Age of Empires Series Wiki

Anti-unit siege weapon. Fires bolts that pierce multiple units.
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.

Availability chart[]

Heavyscorpionavailable AvailableHeavyscorpionunavailable Unavailable
x means that the civilization can fully upgrade its Heavy Scorpions. The technology being considered here is Siege Engineers.
+ means that the civilization some civilization or team bonus or a unique technology that benefits the combat strength of the Heavy Scorpion.

Comparison among prominent civilizations[]

Civilization Celts AoE2 Celts Chinese AoE2 Chinese Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians Khmer AoE2 Khmer Romans AoE2 Romans Slavs AoE2 Slavs
Hit points 84 60
Cost 75 wood, 75 gold 50 wood, 75 gold 75 wood, 75 gold 75 wood, 30 gold 64 wood, 64 gold
Attack 16+1 16+5 16+1
Fire Rate 2.88 3.6 2.7 3.6
Range 7+1 7 7+1 7+2 7+1
Extras Produced 20% faster Projectile width increase Fire an extra projectile Affected by Ballistics


Heavy Scorpions move slowly, have a slow fire rate and a minimum range of 2. Because of this, they 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, Elite 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.

The Heavy Scorpion upgrade grants +15 hit points, +4 attack, and +1 pierce armor. The upgrade's economical cost and large effect makes it a mandatory pick-up when Scorpions are used in a significant number.

When used in substantially high numbers, 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.

Since fully upgraded Heavy Scorpions have the same range as a fully upgraded Arbalesters, it is usually prudent to go for the cheaper and easier-to-mass Archery Range unit. However, civilizations that lack Bracer or Arbalesters (like the Celts, Franks, Slavs, and Teutons) may get greater benefits from the Heavy Scorpion.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Massed Infantry and archers, Elephants, slow-moving units
Weak vs. Cavalry, fast-moving melee units, Magyar Huszars, Mangudai, Onagers, Bombard Cannons, Elite Eagle Warriors, Woad Raiders, Huskarls
Hit points UniqueTechImperialDE Furor Celtica (+40%, Celts only)
Attack SiegeEngineersDE Siege Engineers (+20% attack against buildings)
ChemistryDE Chemistry (+1)
UniqueTechImperialDE Rocketry (+4, Chinese only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Torsion Engines (increases projectile width by 0.6 tiles, Ethiopians only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Double Crossbow (adds a projectile with +12 pierce attack and +4 anti-War elephant attack, unaffected by Chemistry, Khmer only)
Firing Rate UniqueTechCastle-DE Ballistas (+33%, Romans only)
Range SiegeEngineersDE Siege Engineers (+1)
Accuracy BallisticsDE Ballistics (hit moving targets, Romans only)
Armor UniqueTechCastle-DE Ironclad (+4/+0, Teutons only)
Movement speed UniqueTechImperialDE Drill (+50%, Mongols only)
Conversion defense Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)
UniqueTechCastle-DE First Crusade (+4 min, +4 max, Sicilians only)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Burmese AoE2 Burmese: Researching Devotion and Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts AoE2 Celts: Heavy Scorpions fire 25% faster. Heavy Scorpions can convert herdable animals even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese AoE2 Chinese: Technologies that benefit Heavy Scorpions are 15% cheaper.
  • Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians: Heavy Scorpions cost -33% wood.
  • Georgians AoE2 Georgians: Heavy Scorpions receive -20% damage (-40% instead of -25%) when fighting from higher elevation.
  • Romans AoE2 Romans: Heavy Scorpions cost -60% gold and benefit from Ballistics.
  • Slavs AoE2 Slavs: Heavy Scorpions are 15% cheaper.
  • Tatars AoE2 Tatars: Heavy Scorpions deal +20% damage (+50% instead of +25%) from cliffs and elevations.

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings[]

  • Heavy Scorpions have 5 range, 7 Line of Sight, a minimum range of 1, 7 pierce armor, and an attack delay of 0.
  • Heavy Scorpions benefit from Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer, gaining overall +3 attack, range, and Line of Sight of all three technologies.
  • Chemistry gives Heavy Scorpions +2 attack.
  • Britons AoE2 Britons: Cannot build Heavy Scorpions.

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

  • Heavy Scorpions have 7 range, 9 Line of Sight, a minimum range of 2, and an attack delay of 0.21 seconds.
  • Heavy Scorpions do not benefit from Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, or Bracer.
  • Heavy Scorpions deal 0 melee damage in addition to their pierce attack.
  • Chemistry gives Heavy Scorpions +1 attack.
  • Heresy introduced.
  • Celts AoE2 Celts: Furor Celtica introduced. It gives Heavy Scorpions +50% hit points.
  • Chinese AoE2 Chinese: Rocketry introduced.
  • Mongols AoE2 Mongols: Drill introduced.

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • Heavy Scorpion projectile size increased: 0.025 → 0.1 tile (fixes their lack of pass-through damage).

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

  • With update 61321, Heavy Scorpions have 8 pierce armor.
  • With update 61321, Heavy Scorpions are now resistant to armor-ignoring attacks similarly to buildings.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • With update 87863, Heavy Scorpion hit points increased from 50 to 55.

Aoe2 hb Victors and Vanquished[]

  • With update 111772, Heavy Scorpion hit points increased from 55 to 60 and melee armor increased from 0 to 1.


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 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.
  • The Heavy Scorpion was said to be effective against massed cavalry and fortifications in the Age of Empires II manual, though during gameplay it performs in the exact opposite way, as Scorpions are too slow to deal significant damage to mounted troops, and buildings take very little damage from them, even when fielded in sizable groups.
  • 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 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.
  • Despite being named after the Scorpio, it is designed after a Ballista as elaborated in the Scorpion article.
  • If the projectile lands after the Heavy Scorpion is destroyed, it may cut down trees due to a bug.
  • The Byzantines, despite being the only civilization that actually used the Scorpio during the majority of the Middle Ages (until the Crusades where it had a comeback), do not have access to the Heavy Scorpion.



Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship