Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition – All Civilizations Guide (Bonuses, Tips and Strategies)

A complete guide to get you started with the Civs of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, their respective Tech Trees, and their individual counters.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Villagers carry capacity +5
  • All Military Units are created 15% faster
  • Monks gain 5 HP for every tech researched at the Monastery
  • Loom Tech free
  • No Gunpowder or Cavalry Units
  • Scout Cavalry is replaced by Eagle Warrior (or Eagle Scout depending on game version i.e Conquerors/Forgotten/African/Rajas)

Team Bonus: Relics generate +33% Gold

Unique Tech: Garland Wars – Increases Infantry attack by +4

Unique Unit: Jaguar Warrior (Anti-Infantry Unit)

Jaguar Warriors are one of the strongest infantry units in the game due to their improved attack bonus granted by Garland Wars. They are able to hold their own against every infantry unit in a 1v1 situation, including the Teutonic Knight, provided the Jaguar Warrior manages to make the first blow. Their main weakness is lack of pierce armor, making them vulnerable to archers and heavy cavalry.


“Military units created 15% faster” It also concerns Monks, which are not considered like military units. In short this bonus concerns all units except Villagers, Fishing Ships and Trade Carts/Cogs. And the real figure is: 1/(1*0.85) = 1.176 17.6% faster.

Aztec fully upgraded Champions are, with Elite War Elephants and Elite Teutonic Knights, the only melee units which can kill villagers in two strikes…


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Town Centers cost -50% Wood from the Castle Age
  • Foot archers (except Skirmishers) have +1 range in Castle Age, +1 in Imperial Age (+2 range total)
  • Shepherds work 25% faster

Team Bonus: Archery Ranges work 20% faster

Unique Tech: Yeomen – (+1) Range for Foot Archers, (+2) Attack for towers

Unique Unit: Longbowman (Long-range foot Archer)

The Longbowman boasts the greatest archer range in the entire game. Starting off at a base of 5, upgrades from the blacksmith, researching Elite Longbowman and Yeomen at the Castle will bring the Longbowman’s max range up to 12, thus out-ranging Castles, Towers, Mangonels, and Scorpions including rival Unique Archer units from other civilisations. They also have a higher attack than normal archers.


The best strategy for using Longbowmen is in a group of at least 15. Using them in base defence behind walls with locked gates is another useful tactic. When on the battlefield, protect your Longbowman contingents with a combination of Infantry and Cavalry. Being archer units, Longbowmen won’t last long against as little as 5 knights .

“Yeomen: Foot archers have +1 range” It also concerns Skirmishers, which make them pretty good (though Aztecs ones and Incas with their unique tech are arguably a bit better): even without Thumb Ring, Skirmishers actually don’t get a faster rate of fire from Thumb Ring, only an accuracy boost from 90% from 100% which is overshadowed by Briton’s +1 range.

Warwolf give Trebuchets a very small Blast Radius of 0.5 (same splash area as Logistics or Druzhina), but also 100% accuracy (on immobile units/buildings) as a secondary effect.

Longbowmen have less accuracy than standard archer-line:

  • Archer: 80% accuracy
  • Crossbowman: 85% accuracy
  • Arbalest: 90% accuracy
  • Longbowman: 70% accuracy
  • Elite Longbowman: 80% accuracy


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Buildings gain +10% HPs in Dark Age, +20% Feudal Age, +30% Castle Age, +40% Imperial Age
  • Camels, Skirmishers, Pikemen, Halberdiers are cost -25%
  • Fire Ships +20% Attack
  • Advance to Imp Age costs -33% (667 Food and 536 Gold instead of 1000 Food and 800 Gold)
  • Town Watch Tech free

Team Bonus: Monks heal 50% faster

Unique Tech: Logistica – Cataphracts do trample damage

Unique Unit: Cataphract (Anti-Infantry Cavalry)

The Cataphract is the unit with the fewest weaknesses. They have a bonus attack against infantry units, making them an ideal defence force. Despite having a disadvantage when it comes to facing Heavy Camels and Mamelukes, the Cataphracts are effective against all units, making them a force to be reckoned with. Still, keeping some infantry with them would be wise seeing as Halberdiers can still be a threat to Cataphracts.

The Persian War Elephant will be able to defeat Cataphracts with ease thanks to their high attack and HP. Just make sure not to attack with less than 10. A large force of cataphracts can take down 5 war elephants without much difficulty, especially if there are several castles and monks in the general vicinity. Archers, Hand Cannoneers and Scorpions also have a slight advantage thanks to a lower pierce armour on the Cataphracts part.


“Logistica: Cataphracts cause trample damage” Also adds +6 to the Cataphract bonus against infantry (9 to 15 for non-elite/12 to 18 for elite); a fully upgraded Elite Cataphract kill a FU Gothic Halberdier in only two hits.

It is worth noting Cataphracts/Elite Cataphracts got 12/16 bonus defense against anti-cavalry/anti-unique units, making them immune against non-heavy Camels, Mamelukes, Samurais…and only taking small bonus damage from Heavy Camels and Pikemen.

Though it’s not a good idea to face large groups of Halberdiers with FU Elite Cataphracts as they still suffer from 16 bonus damage from halbs, go with Archers/Skirms or Hand Cannoneers to deal with them.

“Elite Cataphract upgrade: Upgrades your Cataphracts and lets you create Elite Cataphracts, which are stronger and better armored” Both got exactly the same base armor: 2/1.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Villagers move +10% faster
  • Stable units cost -20% (starting in castle age)
  • Ships move +10% faster

Team Bonus: Genitour availible at Archery Range

Unique Techs

  • Kasbah: Team castles work +25% faster
  • Maghrabi Camels: Camel troops regenerate

Unique Units

  • Camel Archer: Cavalry Archer with bonus against cavalry archers
  • Genitour: Mounted Skirmisher

Camel Archers – The Berbers have the Camel Archer for their unique castle unit. Being a camel unit, it has an advantage against cavalry, but only of the archer variety i.e. Mangudai and Cavalry Archers. The best strategy would be to use them in small, quick battalions alongside anti-pikemen units. However, I’d recommend a contingent of heavy cavalry to deal with any units with high pierce armor as well as pikemen to deal with camels.

Genitour – Like the Italians, Vikings, and Koreans, the Berbers have two units specific to their civ, the first being the Camel Archer. The second, the Genitour, is a mounted skirmisher, a unit that’s effective against archers, mounted and cavalry. Best used in small battalions to utilize their speed, I’d suggest matching them with heavy cavalry to prevent problems with units possessing high pierce armor, or infantry and archers to deal with pikemen and your own pikemen to counter camels.


