Archers have the dubious distinction of being the only class that can't reliably solo maps, due to the possibility of being boxed in by enemies.
They can solo maps; back in the day, TheCrimsonBlur pulled off a miraculous Wil HHM solo.
I didn't mean they can't ever solo maps. I just meant that there is a very real possibility that your archer may become neutralized, and this possibility is practically (if not entirely) nonexistent for other classes.
Official Bride and Wife of Noire (of the Fire Emblem Awakening message board)
It's not just you. Bow Users, outside of Lunatic+, are generally inferior. Looking at archers/snipers in particular:
Bad class bases (Only skill is good, and skill is largely irrelevant since accuracy is rarely an issue)
Mediocre class growths (ditto above. They have the distinction of being the only classes along with Assassins to have ANY growth be 30%, but it's in Skill, so... whatever)
Already they're looking bad, and we haven't even started on the big issues.
No 1 range option. This is HUGE - enemy phase is where most of the action happens, and no 1 range means they miss out on enemy phases, pretty much always. This means their contribution is limited to (potentially) 1 kill per turn, and occasionally sniping 1-2 range enemies. On top of that, if you have an archer in (direct attack) range of enemies, they're likely to get attacked - which means enemies aren't getting injured or killed on the enemy phase. So you need to keep your archers safe, but if you want them to contribute, you need them to be killing pretty consistently. It's similar to the issues mages have, but mages can usually take 1-2 hits (especially with a good pair up), and if you do leave them exposed they will at least hurt the opponent. Archers have slightly better survivability, but leave more enemies to deal with next turn.
Their skills are atrocious. Skl+2 is pretty garbage - except at very low levels or against enemies who manage to fluke into two good avoid boosting skills, they're hitting with 100% or near 100% accuracy. Prescience boosts hit and avoid when attacking... so, boosts their 100% hit rate and the avoid that won't matter 90% of the time because the enemy can't counter. Great. Sniper gets Hit +20 first, because somehow having some of the highest skill bases, two skills that boost hit rate further and the highest skill growth, in a game where even inaccurate characters regularly have close to 100% accuracy wasn't enough, and IS decided they needed a bigger boost. Finally at level 15, they get Bowfaire, which is finally actually a useful skill! Kinda.
Honestly, Archers got the shaft even more than normal here. Their main claims to fame are on Luna+, where Longbows to avoid counters from anything and good ranged attacks are actually valuable enough to outweigh their downsides. Below that difficulty, they're sucky, but they're still viable for use - I mean, if they're viable on Luna+ they must be on the easier difficulties, right? It's just other classes do their jobs, better.
"When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning." -Reiner Knizia
I once did a MU sniper, and gave him pass and counter as abilities to offset the natural weaknesses. The bows in this game are quite powerful and useful.
The only thing I really dislike about the class in this game is that they are very slow compared to the other classes. I remember my archers in other FE games having usually fantastic speed with decent speed caps. This game seems to make them tankier than agile.
That was my problem with Snipers (Along with Bow Ponies) in this game too. In other games, they had great defense and Really great speed. That speed helped them so much that they were able to dodge most attacks.