|This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the unit in Age of Empires III, see Mameluke (Age of Empires III).|
|“||Saracen unique camel unit with ranged melee attack.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
Mamelukes can be upgraded to Elite Mamelukes in the Imperial Age.
Similarly to Throwing Axemen, Mamelukes are melee units, but they throw their scimitar for a range of 3. Due to their high speed and range (which makes them effective against infantry) and their natural strength against cavalry, Mamelukes are considered some of the best units in the game. This is offset by their high cost and low hit points.
A well controlled group of these can take down any unit, except by higher number of ranged foot soldiers. Mamelukes are well rounded units suited for most combat situations. That said, they are woefully ineffective against Teutonic Knights; even if the Mamelukes can kite them indefinitely, they can only deal 1 damage per shot.
When allied with Hindustanis, Mamelukes benefit from the Hindustani team bonus that gives camel units +2 attack bonus against standard buildings. In team games if the player has an Hindustani ally they can use the Mameluke as a supporting unit that can take down some buildings in a siege as well as they can counter the opponents cavalry that can put in danger the players siege engines that are used against Towers and Castles.
Mamelukes work well when paired with Camel Riders, Onagers, and Cavalry Archers, all of which Saracens have above average (Siege Onagers with Siege Engineers and fully upgradeable Cavalry Archers without bonuses alone qualify as above average). They are also good when paired with the Saracen fully upgradeable Hussars to take down enemy Onagers, Bombard Cannons, Archers, Skirmishers, and Monks, or even as a cheap meatshield.
Mamelukes are in the camel armor class as well as the Mameluke armor class, which means they actually take more damage from Elite Mamelukes (+1), Spearmen (+4), Pikemen and Halberdiers (+11), and Heavy and Imperial Camel Riders (+7). Mamelukes are not in the cavalry archer armor class (unlike the Camel Archer). However, Camel Archers still possess advantages against Mamelukes, due to not having Cavalry Armor for themselves and having a longer range. Also, Mamelukes have no base pierce armor, and Camel Archers are also cheaper, making them a good trade-off fighting with Mamelukes.
Counter-intuitively, Camel Riders are a great counter to Mamelukes, since Mamelukes do not deal bonus damage to the Camel Rider line. The Camel Rider line, on the other hand, deals bonus damage against the camel armor class, with Heavy and Imperial Camel Riders both dealing +7 damage against the Mameluke armor class.
As for other units that counter them, Genoese Crossbowmen are very strong due to having an attack bonus vs Camels. Other foot archers work effectively against them as well. Also, despite the fact that they can kill siege units fairly quickly, Siege Onagers can devastate a group of Mamelukes with a well-placed shot. Shrivamsha Riders, despite being cavalry, can handle small groups of Mamelukes thanks to their dodging mechanic, while the Mameluke cannot outrun the Shrivamsha Rider.
Monks can also be very effective against Mamelukes in 1v1 scenarios, since it is unlikely the Saracen player will be able to afford Heresy and/or Faith without trade. Mamelukes make ideal targets for conversions, since they are very expensive and require at least 4 shots to kill a Monk with Sanctity (minimum 5 shots in the Castle Age), making it unlikely a Mameluke will kill the Monk one-on-one before it converts them.
Counters in older versions of the game
Before the release of Dynasties of India Mamelukes also belonged to the archer armor class, and thus took bonus damage from anti-archer attacks, which made Skirmishers (+2/+3/+4), Huskarls (+6/+10), and even Persian-allied Knight-line (+2) and Burmese cavalry (+5 with Manipur Cavalry) effective against them to a reasonable degree, even though these units have low melee armor or cavalry armor class, meaning they take a lot of damage from Mamelukes.
Skirmishers were good counters against Mamelukes because they are very cost-effective. They were the trash unit of choice to field against Mamelukes, because they take no bonus damage (as opposed to Light Cavalry) and cannot be hit-and-run (as opposed to Pikemen).
Also, in The Conquerors and The Forgotten, before The African Kingdoms, camel armor class was the same as Ship armor class (which was the common armor class of Camels and Ships back then) (fixed with patch 4.8), which made them take massive bonus damage from defensive structures, especially with Heated Shot.
They also used to be in the cavalry armor class (+11), which was replaced by the Mameluke class in the Definitive Edition. So, in addition to all normal anti-camel attacks, it received extra damage from Elite Mamelukes (+1), Spearmen (+4), Pikemen (+11), Halberdiers (+21), Heavy Camel Riders (+7), and Imperial Camel Riders (+7). The new Mameluke armor class was created to negate an additional 10 bonus damage from Halberdiers, while keeping all other values.
