Wheeled siege weapon used to attack a small mass of units.
Age of Empires II description

The Mangonel is a ranged siege unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Siege Workshop. It is primarily used against large groups of enemies. Its high attack and splash damage make it a powerful unit, especially against archers and slow-moving units. Its main offsets are its low projectile speed, minimum range, and tendency to harm friendly units caught in its blast. Mangonels can attack ground.

They are an exceptionally expensive unit (the total resources are higher than for a War Elephant), and they should be used and protected accordingly. 

Tactics[edit | edit source]

Mangonel anim aoe2.gif

Mangonels in most circumstances need to be paired with other units. They are often employed in the late game with Halberdiers in choke points (to which the counter is the Champion), with Monks in early Castle Age siege pushes, and with archers on open maps against Skirmishers or other archers. They are also a key defensive unit. Its powerful attack can be devastating to most groups of enemy units, but it is advisable to watch them in battle to prevent friendly fire. Using the attack ground command is useful for Mangonels if the player can predict the movement of enemy troops.

The Mangonels can be employed defensively behind Castles, Walls, or Towers in order to avoid them being attacked by rams. They are also employed under Town Centres to protect the economy from archer fire.

Mangonels are often paired with ranged units since it is less likely that those units would be affected by the Mangonels' attack. They are also capable of dealing damage to Town Centres, problems which infantry and cavalry do not have, but archers do.

When pairing them with melee units, it is important to set those units to defensive stance in order to prevent them from wandering off and leaving the Mangonel vulnerable.

A popular tactic, especially on the map Arena, is to quickly advance to the Castle Age and pair Mangonels with Monks, as they cover each other's main weaknesses. Mangonels are great against ranged units like Crossbowmen, who can otherwise quickly kill Monks, while Monks can convert Knights (in small enough numbers), who are the bane of Mangonels. This strategy however requires intense micromanagement and is somewhat vulnerable to Light Cavalry and Eagle Warriors, who resist conversion, have an attack bonus against Monks, and can quickly close the gap to the Mangonels. The Eagle Warrior is particularly effective, since it also has an attack bonus against Mangonels and is less food intensive.

Mangonels are an excellent way to deal with masses of foot archers, Skirmishers, and Cavalry Archers, and serve as an equalizer when the opponent gets ahead in archer wars. One good Mangonel shot can turn the tide of a battle in this case. In comparison, Mangonels struggle against Conquistadors, Janissaries and Arambai, as their pierce attack is considerably higher than the Mangonel's pierce armour. In these cases, it is advisable to use multiple Mangonels or employ Skirmishers instead.

Mangonels are an excellent choice of siege unit in the Castle Age for several reasons:

  1. Mangonels are a strong threat to ranged units and cannot be outranged by most archers (the exception being British archers).
  2. Mangonels outrange Town Centers (except Lithuanian Town Centers with Hill Forts researched) and do respectable damage to buildings.
  3. Mangonels can do great damage to rams while on the other side of walls.

On the other hand, they should be employed cautiously when Stable units are on the field, unless protected by a Castle, Pikemen, or Monks. On open maps like Arabia, these options might not make the investment into Mangonels pay off.

In archer wars in high level games, the primary counter to a Mangonel is another Mangonel, though they can fall to well micromanaged archers, by "splitting", with the formation keys.

Comparison to the Scorpion[edit | edit source]

  • Scorpions deal pierce damage, as opposed as the Mangonel's melee, which also has a bigger base attack and an effective Area of Effect damage, unlike Scorpions (although a army of Scorpions big enough can create some sort of pseudo AoE damage upon reaching critical mass).
  • Besides its superior damage per shot, Mangonels have bigger bonus damage against both buildings and siege.
  • The Mangonel can be upgraded to the Onager, increasing its range by +1. The same does not happen for the Heavy Scorpion.
  • Speaking of upgrades, the Heavy Scorpion upgrade does not cost gold and is 25 seconds faster than the Onager upgrade.
  • In most circumstances, a single Mangonel will do more damage than a single Scorpion, but as said before, Scorpions are significantly cheaper to create and attack almost twice as fast. This should be taken into consideration when fighting non-siege units.
  • Scorpions do damage in a straight line, while Mangonels attack a single, small area. The amount of total damage against a group of units will largely depend on formation and enemy micro.
  • Scorpions do not damage friendly units, but Mangonels do.
  • Scorpions have significant frame delay; Mangonels do not have frame delay.
  • Mangonels have slightly more hit points, but have 1 less pierce armor.
  • Scorpions have a minimum range of 2, while the minimum range of Mangonels is 3. This influences the unit's survivability.
  • Scorpion bolts reach their targets faster than Mangonel payloads, and are thus harder to manually dodge.
  • Scorpions need less micromanagement than Mangonels against AI, due to the latter, and also because computer controlled units will make a beeline for their target, ensuring that the Scorpion will hit them anyway.
  • Scorpions cannot attack ground, making them hard to micromanage against an agile unit. In contrast, a cleverly managed Mangonel may hit fast-moving units.

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, Villagers, archers, Scorpions, Battering Rams, Trebuchets, units in dense formations
Weak vs. Melee units especially Magyar Huszars and other melee cavalry, Mangudais, Woad Raiders, Condottieri, Eagle Warriors
Hit points Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Furor Celtica (+40%, Celts only)
Attack Siegeengineers.jpg Siege Engineers (+20% attack against buildings)
Chemistry.jpg Chemistry (+1)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Torsion Engines (increases blast damage radius, Ethiopians only)
Range Siegeengineers.jpg Siege Engineers (+1)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Shinkichon (+1, Koreans only)
Armor CastleAgeUnique.png Ironclad (+4/+0, Teutons only)
Movement Speed Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Drill (+50%, Mongols only)
Conversion defense Faith.jpg Faith
Heresy.png Heresy
Upgrades Onager-research.jpg Onager

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

  • Aztecs: Mangonels are created 11% faster.
  • Bulgarians: Upgrading to Onager costs 50% less food.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts: Mangonels fire 25% faster. Mangonels can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Mangonels are 20% cheaper.
  • Portuguese: Mangonels cost 20% less gold. Upgrades that benefit Mangonels are researched 30% faster.
  • Slavs: Mangonels are 15% cheaper.
  • Tatars: Mangonels deal 50% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations.

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

Changelog[edit | edit source]

The Age of Kings[edit | edit source]

  • Mangonels move at a speed of 0.5.
  • Researching Chemistry reduces the projectile speed from 3.5 to 2.9.

The Conquerors[edit | edit source]

The Forgotten[edit | edit source]

  • Researching Chemistry does not affect the projectile speed anymore.
  • Celts: Furor Celtica now gives +40% HP to Mangonels.
  • Teutons: Ironclad introduced.
  • A team containing Koreans: Mangonels minimum range reduced by 2 (instead of +1 range).

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The design for the Mangonel is inaccurate as its real life design was essentially a small Trebuchet. A more accurate name for it would be Light Onager.

History[edit | edit source]

The mangonel was an improvement on the ancient catapult that was used to throw stones and other missiles, usually in a siege attack against a fortified position. The mangonel usually fired directly at a target, using a bar to stop the throwing arm when it was vertical. This threw the missile directly forward. Mangonels were used to fire one large stone or a basket of smaller stones. They were often assembled on the spot for use, but were also built on wheeled frames for easier movement.
Age of Empires II manual

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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