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The Gastraphetes is a Mythic Age archer unit for the in Age of Mythology. It is trained at the Fortress and Archery Range (Titans Expansion only), and is the unique unit for Hades.

God Bonuses and Upgrades[]


Hades increases the attack of all archers by 10%, including Gastraphetes.


Gastraphetes are quite expensive but can handle various roles. They have a very long range and deal crush damage so can destroy buildings in groups. As archers, they are strong against infantry as well. Due to their long range they can kill infantry from much further away than conventional archers so can provide long ranged support. This also reduces the extent to which infantry can close the gap and hurt them. They work well when paired with Petroboli since they can provide anti-infantry support and help destroy buildings. Their main weakness is that they are expensive and take up three population slots. Furthermore, like all archers they are weak against cavalry, though their range helps to mitigate this somewhat.


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This ancient weapon was an ancestor to both mounted ballistae and medieval crossbows. It appeared to be a large crossbow that was cocked, and perhaps fired, while braced against the soldier's middle. "Gastraphetes" literally means "belly bow". Because they were slow to fire, but had a great range, the weapons were most likely used for siege.


  • The Gastraphetes was the last trainable unit created for Age of Mythology, before The Titans as Hades originally had access to the Cataphract instead.


Military units in Age of Mythology
Culture Type Units
Greeks Infantry Hoplite  · Hypaspist  · Myrmidon (Zeus) · Militia (Poseidon)
Archer Toxotes  · Peltast  · Gastraphetes (Hades)
Cavalry Hippikon  · Prodromos  · Hetairoi (Poseidon)
Siege weapon Petrobolos  · Helepolis
Ship Trireme  · Pentekonter  · Juggernaut
Other Kataskopos
Egyptians Infantry Spearman  · Axeman  · Mercenary  · Khopesh Swordsman
Archer Slinger  · Chariot Archer
Cavalry Camelry  · War Elephant  · Mercenary Cavalry
Siege weapon Catapult  · Siege Tower
Ship Kebenit  · Ramming Galley  · War Barge
Norse Infantry Ulfsark  · Throwing Axeman  · Huskarl
Archer Bogsveigir
Cavalry Raiding Cavalry  · Jarl
Siege weapon Portable Ram  · Ballista
Ship Longboat  · Drakkar  · Dragon Ship
Atlanteans Infantry Murmillo  · Katapeltes  · Destroyer  · Fanatic
Archer Arcus  · Turma
Cavalry Contarius
Siege weapon Cheiroballista  · Fire Siphon  · Onager
Ship Bireme  · Fireship  · Siege Bireme
Other Oracle
Chinese Infantry Halberdier
Archer Chu Ko Nu  · Mounted Archer
Cavalry Cataphract  · General  · Scout Cavalry  · War Chariot
Siege weapon Fire Lance  · Sitting Tiger
Ship Junk  · Fire Ship  · Siege Junk