I was bored, so I decided to do some calculations on the relative cost of different units for sioux. I kind of quickly dismissed the issue for bow riders vs rifle riders in this thread, http://forum.agecommunity.com/forums/thread/955528.aspx and was wondering about the cost including vill seconds.
So, bow riders come to 3.31 hp/vs, with .22 attack/second/vs (.506 vs cav, .66 vs art). They have no targeting animation (that I could notice from playing around in game, maybe something not noticeable)
Rifle riders have 2.2 hp/vs, .133 attack/second/vs (.399 vs cav and HI, .931 vs art), all other stats are the same as bows (other than a minimal train speed edge to bows). So you take a slight hit to your attack vs HI, which hardly matters given wakinas/cetans. And you lose some vs art, which may matter more.
So, in this case I'd consider giving the edge to the bow rider as a unit...
Wakinas and cetan bows have been looked at more closely in the past (like the thread I already linked) so I just did the numbers to double check.
Cetans have 2.13 hp/vs, .186 attack (.372 vs HI and LC) assuming a ROF of 2.25, as they seemed to avoid the fire animation decently well when I tested, but I still assume it happens most of the time when acquiring new targets in game, so roughly half the time, maybe more.
Wakinas have 1.64 hp/vs, .131 attack (.393 vs HI, .262 vs LC)
The stats seem to lean toward cetans slightly, but as was discussed in the linked thread, the reduced range and possibility of worse performance via the firing anim would probably make me choose wakinas most of the time. If there are team cards/nat upgrades that boost cetans and not wakinas, its close enough that could tip the balance, but I'm not sure.
Overall, I think cetans are viable, but probably not optimal, and bow riders are a better choice when enemy isn't likely to spam HI, and you're good with wc sniping cannon. If you need rifles to snipe cannon, they will still be better than bows at that. Am I missing something, or should I try using bow riders next time I get a game where I can play sioux?