Ranged cavalry are mounted units that attack foes from a distance, using weapons such as bows or firearms. They appear in every game of the Age of Empires series.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Age of Empires
- 3 Age of Empires II
- 4 Age of Mythology
- 5 Age of Empires III
- 6 Age of Empires IV
Ranged cavalry units typically combine the speed of cavalry units with the ranged combat capabilities of archers or ranged infantry. This allows them to outmaneuver pursuing enemies or reach fights quicker than conventional ranged units. However, this typically comes in exchange for a higher resource cost and shorter range than their unmounted counterparts. Furthermore, ranged cavalry units are often vulnerable both to units that counter cavalry and units that counter archers, making them potentially frail.
It is worth noting that there are some units across the series that, despite being ranged cavalry, do not move as quickly as conventional cavalry units. These include the Elephant Archer from Age of Empires, the War Wagon from Age of Empires II, and the Howdah from Age of Empires III. These units instead tend to feature more HP or armor than typical ranged units to offset this.
Ranged cavalry units are usually widely available, though not universally so. For example, most civilizations in Age of Empires II are able to create Cavalry Archers, with the exception of the American civilizations, due to their lack of access to horses.
Age of Empires
List of ranged cavalry units
- Chariot Archer: costs 40 food, 70 wood (Trash unit).
- Horse Archer - Heavy Horse Archer: costs 50 food, 70 gold.
- Elephant Archer: costs 180 food, 45 gold.
Ranged cavalry heroes
- Hero Ramesses (Chariot Archer)
- Prince Shotoku (Heavy Horse Archer)
- Assyrians: Chariot Archer and Horse Archer Fire Rate
- Cathaginians: +25% Elephant Archer hit points
- Egyptians: +33% Chariot Archer hit points
- Hitites: Chariot Archer, Horse Archer and Elephant Archer +1 attack
- Persians: Elephant Archer 25% faster.
- Phoenicians: -25% Elephant Archer cost
- Macedonians: Horse Archer is four times more resistant to conversion
- Yamato: Horse Archer cost.
- The Hittites are the only civilization to have access to all three lines of ranged cavalry.
Age of Empires II
In comparison to the original game, Age of Empires II has a wide variety of ranged cavalry units. Though only the Cavalry Archer line is widely available, several civilizations have at least one unique ranged cavalry unit.
List of ranged cavalry units
- Cavalry Archer - Heavy Cavalry Archer: costs 70 wood, 60 gold.
- Mameluke - Elite Mameluke (Saracens only): costs 55 food, 85 gold.
- Mangudai - Elite Mangudai (Mongols only): costs 55 wood, 65 gold.
- War Wagon - Elite War Wagon (Koreans only): costs 92 wood, 60 gold.
- Conquistador - Elite Conquistador (Spanish only): costs 60 food, 70 gold.
- Elephant Archer - Elite Elephant Archer (Indians only): costs 100 food, 70 gold.
- Camel Archer - Elite Camel Archer (Berbers only): costs 50 wood, 60 gold.
- Genitour - Elite Genitour (Berbers and allies only): costs 50 food, 35 wood (Trash unit).
- Arambai - Elite Arambai (Burmese only): costs 50 wood, 60 gold.
- Ballista Elephant - Elite Ballista Elephant (Khmer only): costs 100 food, 80 gold.
- Steppe Lancer - Elite Steppe Lancer: costs 70 food, 45 gold.
- Kipchak - Elite Kipchak (Cumans and their allies [with Cuman Mercenaries researched] only): costs 60 wood, 35 gold (10 free with Cuman Mercenaries).
- Khan: untrainable.
