“Fast and heavy cavalry.”—Age of Empires II description
The Knight is a heavy cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable once the Castle Age is reached. Their ability to slaughter infantry, archers, lesser cavalry, and siege weapons is unparalleled in the Castle Age, where they often form the primary fighting force. However, they are still susceptible to certain weaknesses, such as overwhelming firepower, Monks, Camels, or the cavalry banes, Pikemen.
The Knight, being the primary shock unit of most armies, is one of the most effective units used to disrupt enemy villages, destroy colonies, or diminish an enemy garrison. With its high attack, hit points, and natural armor, it can easily stand up against most opposition. Its ferocity can only be matched in terms of both attack power and speed by the Camel, though a line of Pikemen could also serve as a good defense, provided they can catch them. It is advised to pair Archers with Knights to counter Pikemen. Monks are also a threat, mostly because Knights are faster to convert than other cavalry units.
The Franks have a civilization bonus which grants their Knights, Cavaliers, and Paladins more hit points than those of other civilizations. Knights are usually the mainstay of the Frankish army.
Knights are best used in the early Castle Age, when they have little effective counters. Their presence weakens as the economy develops, when unique units, Pikemen, Heavy Camels, and siege weapons come into play. Also, their enormous gold cost means that, in the long run, infantry gradually becomes easier to produce en masse, and can outnumber the Knights. Still, they and their upgraded counterparts play a significant role in the late game, particularly against archers and Trebuchets.
Further statistics Edit
|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, Camels, Monks, War Elephants|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Farimba (+5, Malians only)
Manipur Cavalry (+3 attack against buildings and standard buildings, Burmese only)
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Berbers: Knights are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Celts: Knights can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Knights are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Franks: Knights have +20% HP. With Chivalry researched, researching Husbandry and upgrading to Cavalier is 40% faster.
- Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting and Blast Furnace are free.
- Portuguese: Knights cost 15% less gold.
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Knights don't cost gold.
- Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
- A team containing Franks: Knights have +2 LOS.
- A team containing Huns: Knights are created and upgraded 20% faster. Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Persians: Knights have +2 attack against archers.
- A team containing Teutons: Knights are more resistant to conversion.
The Conquerors Edit
The Forgotten Edit
The African Kingdoms Edit
- Berbers: Initially, Knights were 20% cheaper from the Castle Age on. With patch 4.8, that bonus was staggered to 15%/20% in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Rise of the Rajas Edit
- Initially, Manipur Cavalry gives +6 attack against buildings. With patch 5.3, the bonus is spread over the two building classes (building and standard building) equally.
- Although all trainable knights wield swords in-game, historically knights wielded a variety of weapons (swords, axes, lances, spears, etc. as depicted in gallery). Initially, the Knight-line horsemen had been conceived as using lances, before lances were replaced with swords (a render of the lance-wielding Knight is seen in the gallery below).
- Even knights indeed used lances with handguards for charges, those lances were often restricted to one-time use as they often did not survive the charge's impact.
- The Knight line is one of only four units in the game without any attack bonus (the other being the Militia, the Boyar, and the Turtle Ship).
- Depite being first available in the Castle Age, the Knight's shield resembles the Feudal Age's logo, and his armor design is closer to the Feudal Man-at-Arms than the Castle Age's Long Swordsman.
“The knight was a heavily armored and mounted warrior who have achieved certain minimums in training and position in Middle Age society. When made a knight, a warrior was often given land to support his military expenses in return for a pledge to serve his lord on campaign for so many weeks each year. By parceling out land in this manner, a high lord controlled a hierarchy of soldiers that could be called upon when needed. Knights spent most of their time fighting or training for fighting. They practiced war in tournaments, competing for prizes and honors. Because few others could afford the equipment and training for war, knights dominated Middle Age battlefields for centuries. The evolution of new tactics featuring pikemen, longbowmen, crossbowmen and primitive handguns brought the dominance of heavy cavalry to an end.”—Age of Empires II manual