The Only AOE2 Counters Guide You'll Ever Need (2022) (2023)

Age of Empires 2 is a complex game where each military unit has a role to play in battle; each military unit is a counter for another unit and may be countered by another unit. See our counter guide below to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each unit and how each unit functions as another unit’s counter.

How to Counter the Standard Units in AOE2


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The militia-line are infantry units. The militia-line includes militia, man at arms, long swordsmen, two-handed swordsman and champions.

Militia can be countered by the archer-line, knight-line, hand-cannoneers and massed scorpions.

Militia counter trash units (skirmishers, spearmen, scouts) and eagle warriors.


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The archer-line is a ranged, high attack, low HP unit in the archer class. The archer-line includes Archers, Crossbow and Arbalest

Archers can be countered by skirmishers, siege or eagle warriors.

One particularly effective method of dealing with archers or crossbows is by using a few rams patrolled in front to soak up damage, while other units attack. Archers that are on patrol naturally attack the closest unit until that unit is killed, and then attack the next closest unit, meaning that archers require lots of micro to win-out against this strategy.

The archer-line is effective against infantry and even cavalry when they reach a critical-mass.


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The knight-line is a cavalry unit. The knight-line includes knights, cavaliers, and paladins.

(Video) Let's fix the original AoE2 counters guide!

It can be countered by spearmen (although they beat spearmen one on one), monks and archers when those archers have a critical mass, and typically when they are crossbowmen. As knights are very expensive, it can be difficult or there can be a delay to massing them – this is why monks are the ideal counter.

Knights are a high hp, high armor and high attack unit, and are relatively easy to use. Knights are very effective against skirmishers, siege, infantry (other than spearmen) and hand cannoneers. Knights also are an effective unit to raid an opponents economy, as they usually can stand up to town-center fire where other cavalry units struggle, and have high mobility.


The spearman-line is an infantry trash unit. The spearman-line includes spearman, pikeman and halberdiers.

Spearman can be countered by archers, skirmishers, militia, scorpions or hand cannoneers. Generally speaking, anything that is not cavalry will counter the spearman, however mangonels may struggle if the spearman closes the distance and gets into the minimum range.

Spearman are an anti-cavalry unit. While scouts with bloodlines are the strongest units in feudal aggression, spearman on scouts will deal the highest damage that any unit can deal on another in the feudal age. Spearman are relatively cheap to produce and to upgrade and is essential in most games that go into the late game.

As with all the three trash units, spearman are countered by one trash unit (the skirmisher) and counters one trash unit (the scouts).


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The skirmisher is an archer trash unit.

Skirmishers are countered effectively by the knight-line, scout-line, eagle warriors, siege and militia-line. This is as, although they have high pierce armor, they lack melee armor, are low hp and have a minimum range, rendering them unable to attack melee units.

Skirmishers are an anti-archer unit however, they have significant bonus damage to archers and have additional pierce armor which assists in defending from them.

Like all trash units, skirmishers excel against one trash unit (the spearmen-line) but are weak against another (the scout-line).


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(Video) Beginner guide to counters in AoE2

The scout-line are cavalry trash units. The scout-line includes scouts, light cavalry, and hussars.

Scouts can be countered by spearman or militia, knights, or massed archers.

Scouts are very effective against monks as they have a conversion-resistance and deal bonus damage to monks. Scouts are also effective against skirmishers and is an ideal cheap raiding unit to damage an opponents economy due to its mobility. Since it is a trash unit with high hp and pierce armor, scouts are often used as what is called a “meat-shield” to assist with ranged units dealing damage but not taking damage, ensuring the ranged units behind can have a net-positive production increasing the changes of an effective snowball.

As with all trash units, scouts are effective against one form of trash unit (skirmishers) but struggle against another (the spearman).


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Monks are an interesting unit. Monks require intense micro to use, as they cannot convert enemies unless tasked to do so. For this reason, skirmishers, the archer-line, and spearman-line are effective against monks, as they are a unit that has low HP (reducing the damage of a single conversion) and by their nature are generally massed to be effective. The Scout-Line is particularly effective against monks due to additional bonus damage that monks take from them, and also due to the fact that scouts benefit from conversion resistance.

