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Bengali unique chariot that can switch between melee and ranged attacks.
Age of Empires II description

The Ratha is the unique unit of the Bengalis in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India. It is a sturdy cavalry archer that can switch to melee attack and back.

Tactics[]

In practice, the Ratha are two separate units rather than one (ranged and melee), which can turn into the other by clicking on a button. Unupgraded Rathas have the same ranged attack as a Crossbowman and the same melee attack as a Knight. Because of this, they serve simultaneously as the Bengalis's replacement for the Cavalry Archer and Knight lines, which they have no access to.

Unlike Knights, Rathas have the archer and the cavalry archer armor classes, even while fighting in melee mode, which makes them vulnerable to anti-archer units (such as Skirmishers, Huskarls, and Ghulams) and Camel Archers. They are also slower than mounted archers, and more difficult to mass because of having to be produced from Castles.

The main advantage of the Ratha is that switching modes enables flexibility for dealing with different types of units. For example, in ranged mode, the Rathas are able to hit-and-run slower and non-ranged units, such as Champions or Halberdiers (though the player has to be cautious with Halberdiers if they cut distance); and in Melee mode, they can better attack siege units and Skirmishers, due to the minimum range (though the player has to be cautious with the Skirmishers when approaching them). Switching attack modes also enables the Ratha to better respond to units with good melee armor, but bad pierce armor, and vice versa; for example, it is more convenient to use Rathas in ranged mode against Teutonic Knights, which have a lot of melee armor, but are slow and have bad pierce armor; and in the case of Huskarls, it is better to switch to melee mode, since they have low melee armor, but much higher pierce armor.

Since Bengalis lack entire the Knight line, the Ratha can be used as a wood-costing Knight, with 10% slower attack (Rathas attack 8% faster than Knights after Paiks), 3.7% slower movement, difficulty to mass, and vulnerability to ranged units due to having one less pierce armor, especially Skirmishers (they have Archer and Cavalry Archer armor classes). Although Elephant Archers are more durable than common Cavalry Archers, they are 35.7% slower and demand much food. The Ratha does a better job at being Cavalry Archers, as they are cheaper, and faster than Elephant Archers. However, the Elite upgrade only gives 10 hit points, a slightly better accuracy, and 1 pierce attack in Range, while +2 melee attack. They do, however, benefit from Parthian Tactics, which makes them beefier (especially against ranged units) and gives attack against Pikemen.

Comparison in the Castle Age with all upgrades[]

Generic Knight aoe2DE.png Knight Aoe2de ratha ranged.png Ratha Generic Cavalryarcher aoe2DE.png Cavalry Archer
Cost 60 food, 75 gold 60 wood, 60 gold 40 wood, 60 gold
Hit Points 120 125 70
Attack 12 12 OR 7 8
Attack Speed 1.8 1.66 1.8
Attack Bonus none none +2 vs Spearmen
Accuracy 100% 100% OR 80% 100%
Range none none OR 6 6
Speed 1.485 1.43 1.54
Armor 4/4 4/3 2/2
Armor classes Cavalry Cavalry
Archer
Cavalry archer
Unique unit
Cavalry
Archer
Cavalry archer
Train Time 30s 18s 34s
Line of Sight 4 8 7
Upgrade Cost and Time 300 food, 300 gold, 100s

1300 food, 750 gold, 170s

800 food, 800 wood, 45s 900 food, 500 gold, 50s

Comparison in Imperial Age with all upgrades[]

Generic Cavalier aoe2DE.png Cavalier Aoe2de ratha ranged.png Elite Ratha Generic Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de.png Heavy Cavalry Archer
Cost 60 food, 75 gold 60 wood, 60 gold 40 wood, 60 gold
Hit Points 140 135 80
Attack 16 16 OR 10 11
Attack Speed 1.8 1.66 1.8
Attack Bonus none +2 vs Spearmen +2 vs Spearmen
Accuracy 100% 100% OR 90% 100%
Range none none OR 7 7
Speed 1.485 1.43 1.54
Armor 5/6 6/7 4/4
Armor classes Cavalry Cavalry
Archer
Cavalry archer
Unique unit
Cavalry
Archer
Cavalry archer
Train Time 30s 18s 27s
Line of Sight 4 9 9

