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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. For the unit in Age of Empires III, see Petard (Age of Empires III).

Demolition siege unit armed with explosives. Self-destructs when used.
Age of Empires II description

The Petard is a siege unit in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors that can be trained at the Castle. Petards are faster than most siege units and explode upon impact with their target, capable of dealing a devastating amount of damage against walls, structures, and siege weapons.


Petard anim aoe2.gif

A Petard and Flaming Camel being used to blow up an enemy wall in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.

A group of Petards taking down a Castle

Petards are most effective against buildings, other siege units, and, to a limited extent, Wonders. Although Petards do in fact deal blast damage as their primary means of attack suggests (that is they explode), they do so in a very small area - the same area that a Cataphract with Logistica or War Elephant does. Ranged units are a danger to them, especially Cavalry Archers.

A good use for Petards is neutralizing enemy key buildings or key siege units near the player's Castles. They are also an excellent choice for quickly breaching walls, taking only two to destroy a piece of Stone Wall. However, they are not cost effective in large numbers since they can only be used once. Petards are also a decent (albeit expensive) counter to siege units en masse.

When used (especially against Castles), it is important to line them in staggered formation. That way, they take less damage from the volleys of arrows since every volley only damages one Petard.

They are comparable to the Saboteur that is only available in campaigns, but the Petard is significantly weaker. It is much slower, has a much smaller blast area and deals much less damage to enemy units. There is also a 'Petard of the Seas': the Demolition Ship, which is more expensive, but has much greater attack against units, much larger blast radius, and is significantly faster. In fact, the Demolition Ship is the second fastest unit in the game (only behind Trade Cogs with Caravan researched).

Required number to destroy certain buildings[]

The following table shows the number of Petards required to destroy the listed buildings. The numbers are calculated with fully upgraded (i.e. Masonry, Architecture, and Hoardings is researched) buildings.

Building Without Siege Engineers With Siege Engineers
Town Center 5 (6) 4 (5)
Stone Wall / Gate 2 2
Fortified Wall / Gate 3 2 / 3
Watch Tower 2 (3) 2
Guard Tower 3 (4) 3
Keep 5 (6) 4
Castle 8 (12) 7 (9)
Wonder 10 (12) 7 (9)

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, siege weapons, non-ranged units
Weak vs. Ranged units
Attack SiegeEngineersDE.png Siege Engineers (+40% attack against buildings)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
UniqueTechCastle-DE.png First Crusade (Sicilians only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
CastleAgeUnique.png Kasbah (+25%, Berbers and allies only)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


The Conquerors[]

  • Petards cost 80 food, 20 gold.
  • Aztecs: Petards are created 18% faster.

The Forgotten[]

The African Kingdoms[]

Definitive Edition[]

Lords of the West[]


  • Petards and Saboteurs do not use attacking voice clips.
  • The Petard is the only military unit without any armor class. Hence it does not take bonus damage.
    • The Sicilian hidden damage resistance bonus affects Petards in theory.
  • The Petard is essentially ahistorical: while suicide attacks are not utterly unheard of in medieval history, the use of gunpowder in suicide attacks postdates the timeframe covered by the game.


The primary use of gunpowder during the Middle Ages was as a propellant in firearms and cannon, but it eventually found use as an explosive also. Explosive charges, called petards, could be used to damage or blow down castle gates and other obstructions. The word petard comes from a French word for breaking wind. In very dangerous situations, an armored man would carry the petard to the point of attack and light the fuse. If the fuse malfunctioned or the charge went off prematurely for any reason, the bombardier was “hoisted by his own petard,” which explains a phrase still used today when a plan or operation backfires.


Video overview[]

v  d  e
Units in Age of Empires II
AoE2-DLCicon-0.png The Age of Kings
Economic /
Monk · Villager · Trade Cart · Trade Cog · Fishing Ship · Transport Ship
InfantryMilitia · Man-at-Arms · Long Swordsman · Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion
Spearman · Pikeman
ArcherArcher · Crossbowman · Arbalester
Skirmisher · Elite Skirmisher
Hand Cannoneer
Cavalry Archer · Heavy Cavalry Archer
CavalryScout Cavalry · Light Cavalry
Knight · Cavalier · Paladin
Camel Rider · Heavy Camel Rider
SiegeBattering Ram · Capped Ram · Siege Ram
Mangonel · Onager · Siege Onager
Scorpion · Heavy Scorpion
Bombard Cannon
ShipGalley · War Galley · Galleon
Fire Ship · Fast Fire Ship
Demolition Ship · Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon Galleon · Elite Cannon Galleon
UniqueLongbowman · Cataphract · Woad Raider · Chu Ko Nu · Throwing Axeman · Huskarl · Samurai · War Elephant · Mameluke · Teutonic Knight · Janissary · Berserk · Mangudai  · Longboat
AoE2-DLCicon-1.png The Conquerors
InfantryEagle Warrior · Elite Eagle Warrior
UniqueWar Wagon · Turtle Ship · Jaguar Warrior · Tarkan · Missionary · Conquistador · Plumed Archer
AoE2-DLCicon-2.png The Forgotten
InfantryEagle Scout
UniqueImperial Camel Rider · Slinger · Genoese Crossbowman · Condottiero · Elephant Archer · Kamayuk · Magyar Huszar · Boyar
AoE2-DLCicon-3.png The African Kingdoms
SiegeSiege Tower
ShipFire Galley
Demolition Raft
UniqueCamel Archer · Genitour · Gbeto · Shotel Warrior  · Caravel  · Organ Gun
AoE2-DLCicon-4.png Rise of the Rajas
CavalryBattle Elephant · Elite Battle Elephant
UniqueImperial Skirmisher · Arambai · Ballista Elephant · Karambit Warrior · Rattan Archer
AoE2-DLCicon-5.png The Last Khans (Definitive Edition)
CavalrySteppe Lancer · Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotl Warrior
UniqueKonnik · Kipchak · Leitis · Keshik · Flaming Camel
AoE2Icon-LordsWest.png Lords of the West
UniqueCoustillier · Flemish Militia · Serjeant
Dawn of the Dukes icon.png Dawn of the Dukes
CavalryWinged Hussar
UniqueHussite Wagon · Houfnice · Obuch
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia.png Dynasties of India
CavalryArmored Elephant · Siege Elephant
UniqueRatha · Urumi Swordsman · Thirisadai · Chakram Thrower · Shrivamsha Rider · Camel Scout · Ghulam