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Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings/Units

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  • Dark Age
    • Militia - The initial military unit. Its only improvement from a villager is that it has 1 more attack point.
  • Feudal Age
    • Man-at-Arms (Upgraded from Militia) - They defeat spearmen and skirmishers, but are vulnerable to massed archers. They have a small attack bonus versus buildings, but are vulnerable to arrow fire, particularly from the town center.
    • Spearman - A cheap infantry unit that counters cavalry. Its weak attack is augmented by a large attack bonus against mounted units.
  • Castle Age
    • Long Swordsman (Upgraded from Man-at-Arms) - Often considered pale in comparison to the knight, the long swordsman has an edge in cost effectiveness, but cannot compete with knights in any other area.
    • Pikeman (Upgraded from Spearman) - The main unit for most civilizations to combat mounted units.
    • Eagle warrior (The Conquerors Expansion) - A substitute for the scout/light cavalry for the Meso-American civilizations (Aztecs and Mayans only), this swift-footed infantry unit is gold-intensive, but carries some piercing armor and a large line-of-sight. Aztec and Mayan players receive an eagle warrior at the start of the game rather than a scout cavalry. A popular raiding unit. A Meso-American player who loses his initial eagle warrior must wait until the Castle Age to build another one.
  • Imperial Age
    • Two-Handed Swordsman (Upgraded from Long Swordsman) - All civilizations, except the Persians, get this upgrade. The two-handed swordsman has the same role, but looks different from its previous forms; like its name, it wields a very long sword with two hands and no shield. It is also slower than the Long Swordsman.
    • Champion (Upgraded from Two-Handed Swordsman) - The ultimate upgrade for the militia line. Again, Persians aren't able to create these, as well as Mayans, whose upgrading is limited to two-handed swordsman. The champion is easy to mass and can easily defeat counterunits (pikemen, skirmishers, and camels) as well as destroy buildings with its high attack and attack bonuses.
    • Elite Eagle Warrior (The Conquerors Expansion) - This improved version of the eagle warrior carries more hit points, attack, and piercing armor, with an expensive upgrade cost.
    • Halberdier (The Conquerors Expansion) - An improved version of the pikeman. Very deadly against cavalry: when equally upgraded (attack, armor), halberdier beats paladin on 1 vs 1.


  • Feudal Age
    • Scout Cavalry-The first military unit a player gets in most games. Scout cavalry are used in the Dark Age to search the map for resources and enemy players. They can also be used for minor skirmishes. Scouts (and their upgraded counterparts) benefit from enhanced resistance to monk conversion. If a player loses their scout cavalry in the Dark Age, they must wait until the Feudal Age before they produce another one.
  • Castle Age
    • Light Cavalry (Upgraded from Scout Cavalry) - Much stronger than the scout cavalry. They are used for reconnaissance, raiding, skirmishing, and as a counter-unit against monks and siege weapons. Only the Teutons do not have access to this unit.
    • Knight-The strongest unit in the Castle Age, it has speed, high hit points and armor, and high attack. In exchange, it is very expensive to mass in contrast to the noticeably weaker long swordsman. Knights can be employed in the same vein as light cavalry, except that its line-of-sight is much smaller in comparison.
    • Camel - Only the Byzantine, Persian, Saracen, Chinese, Mongol and Turk civs can use this unit. This is a mounted unit with no armor and weak attack, but receives attack bonuses against other cavalry. The camel is almost as fast as the light cavalry with more hit points, so it can be used for raiding, but also has a diminished line-of-sight like the knight. Camels are quite expensive, but are cheaper than knights.
  • Imperial Age
    • Hussar (Upgraded from Light Cavalry, The Conquerors Expansion only) - The ultimate in evolution of the light cavalry, this unit carries an expensive upgrade cost for more hit points, attack, and line-of-sight.
    • Cavalier (Upgraded from Knight) - In place between the knight and paladin, most civs can use the cavalier except for the Saracens.
    • Paladin (Upgraded from Cavalier) - The strongest unit on paper for any civilization, the paladin cannot be used by many civilizations.
    • Heavy Camel (Upgraded from Camel) - The strongest anti-cavalry unit, it is available to any civilization that has the camel.

Archery Range

  • Feudal Age
    • Archer - The basic ranged unit. Archers are most effective when massed, but they are more gold-intensive than infantry units.
    • Skirmisher - A cheap ranged unit specialized for killing other archers, it has piercing armor that reduces arrow attacks and an attack bonus against them. Its base attack is very small, however. Skirmishers have a minimum range, which means they cannot fire at enemies too close to them.
  • Castle Age
    • Crossbowman (Upgraded from Archer) - A unit designed to kill slow units such as infantry and monks. When employed en masse, they can be highly destructive, but they are highly vulnerable to siege attack and to massed cavalry. Once again, they are very useful when defending, as they greatly increase the attack power of towers, town centers, or castles when garrisoned within them.
    • Elite Skirmisher (Upgraded from Skirmisher) -Elite skirmishers can slay large numbers of archers, crossbowmen, and cavalry archers, except when the latter retreats out of the skirmisher's range.
    • Cavalry archer - Analogous to the archer as the knight is to the long swordsman, the cavalry archer has a shorter range than the crossbowman, but has higher hit points, attack, and speed. Cavalry archers are less useful in defense because of their short range and inability to garrison inside town centers or towers, but can garrison inside castles. In fact, by garrisoning cavalry archers instead of foot archers, the number of extra arrows the castle fires is higher. This unit is vulnerable to the spearman line, camel line, and the skirmisher line. However, thanks to the speed, cavalry archer is ideal for hit-and-run attack.
  • Imperial Age
    • Arbalest (Upgraded from Crossbowman) - A strong unit that is designed to be used in mass formations. Similar to crossbowmen from the previous age, they have no added abilities, but they are an upgrade of an already important role on the battlefield.
    • Heavy Cavalry Archer (Upgraded from Cavalry Archer) - A stronger version of the cavalry archer. Despite its name and manual description, the heavy cavalry archer does not receive a speed reduction from its previous form.
    • Hand Cannoneer - Primitive gunpowder unit. Hand cannoneers have much stronger attack, but their range and attack cannot be upgraded like other archers (except +1 attack from researching chemistry). A fully upgraded arbalest will have longer range than a hand cannoneer. The firing rate of a hand cannoneer is slow and they are inaccurate at long range.

Siege Workshop

Siege weapons have a devastating effect on their target, but can be quickly destroyed by a unit attacking them at close range (e.g. a swordsman or cavalry, or even a villager). They are quite expensive and must be guarded closely. They are repaired by villagers.

  • Castle Age
    • Battering Ram - It has a small, unranged attack, but has a huge attack bonus against buildings and siege weapons. Units can garrison inside for additional attack and speed for the ram.
    • Mangonel - Mangonels cause "splash damage," which means they can hit multiple units. Units in the middle of the splash receive the most damage, while units on the edges receive less. They carry a large attack and a bonus against buildings.
    • Scorpion - A light artillery siege weapon resembling a large crossbow that is very useful in defense. Scorpion bolts damage units that they pass through.
  • Imperial Age
    • Capped Ram - Upgrade from battering ram. In the Imperial Age, the trebuchet firing from long range becomes the building destroyer of choice, but the ram can still demolish buildings quickly. Capped rams gain splash damage, and they damage other buildings adjacent to them.
    • Siege Ram - Upgrade from capped ram. The strongest version of the ram with even more splash damage.
    • Onager (Upgraded from Mangonel) - A bigger, stronger mangonel. They do more damage and have a bigger splash damage.
    • Siege Onager (Upgraded from Onager) - An even bigger onager. The significant improvement is to the attack and range. This weapon can also destroy masses of trees, clearing paths through forests; very useful in the Black Forest map.
    • Heavy Scorpion (Upgraded from Scorpion) - A stronger scorpion. Its upgrade is gold-free.
    • Bombard Cannon - A long-range gunpowder weapon used to destroy enemy buildings from long range. The downside is low hit points and lower range than a trebuchet, along with higher cost. When attacking enemy units, the bombard cannon has similar effects to that of a mangonel, albeit having a much smaller splash damage radius. The bombard cannon is also useful for dismantling siege weapons and ships.


  • Castle Age
    • Unique Units, see below
    • Petard (The Conquerors Expansion) - Suicide bomber, carries barrel of explosives on shoulders. Petards have low hitpoints and are usually used as a fast, though cost inefficient, weapon. Weak against mass of units but devastating to buildings. For example seven petards are enough to destroy a wonder.
  • Imperial Age
    • Elite Unique Unit (Upgraded from Unique Unit)
    • Trebuchet - The trebuchet has the longest range of any unit in the game and is so powerful that it must be anchored to the ground before firing. The trebuchet must be moved in a vulnerable and mobile packed form, then unpacked to attack. The high arc of the trebuchet makes its shots inaccurate and slow, and therefore best suited to destroying buildings rather than mobile units. When unpacked, the trebuchet cannot move, and it must be packed to move again. Trebuchets are very expensive and require escort to justify their cost. They can also knock down trees, although only one at a time.


