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Hindustani unique infantry unit that thrusts its spear through multiple targets.
Age of Empires II description

The Ghulam is a unique unit of the Hindustanis in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India, trained from the Castle, replacing the Indians' Elephant Archer. It is an anti-archer infantry that thrusts its spear through multiple targets and is adept against masses of archers, but weak vs. cavalry.

Tactics[]

The Ghulam is a peculiar infantry unit; most infantry are weak against archers, due to their low movement speed and low pierce armor. Ghulams have high pierce armor, fast movement speed, an attack bonus vs archers, and its attack deals damage to the unit behind its target. Ghulams excel at taking down armies of archers, especially if massed.

In its anti-archer infantry role, Ghulams can be compared in some ways with Goths' Huskarls and Eagle Warriors. Huskarls have slower movement, but higher attack bonus vs archers and buildings, and better pierce armor. Compared to Eagle Warriors, both units have fast movement speed (Elite Eagle Warriors still move faster than Elite Ghulams), good pierce armor (Ghulam base pierce armor is better than the base pierce armor of the Eagle Warrior), but in this case, Eagle Warriors lack any anti-archer bonus attack. The thrusting attack of the Ghulam can be compared in a way with the ranged attack of a Kamayuk. However, the Ghulam attack effect only applies if two enemy units are aligned in a row, since they don't have range.

Ghulams fill an important role in Hindustani armies, covering a natural weakness Hand Cannoneers and Camel Riders have against archers, since these two units are specialized in countering infantry and cavalry, respectively. Since Ghulams are highly vulnerable against melee attacks, they should be paired with either Camel Riders or Hand Cannoneers.

Further statistics[]

As Ghulams are unique to the Hindustanis, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Archers, Skirmishers, Cavalry Archers, Villagers
Weak vs. Champions, Jaguar Warriors, Samurai, Teutonic Knights, cavalry, Monks
Upgrades
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2)
ArsonDE.png Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
Armor ScaleMailArmorDE.png Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)
ChainMailArmorDE.png Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
Speed SquiresDE.png Squires (+10%)
Sight TrackingDE.png Tracking (+2)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
CastleAgeUnique.png Kasbah (+25%, with Berber allies only)
Upgrades Elite-unique-research.jpg Elite Ghulam

Comparison in the Castle Age with similar units[]

Aoe2de Ghulam.png Ghulam Eaglewarrior aoe2DE.png Eagle Warrior HuskarlIcon-DE.png Huskarl
Cost 30 food, 45 gold 20 food, 50 gold 56 food, 28 gold
Training time 12 35 16 from Castle
13.33 from Barracks
Movement Speed 1.265 1.265 1.155
Line of Sight 8 8 5
Hit Points 65 55 60
Armor 0+2/3+2 0+2/3+2 0+2/6+2
Attack 8+2 7+2 10+2
Attack bonuses +5 vs Archers
+2 vs Eagles
+4 vs St. buildings
+8 vs Monks
+3 vs Siege weapons and Cavalry

+2 vs Camels and St. buildings
+1 vs Ships and Fishing Ships

+6 vs Archers
+2 vs Eagles
+4 vs St. buildings
Armor classes Infantry

Unique unit

Infantry

Eagle Warrior

Infantry

Unique unit

Special ability Attacks through units to damage units within 1 tile with 50% strength Cannot be converted before 8 seconds Can be produced from both Castles and Barracks

Comparison in Imperial Age with similar units[]

Aoe2de Ghulam.png Elite Ghulam Eliteeaglewarrior aoe2DE.png Elite Eagle Warrior HuskarlIcon-DE.png Elite Huskarl
Cost 30 food, 45 gold 20 food, 50 gold 52 food, 26 gold
Training time 9 15 12 from Castle
10 from Barracks
Movement Speed 1.32 1.43 1.155
Line of Sight 8 8 7
Hit Points 75 60 70
Armor 0+2/6+2 0+3/4+4 0+2/8+2
Attack 10+4 9+4 12+4
Attack bonuses +6 vs Archers
+2 vs Eagles
+4 vs St. buildings
+10 vs Monks
+5 vs Siege weapons
+4 Cavalry

+3 vs Camels
+2 vs Ships, Fishing Ships, and St. buildings

+10 vs Archers
+3 vs Eagles
+6 vs St. buildings
Armor classes Infantry

Unique unit

Infantry

Eagle Warrior

Infantry

Unique unit

Special ability Attacks through units to damage units within 1 tile with 50% strength Cannot be converted before 8 seconds Can be produced from both Castles and Barracks

Team bonuses[]

Trivia[]

  • The Ghulam and the Eagle Scout line are the only infantry units to cost more gold than food.
  • The Ghulam is the third unique unit to represent an elite slave soldier, after the Mameluke and Janissary from the base game. Each belongs to one of the three main divisions of human units: infantry, cavalry, and archers.
  • The Ghulam is the only infantry unique unit that increase its base speed when the elite upgrade has been researched.

History[]

Ghulam (غُلَام) (plural Ghilman (غِلْمَان), lit. servant) were slave-soldiers and/or mercenaries in the armies throughout the Islamic world. Ghilman were slave-soldiers taken as prisoners of war from conquered regions or frontier zones, especially from among the Turkic people of Central Asia and the Caucasian peoples. They fought in bands, and demanded high pay for their services.

The Delhi Sultanate also made extensive use of Turkish cavalry ghilman as their core shock troops. After Central Asia fell to the Mongols, they switched to capturing Hindu boys to convert into Islamic slave soldiers[1].

Gallery[]

References[]

Video[]

ELITE_GHULAM_vs_EVERY_UNIQUE_UNIT_(Total_Resources)_-_AoE_II-_Definitive_Edition

ELITE GHULAM vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Total Resources) - AoE II- Definitive Edition

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