The Berbers have one of the most powerful Castle Age Knight rushes in the game due to their 15% reduced cost. Their Camels and Hussar are also affected by this bonus and are backed up by full upgrades, giving a powerful advantage against other cavalry civilisations. Notably, the Berber Hussar line is cheaper than the Magyars, allowing the Berbers to go toe-to-toe effectively in “trash unit” wars. This Stable discount eclipses those of other civs while also affecting more units, and is not to be underestimated. Genitours are also a great asset in Trash Wars.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Free Lumber Camp Upgrades
  • Infantry +1 Attack per Age (Starting in Feudal Age)
  • Monastery techs 50% cheaper

Team Bonus: Relics are visible on the mini map

Unique Techs

  • Howdah (Castle Age): Battle Elephants get +1/+2 armor
  • Manipur Cavalry (Imperial Age): Cavalry and Arambai get +6 attack versus buildings

Unique Units

  • Arambai: (A powerful, but inaccurate cavalry)

The Burmese Arambai is a cavalry archer with a powerful attack that is unfortunately negated by their horrendous accuracy. Through trial and error (with the assistance of Hardfoil), we decided that the best strength of the Arambai is served in small, quick cohorts that can engage and retreat swiftly from any entanglements they may encounter. Because of their pitiful accuracy, it is best to use them to attack large blocks of troops in order to maximize the damage they do across an area of effect. By far the simplest way to counter the Arambai is with excessive amounts of pikeman. Some of the infantry will certainly fall whilst moving to engage, but if enough, the pikemen will rip the Arambai to shreds.


Their Monks are also exceptionally strong, with access to all Monastery technologies available (save for Heresy in order to give their Battle Elephants a more fleshed out counter) and they even get a 50% discount on them. Their team bonus also helps their Monks by revealing the locations of all Relics on the map, allowing the Burmese player and their teammates to quickly collect them and have a gold lead in the late game. This is especially useful on Arena maps, where the Burmese can quickly advance to the Castle Age behind the safety of their walls.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Militia line units are upgraded for free.
  • Town Centres cost -50% stone.
  • Can build Krepost.

Team Bonus: Blacksmiths work 50% faster.

Unique Tech: Can build Krepost.

Unique Unit: Konnik: Cavalry that keeps on fighting as a dismounted infantry when killed.

The strength of this unit relies on their durability, as they have to be killed twice, while they can also mess with the possible opponents’ response to cavalry. They can be created at Kreposts, which are a fortification similar to a Castle, but weaker and cheaper (about half the price of a Castle). The attack speed of the Konnik can be improved with their Castle Age unique technology Stirrups, who also improves the attack speed of the Scout Cavalry line. Regarding the Stable they have full upgrades for both the Paladin and the Hussar.

Unique technologies:

  • Stirrups
  • Bagains


They are great at rushing, since their Militia-line infantry automatically upgrades upon advancing to the next age, while their team bonus enables their blacksmith to rapidly upgrade their units. Also, these units retain their value as their unique technology Bagainsgives their Militia-line Infantry +3 melee armour. They have most upgrades available for infantry, only lacking the Champion upgrade.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Lumberjacks work 15% faster
  • Infantry move 15% faster
  • Siege weapons fire 20% faster
  • Sheep cannot be converted if in 1 Celt Unit’s line of sight

Team Bonus: Siege Workshops work 20% faster

Unique Tech: Furor Celtica – Siege Units have +40% HP

Unique Unit: Woad Raider (Fast-moving Infantry)

The Woad Raider is the fastest non-hero infantry in the game, making it an excellent rushing unit and about the same speed as a scout cavalry. They’re best used against low-level, non-unique infantry and most archers, but become chow food against stronger infantry variants and cavalry. Woad Raiders are also effective against siege weapons and have a bonus against buildings, making them ideal for destroying wonders.


“Siege Weapons fire 20% faster”

Actually all the AoE rate of fires are calculated using an “attack reloading time” thing. Setting this value to 0.8 means that the Celtic Siege fire 1/(1*0.8) = 1.25 25% faster, associated with their +40% HP bonus, it makes Celts particularly overpowered on closed choky maps like Black Forest.

“Woad Raider: Celtic unique unit. Exceptionally quick infantry.”

A FU Elite Woad Raider moves at 1.2 base speed + 15% civ bonus = 1.38 speed, whereas an Elite Eagle Warrior moves at 1.3 base speed + 10% civ bonus = 1.43 speed. So that “exceptionally quick infantry” is slower than Elite Eagle Warriors contrary to popular beliefs.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Start Game with 3 extra villagers but -200 Food and -50 Wood
  • Town Center supports 10 population instead of 5
  • Technologies cost -10% in Feudal Age, -15% Castle Age, -20% Imp Age
  • Demolition Ships have +50% HP

Team Bonus: Farms start with +45 food

Unique Tech: Rocketry – Chu Ko Nu (+2) attack, Scorpions (+4) attack

Unique Unit: Chu Ko Nu (Rapid-fire Archer)

The Chu Ko Nu is the only archer in the game that fires multiple shots with each attack. A normal Chu Ko Nu fire 3 arrows per attack while an Elite Chu Ko Nu fire 5 arrows. However, only the first arrow does full damage while the following do only 3. Their large attack and quick fire rate is offset by their low health, lack of base armor, and a base range of 4.

Several successful tactics for using Chu Ko Nu is mingling them with Arbalests and Infantry: Arbalests for clearing away most anti-archer units and Infantry for fending off cavalry and mopping up after the Arbalests. Another tactic is garrisoning them inside Castles and Towers, thus greatly increasing the building’s firepower.The most ideal way of defeating Chu Ko Nu is with longer ranged archers, large numbers of heavy cavalry and siege weapons with splash damage.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Can build an additional Town Center in the Feudal Age.
  • Siege Workshop and Battering Ram available in the Feudal Age.
  • Cavalry moves 10% faster starting in the Feudal Age.

Unique Techs:

  • Steppe Husbandry: Scout Cavalry line and Cavalry Archers are trained 80% faster.
  • Cuman Mercenaries: Team members can create 10 free Elite Kipchaks in the Castle.

Unique Units: Kipchak: Multi-shot cavalry archer.

Essentially a mounted Chu Ko Nu (Chinese unique unit). It’s stats aren’t spectacular, but makes up for it in it’s cheap cost and speed. Very micro-intensive.


