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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For other uses, see Militia.

All-purpose infantry unit.
Age of Empires II description

The Militia is an infantry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Barracks. It is the first trainable military unit and the only one available to create in the Dark Age.


The Militia's main and basically only use is in a Dark Age rush (Drush), which involves quickly training and sending a small band of Militia into the enemy base to harass, disrupt their economic activities, and often prevent early walling. Killing Villagers is not a priority. The player's scout is used to block fleeing low HP Villagers for the Militia to try to kill them. Given the extremely poor town defensive capabilities of the Dark Age, this tactic is very viable if the player can get the drop on their opponents. Enemy Villagers may still attack, though without Loom they will still be felled very quickly by the player's Militia. However, caution is still advisable as enemy Villagers with Loom may be able to defeat their aggressors if they manage to land the first strike, or by garrisoning in the Town Center.

Usually, the aim of a drush is to disrupt enemy walling and/or add extra time for the player to wall. In the first case, players follow their drush up with fast Feudal Age and grab the Man-at-Arms upgrade, which helps kill Villagers, scouts, and walls faster. For infantry-focused civilizations like the Celts, Dravidians, Japanese, or Malians, a Man-at-Arms rush is a potent strategy, since their infantry bonuses kick in. Bulgarians also perform a Man-at-Arms rush, but unintentionally, since they are upgraded for free. Usually a Man-at-Arms rush is followed up by Archers, since Man-at-Arms counter a scout rush and also prevent walling. The second case is a bit of passive approach where the drush is followed up by walling and fast Castle Age for power or unique units. This strategy is common with Aztecs, Bulgarians, Goths, or Portuguese.

With that said, Militia, despite being infantry, are extremely ineffective against buildings and upgraded units. Massing Militia without proper planning is generally a waste of valuable resources that are better spent focusing on building up the economy and advancing to the Feudal Age. All in all, Militia are weak and die very easily, but do provide early offense.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Skirmishers, Scout Cavalry, Spearmen
Weak vs. Archers, walls
Hit points UniqueTechImperialDE Fereters (+30, Armenians only)
Regeneration UniqueTechCastle-DE Stronghold (30 HP/min when within 18 tiles square of a team Celts Castle)
Attack Forging aoe2de Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace (+2)
ArsonDE Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
UniqueTechImperialDE Garland Wars (+4, Aztecs only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Druzhina (gives trample damage in +0.5 tile radius, Slavs only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Chieftains (+5 against cavalry and +4 against camels, Vikings only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Wootz Steel (attack ignores armor, Dravidians only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Comitatenses (+5 charge attack, Romans only)
Armor ScaleMailArmorDE Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1, +2/+2 for the Romans)
ChainMailArmorDE Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1, +2/+2 for the Romans)
PlateMailArmorDE Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
AoE2 Gambesons Gambesons (0/+1)
Conversion resistance Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)
UniqueTechCastle-DE First Crusade (+4 min, +4 max, Sicilians only)
Movement speed SquiresDE Squires (+10%)
Resource cost Suplliesicon Supplies (-15 food)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Kshatriyas (-25% food, Gurjaras only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Forced Levy (+20 food, -20 gold, Malay only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
UniqueTechImperialDE Perfusion (+100%, Goths only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Comitatenses (+50%, Romans only)
Other UniqueTechCastle-DE Chieftains (generates gold when killing Villagers, trade units, and Monks, Vikings only)
Upgrade ManAtArmsUpgDE Man-at-Arms

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings[]

  • Militia have 0 pierce armor.
  • Tracking is available for research in the Feudal Age and gives +2 Line of Sight to Militia.
  • Celts AoE2 Celts: Militia move 15% faster starting from the Dark Age.
  • Goths AoE2 Goths: Militia are 10%/15%/25% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age and have an extra +1 attack against standard buildings.
  • Vikings AoE2 Vikings: Militia have +10%/+15%/+20% HP in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

  • Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians: Militia resist 50% bonus damage. With update 47820, First Crusade increases the conversion resistance of Militia.

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]


Local peasants and works called up for military duty in times of emergency made up the militia. These temporary soldiers were usually equipped with second-rate weapons and armor. They returned to their normal occupations when the emergency had passed. Levies of militia were often used as second-line troops when great lords assembled their vassals for a campaign. The militia was available for less demanding fighting and other tasks in support of the main army. England's Harold Godwinson stood his ground in 1066 at Hastings with only his vassals. If he had fallen back and called up the Anglo-Saxon militia, known as the furd, some historians believe that he would have not lost his kingdom to William the Conqueror. For much of the Dark Ages there were only small professional armies in the west. Militia led by strong leaders and their few retainers carried on much of the Dark Age fighting.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings manual


  • Although Militia belong to the swordsman-line, they clearly carry some sort of club, making their appearance very similar to the Clubman from Age of Empires. However, the Clubman uses a wooden club with bones embedded in it and visually does not have armor. The Militia uses an iron club and visually has leather armor.
  • Before the Definitive Edition, the Militia is one of four military units without any innate attack bonus against anything (the others being the Boyar, the Turtle Ship, and the Knight-line).
  • The Militia line is the only unit line in the game with more than three stages.
  • The Militia is the only military unit and of only two land units (next to the Villager) available in the Dark Age.


Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship