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This article is about the mercenary in the original Age of Empires III. For the Swedish unit in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, see Hakkapelit.

Heavy cavalry mercenary from Finland.
—In-game description

The Hackapell is a mercenary cavalry in Age of Empires III. Hackapells are a very delicate heavy cavalry that function as improved Uhlans.


Although Hackapells can strike with great force (they can kill Zamburaks with one hit), they should not be used on their own during battle, since their low hit points make them vulnerable to enemy attacks. They excel at raiding enemy Villagers - In two strikes, a Villager or Coureur is dead. Hackapells should be used like Hussars, but mixed with regular hand cavalry or other Heavy Cavalry mercenaries. Hackapells have significantly more attack but significantly fewer hit points than the Mameluke. With 12 Missionaries (Japanese ally), Unction, all attack improvement upgrades (Bhakti Temple) and cards (French and Indian allies), the Spanish Finnish Hackapell is the melee cavalry with the highest attack, 281.93.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ranged infantry, light infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Cavalry Cuirass.png Cavalry Cuirass (+10%)
Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Pillage.png Pillage (+25% siege attack)
Counter Infantry Rifling.png Customized Merc Weapons (+30%, John Black's Mercenaries only)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Mass Cavalry.png Mass Cavalry (-50%)
Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Wild Geese.png Wild Geese (ships 5 Hackapells, Spanish only)
Penalties Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)

Home City Cards[]

In-game dialogue[]

The Hackapell speaks Finnish.

  • Select 1 Mitä? - What?
  • Select 2 Valmiina - Ready
  • Select 3 Käsky? - Order(s)?
  • Move 1 Kyllä - Yes
  • Move 2 Aion - I will (the translation is a little bit awkward since "aion" as a word is almost never used alone. Usually in Finnish language after "aion" you need to explain an intended action or deed)
  • Move 3 Selvä - Roger
  • Attack 1 Hyökkäykseen! - To attack!
  • Attack 2 Hyökätkää! - Attack!
  • Attack 3 Selvä - Roger


  • Although the Hackapell's icon and the art in the history portrait depicts a flintlock pistol and a saber, the unit only wields the saber in combat.
  • Due to the introduction of Hakkapelits for the Swedes in the Definitive Edition, Hackapells are replaced with Harquebusiers. However, one is still available for the player during Saratoga, the fifth scenario of Act I: Fire.
  • The in-game history section states that Gustavus Adolphus was a Finnish king; he was actually Swedish, though Finland was part of Sweden at that time. It also describes the warcry as "Hakka paalle", though the correct form would be "Hakkaa päälle".


The Hackapells, or Hakkapeliitta, were an elite cavalry of Finnish King Gustav II Adolph during the Thirty Years War. They get their name from their battle cry of, "Hakka paalle!" It roughly translates to "Cut them down!" but in spirit means, "Charge on!" Crying this, they were apparently so fearsome that their enemies thought they were protected by witchcraft.

Hackapells were very lightly armored, using their speed in the charge to get them into the thick of a fight quickly where they fought with swords and, later, small firearms.
—In-game history