they would use their weapon to parry blows, or keep their distance to continue firing. Archers could only be found guarding the Borgia War Machines; attacking the stolen Machine Gun from rooftops, the Naval Cannon from aboard ships, and the Bomber from archer towers.
Upon building his own guild of Assassins, Ezio trained each of his apprentices in archery. Upon his signal, a group of them could fire a flurry of arrows at an indicated target, and this action was often referred to as an "Arrow Storm."
- In Assassin's Creed, archers of Acre were the only guards that wore hoods.
- In Assassin's Creed II, two variations of archers could be found in assassination missions: Elite archers and Captain archers, each with trademark headgear and fighting capabilities.
- During the Bonfire of the Vanities, Girolamo Savonarola's lieutenant, the Captain Guard, made use of multiple archers, alongside Agile guards, to form a deadly ambush.