Ranged cavalry heroes
- Bleda the Hun (Steppe Lancer)
- Cuman Chief (Elite Steppe Lancer)
- Dagnajan (Elephant Archer)
- Francisco de Orellana (Conquistador)
- Genghis Khan (Mangudai)
- Girgen Khan (Heavy Cavalry Archer)
- Gonzalo Pizarro (Conquistador)
- Jarl (Mounted Throwing Axeman)
- Khosrau (Elephant Archer)
- Kotyan Khan (Heavy Cavalry Archer)
- Musa ibn Nusayr (Camel Archer)
- Osman (Cavalry Archer)
- Prithviraj (Cavalry Archer)
- Saladin (Mameluke)
- Subotai (Heavy Cavalry Archer)
- Tabinshwehti (Elephant Archer)
- Tamerlane (Mangudai)
- Tariq ibn Ziyad (Genitour)
- Urus Khan (Kipchak)
- Cumans: Cavalry Archers move 10%/15% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Franks: Cavalry Archers and Genitours have +20% HP.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are 10%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Koreans: Cavalry Archers cost -20% wood.
- Mongols: Cavalry archers fire faster.
- Portuguese: Cavalry Archers cost -20% gold.
- Saracens: Cavalry Archers have +4 attack against standard buildings.
- Sicilians: Cavalry Archers receive 50% less bonus damage.
- Tatars: Ranged cavalry deal +25% damage when attacking from hills
- Vietnamese: Cavalry Archers and Genitours have +20% HP.
- Berbers: Genitours available at the Archery Range.
- Britons: Cavalry Archers and Genitours are created and upgraded 20% faster.
- Indians: Mamelukes have +6 attack against buildings.
- Tatars: Cavalry Archers have +2 LOS.
- Teutons: Ranged cavalry are more resistant to conversion.
- Cuman Mercenaries: Player and allies can train up to 10 free Elite Kipchaks (Cumans).
- Double Crossbow: Ballista Elephants fire two bolts at once (Khmer).
- Kasbah: Ranged cavalry trained at the Castle are created and upgraded faster (Berbers and their allies).
- Maghrabi Camels: Camel Archers can regenerate (Berbers).
- Manipur Cavalry: Arambai get +6 attack against standard buildings (Burmese).
- Recurve Bow: Increases the range of Cavalry Archers by +1 (Magyars).
- Scutage: Allied players receive 15 Gold for every ranged cavalry they own.
- Silk Armor: Cavalry Archers have +1 Pierce Armor (Tatars).
- Sipahi: Cavalry Archers and Genitours get +20 HP (Turks).
- Steppe Husbandry: Cavalry Archers are created faster (Cumans).
- Zealotry: Mamelukes get +30 HP (Saracens).
- Although Cavalry Archers are available to 34 of the 37 civilizations, only 6 civilizations get Heavy Cavalry Archers with all of their standard upgrades. This is because ranged cavalry units in Age of Empires II benefit from both archer and cavalry upgrades, which are often mutually exclusive.
- The Mameluke, Steppe Lancer, Elite Steppe Lancer, and Jarl deal melee damage at range instead of pierce damage like other ranged cavalry.
- Steppe Lancers are the only form of ranged cavalry that never shoot or release their weapon in any way. Consequently, their range is only 1 tile long.
- Ranged cavalry generally benefit from archer armor upgrades. However, Steppe Lancers, Mamelukes, and Ballista Elephants benefit from cavalry armor upgrades instead.
- Though the Mayans cannot train mounted units of any kind, their unique Plumed Archer can move almost as fast as one, giving them an analogous role to Cavalry Archers (more so when paired with the Mayans' strong Eagle Warriors, which serve as equivalent to melee cavalry).
- The Spanish second unique unit, the Missionary, is also a mounted unit that attacks at a distance, but does not qualify as ranged cavalry because it converts units instead of damaging them. However, Missionaries can technically kill if the opponent has researched Heresy.
Age of Mythology
Age of Mythology features ranged cavalry less prominently than other entries in the series. Three civilizations have access to one ranged cavalry unit each: the Egyptians' Chariot Archer, the Atlanteans' Turma, and the Chinese Mounted Archer.
List of ranged cavalry units
- Dragon Scales (Ao Kuang): increases hack armor by 10%.
