Cuman unique cavalry archer with rapid-fire attack.
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition description

The Kipchak is the unique unit of the Cumans in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. It is a cavalry archer that fires multiple arrows in rapid succession.

Only the first arrow does full damage and is affected by damage upgrades, though. All the other arrows fired deal 3 pierce damage and 0 melee damage (the latter is very helpful when battling rams). A regular Kipchak fires three arrows per burst, and an Elite Kipchak fires four.

Kipchaks can be upgraded to Elite Kipchaks in the Imperial Age.

Tactics[edit | edit source]

Kipchaks are great harassers, especially if massed, as their extra arrows enables hit-and-run arrow volleys. They perform exceptionally well against slow-moving units. As their secondary arrows deal 0 melee damage (in addition to their regular 3 pierce damage), they are a great counter against Rams.

Unlike other cavalry archers, and in a similar fashion to the Chu Ko Nu, they can still fare fairly well against most anti-archer units. This is because most anti-archer units (such as Skirmishers) can survive archer fire due to their pierce armor. But due to the high number of arrows fired, the Kipchak (especially Elite) still deals a considerable amount of damage, especially to Rams. However, they should still try to avoid anti-archer units in general. They are also weak against camels, especially the Berber Camel Archer, and other anti-Cavalry units such as Kamayuks and Halberdiers, but they can hit-and-run them if properly microed.

Cuman players should prefer the Kipchak over regular Cavalry Archers in most circumstances, unless the player does not have enough Castles to produce a sizeable army of them. Not only do they have a better attack, but Kipchaks also cost less gold than regular Cavalry Archers. However, Cavalry Archers have more HP than Kipchaks, and may be used in circumstances in which the player need to soak damage instead of harassing the opponent. Also, they are affected by Steppe Husbandry which boosts their creation speed, while the Kipchaks aren't affected. Kipchaks work well if they are paired with Light Cavalry (which only cost food, so the wood and gold can be spent on Kipchaks, and Light Cavalry can be used as "cannon fodder" for the front lines, as well affected by Steppe Husbandry) or Steppe Lancers (which can deal very effectively with most anti-archer units that Kipchaks may have trouble with, especially if massed). 

Elite Kipchaks can be considered a semi-shared unique unit and a "semi-trash" unit, since they become available at the Castle for free to every allied player after the Cuman player researches Cuman Mercenaries, but limited to 10 of them. Naturally, if an allied civilization has further bonuses and unique upgrades for Cavalry or Cavalry Archers, those will apply to their ten Elite Kipchaks.

Cuman Mercenaries stacks up, so it can facilitate the production of the Elite Kipchak even on a team entirely composed by Cumans. However, in free for all games or 1 vs 1 matches, it may be preferable to just train Kipchaks the regular way in several circumstances, unless the player needs Elite Kipchaks at the ready (not the regular ones) and has not researched the elite upgrade.

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Slow and non-ranged units, Rams
Weak vs. Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Huskarls, Skirmishers, Eagle Warriors, Genitours, Mangonels, Scorpions, camel units, Rattan Archers
Upgrades
Hit points Bloodlines.png Bloodlines (+20)
CastleAgeUnique.png Sipahi (+20, Turks only)
Attack Fletching.jpg Fletching (+1)
Bodkinarrow.jpg Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Bracer.jpg Bracer (+1)
Chemistry.jpg Chemistry (+1)
Parthian-Tactics.jpg Parthian Tactics (+2 attack against Spearmen)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Range Fletching.jpg Fletching (+1)
Bodkinarrow.jpg Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Bracer.jpg Bracer (+1)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Firing rate Thumb Ring.png Thumb Ring (+11%)
Accuracy Thumb Ring.png Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)
Ballistics.jpg Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor Paddedarcherarmor.jpg Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Leatherarcherarmor.jpg Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Ringarcherarmor.jpg Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
Parthian-Tactics.jpg Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
CastleAgeUnique.png Silk Armor (+1 pierce armor, Tatars only)
Speed Husbandry.jpg Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense Faith.jpg Faith
Heresy.png Heresy
Creation speed Conscription.jpg Conscription (+33%)
CastleAgeUnique.png Kasbah (+25%, Berbers and allies only)
Upgrades Elite-unique-research.jpg Elite Kipchak

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

  • Aztecs: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries are created 18% faster.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Cumans: Kipchaks move 10%/15% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Franks: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries have +20% hit points.
  • Mongols: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries attack 25% faster.
  • Saracens: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries have +3 attack against standard buildings.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries don't cost gold.
  • Turks: Chemistry is free.
  • Tatars: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries deal 50% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations. Parthian Tactics and Thumb Ring are free.
  • Vietnamese: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries have +20% hit points and Conscription is free.

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

Changelog[edit | edit source]

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

  • Initially, (Elite) Kipchaks 50 (55) HP and 1.8 ROF. With Update 34055, they now have 40 (45) HP and 2.2 ROF.
  • Initially Elite Kipchaks fire four arrows at once. With Update 34055, they now fire three arrows at once.
  • Initially, Kipchaks move 10% faster. With Update 34055, the bonus was staggered to 10%/15% in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Initially, Kipchaks fire two arrows at once. With update 36202, they now fire three arrows at once. Elite Kipchaks again fire four arrows as previous to update 34055.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This is the first unique unit in Age of Empires II that is based on a unique unit from a mod for the same game: the Cuman Auxiliary from Age of Chivalry: Hegemony. It is a horse archer unit, weak but fast and capable of firing a volley of arrows but, unlike the Kipchak unit, the Cuman Auxiliary is a heavily modded version of the Chinese Chu-Ko-Nu. The Chinese in Age Of Chivalry: Hegemony are modded as the Austrians and their unique unit - the Cuman Auxiliary - only becomes available for this civilization after research a special unique technology called "Hausmacht".
  • Along with the Plumed Archer, the Kipchak is the only Castle unique unit whose Elite upgrade costs no gold.
  • The relationship between Kipchaks and Cumans is unclear. Cumans and Kipchaks might have been two originally distinct peoples who would later join forces and form the Cuman-Kipchak confederation, the Cumans being the confederation's western half and the Kipchaks eastern half. Overtime, the two ethnnonyms would be used interchangeably.
  • Kipchaks are definitely mentioned, as Khipshakh, in Persian ethnographer ibn Khordadbeh's "Book of the Routes and Kingdoms" (written around 840s CE).
    • Though uncertain, Kipchaks might have been named in the 8th-century Moyun Chur inscription as Türk-[Kib]čak, being part, for 50 years, of the Göktürk khaganate, which appears in the Bukhara scenario of Battles of the Forgotten.
  • The Kipchak's robe is inspired by an illustration of a Cuman mercenary from the book Byzantine Armies AD 1118–1461.

History[edit | edit source]

The Kipchaks were a people group that lived on the Eurasian Steppe. While they were scattered much of the time, they settled down in places like Georgia and Siberia. While they began as part of the Turkic Khaganate, they later formed a confederacy with the Cumans. The Kipchaks were horse archers like the Mongols, who they and the Cumans were eventually conquered by.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

ELITE_KIPCHAK_vs_EVERY_UNIQUE_UNIT_AoE_II_Definitive_Edition

ELITE KIPCHAK vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT AoE II Definitive Edition

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