Subeshi Archers are best suited to engaging at a distance and supporting heavier troops and not employed in situations where close-combat melee is required.. They are armed with a large Scythian recurved composite bow and an akinakes which they can use to engage attackers at close range.
These Subeshi Archers are foot bowmen. Wearing a felt helmet, leather leggings and a thick sheepskin coat with the wool turned inside, they also carry a recurved composite bow in a leather case and arrows with wooden, bone, bronze and iron tips. The bows they carry are a larger version of the Scythian recurved composite bow, enabling them to outrange, outshoot and outpower steppe nomad horse archers, making these foot bowmen the ideal counter to horse archers in a stationary exchange of missiles with the latter. However, despite their advantages in returning fire from the ground, they are extremely vulnerable to heavy infantry and cavalry charges and are suited to harassment and support roles as at close quarters they merely wield a short sword, the akinakes of Scythian origin.
Historically, the people of a state known in Han times as the "Gushi" - which is now considered most likely to be a state in the Turfan oasis to the northeast of the Tarim, were described as a semi-nomadic people. Though they lived in tents and searched for pastures they still had considerable knowledge of agriculture. It was also said that these people owned cattle, horses, camels, sheep and goats. Interestingly, they were said to have also been proficient with bows and arrows and were noted for harassing travelers who happened to take the northern Silk Route from the kingdom of Loulan in the eastern Tarim through the oases south of the Tianshan. This serves as testimony to their semi-nomadic nature and these archers who hail from Subeshi, a place most likely to have been controlled by the Gushi, are representative of these skilled semi-nomadic archer warriors.