My personal favourite Civ since Conquers, what the Cumans lack in Dark Age bonuses, they make for in absurd booming capacity. You will be in a very good spot right out of the gate with the Feudal Age Town centres, which no one will be able to keep up with. Alternatively, the Siege Workshop and Battering Ram being available in the Feudal Age means you will be able to mount brutal attacks on slower economy enemies. Missing Bracers for cavalry is a little annoying, but Steppe Husbandry more than makes up for it.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Archers move +15% faster
  • Receive +100 gold, +100 food when advancing to the next age
  • Pikemen and Halberdier upgrades free

Team Bonus: Towers and Outposts +3 LOS

Unique Techs:

  • Royal Heirs: Shotel Warriors are created nearly instantly
  • Torsion Engines: Siege workshop units blast radius increase

Unique Units:

Shotel Warrior – The Ethiopians’ Shotel Warrior is a cheap, quick-to-build infantry unit with devastating attack power, allowing it to compete with the Teutons’ Teutonic Knight and the Aztecs’ Jaquar Warrior for strongest infantry (disallowing heroes). Because of their low cost and quick build time, I suggest creating Shotel Warriors in bulk to simply swarm any enemies. However, their high attack rating is offset by their squishyness. Providing an escort of cavalry and archers would be a wise course of action, particularly to deal with siege weapons with splash damage. Mangonels can be devastating.


The extremely high attack of the Shotel warrior makes him a great unit for razing, but they are very weak as well. They are fearsome when rushing enemy castles in large numbers. They start on castle age and have 1+2 pierce armour, so they like to fight archers or non armoured units the most. If nobody in your team needs your help, get your razes fast and start producing crossbowmen as soon as possible, which can be fully upgraded once you reach imperial age. Archer line of units fires +15% faster so take this in consideration. If facing Persians, Huns or goths you should use the same strategy as Celts and rush their castles asap. Ethiopian siege rams have an impressive area of effect, so count on them as well.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Castles cost -25%
  • Cavalry +20% HP
  • Farm upgrades free
  • Foragers work 25% faster

Team Bonus: Knights have +2 LoS

Unique Tech: Bearded Axe – (+1) Range for Throwing Axeman

Unique Unit:

Throwing Axeman (Infantry with Ranged Attack) – The most interesting thing about the Throwing Axeman is the classification. Even though it’s an infantry unit, it has a ranged attack that makes them useful when dealing with Anti-Archer units with high pierce armour. In addition, Throwing Axemen have an attack bonus against buildings and are prime for destroying Battering Rams from behind walls without compromising defences by opening gates. But, their inferior range makes them vulnerable to Cavalry, Scorpions and hit-and-run tactics by archers. The Franks lack of the Squire tech makes the Throwing Axeman slow and not as maneuverable as other infantry.


Fast Castle into Knights /thread


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Infantry cost -35% starting in Feudal Age
  • Infantry have +1 attack bonus vs buildings
  • Villagers have +5 attack bonus vs boars
  • (+10) population cap in Imperial Age
  • Unable to build Stone Walls

Team Bonus: Barracks work 20% faster

Unique Tech: 

  • Anarchy(Castle Age) – Huskarls can be created at Barracks
  • Perfusion(Imp Age) – Barracks create units 100% faster

Unique Unit: Huskarl (Anti-Archer and Arrow-Resistant Infantry)

The Huskarl has decent attack and reasonable speed, but the main asset of the Huskarl is their 6 pierce armor, making them an ideal archer deterrent and allowing them to attack a castle with ignorance. In general, they are well-rounded units that can deal with most threats. However, they are a bit short coming when pitted against cavalry and mounted archers (I.E. Cavalry Archers, Mangudai, & War Wagons).


Fear the Goth wave. Everyone knows that you cannot let a Goth player get to imperial age. They will almost undoubtedly try and rush you down, or at least cripple you to stop the inevitable Huskarl tide. Use this to your advantage. Let them break themselves upon you. Alternatively, attempt an early game rush with your superior infantry.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Don’t need Houses, but start game with -100 wood
  • Cavalry Archers cost -10% Castle Age, -20% Imperial
  • Trebuchets +30% Accuracy

Team Bonus: Stables work 20% faster

Unique Tech: Atheism – (+100) years for Relic & Wonder Victories, Spies/Treason cost -50%

Unique Unit: Tarkan (Anti-Building Cavalry)

The Tarkan’s basic role is that of building destruction. Best categorized as a medium cavalry, having HP, Armour, and Attack somewhere between Light Cavalry & Knights. In addition to destroying buildings, Tarkansm are reasonably effective against most ranged units and light cavalry. Their Pierce Armour is substantial enough to withstand attacks from defensive structures, so they are capable of taking down towers and castles, depending on the size of the contingent. They best serve as hit-and-run raiders, destroying a building or two and retreating before a counter-attack can be realized. They also are able to survive pitched battles if the need arises.

Being classified as medium cavalry, Tarkans are less capable of surviving against infantry, heavy cavalry and camels. Despite having a 20 HP advantage and a slight advantage in armor, Cataphracts can beat Tarkans by a narrow margin.


Tarkans (elite) are created in 14 (14) seconds from Castles, whereas – with Marauders Castle Age Tech researched – Tarkans (elite) are created in 26 (24) seconds from Stables.

Tarkans rate of fire is very slow for a non-trash melee unit: 2.1. (Infantry except Spear-line, Scout and Light Cav at 2.0, Paladins and Hussars at 1.9, rest at 1.8 or more rarely 1.7, 1.95…). In short: They only excel at taking out buildings and villas.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Start with a free llama
  • Villagers affected by Blacksmith upgrades
  • Houses support 10 population
  • Buildings cost -15% stone
  • Scout Cavalry is replaced by Eagle Warrior (or Eagle Scout depending on game version i.e Conquerors/Forgotten/African/Rajas)

Team Bonus: Farms built 50% faster

Unique Techs: Couriers: Eagle Warriors, Slingers and Kamayuks +1/+2 armor

Andean Sling: Skirmishers and Slingers have no minimum range

Unique Unit(s):

Kamayuk – The basic idea of the Kamayuk is to be the Incan version of the Greek Phalanx. Their primary ability is their bonus against cavalry, but because of a massive spear, the Kamayuk is capable of attacking from behind units and keeping its distance from infantry and archers. This also means that the Kamayuk can attack through walls. A good tactic when using Kamayuks would be to have a decent size contingent in front of the Incas’ other unique unit, the Slinger.

Slinger – Slingers are anti-infantry archers that can be built from the archery range. Despite having a less than average range, the Andean Sling tech can cancel that weakness out. Their significant bonus against infantry is a decent deterrant for infantry with the intent of breaking up a contingent of Kamayuks. Being archers, they’re vulnerable to cavalry and mounted units. But when matched up with the Incas’ other unique unit, a solid tactic is created. Like the Italian’s Condottiero, the Slinger has no elite upgrade.


“Villagers affected by Blacksmith upgrades” – Only by Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace and infantry defense ones.

(Elite) Kamayuks’ receive (12) 8 bonus attack against mounted units, making them devastating even against Paladins when patrolled tight to bunch them up – indeed, they got 1 range – Moreover, they don’t get any bonuses against Eagles or even buildings, making them really a one-of-a-kind infantry.

Slingers’ receive 10 bonus attack against infantry, +1 bonus against Spear-line, and also 1 bonus against Rams.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Villagers cost -10% Dark, -15% Feudal, -20% Castle, -25% Imperial
  • Fishermen work 15% faster and carry +15
  • Camels +1/+1 armor

Team Bonus: Camels +5 attack vs. buildings

Unique Techs:

  • Sultans: All gold income +10%
  • Shatagni: Hand Cannoneers get +1 Range

Unique Units:

Elephant Archer – Same as the Persian War Elephant, the Elephant Archer has a significant amount of HP and Pierce Armor and does the same amount of damage as a Cavalry Archer with a lower rate of fire. However, being mounted on an elephant, movement speed is significantly reduced compared to a cavalry archer. The best way to counter an Elephant Archer would be simply this: Pikemen. Bleeding carploads of pikemen. Or camels. Those work too.

Imperial Camel – An upgrade from the Heavy Camel, the Imp Camel is a harder hitting anti-cavalry unit. With a high HP count, decent attack, high speed, and augmented armor, the Imp Camel can easily take Paladins on 1v1 and, when in a group, can defeat War Elephants with relative ease. Being a cavalry unit, Pikemen are an ideal defense against them.


(Elite) Elephant Archers have (4) 3 bonus attack against buildings, and even a (+4) +3 additional bonus on “Stone Defenses” (Towers, Stone Walls & Gates); it’s the only archer unit which deal bonuses against buildings (except Mayan Archers, but they need Obsidian Arrows Castle Age unique technology).

Because of some bug, Elephant Archers are not affected by the +2 bonus against Spearmen that Parthian Tactics should give to them.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Advancing to next age costs -15%
  • All dock techs cost -50%
  • Fishing ship cost -15 wood
  • Gunpowder units cost -25%

Team Bonus: Condottiero also available in allies’ barracks in Imperial Age (once you have built a castle)

Unique Techs:

  • Pavise: Foot Archers +1/+1 armour
  • Silk Road: Trade units cost -50%

Unique Units:

Genoese Crossbowman – This crossbowman is the only archer unit in AoEII(Eds note:except in some cases Plumed Archer) with some kind of edge of cavalry units. Despite having a shorter range, the Genoese Crossbowman has a +5 attack against cavalry, +4 against Camels and Mamelukes, and a whopping +10 against War Elephants and Elephant Archers. The obvious usage for the Genoese Crossbowman is to counter cavalry.

Condottiero: Infantry with bonus against gunpowder units. Boring!


(Elite) Genoese Crossbowmen receive (5) 4 bonus damage against Camels/Mamelukes, (14) 10 bonus against Elephants, and (7) 5 bonus against all other mounted units.

Elite Genoese Crossbowmen are created 3 sec faster than normal ones (22s to 19s), and also fire 50% faster (3 to 2s reload rate).

Condotierro receive 10 bonus attack against gunpowder units, and 10 bonus defence against anti-infantry units. They also don’t get any bonuses against Eagles, which is unusual for a non-trash infantry unit.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Fishing ships have x2 HP, +2 piercing armor, work rate +5% Dark, +10% Feudal, +15% Castle, +20% Imperial
  • Mills, Lumber/Mining Camps cost -50%
  • Infantry attack 25% faster starting in Feudal Age

Team Bonus: Galleys have +50% LoS

Unique Tech: Kataparuto – Trebuchets fire & pack faster

Unique Unit: Samurai (Infantry Unit with Bonus against other Unique Units)

At a glance, Samurai seem to be weaker in combat than their Barracks counterparts (the Long Swordsman in the Castle Age and Champion in the Imp Age). When it comes to the late game when Unique Units are in abundance, the Samurai plays a bigger role, having an attack bonus against other Unique Units. Samurai are very effective against heavy infantry and can be deadly against civilisations who rely on their Unique Units towards endgame. The only units they aren’t cost effective against are Cataphracts, War Elephants and Teutonic Knights.


“Infantry attack 25% faster starting at Feudal Age” – Actually all the AoE rate of fires are calculated using an “attack reloading time” thing. Setting this value to 0.75 means that the Japanese infantry strikes 1/(1*0.75) = 1.33… 33% faster, which makes them really devastating; in a 1v1 Champion War, a Japanese Champ can even kill a fully upgraded Aztec Champ with Garland Wars +4 attack, or a Viking one with +20% HP. Their Samurais are even more devastating with a rate of fire of 1.9 instead of typical 2 of swordmen infantry: in Fact Samurais are the fastest striking melee unit in the whole game.

Last but not least, of course Halberdiers which fires 33% faster makes Japanese halbs arguably the best, maybe tie with Slav (Splash damage) and Celtic ones (5% faster).

AoF: Yasama make the Towers fire three extra arrows for a total of four when ungarrisoned, the same number as an ungarrisoned Castle.

Kataparuto allows Trebuchets to pack/unpack four times faster – 2.75 s instead of 11 s – and make them fire 33% faster. Fun fact: A fully upgraded Japanese Halberdier slay a fully upgraded Byzantine Paladin.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Villagers have +3 LoS
  • Stone Miners work 20% faster
  • Tower Upgrades free (Chemistry still required for Bombard Tower)
  • Towers Range +1 Castle Age, +2 Imp Age
  • Fortifications are built faster

Team Bonus: Mangonels minimum range reduced

Unique Tech: Shinkichon – (+1) Range for Mangonels & Onagers

Unique Unit:

War Wagon – The War Wagon possesses a high pierce armor, making it an ideal anti-archer unit. It’s more powerful and resilient than a cavalry archer, but is more expensive and not as fast. They’re more effective in numbers and should be used alongside a contingent of Halberdiers/Pikemen for protection against cavalry and camels, which can destroy War Wagons with ease.

