In Rise and Fall, the Maryannu Chariot Archer became a ranged cavalry unit, making it vulnerable to the attacks of anti-cavalry units. In Gathering Storm, it becomes an independent unique unit and no longer replaces the Heavy Chariot.
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The Maryannu Chariot Archer is a very powerful early game unit. On flat terrain, its Movement is unmatched by any standard unit of its time and equaled only by the War-Cart and the Saka Horse Archer...neither of which can compete with the Maryannu Chariot Archer's Range and high Ranged Strength. Its drawbacks are its high Production and maintenance costs, but a few of these units with Warrior backup can give the Egyptians an early military lead and allow them to cripple or eliminate unprepared neighbors.
After Rise and Fall, the Maryannu Chariot Archer's classification as a ranged cavalry unit means it can benefit from both Agoge and Maneuver (and their respective upgraded cards), but the bonuses do not stack. In Gathering Storm, it becomes independent, so Egypt can build Heavy Chariots and does not have to rely on Warriors as the only frontline option to back up its Maryannu Chariot Archers. When playing as Egypt, it is recommended that you run Maneuver since it benefits both units you need, so you can quickly build a fast-moving, hard-hitting army to conquer your enemies early on. Due to its very high cost, it is the one unit that you either build only one to get 4 Era Scores and then ignore entirely, or build more than one but you have to go on a conquest to get something out of the investment. If your neighbors do not have early defensive mechanism, it is very simple to take them out completely with a few Maryannu Chariot Archers and Heavy Chariots or Horsemen.
The maryannu (the singular form marya, meaning “young warrior” or “youthful hero”) was a hereditary caste of chariot-mounted nobility, found in several societies in Bronze Age Middle East. In Egypt, they rode in two-man light chariots, which offered a more stable base for archery than did horseback, given the length of the bows common at the time. And the marya could carry more ammunition. But there were some significant disadvantages for the young heroes such as the limitations of terrain and the maintenance of the vehicle and horses on long campaigns. Nonetheless, the maryannu were a powerful elite in the pharaoh’s army; the best record of their effectiveness in battle is at Kadesh, c. 1274 BC, where they carried the day for Ramesses II. There are lots of images left behind depicting the ancient Egyptian maryannu chariots (one of the indelible images of that civilization), and six well-preserved specimens were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun (who passed over around 1323 BC).