|“||Bulgarian unique cavalry unit that fights on as infantry when felled.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
(Dismounted) Konniks can be upgraded to Elite (Dismounted) Konniks in the Imperial Age.
The Konnik is a very special unique unit, as it has to be killed twice (first time mounted, second time dismounted). This quirk makes the unit not only durable, but also versatile, as they can mess with the possible counter-units the opponent may have. While the mounted version is weak against Camels and the Spearman line, the dismounted version is not; and vice versa, the typical counters for infantry do not affect the mounted version. Any clever opponent must mix two types of counter-units against a mass of Konniks, with some exceptions (see Counters).
- If Heresy is not researched, the player may delete the mounted Konnik, turning it into a Dismounted Konnik and negate the conversion temporarily (the Monk must now target the Dismounted Konnik as they will still retain their conversion ability).
- If Heresy is not researched and the player does not delete the mounted Konnik, it will be converted as usual.
- If Heresy is researched, Konniks may stand a chance as they will die and turns into a Dismounted Konnik (which belongs to the player regardless) who can then finish off the Monk.
Stat-wise with Stirrups, a non-Elite Konnik is comparable to a Knight (better in melee fights, worse against ranged units), while a fully upgraded Elite Konnik is better than a Cavalier. This makes the Konnik incredible as a shock troop, able to raid, soak damage, and disrupt enemy Villages, destroy colonies, or diminish an enemy garrison. In addition, they turn to infantry when killed, so for any Bulgarian player, they should prefer them over the Knight line in most situations.
It takes 3 seconds for a Dismounted Konnik to get back into the fight after being dismounted. The unit cannot be interacted with during this animation, as technically the Dismounted Konnik is spawned only after the animation has been completed.
As an infantry unit, Dismounted Konnik is affected by infantry-related technologies (Blacksmith upgrades, Arson, Squires) and receives a +4 anti-building attack bonus. The infantry non-Elite version is a little weaker than a Long Swordsman, with the exception of the attack. The Elite dismounted version can be seen as a frail Two-Handed Swordsman with a slightly better attack value but slower attack rate.
Konniks can be created at Kreposts, and for this reason Bulgarian players must use a combination of both for a "Krepost Drop".
The Castle Age unique technology Stirrups gives them an attack speed boost of %, which drops the mounted version's ROF from 2.4 (slowest melee attack in cavalry) to 1.8 which is the same as that of Knights and Cavaliers, their standard counterparts, and better than that of a Paladin (1.9). Stirrups does not affect the dismounted version, which makes it the slowest attacking infantry unit outside of the trash Spearman line (3). The dismounted Konniks are also special in the infantry branch, being tied with the Militia for being the only , to not have an attack bonus against Eagle units.
They also have atile LOS, which is better than Knights, Cavaliers and Long Swordsmen, which have 4, and the same as Paladins, Two-Handed Swordsmen and Champion, all of which are its standard counterparts in two forms. They also have the same speed as all of their counterparts.
Despite the quirk the Konnik has, there are several units in the game that represent a threat for both versions of the unit:
- Samurai: It is the fastest attacking unit in a standard game along with having bonus damage against unique units, and both versions of the Konnik are counted as unique units.
- War Elephant and Battle Elephant: Their sole raw stats makes them incredibly effective against any kind of melee units, with some exceptions.
- Boyar and Teutonic Knight: Both units have high melee armor, so in close combat, they are a heavy threat to Konniks.
- Genoese Crossbowman: An archer unit with 5 to 7 (Elite) bonus damage against cavalry, thus able to deal quickly in large numbers with mounted Konniks. Dismounted Konniks as infantry units are slow with low HP, but if they reach close enough before dying, they can easily kill Genoese Crossbowmen, which have the same damage output against infantry as a fully upgraded Arbalester. Although depending on micro and positioning, it can still be a favorable trade for the Genoese.
- Mameluke: They deal bonus damage against cavalry and have the advantage of mobility and range over the Dismounted Konnik (which moves much slower).
Units with partial strengths, which are good in some situations, include:
- Post-Imperial Elite Berserk: They regenerate hit points, have decent HP and melee armor and have bonus attack against cavalry due to Chieftains, so they can defeat the mounted Konnik cost-effectively and are statistically superior to the Dismounted Konnik.
