A small run down of the bandits
AKA the Nord Huscarl of Bandits, can take on higher tier infantry.
Great at defence, cheap, good for putting some arrows in the air.
Could be mounted, some use blunt weapons, so you can use them instead of man hunters.
Horse archers, like nerfed Khergit troops
Fodder for all other units
In my opinion if you wanted to do something completely different and have a full bandit army, I suggest using Sea Raiders, Forest Bandits and Mountain Bandits.
Sea Raiders: As I said before, Nord Huscarls, use these as your infantry
Forest Bandits: Use as archers, keep them way back
Mountain Bandits: Use them to keep recruitment up, if you go up against some looters tell these guys to charge, use blunt weapons, tell them to charge past the looters, then charge back towards you, repeat until looters are knocked out by both horses and the Mauls they use.