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Fast anti-gunpowder infantry. Trainable by Italians and their allies.
Age of Empires II description

The Condottiero (plural Condottieri) is the second unique unit of the Italians in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. A quick anti-gunpowder infantry unit, it can be trained at the Barracks upon reaching the Imperial Age. In The Forgotten, a Castle was also required in order to train Condottieri. This requirement was removed in The African Kingdoms.

As a team bonus, the Condottiero is a shared unique unit, available to any players allied with an Italian player. It has no Elite version, unlike the other shared unique unit, the Berbers' Genitour.


The Condottiero has a large attack bonus against gunpowder units, and bonus armor which negates 10 anti-infantry attack from Hand Cannoneers and Organ Guns. Thus, Condottieri are an effective counter for armies of Janissaries, Conquistadors, or Hand Cannoneers when matched up close. In addition, Condottieri trade effectively against Halberdiers and Heavy Camel Riders, which are common auxiliary forces to protect gunpowder units and take down cavalry.

Condottieri move fast and have good hit points for an infantry unit. They are also created quite quickly and do not need to be upgraded, which makes them very easy to mass when needed. Their comparatively high gold cost, however, makes them an expensive unit to field and sustain in the long run. Elite Skirmishers are much more efficient at dealing with foot or mounted gunpowder units on a cost basis, though they will struggle against gunpowder siege units. Siege units excel in general combat against ranged units, which again limits the Condottiero's use to an emergency counter to gunpowder.

Condottieri can be used as an expensive substitute for Champions. This can occur in situations where the player does not have the Champion upgrade at the ready or if the player's civilization does not have access to them (Tatars, Bulgarians, Ethiopians, Huns, Khmer, Malay, and Mayans) and especially Persians who do not even have the Two-Handed Swordsman upgrade. On the other hand, Condottieri can be a huge power spike during early Imperial Age, though as already mentioned, they are less and less cost efficient as time goes on. In some cases, the Condottieri can be used as an expensive substitute for the Hussar owing to its fast speed and decent hit points for civilizations with poor cavalry, like Koreans, Malay, and Vikings, where it can be used to counter siege units and Elite Skirmishers, and occasionally for raiding.

Condottieri can be used against Elite Eagle Warriors simply because of their ability to force engagements and win cost-effectively despite the lack of attack bonuses. The fact that they come fully upgraded helps their cause further, unlike the Swordsman or Scout Cavalry lines.

Even for civilizations that have access to great Champions or Two-Handed Swordsmen (Malay and Bulgarians), substituting or supplementing them when enemies use many gunpowder units should be considered. For example, an interesting play would be to couple Malian Condottieri with Gbetos, both possessing great mobility to raid enemy positions and supplement each other's weaknesses; Gbetos add firepower, whereas Malian Condottieri are tasked with shielding Gbetos against enemy ranged units. Although in more general situations, Elite Skirmishers would be more cost-effective, since they effectively counter all gunpowder units (except siege) as well as the Arbalester, to which the Condottiero has little defense with no base pierce armor.

A practical, general example would be a scenario where the player has previously built several Barracks to train Halberdiers against a cavalry civilization, and in this case, the opponent has chosen Hand Cannoneer as counter versus Pikemen. In this instance, if the player can afford the gold cost but is unable to train Skirmishers right away, training some Condottieri in order to diversify and gain a slight edge in battle is recommended, taking advantage of the Condottiero's beefier stats. But as the player's gold starts draining out, Condottieri might be a dangerous choice for the player's economy, especially when the opponent can easily switch to other ranged units.

Condottieri are extremely good for landings on water maps. They require no unit upgrades, unlike Champions, which is especially relevant, as players are less likely to have them for land units when the navy is the main focus. They have a reasonably fast movement speed, and are created at the Barracks, with its relatively cheap cost and fast construction time. They have no real counters the defending player has access to, and they have a fast training time. They can easily kill Villagers with Loom, needing only 5 hits even without upgrades, and 4 with Forging, which only costs 150 food, and can chase Villagers down with their relatively fast movement speed. They can even easily kill off defending troops, as they will almost certainly have no unit upgrades, making the Condottiero trade efficiently with them, even with defender's advantage. Their fast training time also means they can easily outnumber the defending troops for even more efficient trades.

Notably for the strategy of landing, the Italians have access to all of the Blacksmith upgrades and are only lacking Gambesons as an upgrade for the Condottiero in the Barracks. This is important, as the Feudal and Castle Age upgrades are often extremely cheap for the Imperial Age, especially Forging and Scale Mail Armor. These can be used to create an arms race against the player defending from the landing, while not significantly slowing down the Italians getting important technologies like Chemistry (which unlocks Cannon Galleons), Elite Cannon Galleon, Galleon, and Shipwright to make a late game navy. A landing with Condottieri threatens to win the game by itself and even if it fails in that, it is likely to make the defending player invest much more in defense than the cost of the landing, and it takes away attention away from micro on the water.

Finally, their ability to be trained without upgrades upon reaching the Imperial Age makes them a suitable counter to the Fast Imperial Age into gunpowder units strategy, especially in closed maps like Arena, where it is common that battles initially happen in groups of small but powerful units. Here, training just a few Condottieri to take down enemy Bombard Cannons can inflict tremendous damage on the opponent. In other cases, the mere presence of an Italian player can be a strong deterrent against the creation of gunpowder units, in order to prevent a disastrous scenario.

