|This article is about the unit. For the technology, see Hand Cannon.|
“Powerful close attack; inaccurate at range.”—Age of Empires II description
The Hand Cannoneer is a gunpowder unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Archery Range once the Imperial Age is reached and Chemistry is researched. It has a powerful attack, but low hit points and low accuracy at range.
The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Hand Cannoneers, i.e. gets Ring Archer Armor. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.
Hand Cannoneers have a powerful attack but have a slow firing rate, and their shots fly off in random directions (within radial proximity to the vector leading to their target), so their accuracy at long range is poor. They do +10 bonus damage against all infantry and another +1 against Spearmen, and their accuracy is less of a problem against the larger cavalry, making them deadly at close range. If maneuvered properly, Hand Cannoneers may also take down siege weapons with great efficiency.
Hand Cannoneers are treated to be archers (even though they use firearms) in the damage calculation, so Skirmishers and Huskarls have attack bonuses against them, and Huskarls also have a high defensive bonus against their piercing damage. They are of course also gunpowder units, giving Condottieri an attack bonus against them as well. Being foot units, they are also vulnerable to Mangonels and Scorpions, and they perform poorly against towers and Castles.
Further statistics Edit
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Weak vs.||Skirmishers, Scorpions, Onagers, heavy cavalry, Huskarls, Condottieri|
|Range||Shatagni (+1, Indians only)|
|Accuracy||Arquebus (hit moving targets, Portuguese only)|
|Armor|| Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)|
Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Italians: Hand Cannoneers are 20% cheaper.
- Portuguese: Hand Cannoneers cost 15% less gold.
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Hand Cannoneers don't cost gold. Hand Cannoneers fire 18% faster.
- Tatars: Hand Canoneers deal 50% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations.
- Turks: Hand Cannoneers have +25% HP. Chemistry is free.
- Saracens: Hand Canoneers deal +3 damage against buildings
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
- A team containing Britons: Hand Cannoneers are created 20% faster.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Chemistry is 80% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Hand Cannoneers are more resistant to conversion.
- A team Containing Turks: Hand Cannoneers are created 25% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching archer armor upgrades at the Blacksmith is 50% faster.
The Age of Kings Edit
- Hand Cannon needs to be researched in order to train Hand Cannoneers.
- Hand Cannoneers have an accuracy of 55%.
- Hand Cannoneers have an attack bonus of +8 against infantry.
- Turks: Hand Cannoneers have +50% HP.
The Conquerors Edit
- Hand Cannon was removed from the game, and Hand Cannoneers become available as soon as Chemistry is researched.
- Hand Cannoneers now have an accuracy of 65%.
- Hand Cannoneers now have an attack bonus of +10 against infantry.
- Hand Cannoneers receive an attack bonus of +1 against Spearmen.
- Hand Cannoneers receive an attack bonus of +2 against Rams.
- Heresy introduced.
- Turks: Hand Cannoneers now have +25% HP.
The Forgotten Edit
- Italians: Hand Cannoneers are 15% cheaper.
The African Kingdoms Edit
- Italians: With patch 4.8, Hand Cannoneers are now 20% cheaper.
Definitive Edition Edit
- Saracens: Hand Cannoneers now deal +3 damage against buildings.
- Despite the fact that the Chinese were the first civilization to invent the hand cannon, they do not have access to Hand Cannoneers. This is most likely for balance purposes as their unique unit, unique technology, and their access to various long range siege weapons and technologies allows the Chinese to excel at long range sieging.
- The Incas can never train Hand Cannoneers, not even with the Full Tech Tree option, because they share the shortcut and place in the Archery Range with the Slinger. It is the only unit (apart from unique units) to be entirely unavailable to a certain civilization.
- Every civilization (except the Japanese) that has access to the Hand Cannoneer also has access to Bombard Cannon.
“Following the development of cannons, small hand-operated gunpowder weapons began appearing in Europe in the fourteenth century. These early firearms were small iron tubes mounted on a wooden stock. They were inaccurate and slow to load. In the early fifteenth century the hand cannon was made smaller, the stock was redesigned so it could be held against the chest, and a mechanism was added for inserting the slow-burning match into the chamber. This weapon was effective only in volleys at close range. In the middle of the fifteenth century the first recognizably modern firearm, the arquebus, was developed. This employed a wheel lock to bring the slow match in contact with a powder pan connected by a tube to the chamber. Lead and cast iron balls fired from the arquebus were lethal. Firearms of the Middle Ages had an inferior range and rate of fire in comparison to the best bows and crossbows. Firearms improved gradually, however, and became more and more popular, despite their high cost. They became status symbols. Important lords engaged in an arms race, attempting to field more firearms of more modern design than their competitors.”