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Elephant armed with a cannon. Good against artillery and buildings.
—In-game description

The Siege Elephant is an artillery unit in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Indians and can be trained at the Castle once the Fortress Age is reached, and the Agra Fort wonder once it is upgraded to Red Fort. It is an elephant with a siege cannon mounted on to its back.


The Siege Elephant is effective against buildings, ships and artillery. It is by far the most durable artillery unit of the game with the HP of a war elephant.

They have the advantage in mobility compared to many other artillery units as they don't need to stop and set up before following. This allows for quick and destructive attacks against enemy structures. They can also flee losing battles as they are faster than normal cannons – especially with the Terror Charge aura effect. However, despite its brutal strength, the Siege Elephant can fall if overwhelmed with hand cavalry units.

They are categorized as light cavalry, making Axe Riders less effective against them (until Bonepipe Armor is researched), but also making Skirmishers, Abus Guns, Fusiliers, and archers a large threat. They are also categorized as artillery, meaning that Culverins (or similar units) and ranged cavalry (especially Rifle Riders and Yabusame) counter them as well. Finally, being an artillery unit in general, they are countered by melee cavalry – certain ones such as Meteor Hammers and Kanya Horsemen possess powerful multipliers as well. In fact, the only class of units (apart from standard artillery, which Siege Elephants counter) which is quite poor against Siege Elephants is Pikeman-style units, which have very low base damage and no multipliers against Siege Elephants. Even Grenadiers and Flamethrowers perform quite well against them when in range.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Honored elephants.png Honored Siege Elephant 250 food,
250 wood
Upgrades Siege Elephants to Honored (+25% hit points and attack)
Imperial Age
Exalted elephants.png Exalted Siege Elephant 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrades Siege Elephants to Exalted (+50% hit points and attack, and +2 range and LOS); requires Honored Siege Elephant

Mansabdar Siege Elephant[]

Inspires all nearby Siege Elephants. Elephant armed with a cannon. Good against artillery and buildings.
—In-game description

The Mansabdar Siege Elephant is a stronger version of the Siege Elephant that can be trained from the Charminar Gate wonder. As a Mansabdar unit, the Mansabdar Siege Elephant has twice the hit points of a Siege Elephant and the Imperial Service ability that increases the hit points and attack of nearby Siege Elephants, but are two times more expensive.

Special ability[]

Imperial service.png Imperial Service (passive): The Mansabdar Siege Elephant increases the hit points and attack of Siege Elephants in a radius of 24 around them by 10%.

Further statistics[]

As (Mansabdar) Siege Elephants are unique to the Indians, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, artillery, ships
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry
Speed Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Terror Charge.png Terror Charge (-20%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-10%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As (Mansabdar) Siege Elephants are unique to the Indians, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


The Asian Dynasties[]

  • Siege Elephants cost 300 wood, 400 coin and have 29 Line of Sight.
  • Mansabdar Siege Elephants cost 600 wood, 800 coin, have 29 Line of Sight and cost 14 population.
  • Exalted Siege Elephant increases Siege Elephant attack and hitpoints by 50%.
  • The Professional Handlers card reduces the population cost of Siege Elephants by 1.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Siege Elephants cost 300 wood, 350 coin and have 34 Line of Sight.
  • Mansabdar Siege Elephants cost 600 wood, 700 coin and have 34 Line of Sight.
  • Exalted Siege Elephant increases Siege Elephant attack and hitpoints by 50%, and grants +2 range and line of sight.
  • With update 13088, the Professional Handlers card reduces the population cost of Siege Elephants by 2.
  • With update 20322, Mansadbar Siege Elephants cost 7 population.


  • Every time a Siege Elephant's cannon fires, the elephant pulls its head and trunk up during recoil.
  • Though the Siege Elephant is correctly depicted as an Asian Elephant, its portrait in the History section shows an African elephant instead. The same happens with the Brahmin's elephant mount and the Wild Elephant.


The training of elephants started in the Indus Valley located between India and Pakistan about 4,000 years ago. Elephants had many different military uses both on and off the battlefield. Females were often used as pack animals, while males were equipped and ridden into combat. The thickness of an elephant’s hide was natural protection against projectiles, such as arrows, while its incredible strength allowed it to trample incoming infantry and startle cavalry. Generals and officers often used elephants to gain a heightened view of the battlefield, enabling better tactical movement. The use of war elephants spread west from India as western rulers incorporated them into their armies. The most notable example of this was when the Carthaginian warlord, Hannibal, used war elephants against the Romans in 264 BCE.

While elephants were not very effective as siege weapons, many armies tried to capitalize on the beast’s strength or size when attacking enemy fortifications. In some instances, the elephant’s strength and tusks alone were enough to topple a wall. In other situations, light cannon, such as culverins, were mounted on the Howdah, or carriage, that was secured atop an elephant’s back.