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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.


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 archer-resistant units. This is because archer-resistant 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 and Shrivamsha Riders. 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 the regular Cavalry Archer 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 hit points and attack slightly faster 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 are not 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.

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 5 of them per Castle for the player or ally, including Castles built later. Naturally, if an allied civilization has further bonuses and unique upgrades for Cavalry or Cavalry Archers, those will apply to their Elite Kipchaks.

Cuman Mercenaries stacks up, so it can facilitate the production of the Elite Kipchak even on a team entirely composed by Cumans. 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 or if player has less than 3 Castles.

Further statistics[]

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, Samurai
Hit points BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines (+20)
CastleAgeUnique.png Sipahi (+20, Turks only)
Attack FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1, allies only)
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry (+1)
ParthianTacticsDE.png Parthian Tactics (+2 attack against Spearmen)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Range FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1, allies only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Firing rate ThumbRingDE.png Thumb Ring (+18%)
Accuracy ThumbRingDE.png Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)
BallisticsDE.png Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor PaddedArcherArmorDE.png Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
LeatherArcherArmorDE.png Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
RingArcherArmorDE.png Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
ParthianTacticsDE.png Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
CastleAgeUnique.png Silk Armor (+1/+1 armor, Tatars only)
Speed HusbandryDE.png Husbandry (+10%, allies only)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
UniqueTechCastle-DE.png First Crusade (Sicilians only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
CastleAgeUnique.png Kasbah (+25%, Berbers and allies only)
Upgrades Elite-unique-research.jpg Elite Kipchak

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Aztecs: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries are created 11% faster.
  • Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries cost -50% food.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Burgundians: Researching Husbandry 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 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Cumans: Kipchaks move 10%/15% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Franks: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries have +20% hit points.
  • Gurjaras: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries deal +1 attack to Spearmen.
  • Mongols: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries attack 25% faster.
  • Sicilians: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries absorb 50% of all incoming bonus damage.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries cost no gold.
  • Turks: Chemistry is free.
  • Tatars: Elite Kipchaks from Cuman Mercenaries deal +25% 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[]


Definitive Edition[]

  • Initially, (Elite) Kipchaks have 45 (50) HP and 1.8 ROF. With update 34055, they have 40 (45) HP and 2.2 ROF.
  • Initially Elite Kipchaks fire four arrows at once. With update 34055, they fire three arrows at once.
  • Initially, Kipchaks move 10% faster and Cumans had Husbandry. With update 34055, the bonus was staggered to 10%/15% in the Castle/Imperial Age and Cumans lost access to Husbandry.
  • Initially, Kipchaks fire two arrows at once. With update 36202, they fire three arrows at once. Elite Kipchaks again fire four arrows as previous to update 34055.
  • Initially, Kipchaks have an attack delay of 0. With update 42848, it was increased to 0.5.

Lords of the West[]

  • With update 50292, Kipchaks now add the correct amount of extra projectiles to fortifications when garrisoned inside them.


  • 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, the Cuman Auxiliary is actually a heavily modified version of the Chu Ko Nu. In Age Of Chivalry: Hegemony, this unit is available to the Austrians (modded from the Mongols) who receive the Cuman Auxiliary after researching the unique technology "Hausmacht".
  • Along with the Plumed Archer and Ratha, the Kipchak is the only Castle unique unit whose Elite upgrade costs no gold.
  • With just 4, the Kipchak is the Castle unique unit with the lowest base attack.
  • 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:
    • William of Rubruck asserted that some Cumans were Kipchaks, yet elsewhere he treated them as distinct, "a Commanis et Capchat";
    • Another division of the confederation was the Qanglı (Latin Cangle; possibly Chinese 康曷利 Kānghélì): According to Kashgari Qanglı was the surname of a Kipchak chief; and according to Rubruck, Qanglı were related to Cumans or some Cumans had been known as Qanglı.
  • 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. It closely resembles a deel, traditional clothing worn by the Mongols and other nomadic tribes in Central Asia.
  • At release, the Kipchak was subject to criticism and controversy due to their rate of fire, hit points and attack delay, also having 10% faster movement speed and access to Husbandry, which made them extremely smooth for hit-and-run tactics. They also received very little damage from fast melee cavalry and Camel Riders, being able to outrun them all, and dealing a high amount of damage due to the extra arrows.
  • Vietnamese Elite Kipchaks benefit from the civilization bonus despite being a Castle unit.


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.