Age of Empires Series Wiki

Fast cavalry good at raiding villagers or buildings.
—In-game description

The Oprichnik is a melee heavy cavalry in Age of Empires III that is unique to the Russians and can be trained at Stable, Fort, and Galleon once the Fortress Age is reached.


Oprichniks are heavy cavalry units unsuited for general combat, but exceed at raiding. They do not possess the hit points or damage that other cavalry like the Hussar have. However, they have the highest siege damage out of every non-elephant cavalry unit in-game and enjoy a large damage multiplier against Villagers and a minor one against artillery units. However, using Oprichniks to fight artillery might be ineffective if it's defended by heavy infantry, leaving Oprichniks mainly used for raiding undefended Villagers and buildings. A fully upgraded Imperial Oprichnik can take out settlers in 2-3 hits.

Due to their unconventional damage, Oprichniks should avoid fighting in hand-to-hand combat, as they will surely be killed. Ranged cavalry is also an issue because its multiplier against heavy cavalry.


The Oprichnik starts at the Veteran level, but without the increased hit points and attack.

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard cavalry.png Guard Oprichniks 600 wood,
600 coin
Upgrades Oprichniks to Guard (+30% hit points and attack)
Imperial Age
Imperial cavalry.png Imperial Oprichniks 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Oprichniks to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Guard Oprichniks

Further statistics[]

As Oprichniks are unique to the Russians, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Villagers, artillery, buildings, Siege unit
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light infantry, cavalry
Hit points Cavalry Cuirass.png Cavalry Cuirass (+10%)
Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Pillage.png Pillage (+25% siege attack)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Mass Cavalry.png Mass Cavalry (-35%)
Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Westernization.png Westernization (grants Veteran upgrade)
Petrine Reforms.png Petrine Reforms (grants Guard upgrade)
Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Oprichniks are unique to the Russians, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


Age of Empires III[]

  • Oprichniks have 75 siege damage.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Fixed a bug which makes the Oprichnik's multipliers against artillery and siege units not applied when they are set to Trample Mode.
  • With update 20322, Oprichniks have 64 siege damage.


Oprichniks were the police and soldiers of Oprichnina, a royal domain created by Ivan the Terrible. Tsar Ivan used his Oprichniks to crush any hereditary opposition to his rule. These soldiers carried out their Tsar's will with unflinching loyalty and were brutal and ferocious thugs.

The Tsar's goals were not especially original, but Ivan the Terrible and his Oprichniks operated on an unprecedented scale. One attack on the city of Novgorod took the lives of at least 3,000 people. They were slaughtered over the course of a week. Some accounts put the death toll as high as 60,000 people.

The Oprichniks promoted a fierce appearance, wearing all black uniforms and riding black horses. The Oprichnik seal bore a dog, symbolizing their loyalty to the Tsar and their tenacity in fighting for the Tsar, and a broom, to represent sweeping away the Tsar's enemies.
—In-game history section