Light artillery that fires large arrowlike bolts.
Age of Empires II description

The Scorpion is a light siege unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Siege Workshop. The Scorpion fires large arrow-like bolts. It is effective against groups of enemy units as the bolts cause damage to multiple units in a straight line, although only the targeted unit gets full damage; all other units hit only get half damage. Unlike Mangonels, they do not damage friendly units. This can make all the difference in a pitched close quarters battle.

Tactics[edit | edit source]

Scorpion anim aoe2.gif

Scorpions are effective against slower, lower-health units, but they usually need to be used in large groups. Foot-archers are the primary exception to this, where a single Scorpion has a tactical advantage. Infantry and archers tend to be the units its slower-moving bolts have maximum efficiency against. Scorpions perform worse against Eagle Warriors, Woad Raiders, and cavalry, which can dodge its missiles and/or close the gap quickly, and Huskarls and Eagle Warriors, who have higher pierce armor which can resist the Scorpion bolts. Scorpions, like most siege units, should be well protected, as their slow speed makes them vulnerable to attack. They are often paired with Pikemen to deal with enemy cavalry. This combination is often seen with the Celts and Slavs, who have bonuses for both units. They can also be paired with Genoese Crossbowmen, which help protect them against cavalry, and can also assist against other units, unlike Pikemen.

When used properly, Scorpions can be quite devastating. A medium-sized group of Scorpions can decimate whole armies of infantry and archers, and will even hold out against cavalry in sufficient numbers. Scorpions tend to be countered by Mangonels. Khmer (and their allies' Scorpions) are less vulnerable to Mangonels, as their Scorpions outrange them. Scorpions are also vulnerable to longer ranged units such as Bombard Cannons and Longbowmen. When maneuvered properly, Cavalry Archers, especially Mangudai can deal with Scorpions efficiently.

Comparison to the Mangonel[edit | edit source]

  • Scorpions deal pierce damage, as opposed as the Mangonel's melee, which also has a bigger base attack and an effective Area of Effect damage, unlike Scorpions (although a army of Scorpions big enough can create some sort of pseudo AoE damage upon reaching critical mass).
  • Besides its superior damage per shot, Mangonels have bigger bonus damage against both buildings and siege.
  • The Mangonel can be upgraded to the Onager, increasing its range by +1. The same does not happen for the Heavy Scorpion.
  • Speaking of upgrades, the Heavy Scorpion upgrade does not cost gold and is 25 seconds faster than the Onager upgrade.
  • In most circumstances, a single Mangonel will do more damage than a single Scorpion, but as said before, Scorpions are significantly cheaper to create and attack almost twice as fast. This should be taken into consideration when fighting non-siege units.
  • Scorpions do damage in a straight line, while Mangonels attack a single, small area. The amount of total damage against a group of units will largely depend on formation and enemy micro.
  • Scorpions do not damage friendly units, but Mangonels do.
  • Scorpions have significant frame delay; Mangonels do not have frame delay.
  • Mangonels have slightly more hit points, but have 1 less pierce armor.
  • Scorpions have a minimum range of 2, while the minimum range of Mangonels is 3. This influences the unit's survivability.
  • Scorpion bolts reach their targets faster than Mangonel payloads, and are thus harder to manually dodge.
  • Scorpions need less micromanagement than Mangonels against AI, due to the latter, and also because computer controlled units will make a beeline for their target, ensuring that the Scorpion will hit them anyway.
  • Scorpions cannot attack ground, making them hard to micromanage against an agile unit. In contrast, a cleverly managed Mangonel may hit fast-moving units.

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, Villagers, slow-moving units, archers
Weak vs. Melee units at close range especially Magyar Huszars and other cavalry, Mangudai, Mangonels, Eagle Warriors, Woad Raiders, Huskarls, very long-ranged units
Hit points Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Furor Celtica (+40%, Celts only)
Attack Siegeengineers.jpg Siege Engineers (+20% attack against buildings)
Chemistry.jpg Chemistry (+1)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Rocketry (+4, Chinese only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Torsion Engines (increases blast damage radius, Ethiopians only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Double Crossbow (gives a second projectile, Khmer only)
Range Siegeengineers.jpg Siege Engineers (+1)
Armor CastleAgeUnique.png Ironclad (+4/+0, Teutons only)
Movement Speed Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Drill (+50%, Mongols only)
Conversion defense Faith.jpg Faith
Heresy.png Heresy
Upgrades Heavy-scorpion-research.jpg Heavy Scorpion

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

  • Aztecs: Scorpions are created 11% faster.
  • Bulgarians: Upgrading to Heavy Scorpions costs 50% less food.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts: Scorpions fire 25% faster. Scorpions can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Scorpions are 20% cheaper.
  • Portuguese: Scorpions cost 20% less gold. Upgrades that benefit Scorpions are researched 30% faster.
  • Slavs: Scorpions are 15% cheaper.
  • Tatars: Scorpions deal 50% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations.

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

Changelog[edit | edit source]

The Age of Kings[edit | edit source]

  • Scorpions have 5 range.
  • Scorpions have 6 pierce armor.
  • Scorpions have a frame delay of 0.
  • Scorpions benefit from Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer, gaining overall +3 attack and range of all three technologies.
  • Chemistry gives Scorpions +2 attack.

The Conquerors[edit | edit source]

The Forgotten[edit | edit source]

The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]

  • Scorpion projectile size increased (fixes their lack of pass-through damage).

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Scorpion is the only siege unit in Age of Empires II to have exactly one upgrade.
  • The Scorpion's model is actually based on the Ballista weapon.
  • The Scorpion is said to be effective against massed cavalry and fortifications in the Age of Empires II manual, though during gameplay it performs in the exact opposite way as Scorpions are too slow to deal significant damage to mounted troops and buildings take very little damage from them even when fielded in sizable groups.
  • Interestingly enough, Scorpions have a 0 melee damage value, meaning that Rams and Siege Towers take extra damage from them due to having -3 and -2 melee armor respectively. On top of that, Scorpions also have an attack bonus against Rams.

History[edit | edit source]

The scorpion represents a light artillery weapon that fired large arrow-like bolts, small stones, or iron balls. These weapons came in a variety of sizes and looked like large crossbows. Scorpions might be mounted on tripods or more substantial wooden frames. They were used primarily in siege attacks but could also be deployed in a set position on a battlefield. They were useful against massed enemy troops, especially cavalry, and against fortifications.
Age of Empires II manual description.

The Scorpion is based on the real-world Scorpio , and as such even reflects on its logistical aspects, being a cumbersome and expensive, and being limited to more of a Sniper-role than a Siege Weapon. Interesting enough despite it acting like a Scorpio, statistically and in-name, it's more of a Ballista. Interesting enough the Byzantines despite being the only civilization to use the Scorpio (until the Crusades where it had a comeback) during the majority of the Middle Ages do not gain access to the Heavy Scorpion.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video overview[edit | edit source]

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