  • Dark Age
    • Fishing Ship - A ship that is available starting from the Dark Age. Fishes shore fish and deep-sea fish. It can also build fish traps that are similar to farms.
  • Feudal Age
    • Transport Ship - The only way to move an army or civilians across a body of water. Units garrison inside its hull for transport across a sea or river. Transport ships have no attack and are vulnerable to other ships. Upgrades can allow the transport ship to carry even more units. Transport ships that are destroyed sink with the units they were carrying, killing them all. When a transport is converted, the ship is converted and not the inhabitants, who are then completely vulnerable to deletion or drop off on to a random island.
    • Trade Cog - This ship is only meant for trading with other civilizations. When a trade cog goes to a dock other than one's own, it receives gold. The dock can belong to friendly or unfriendly players. Neither player has to give up resources, and the player whose dock is being used receives 10% of the Gold. The further both docks are from each other, the more gold is generated.
    • Galley - The basic warship for the Feudal Age. In the Feudal Age naval battles, it comes down to logistics in sea battles, whoever has more ships. Later in-game, more warships become available.
  • Castle Age
    • War Galley (Upgraded from Galley) - Designed to be the main warship of any battle in the Castle Age, the War Galley is good for coastal raids and protecting fishing or trading fleets. They are easily defeated by fire ships.
    • Fire Ship - These ships do not have ranged attack like the war galley, but they are fast and are strong against war galley attack. Fire ships spew fire at enemy ships at a very fast rate, causing heavy damage. They have high attack bonus versus all ships, but are defeated by demolition ships. These are representative of Greek fire.
    • Demolition Ship - These ships are floating bombs. Inexpensive and very fast, they are designed to sail right up to a ship and explode. They can destroy transport ships quickly, repelling an enemy landing. They also destroy fire ships, because their low range prevents them from destroying demolition ships before they explode. Galleys, on the other hand, have high attack and range, destroying Demolition Ships before they can even get close. Demolition Ships can also destroy coastal buildings.
    • Longboat (Viking unique unit) - This ship fires multiple arrows at enemies very quickly. It is weaker than galleys, but its faster attack means that it will win ship to ship against them. They can also defeat fire ships with more ease than a galley and tear apart demolition ships. The Longboat is available only to the Vikings. On another note, the Vikings do not receive the fast fire ship or the fire ship. The longboat is also very useful in coastal raiding.
    • Turtle Ship (Korean unique unit) - This ship is heavily armored, has a plenty of hit points and carries cannon armament. The only downsides are that they are expensive, have a short range, slow, and appear only in the expansion pack. Unlike the war wagons detailed below, these units are authentic.
  • Imperial Age
    • Galleon (Upgraded from War Galley) - The strongest of the galley line with improved range, hit points, and attack. They still have the same place in the rock-paper-scissors match up between warships.
    • Fast Fire Ship (Upgraded from Fire Ship) - Even stronger than a galleon, the fast fire ship is the ultimate defensive ship when being supported by fortifications.
    • Heavy Demolition Ship (Upgraded from Demolition Ship) - These ships carry much more powerful explosive and do splash damage to ships near the explosion they cause. Heavy Demolition Ships are usually a last ditch effort to ward off an enemy sea attack.
    • Cannon Galleon - A very interesting kind of ship, they are the trebuchets of the seas. Cannon galleons have enough range to stay out of the reach of most towers and castles. They have the same strengths and weaknesses of the trebuchet, except that the cannon galleon possesses mobility, however slow it may be. Cannon galleons are weak against all ships. They do not benefit from ballistics technology, except for the Spanish.
    • Elite Cannon Galleon (Upgraded from Cannon Galleon) - The stronger version of the cannon galleon. Not completely intended for ship to ship combat, the elite cannon galleon destroys enemy fortifications. If needed, the cannon galleon can engage enemy ships. Their shots can distract other ships and keep them occupied while they dodge the cannon galleon, being fired at from other ships all the while.
    • Elite Longboat (Upgraded from Longboat) (Viking unique unit) - The stronger version of the longboat. It can defeat most ships except for the fire ship, but can still combat them when massed.
    • Elite Turtle Ship (Upgraded from Turtle Ship) (Korean unique unit) - The stronger version of the turtle ship. It is more heavily armored and armed, and the range is slightly increased. They only appear in The Conquerors expansion pack.

Other Units

  • King - A unit found only in regicide games. Players have only one king at the beginning of the game, until the end. The point of regicide games is to protect one's king while killing one's enemies' kings. The king can garrison inside town centers, towers, or the castle that is usually provided for the player at the beginning of the game. Kings lack attack, defense, and have low hit points, but are very fast.
  • Sheep - Found on most maps. By moving a unit close to them, players can control sheep. Its real use is for villagers to herd it and kill it for food early in the game. Sheep are the easiest food source in the game; they can be moved to the proximity of a town center and easily harvested. They have also become an important part of early scouting in the game, particularly on the Land Nomad map where players begin without a scout cavalry. However this scouting is risky, as sheeps' succeptability to conversion may provide enemies with an extra source of food. In some settings in the Conquerors Expansion (particularly Yucatan) they are substituted with turkeys.
  • Deer, Wild Boar and Javelina - These animals can be hunted by villagers as a food resource. They cannot be herded (though some experts do utilize techniques to force deer to run closer towards a gathering point, such as a mill, in order to limit villager walking distance and hence limit wasted time), although they will move around a small range as they graze or forage. Wild boar and javelina (in Meso American maps) will counter-attack hunters.
  • Horse - This unit does nothing. It has low health, no attack, and produces no food. They only appear in campaigns.
  • Wolf and Jaguar - The wolf and jaguar (in Meso American maps) will attack most units, (notably not scout cavalry, as this would provide a great risk to early game scouting), but are easily defeated. Villagers are the most succeptible to their attacks, as a villager without the loom technology does not have enough hitpoints to sustain a fight against a wolf or jaguar. Some maps feature increased numbers of wolves, such as Gold Rush and ES@Paradise Island. They do not provide food.
  • Hunting Wolf - In popular history, hunting dogs were more common, though they weren't used to fight in battles. The hunting wolf, however, was used for both hunting and occasionally used for battles. They are found only in campaigns.
  • Stormy Dog - A generally useless unit, as they are only created through cheating. They can scout. They are controlled by Player 0.
  • Pavilion and Yurt - Similar to houses, they cannot be built and are found only in campaign games. They have less hitpoints than houses, so it makes no sense to build them.
  • Bleda the Hun - For reasons unknown, Bleda the Hun is not a hero unit, but a normal unit. He obviously cannot be produced from buildings, and only appears once in a campaign. This could be because Bleda is not player controlled; he is an enemy to the player. If Bleda were a hero, he would heal. By making him a regular unit, he won't heal, and the goal is a little easier for the player.
  • Dark Age
    • Villager, at the town center - The building block of a civilization, villagers gather resources with which players train soldiers and raise buildings. They create buildings by themselves and can repair those same structures, as well as siege weapons and ships. Villagers can even be pressed into combat if absolutely necessary. They are the cheapest unit at 50 food.
  • Feudal Age
    • Trade Cart, at market - Trade carts are used to trade with other markets across land and obtain gold. When a trade cart comes into contact with a market belonging to another player, they can generate gold for the player. Neither player loses resources when a trade cart travels in between their markets, and the player with the trade cart receives gold in proportion to the distance between the markets. The player with the market gets 10% of the gold that the other player gets. Trade carts can become extremely important in the late game when gold reserves are running low, they can keep a player in the fight. Trade carts have no attack and are vulnerable to all other units.
  • Castle Age
    • Monk, at monastery - The monk is used to heal friendly units, convert enemy units, and carry relics. Monks are very useful to an army in battle, being able to keep friendly units in the fight and replenish the army by stealing soldiers from the opposing army. Relic victories require the monk. A monk can grab a relic, and bring it back to their monastery. The relic generates free gold for the player with the monastery at a very slow rate. In standard victory conditions, when a player or a team of allies has all the relics on the map, a countdown begins. When the countdown is up, the player or team with the relics wins. If any one of the relics is lost or an alliance with another relic holder is broken, the countdown ends and a new one appears when a player or team gains all the relics, or a broken alliance is reconstituted.
  • Imperial Age
    • Wonder - This building is extremely costly, and takes a lot of time to complete. They have different appearances for every civilization. They have about as much health as castles, though they occupy a larger area. Players will have this as one of their main targets, as when they exist for 200 years, the owner's team wins.
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