"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.
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:
- Mangonels are a strong threat to ranged units and cannot be outranged by most archers (the exception being British archers).
- Mangonels outrange Town Centers (except Lithuanian Town Centers with Hill Forts researched) and do respectable damage to buildings.
- 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
- 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
|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||Furor Celtica (+40%, Celts only)|
|Attack|| Siege Engineers (+20% attack against buildings)|
Torsion Engines (increases blast damage radius, Ethiopians only)
|Range|| Siege Engineers (+1)|
Shinkichon (+1, Koreans only)
|Armor||Ironclad (+4/+0, Teutons only)|
|Movement Speed||Drill (+50%, Mongols only)|
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Aztecs: Mangonels are created 18% faster.
- 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.
- Slavs: Mangonels are 15% cheaper.
- Tatars: Mangonels deal 50% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Celts: Mangonels are created and upgraded 20% faster.
- A team containing Koreans: Mangonels minimum range reduced.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Chemistry and Siege Engineers is 80% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Mangonels are more resistant to conversion.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
The Age of Kings Edit
- Mangonels move at a speed of 0.5.
- Researching Chemistry reduces the projectile speed from 3.5 to 2.9.
The Conquerors Edit
- Mangonel now move at a speed of 0.6.
- Mangonels gain +12 bonus damage against siege weapons.
- Heresy introduced.
- Celts: Furor Celtica introduced. It gives Mangonels +50% HP.
- Mongols: Drill introduced.
- Koreans: Shinkichon initially gives Mangonels +2 range. With patch 1.0b, the effect was reduced to +1.
- A team containing Koreans: Mangonels have +1 range.
The Forgotten Edit
- 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).
- 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.
"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