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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.

Unit availability
Available Unavailable

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.

The ^ indicates that the civilization has at least one civilization or team bonus or a unique technology that benefits the combat strength of the Heavy Scorpion.


Heavyscorpion anim aoe2.gif

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.

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.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, slow-moving units, archers
Weak vs. Melee units at close range especially Magyar Huszars and other cavalry, Mangudai, Onagers, Bombard Cannons, Eagle Warriors, Woad Raiders, Huskarls
Hit points Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Furor Celtica (+40%, Celts only)
Attack SiegeEngineersDE.png Siege Engineers (+20% attack against buildings)
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry (+1)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Rocketry (+4, Chinese only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Torsion Engines (increases blast damage radius, Ethiopians only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Double Crossbow (gives a second projectile with 12 pierce damage and 4 bonus damage against Elephants, Khmer only)
Range SiegeEngineersDE.png Siege Engineers (+1)
Armor CastleAgeUnique.png Ironclad (+4/+0, Teutons only)
Movement Speed Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Drill (+50%, Mongols only)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
UniqueTechCastle-DE.png First Crusade (Sicilians only)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Bulgarians: Upgrading to Heavy Scorpion costs -50% 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.

Team bonuses[]


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.

The Conquerors[]

The Forgotten[]

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Heavy Scorpion projectile size increased (fixes their lack of pass-through damage).

Definitive Edition[]

Dynasties of India[]

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


  • 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 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 it acting like a Scorpio, statistically and in-name, it is more of a Ballista.
  • 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.


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




HEAVY SCORPION vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Lords of the West) - AoE II- Definitive Edition