My Ch18 city is parked after activating Gate of Dimensions and my Ch16 city is parked after activating Senate. So, all my troops are 3 star. The Ch18 city is on its 3rd wk of 31 provinces (after sitting at 30 provinces for over 12 wks); my Ch16 city is on its 2nd wk of 30 provinces. The long slog through chapters almost had me at the point of stopping playing; it was no longer any fun or challenge when I reached the point of 'there is no strategy available that will improve my performance'. Now, I must be lured with very pretty sparkly, shiny, glittery objects I can only get for completing a chapter. The last thing that met that criteria and caused me to move my city through Ch16 and 17 was the Dragon Ark AW at the end of 17. Now, I'm waiting for the next motivator.
Archer is not bad for an elf, but it is not as good as Ranger when both are at 3 star level.
I disagree if there are any enemy Mist Walkers and you want to use Blossoms also in your lineup. Mix Archers/Blossoms only
and the MW's will target the Archers first. Mix Rangers/Blossoms only
and the MW's will target the Blossoms. As far as that goes, put anything in there other than just Archers/Blossoms and MW's first strike target becomes much less predictable. Since I was using this combo successfully in a lot of fights, Archers is the Barracks unit I have chosen to produce. Still, most of the time I'm training above the >999 squads of Archers inventory cutoff, but unsure of how using only the passive productions of Archers would hold up to replenishing losses.
Since I have several Dojo's out and use Rangers less frequently, they remain at >999 most of the time and recoup quickly from that passive production if they slip a little. Two lvl 10 Witches Huts keep my Frogs at >999 unless there's a 'frog heavy' week in both Spire/tourney. Then, I'll run some Frogs through. Mostly, my Merc camp is set to Blossoms all the time. They're great units, but they're squishy, so constant production has been necessary for me. That may change now with using more Buddies. Then, I'll alternate where needed between Rangers/Blossoms/Frogs.
I would like to note that this level of troop inventory is totally overkill! I've not dropped below 850 squads of any unit (that I use) in well over a year. Keeping them at >999 satisfies my
need to be exceptionally well prepared.