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Stronger than Long Swordsman. Cheap and quick to create.
Age of Empires II description

The Two-Handed Swordsman is an infantry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Barracks once the Imperial Age is reached. It is the fourth tier upgrade of the Militia line.

Two-Handed Swordsmen are available to all civilizations except for the Persians.


There really is not much to elaborate about the Two-Handed Swordsman as performance-wise it is very similar to its predecessor; despite the substantial improvements to stats it is not that big of a step up, and the same general strategies still apply.

Two-Handed Swordsmen are not seen very often because the Champion upgrade becomes available the moment the Two-Handed Swordsman upgrade is researched. It is mostly used in the early Imperial Age before the Champion upgrade comes in, or by the Huns, Ethiopians, Khmer, Malay, Bulgarians, Tatars, Gurjaras, and Mayans, since Two-Handed Swordsmen is the most they can get out of the Militia line due to lacking the Champion upgrade.

The Malay case is particularly interesting as one of their unique technologies is Forced Levy which changes the gold cost of the Militia line to food cost, including the Two-Handed Swordsman, making a swarm of these units a viable tactic in late game 'trash wars' where they easily defeat other trash units (Halberdiers, Hussars, and Elite Skirmishers).

Bulgarians also have quite effective Two-Handed Swordsmen, as they get all Militia-line upgrades for free and receive an additional +5 melee armor if Bagains is researched, giving them an advantage in early Imperial Age.

Gurjaras have the cheapest Two-Handed Swordsmen, thanks to their access to both Supplies and their unique technology, Kshatriyas, making their Two-Handed Swordsmen cost 30 food, 20 gold (which is even cheaper than the Goths' Champion in terms of total resources). Their Two-Handed Swordsmen are the weakest, however, as they lack Blast Furnace and Squires, meaning their Two-Handed Swordsmen should not be considered in their army composition, since they will lose in cost-efficiency trades with other civilizations' Militia-line units, and should instead use their unique unit and Hand Cannoneers to deal with enemy infantry for more cost-effective trades.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Skirmishers, Halberdiers, Camel Riders, Eagle Warriors, buildings, Light Cavalry
Weak vs. Archers, Scorpions, Cataphracts, Jaguar Warriors, Boyars, Hand Cannoneers, Conquistadors, Janissaries, Slingers, Teutonic Knights
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2)
ArsonDE.png Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Garland Wars (+4, Aztecs only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Druzhina (Slavs only, gives trample damage)
CastleAgeUnique.png Chieftains (Vikings only, gives +5 attack against cavalry and +4 against camels)
Armor ScaleMailArmorDE.png Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)
ChainMailArmorDE.png Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
PlateMailArmorDE.png Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
UniqueTechImperial-DE.png Bagains (+5 melee armor, Bulgarians only)
Speed SquiresDE.png Squires (+10%)
Sight TrackingDE.png Tracking (+2)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Perfusion (+100%, Goths only)
Train cost Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Forced Levy (Malay only, changes gold cost to extra food cost)
Suplliesicon.png Supplies (-15 food)
UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Kshatriyas (-25% food, Gurjaras only)
Upgrades Champion-research.jpg Champion

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Aztecs: Two-Handed Swordsmen are created 11% faster.
  • Bulgarians: Militia-line upgrades (except Champion) are free. Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Two-Handed Swordsmen cost -50% food.
  • Burmese: Two-Handed Swordsmen have +3 attack. Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts: Two-Handed Swordsmen move 15% faster. Two-Handed Swordsmen can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Two-Handed Swordsmen are 20% cheaper.
  • Goths: Two-Handed Swordsmen are 35% cheaper and have +3 attack against standard buildings.
  • Japanese: Two-Handed Swordsmen attack 33% faster.
  • Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace are free.
  • Malians: Two-Handed Swordsmen have +3 pierce armor.
  • Portuguese: Two-Handed Swordsmen cost -20% gold. Upgrades that benefit Two-Handed Swordsmen are researched 30% faster.
  • Sicilians: Two-Handed Swordsmen absorb 50% of all incoming bonus damage.
  • Slavs: Supplies is free.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Two-Handed Swordsmen cost no gold.
  • Tatars: Two-Handed Swordsmen deal +25% bonus damage from a cliff or an elevation.
  • Teutons: Two-Handed Swordsmen have +2 armor.
  • Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
  • Vikings: Two-Handed Swordsmen have +20% hit points.

Team bonuses[]


The Age of Kings[]

  • Two-Handed Swordsmen have 11 attack.
  • Two-Handed Swordsmen have +3 attack against standard buildings.
  • Two-Handed Swordsmen have 0/0 armor.
  • Goths: Two-Handed Swordsmen are 25% cheaper and have an extra +1 attack against standard buildings.

The Conquerors[]

The Forgotten[]

  • Two-Handed Swordsmen have 12 attack.
  • Two-Handed Swordsmen have +4 attack against standard buildings.
  • Two-Handed Swordsmen have +8 attack against Eagle Warriors.

The African Kingdoms[]

Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Vikings: With patch 5.7, Chieftains gives Two-Handed Swordsmen +4 attack against camels.
  • Malay: Forced Levy removes Two-Handed Swordsmen's gold cost.

Definitive Edition[]

Dawn of the Dukes[]


  • The Militia line is the only unit line in the game with more than three stages.
  • The Malay is the only civilization to have the Militia line (except the Champion) as trash units (once the Forced Levy is researched).
  • A fully upgraded Malay Two-Handed Swordsman with Forced Levy gets 16 attack, the highest of all trash units.
  • With all relevant technologies researched, Gurjaras have the cheapest Two-Handed Swordsman (in terms of total resources spent) in the game at 30 food, 20 gold (Goths have to pay 39 food, 13 gold instead). However, Gurjaras lack important infantry technologies like the Champion upgrade, Squires, and Blast Furnace.
  • All units of the Militia line have protective gloves except the Two-Handed Swordsman.
  • A fully upgraded Bulgarian Two-Handed Swordsman gets 9 melee armor, having the second highest melee armor of all infantry units and the third of all land units, being only beaten by the Elite Boyar with 11 melee armor and the Elite Teutonic Knight with 13 melee armor.


As armor improved, so did weapons. The two-handed sword was an innovation that allowed a man to swing with the power of both arms, not just one. This was a long and heavy sword, and it required a strong and well-trained man. The two-handed swordsman was a formidable adversary in hand-to-hand combat. Two-handed swordsmen used no shield and relied on the power of their attack to overcome an opponent's shield and armor. Although he struck fewer times, each swing had the potential of being a mortal blow, regardless of the armor and weapons of the defender.