Monks can change the tide of a battle. In particular, they are effective against the knights and especially effective against any form of elephants, due to the low mobility of the elephants, high HP and attack of each elephant increasing the worth of conversion, and the fact that they are so expensive that massing elephants are difficult.

Where a civilization also receives redemption, monks are also highly effective against mangonels, scorpions and bombard cannons, which can be converted from the distance. This is due to the fact that siege is very expensive to mass, and therefore the value of the conversion is increased.


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The eagle-line is a fast-moving infantry unit only available to the Meso-American civilizations. The eagle-line includes eagle scouts, eagle warriors and elite eagle warriors.

In the early ages of the game, eagle scouts are similar to the scout cavalry, however it becomes a very strong unit with the eagle warrior upgrade. Eagle warriors excel in raiding and fighting archer units. Eagle warriors also have some conversion resistance.

Eagle warriors can be countered with the militia-line, Hand Cannoneers, siege, and slingers. Knights can take cost-effective trades against them.

Eagle warriors counter archers, monks and are excellent at raiding economies.

(Video) TheViper vs Jordan Showmatch Arabia and Land Nomad #ageofempires2


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Camels, also known as camel riders since the release of Definitive Edition, are cavalry units used for anti-cavalry purposes.

Camels can be countered with the spearman-line, monks, or the archer-line. Camels also take more damage from defensive buildings than other cavalry units.

Camels excel against cavalries such as the knight-line and scout-line. Camels can also be used against skirmishers and for raiding, although other units may be more cost-effective for raiding.

Cavalry Archers

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The Cavalry Archer is a high mobility, high attack unit useful for raiding or when massed. Cavalry Archers are their own class of units, and benefit from the archer armor and attack upgrades in the blacksmith.

Cavalry archers can be countered by skirmishers, siege and eagle warriors. Monks can also counter cavalry archers if they are not yet massed, as monks have an additional 3 range to cavalry archers, and 6 after block printing is researched. Spearman also has bonus attack against them, however they are not the best unit to counter cavalry archers due to their low pierce armor, hit-and-run micro and due to the extra attack parthian tactics give cavalry archers against the spearman.

Cavalry archers excel against most infantry due to their pierce damage and hit-and-run capabilities. They can also counter cavalry when they reach a critical mass. Cavalry archers are one of the best units in the game for raiding an opponent, especially in the opponent’s tradeline.

Hand Cannoneers

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Hand Cannoneers are a gunpowder unit only available in the imperial age. They excel as an anti-infantry unit and should be used to counter infantry units such as the militia-line, Eagle Warriors, and spearman-line. They have very high attack, and can perform reasonably well against the scout-line, knight-line, or camels but their low accuracy results in them often underperforming in low numbers.

The best counter for hand cannoneers is skirmishers, as they are cheap, easy to mass, and have bonus damage against hand cannoneers. Siege such as onagers or scorpions is also very effective. Massed cavalry works well, provided that the cavalry is able to fully surround the hand cannoneers.

Battle Elephants

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Although the Battle Elephant is the strongest non-unique unit in the game, it struggles due to its slow speed to get an effective engagement with an enemy army. As a result, Battle Elephants work very well in closed maps when you have locked off options for the opponent to decide where you can force a fight in one location. Battle Elephants are classed as a cavalry unit, which has an elephant sub-class.

(Video) Best Aggressive Civilizations | AOE2 DE Tierlists (September 2022)

Battle Elephants are strong against any unit they can reach. In a one-on-one trade, they will beat their traditional counter, the spearman-line, although it is not cost-effective. They are stronger than the knight-line and have decent pierce armor and high HP to negate archers and get in close, where archers do not use hit-and-run technique.