- Heart of the Titans (Prometheus): costs 20% less wood and gold to upgrade into Turma Hero.
- Houyi’s Bow (Chang'e): increases attack by 10%.
- Jade Rabbit (Chang'e): increases movement speed by 10%.
- Lemurian Descendants (Theia): increases LOS by 9.
- Mail of Orichalkos (Rheia): decreases hack vulnerability by 10%.
- Bone Bow (Sekhmet): increases Chariot Archer range by 4.
- Stirrup (Chongli): increases HP by 25%.
- Valley of the Kings (Thoth): decreases training time by 66%.
- Volcanic Forge (Leto): decreases pierce vulnerability by 10% (Extended Edition).
- Though the Greeks cannot train ranged cavalry of their own, one of their myth units, the Centaur, essentially behaves like one.
- In contrast to other games, where ranged cavalry units often fill similar roles, the Chariot Archer, Mounted Archer, and Turma fill distinct roles. These roles resemble those of different units from across the Age of Empires series.
- The Chariot Archer, similar to the Greek Toxotes or Atlantean Arcus, performs well against infantry units. This, combined with its speed, makes it comparable to Age of Empires II's Cavalry Archer.
- The Mounted Archer has a powerful attack bonus against cavalry units. This is similar to the role of light ranged cavalry units in Age of Empires III, such as the Dragoon.
- The Turma specializes in countering other archer units, similar to Slingers. It is somewhat comparable to the Genitour from Age of Empires II, as they are both ranged cavalry units armed with javelins that counter archers.
Age of Empires III
In Age of Empires III, most ranged cavalry can be divided into two subcategories: those that use bows and those that use firearms (categorized as gunpowder cavalry), though there are a few that use other thrown weapons, including bolas, javelins, and grenades. Almost all ranged cavalry units are exclusive to a single civilization.
List of ranged cavalry units
- Bow Rider (Lakota only)
- Carbine Cavalry (United States only)
- Cavalry Archer (Russians and Ottomans only)
- Cowboy (United States only)
- Hakkapelit (Swedes only)
- Howdah (Indians only)
- Javelin Rider (Ethiopians and Hausa only)
- Keshik (Chinese only)
- Mansabdar Howdah (Indians only)
- Mansabdar Siege Elephant (Indians only)
- Mansabdar Zamburak (Indians only)
- Musket Rider (Haudenosaunee only)
- Oromo Warrior (Ethiopians only)
- Rifle Rider (Lakota only)
- Ruyter (Dutch only)
- Siege Elephant (Indians only)
- War Wagon (Germans only)
- Yabusame (Japanese only)
- Zamburak (Indians only)
- Black Rider
- Gatling Camel
- Kanuri Guard
- Wokou Horseman
- Zenata Rider
- Cowboy (United States (revolutionary))
- Gaucho (Argentina)
- Mounted Granadero (Argentina)
- Jagunço (Brazil)
- Llanero (Gran Colombia)
- Morochuco (Peru)
- Vaquero (Mexico)
- Bhakti Temple
- Yoga - Cavalry attack +5%
- Cherokee War Dance - Native warrior speed +20%
- Cheyenne Horse Trading - Cavalry train time -25%
- Cree Tanning - Cavalry hit points +5%
- Quechuan Diet - Cavalry train time -25%
- Mapuche Ad-mapu - Unit coin cost -10%
- Age of Empires III has the largest variety of ranged cavalry in the series.
- Though the Aztecs have no access to ranged cavalry, their fast ranged Eagle Runner Knights fulfill the same role.
- The cut Italian civilization had a planned unique ranged cavalry, the Mounted Crossbowman which is restored in some fan mods like Napoleonic Era.
Age of Empires IV
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Ranged Cavalry return in Age of Empires IV. All ranged cavalry units are unique units, and only half of the civilizations have one or more ranged cavalry units (the Abbasid Dynasty, Delhi Sultanate, Mongols, and Rus.