Mercenary Longbowmen are mercenary archers available to Brittany, Burgundy, and Guelders. They have high melee armor and no minumum range, allowing them to stand and fight when charged, a situation when most other ranged units would rout.
Available to: Brittany (with English Alliance), Burgundy (with English Alliance), Guelders
Trained at: Archery Guild
Cost: 75 Florins
Armor/Pierce Armor: 3/0
Accuracy Percentage: 70
Reloading Time: 1.9
Special: +2 vs. spearmen.
Mercenary Longbowmen are pretty decent fighters, but what really makes them stand out is their ability to fire be used like former hand cannoneers, i.e they can attack at close range and are most suitable against melee units. This is due to their very good melee armor and a pretty good range.
The downside? They are not the healthiest nor praised with the strongest attack or any outstanding attack bonus. This means, they do most damage in groups (don't even mention costs if you don't have the economy) and they die extremely fast to Skirmishers - not to mention the in any case strong crossbowmen.
The best use for these would be for holding a position at all costs, since they won't buckle if cavalry comes close.
Using this, then, depends on your civ and the situation. A Breton may not use this that often. Gwasters are faster and more durable, however, Longbows have the range. A Burgundian will probably benefit the most from this, because they have bad archers, but would then have to step back on strong cavalry. Guelders could use this as sort of a faster foot archer, but they could still use mounted crossbowmen - not to mention Wapentuers against melee units. However, if you happen to have loads of florins while you are running short on food or wood, Mercenary Longbowmen could help you out until you've refilled your stocks.