| Thanvare Hindushag|
(Indian Mercenary Archers)
|Base cost||80 Food, 100 Wealth, 80 Metal|
|Ramping cost||5 Wealth|
|Creation time||22.2 seconds|
|Line of sight||8|
|Population cost||1 Population|
|Upgrades to|| Thorakitai Argyraspides (Bosporans and Seleucids)|
Thorakitai Epilektoi (Ptolemaic Egyptians)
Drawn from the various tribes inhabiting the mountains and plains of southern Bactria as well as the lands of Gadruza and further east, Thanvare Hidushag are in effect mercenary archers — and are by far the best archer-type unit in the game, for they don't just have a superior weapon range, but also have immense penetrating power so like most foot archer units, they can easily decimate heavy infantry from a distance. The upshot however is that they don't carry much in the way of body armour, so if melee units caught up with them they could be easily defeated. Skirmishers will have a field day against these units, owing to their fleetness of foot and their ability to throw devastating volleys that will cut down Thanvare Hidushag where they stand..
For this reason, concentrate your Thanvare Hidushag as support units, protected by friendly heavy infantry such as Greek phalangitai to keep enemy cavalry from closing upon them.
By the time Alexander marched back from India to die in Babylon, the Indian subcontinent was dominated mostly by various tribal polities which often vied with each other for supremacy; Buddhist scriptures attest to the existence of near-prevalent interstate conflict as early as the 6th century BCE. It was not until the late 4th century BCE that India was finally unified for the first time in history under the Mauryan dynasty, but even then, their hold on the region was tenuous at best. While Mauryan influence could not extend itself to Lanka and the farthest reaches of the Dravidian south, its control over the tribes of the northwest remained very tenuous, with serious competition from the Seleucid and Bactrian dynasties compromising the totality of Mauryan domination there.
For most of the time, the Seleucid and Bactrian overlords of what is present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan did not attempt to fully annex these regions (least of all southern Pakistan, then referred to as Gadruza or Makran, and which was notorious for its arid and inhospitable climate). Instead, while Hellenistic cultural domination extended only to major economic centres, the tribes in the rural areas outside these outposts were left mostly to their own and so continued their ancestors' ways, especially with regards to war and weaponry. These tribal societies, based around a village or a collection of towns ruled over by a local prince or council of elders known as a panchayat were mostly lightly armed with spears — the sword as a weapon was used only by the warrior or kshastriya class — but Indians were also known for being extensive use of archery as well, with longbows crafted out of bamboo or any flexible wood (whether as self bows or composite ones) being the workhorse of all social classes.