These Skythian archers are very good among infantry bowmen, as they use powerful composite bows that outrange those of many of their potential enemies, including most mounted archers. However, like most bowmen, they are not well suited for close combat.
These Skythian archers often carry a slightly larger version of the composite bow that their fellow cavalrymen employ. This fact, together with the advantage of shooting from a more stable platform than a moving horse, tends to give their missiles somewhat longer range and more power than those typically shot by horse archers. To some extent, they compensate in this way for their comparative lack of mobility. Certainly, substantial numbers of foot bowmen can make sure that horse archers stay away from the area of the battlefield where they are deployed or inflict substantial damage on them, should they be foolish enough to engage in a protracted missile exchange. Of course, they will not be able to catch and destroy the elusive riders if the latter decide to avoid the arrow duel. In that regard, it is important that these archers are not lured too far away from supporting heavier infantry or cavalry whether in the pursuit of horse archers or for any other reason. They are not well outfitted for hand to hand combat, as all they carry is a short sword or small pickaxe and no armor but their thick jackets and bashlyk felt caps. If unsupported, they will be easy prey for cavalry, or aggressive infantry fast enough to catch them.
Along their history, the Skythians of the northern coast of the Black Sea underwent a process of settlement and sedentarization. The phenomenon had started quite early, as Herodotos already spoke of farming Skythian groups, but it seems to have picked up pace as Sarmatian pressure pushed the Skythians out from much of their former lands and restricted them to a much reduced territory (the western part of the Crimea and the lower Dniepr) that could not have supported a large nomadic population. This process resulted in Skythian armies fielding increasing numbers of foot troops. A good portion of those seem to have been bowmen, as many settled Skythians still favored their traditional weapon.