|“||Incendiary camel loaded with flammable hay and brush. Strong vs. mounted units, especially elephants. Weak vs. archers and infantry. Self-destructs when used.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Flaming Camel has the appearance of a Bactrian Camel carrying heaps of straw that catch fire whenever it moves. When it attacks the enemy or is killed, the Flaming Camel disappears in an explosion while dealing melee damage to any enemies nearby.
It is advisable to use Flaming Camels against large contingents of cavalry, despite the fact that they explode when used. Their bonus damage enables them to kill most kinds of cavalry in two or three blows while also dealing splash damage to all enemy units nearby.
Flaming Camels are probably one of the best counters against packed groups of War Elephants, Battle Elephants, Ballista Elephants, and Elephant Archers, with each blow dealing 200 total damage against said units (before armor and blast distance are taken into account). So, it is highly viable for a Tatar player to make use of Flaming Camels against civilizations that have access to an elephant unit. When used against cavalry, it is advisable to support them with Heavy Camel Riders so they can finish cavalry that survive the detonation.
Flaming Camels perform moderately well against buildings, as they deal +100 bonus damage to the Building armor class. Being a siege weapon, they must be used as a support unit for weakening or finishing an opponent settlement, but they are not as effective as Trebuchets and other siege weapons. However, they can be used in conjunction with siege units like Trebuchets, and cavalry like Keshiks, Cavaliers or Steppe Lancers, to make haste in leveling towns and buildings. This is specially useful in game modes like Sudden Death, or even Regicide.
Like Petards, Flaming Camels are a single-use unit. Nevertheless, Flaming Camels are inferior to them in the in an anti-building role. And like Petards, they also cost gold and have only one use: their course of action must be chosen wisely and/or with the adequate support of other units. As expected, Pikemen and Elite Skirmishers can be cost-effective against them.
Flaming Camels have no pierce armor and do not benefit from armor upgrades, so they are destroyed quickly by ranged units. Researching Husbandry can greatly compensate this, and pose a big threat towards big groups of cavalry archers when left unsupervised by the opponent. This is what gives them an edge against Petards as a unit killer (in a fashion like the Heavy Demolition Ship, but landbased). Similarly, making use of the Flaming Camels' speed overshadows their relative ineffectiveness against buildings, minimizing arrow fire taken from defensive structures like Castles, thus avoiding wasteful deaths.
Last but not least, unlike other suicide units, it should be noted that Flaming Camels lack high base attack and/or bonus against siege units. This missed detail can catch unaware players off-guard when trying to use them against rams and other non-suicide siege units
Required number to destroy buildings
The following table shows the number of Flaming Camels required to destroy the listed buildings. The numbers are calculated with fully upgraded (i.e. Masonry, Architecture, and Hoardings is researched) buildings.
|Palisade Wall / Palisade Gate||2/4|
|Fortified Wall / Gate||31/37|
|Mill, Lumber, and Mining Camp||10|
|Market, Blacksmith, Monastery, Barracks, Stable, Siege Workshop, and Archery Range||21|
Comparison to Petards
Both units are "suicide units" and are strong vs buildings. In this regard, the Petard is a better specialist in taking down stone defenses and defensive structures, dealing huge amounts of damage to Town Centers, Towers, Castles, and Walls. But the Petard's attack has less of a relative effect on other buildings (while still dealing huge damage). On the other hand, the Flaming Camel deals the same amount of damage to all buildings, but it requires a much higher amount of Flaming Camels to take down any kind of building. It is a much less cost-effective anti-building unit than the Petard.
Petards can also counter Siege weapons with ease, Flaming Camels do not. Flaming Camels are better used against Cavalry, Petards do very little harm to cavalry. Flaming Camels have 50% more HP than Petards after Bloodlines is researched, but Petards have pierce armor, making them more resilient against arrow-fire than Flaming Camels. Flaming Camels also move much faster and have a larger blast radius than a Petard while costing more food and gold.
The only four technologies that benefit the Flaming Camel (aside from Kasbah, which requires the player to have an allied Berber player) are Conscription, Husbandry, Bloodlines, and Siege Engineers (as Tatars lack Heresy and Faith), while Petards from a standard civilization benefit from Faith, Heresy, Conscription and Siege Engineers.
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Buildings, Cavalry especially Elephants|
|Weak vs.||Archers, Castles, towers, Monks, infantry|
|Attack||Siege Engineers (+40 damage against buildings)|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Hit Points||Bloodlines (+20 hit points)|
- Tatars: Flaming Camels deal +25% damage if attacking from higher ground than its target.
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Flaming Camels are created 25% faster, and Conscription and Timurid Siegecraft are researched 25% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Indians: Flaming Camels have +4 attack against standard buildings.
- Initially, Flaming Camels had 50 melee attack, no bonus attack, had no armor class and were not available to any civilization, being a campaign and scenario editor unit only. With update 36202, they become available to Tatars after researching Timurid Siegecraft; their cost is 75 food, 30 gold; have 20 melee attack; have attack bonuses against buildings, Camels, elephants, and Cavalry, and get the Camel and Unique unit armor classes.
- With update 36906, the Indian team bonus now benefits Flaming Camels. The Flaming Camel button no longer conflicts with the “Go back to work” button in the Castle.
- Initially, Flaming Camels have a +80 attack bonus against the Elephant armor class, with a blast radius of 1.5. With update 39284, bonus damage was increased to +130, and blast radius was increased to 2.0.
- Flaming Camels are the first scenario editor and campaign only unit to become a playable unit in regular matches as a unique unit.
- As Flaming Camels are trained at the Castle, Tatars are the only civilization that trains 2 different unique units naturally in the Castle.
- The Flaming Camel is one of six unique unit lines that is only available from the Imperial Age and has no Elite upgrade, along with the Condottiero, Imperial Skirmisher, Imperial Camel Rider, the Flemish Militia, and the Houfnice.
- The Flaming Camel is one of two unique units that requires a technology to be unlocked. The other one is the Flemish Militia with Flemish Revolution.
- The Flaming Camel is one of the units with fewest possible upgrades, being only affected by Bloodlines, Husbandry, Conscription, and Siege Engineers (and Kasbah if allied with a Berber player).
- As of update 36202, the 'Create Flaming Camel' button occupies the same slot in the interface as the 'Garrison' button if Villagers are garrisoned inside the Castle. This blocks the ability to produce Flaming Camels, even if the default hotkey for the unit is re-binded.
- In the fourth scenario of the Tamerlane campaign, the player starts with eight Flaming Camels and is told to use them against the charging Indian Elite War Elephants in order to scare them and make them turn on their own side. This is based on a real stratagem used by Tamerlane during his conquest of Delhi in 1398.
- Stated damage values are applied relative to the center of explosion (i. e., center of the unit). In a realistic scenario, Flaming Camel colliding with a target head on will deal at maximum 87.5% of the damage due to collision size of the unit (circle with 0.25 tiles radius) and maximum blast radius of its attack (2 tiles). The same mechanic/issue is applicable to Demolition Ships but not to Petards (the later always deal full damage within 0.5 blast radius).