Turtle Ship – The Turtle Ship can be used for multiple purposes. It can either be used in ship-to-ship conflicts or to provide devastating cover for the first stage of a land attack. Being heavily armored makes the Turtle Ship slow and subject to hit-and-run tactics as well as heavy demolition ships. Because of the short range the Turtle Ship possesses can bring it close to the shoreline, thus making it subject to attacks from Mangonels & Onagers which Turtle Ships are weak against.


AoF: Korean Team Bonus reduces the Mangonel-line minimum range from 3 to 1 (same as a Skirmisher), which is simply huge. Use it!

War Wagons recieve a 5 bonus attack against all buildings. They are also the only bolt-firing unit in the Cavalry Archer class.

Fun fact: Turtle Ships are the only unit/building which fire iron bullets with a base minimum range of 0.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Prereq buildings aren’t required to advance to further ages or unlock other buildings (i.e., a castle is not required to advance to the Imp age or a blacksmith is not required to build a siege workshop)
  • Battle Elephants are +15% faster
  • Villagers can garrison in Houses

Team Bonus: Scorpions have +1 range

Unique Techs:

  • Tusk Swords (Castle Age): Battle Elephants get +3 attack
  • Double Crossbow (Imperial Age): Ballista Elephants and Scorpions shoot two projectiles

Unique Units:

Ballista Elephant: First off, the term ‘cavalry siege unit’ is a major misnomer. In testing, it was discovered that the Ballista Elephant’s only true strength is in defense. They’re best against infantry and archers due to the Elephant’s piercing attack (like the scorpion’s), especially when said troops are in large blocks. In regard to their efficiency against buildings, there’s a major drop. Ballista Elephants do very little damage against buildings and suffer greatly when faced with anything anti-cavalry like halberdiers and camels. Best course of action, use the Ballista Elephants to soften up enemy troops instead of using them as front-line fighters.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Start with +150 food.
  • Spearman line and Skirmishers move 10% faster.
  • Cavalry get +1 attack for each Relic garrisoned in the Monastery, up to +5.

Team Bonus: Walls cost -50%

Unique Tech:

  • Hill Forts: Town Centres +3 range.
  • Tower Shields: Spearman line and Skirmishers +1 pierce armour.

Unique Unit:

The Leitis: A Cavalry unit whose attack ignores armour. Scary stuff.

Fast Castle into Knight or Leitis Rush will be VERY strong with this Civ. Their 150 extra food and their attack bonus makes up for this. In this case, the player should take their Dark Age normally (advancing at 22 population) and save the extra food for the Castle Age upgrade, while also saving at least 200 gold (preferably 300) for making Monks, which will be used for retrieving Relics. Once in the Castle Age, Lithuanians should strike with Knights and Leitis and focus on the search for Relics with their Monks. If the player gets lucky and claims 5 Relics, they will get the upper hand, since their cavalry will surpass even the attack of Malian cavalry With Farimba (which is an Imperial Age technology), but even with just one Relic, a Knight rush with Lithuanians is very viable.


The Lithuanians’ Civ bonus is one of the scariest in the entire game. Imagine 10 paladins crashing down on you.. with 5 extra attack. Yeah, the enemy want that. The Lithuanians almost play like a more micro intensive version of the Goths. 1)Get relics/Boom 2)Fend off attackers 3)Profit?

Hill Forts allows Town Centres to maintain a good defence in the Castle Age. Considering that they also have almost all the relevant defensive technologies, except for Arrowslits and Hoardings. Also, two of their core units – the Spearman line and the Skirmisher – are also used mostly for defending (against cavalry and archers, respectively). Considering their Imperial Age technology Tower Shields, which improves the Spearmen line’s and Skirmishers’ pierce armour, while both unit lines are also faster, they are a strong civilisation in trash wars. Their Skirmishers in particular become even more effective against archers.

As already stated, if a Lithuanian player has at least 2 or 3 relics, considering they also have all improvements for Paladins and Hussars, and their unique unit,the Leitis, they will be force to fear in the late game.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Starts with +1 Villager but -50 Food
  • Resources last 15% longer
  • Archery Range Units cost -10% Feudal Age, -20% Castle Age, -30% Imp Age
  • No Gunpowder or Cavalry Units
  • Scout Cavalry is replaced by Eagle Warrior (or Eagle Scout depending on game version i.e Conquerors/Forgotten/African/Rajas)

Team Bonus: Walls cost -50%

Unique Tech: El Dorado (+40% HP for Eagle Warriors)

Unique Unit: Plumed Archer (Fast, well-armoured foot archer)

The prominent differences between normal archers and the Plumed Archer is the Plumed Archer’s lower range and attack, but possesses a higher HP count and has exceptional speed, thus allowing them to keep up with most cavalry. A preferable tactic when using the Plumed Archer is hit-and-run, allowing them to effectively replace the Cavalry Archer. They do have an attack bonus against infantry, making them ideal for taking out long swordsman. However, they are vulnerable to cavalry, which means they should be accompanied by an contingent of Pikemen/Halberdiers. They are made less expensive by the Mayan Unique Bonus, making them the least expensive Unique Unit except in Full Tech Tree matches.


To nerf them, their farmers work 22% slower (theoretically, the real effect is around 5% slower) than the ones of the other civs, which makes their infantry spam (either Halberdiers, Two-Handed Swordsmen) mediocre in the late game. Fortunately, their elite units (Plumed Archers, Elite Eagle Warriors, Siege Rams) are little to no food intensive.

Plumed Archers/Elite also get 1/2 bonus attack against all infantry (2/2 bonus for Spearmen, 2 minimum damage against Huskarls for Elite Plumed Archers), making them great against infantry.

Obsidian Arrows Castle UT give +4 attack against buildings (and an additional +4 to “Stone Defenses, aka Stone Walls, Towers and Stone Gates) to Archers, Crossbowmen and Arbalests…but not Plumed Archers.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Villagers can kill wolves with 1 strike
  • Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace free
  • Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Hussar cost -15%

Team Bonus: Foot Archers +2 LOS

Unique Techs:

  • Mercenaries: Magyar Huszar costs no gold
  • Recurve Bow: Cavalry archers get +1 range, +1 attack

Unique Unit:

Magyar Huszar – With a high attack and a bonus against siege weapons, the Magyar Huszar is an ideal unit for countering siege units. The best way for using them would be in blocks of 10-20, depending on if Pikemen accompany the advancing siege equipment. Being a Cavalry unit, the Huszar is obviously vulnerable to masses of Pikemen. Bringing infantry along to protect the Huszars is a wise plan.


