|This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. For the unit in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, see Keshik (Age of Empires III).|
"Tatar unique cavalry unit that generates gold when fighting other units."—Age of Empires II description
Keshiks can be upgraded to Elite Keshiks in the Imperial Age.
Keshiks are an interesting case: a medium cavalry unit similar to a Cavalier with an economic quirk. Their high attack and hit points (for a Castle Age unit) and ability to generate gold while attacking make them excellent raiding units. A powerful strategy is to attract the opponent's attention with Cavalry Archers or Steppe Lancers and hit-and-run their military while a group of Keshiks raid their economy. The gold generated can be modest, but the player still earns 3 gold per enemy Villager killed, which is definitely favorable. Usually, population space can be better spent on Cavalry Archers, Steppe Lancers, or siege units. The exception lies in Town Center snipes and raids on the opponent's trade line, where the Keshik has the potential to generate huge sums of gold, or in massive pitched battles, especially when there are no cavalry counters on the field.
For a Town Center snipe in the Castle Age, a group of 14 Keshiks can easily take down an unguarded, generic, fully-garrisoned Town Center. However, the Tatar player should not destroy the Town Center completely. Once the Villagers are ejected from the Town Center, the Keshiks should target them instead. A Town Center with 15 Villagers garrisoned within means 45 gold with 14 units in a split second, as well as the damage inflicted on the opponent's economy.
Keshiks should be preferred over knights in the early Castle Age for a rush, as they generate gold when attacking an enemy unit while also being cheaper. They can also make a great difference in the late Imperial Age, especially in 1 vs 1 or FFA games, as their gold generation may help to sustain late game gold economy and delay the "trash wars" a bit (but the player should still take Relics and support Keshiks with trash units).
Even being a very cost-effective cavalry unit, they quickly fall to any anti-cavalry unit or stronger units like Paladins, Teutonic Knights, Samurais, Boyars, Konniks, Leitis, Battle Elephants and War Elephants, making the use of other units to protect Keshiks a must.
Further statistics Edit
As Keshiks are unique to the Tatars, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Infantry, Archers, Villagers, Siege weapons, Cavalry Archers, Light Cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Boyars, Pikemen, Kamayuks, Berserks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Teutonic Knights, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Monks, War Elephants, Knights|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Tatars: Keshiks deal 50% bonus damage from elevations.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Keshiks are trained and upgraded 25% faster, and Conscription is researched 25% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching cavalry armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is 50% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Keshiks are more resistant to conversion.
- Initially, Keshiks cost 50 food and 80 gold. With Update 34055, they now cost 50 food and 40 gold.
- Initially, (Elite) Keshiks have 100 (130) HP and 12 (14) attack. With Update 34055, they now have 110 (140) HP and 9 (11) attack.
- Initially Keshiks were trained in 23 (20) seconds. With Update 36202, they now train in 16 (14) seconds.
- With update 36906: Converted Keshiks now correctly generate gold.
Kheshig means "blessed" in Mongolian. Historically, Kheshigs originated from many different ethnic groups and served as bodyguards for Mongol nobles as well as dignitaries of other Mongol-influenced states.
- Prior to release, the Keshik carried his spear vertically, and was significantly larger than its current version, similar to the Steppe Lancer. It still shows the larger one in the icon.
- The Keshik's horse also lacked the golden armor on its head.
- The Keshik's ability to generate gold is likely inspired in the punitive expeditions and raids made by the Golden Horde, one of the successor khanates of the Mongol Empire against the Kievan Rus principalities and vassal states of eastern Europe in order to collect tributes as well the bloody Timurid invasions.
- Keshik were the initially bodyguards for the Mongolian Royal Family from Genghis Khan and his Mongol and Tatar successors. The bodyguards of the Mughal Emperors of India (themselves descended of the Mongols and Tatars) were also called Keshiks. The Hishigten, a Southern Mongol etnic group living in Inner Mongolia are believed to be the descendants of the Keshiks.