|This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the armor class, see Armor class: War elephant. For the unit in other games of the series, see War Elephant.|
“Persian unique unit. Slow, powerful, strong, and well-armored cavalry.”—Age of Empires II description
The War Elephant is the unique unit of the Persians in Age of Empires II. It is a slow yet very powerful and resilient cavalry unit with an attack bonus against buildings. War Elephants deal trample damage.
War Elephants can be upgraded to Elite War Elephants in the Imperial Age.
Although War Elephants are tough and durable, they move slowly and are vulnerable to units that deal damage at long range as a result. As cavalry units, they are vulnerable to enemy Pikemen, though it will take a larger group to take them down. Their slow speed also makes them vulnerable to Cavalry Archers, though it will take a while for the archers to kill them due to their high health and decent pierce armor. Mamelukes, with their high speed and anti-cavalry bonus, are an effective method of fighting War Elephants. Because they are big, move slowly and only have melee attack, siege weapons can be effective. Scorpions particularly do +6 (+8 for Heavy) bonus damage to War Elephants. Mangonels are effective against them, because the massive Elephants can hardly dodge the projectiles. They can be easily converted by enemy Monks, especially as the Persians do not have access to Heresy, so they should always be deployed with a ranged or a Light Cavalry escort.
However, if the specific units required to counter them are dealt with, War Elephants are virtually unbeatable. This, coupled with their high durability, makes them excellent for pitched battles. It also aids them in knocking down buildings and defenses which they are virtually immune to.
Further statistics Edit
As War Elephants are unique to the Persians, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Buildings, melee units|
|Weak vs||Pikemen, Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Mamelukes, Camels, Cavalry Archers, Monks|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
|Speed|| Husbandry (+10%)|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Upgrades||Elite War Elephant|
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, War Elephants are created and upgraded 25% faster, and Conscription and Mahouts are researched 25% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: War Elephants are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings Edit
- Only Elite War Elephants deal trample damage.
The Conquerors Edit
Rise of the Rajas Edit
- Both non-Elite and Elite War Elephants now deal trample damage.
- With 620, Elite War Elephants by far have the highest HP of all units.
- With 24, Elite War Elephants have the strongest attack of all units outside of the siege and gunpowder section.
- This version of the War Elephant is the only one which does not have a rider in the entire series.
- The Persian Empire did not use war elephants at the time of the Saladin, Genghis Khan, and Barbarossa campaigns.
- However, when the Mongol army invaded Samarkand, the Khwarezmian army deployed war elephants against the Mongols, but got defeated by them using catapults.
- Interestingly, despite the manual's claim that the Persians "got their elephants from India," the unit itself appears to depict an African elephant, as indicated by the large ears. African elephants have larger ears than Indian elephants. This is most likely because African elephants are more recognizable to most people than Indian elephants.
- As can be seen in this video, War Elephants seem to have a strange ability to randomly dodge arrows that same-sized units do not have (similar to the dodge chance of the Knight).
“The last civilization in the Middle East to employ war elephants was Persia, who got their elephants from India. The war elephant was a powerful complement to an army, especially against troops with no experience against them. They were very difficult to kill, but remained difficult to control also. If they could be directed into an enemy formation, the enemy troops almost always fell back in disarray.”