Condottieri are basically a lighter version of the Swordsman line, and as such are more susceptible in direct combat. Heavy cavalry (like Boyars) and heavy infantry (like Serjeants) can devastate them. Since they are also a unique unit, Samurai are extra threatening as well.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Elite Skirmishers, gunpowder units, siege weapons, Heavy Camel Riders, Halberdiers
Weak vs. Archers and Scorpions at long distance, heavy cavalry, heavy infantry
Hit Points UniqueTechImperialDE Fereters (+30, Armenians only)
Attack Forging aoe2de Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace (+2)
ArsonDE Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
UniqueTechImperialDE Garland Wars (+4, Aztecs only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Wootz Steel (attack ignore armor, Dravidians only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Druzhina (gives trample damage, Slavs only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Chieftains (+5 attack against cavalry and +4 against camels, Vikings only)
Armor ScaleMailArmorDE Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1, +2/+2 for the Romans)
ChainMailArmorDE Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1, +2/+2 for the Romans)
PlateMailArmorDE Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Pavise (+1/+1, Italians only)
Speed SquiresDE Squires (+10%)
Conversion defense Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted) (allies only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE First Crusade (+4 min, +4 max, Sicilians only)
Cost UniqueTechCastle-DE Kshatriyas (-25% food, Gurjaras only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
UniqueTechImperialDE Perfusion (+100%, Goths only)
Regeneration UniqueTechCastle-DE Stronghold (30 HP/min when within 18 tiles square of a team Celts Castle)
Other UniqueTechCastle-DE Chieftains (generates gold when killing Villagers, trade units, and Monks, Vikings only)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]

Only available for a team containing Italians.


AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

  • Condottieri require a Castle in order to be trained.
  • Condottieri have 9 attack and 1 speed.
  • Condottieri have 1 pierce armor.
  • Condottieri train in 11 seconds.
  • Aztecs AoE2 Aztecs: Condottieri are created 18% faster.
  • Goths AoE2 Goths: Condottieri have +1 attack bonus against standard buildings.

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • Condottieri no longer require a Castle.
  • Condottieri reskinned.
  • Condottieri have 10 attack and 1.2 speed.
  • With patch 4.8, Condottieri train in 13 seconds.
  • Arson introduced.
  • Malians AoE2 Malians: On release, Condottieri incorrectly do not benefit from the civilization bonus and do not get any bonus pierce armor due to a bug. With patch 4.8, this was corrected, with Condottieri benefiting from the civilization bonus and obtaining +3 pierce armor.
  • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: Condottieri cost -15% gold.
  • Vikings AoE2 Vikings: With patch 4.8, Chieftains affects Condottieri. It gives Condottieri a +5 attack bonus against cavalry.
  • Vikings AoE2 Vikings: With patch 4.8, Chieftains gives Condottieri an additional +2 attack bonus against camel units.

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • With patch 5.7, Condottieri have 9 attack and 0 pierce armor.
  • With patch 5.7, Condottieri are given their own armor class that essentially causes the Condottiero to resist bonus damage only from gunpowder units (+10 armor), but not from other anti-infantry attacks.
  • With patch 5.7, Condottieri train in 18 seconds.
  • Vikings AoE2 Vikings: With patch 5.7, Chieftains makes Condottieri do +4 damage to camels instead of +2.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]


There is one hero in the game with the appearance of a Condottiero:


  • Condottieri are one of only four infantry units that do not get an attack bonus against Eagle Warriors, the other being the Kamayuk, the Militia, the Dismounted Konnik, and other Eagles.
  • The Japanese Condottiero is tied with the Samurai and the Bulgarian Hussar with Stirrups as the melee unit with the second fastest attacking rate, attacking once every 1.43 seconds, being only beaten by the Bulgarian Cavalier with Stirrups, that attacks once every 1.35 seconds.
  • The Celtic Condottiero is tied with the Woad Raider as the second fastest infantry unit the game, only behind an Elite Eagle Warrior with Squires.
  • With 110 hit points, the Armenian Condottiero is the foot soldier with the second highest hit points, only behind the Warrior Priest.
  • Before patch 5.7, the Gothic Condottiero was the third fastest training unit in Age of Empires II, after the Elite Shotel Warrior and the Karambit Warrior.
  • The Condottiero is the only unique unit that is initially trained at the Barracks. It is joined by the Huskarl and Flemish Militia when Anarchy and Flemish Revolution are researched respectively.
  • The Condottiero is one of just three unique units that are a team bonus (the others being the Genitour and the Imperial Skirmisher). All three civilizations that provide these units are supposed to be great support civilizations.
  • Before patch 5.7, the Condottiero was an unbalanced unit, since it moved faster, was more durable, and most importantly, it not only resisted the additional gunpowder attack, but also from other infantry counters. In the early Imperial Age, only few units could deal with them, especially when allied with Malians (which have high pierce armor) and Vikings (whose are beefier). However, since that update, Condottieri were underused by most civilizations, because they are more vulnerable to ranged attack and have 1 less attack, also training longer. Also, it was seldom used by Italians, causing attack to be reverted to 10 and Pavise affecting it as well, to give Italians another viable military choice.
  • The Malian Condottiero is often nicknamed "Condoskarl" due to the extra pierce armor, being able to counter foot archers while also excelling against gunpowder units and raiding.
  • Before update 56005, Viking Condottieri have 97 hit points. This is because the original Viking infantry hit point bonus was stacked by every 5%, so their hit points were 80*1.1*1.05*1.05=97.02. This is corrected in update 56005.


The term Condottiero meant "contractor" in Renaissance Italian and was synonymous with the modern English title of Mercenary Captain.

Historically, the Italian Condottieri were the leaders (or warlords) of the professional, military free companies (or mercenaries) contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy, from the late Middle Ages and throughout the Renaissance. Although in-game Condottieri fight on foot, historical Condottieri fought mainly on horseback, as the troops they commanded consisted mainly of heavily-armored, mounted men-at-arms.



Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship