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Powerful attack with extensive line of sight. Attack bonus vs. ships.
Age of Empires II description

The Bombard Tower is a gunpowder tower in Age of Empires II that becomes available once the Imperial Age is reached and the Bombard Tower technology is researched. The Bombard Tower has an extremely powerful attack, but its projectiles travel quite slowly.

Building availability
Available Unavailable

The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Bombard Towers, i.e. gets Bracer, Architecture, and Heated Shot. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.

The ^ indicates that the civilization has at least one civilization or team bonus or a unique technology that benefits the combat strength of the Bombard Tower.

1The Spanish do not have a bonus or technology which affects the combat strength of Bombard Towers per se. However, their building speed bonus speeds up their readiness for battle when using forward villagers (who also receive Supremacy), greatly improving their overall performance.

Tactics and placement[]

A Bombard Tower firing at a passing Paladin.

Towers are an essential part of any kind of fortification. Bombard Towers are very useful and valuable for defending the player's settlement against enemy raiding parties, and can tackle heavily armored and well rounded units, unlike the regular towers. Turtling strategies becomes more successful with the inclusion of Bombard Towers among regular towers and Castles in order to create a strong fortification. When going for a Wonder or Relic win, Bombard Towers are very valuable when included in the defensive structures.

Bombard Towers should be placed in choke points to make them more effective or behind cliffs or forests. They work better if placed within the range of each other, within the range of regular towers or within the range of a friendly Castle since those buildings will provide cover fire for each other. Using walls protects them to some extent from rams, but against rams, the help of melee units is needed. On maps like Archipelago and Islands it is a wise idea to have several Bombard Towers near the shore line in order to take down potentially dangerous enemy fleets and give some support to the player's own fleet near the coast.

Offensively, Bombard Towers can also be used for front line support as in a retreat they can garrison troops that can be healed and it also provides cover fire for buildings like Barracks, Stables, Archery Ranges, or Siege Workshops if they are placed near an enemy town. In this regard they are better than a Castle since they are cheaper and are created quicker, while also featuring a high attack. Bombard Towers can even be used like a siege support building, if a player is attacking an enemy location they can take some Villagers to create several Bombard Towers outside and around the opponents fortifications in order to take them down with the support of units. Employing the Bombard Tower offensively also has the side effect of letting the team gain and retain map control.

A Bombard Tower has 120 attack, enough to one-hit-kill any infantry or archer and two-hit-kill any other unit that is not an elephant, ram, or Turtle Ship. However, they can be outranged by Trebuchets, Cannon Galleons, and Bombard Cannons. So essentially, these three units and the aforementioned rams are the only units Bombard Towers have to really fear.

Elite Longbowmen also outrange Bombard Towers, but deal very little damage and are a much smaller threat.

Turkish Bombard Towers have an extra long range and can only be outranged by Trebuchets, Elite Cannon Galleons, and Turkish Bombard Cannons, making them even harder to deal with.

Further statistics[]

Building strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Most units, buildings*
Weak vs. Rams, units with longer range, massed units
Hit points Masonry aoe2de.png Masonry (+10%)
ArchitectureDE.png Architecture (+10%)
CastleAgeUnique.png Great Wall (+30%, Chinese only)
Attack FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1)
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry (+1)
HeatedShotDE.png Heated Shot (+125% attack against ships)
Range FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1)
MurderHolesDE.png Murder Holes (eliminates minimum range)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Artillery (+2, Turks only)
Accuracy BallisticsDE.png Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Arquebus (hit moving targets, Portuguese only)
Armor Masonry aoe2de.png Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
ArchitectureDE.png Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
Line of Sight TownWatchDE.png Town Watch (+4)
TownPatrolDE.png Town Patrol (+4)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
Construction speed TreadmillCraneDE.png Treadmill Crane (+20%)
Other HerbalDE.png Herbal Medicine (garrisoned units heal faster)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


The Age of Kings[]

  • Bombard Towers deal melee damage.
  • Bombard Towers have an attack bonus of +7 against camels because they share an armor class with ships.

