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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 excel 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, Shock 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


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Military units in Age of Empires III
AOE3Icon.png Age of Empires III
CommonExplorer · Militiaman · Pikeman · Musketeer · Crossbowman · Skirmisher · Halberdier · Grenadier · Hussar · Dragoon · Cavalry Archer · Falconet · Culverin · Mortar · Heavy Cannon · Caravel · Galleon · Frigate · Monitor
Flag BritishDE.png BritishLongbowman · Ranger** · Rocket
Flag DutchDE.png DutchRuyter · Fluyt
Flag FrenchDE.png FrenchCuirassier
Flag GermanDE.png GermansDoppelsoldner · Uhlan · War Wagon
Flag OttomanDE.png OttomansJanissary · Nizam Fusilier** · Abus Gun · Great Bombard · Galley · Spahi
Flag PortugueseDE.png PortugueseCassador · Organ Gun
Flag RussianDE.png RussiansStrelet · Cossack · Oprichnik
Flag SpanishDE.png SpanishRodelero · Lancer
WarchiefsIcon.png The WarChiefs
CommonWarrior · Canoe · War Canoe · Ironclad · Horse Artillery · Petard · Spy
Flag AztecDE.png AztecsAztec War Chief · Coyote Runner · Otontin Slinger · Puma Spearman · Arrow Knight · Eagle Runner Knight · Jaguar Prowl Knight · Warrior Priest · Skull Knight · Tlaloc Canoe
Flag IroquoisDE.png HaudenosauneeHaudenosaunee War Chief · Aenna · Tomahawk · Forest Prowler · Kanya Horseman · Musket Rider · Ram · Mantlet · Light Cannon
Flag SiouxDE.png LakotaLakota War Chief · Cetan Bowman · Club Warrior · Wakina Rifle · Axe Rider · Bow Rider · Rifle Rider · Tashunke Prowler · Tokala Soldier
Revolution.png RevolutionRevolutionary · Gatling Gun
DynastiesIcon.png The Asian Dynasties
Flag ChineseDE.png ChineseShaolin Master · Disciple · Sentry · Irregular · Chu Ko Nu · Qiang Pikeman · Changdao Swordsman · Arquebusier · Steppe Rider · Keshik · Iron Flail · Meteor Hammer · Flamethrower · Hand Mortar · Flying Crow · Fire Junk · War Junk · Fuchuan
Flag IndianDE.png IndiansBrahmin · Sentry · Irregular · Rajput · Sepoy · Gurkha · Urumi Swordsman · Sowar · Zamburak · Mahout Lancer · Howdah · Flail Elephant · Siege Elephant
Flag JapaneseDE.png JapaneseSohei Archer · Sentry · Irregular · Samurai · Ashigaru Musketeer · Yumi Archer · Naginata Rider · Yabusame · Flaming Arrow · Morutaru · Daimyo · Shogun Tokugawa · Yamabushi · Shinobi · Fune · Atakabune · Tekkousen
Age3DE Icon.png Definitive Edition
CommonCaptured Mortar · General · Sloop · Steamer · Battleship
Flag IncanDE.png IncasInca War Chief · Plumed Spearman · Chimu Runner · Jungle Bowman · Bolas Warrior · Huaraca · Maceman · Chincha Raft
Flag SwedishDE.png SwedesCarolean · Hakkapelit · Leather Cannon
Flag American act3 aoe3de.png United StatesMinuteman · State Militia · Regular · Sharpshooter · Carbine Cavalry · Gatling Gun · Quaker Gun · Gunslinger · Cowboy · Owlhoot
Flag MexicanDE.png MexicansPadre · Insurgente · Soldado · Salteador · Chinaco · Desperado · Cuatrero · Bandido
Revolution.png RevolutionBarbary Warrior · Californio · Cetbang Cannon · Corsair Marksman · Cowboy · Cruzob Infantry · Cuerudo · Filibuster · Gaucho · Jagunço · Javanese Spearman · Llanero · Morochuco · Mounted Granadero · Revolutionary Sharpshooter · Trek Wagon
The African Royals
CommonLevied Spearman · Levied Bowman · Levied Gunner · Javelin Rider · Desert Warrior · Desert Raider · Desert Archer · Battle Canoe · Cannon Boat
Flag Ethiopian aoe3de.png EthiopiansRas · Gascenya · Neftenya · Shotel Warrior · Oromo Warrior · Sebastopol Mortar · War Dhow
Flag Hausa.png HausaEmir · Fulani Archer · Maigadi · Raider · Lifidi Knight · Xebec
Knights of the Mediterranean
Flag ItalianDE.png ItaliansArchitect · Pavisier · Bersagliere · Schiavone · Papal Guard · Papal Lancer · Papal Zouave · Papal Bombard · Galleass · Leonardo's Tank
Flag MalteseDE.png MalteseGrand Master · Hospitaller · Sentinel · Fire Thrower · Order Galley · Fire Ship
* added in The WarChiefs   ** in the Definitive Edition