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A Borgia crossbowman

Crossbowmen were guards armed with crossbows. They patrolled and defended the rooftops in a fashion similar to the archers, and were thus able to catch sight of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and Ezio Auditore da Firenze from a distance. However, unlike archers who drew their swords if an Assassin came too close, they used their crossbows for defensive melee combat and would still fire at the enemy, even at close range.

Crossbowmen were a hindrance when encountered in groups, as crossbow bolts moved faster than normal arrows, and could cause an Assassin to stumble and fall off a rooftop. Crossbowmen were skilled marksmen, and were capable of damaging armor with their shots.

While investigating a sighting of Ezio, the crossbowmen attempted to follow him, therefore stealth tactics or ranged weapons were recommended to avoid a fight and diminish the chances of being discovered.