|This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. For the unit in other games of the series, see Slinger.|
|“||Inca unique unit. Ranged unit with attack bonus vs. infantry.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Slinger is the second unique unit of the Incas in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, the first being the Kamayuk. It can be trained at the Archery Range once the Castle Age is reached. It is an anti-infantry ranged unit.
Unlike most unique units, Slingers do not have an Elite version.
Slingers have an attack bonus of +10 against infantry. That makes them powerful early anti-infantry units, as they can defeat most infantry that come close enough. They are also one of the best archers at dealing with Huskarls. However, Huskarls can be a devastating threat for Slingers themselves in the close range due to their attack bonus against archers. Another potential risk is the Samurai, provided they can close in, as they have a huge attack bonus against unique units combined with an already quick and massive attack.
In some ways they behave similarly to the Hand Cannoneer, but they are cheaper, available from the Castle Age, and fire more accurately as they are affected by Ballistics and Thumb Ring. When fully upgraded with Bracer, they have more range than their gunpowder counterpart, but still significantly less attack (although they do benefit from Chemistry). Hence, unlike Hand Cannoneers, Slingers are not as effective as Hand Cannoneers against any other unit, especially against cavalry.
Like Skirmishers, they have a minimum range, and this remains a problem unless Andean Sling is researched at the Castle. Note that their projectile speed is lower than Hand Cannoneers and most archers. This makes them harder to micro intensively and more vulnerable to archers used by a skilled opponent.
Slingers can be used alongside Kamayuks and Eagle Warriors, each countering the other's weakness. Kamayuks counters cavalry, Eagle Warriors counters archers and siege weapons, and the Slinger counters the eagle-threatening infantry. This is a very gold-intensive army, however, and can be difficult to mass.
As Slingers are unique to the Incas, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Infantry, Villagers|
|Weak vs.||Skirmishers, Scorpions, Mangonels, Huskarls, cavalry, Genitours, Rattan Archers|
|Attack|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
|Range|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Andean Sling (eliminates the minimum range)
|Accuracy|| Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)|
Ballistics (hit moving targets)
|Armor|| Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)|
Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
Fabric Shields (+1/+2, since The African Kingdoms)
|Speed||Couriers (+10%, only in The Forgotten)|
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Conscription, Andean Sling, and is researched 25% faster.
- A team containing Britons: Slingers are created 20% faster. Researching Thumb Ring is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching upgrades at the Blacksmith is faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Faith and Heresy is 20% faster.
- A team containing Magyars: Slingers have +2 Line of Sight.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Chemistry and Ballistics is 80% faster.
- A team containing Saracens: Slingers have attack against standard buildings.
- A team containing Teutons: Slingers are more resistant to conversion.
- Slingers require a Castle.
- Slingers have an attack of 5.
- Couriers gives Slingers +10% movement speed.
The African Kingdoms
- Slingers no longer require a Castle.
- Slingers reskinned.
- Couriers gives Slingers +1/+2 armor instead of +10% movement speed.
- Slingers have an attack of 4.
- Couriers renamed Fabric Shields.
- The Slinger is one of the few unique units that do not have an Elite upgrade, the others are the Imperial Skirmisher, Imperial Camel Rider, Missionary, Condottiero, Flaming Camel, Flemish Militia, and Houfnice.
- The Slinger's design might have been partially inspired by Guamán Poma's depiction of Pachacuti as such.
- Historically, Slingers were generic skirmishers fielded by not only Incas but also Aztecs and Mayans, among other various Meso-American civilizations; in contrast, Eagle Warriors were exclusive to Aztecs. Still, developers sometimes favored gameplay considerations over historical accuracy, resulting in the Slingers' in-game uniqueness & the Eagle Warrior's in-game genericity.
- Its shield resembles the Inca civilization icon and they, alongside the Leitis, the Magyar Huszar, and the Serjeant, are the only units whose shields are also civilization icons.