Because of the low mobility of Battle Elephants, they are easily countered by the archer-line and Cavalry Archers that effectively kite Battle Elephants. The spearman-line is also very effective at countering Battle Elephants, especially considering how easy the spearman-line is to mass and how cost-effective the trade is.

The best unit to counter Battle Elephants is monks. As Battle Elephants are slow, Faith is a very expensive technology after making Battle Elephants, many civilizations with Battle Elephants do not have Heresy, and Battle Elephants are so expensive, gifting a couple of Battle Elephants to your opponent can easily change the outcome of a battle in their favor.


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The Ram is a siege unit. Rams deal the most amount of damage to enemy buildings and fortifications of all siege units. It may also not be obvious on the surface but Rams also counter archer units, on the provision that the rams are combined with another unit. This is as rams have a very high HP and especially high pierce armor. Where rams are placed in between an enemy army of archers and your own, what can happen unless the opponent is using micro the whole fight is that the enemy archers target your rams, which are able to soak up many arrows, whilst you are able to whittle away at their numbers.

To counter rams, use any infantry or cavalry unit, the Onager-Line, Bombard Cannons, or even villagers. Rams have -3 armor, so any form of melee damage will do very well in countering them.


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The Onager-Line are siege units. The Onager-Line deals high damage to units within its area-of-effect, the trade-off being that all units, including your own, or allied units, can also be damaged in the area-of-effect attack.

The Onager-Line deals bonus damage against buildings, and are particularly effective at sieging town centers, as they have outrange town centers. The Onager-Line counters archer units generally, provided that the player cannot dodge the shots with micro. The Onager-Line is also great at countering rams and scorpions, being capable of dealing with a mass of scorpions with one or two volleys. The Onager-Line also counters enemy Onagers and Mangonels.

Bombard Cannons, Cavalry units and redemption monks counter the Onager-Line. Where a player has these units available, either find a way of quickly dispose of those units or simply do not make onagers, as they are countered much too effectively. Mangonels and Onagers are often used to counter your own Mangonels or Onagers. Micro, or hill-bonus, can be used to ensure that you receive an optimal trade.

AOE2 Counter Chart (Standard Units)

Some may find the information in the below counter chart easier to digest when it comes to which Age of Empires 2 units counter which.

UnitGood AgainstWeak Against
Militia-LineSkirmishers, Spearman-Line, Eagle Warriors, ScoutsArchers, Knights, Cavalry Archers, Hand Cannoneers
Archer-LineMilitia-Line, Spearman-Line, Knights (when in mass), MonksEagle Warriors, Skirmishers, Siege
Knight-LineMilitia-Line, Archer-Line (in equal numbers), Scout-Line, Siege, Eagle WarriorsMonks, Archer-Line (when at number disadvantage), Spearman-Line, Cavalry Archers (when at number disadvantage), Camels
Spearman-LineScout-Line, Knight-Line, Camels, Siege, Battle ElephantsArcher-Line, Cavalry Archers, Hand Cannoneers, Skirmishers
SkirmishersSpearman-Line, Archer-Line, MonksKnight-Line, Militia-Line, Camels, Scout-Line, Siege, Eagle Warriors,
Scout-LineSkirmishers, Monks, Siege, Archer-Line (in the early game in equal numbers)Knight-Line, Camels, Cavalry Archers, Archer-Line (in the late game unless at a greater amount), Militia-Line, Eagle Warriors
MonksKnight-Line, Battle Elephant, Camels, Siege (when redemption is available)Scout-Line, Eagle Warriors, Archer-Line, Skirmishers, Spearman-Line
Eagle WarriorsArcher-Line, Skirmishers, Scout-Line (only when Eagle Warrior technology is researched), Monks, SiegeKnight-Line, Militia-Line, Hand Cannoneers
CamelsScout-Line, Knight-Line, Siege, SkirmishersMonks, Spearman-Line, Archer-Line
Cavalry ArchersSpearman-Line (with hit and run technique), Militia-Line, Knights (when in a greater mass), Camels (with hit-and-run technique)Skirmishers, Siege, Monks, Spearman-Line (without hit-and-run technique), Camels (without hit-and-run technique)
Hand CannoneersInfantry Units (Militia-Line, Eagle Warriors, Spearman-Line), Knights (when in mass), Scout-Line (in equal numbers), CamelsSiege, Skirmishers, Knight-Line, Scout-Line, Archer-Line
Battle ElephantsStrong against all units provided it can reach that unitSpearman-Line, Monks, Archers (with Hit-and-Run technique), Cavalry Archers (with hit-and-run technique)

