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This article is about the Indian heavy cavalry unit. For other units called Lancer, see Lancer.

Heavy hand cavalry that inflicts wide-area damage. Exceptionally deadly against archers and skirmishers.
—In-game description

The Mahout Lancer is a melee heavy cavalry in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Indians and can be trained at Caravanserai and Galleon once the Fortress Age is reached, as well as the Agra Fort Wonder once it is upgraded to Delhi Gate. It is the strongest melee unit in the game.


The Mahout Lancers cost considerable resources and population, but have a high hand attack with good area effect, and a huge number of hit points. They are most easily compared to the French Cuirassier. The Mahout Lancer is a durable heavy cavalry unit that is good against non-heavy infantry such as archers, and artillery, much like other units of the same class.

Unlike the Spanish Lancer, it is not as effective against heavy infantry, but it can slay many before dying. Furthermore, unlike most other cavalry, Mahout Lancers have a high siege damage, as their elephants can ram over buildings, which makes them decent building killers in absence of artillery. The Indian Two and Three Mahout Lancer cards available in the Fortress Age may be worth adding to a deck. They also have elephant combat cards that increase hit points and damage.

Unlike the elephant cavalry in Age of Empires II, they are not slow. They have the same speed as some other heavy cavalry units, which is faster than infantry. The only drawback is its high cost and population slots, but if used properly, it can be very cost effective. Mansabdar units trained at the Charminar Gate also boost the attack and hit points of Mahout Lancers by 10%. This aura is very weak in comparison to Unction for any players wishing to use aura effects.

Note: Elephant population can be decreased by a single point through use of the Professional Handlers Home City Card, although the Mansabdar Mahout's population cost is only reduced to 13 as per the card's effect.

While Mahouts are incredibly powerful, they do suffer from a few weaknesses. Firstly they take an enormous amount of population. As they actually have a lower base damage than Hussars or Cuirassiers, they can struggle vs an equal population of most units, with the exception of the units they hard counter. Secondly, they are very poor vs Villagers, having a negative multiplier despite their underwhelming base damage. For perspective, a single Honoured Steppe Rider has a higher damage vs a single villager. In late stages of the game, Mahouts should primarily be replaced with either Sowars, consulate cavalry (Gardeners, Gendarmes, etc), or Jat Lancers.

Countering Mahouts in the earlier stages of the Fortress age can be quite difficult due to their exceptional hitpoints (similar to a Mameluke shipment). A mixture of heavy cavalry and either heavy infantry or ranged cavalry will most likely be required to take them down.

Note: Trample Mode does nothing except slow the unit down; it does not increase area or reduce damage, and is entirely useless.


The Mahout Lancer is automatically upgraded to Disciplined (+20% hit points and attack) in the Fortress Age.

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Honored elephants.png Honored Mahout 600 wood,
600 coin
Upgrades Mahout Lancers to Honored (+30% hit points and attack)
Imperial Age
Exalted elephants.png Exalted Mahout 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Mahout Lancers to Exalted (+50% hit points and attack); requires Honored Mahout

Mansabdar Mahout[]

Inspires all nearby Mahout Lancers. Heavy hand cavalry that does wide area damage. Exceptionally deadly against archers and skirmishers.
—In-game description

The Mansabdar Mahout is a stronger version of the Mahout Lancer that can be trained from the Charminar Gate wonder. As a Mansabdar unit, the Mansabdar Mahout has twice the hit points of a Mahout Lancer and Imperial Service that increases the hit points and attack of nearby Mahout Lancers, but are two times more expensive.

Special ability[]

Imperial service.png Imperial Service (passive): The Mansabdar Mahout increases the hit points and attack of Mahout Lancers in a radius of 24 around them by 10%.

Further statistics[]

As (Mansabdar) Mahout Lancers are unique to the Indians, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ranged infantry, Shock Infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Terror Charge.png Terror Charge (-20%)
Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As (Mansabdar) Mahout Lancers are unique to the Indians, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


The Asian Dynasties[]

  • Mansabdar Mahout Lancers cost 14 population.

Definitive Edition[]

  • With update 20322, Mansabdar Mahout Lancers cost 7 population.


Mahout is the traditional name for one who trains and handles a domesticated elephant, a practice that has occurred for more than 3,000 years. In Hindu culture, elephants were highly respected as a manifestation of the elephant god Ganesh, the god of good luck. Having elephants participate in a festival or procession was required for every celebratory occasion, and being the mahout who cared for a great elephant on such an occasion was a great honor.

Often considered the natural predecessor of the modern-day tank, the elephant brought many unique elements to its role as a battlefield unit. Early successes had more to do with surprise and intimidation than battlefield effectiveness. Enemy horses or camels, whether frightened by the beast’s smell, or overwhelmed by its sheer size, proved powerless against the elephant. It trampled oncoming waves of infantry and knocked riders from their mounts, scattering ranks and causing general confusion. It had a similar effect on the human enemy, terrifying many men to the point of panic. Yet, as armies became more accustomed to fighting elephants in battle, the methods of how to defeat them became evident.

The most famous event involving a triumph over elephants occurred in 1398, when the Mongol conqueror Timur invaded India to overthrow the Delhi Sultanate. At a loss for how to fight back against the Indian’s elephants, Timur prayed to Allah for guidance. Then, according to legend, he attached straw to the backs of the camels in his army and sent them out to fight. When the camels neared the elephants, Timur had his men ignite the straw. The sight of the stampeding, flaming camels spooked the elephants so badly that they ended up crushing many Indian troops in their rush to escape.