“Stronger than Camel. Excels at killing other mounted units.”—Age of Empires II description
The Heavy Camel (Heavy Camel Rider in the Definitive Edition) is a cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable once the Imperial Age is reached. They excel at battling other cavalry, but are rather ineffective otherwise. Every civilization that has access to Camels can upgrade them to Heavy Camels, but the upgrade to the Imperial Camel is unique to the Indians.
The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Heavy Camels, i.e. gets Blast Furnace, Plate Barding Armor, Bloodlines, and Husbandry. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.
Camels are essentially mounted Pikemen, doing bonus damage to their own kind as well as other cavalry units. Camels have an advantage over Pikemen since they have enough speed to prevent cavalry from escaping, at the cost of higher food and gold costs. Using Camels against civilizations that revolve around cavalry units, such as Berbers, Franks, Mongols, Persians, and Saracens often leads to great results. They can go head to head with other Imperial Age cavalry and defeat them in combat.
They are powerful against most cavalry, with the exception of Cataphracts, which are almost immune to the bonus damage from Heavy Camels. Heavy Camels are best used against melee cavalry, or to ambush groups of Cavalry Archers. Since they have a very low armor and base attack, they are not effective against anything else than cavalry, so it is wise not send them against archers or infantry, particularly Pikemen. Camels are also ineffective against buildings and actually take extra damage from defensive ones. This was because Camels and ships shared the same unit class before The African Kingdoms was released, so they were annihilated by defensive structures especially with Heated Shot. Units that dealt bonus damage against ships also dealt bonus damage against Heavy Camels. This made Fire Ships, Galleons, Longboats, Mangonels, and Bombard Cannons surprisingly effective against them. With the release of The African Kingdoms, however, all camel units were moved out of the ship class and no longer take bonus damage from the above-mentioned units.
Further statistics Edit
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Skirmishers, siege weapons, Cavalry Archers, cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Infantry, archers, Cataphracts|
|Hit points|| Bloodlines (+20)|
Zealotry (+30, Saracens only)
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Farimba (+5, Malians only)
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Other||Maghrabi Camels (gives regeneration ability, Berbers only)|
|Upgrades||Imperial Camel (Indians only)|
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Berbers: Heavy Camels are 20% cheaper.
- Byzantines: Heavy Camels are 25% cheaper.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Heavy Camels are 20% cheaper.
- Indians: Heavy Camels have +1 pierce armor.
- Tatars: Heavy Camels deal 50% bonus damage from elevations.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Heavy Camels are created and upgraded 20% faster. Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Indians: Heavy Camels have +6 attack against buildings.
- A team containing Teutons: Heavy Camels are more resistant to conversion.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching cavalry armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is 50% faster.
The Age of Kings Edit
- Heavy Camels take 29 seconds to train.
- Heavy Camels have a movement speed of 1.4.
- Heavy Camels are in the cavalry armor class, thus taking bonus damage from anti-cavalry attacks.
The Conquerors Edit
- Heavy Camels now train in 22 seconds.
- Heavy Camels now have a movement speed of 1.45.
- The cavalry armor class is removed from the Heavy Camels, so they don't take bonus damage from anti-cavalry attacks anymore. Instead, Heavy Camels are moved in another armor class along with ships, and now take bonus damage from anti-ship/anti-camel attacks. The Heavy Camels themselves also gain an attack bonus of +9 against their own class (and as such, also against ships).
- Bloodlines introduced.
- Heresy introduced.
- Indians: Heavy Camels have +1/+1 armor.
- Saracens: Zealotry introduced.
The African Kingdoms Edit
- The ship armor class is removed from the Heavy Camels, and they receive a new armor class, against which they also gain an attack bonus of +9. Nevertheless, the Heavy Camels keep their attack bonus of +9 against ships. Anti-cavalry attacks still don't affect Heavy Camels.
Rise of the Rajas Edit
- Indians: With patch 5.8, Heavy Camels have +1 pierce armor.
- The Camel is one of the few units whose availability among civilizations corresponds very well with real-world history. The Camel was used by different armies between the Mediterranean Sea and India from antiquity to modern day. While it is not known if the Mongols and Chinese used the Camel for combat, they certainly used it for transporting ammunition, and for food, respectively.
- The Far Eastern civilizations of the Mongols and the Chinese would have been as likely to domesticate the lesser known of the two species of Camel, the Bactrian (two hump) Camel, native to the steppes of Central Asia, as the familiar Middle Eastern Dromedary; both would have been introduced by Silk Road traders.
- Camels are one of two military units that do not make the usual military sound when created, the other being Trebuchets.
- The Camel makes the same sound effects as the Camel Rider.
- The Heavy Camel's beta model was modified and reused for the Imperial Camel in the Forgotten Empires until patch 3.5.
- The Camel line units are the only common cavalry units that don't have any base pierce armor.
- Heavy Camels deal bonus damage against the cheat unit Saboteur (since The Conquerors) because it is in the same unit class as ships.
“The heavy camel was an especially experienced warrior and camel rider who wore some armor. They were used by desert civilizations of the Middle East who fought against archers from the Byzantine Empire and horse archers raiding down from the steppes of Asia.”