|“||Stronger than Camel. Excels at killing other mounted units.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Heavy Camel Rider (called Heavy Camel before 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. It excels at battling other cavalry, but is rather ineffective otherwise. Every civilization that has access to Camel Riders except for the Cumans can upgrade them to Heavy Camel Riders, but the upgrade to the Imperial Camel Rider is unique to the Hindustanis.
The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Heavy Camel Riders, 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.
Camel Riders are essentially mounted Pikemen, doing bonus damage to their own kind as well as other cavalry units. Camel Riders 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 Camel Riders 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 Camel Riders. Heavy Camel Riders 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. Camel Riders are also ineffective against buildings and actually take extra damage from defensive ones. This was because Camel Riders 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 Camel Riders. 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.
Comparison in the Imperial Age
|Rate of Fire||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Extras||-||-||+2 attack vs standard buildings
Can be upgraded to Imperial Camel Rider
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Skirmishers, siege weapons, Cavalry Archers, cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Infantry, archers, Cataphracts, defensive structures|
|Hit points|| Bloodlines (+20)|
Zealotry ( , 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)
Frontier Guards (+4/+0, Gurjaras only)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Train cost||Kshatriyas (-25% food, Gurjaras only)|
|Other||Maghrebi Camels (gives regeneration ability, Berbers only)|
|Upgrades||Imperial Camel Rider (Hindustanis only)|
- Berbers: Heavy Camel Riders are 20% cheaper.
- Byzantines: Heavy Camel Riders are 25% cheaper.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Heavy Camel Riders are 20% cheaper.
- Gurjaras: Heavy Camel Riders deal +50% bonus damage. Heavy Camel Riders placed at start of the game have the option of auto-scout.
- Hindustanis: Heavy Camel Riders attack 25% faster.
- Saracens: Heavy Camel Riders have .
- Tatars: Heavy Camel Riders deal 50% bonus damage from elevations (instead of 25%).
- A team containing Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades are researched faster.
- A team containing Gurjaras: Heavy Camel Riders are created 25% faster.
- A team containing Hindustanis: Heavy Camel Riders have attack against standard buildings.
- A team containing Huns: Heavy Camel Riders are created and upgraded 20% faster. Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Heavy Camel Riders are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings
- The unit is named Heavy Camel.
- 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.
- Heavy Camels have 4 Line of Sight.
- Heavy Camels train in 22 seconds.
- Heavy Camels have a movement speed of 1.45.
- The cavalry armor class is removed from the Heavy Camels, so they do not take bonus damage from anti-cavalry attacks anymore. Instead, Heavy Camels are moved in another armor class along with ships, and 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.
- Saracens: Zealotry introduced in the Imperial Age. It gives Heavy Camels +30 HP.
- Indians: Heavy Camels have +1/+1 armor.
- Indians: Upgrade cost of Imperial Camel Rider is 1,200 food, 600 gold.
- Indians (team bonus): Heavy Camels have +5 attack against buildings.
The African Kingdoms
- 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 do not affect Heavy Camels.
Rise of the Rajas
- Indians: With patch 5.8, Heavy Camels have +1 pierce armor.
- The unit is renamed to Heavy Camel Rider.
- Indians (team bonus): With update 37650, Heavy Camel Riders have +5 attack against standard buildings instead, so that it is no longer negated by Masonry or Architecture. With update 42848, the bonus is reduced to +4.
- Indians: With update 42848, Heavy Camel Riders have +2 pierce armor. Indians lose access to Plate Barding Armor.
Lords of the West
- Saracens: with update 44725, Heavy Camel Riders get +10 HP. Zealotry gives Heavy Camel Riders +20 HP.
Dynasties of India
- Camel Rider line gains +1 Line of Sight with update 61321.
- Hindustanis: With update 61321, they regain access to Plate Barding Armor, lose +2 pierce armor bonus, and attack 25% faster.
- Hindustanis: With update 61321, the cost of Imperial Camel Rider research was reduced to 1,000 food, 500 gold.
- Hindustanis (team bonus): With update 61321, attack bonus vs standard buildings reduced to +2.
- Saracens: With update 61321, Zealotry moved to the Castle Age.
- The Camel Rider is one of the few units whose availability among civilizations corresponds very well with real-world history. Camels were 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 camels for combat, they certainly used camels for transporting ammunition, and for food, respectively. Cumans have no access to the Heavy Camel Riders in-game, possibly for balancing reasons.
- The Far Eastern civilizations of the Mongols, Chinese, Cumans and Tatars (the two latter originated from East Asia) would have been as likely to domesticate the lesser known of the two species of camel, the two-humped Bactrian Camel, native to the steppes of Central Asia, as the familiar Arabian one-humped dromedary; both would have been introduced by Silk Road traders.
- Camel Riders are one of two military units that do not make the usual military sound when created, the other being Trebuchets.
- Even though they have "heavy" in their name, Heavy Camel Riders have no armor.
- The Heavy Camel Rider's beta model was modified and reused for the Imperial Camel Rider in the Forgotten Empires until patch 3.5.
- The Camel Rider line units are the only common cavalry units that do not have any base pierce armor.
- Heavy Camel Riders deal bonus damage against the cheat unit Saboteur (since The Conquerors) because it is in the same unit class as ships.
- With 7 melee armor, the fully upgraded Gurjara Heavy Camel Rider is now tied with the Teutonic Paladin for the highest melee armor of stable units.
- Despite lacking Blast Furnace, Gurjara Heavy Camel Riders might be the strongest Heavy Camel Riders in the game, as they deal 50% more bonus damage (which means they perform very similarly to Halberdiers without Blast Furnace, which kill Paladins in 6 hits), cost the same amount of food as Byzantine Heavy Camel Riders after researching the Castle Age unique technology Kshatriyas while having access to Bloodlines, extra melee armor with the Imperial Age unique technology Frontier Guards, and also training 25% faster thanks to the team bonus. They can also beat the Hindustani Imperial Camel Rider (that attacks 25% faster) in one-to-one combat. However, it is necessary to invest a large amount of resources to upgrade the Camel Riders.
|“||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.||”|