M&B II Bannerlord: Best Ranged Troops
In terms of the main faction troop tree for ranged troops, the Aserai Master Archer and Imperial Palatine Guard have the highest damage output, at 160 with the bow. They are also fairly proficient with one-handed weapons when they need to battle in close combat, with 130 in this stat. Other options for troops with high bow damage (though less than the two above) are the Khuzait Torguud, Forest Bandit, and the Sturgian Veteran Bowman.
In terms of special troops outside the main faction troop trees, the Battanian Fian Champion is by far the best archer, with 260 in the Bow stat, 220 Two-Handed weapon stat, and 170 Athletics stat. This makes the troop incredibly versatile in both ranged and melee combat, and there are no other primary archer units which come close to its stat levels.
One of the only downsides to the Battanian Fian Champion is that they can be more difficult to find and recruit. Their troop tree begins with Battanian Highborn Youth, which you can find and recruit from villages in Battania, but they are much rarer than regular troops. You’ll then need to level the troop by winning battles to obtain experience and progress through the Battanian Special Troops tree.
There are feweer options and fewer differences between crossbow troops compared with bow troops. The best crossbow troop is the Hired Crossbow, with a crossbow stat of 140. They are also quite proficient with one-handed weapons, and reasonably athletic with a 120 athletics stat. As a mercenary unit, you’ll be able to find and recruit them primarily from taverns in major settlements. Alternatively, you can defeat a mercenary force and take one as your prsioner. You’ll then be able to recruit them into your party a few days later.
Outisde of the mercenary troop tree, the Vlandian Sharpshooter and Imperial Sergeant Crossbow come next in terms of crossbow proficiency. Both have similar one-handed weapon and athletics stats which are comprarable with the Hired Crossbow, with 130 in each stat. If you’re looking for slightly easier options to obtain but with lower stats, you might consider the Mercenary Crossbowman, Vlandian Hardened Crossbowman, Boar Champion, or Imperial Crossbowman.
If you’re looking for troops who are reasonably competent in melee combat but also able to inflict significant damage with their throwing weapons, the Sturgian Line Breaker and Mountain Bandit Boss are two of the best. The Line Breaker has more to offer in terms of two-handed weapon skills, with a stat of 150, while the Bandit Boss has more throwing ability at 150, compared with 130 for the Line Breaker. Other options for decent throwing troops include Sturgian Heavy Axeman, Battanian Wildling, and Aserai Mameluke Palace Guard.