You should try to raze yourself asap (ie: against an archer Civ) or be set by your allies. Be careful against Incas, Saracens or Italians, as they will try to farm on you.

Your gates are quite weak so the enemy may try to focus on you to let their 1-raze Civs get villagers. Once you get villagers and taking advantage of the castle age already researched, you should start producing knights and cavalry archers, as you will be able to fully upgrade them once on imperial age. They represent a force to be reckoned due to the mixture of paladins and cavalry archers (who get +1 range and +1 attack). Try to build kills against archers to get to imperial age fast.

(Elite) Magyar Huszar get (8) 5 bonus attack against Siege Weapons, and strike slightly faster than a “normal” Hussar: only 1.8 ROF (compared to the 1.9 for Hussars)


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Cavalry Archers fire 20% faster
  • Light Cavalry, Hussar have +30% HP
  • Hunters work 50% faster

Team Bonus: Scout Cavalry line has +2 LoS

Unique Tech: Drill – Siege Units move 50% faster

Unique Unit: 

Mangudai (Anti-Siege Weapon Cavalry Archer). Mangudai are almost a carbon copy of Cavalry Archers except for their bonus against Siege Equipment, their +1 Attack and +10 HP, making them slightly superior to ordinary Cavalry Archers. Mangudai are cheaper than cavalry archers in terms of Gold but cost more in terms of Wood. When it comes to tactics, Mangudai are most effective against slow moving units such as Monks, Villagers, Siege Weapons, Infantry, and unsuspecting Archers. However, when attacking Scorpions and Mangonels it is preferable to attack with multiple Mangudai instead of 1v1. The main threat to Mangudai are Camels, Skirmishers and Spearmen, although Mangudai are fast enough to avoid the latter. Of the two (Cavalry Archers & Mangudai), the Mangudai is the more logical combat choice.


“Cavalry Archers fire 20% faster” Actually all the AoE rate of fires are calculated using an “attack reloading time” thing. Setting this value to 0.8 means that the Mongol Cavalry Archers fire 1/(1*0.8) = 1.25 25% faster, which just make other civs Cavalry Archers obsolete, except the Hunnic ones which are worth getting as they are so cheap, the Magyar ones with their +1 range and the Turk ones with +20 HP.

On top of that, when Thumb Ring is researched their Mangudai fire even faster than their Cavalry Archers, making them one of the best raiding units of AoE 2.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Buildings cost -15% wood.
  • Barracks units +1 pierce armor per age (starting from Feudal Age).
  • Gold mining upgrades free.

Team Bonus: University researches +80% faster.

Unique Techs: 

  • Tigui: Town Centers fire arrows (they are able to fire without being garrisoned with villagers/archers).
  • Farimba: Cavalry +5 attack.

Unique Units:

Gbeto: Infantry with a ranged attack. The Malians’ Gbeto is reminiscent of the Franks’ throwing axeman, an infantry unit with a ranged attack. Their armor is negligible, offsetting their high attack rating and high speed. Being infantry, they are susceptible to cavalry and heavy infantry. That being said, I recommend small battalions escorted by pikemen and heavy cavalry to counter archers, cavalry, and infantry. Be aware of mangonels and the like. Also, the Gbeto is the only female military unit, sans heroes.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Advancing to Ages +80% faster
  • Fish Traps cost -33%
  • Fish Traps provide unlimited food
  • Battle Elephants 25% cheaper

Team Bonus: Docks get +100% Line of Sight

Unique Techs:

  • Thalassocracy (Castle Age): Docks are upgraded to Harbors that fire arrows
  • Forced Levy (Imperial Age): Militia Line costs no gold

Unique Units:

Karambit Warrior: Cheap, fast infantry. At first glance, the Karambit Warrior seems like a rather useless unit. At least, they did for me. They’re exceptionally cheap to produce and one Karambi Warrior costs half a population, meaning that 100 Karambit Warriors only takes up 50 population. However, they are also a quick unit that are almost as fast as a light cavalry (both being fully upgraded) and can strike fast and hard. Finally, for tactics, Karambit Warriors are best used in a swarm. Their speed really allows them to surround an enemy force and chip away at all sides. Karambit Warriors are good raiders and distraction units to draw your opponent away from your main force.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Start Match with +50 Food and +50 Wood
  • Town Center, Docks x2 HP, work rate +10% Feudal, +15% Castle, +20% Imp

Team Bonus: Knights have +2 Attack against Archers

Unique Tech: Mahouts – War Elephants move 30% faster

Unique Unit: 

War Elephant (Slow yet strong and devastating). The Persian War Elephant has one prime role: Destroy ALL of the things. There aren’t many Units that can economically take down the War Elephants. However, being a cavalry unit, Pikemen/Spearmen have an extra bonus against War Elephants, but a large number of Pikemen/Spearmen would be required to do so. Due to their lack of speed, Cavalry Archers are capable of defeating War Elephants, albeit not as effectively as Mamelukes would be able to with their high speed and Anti-Cavalry bonus. Other counters include siege weapons (particularly Mangonels) and Monks. An escort for the War Elephants will be able to fend off Monks seeking to convert the Elephants.


Town Centers and Docks faster work rate affects units creation time, but also technologies…including age-ups! Persian Castle Age research is around 15 seconds faster than the other civs, Imperial around 25 seconds faster. Boiling Oil gives Castles +9 attack against Rams.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • All units cost -15% gold
  • Ships +10% HP
  • Can build Feitoria in Imp Age (The Feitoria is a building that requires 20 pop, 250 stone and gold. An economic building, it generates resources without the need of villagers)

Team Bonus: Free cartography from dark age.

Unique Techs:

  • Carrack: Ships +1/+1 armor
  • Arquebus: Gunpowder units benefit from Ballistics tech

Unique Units:

Caravel – The Caravel is a ship unit proficient at demolishing entire fleets of enemy warships. Each short fired can damage multiple units as it can penetrate multiple units like the Scorpion siege unit. Thus, firing on tightly pack ships is an effective course of action. However, they are vulnerable to fire ships and demolition ships. Avoiding those ships would be wise.

Organ Gun – Units with area of effect attacks seems to be a trend for the Portugese. Like the Caravel, the Organ Gun is a siege weapon that fires projectiles that are highly effective against large groups of units. Being a siege unit, the Organ Gun is vulnerable to infantry and cavalry, so escorting a group of them with pikemen and anti-infantry units would be wise. Another tactic against the Organ Gun is the skirmisher formation or whatever the formation is called that spreads units out.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Market trade cost is 5% of goods (Instead of 30%)
  • Markets cost -75 wood
  • Transport Ships have x2 HP & x2 carry capacity
  • Galleys attack 20% faster
  • Cavalry Archers have +3 attack against buildings

Team Bonus: Foot Archers have +1 Attack against Buildings

Unique Tech: Zealotry – Camels, Mamelukes +30 HP

Unique Unit:

Mameluke (Anti-Cavalry Camel w/ Ranged Attack). Like the Frank’s Throwing Axemen, the Mameluke is a melee Cavalry that throws scimitars with a Range of 3. Their high speed and bonus against Cavalry makes Mameluke one of the best units in the game which is offset by their high cost. Mamelukes are well rounded and suited for most combat, but can be taken down by a higher number of Archers due to the lack of Pierce Armor on the Mameluke’s part.


“Galleys attack 20% faster” Actually all the AoE rate of fires are calculated using an “attack reloading time” thing. Setting this value to 0.8 means that the Saracen Galley-line fire 1/(1*0.8) = 1.25 25% faster, which – eco bonuses aside – makes the Saracen naval warfare at the top in Feudal and Castle age warfare; though in Imperial age their lack of Shipwright can hurt a little bit. Their galley-line is so good that even Saracen War Galleys/Galleons can defeat one in one a Viking Longboat/Elite Longboat.

Cavalry Archers have +3 attack bonus vs buildings” It’s clearly +4 in the game data.

Team Bonus: Foot archers have +1 attack bonus vs buildings” It’s clearly +2 in the game data.

Despite being a melee unit with a ranged attack, Mamelukes are classed as Cavalry Archers, meaning they get 3 (4) damage from Skirmishers (elite), making them one of the easiest units to counter (recieve extra damage from all anti-cavalry units, Samurais and also big damage from building arrows as they are primarly Camels). They also suffer from the Archer bonus of Huskarls.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Builders work 30% faster
  • Blacksmith upgrades cost no Gold
  • Cannon galleons benefit from Ballistics (fire faster, more accurately)
  • Gunpowder units fire 15% faster

Team Bonus: Trade units generate +25% gold

Unique Tech: Supremacy – Increased Attack, Armor and HP for Villagers

Unique Unit:

Conquistador – Conquistadors are basically a mounted form of the Hand Cannoneer. They play the same way, but with the advantage of mobility. Being a gunpowder unit, being closer to the target causes more damage while being less accurate as they move away. Conquistadors are best used in large controllable groups ranging from 20-30 for hit-and-run tactics and included in Knight formations where the Knights soak up incoming attacks from Archers as well as hit the target after the Conquistadors have softened it up. The main threats to Conquistadors are Cavalry contingents and Halberdiers, provided the Halberdiers can catch them. Groups of Eagle Warriors are also capable to taking out Conquistadors.

Missionary – Being mounted, Missionaries are capable of keeping up with Cavalry to convert and are better at escaping from pitched battles. However, their shorter range of 7 (Monks 9) and inability to pick up relics make them less useful in the earlier stages of the game while in the endgame, Missionaries are more valuable, seeing as the relics are already picked up an no longer an objective.


“Builders work 30% faster” Except for Wonders, where the bonus is reduced to 20% (same effect as Treadmill Crane): you won’t get any bonuses by taking Spanish over Vikings for example in a Wonder Race.

“Cannon Galleons benefit from Ballistics (fire faster, more accurately)” Actually they get the Ballistics effects even when Ballistics is not researched.

“Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons fire 15% faster” Actually all the AoE rate of fires are calculated using an “attack reloading time” thing. Setting this value to 0.85 means that the Spanish Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons fire 1/(1*0.85) = 1.176 17.6% faster. With that being said, it is worth noting that their Conquistadors got a low rate of fire “built-in”, which means that their Conquistadors fire only a hair slower than their Hand Cannoneers (2.90 vs 2.85).

Missionaries heal two times slower than Monks.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Farmers work 15% faster
  • Siege Weapons 15% cheaper
  • Tracking free

Team Bonus: Military buildings provide +5 population

Unique Techs:

  • Orthodoxy: Monks extra armor
  • Druzhina: Infantry damage adjacent units

Unique Unit:

Boyar: Heavy Cavalry with High Armor. Another simple unit, the Boyar is like a beefed up Paladin with a high attack damage, HP and armor count. The best option for using such a heavily armed and armored unit would be against gunpowder units and archers. Pikemen are a viable counter for the Boyar, but it will require a significant amount of them to take down even a group of 10 Boyars. A more potentially successful option would be to use Camels or the Italian’s Genoese Crossbowman. Aside from that, pray they end you soon.


“Farmers work 15% faster” It’s only theoretical, in practise your farmers will collect for a same time around ~7% more food compared to an other civ with identical economical/farm upgrades, depending on your farm layout.

Druzhina Imperial Age unique technology is very poweful from small skirmishes to mass melee battles, as the splash damage actually does 5 bonus damage to all adjacent units (like Cataphracts with Logistica), making Slav Champions the best in the game, even winning against Japanese ones in mass battles.

Though, remember than Goth Champs are still the best cost-effectively in the game: for 52 Slav Champs you get exactly 80 Goth Champs, which is largely enough to finish off all the Slav ones, even with the lack of Plate Mail Armor; finally, Celt (+4.5% speed) and Viking (+20% HP) Champs are still the best against foot archers.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Monks have x2 Heal Range
  • Towers garrison x2 more units
  • Murder Holes Tech free
  • Farms cost -33%
  • Town Centers garrison +10

Team Bonus: Units resist conversion

Unique Tech: Crenellations – (+3 range for Castles: garrisoned infantry fire arrows)

Unique Unit: Teutonic Knight (Slow yet strong Infantry) Teutonic Knights are the most powerful Infantry Unit in the game and are tough enough to defeat every melee unit in the game with the exception of the Persians’ War Elephant and the Byzantines’ Cataphract. With all upgrades from the Blacksmith, an Elite Teutonic Knight boats 100 HP, 21 Attack, 13 Armour, and 6 Pierce Armour, making them difficult to defeat. However, they are at a disadvantage against Monks, Archers and Mangonels due to their lack of speed. They’re also vulnerable to double teaming from Infantry who attack quickly, namely the Japanese Samurai, and the Celt’s Woad Raider. This can be negated by increasing the number of Teutonic Knights travelling in the contingent.


