I think on expert the ranged is more unbalanced (@hruza u gave statistics, would love to know if that was beginner/veteran/expert)
Veteran. However as much as I know, difficulty does not alter combat mechanic in no way, it just affect strategic level (money and stuff).
when in the early to mid game you go up against 2-4 ranged more consistently, with crossbows and some rng they can decimate your brothers without an ability to react (i.e. with 1 ranged, a crossbow hit to head allows you to move away and protect him from ranged, vs. 2-4 ranged you sometimes don’t have time to react and instead have 4 ranged shots on your guy, giving no time to make a decision to “save” ur pawn).
I do go against 2-4 ranged. However:
a, it is extremely rare for them to be all equipped with tier 2 xbows and bows. Usualy it’s 50/50 mix (on average).
b, hitting your guy 2 times in a turn is extremely unlikely too, unless you have exposed your guy. If you keep your brothers, especially more vulnerable ones cowered, chance is very small. Yes, it still can happen, RNG can be bitch, but then you can take two hits to the head from axe in the same turn too.
When I go against enemy group which have that many ranged units, I adapt my tactics and equipment. If you fight battle why enemy have ranged units the same way as when he does not, then it will have consequences.
As a minimum, your whole front line should have kite shields. Unless you fight in the forest and you intend to use natural cover. Then in the battle itself, brothers without shields should always when possible be positioned in a such way, that they are protected from fire.
You can’t influence RNG roll directly, but you can make it less likely to roll against you, especially more times in a row.