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Ranged anti-archer unit that cannot attack at close range. Trainable by Vietnamese and their allies.
Age of Empires II description

The Imperial Skirmisher is the second unique unit of the Vietnamese in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas. It can be trained at the Archery Range once the Imperial Age is reached. As an upgrade of the Elite Skirmisher, it is an anti-archer ranged unit.

The Imperial Skirmisher is a shared unique unit, i.e. it is available to any player allied with the Vietnamese (except for the Turks, who cannot train Elite Skirmishers) as their team bonus. Unlike most unique units, Imperial Skirmishers do not have an Elite version, as they are already a final unique upgrade.


Skirmishers are very weak to everything except archers, some gunpowder units like Hand Cannoneers and Conquistadors, and Pikemen (to a degree). With a weak and slow attack, as well as a minimum range, they deal almost no damage to infantry and cavalry. Nevertheless, their attack bonus against archers can make them valuable against any archer-using opponent, especially if the player's civilization bonuses benefit Skirmishers.

Compared to its predecessor, Imperial Skirmishers have +1 attack, +1 pierce armor, +1 bonus damage against archers, and +1 bonus damage against cavalry archers. This is a notable increase against Arbalesters, where they take half the damage and deal out ~28.5% more damage. As Imperial Skirmishers cost no gold, they are trash units, and as such they become especially important in the late game when gold becomes scarce. The Imperial Skirmisher also have a +4 attack bonus against Pikemen, allowing groups of them to quickly take out approaching Pikemen, but their minimum range and low melee armor make them somewhat vulnerable.

As the team bonus for the Vietnamese, Imperial Skirmishers can only be trained if the player has a Vietnamese ally or is playing with the Vietnamese in the same fashion Condottieri and Genitours are trained. However, unlike the other shared units, it must be researched for each allied player at the Archery Range. It is also a trash unit, making it less useful in a team-game environment than a 1v1 environment. As the Elite Skirmishers counts as a generic unit, it is unaffected by the Samurai's attack bonus.

Unfortunately, the Turks cannot use the Imperial Skirmisher because it is an upgrade of the Elite Skirmisher, to which the Turks have no access. In contrast, other civilizations can put these units to great use, especially the Aztecs, Britons, Byzantines, Incas, Koreans, Lithuanians, and Mayans; the first in particular, having somewhat lackluster Arbalesters, whereas Atlatl-boosted Imperial Skirmishers are superior to most domains, including cost efficiency, training time, and bonuses.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Archers, Spearman line
Weak vs. Melee units, siege units
Attack FletchingDE Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE Bracer (+1)
ChemistryDE Chemistry (+1)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Atlatl (+1, Aztecs only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Hul'che Javelineers (Extra spear, Mayans only)
Range FletchingDE Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE Bracer (+1)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Atlatl (+1, Aztecs only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Yeomen (+1, Britons only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Andean Sling (eliminates the minimum range, Incas only)
Accuracy ThumbRingDE Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)
BallisticsDE Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor PaddedArcherArmorDE Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
LeatherArcherArmorDE Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
RingArcherArmorDE Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
UniqueTechImperialDE Tower Shields (+2 pierce armor, Lithuanians only)
Conversion defense Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted) (allies only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE First Crusade (+4 min, +4 max, Sicilians only)
Creation cost UniqueTechCastle-DE Kshatriyas (-25% food, Gurjaras only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Aztecs AoE2 Aztecs: Imperial Skirmishers are created 11% faster.
  • Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Archers cost -50% food.
  • Burmese AoE2 Burmese: Researching Devotion and Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines: Imperial Skirmishers are 25% cheaper.
  • Celts AoE2 Celts: Imperial Skirmishers can convert herdable animals even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese AoE2 Chinese: Technologies that benefit Imperial Skirmishers are 5%/10%/15% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians: Imperial Skirmishers attack 25% faster.
  • Georgians AoE2 Georgians: Imperial Skirmishers receive -20% (-40% instead of -25%) damage on higher elevations.
  • Incas AoE2 Incas: Imperial Skirmishers cost -25% food.
  • Italians AoE2 Italians: Researching Ballistics and Chemistry is 33% cheaper.
  • Koreans AoE2 Koreans: Imperial Skirmishers costs -50% wood. Armor upgrades are free.
  • Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians: Imperial Skirmishers move 10% faster.
  • Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians: Imperial Skirmishers take -33% bonus damage.
  • Spanish AoE2 Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Imperial Skirmishers cost no gold. Researching technologies that benefit Imperial Skirmishers provides 20 gold each.
  • Tatars AoE2 Tatars: Imperial Skirmishers deal +20% damage (+50% instead of +25%) from cliffs and elevations. Thumb Ring is free.
  • Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese: Imperial Skirmishers have 20% more HP. Conscription is free.

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • In games where the Post-Imperial Age is set as the starting Age, Imperial Skirmisher is researched for the Turks, since the condition of research of Elite Skirmisher is skipped.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Turks: Imperial Skirmisher is disabled in the technology tree, which prevents it to be researched entirely.
  • Bulgarians: Initially, Team Blacksmiths work 50% faster. With update 42848, researching archer armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith costs -50% food, and Team Blacksmiths work 80% faster.
  • Koreans: Imperial Skirmishers cost -15% wood. With update 39284, they cost -20% wood. With update 42848, Archer armor upgrades are free.
  • Lithuanians: With update 36906, Tower Shields grants +2 pierce armor instead of +1.
  • Portuguese: With update 42848, as a civilization bonus, technologies that benefit Imperial Skirmishers are researched 30% faster.

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

  • Incas: With update 61321, the new team bonus gives Imperial Skirmishers +2 Line of Sight.
  • Portuguese: With update 73855, as a team bonus, technologies that benefit Imperial Skirmishers are researched 25% faster.
  • Incas: With update 81058, the team bonus is replaced and, as a new civilization bonus, Imperial Skirmishers cost -30% food.
  • With update 81058, Imperial Skirmishers receive a new Skirmisher armor class.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Chinese: With update 87863, technologies that benefit Imperial Skirmishers are 5%/10%/15% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Koreans: With update 87863, Imperial Skirmishers cost -50% wood.

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]


  • The Lithuanian Imperial Skirmisher has the highest pierce armor of any non-siege unit in the game, with a total of 11.
  • Skirmishers are the second cheapest of all military units, tied with the Spearman line, costing only 60 resources and no gold, only behind the Karambit Warrior (which costs 40 resources but is not a trash unit).
  • With update 44725, all Native American civilizations have a Castle Age unique technology that benefits the combat strength of Skirmishers.


Video overview[]

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