|“||Celtic unique unit. Exceptionally quick infantry.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
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.
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 (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
|Armor|| Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
Kasbah (+25%, with a Berber ally only)
|Upgrades||Elite Woad Raider|
- Celts: Woad Raiders move 15% faster. Woad Raiders can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades are researched faster.
- A team containing Goths: Researching Tracking and Arson is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Faith and Heresy are researched 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Woad Raiders are more resistant to conversion.
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.
- 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
- Arson introduced.
Dawn of the Dukes
- With update 56005, Non-Elite Woad Raiders have 10 attack.
- This unit is an anachronism, as the practice of using woad as face paint was done by the Picts roughly 1,000 years before the medieval period.
- The (Elite) Woad Raider is tied with the Celtic Condottiero as the second fastest infantry unit in the game, only behind an Elite Eagle Warrior with Squires.
|“||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.||”|