Towers X2 capacity doesn’t mean X2 max arrows: the maximum number of arrows jumps only from 5 to 9.

“Town Centers +2 attack” It has always been +1 attack and it can be verfied in game data or by testing. Note that in AoF this bonus has been replaced by Town Centers can garrison +10 units and fire +5 arrows.

“Monk healing range 2X” Don’t ask me why but in practise it don’t seem to work all the times. (Works fine in AoF)

AoF: Ironclad gives 4 melee armor to all Siege Weapons.

Fun fact: Garrisoning at least 9 Hand Cannoneers/7 Elite Janissaries make a Teutonic Bombard Tower fire 2 bullets at the same time; go up to 10 Elite Janissaries and it will fire 3 bullets in unison! (Though it’s useless as Bombard Towers don’t do splash damage anyway)


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Gunpowder units have +25% HP
  • Gunpowder techs cost -50%
  • Chemistry tech free
  • Gold miners work 20% faster
  • Light Cavalry and Hussar upgrade free

Team Bonus: Gunpowder Units created 20% faster

Unique Tech: Artillery – (+2 Range for Bombard Towers, Bombard Cannons, and Cannon Galleons)

Unique Unit:

Janissary (Hand Cannoneer w/ Increased Range). Janissaries are similar to play style as Hand Cannoneers but possess superior stats. Although fragile, Janissaries have devastating attack and in groups can fire a crippling volley capable of killing or severely slowing down an advancing enemy. The Janissary is capable of killing almost all units, but are vulnerable to Cavalry due to their speed and ability to close the distance between them quickly. Up close, Janissaries can be defeated easily because of their low HP. A single shot from one Mangonel is capable of devastating a Janissary contingent.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Herdables contain +50% food.
  • Units do +50% damage when attacking from higher elevations (instead of +25%).
  • Parthian Tactics are free.

Team Bonus: Foot Archers +2 LOS

Unique Techs: 

  • Silk Armour: Scout Cavalry line and Cavalry Archers +1 pierce armor.
  • Timurid Siegecraft: Trebuchets +1 range.

Unique Unit:

Magyar Huszar – With a high attack and a bonus against siege weapons, the Magyar Huszar is an ideal unit for countering siege units. The best way for using them would be in blocks of 10-20, depending on if Pikemen accompany the advancing siege equipment. Being a Cavalry unit, the Huszar is obviously vulnerable to masses of Pikemen. Bringing infantry along to protect the Huszars is a wise plan.


The Keshik’s ability to generate gold from raiding parties is a very useful skills, esp in the early/mid game, but is heavily handicapped by the 80 gold you will need to make one. You will NEVER get your monies worth from their ability alone. I suspect this unit was heavily play tested and found to be incredibly OP, so more testing is going to have to be done to figure out how to optimally utilise the Keshik. For scale, 10 Keshik’s generated 59 Gold before death, verses 3 Elite War Elephants.

Post imperial, the Huszar’s extra amour is very useful and is potentially game winning if fielded properly. The lack of Halberdier, Champion, and their armour upgrades also hurts a little.


Special Civilisation Bonuses:

  • Warships cost -15% Feudal Age, -15% Castle Age, -20% Imperial Age
  • Infantry +10% HP Feudal Age, +15% Castle Age, +20% Imperial Age
  • Wheelbarrow, Hand Cart techs free

Team Bonus: Docks cost -15%

Unique Tech: Berserkergang – Berserk’s regenerate faster

Unique Unit:

Berserker – The Berzerker is the only unit in the game besides Heroes that can regenerate over time. This ability allows them to survive longer in combat and make them effective in pitched battles. They’re also effective against enemy buildings and Cavalry, but are vulnerable to Archers and Siege Weapons like Scorpions and Mangonels.

Longboat – Like the Chinese Chu Ko Nu, the Longboat is capable of firing multiple arrows with each attack and can defeat war galleys in 1v1 combat. Longboats are best used in large numbers against multiple enemy vessels and are effective at shore bombardment against infantry. Mangonels and Demolition Ships are the prime deterrents when engaging Longboats.


AoF: Chieftains gives +4 attack against Cavalry.

Berserkergang makes Berserkers self-healing 2X faster – 1 HP per 1.5 s instead of 1 HP per 3 s -.

Longboats are created in 25s: 11s faster than War Galleys/Galleons.

Longboats fire a set of four arrows, the first one doing full damage, the three others doing only 1 attack. They are also the only War Ship to get a specific +4 bonus against…Rams.


Special Civilisation Bonuses

  • Reveals enemy positions at game start.
  • Archery Range Units have +10% HP in Feudal Age, +15% in Castle, and +20% in Imperial (does not stack).
  • Free Conscription.

Team Bonus: Have access to Imperial Skirmisher Upgrade

Unique Techs

  • Chatras (Castle Age): Battle Elephants get +30 HP
  • Paper Money (Imperial Age): Tributes 500 gold to each ally

Unique Units

Rattan Archer: Archer with high pierce armor.

When I did testing for the Rattan Archer, (Eds note: This is Bulwark’s/Hardfoils’ analysis, not mine) I wasn’t really going in expecting anything impressive. I primarily thought that they’d be an anti archer unit due to their higher than average pierce armour. However, after sending in contingents numbering 25 cavaliers and 25 champions only to see them both shattered, I started to believe that the Rattan Archer had no real weakness aside from the obvious ones of skirmishers and huskarls. As it turns out, skirmishers weren’t very effective against the Rattan Archer. Thus, I’d recommend countering with high numbers of units with high pierce armour or Mangonels. Other than that, defensive buildings like castles or garrisoned towers are a reasonable defence.


The Rattan Archer’s massive pierce armour makes farming kills quite easy against archer Civs. They will need help to get their raze on the other hand. Help your teammates to defend while they set for you.

If facing Britons or Mayans apply pressure to them and try not to let them raze, as they only need a single one as well. If everything went correctly you should reach imperial age soon. Once there, start making arbalests if the enemy makes cavalry, but switch to imperial skirmishers if there are many enemy archers on the field. You wont have many other choices, but the +20% HP bonus for the units created in archery range can compensate for this.

Your melee units are nothing special. Although your cavaliers cannot be fully upgraded, they will still give you some protection against rams.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13512 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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