|This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the armor class, see Armor class: Cavalry archer. For the unit in Age of Empires III, see Cavalry Archer (Age of Empires III).|
“Fast, with ranged attack. Ideal for hit-and-run attacks.”—Age of Empires II description
The Cavalry Archer is a mounted archer unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Archery Range once the Castle Age is reached. Its high speed and ranged attack make it an excellent harasser, hit-and-runner, and a good counter for infantry units. With enough micromanagement, a small force of Cavalry Archers can take out whole contingents of foot-soldiers. However, they are hindered somewhat by their high frame delay. Their armor gets upgraded through the archer line but in terms of attack bonus against them they count as both archers and cavalry.
Cavalry Archers are one of the best harassers of the game. When attacking with Cavalry Archers the player must always micromanage them properly in order to maintain distance from the enemy targets. Tactics that employ these units require a large amount of resources since these units work way better if used in large numbers. Cavalry Archers are an excellent way to deal with slow moving melee units like most infantry.
The most popular pairing involving Cavalry Archers is with Hussars, which is the preferred combination for the Mongols, Huns, Saracens, Magyars, and Turks. While a few other cavalry and/or archer based civilizations can utilize this as well, it is not as effective for them. Arguably, it is also the signature attacking technique of the Mongols since in addition to their excellent Hussars, their Cavalry Archers fire faster. Likewise, the Huns have cheaper Cavalry Archers and their Hussars are created quicker. Since Cavalry Archers cost wood and gold, the food can be invested in Hussars which can make melee support for the Cavalry Archer army in order to create a mobile yet devastating force. As a substitute to the Hussar, the Knight can be used if enough gold is available. That is rather uncommon, however, since the gold is usually just spent on the Cavalry Archers and Knights slow down the army a little.
Further statistics Edit
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Slow and non-ranged units|
|Weak vs.||Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Huskarls, Skirmishers, Eagle Warriors, Mangonels, Scorpions, camel units, Rattan Archers|
|Hit points|| Bloodlines (+20)|
Sipahi (+20, Turks only)
|Attack|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Parthian Tactics (+4 attack against Spearmen)
Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only since patch 5.5)
|Range|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
|Firing rate||Thumb Ring (+11%)|
|Accuracy|| Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)|
Ballistics (hit moving targets)
|Armor|| Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)|
Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Upgrades||Heavy Cavalry Archer|
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Celts: Cavalry Archers can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Cavalry Archers are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Franks: Cavalry Archers have 20% more HP.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are 10%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Mongols: Cavalry Archers fire 25% faster.
- Portuguese: Cavalry Archers cost 15% less gold.
- Saracens: Cavalry Archers have +4 attack against standard buildings.
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Cavalry Archers don't cost gold.
- Turks: Chemistry is free.
- Vietnamese: Cavalry Archers have +20% hit points. Conscription is free.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
- A team containing Britons: Cavalry Archers are created and upgraded 20% faster. Researching Thumb Ring and Parthian Tactics is 20% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Chemistry and Ballistics is 80% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Cavalry Archers are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings Edit
- Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood and 70 gold.
- Cavalry Archers move at a speed of 1.43.
- Cavalry Archers have a range of 3.
The Conquerors Edit
- Cavalry Archers now move at a speed of 1.4.
- Cavalry Archers now have a range of 4.
- Cavalry Archers receive an attack bonus of +2 against Spearmen.
- Bloodlines introduced.
- Thumb Ring introduced.
- Heresy introduced.
- Parthian Tactics introduced.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are 25%/30% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
The Forgotten Edit
- Cavalry Archers now cost 40 wood and 65 gold.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are now 15%/25% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Magyars: Recurve Bow gives +1 range to Cavalry Archers.
- Turks: Sipahi introduced.
The African Kingdoms Edit
- Cavalry Archers now cost 40 wood and 60 gold.
- Franks: Cavalry Archers now have 20% more HP.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are now 10%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Rise of the Rajas Edit
- Magyars: With patch 5.5, Recurve Bow now gives +1 range and attack to Cavalry Archers.
- Vietnamese: Initially, Cavalry Archers have +15%/+20% HP in the Castle/Imperial Age. With patch 5.8, they now have +20% HP.
“Archers mounted on horses originated in ancient times on the great plains of Asia and continued to make up the bulk of the armies from this region throughout the Middle Ages. The Mongol armies that conquered most of Asia, the Middle East, and much of Europe were predominately cavalry archers. For the time they were a unique combination of firepower and speed. They could cross almost any kind of terrain quickly, strike unexpectedly, and withdraw if necessary before heavy cavalry or infantry units could react. The Mongols especially mastered the tactics of hitting, running, and ambushing, avoiding hand-to-hand fighting until the enemy was completely demoralized. Cavalry archers were most effective on open ground with plenty of maneuvering room. They were least effective against fortified positions that could not be starved out and required a hand-to-hand assault.”