Age of Empires Series Wiki

Celtic unique unit. Exceptionally quick infantry.
Age of Empires II description

The Woad Raider is the unique unit of the Celts in Age of Empires II. It is a quick infantry unit with an attack bonus against standard buildings that is produced very quickly.

Woad Raiders can be upgraded to Elite Woad Raiders in the Imperial Age.


The Woad Raider is one of the fastest infantry units in the entire game, only outsped by Elite Eagle Warriors with Squires. Because of this, they are very effective as a raiding unit. The standard variant has fairly similar stats to the Long Swordsman; the elite variant is most comparable to the Champion. Apart from speed, the Woad Raiders generally cost slightly more gold and more food if Supplies is researched, but have more hit points and attack in both cases, though at the cost of 1 melee armor.

Due to their high attack and HP they can hold their own against most infantry, though they pale in comparison to cavalry and stronger variants of infantry. They are also effective against siege weapons and are useful for destroying meddling Trebuchets. However, as with most infantry, their durability in battle is a drawback as they have weak armor. They are somewhat fragile to other unique infantry, mainly Teutonic Knights, Samurai, and Jaguar Warriors. As infantry units, they also struggle against heavy cavalry and massed archers.

Further statistics[]

As Woad Raiders are unique to the Celts, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Skirmishers, Halberdiers, Eagle Warriors, siege weapons, buildings, Light Cavalry, Huskarls
Weak vs. Archers, Jaguar Warriors, Hand Cannoneers, Janissaries, Conquistadors, Slingers, Paladins, Cataphracts, Boyars, War Elephants, Battle Elephants, Samurai, Berserks, 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)
Armor ScaleMailArmorDE.png Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)
ChainMailArmorDE.png Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
PlateMailArmorDE.png Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
Sight TrackingDE.png Tracking (+2)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
CastleAgeUnique.png Kasbah (+25%, with a Berber ally only)
Upgrades Elite-unique-research.jpg Elite Woad Raider

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Celts: Woad Raiders move 15% faster. Woad Raiders can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.

Team bonuses[]


The Age of Kings[]

  • Woad Raiders train in 16 seconds.
  • Woad Raiders move at a speed of 1.03.
  • Woad Raiders have 0 pierce armor.
  • Non-Elite Woad Raiders have 8 attack.

The Conquerors[]

  • Woad Raiders now train in 10 seconds.
  • Woad Raiders now move at a speed of 1.2.
  • Woad Raiders now have 1 pierce armor.
  • Heresy introduced.

The African Kingdoms[]

Definitive Edition[]

Dawn of the Dukes[]



Woad is a plant found in the British Isles from which a blue pigment can be extracted. Celtic warriors painted themselves with this pigment prior to battle to look more fearsome and unnerve their enemies. Celtic warriors had been raiding more developed areas of Britain and Europe since ancient times. The Scots, for example, were originally Irish raiders who took lands from the Picts in north Britain that became Scotland. When the English sought to conquer the Celts inhabiting Ireland, Wales, and Scotland during the Middle Ages, the Celts were at a great disadvantage against the English mounted knights. The Celts often turned to guerrilla tactics, raiding English settlements and withdrawing before English armies arrived. Raiders painted with woad devastated the borderlands. A renowned woad raider was William Wallace of Scotland who rampaged through Northern England for a decade.