Mercenary Armored Crossbowman

Men who've become career marksmen, they have sold off loot for the pay to afford slightly better crossbows, decent armor, and a decent melee weapon. While they may have become somewhat decent shots, they are far from being on par with the sharpshooters from the Empire.

These men are often found in taverns looking for work for whomever will hire them, likely due to a previous contract coming to an end, but can also be found mixed in among prisoner stacks and under the command of various adventurers and rogue knights. They don't ask for much compared to bladesmen and are fairly solid soldiers to boot, being at least semi-serviceable middling foot soldiers in a pinch, though this is extremely dangerous for them due to their lower melee skills and poorer armor compared to Bladesmen and cavalry will often plow right through them as if they were nothing but wet paper.

When used in large numbers, even their lack of skill compared to Empire Armored Crossbowmen and Barclay Sappers can easily be mitigated, as they can be brought to bear in sufficient numbers compared to the former two to make skill and armor somewhat moot, and a few volleys from a good firing line can often make horse fall anyone using anything less than some form of armored warhorse. It should be noted that while this can be effective, they do still suffer problems of accuracy due to lower proficiency and less accurate crossbows.

It is in sieges as defending troops however that they can really shine, as they have the armor to take a few arrows and skill to decimate non-shielded heavy troops and slaughter lighter infantry and archers as they try to move a tower into position or scale a wall, or at least leave them badly injured and easier for the infantry to take down.

This troop is upgraded from Mercenary Crossbowman for 40 d and may be upgraded further to Mercenary Sharpshooter for 160d.

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