|HP||50, 65 (Elite)|
|Range||4, 5 (Elite)|
|1, 2 (Elite)|
|Upgraded To||Elite Plumed Archer|
|Cost to Upgrade||500 Food |
The Plumed Archer and its upgraded version, the Elite Plumed Archer, is the Mayan unique unit in Age of Empires II. They have a lower range and attack than most archers, but have much higher hitpoints and can move very fast, enough to keep up with most cavalry. This allows them to perform hit and run tactics and effectively replace the Cavalry Archer for the Mayan Civilization. Plumed Archers have an attack bonus against infantry such as Long Swordsmen and Pikemen. However they are vulnerable to cavalry, though their increased hitpoints allow them to last longer than most archers, and in groups cavalry can be killed quickly enough to negate the threat. They are made less expensive by the Mayan bonus for the price of archers, making them the least expensive Unique Unit except in Full Tech Tree games.
The natives of Central America had developed the bow and used it in combat. Their bow technology was not far advanced, however, in comparison to the Asian composite bow or English longbow. Archers could be ordered to wound when capture of enemies was more important than killing. Like all other Mayan warriors, archers wore distinctive costumes so commanders could distinguish their troops and place the right group where needed. The status of archers was low in comparison to other warrior ranks, so men of lower standing and skill entered their ranks. Men of status and ambition joined the ranks of the Eagle Warrior where they could have the opportunity to take captives.
The better skilled and experienced bowmen became Elite Plumed Archers. They were especially important when absolute victory was required because they had the ability to kill enemies quickly and break enemy army morale under a barrage of well-aimed arrows.