The Conquerors[]

  • Herbal Medicine introduced.
  • Heresy introduced.
  • With patch 1.0b, Bombard Towers now deal pierce damage. Even though it does not make much of a difference in many cases, it makes them ineffective against rams.
  • Turks: Artillery introduced.

The Forgotten[]

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Camels are moved out of the ship armor class, and the Bombard Towers lose their attack bonus against them. They now have +1 attack against them.
  • Portuguese: Arquebus increases the projectile speed of Bombard Towers by +0.5.

Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Koreans: With patch 5.8, Bombard Towers are built 5% faster.
  • Portuguese: Arquebus has a smaller effect on gunpowder units, the speed modifier is reduced by 75%.
  • Portuguese: With patch 5.2, the Arquebus speed modifier for Bombard Towers is removed.
  • Portuguese: With patch 5.7, the Arquebus speed modifier for Bombard Towers is +0.2.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Koreans: Bombard Towers are no longer built faster.


  • Because Aztecs and Mayans do not have access to Bombard Towers, there was no design for the Native American Bombard Tower in The Conquerors and if given one in the Scenario Editor (or via the Full Tech Tree), it would have the Central European style. However if a game like this was started, it would not load or the game would crash completely. This was fixed in The Forgotten, and the Native American civilizations got their own Bombard Tower design. The same happened in regards to the Stable, but was fixed too.
  • The Bombard Tower model of the Native American civilizations is inspired by the Palace Observation Tower in Palenque.
  • Bombard Towers usually fire one cannonball. Teutonic Bombard Towers can garrison up to 10 units, and garrisoning 10 Hand Cannoneers gives the Bombard Tower a second projectile. If 10 Elite Janissaries of a Turkish ally are garrisoned, three cannonballs are fired. Since update 50292, if 10 fully upgraded Elite Chu Ko Nu of a Chinese ally are garrisoned, four cannonballs are fired.
  • The Tatars are the only civilization that can build Bombard Towers, but not Keeps.
  • In The Conquerors and the HD Edition, the Spanish are the only civilization using Western European architecture that can build Bombard Towers. After the Spanish were changed to the Mediterranean building set in the Definitive Edition, the Western European Bombard Tower could only be seen in all tech or campaign mode. Now the Western European Bombard Tower is unique to the Burgundians.
    • This also happened to the South East Asian and Middle Eastern Bombard Tower, which became unique to the Malay (as the Vietnamese changed to East Asian architecture) and Turks (since the Byzantines changed to Mediterranean architecture).
    • Before the Definitive Edition, the Eastern European Bombard Tower was only seen in Full Tech mode, but then became unique to the Lithuanians. Now the Bohemians and Poles share it as well.
    • The Bombard Tower for the Western European architecture is darker than the Keep.
    • The Bombard Tower for the East Asian architecture is shorter than the Keep and has a black roof.
  • Because Ethiopians and Malians lack access to the Bombard Tower, the African Bombard Tower appear only in Full Tech Tree games and campaigns. Native Americans do not have access to gunpowder units at all.
  • Before Dynasties of India, there was no civilization which used the South Asian Bombard Tower model. With the introduction of the Dravidians, this is no longer the case.


By the end of the Middle Ages the development of cannon had changed military engineering by making standard castles obsolete. Their high vertical walls were particularly susceptible to direct cannon fire aimed at their base. Military engineers responded by building new structures that were less susceptible to cannon fire and by mounting cannon within these structures to augment their defensive positions along coasts, at important river crossings, and at other strategic points. These new bombard towers swept the approaches to harbors and towns, making them more difficult to attack.
Age of Empires II manual


v  d  e
Constructable buildings in Age of Empires II
Civilian buildings
House  · Monastery  · Wonder
EconomicTown Center  · Dock  · Fish Trap  · Mill  · Farm  · Market  · Lumber Camp  · Mining Camp  · Feitoria  · Folwark  · Caravanserai
ResearchBlacksmith  · University
Military buildings
Barracks  · Archery Range  · Stable  · Siege Workshop  · Castle  · Harbor  · Krepost  · Donjon
TowerOutpost  · Watch Tower  · Guard Tower  · Keep  · Bombard Tower
WallPalisade Wall  · Stone Wall  · Fortified Wall  · Palisade Gate  · Gate