In The Age of Kings, Mamelukes were in the Infantry armor class (which was replaced in The Conquerors by the Archer armor class), and they had 0 Cavalry armor (which was increased to 11 and the Ships & Camels armor class was added in The Conquerors), so they used to take bonus damage from Hand Cannoneers and Janissaries.
As Mamelukes are unique to the Saracens, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Siege weapons, Cavalry Archers except Camel Archers, melee units especially cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Foot archers, Teutonic Knights, Camel Riders, Camel Archers, Monks|
|Hit points|| Bloodlines (+20)|
Zealotry ( )
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
- Saracens: Mamelukes have .
- A team containing Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades are researched faster.
- A team containing Gurjaras: Mamelukes are created 25% faster.
- A team containing Hindustanis: Mamelukes have +2 attack against standard buildings.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry are 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Faith and Heresy are researched 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Mamelukes are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings
- Mamelukes move at a speed of 1.41.
- Non-Elite Mamelukes have an attack of 7.
- Elite Mamelukes have a fire delay of 0 seconds.
- Mamelukes are in the cavalry armor class and the infantry armor class and thus receive bonus damage from Cataphracts, Hand Cannoneers, and Janissaries.
- Mamelukes move at a speed of 1.4.
- While the Camel Rider line loses the Cavalry Armor, in exchange for the Ship armor, Mamelukes receive +11 bonus armor against anti-cavalry attacks while also getting the Ship armor. Consequently, they take bonus damage from anti-ship attacks.
- The infantry armor class is replaced with the archer armor class.
- Bloodlines introduced.
- Heresy introduced.
- Zealotry introduced. It gives Mamelukes +30 HP.
- Camelry introduced.
- Non-Elite Mamelukes have an attack of 8.
- Camelry removed.
The African Kingdoms
- The ship armor class is removed from the Mamelukes, and they receive a new camel armor class. Now only anti-camel, but not anti-ship attacks affect Mamelukes.
- With patch 4.8, Elite Mamelukes have a fire delay of 0.5 seconds.
Rise of Rajas
- With patch 5.8, the cavalry armor is removed from Mamelukes. Instead, a new Mameluke armor class is added to negate 5 attack bonus from Halberdiers, while keeping all other anti-cavalry attack values the same. In other words, Halberdiers receive -5 attack vs Mameluke armor class (from +21 to +16).
- Fire delay: regular Mameluke: 0.6 → 0.4 sec, Elite Mameluke: 0.5 → 0.2 seconds.
- Halberdiers another -5 attack vs Mameluke armor class (from +16 to +11).
Lords of the West
- With update 44725, Mamelukes have +10 HP as a new civilization bonus. Zealotry gives Mamelukes +20 HP.
Dyansties of India
- The Mameluke has the cheapest Elite upgrade in the game among all unique units made from the Castle (with a total of 1,100 resources). The Elite Genitour upgrade is the only unique unit with a cheaper Elite upgrade (costing a total of 950 resources).
- In-game, Mameluke rides a camel. This is historically incorrect, as mamelukes rode horses.
- Furthermore, even the in-game Mameluke's mount is the wrong species: Arab camel-riders rode the one-humped dromedaries, not the two-humped Bactrians, which were sometimes ridden by Timurid Tatars. This historical inaccuracy was likely done intentionally to make it easier to distinguish Mamelukes from generic Camel Riders.
- Mamelukes throw their scimitars rather than swing them in melee which is physically not viable.
- Mamlūk مَمْلُوك literally means "owned" in Arabic.
- The Mameluke is the only unit that had infantry, archer and cavalry armor classes assigned to it in different versions of Age of Empires II.
- The Mameluke is one of the least used unique units in 1vs1 matches, because of its high cost, which is too much for the Saracens' weak economy. Due to this, various balance changes were made directly to Mamelukes, with the most notorius one added with Dynasties of India, where the Archer Armor Class was removed, which means Mamelukes no longer take bonus damage from Skirmishers.
|“||The mamelukes were slaves trained as warriors by various Arab leaders, partially because early believers in Islam would not fight each other. Slave warriors got around this ban. The mamelukes were well trained and highly motivated. A mameluke army from Egypt won a rare victory against the Mongols in Syria, turning these barbarian horsemen back from the Nile and North Africa. In time the mamelukes rose up against their Arab rulers and took control themselves. When Napoleon invaded Egypt in the eighteenth century, he defeated a mameluke army at the Battle of the Pyramids.||”|