"Stronger than Cavalier. Fast and heavy cavalry."—Age of Empires II description
The Paladin is a heavy cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable once the Imperial Age is reached. Like most other cavalry, Paladins are strong and agile. They are considered to be one of the strongest and most cost effective units in the game.
Despite lacking Bloodlines, the Franks have the strongest Paladin in the game due to their civilization bonus which grants them +20% HP. The Lithuanians can potentially have the strongest Paladin thanks to their Relic bonus. Despite lacking Husbandry, the Cumans have the fastest Paladin in the game due to their civilization bonus that makes them +15% faster.
The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Paladins, i.e. gets Blast Furnace, Plate Barding Armor, Bloodlines, and Husbandry. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.
Paladins are one of the strongest and, though not cheap, most cost-effective units, and a full team of forty can easily destroy any ill-prepared town or army. In one on one combat, Paladins can slay Halberdiers, though larger numbers of Halberdiers and Camel Riders can defeat them. Paladins have low conversion resistance and thus are susceptible to enemy Monks. Siege weapons are ineffective against Paladins in most situations, but if cautiously used, especially Onagers can deal a great deal of damage. However, if used against ordinary infantry, archers, siege units, and unsuspecting towns, Paladins dominate the field. Still, Paladins should always be used with caution as flaws in the implementation of these units can prove very costly.
Further statistics Edit
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Infantry, archers, Villagers, siege weapons, Cavalry Archers, Light Cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Boyars, Pikemen, Kamayuks, Berserks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Teutonic Knights, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Monks, War Elephants|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Celts: Paladins can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Cumans: Paladins move 15% faster.
- Franks: Paladins have +20% HP. With Chivalry researched, researching Husbandry is 40% faster.
- Lithuanians: Paladins get +1 attack for each Relic garrisoned in a Monastery, up to +4.
- Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace are free.
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Paladins don't cost gold.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching cavalry armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is 50% faster.
- A team containing Franks: Paladins have +2 LOS.
- A team containing Huns: Paladins are created 20% faster. Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Persians: Paladins have +2 attack against archers.
- A team containing Teutons: Paladins are more resistant to conversion.
The Conquerors Edit
The Forgotten Edit
- The Paladin's upgrade cost, at 1,300 food and 750 gold, is the fourth most food demanding in the game (only War Elephants, Onagers, and Cataphracts need more). However, if the cost of upgrading Knights to Paladins is considered, at 1,600 food and 1,050 gold, only Mangonels and War Elephants are more expensive to upgrade.
- The in-game Paladin is inspired by the fictionalized Charlemagne's Twelve Peers.
- The original Latin title palatinus (palace official) evolved into the Medieval title Count Palatine. A more correct and encompassing term would be Allodial Knight or Allodial Chevalier (a knight~chevalier who holds his own land, instead of holding a fief granted by a higher-ranking noble; thus he owes neither rent nor service to anyone).
- The Paladin has a slower attacking speed (1.93) compared to its predecessors (1.83) for balancing purposes.
- The Knight line is one of only four units in the game without any attack bonus (the other being the Militia, the Boyar, and the Turtle Ship).
- With the introduction of The African Kingdoms, the Paladin became the most exclusive unit in the game, being available to only eight different civilizations. Before The African Kingdoms was released, that title was held by the Siege Onager. With the release of Definitive Edition, however, the Paladin is tied with the Siege Onager as the most exclusive unit in the game (The Eagle Warrior, Battle Elephant, and Steppe Lancer are generally treated as Native American, Southeast Asian, and Central Asian unique units respectively rather than regular ones, otherwise the latter would have this distinction).
- All civilizations that have access to the Paladin are European or Middle Eastern. As of the Definitive Edition, Cumans, a Central Asian civilization, may also train Paladins.
- The exclusivity of the Paladin among the civilizations is also an indicator that, historically, that civilization made extensive use of heavy cavalry as part of their armies.
- A fully upgraded Lithuanian Paladin with four Relics gets 22 attack, is tied with the Elite Leitis and the Elite Shotel Warrior by having the second strongest attack of all units outside of the siege and gunpowder section, being only surpassed by the Elite War Elephant with 24 attack.
- In the Definitive Edition, the Cavalier's and Paladin's mounts possess bushy legs, possibly influenced by modern heavy-weight horses; however, even the strongest Medieval warhorses, the destriers, were drawn with short lower-leg-hair.
"The ultimate fighting knights were paladins, the cream of the cavalier class. Paladins were champions for their lords and their orders of knighthood. These men were of the highest social class and elite warriors. They often made up the personal bodyguard of a great king and were sworn to protect his life with their own."—Age of Empires II manual