|This article is about the siege weapons in Age of Empires II. For the armor class, see Armor class: Siege weapon. For siege weapons in other games of the series, see Siege unit.|
Siege weapons in Age of Empires II are one of the four combat forces on land, the other ones being archers, infantry, and cavalry. They are powerful units that excel at destroying enemy buildings or massed units.
Siege weapons first become available in the Castle Age (excluding the Cumans), and most upgrades are only available in the Imperial Age. They are mainly built at the Siege Workshop, but some (Trebuchets, Petards, and unique siege weapons) are created at the Castle.
Siege weapons are the most diverse class of military units in the game. Some attack at close range, like rams, and others at mid-to-long range, like Trebuchets (which are the longest ranged units in the game); some are suicide units, like Petards; and one, the Siege Tower, has no attack, and is used to ferry foot units over walls instead.
Siege weapons that are predominantly organic (Petard, Ballista Elephant, Flaming Camel, and Armored Elephants) cost food and gold to create, can be garrisoned in Castles (but not in other Siege Weapons), and are healed by Monks. Those that are mechanical, on the other hand, cost wood and gold, and have to be repaired by Villagers in a similar manner to buildings and ships. Repairing siege weapons costs gold. Bombard Cannons and Organ Guns belong to the second category despite having a visible human operator, unlike non-gunpowder siege weapons.
In general, siege weapons are the most expensive units and take longest to train. Bombard Cannons and Flaming Camels also require Chemistry and Timurid Siegecraft to be researched before becoming available, respectively. The Houfnice is a unique upgrade of the Bombard Cannon that is only available to the Bohemians in the Imperial Age.
All siege weapons are slow and vulnerable to melee units, even if they can attack at close range. As a result, they should be protected by other units or fortifications.
Depending of their use, siege weapons can be broadly divided into those whose main purpose is to destroy buildings, and those that excel against enemy units.
- Rams and Armored Elephants have high pierce armor, attack at close range, and deal great damage to buildings, but their attack against units is negligible (excluding other siege weapons). Since The Conquerors, rams can improve their speed and anti-building attack by garrisoning infantry units.
- Petards are suicide units that deal great damage to buildings in a radius, but their effect on units is limited. Their attack is triggered even if they are killed before reaching their objective.
- Trebuchets shoot powerful projectiles at very long distances. Though they may kill individual units in one hit, they are unlikely to because of their missing rate and slow rate of fire (excluding, to some extent, other Trebuchets). They also have to be packed to move and unpacked to shoot, and have a minimum range.
- Mangonels shoot projectiles at mid-range that cause area damage, allowing them to hit several massed units at once. They are less effective against buildings because they are outranged by all fortifications except garrisoned Town Centers, and can also damage units belonging to the same player or an ally (for example, rams and melee troops attacking the same enemy as the Mangonel).
- Scorpions and Ballista Elephants shoot projectiles with the ability to damage several units in a line, but cause little damage to buildings.
- Organ Guns and Hussite Wagons are gunpowder units like Hand Cannoneers, but fire volleys that can hit multiple units in quick succession.
- Flaming Camels are suicide units, but contrary to Petards, their attack bonus is against Cavalry, and their effect on buildings is limited.
- Bombard Cannons fire powerful projectiles at a range only surpassed by Elite Cannon Galleons and Trebuchets. Unlike the latter, it is also mobile enough to hit slow or massed units, and can dodge enemy projectiles to some extent.
- Siege Towers have no attack of their own (since The African Kingdoms), but have high pierce armor and can garrison foot units, then unload them on the other side of a wall. As the transported units will be used to attack units or buildings behind the wall, Siege Towers can be considered indirectly useful against both. In The Forgotten, Siege Towers also fired arrow volleys like the Longboat, but their main purpose was still to protect and transport troops.
- Flamethrowers shoot a stream of fire similar to Fire Ships that is damaging to buildings and units alike. However, because they are Scenario Editor-only units, they cannot be upgraded and eventually become ineffective against both.
Trebuchets, Mangonels, and Bombard Cannons can be ordered to attack ground, even when there are no enemy units in place at the time. This makes possible to hit units arriving later at a spot (for example, after being lured there or while in patrol), and (excluding Trebuchets) to kill units belonging to the same player or to an ally without having to change Diplomacy first (for example, if they get stuck in a bottleneck).
Trebuchets, Onagers (since The Forgotten), Siege Onagers, and Ballista Elephants can also be ordered to destroy trees, making them the only units able besides Villagers. This can be of high strategic importance in maps with dense forests, e. g. Black Forest.
Marked with yellow background are unique units.
|Elite Organ Gun||70||+||2||6||3.45||9||0.85||0||80||70||21||1|
|Elite Ballista Elephant||290||9||0||3||5||2.5||7||0.8||100||0||80||25||1|
|Elite Hussite Wagon||250||+||1||10||6||3.45||8||0.8||0||110||70||21||1|
|Bloodlines||Stable||28||Increases HP of Flaming Camels and siege elephant units by +20|
|Husbandry||Stable||35||Increases speed of Flaming Camels and siege elephant units by +10%|
|Scale Barding Armor||Blacksmith||39||Increases armor of siege elephant units by +1/+1|
|Chain Barding Armor||Blacksmith||38||Increases armor of siege elephant units by +1/+1|
|Plate Barding Armor||Blacksmith||28||Increases armor of siege elephant units by +1/+2|
|Forging||Blacksmith||All||Increases attack of Armored Elephants by +1|
|Iron Casting||Blacksmith||All||Increases attack of Armored Elephants by +1|
|Blast Furnace||Blacksmith||36||Increases attack of Armored Elephants by +2|
|Siege Engineers||University||27||Increases range (except for rams and suicide units) by +1 and attack against buildings by(except for Armored Elephants)|
|Chemistry||University||All||Increases attack of non-gunpowder ranged siege weapons by +1 and enables creation of Bombard Cannon|
|Heresy||Monastery||24||Converted machines die instead of changing color|
|Faith||Monastery||38||Increases conversion resistance|