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Pikeman sprite aoe2

The Pikeman, an infantry unit in Age of Empires II, is lethal to cavalry.

Quick and cheap to create.
—Excerpt from Militia definition.

The most basic of all military units in the series, the Infantry class consists of foot soldiers, primarily melee based, who specialize in weapons such as swords, spears, and axes. They hold a natural predominance against buildings and most infantry units gain an attack bonus against them. Along with their quick creation speed, they are efficient building destroyers in early Ages. They also are the cheapest military unit branch. However, in general they are inferior to archers, cavalry, and siege weapons.

Age of Empires[]

Main article: Infantry unit (Age of Empires)

There are three lines of Infantry in Age of Empires: the Clubman and Short Swordsman lines, available from the Barracks, and the Hoplite line, available from the Academy. These units benefit from being easy to create large groups of, both due to their relatively low costs and the technology Logistics, which causes two Barracks units to cost a single population space. However, their low speed makes them vulnerable to archers.

Age of Empires II[]

Main article: Infantry unit (Age of Empires II)

The two main lines of infantry in Age of Empires II are the Militia and Spearman lines, both of which are created at the Barracks. Additionally, there is the Eagle Scout line, which is exclusive to American civilizations, and eighteen infantry unique units, which are typically built at the Castle.

The vast majority of infantry units cost both food and gold, with the main exception being the Spearman line, which costs food and wood instead. Typically, they cost much less than their cavalry counterparts, which helps compensate for lower overall stats and speed.

Typically, infantry units are not used in most rushing strategies, where the role of raiding and destroying enemies is better filled by ranged and cavalry units. However, infantry units have a few strong areas. For one, they are typically very cost-effective counters to other units, with the Militia line being an effective low-gold cost counter to trash units and the Spearman line being a highly effective counter to cavalry units. Even many of the infantry unique units are excellent at countering certain kinds of units. In contrast, there is no cheap and effective counter for infantry in general, even though many units may fare well against them. Therefore, infantry can play a strong supporting role in defending other units against their counters, or can become a powerful late-game option even when gold starts to become scarce.

Though not as vulnerable to counters as archers and cavalry, certain units deal bonus damage against infantry units. Notable examples include the Hand Cannoneer, Jaguar Warrior, Slinger, and Cataphract. That being said, the only relatively common strong infantry-counter unit is the Hand Cannoneer, which itself is only available to 23 of the game's 44 civilizations. Other civilizations are better off either relying on archers (such as the Britons and Mayans), anti-infantry siege units (such as the Ethiopians and Celts), or their own powerful infantry (such as the Aztecs and Vikings).

Age of Mythology[]

Main article: Infantry unit (Age of Mythology)

Age of Empires III[]

Aoe3 unit type infantry
Musketeero

An Imperial Age Musketeer

In Age of Empires III, the traditional split between melee and ranged infantry is less important, due to most units using gunpowder in some way and being capable of melee combat (primarily or secondarily). All military foot units are tagged infantry, and divided along the following lines:

Except for shock troops, infantry are easily demolished by artillery, especially by the Falconet and the Heavy Cannon.

Age of Empires IV[]

Main article: Infantry unit (Age of Empires IV)

Infantry in Age of Empires IV is of two types:

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