|This article is about the unit in Age of Mythology. For the similar unit in Age of Empires II, see Throwing Axeman (Age of Empires II).|
The Throwing Axeman is a Norse ranged infantry unit in Age of Mythology and the only one there is. It is the Norse counter-infantry unit and the only ranged human unit they have, as they lack dedicated archers. However, this is no longer the case in Tale of the Dragon, the addition of the Bogsveigir filling that role.
Upgrades and God Bonuses
- Huntress Axe (Skadi) increases attack by 20%.
- Axe of Muspell (Titans Expansion) triples attack against flying units
Odin enables Throwing Axemen to regenerate, at 0.8 hp/s when idle.
Loki makes them train 10% faster.
- Eyes in the Forest (Loki) increases Line of Sight by 3.
- Medium Infantry, Heavy Infantry and Champion Infantry all increase LOS by 1 and attack by 10%, and increase hit points by 10%, 15% and 20% respectively.
- Copper Weapons, Bronze Weapons and Iron Weapons increase attack by 10%.
- Hammer of the Gods (Thor) increases attack by 10%.
- Copper Mail, Bronze Mail and Iron Mail decrease hack vulnerability by 10%.
- Meteoric Iron Mail (Thor) decreases hack vulnerability by 10%.
- Copper Shields, Bronze Shields and Iron Shields decrease pierce vulnerability by 10%.
- Dragonscale Shields (Thor) decreases pierce vulnerability by 10%.
- Levy Longhouse and Conscript Longhouse decrease training time by 20%.
The main strength of Throwing Axemen is their distinctive ranged hack attack. It allows them to destroy many units with low hack armor such as siege weapons and many flying units. They are even better against flying units thanks to the Axe of Muspell technology. They also deal considerable damage to buildings, even over obstacles such as walls. When behind cover, they can tear into cavalry and simply slaughter other infantry units.
Without cover, Throwing Axemen are considerably weaker as they have low hit points and can easily be cut down by faster units such as cavalry. Also, despite what the game literature says, the Throwing Axeman is weak against other counter-infantry such as the Hypaspist and the Axeman, losing in one-to-one fights against them. However, their greatest weakness is against archers, especially ranged counter-archers, all of which have a large attack bonus against Throwing Axemen.
We know little about how warriors fought using throwing axes, but we do know that at least one Norse/Germanic tribe, the Franks, derived their name from a knife or axe that they apparently threw in battle. It is possible that they threw one weapon just prior to joining hand-to-hand combat, at which point they switched to another axe or sword. Throwing a weapon just prior to close fighting may have wounded and shaken many of the enemy just before the moment of contact, giving an initial, and perhaps decisive advantage to the throwers.