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Anti-building cavalry unit. Resistant to most ranged attacks.
Age of Empires II description

The Siege Elephant is a cavalry unit in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India that is exclusive to the South Asian civilizations and takes the place of the Battering Ram line. As such, they are regional units. They are the Imperial Age upgrade to the Armored Elephant.

Despite being trained at the Siege Workshop, they are classified as cavalry units instead of siege units. As such, they are not affected by Siege Engineers (unlike Ballista Elephants) but benefit from Blacksmith upgrades, and can be converted by Monks without researching Redemption. However, Monks can convert them only at melee range like rams.

Civilization comparison[]

Much like other regional units, each civilization with access to the Siege Elephant has an unique set of bonuses and technologies, leading to the four civilizations' Siege Elephants each having distinct capabilities.

Note that Hindustani Siege Elephants are fully upgraded, yet do not benefit from any bonus or unique technology. As such, they are an ideal candidate to compare other civilizations' Siege Elephants to.


The Bengali Siege Elephant is exceptionally durable, taking -25% bonus damage (in practice they take even less bonus damage since they have positive cavalry and elephant armor) and resisting conversion. It also attacks 20% faster after researching Paiks, which improves its offensive power, but not enough to make it the most effective against buildings.


Dravidian Siege Elephants are somewhat flawed, due to their missing Bloodlines, Husbandry, and Plate Barding Armor. This makes their Siege Elephants slower and more fragile. However, they benefit from both Dravidian unique technologies. First, Medical Corps lets them slowly regenerate HP, helping them compensate for their lower HP and armor. Second, Wootz Steel lets them bypass units' melee armor when attacking. This is not enough to let them defeat most enemy units in a cost-effective manner, but it does make them better equipped at defending themselves against enemy infantry and cavalry than other Siege Elephants.


Gurjara Siege Elephants are the best at demolishing buildings, due to dealing +50% bonus damage. They also cost less food once Kshatriyas has been researched, and are created 20% faster due to the Gurjaras' team bonus. However, Gurjara Siege Elephants lack Blast Furnace, making them less well-equipped at defending themselves than other Siege Elephants.

Comparison among civilizations with all upgrades[]

Civilization Civ icon bengalis.png Bengalis Civ Icon Dravidians.png Dravidians Civ Icon Gurjaras.png Gurjaras CivIcon-Hindustanis.png Hindustanis (generic)
Cost 130 food,
95 gold
130 food,
95 gold
97.5 food
95 gold
130 food,
95 gold
HP 270 250 270 270
Attack 4+4 4+4* 4+2 4+4
Attack bonus +105 vs Building
+35 vs Siege weapon
+105 vs Building
+35 vs Siege weapon
+158 vs Building
+53 vs Siege weapon
+105 vs Building
+35 vs Siege weapon
Rate of Fire 2.5 3.0 3.0 3.0
Armor -2+3/150+4 -2+2/150+2 -2+3/150+4 -2+3/150+4
Speed 0.66 0.6 0.66 0.66
Training time 36s 36s 28.8s 36s
Extras 25% less bonus damage received
Resisting conversion
Regenerate HP
Ignoring Armor
HeresyDE.png Heresy -

Comparison to the Siege Ram[]

In-game, the Armored and Siege Elephants are considered cavalry with attack bonus vs Buildings, not Siege units. This has many implications, which changes the way the unit is used.

Firstly, rams cost wood, while Siege Elephants cost food. This matters, since food is harder to mass. Next, Siege Rams can garrison archer and infantry units for their protection. Garrisoned infantry units increase the speed of rams by 0.05 tiles/s/unit, taking them from 0.6 tiles/s to 0.9 tiles/s, capping their speed to that of a Militia without Squires. Siege Elephants, on the other hand, are capped at 0.66 tiles/s and +105 attack vs buildings. The infantry units also provide +10 attack vs buildings, which means the upper limit of the attack bonus of Siege Rams vs buildings is 300. Rams are repaired by villagers, but Siege Elephants are healed by Monks. Apart from being free, healing by Monks can be done from a safety of 4 tiles away. It also has a convenience factor of not having to bring a Villager to front line and risk losing it. This mechanic is specially useful on Arena, where Monk-siege pushes are very common.

