|“||Stronger than Scorpion. Light artillery that fires large arrowlike bolts.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Heavy Scorpion is a light siege unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Siege Workshop once the Imperial Age is reached. The Heavy Scorpion fires large arrow-like bolts. It is effective against groups of enemy units as the bolts cause damage to multiple units in a straight line. Unlike the Mangonel line, they do not damage friendly units. This can make all the difference in a pitched close quarters battle.
The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Heavy Scorpions, i.e. gets Siege Engineers. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.
Heavy Scorpions are effective against slower units such as infantry, archers, and Monks, where its slower-moving bolts have maximum efficiency. Heavy Scorpions perform poorly against Woad Raiders, Eagle Warriors, Huskarls, and cavalry, which can dodge its missiles and close the gap quickly. Heavy Scorpions, like most siege units, should be well protected, as their slow speed makes them very vulnerable to attack. They are often paired with Halberdiers to deal with enemy cavalry. This combination is especially prominent with the Bulgarians, Celts, Chinese, Ethiopians, Khmer, Slavs, and Teutons, as all have either a civilization bonus or unique technology that benefit the strength of both. They can also be paired with Genoese Crossbowmen, which do a great job at protecting Heavy Scorpions from enemy cavalry, and can also perform well against other units.
When used properly, Heavy Scorpions can be quite devastating. A medium-sized group of Heavy Scorpions can decimate whole armies of infantry and archers in the blink of an eye, and even hold out well against cavalry in sufficient numbers. However, Heavy Scorpions are always vulnerable to longer ranged attacks such as that from Bombard Cannons. When maneuvered properly, Cavalry Archers, especially Mangudai can deal with Heavy Scorpions efficiently. Onagers are also very effective against Heavy Scorpions.
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Buildings, slow-moving units, archers|
|Weak vs.||Melee units especially Magyar Huszars and other cavalry, Mangudai, Onagers, Eagle Warriors, Woad Raiders, Huskarls, long-ranged units|
|Hit points||Furor Celtica ( , Celts only)|
|Attack|| Siege Engineers (+20% attack against buildings)|
Rocketry (+4, Chinese only)
Torsion Engines (increases blast damage radius, Ethiopians only)
Double Crossbow (gives a second projectile with 11 pierce damage and an additional 5 bonus damage against Elephants, Khmer only)
|Range||Siege Engineers (+1)|
|Armor||Ironclad (+4/+0, Teutons only)|
|Movement Speed||Drill (+50%, Mongols only)|
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
First Crusade(Sicilians only)
- Bulgarians: Upgrading to Heavy Scorpion costs 50% less food.
- Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Celts: Heavy Scorpions fire 25% faster. Heavy Scorpions can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Heavy Scorpions are 20% cheaper.
- Slavs: Heavy Scorpions are 15% cheaper.
- Tatars: Heavy Scorpions deal +25% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations.
- A team containing Celts: Heavy Scorpions are created 20% faster.
- A team containing Khmer: Heavy Scorpions have +1 range.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Chemistry and Siege Engineers is 80% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Heavy Scorpions are more resistant to conversion.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
The Age of Kings
- Heavy Scorpions have 5 range.
- Heavy Scorpions have a frame delay of 0.
- Heavy Scorpions benefit from Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer, gaining overall +3 attack and range of all three technologies.
- Chemistry gives Heavy Scorpions +2 attack.
- Britons: Cannot build Heavy Scorpions.
- Heavy Scorpions now have 7 range.
- Heavy Scorpions now have a frame delay of 7.
- Heavy Scorpions do not benefit from Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer anymore.
- Chemistry now gives Heavy Scorpions +1 attack.
- Heresy introduced.
- Celts: Furor Celtica introduced. It gives Heavy Scorpions +50% HP.
- Chinese: Rocketry introduced.
- Mongols: Drill introduced.
- Celts: Furor Celtica now gives +40% HP to Heavy Scorpions.
- Teutons: Ironclad introduced.
- Britons: Heavy Scorpion added to the technology tree.
The African Kingdoms
- Heavy Scorpion projectile size increased (fixes their lack of pass-through damage).
- Bulgarians: with update 42848, upgrading to Heavy Scorpion costs -50% food.
- Ethiopians: with update 36906, Torsion Engines' Heavy Scorpion projectile collision size was increased from 0.3 to 0.5 tiles. With update 42848, it was decreased to 0.4 tiles.
- The Heavy Scorpion in The Age of Kings makes a 'whoosh' sound when it fires its projectile, which it also shares with the Galleon. In The Conquerors and after, the sound no longer occurs and it makes the same sound as the regular Scorpion due to the file being missing in The Conquerors' files.
- Interestingly enough, Heavy Scorpions have a 0 melee damage value, meaning that Rams and Siege Towers take extra damage from them due to having -3 and -2 melee armor respectively. On top of that, Heavy Scorpions also have an attack bonus against Rams.
|“||The heavy scorpion was an improved version of the Scorpion. The heavy scorpion consisted of a heavier bow and frame, and could fire larger missiles.||”|
|—Age of Empires II manual|
The Heavy Scorpion is based on the real-world Manuballista (also known as a Cheiroballista) which was an improvement to the existing Scorpio, being more portable and less resource-heavy.
Interesting enough, despite it acting like a Scorpio, statistically and in-name, it's more of a Ballista. Interesting enough, the Byzantines despite being the only civilization to use the Scorpio (until the Crusades where it had a comeback) during the majority of the Middle Ages do not have access to the Heavy Scorpion.