The Short Swordsman is a hand infantry unit in Age of Empires. Though it is superior to and fills the same tactical niche as the Axeman, it is not a direct upgrade but instead a separate unit. It wields a short sword as its main offensive weapon.

This unit is similar to the Axeman in that they have normal speed, no range, and average damage and health. They are poor units to use against Cavalry, being slow and not having enough hit points. They have a +5 bonus against Infantry, but usually get massacred by Academy units, due the Hoplite and related units having extremely powerful attack and very strong armor, making the Short Swordsman useful only against Tool Age infantry, or the equivalent light infantry in future Ages (this provided that they outnumber the enemy units).

Before the Definitive Edition it had a weapon upgrade prerequisite of Short Sword, which was itself dependent on Battle Axe. In other words, Clubman had to be upgraded for the Short Sword upgrade to appear. Once the upgrade was finished, Short Swordsman was available.

Upgrades[edit | edit source]

Tool Age[edit | edit source]

Bronze Age[edit | edit source]

Iron Age[edit | edit source]

Barracks Tree
Stone Age
Roman Barracks.gif
Tool Age
Bronze Age
Short Swordsman.gif
Short Swordsman
Broad Swordsman.gif
Broad Swordsman
Iron Age
LongSwordsman AoE icon.png
Long Swordsman

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

  • Roman: Short Swordsmen attack +33% faster.
  • Macedonian: Short Swordsmen have +2 line of sight and are four times more resistant to conversion.
  • Choson: Short Swordsmen get +15 hit points*.

Changelog[edit | edit source]

Age of Empires[edit | edit source]

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

  • Short Sword and Battle Axe are no longer required for Short Swordsman.
  • Choson Short Swordsmen get +15 hit points.

History[edit | edit source]

The short sword represents an evolutionary step in infantry weapons. The spear, mace, and axe were relatively easy to manufacture and use, but cumbersome in very close combat. Following the discovery of bronze during the Bronze Age, it became possible to manufacture swords and shields that were basically enlarged and strengthened knives. These were much easier to wield in hand-to-hand combat and improved the effectiveness of infantry who carried them. Short swords were carried as a second weapon by spearmen or pikemen, such as the Greek hoplites. The most famous short sword of antiquity was the gladius, or Spanish sword, adopted by the Roman legions from the Spanish allies of Carthage. The gladius was especially effective in the dense legion fighting formations that pressed tightly against their opponents and restricted movement.
—The Age of Empires manual

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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