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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the unit in Age of Mythology, see Longboat (Age of Mythology).

Viking unique unit. Fires multiple arrows.
Age of Empires II description

The Longboat is the second unique unit of the Vikings in Age of Empires II. It can be trained at the Dock once the Castle Age is reached. It is a warship that fires multiple arrows.

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


The Longboat, like the Chu Ko Nu and the Kipchak, fires multiple arrows with each attack: both Elite and non-Elite Longboats fire four arrows per attack. Much like the Chu Ko Nu and the Kipchak, only the first arrow does full damage and benefits from archery upgrades while the rest only do 1 damage. Unlike the Chu Ko Nu, but like the Kipchak, the Longboat fires all its arrows at the same time and not in quick succession. Due to how armor and damage work in Age of Empires II this translates to an additional +3 damage provided they all hit. Longboats defeat War Galleys in one-on-one combat. Elite Longboats defeat Galleons (just barely, though) as well. They are best used against multiple enemy ships. They build significantly quicker than most other warships, making spamming them an effective tactic against other navies. By quickly building a force of Longboats once the Vikings hit Castle Age, the player can overwhelm and destroy the enemy's navy and potentially prevent the enemy from getting back onto the water, avoiding a war of attrition altogether.

The Longboat is weak against Mangonels and Bombard Cannons firing from the shore, so they should be kept well out of range. Turtle Ships may also present a problem for the Longboats as they are heavily armored but if properly micromanaged and in sufficient numbers, Longboats can cope with them; one should put their Longboats in Staggered formation against Turtle Ships, as the Turtle Ship's attack has a small blast radius that can damage multiple Longboats at once if they're clumped up. Fire Ships are effective against Longboats and the most common counter, but will struggle once the Longboats reach a critical mass. Caravels are a significant threat to Longboats when fleet sizes get larger; while the Longboat beats a Caravel one-on-one, the Caravel's line attack will easily hit multiple Longboats at once if they clump up. Elite Longboats will beat Thirisadai with equal resources thanks to their extra arrows, but lose one-on-one.

Since the Longboat can shoot multiple arrows, a group of them can rain a shower of arrows on to the target, so Longboats can be used for shore bombardment, and are better used in large groups. Longboats are also excellent escorts for other naval vessels like the Transport Ship and Cannon Galleons. As the Vikings lack Fire Ships, their navy should be built around Longboats as they are easily massed, have good movement speed, and a decent attack.

Comparison to the Galleon[]

  • Elite Longboats move faster than Galleons.
  • Elite Longboats fire slower than Galleons, but fire multiple projectiles.
  • Range, attack, Line of Sight, and armor are the same, but the Galleon holds an advantage of +5 HP.
  • Elite Longboats cost more than Galleons, even when compared to non-Viking Galleons. Also, the Elite Longboat upgrade is more expensive than going from Galley to Galleon, especially considering that the Galleon upgrade costs no gold, while the Elite Longboat upgrade costs 475 gold.
  • Elite Longboats are created faster than Galleons.
  • In one-on-one combat, the Elite Longboat narrowly wins.
  • Longboats have a slightly smaller profile than Galley-line ships, making them slightly harder to hit and able to have more ships in a row at once than a Galley-line fleet. However, this makes them more vulnerable to area-of-effect attacks, such as from Demolition Ships and Caravels.
  • Spending equal resources, the Galleon easily wins because of its cheaper cost, resulting in larger numbers.
  • Longboats are better than Galleons against structures and more easily hit land-based targets.
  • In all, when comparing the two, the Elite Longboat is better than the Galleon (first of all because of its speed) on a population-efficiency basis, but not significantly. On a cost-effective basis, the Galleon is better.

Further statistics[]

As Longboats are unique to the Vikings, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Transport Ships, Fishing Ships, buildings, land units in the shoreline and shallows, Turtle Ships (hit-and-run only), Cannon Galleons, Thirisadai (equal resources only)
Weak vs. Fire Ships (only in small groups), Demolition Ships, Samurai (in the shallows), towers, Castles, ranged siege units on the shoreline, Caravels (in large fleet battles)
Attack FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1)
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry (+1)
Range FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1)
Accuracy BallisticsDE.png Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor CareeningDE.png Careening (+0/+1)
Speed DryDockDE.png Dry Dock (+15%)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
Upgrades Elite-unique-research.jpg Elite Longboat

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Vikings: Longboats are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.

Team bonuses[]


The Age of Kings[]

  • Longboats cost 100 wood, 50 gold and train in 41 seconds.
  • Longboats require a Castle.
  • Longboats are 20% cheaper.

The Conquerors[]

  • Longboats train in 25 seconds.
  • Longboats are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Heresy introduced.

The Forgotten[]

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Longboats no longer require a Castle.
  • Longboats cost 100 wood, 50 gold.

Dynasties of India[]

  • With update 61321, siege units and ships are now resistant to armor-ignoring attacks similarly to buildings.


The Viking raiders of the ninth through eleventh centuries were especially terrifying because they could strike anywhere along the seacoast and even upriver. They had this capability thanks to their longboats. These ships were long, narrow, and of shallow draft, but were surprisingly seaworthy. They used oars and a single square sail for propulsion. Longboats could be taken into very shallow water and beached. Only a coast with high bluffs or rocky shoreline was safe from them.


  • The historically correct term for this type of vessels should be "longship". A longboat is a totally unrelated type of ship's boat that was invented around the 16th century.
  • With a speed of 1.77 when Dry Dock is researched, the Longboat is the fastest unique unit of the game.
  • The Longboat has three secondary projectiles which have only +1 attack vs ships, +1 vs Fishing Ships, and +1 vs camel units. These attack bonuses do not matter because such projectiles always do 1 damage to any target they hit.