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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the unit in Age of Mythology, see Militia (Age of Mythology).

Basic infantry swordsman. Cheap and quick to create.
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 in the Dark Age. The Militia is ineffective after the Dark Age.


The Militia's main and basically only use is in a Dark Age rush, which involves quickly training and sending a small band of Militia into the enemy base to harass and disrupt their economic activities. 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. For infantry-focused civilizations like the Aztecs, Bulgarians, Celts, Goths, or Japanese, a Dark Age rush is a potent strategy because they can upgrade to Man-at-Arms in the Feudal Age when their infantry bonuses kick in, and then go heavy into Men-at-Arms since they already have Militia.

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 player´s 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, Villagers
Weak vs. Almost everything
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2)
ArsonDE.png Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Garland Wars (+4, Aztecs only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Druzhina (Slavs only, gives trample damage)
CastleAgeUnique.png Chieftains (Vikings only, gives +5 attack against cavalry and +4 against camels)
Armor ScaleMailArmorDE.png Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)
ChainMailArmorDE.png Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
PlateMailArmorDE.png Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
UniqueTechImperial-DE.png Bagains (+5 melee armor, Bulgarians only)
Speed SquiresDE.png Squires (+10%)
Sight TrackingDE.png Tracking (+2)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Perfusion (+100%, Goths only)
Train cost Suplliesicon.png Supplies (-15 food)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Forced Levy (Malay only, changes gold cost to extra food cost)
Upgrades ManAtArmsUpgDE.png Man-at-Arms

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Aztecs: Militia are created 11% faster.
  • Bulgarians: The upgrade to Man-at-Arms is free.
  • Burmese: Militia have +1/+2/+3 attack in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts: Militia move 15% faster starting from the Feudal Age. Militia can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Militia are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Goths: Militia are 20%/25%/30%/35% cheaper in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age, and have +1/+2/+3 attack against standard buildings in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. With Perfusion researched, researching Squires and upgrading to Man-at-Arms is 100% faster.
  • Japanese: Militia attack 33% faster (starting in the Feudal Age).
  • Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace are free.
  • Malians: Militia have +1/+2/+3 pierce armor in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Portuguese: Militia cost -20% gold. Upgrades that benefit Militia are researched 30% faster.
  • Sicilians: Militia absorb 50% of all incoming bonus damage.
  • Slavs: Supplies is free.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Militia cost no gold.
  • Tatars: Militia deal +25% bonus damage from a cliff or an elevation.
  • Teutons: Militia have +1/+0 armor in the Castle Age and +2/+0 in the Imperial Age.
  • Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
  • Vikings: Militia have 10%/15%/20% more hit points in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.

Team bonuses[]


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: Militia move 15% faster starting from the Dark Age.
  • Goths: Militia are 10%/15%/25% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.

The Conquerors[]

  • Militia now have 1 pierce armor.
  • Heresy introduced.
  • Goths: With patch 1.0b, Militia are 35% cheaper starting in the Feudal Age. Perfusion introduced.

The African Kingdoms[]

Rise of the Rajas[]

Definitive Edition[]

  • Supplies introduced. It replaces Tracking, and Militia now get +2 Line of Sight once the Feudal Age is reached.
  • Bulgarians: Initially, Bagains gives +3/+0 armor to Militia. With update 34055, it gives +5/+0 armor.
  • Bulgarians: With update 42848, researching archer armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith costs 50% less food. As team bonus, Blacksmiths now work 80% faster (up from 50% faster).
  • Celts: With update 42848, Militia move 15% faster starting from the Feudal Age.
  • Goths: With update 35584, Militia are 35% cheaper. With update 36202, cost bonus is 20%/25%/30%/35% in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age and bonus damage against buildings is +1/+2/+3 in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Malay: Forced Levy now changes the Militia's gold cost to food cost.
  • Portuguese: With update 42848, technologies are researched 30% faster.
  • Teutons: With update 35584, Militia have +1/+0 armor in the Castle/Imperial Age. With update 36906, they receive another +1/+0 armor in the Imperial Age.


  • 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 stone club and visually does not have armor. The Militia uses an iron club and visually has leather armor.
  • The Militia is one of only four military units without an 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.


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.