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Hunnic unique cavalry unit with attack bonus vs. buildings.
Age of Empires II description

The Tarkan is the unique unit of the Huns in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. It is a cavalry unit with high pierce armor and an attack bonus against buildings.

Tarkans can be upgraded to Elite Tarkans in the Imperial Age.

Tactics[]

In combat, Tarkans are best categorized as medium cavalry, something of a middle-ground between Light Cavalry and Knights, considering their cost, hit points, armor, and attack. The Tarkan's real specialty is destroying buildings, more of a mobile town destroyer rather than melee combat specialist like the Champion or the Paladin. As such Tarkans are effective against most ranged units, Light Cavalry, and buildings due to their high pierce armor and hit points.

Tarkans should be used for quick raids and hit-and-runs on buildings/towns/forward camps. They are able to knock down defensive buildings with relative ease and are capable of dealing with archers in a counter-attack. Tarkans are also useful in home defense scenarios in which the opponent sends siege weapons en masse. Tarkans should therefore be utilized as raiders both offensively and defensively due to their penchant for hit-and-run attacks.

Tarkans come up short against infantry, heavy cavalry, and Camel Riders. Another subtle disadvantage they have is their rather slow Rate of Fire, which makes them one of the slowest attacking melee units in the game.

Since the Huns have Paladins, Tarkans should be used to fulfill their main role, which is to destroy buildings. However, due to having 1 more pierce armor with only 10 hit points less than the Paladin, they can be used against archer civilizations as well.

Further statistics[]

As Tarkans are unique to the Huns, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Archers, siege weapons, Light Cavalry, buildings
Weak vs. Infantry, heavy cavalry, Genoese Crossbowmen, Mamelukes, Camel Riders
Upgrades
Hit points BloodlinesDE Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging aoe2de Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace (+2)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Speed HusbandryDE Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Kasbah (+25%, only for Castle-trained Tarkans with a Berber ally)
Other UniqueTechCastle-DE Marauders (allows creation at Stables)
Upgrades EliteUniqueUnitDE Elite Tarkan

Team bonuses[]

Changelog[]

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

  • Non-Elite Tarkans have 90 HP and 7 attack.
  • Tarkans have 2 pierce armor (3 for Elite).
  • Tarkans have 1.35 speed.

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

  • Non-Elite Tarkans have 100 HP and 8 attack.
  • Marauders technology introduced. It costs 500 food, 200 gold.

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • Marauders cost 300 wood, 200 gold.
  • With patch 4.8, Tarkans have 3 pierce armor (4 for Elite).

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]

Heroes[]

There is one hero in the game with the appearance of a Tarkan:

  • Jarl aoe2DE Jarl (only in the HD Edition)

Trivia[]

  • With a Rate of Fire of 2.1, the Tarkan was the slowest-attacking melee cavalry in the game before update 34055. Currently Konniks are slower, with a RoF of 2.4 (which can be improved by researching Stirrups).
  • Tarkan comes from Turkic tarqān "craftsman, smith < tax-exempt person" (cf. Mongolic darqan). It is similar to another word Tarkhan/Darqan which was used as a title among Turkic, Mongolic, and even Iranian steppe nomads.
    • Possibly from Sogdian tarxant, cf. Ossetian tærxon "argument, trial" < Proto-Indo-European telkʷ- "to speak".
    • Alexander Vovin instead links tarxa:n to Old Chinese *dar-ɦwa 單于 (> Mandarin. chányú), interpreted as a Yeniseian title meaning "northern ruler" (cf. Ket tɨl "Yenisei river's lower reach, north" and qɨj "head, prince"; the latter element Vovin also links to khan).
    • Historically, this title is not attested among European Huns. Chinese sources mentioned 悒達太汗 Yida Taihan, Tarkhan(s) of the Hephthalites, whom Procopius referred to as "White Huns".[1]
    • The title was also used by the Gokturks and Bulgarian Khanate. In all the sources the title "tarkan" was preceded by another morpheme, like "boila-tarkan" (Gr. βουλίας ταρκάνος) or "bori-tarkan" (Gr. Βοριτα(ρ)κάνωι).[2]
  • Prior to the Definitive Edition, Tarkans trained at the Castle and Stable were not selected together; that is, double-clicking either did not select the units trained at the other building. In the Definitive Edition, all Tarkans can be selected together via double-clicking.
  • Prior to the Definitive Edition, Tarkans produced a thud-thud sound, which was made much quieter in the remaster.

History[]

The use of the stirrup by the Huns gave them a technological advantage against other armies when they advanced toward the west in the 3rd century. They could set themselves in their stirrups and charge into a target with a lance. The impact of the lance point transferred the force of the combined moving man and horse, thanks to the stirrup. With rare exceptions (notably Alexander's Companion cavalry) horsemen prior to this had rarely been effective with a lance or spear. The appearance of thousands of barbarian cavalry using spears so effectively forced dramatic change in warfare at the end of antiquity. The Roman legions were forced to put more emphasis on cavalry in support of their legions and eventually hire barbarian horsemen as mercenaries. Heroes of Hunnic, and later Mongolian, armies were known as Tarkans.

The best of the Hunnic light horsemen were Elite Tarkan warriors. They rode hard, hit with surprise, and could withdraw as quickly if the situation was not advantageous. The mobility of the Elite Tarkan warriors made them devastating raiders, but their light cavalry status put them at a disadvantage against heavily armored horsemen in close combat.
The Conquerors manual

Despite what the official history section claims, there is no evidence, whether literary, pictorial, or archaeological, of the Huns using stirrups.

Gallery[]

Video[]

References[]

Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
Unique
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship
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