Unique Unit Counters

Want to learn all about the unique units Age of Empires 2 has to offer, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how to counter each unique unit?

See our Unique Unit Counter Guide.

(Video) Berserkers or Goths champions ?


How to counter serjeants? ›

High-melee armor units, such as Teutonic Knights and Boyars can counter Serjeants pretty well. Jaguar Warriors and Samurai can be devastating due to their attack bonuses. Leitis can also counter Serjeants, since their melee armor is useless against them.

What units counter what aoe2? ›

The most basic soft counters are considered standard infantry, archers, and cavalry: Soft counter-cavalry: Hoplite, Ulfsark, Spearman, Murmillo, and the Halberdier. Soft counter-infantry: Toxotes, Chariot Archer, Arcus, and the Chu Ko Nu. Soft counter-archers: Hippikon, Raiding Cavalry, Contarius, and the War Chariot.

What beats skirmishers aoe2? ›

Skirmishers are very weak to everything except archers. With a weak and slow attack, as well as a minimum range, they deal almost no damage to infantry and cavalry.

What is good against infantry aoe2? ›

Units that excel at battle against infantry include Hand Cannoneers, Cataphracts, Slingers, Teutonic Knights, Jaguar Warriors, and Plumed Archers.

Why do the rifles spell sergeant with AJ? ›

Serjeant with a 'J' is an Old English spelling of the word, whilst the word with a 'G' is of French origin. Both come from the Latin 'serviens' – 'to serve' or 'servant'. In Medieval English the word is spelt in a variety of ways, with an 'I', 'G' and 'J', but predominately with a 'J'.

What is good against Teutonic knights? ›

Archers, Cav archers, Hand cannoneers, Scorps, Onagers, Monks. They're slow and don't have much pierce armour. Probably a few other things are cost effective against them too. Some Unique units like Samurai and Jaguar Warrior will also work.

What is the strongest unit in Age of Empires 2? ›

If you're talking about raw power, with equal numbers no other unit beats the elite persian war elephant (try it in the editor if you don't believe me.) If you want to consider cost effectiveness, how easy they are to train in large numbers and upgrade, how well you can micro them, etc.

Can you cheat at aoe2? ›

To use cheat codes in Age of Empires II, press Enter during game play to bring up a text box, enter the code and press Enter again. The codes are not case sensitive. All cheat units are spawned from the player's Town Center. Without a Town Center, no cheat units will appear even if the correct codes are typed.

Who is the best aoe2 player? ›

Top Player Rankings For Age of Empires II
Player IDPlayer Name
1.TheViperØrjan Larsen
2.LiereyyKai Kallinger
3.DauTDarko Dautovic
4.HeraHamzah El-Baher
77 more rows

Is Hera the best aoe2 player? ›

In the "Top 50 best Age of Empires 2 players of all time" ranking, which was published on in December 2020, Hera was voted in the 10th place by various other expert players.

Why are Franks so good aoe2? ›

Franks are already good with heavy cavalry, so with these new tech they can spawn Paladins at a greater rate; this technology plus Conscription enables the Franks to produce cavalry at a +86% speed rate, and it also works with the Huns team bonus (in a team battle) furthering this rate to a total of +123% creation ...

Can Onagers destroy trees? ›

Onagers can attack ground and destroy trees.

What is the fastest unit in aoe2? ›

For example, horseback cavalry units are usually the fastest units in a game, whereas siege units are among the slowest units available.