Further statistics[]

As Rathas are unique to the Bengalis, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Archers, siege weapons (Melee), Slow and non ranged units (Ranged), Villagers
Weak vs. Teutonic Knights , War Elephants, Battle Elephants (Melee), Skirmishers, Rattan Archer, Mangonels, Scorpions (Ranged), Huskarls, Samurai, Eagle Warriors, Pikemen, Kamayuks, Camel units, Genoese Crossbowmen, Ghulams, Paladins, Boyars, Monks
Upgrades
Hit points BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1, melee mode)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1, melee mode)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2, melee mode)
FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1, ranged mode)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1, ranged mode)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1, ranged mode)
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry (+1, ranged mode)
ParthianTacticsDE.png Parthian Tactics (+2 against Spearmen)
Range FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1, ranged mode)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1, ranged mode)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1, ranged mode)
Firing rate UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Paiks (+20%)
Accuracy BallisticsDE.png Ballistics (hit moving targets, ranged mode)
Armor PaddedArcherArmorDE.png Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
LeatherArcherArmorDE.png Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
RingArcherArmorDE.png Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
ParthianTacticsDE.png Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
Speed HusbandryDE.png Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
Upgrades Elite-unique-research.jpg Elite Ratha

Team bonuses[]

Trivia[]

  • Ratha is the Indo-Iranian word for a spoked-wheel chariot or cart.
  • Though the Ratha is the first unit in the game that can switch between melee and ranged attack, this same feature had been considered at different times during the development of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, for the unique unit of the Japanese (Samurai) and the Persians (provisionally called "Multipurpose Cavalry").
  • While in melee mode, the Ratha fights with a Khanda sword.
  • The Ratha is the only Cavalry Archer (only in ranged attack) that does not have access to Thumb Ring.
  • Since Rathas have melee and ranged modes, the Ratha is the unit that requires the most upgrades in all the game in order to have it fully upgraded even surpassing the Bulgarian Konnik.
  • Melee Ratha Line of Sight is increased by the Fletching line of upgrades, just like the ranged version.
  • The Ratha is the only unit to possess both melee attack type and archer armor class. Before the release of Dynasties of India, the Mameluke originally also possessed the same trait.
  • Along with the Plumed Archer and Kipchak, the Ratha is one of the few Castle unique units whose Elite upgrade costs no gold.

Bugs[]

  • The melee Ratha does not benefit from the Tatar team bonus.

History[]

Though chariots declined in India from around 300 B.C., their high cultural and religious significance prevented their abandonment despite being less effective in battle than mounted cavalry and elephants, and would be deployed alongside them. They were last used in war during the Muslim invasions of the 8th century.[1]

Gallery[]

Video[]

ELITE_RATHA_(Melee)_vs_EVERY_UNIQUE_UNIT_(Total_Resources)_-_AoE_II-_Definitive_Edition

ELITE RATHA (Melee) vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Total Resources) - AoE II- Definitive Edition

ELITE_RATHA_(Ranged)_vs_EVERY_UNIQUE_UNIT_(Total_Resources)_-_AoE_II-_DE

ELITE RATHA (Ranged) vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Total Resources) - AoE II- DE

ELITE_RATHA_(Melee_+_Ranged)_vs_EVERY_UNIQUE_UNIT_(Total_Resources)_-_AoE_II-_DE

ELITE RATHA (Melee + Ranged) vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Total Resources) - AoE II- DE

References[]

  1. Cotterell, A. (2010). Chariot: The Astounding Rise and Fall of the World's First War Machine. Random House.
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