Rams have -3 melee armor, making them take extra damage from melee units, and are especially weak to low-melee attack units like Chu Ko Nu, Scorpions, Kipchaks, Fire Galleys and Villagers. Siege Elephants have -2 melee armor, which increases by 2 or 3 by Cavalry Armor upgrades at the Blacksmith, thus negating these low-melee attack units as counters. The Siege Elephant has the exact same blast radius as that of a Capped Ram, which is 25% less than that of a Siege Ram. Rams, when attacking, only affect buildings and siege units in their blast radius. Siege Elephants, on the other hand, attack every unit and building with full force. Combining this with the above point, Siege Elephants (not Armored Elephants) become the counter of Villagers which are sent to destroy the regular siege weapons, especially rams.

Monks do not need Redemption to convert Siege Elephants. They do, however, need to be in the proximity of the Elephant unit. This is dangerous, since Siege Elephants have blast damage, and Monks have no armor to resist the low melee attack of the Elephant.

The difference in pierce armor only matters against Trebuchets. Siege Elephants take bonus damage from anti-cavalry and anti-elephant units, some of which is reduced. Siege Elephants do not benefit from Siege Engineers. This is a notable change, because Ballista Elephants do benefit from Siege Engineers. Siege Elephants attack every 3 seconds, while rams attack every 5 seconds. This means that Siege Elephants have almost 66% better damage output than shown (before taking armor into consideration). Siege Elephants can also be garrisoned inside Castles, unlike rams or any other Siege Workshop unit.


Both units cost almost the same amount of total resources (225 for Siege Elephant vs 235 for Siege Ram) and are trained in the exact same time. Siege Elephants with Bloodlines have the same HP as Siege Rams; despite having slightly different counters, they share weaknesses in Mangudai, Huszars, Eagles, Onagers, Heavy Cavalry and Heavy Infantry. Despite being usable against regular units, Siege Elephants prioritize attacking buildings, just like Rams.

Comparison with the Capped Ram and Siege Ram[]

Units Capped ram aoe2DE.png Capped Ram with Siege Engineers Minimal AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon.png Siege Elephant Siege ram aoe2DE.png Siege Ram without Siege Engineers
Cost 160 wood
75 gold
130 food
95 gold
160 wood
75 gold
HP 200 250 270
Melee Attack 3 4+2 4
Rate of Fire 5.0 3.0 5.0
Armor -3/190 -2+2/150+2 -3/195
Attack bonus +180 vs Building
+50 vs Siege weapon
+105 vs Building
+35 vs Siege weapon
+200 vs Building
+65 vs Siege weapon
Blast Radius 1.5 tiles with 100% effect against buildings and siege weapons

none against units

1.5 tiles with 33% effect 2 tiles with 100% effect against buildings and siege weapons

none against units

Speed 0.5 0.6 0.6
Training time 36s 36s 36s
Class Siege weapon
Ram (+1)
Cavalry (+8)
War elephant (+18)
Siege weapon
Ram (+2)
Siege weapon
Ram (+2)

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, Archers
Weak vs. Infantry, Flaming Camels, Cavalry, Mangudai, Onagers
Hit points BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2)
UniqueTechImperial-DE.png Wootz Steel (attack ignores armor, Dravidians only)
Firing rate UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Paiks (+20%, Bengalis only)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE.png Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE.png Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE.png Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Speed HusbandryDE.png Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy (Gurjaras only)
Train cost UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Kshatriyas (-25% food, Gurjaras only)
Other UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Medical Corps (regenerate 20 HP per minute, Dravidians only)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Bengalis: Siege Elephants take -25% bonus damage and are more resistant to conversion.
  • Gurjaras: Siege Elephants deal +50% bonus damage.

Team bonuses[]

  • A team containing Celts: Siege Elephants are created and upgraded 20% faster.
  • A team containing Gurjaras: Siege Elephants are created 25% faster.
  • A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Faith and Heresy is 20% faster.
  • A team containing Teutons: Siege Elephants are more resistant to conversion.


Pre-gunpowder siege weapons were uncommon in ancient India, and battering rams were possibly never used at all. Instead, cities and forts were taken by assault by employing elephants that had been taught to batter walls and gates. This training, called nagarayanam, is mentioned in the Arthashastra treatise of governance and statecraft. The Mahabharata also calls the elephants purabhettarah ("town-breakers") for the same reason.[1]





SIEGE ELEPHANT (Gurjaras) vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Total Resources) - AoE II- DE


SIEGE ELEPHANT (Dravidians) vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Total Resources) - AoE II- DE