|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.
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|
|Castle||8 (12)||7 (9)|
|Wonder||10 (12)||7 (9)|
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Buildings, siege weapons, non-ranged units|
|Weak vs.||Ranged units|
|Attack||Siege Engineers (+40% attack against buildings)|
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
First Crusade (Sicilians only)
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
Kasbah (+25%, Berbers and allies only)
- Aztecs: Petards are created faster.
- Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Petards are 20% cheaper.
- Celts: Petards can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Portuguese: Petards cost gold. Upgrades that benefit Petards are researched 30% faster.
- Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Siege Engineers is 80% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Petards are more resistant to conversion.
The African Kingdoms
- Aztecs: With update 37650, Petards are created 11% faster.
- Portuguese: With update 39284, Petards cost -20% gold. With update 42848, all technologies are researched 30% faster.
Lords of the West
- Sicilians: First Crusade introduced. With update 47820, First Crusade makes Petards more resistant to conversion.
- 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.||”|