I have thought a bit about this bonus compared with Vietnamese.
Basically in feudal Viets would have a better archer, similar in archer fights but better vs scouts. Same thing in castle age, where viets xbow should survive one more knight hit.
Regarding the skyrms, assuming that you use skyrms just to fight archers, +1PA skyrm should be better than a viet skyrm (both in feudal and castle ages). In other situations (vs skyrms or in the case of melee fights) viet skyrm is superior or equal but this is not a huge issue imo.
In later stages, when special upgrades (pavise, imp skyrm) enter the game, the situation switches. The Vietnamese impl skyrm is way superion in everything than a +1PA skyrm, while an arb with +1PA and pavise is superior to the viet arb.
This does make sense to me for Italians, which would have a basic combo hussar/condo (depending on how much gold you have) + a very solid arbalest, which is substituted by a range-vs-everything policy depending on the needs: Italians should replace their arbalests with +1PA skyrm, cheap HC, or GC (assumed with buffed TT) depending on what the enemy does. Basically a sort of ranged Incas.
Sorry I was meaning +1PA to archers and skyrms. Edited.
My idea is:
+1 PA for archers only is just a worse Vietnamese bonus. I do not like it that much…
+1 PA for archers and skyrms implies better skyrms but worse archers than vietmamese, which is then a different bonus. Once the special techs are researched (pavise and imp skyrm) vietmamese get a superior skyrm while italians a superior arbalest. So the situation switches with respect to early game
Yes. +1PA for both. +1 MA would make italian archer paired with the vietmamese one in feudal vs scouts, while viet xbow should still take one hit more from knights.
Also I think in general Italians should be weak to melee civs in the early stages (so +1PA is fine) since if the GC is fixed, civs like franks should have an advantage in feudal/early castle since they will be hard countered in the later stages
Yes I agree, firstly because HP is more important than armor on melee, and that’s is viets territory, secondly, scouts in feudal aren’t that effective vs archers, unless they can pick them up while apart.