“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.
Scorpions are effective against slower units such as infantry, archers, and Monks, where its slower-moving bolts have maximum efficiency. Scorpions perform poorly against Woad Raiders, Eagle Warriors, and cavalry, which can dodge its missiles and close the gap quickly, and Huskarls have very high pierce armor which can resist the Scorpion bolts. Scorpions, like most siege units, should be well protected, as their slow speed makes them very vulnerable to attack. They are often paired with Pikemen to deal with enemy cavalry. This combination is especially prominent with the Celts and Slavs. They can also be paired with Genoese Crossbowmen, which do a great job at protecting against cavalry and can also hold up 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 in the blink of an eye, and even hold out well against cavalry in sufficient numbers. However, Scorpions are vulnerable to longer ranged units such as Bombard Cannons and Longbowmen. When maneuvered properly, Cavalry Archers, especially Mangudai can deal with Scorpions efficiently. Mangonels are also very effective against Scorpions.
Comparison to the Mangonel Edit
- In most circumstances, a single Mangonel will do more damage than a Scorpion, but a Scorpion is significantly cheaper and attacks almost twice as fast. Scorpions do damage in a straight line while Mangonels attack a single, small area.
- Scorpions do not damage friendly units, but Mangonels do.
- Scorpion bolts reach their targets faster than Mangonel payloads.
- Mangonels have slightly more hit points.
- Scorpions need less micromanagement than Mangonels against AI since 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
|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||Furor Celtica (+40%, Celts only)|
|Attack|| Siege Engineers (+20% attack against buildings)|
Rocketry (+4, Chinese only)
Torsion Engines (increases blast damage radius, Ethiopians only)
Double Crossbow (gives a second projectile, Khmer only)
|Range||Siege Engineers (+1)|
|Armor||Ironclad (+4/+0, Teutons only)|
|Movement Speed||Drill (+50%, Mongols only)|
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Aztecs: Scorpions are created 18% faster.
- 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 15% less gold.
- Slavs: Scorpions are 15% cheaper.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Celts: Scorpions are created and upgraded 20% faster.
- A team containing Khmer: Scorpions have +1 range.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Chemistry and Siege Engineers is 80% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Scorpions are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings Edit
- 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
- Scorpions now have 7 range.
- Scorpions now have a frame delay of 7.
- Scorpions do not benefit from Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer anymore.
- Chemistry now gives Scorpions +1 attack.
- Heresy introduced.
- Celts: Furor Celtica introduced. It gives Scorpions +50% HP.
- Chinese: Rocketry introduced.
- Mongols: Drill introduced.
The Forgotten Edit
- Scorpions now have 7 pierce armor.
- Celts: Furor Celtica now gives +40% HP to Scorpions.
- Teutons: Ironclad introduced.
The African Kingdoms Edit
- Scorpion projectile size increased (fixes their lack of pass-through damage).
- 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 take extra damage from them due to having -3 melee armor. On top of that, Scorpions also have an attack bonus against Rams.
“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.