The Indian tribes west of the Indus are famed for their use of massive longbows made from cane and strung with tough silken bowstrings.
The Hindus tribes west of the Indus are famed for their use of massive longbows made from cane and strung with tough silken bowstrings. These bows allow them to launch arrows at a tremendous range, making their users essentially immune to enemy horse archers and projectiles. They wear no armor and rely simply on their skills with the large Indian sword to get them out of less certain melee encounters. These Indians can be the lynchpin of a proper 'wearing down' before a dedicated melee engagement, thinning the ranks that the more dedicated melee fighters will encounter.
Historically, the longbowmen of India were a famous and fearsome force, utilized by every effective army ever mobilized in the region - even Alexander the Great took advantage of their easy availability, receiving a number of them in the levy contingents from his newly acquired vassal kings. A century later, as the Baktrian Kings became more settled and grew into the roles of a "Raja," as opposed to a traditional Hellenic Basileos, such archers became a more regular component of their native levy - probably freeing most Hellenes from the lower orders of the psiloi, in order to concentrate them in their "national" phalanx. Even the archery-oriented Saka used them to augment their own foot archers, or to support their cavalry divisions, expanded as more and more cultivated land came under their power. Forunately for the Baktrians, Saka, and even the occassional non-regional power to invade India, longbowmen are a regular feature of the local military infrastructure, and easily accessable to anyone.
Excellent archers/light infantry. Although other archers from the east outmatch them in range and ammo, these bowmen are armed with their large armor-piercing Indian swords, making them good reserve infantry against heavy infantry and heavy cavalry.