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Upgrade of the Chariot. Has high resistance to conversion. Causes trample damage to adjacen enemy units.
—In-game description in the Definitive Edition

The Scythe Chariot is an Iron Age cavalry unit in Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome. It is an upgrade of the Chariot and is only available to a few civilizations.

Before Return of Rome, it also needed Nobility to be researched at the Government Center.

Availability chart[]

Aoede scythe chariot available Available Aoede scythe chariot unavailable Unavailable
x indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Scythe Chariots, i.e. gets Metallurgy and Chain Mail Cavalry.
+ indicates that the civilization has at least one civilization bonus that benefits the combat strength of their Scythe Chariots.


The biggest advantage of the Scythe Chariot over the regular Chariot is that it can inflict trample damage, inflicting damage on units and buildings adjacent to the unit or building it is attacking. Thus, they can be a nice alternative to a War Elephant, preventing enemy Villagers from fleeing to a far location and restarting their town. As with its regular counterpart, the Scythe Chariot is twice as resistant towards enemy conversion.

Comparison among civilizations[]

Civilization Fully upgraded Babylonians Egyptians Lac Viet Palmyrans
Hit Points 138 138 184 138 138 138
Attack 9+7 9+7 9+7 9+7 9+4 9+4
Armor 1+6/0 1+6/0+1 1+6/0 1+6/0 1+6/0 1+4/0
Extras trained 25% faster

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Priests, archers, siege units
Weak vs. Most melee units
Hit points NobilityIcon Nobility (+15%)
Attack Toolworking Toolworking (+2)
Metalworkingicon Metalworking (+2)
Metallurgyicon Metallurgy (+3)
Armor Leatherarmorcavalryicon Leather Armor Cavalry (+2/+0)
Scalearmorcavalryicon Scale Armor Cavalry (+2/+0)
Chainmailcavalryicon Chain Mail Cavalry (+2/+0)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Babylonians AoE Babylonians: Scythe Chariots have +1 pierce armor.*
  • Egyptians AoE Egyptians: Scythe Chariots have +33% hit points.
  • Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet: Chariots are trained 25% faster.

Team bonuses[]

  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans: Upgrades that benefit Scythe Chariots are researched 30% faster.
  • Persians AoE Persians: Scythe Chariots are created 20% faster.


RomeIcon The Rise of Rome[]

  • Scythe Chariots have 2.0 blast radius, 2 armor, +7 damage vs. Priests, ×8 conversion resistance, and cost 1,200 wood, 800 gold to upgrade, which takes 150 seconds.
  • Chariots can be upgraded to Scythe Chariots only if Nobility is researched.

Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Scythe Chariots have 1.5 blast radius and +9 damage vs. Priests.
  • With update 38862, Scythe Chariots have 1 armor, no bonus damage vs. Priests, ×2 conversion resistance, and cost 1,400 wood, 1,000 gold to upgrade, which takes 200 seconds.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Researching Nobility is no longer required to upgrade Chariots to Scythe Chariots.
  • Scythe Chariots have 0.75 blast radius (affected area unchanged as tile sizes in Return of Rome are larger as well).
  • Team bonuses added, Palmyrans: Technologies benefiting Scythe Chariots researched 30% faster. Persians: Scythe Chariots are trained 20% faster.


There is one hero in the game with the appearance of a Scythe Chariot:


Chariots went out of favor by the beginning of the last millennium BC in favor of cavalry. But they did not disappear completely. Some armies continued to use them and they remained a symbol of prestige. To make chariots more effective and fearsome, scythe blades were attached to the axles. As the chariot moved, the blades rotated through the air. A foot soldier facing an oncoming Scythe Chariot faced the prospect of being ridden down by the horse, shot by an arrow, stabbed by the soldier on board, or hacked by the blades. This could be a terrifying weapon against broken troops trying to flee. Against steady veteran troops, however, the Scythe Chariot was still a chariot with inherent weaknesses. If the horses could be wounded, the chariot faltered. The Persians attempted to use Scythe Chariots against Alexander the Great, but the weapon made little impression on the disciplined phalanxes.
The Rise of Rome manual


  • Despite the historical note in the The Rise of Rome manual on Scythe Chariots mentioning that the Persians used them against the Macedonians, Persians in the game don't have access to them.
  • The unit has a shield in the original version, which was removed in the Definitive Edition.


Units in Age of Empires
CivilianReturnofrome female villager icon Villager · Returnofrome trade cart icon Trade Cart
OtherAoE2 DE priest icon Priest · Slinger-0 Slinger · Returnofrome artifact icon Artifact
Civilian ship1 Fishing Boat Fishing Boat · 2 Fishing Ship Fishing Ship
3 Trade Boat Trade Boat · 4 Merchant Ship Merchant Ship
InfantryClubman Clubman · AxemanAoEDE Axeman
Short Swordsman Short Swordsman · Broad Swordsman Broad Swordsman · AoE nuRoR Long Swordsman icon Long Swordsmen · Returnofrome legionary icon Legionary
HopliteDE Hoplite · AoE nuRoR Phalangite icon Phalangite · Returnofrome centurion icon Centurion
ArcherBowman aoe1de Bowman
Improved Bowman22 Improved Bowman · Composite Bowman Composite Bowman
Chariot Archer111 Chariot Archer
Horse Archer Horse Archer · Returnofrome heavy horse archer icon Heavy Horse Archer
EAICON DE Elephant Archer
CavalryScout-0 Scout
ChariotDE Chariot · ScytheDE Scythe Chariot
Cavalry111 Cavalry · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon Heavy Cavalry · Returnofrome cataphract icon Cataphract
War ElephantDE War Elephant · Returnofrome armored elephant icon Armored Elephant
Camel RiderDE Camel Rider
SiegeStone ThrowerDE Stone Thrower · CatapultDE Catapult · Returnofrome heavy catapult icon Heavy Catapult
BallistaDE Ballista · Returnofrome helepolis icon Helepolis
War Ship7 Scout Ship Scout Ship · 8 War Galley War Galley · 9 Trireme Trireme
Catapult Trireme Catapult Trireme · Returnofrome juggernaut icon Juggernaut
10 Fire Galley Fire Galley
5 Light Transport Light Transport · 6 Heavy Transport Heavy Transport
Scenario Editor-only units
Short Swordsman Chieftain · Donkey caravan aoe2DE Donkey · Clubman Explorer · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon General · AoE2 DE priest icon High Priest · Returnofrome horse icon Horse · HeavyCavalryDE Mercenary (removed) · Penguin aoe2DE Penguin · AoE2 DE priest icon Pharaoh · 5 Light Transport Raft · Returnofrome artifact icon War Chest