- Kamayuk: They deal bonus damage against cavalry and have the same fire rate as the Militia line, so the mounted Konnik must avoid them. They are statistically inferior to dismounted Konnik, but when massed, their range creates a problem for both versions of the Konniks.
- Leitis: Its attack ignores armor, and increases by +1 for each Relic owned by the Lithuanian player (+4 maximum), inflicting a heavy damage on mounted and dismounted Konniks. Considering their stats and the cheaper gold cost of the Leitis, this unit trades very effectively against Konniks.
- Cataphract: They can have an edge over Konniks without Stirrups, kill dismounted Konniks in few hits, and massed Elite Cataphracts with Logistica can also be an issue. The lower base attack of the Cataphract in the Castle Age, and Byzantines missing Blast Furnace in the Imperial Age, leads to the Cataphract being less of a problem to the mounted Konnik, even though it is threatening against dismounted Konniks, especially in Post-Imperial Age, when it also attacks 41% faster than its opponent.
- Coustillier: It is considerably cheaper than the Konnik, and has a charge attack which can severely damage its resistance. In large numbers, they can defeat the dismounted Konnik without taking much casualities.
- Flemish Militia: Similar to the Berserk, they have bonus vs mounted Konniks. Also, they have better stats than the dismounted one, meaning they can kill them more easily.
- Obuch: They have high hit points, are cheap, and every attack removes armor, making them threatening to both mounted and dismounted Konniks, also, leaving them totally prone to the attacks of other units.
As Konniks are unique to the Bulgarians, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Infantry, archers (Mounted), Villagers, siege weapons (Mounted), Light Cavalry, Monks (after Heresy)|
|Weak vs.||Archers (Dismounted), Boyars, Pikemen (Mounted), Kamayuks, Berserks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Teutonic Knights, Mamelukes, Camel Riders (Mounted), War Elephants, Battle Elephants, ranged siege weapons (Dismounted), Obuch, Samurai, Cataphract (Dismounted), Monks (before Heresy, especially without Teuton ally), Flemish Militias|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Firing Rate||Stirrups (+33% attack speed, Mounted only)|
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1, Dismounted)
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1, Dismounted)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2, Dismounted)
|Speed|| Husbandry (+10%)|
Squires (+10%, Dismounted)
|Sight||Tracking (+2, Dismounted)|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Upgrades||Elite (Dismounted) Konnik|
- Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Konniks cost 50% less food.
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Konniks are trained and upgraded 25% faster, Stirrups and Conscription is researched 25% faster at the Castle.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching upgrades at the Blacksmith is faster.
- A team containing Goths: Researching Squires and Arson is 20% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy is 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Konniks are more resistant to conversion.
- Initially, (Dismounted) Konniks have 1.9 ROF. With update 34055, they now have 2.4 ROF.
- Initially, (Elite) Konniks have 110 (130) HP. With Update 34055, they now have 100 (120) HP.
- With update 42848, Dismounted Konniks now benefit from unit upgrades.
- Bulgarians: Initially, the team bonus gave the Blacksmith a 50% work rate boost. With update 42848, this was changed to a 80% work rate boost.
- Konnik (конник) simply means "horseman".
- The Konnik's design is somewhat inspired from the Madara Rider rock relief.
- With 2.4 ROF, the Konnik is the slowest attacking cavalry in the game, and the second slowest infantry unit in the game (behind non-Japanese Spearman line units).
- However, before the update 34055, Konniks had a base reload time of 1.9 (same as the Paladin) and with the Stirrups upgrade, the reload time was decreased to 1.42 (as fast as Samurai), making them the cavalry unit with the highest damage output by attack. This, combined with their higher base hit points (with all upgrades, the Elite version reached 150 hit points) as well as the better reload time of the dismounted one and lack of bonus damage taken from the Samurai, made them one of the most controversial unique units in the game at that time.
- The Konnik and the Serjeant are the only two unique units which can be created in two different buildings without the need of a unique technology.
- Konniks previously had the normal attack sound, shared with most cavalry and infantry units. This was changed at some point, presumably when the retail version of the Definitive Edition was released.