|“||Stronger than Cavalry Archer. Fast, with ranged attack.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Heavy Cavalry Archers, i.e. gets Bracer, Ring Archer Armor, Thumb Ring, Parthian Tactics, Bloodlines, and Husbandry. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.
Using Heavy Cavalry Archers is expensive as they are strong in large numbers, not in solitude. After training a dozen of Heavy Cavalry Archers, they can be used to take out infantry effectively. The player must make sure they are some feet away from infantry. This tactic does not usually work well against cavalry, unless the opponent is greatly outnumbered. Skirmishers and Onagers are devastating against Cavalry Archers. Camel Riders are also devastating against Cavalry Archers, given that they are faster and deal bonus damage against all Cavalry.
Their armor gets upgraded through the archer line but in terms of bonus damage against them they count as both Archer as well as Cavalry. Additionally, along with the Mangudai, they are also counted in a special 'Cavalry Archer' class against which Elite Skirmishers and Camel Archers deal additional bonus damage.
The most popular pairing involving Heavy Cavalry Archers is with Hussars, which is the preferred combination for the Cumans, Mongols, Huns, Hindustanis, Saracens, Magyars, Tatars, and Turks. While a few other cavalry and/or archer based civilizations can utilize this as well, it is not as effective for them. In addition to the excellent Mongolian Hussars, their Heavy Cavalry Archers fire faster. Magyars have cheaper Hussars and a Unique Technology benefitting Heavy Cavalry Archers, while the Tatars have a Unique Technology affecting both Hussars and Heavy Cavalry Archers. Likewise, the Huns have cheaper Heavy Cavalry Archers and their Hussars are created quicker and Cumans have the fastest Hussars and Cavalry Archers as well a Unique Technology affecting both. Since the Heavy Cavalry Archers cost wood and gold, the food can be invested in Hussars which can make melee support for the Heavy Cavalry Archer army in order to create a mobile yet devastating force. As a substitute to the Hussar, the Knight can be used if enough gold is available. That is rather uncommon, however, since the gold is usually just spent on the Heavy Cavalry Archers as Knights slow down the army a little.
Comparison in the Imperial Age
|7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen)||7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen)||(+6 vs Spearmen)||7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen)||7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen)||7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen)||7+4|
|Extras||.||-||-||Parthian Tactics and Thumb Ring are free; ;||Chemistry is free||Conscription is free|
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Slow and non-ranged units|
|Weak vs.||Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Huskarls, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Skirmishers, Eagle Warriors, Onagers, Scorpions, Camel Archers, Rattan Archers|
|Hit points|| Bloodlines (+20)|
Sipahi (+20, Turks only)
|Attack|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Parthian Tactics (+4 attack against Spearmen)
Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only since patch 5.5)
|Range|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
|Firing rate||Thumb Ring (+11%)|
|Accuracy|| Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)|
Ballistics (hit moving targets)
|Armor|| Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)|
Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
Silk Armor ( , Tatars only)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|