Are Japanese good in aoe2? ›

The Japanese are an infantry civilization and command what is arguably the strongest infantry of all civilizations, with all upgrades available plus a speed boost for their attacks which results in a very high damage output.

Are the Turks good in aoe2? ›

However, Turks are a top pick civilization for Arena map due to their options boosted by their gold mining bonus as well the free Chemistry and gunpowder bonuses, which allows them to push a Fast Imperial strategy, as well as rushes with their unique unit.

Do you address a sergeant as Sir? ›


“Yes” and “No” should always be accompanied with “Sir”/”Ma'am”. All NCOs will be addressed as “Sergeant” with the exception of the First Sergeant and Sergeant Major. They will be addressed by their title.

Why do The Rifles wear green? ›

They were the only British regiment to wear a green uniform rather than the standard red coatee. This was for camouflage, as the Rifles were supposed to take cover from the enemy rather than stand in line, and to use their accurate weapons to pick off enemy soldiers.

What happened to the 95th Rifles? ›

The unique skills of the 95th were considered too valuable to lose so the 95th, having seen distinguished service in the Napoleonic Wars, was taken out of line of the British Army and became the "Rifle Brigade" on 23 February 1816 (the number was reassigned eight years later to the newly formed county regiment of the ...

Why did the Teutonic Knights fail? ›

The Knights were expelled by force of arms by King Andrew II of Hungary in 1225, after attempting to build their own state within Transylvania and Pope Honorius III's papal bull claiming the Order's territory in Transylvania.

Were Teutonic Knights allowed to marry? ›

The full members of the Teutonic Order were also accompanied by the Halb-bruder (half-brother), who preferred to wear grey mantles instead of white, and thus were also called Graumantler. It is probable that many of these half-brethren didn't take their rigorous monastic vows, which in turn allowed them to marry.

Who won the Teutonic war? ›

(Reuters Life!) - Poland will mark the 600th anniversary on Thursday of the battle of Grunwald, one of medieval Europe's biggest and bloodiest battles. The battle, also known as the first battle of Tannenberg, was a major Polish-Lithuanian victory over the Knights of the Teutonic Order.

What is a good ELO Age of Empires 2? ›

1000 elo players are relatively very good at the game. It's just that the online playerbase of AoE2 is also really really good at it.

What kills elephants in Age of Empires 2? ›

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.

What is the best country in Age of Empires? ›

Age Of Empires 4: Every Civilization, Ranked From Worst To Best
  • 8 Holy Roman Empire.
  • 7 Delhi Sultanate.
  • 6 Abbasid Dynasty.
  • 5 English.
  • 4 Chinese.
  • 3 French.
  • 2 Rus.
  • 1 Mongols.
24 May 2022

What does 11 mean in aoe2? ›

What is 11? - YouTube

What does GG mean in aoe2? ›

gg : Good game - Originally used by defeated players to wish the winners. But now even used as synonym of inevitable defeat as in if he attacks, its gg :) hf: Have fun. gl : Good luck. drush, flush, crush : Dark , Feudal, Castle rush respectively.

How important is thumb ring aoe2? ›

Thumb Ring is a technology in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors available at the Archery Range upon reaching the Castle Age. Once researched, all archers (foot archers and Cavalry Archers) are able to fire faster and with 100% accuracy at non-moving targets (it does not affect gunpowder units).

Is Viper the best AOE player? ›


Becoming an active player in 2010, TheViper has won more tournaments than any other AoE2 player in history and is often considered to be the best AoE2 player of all time.

Who is the best aoe3 player? ›

Top Players of 2016 for Age of Empires III
Player ID% of Total
8 more rows

How many people still play AoE2? ›

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
MonthAvg. PlayersPeak Players
Last 30 Days13,193.322,423
August 202213,368.020,940
July 202214,661.822,862
June 202213,738.323,390
31 more rows

Did Hera quit AOE? ›

Hera to stop streaming AoE2/4, decides to focus on League of Legends.

Are Teutonic Knights good AoE2? ›

The Teutonic Knight is the most powerful infantry unit in the game. Fully upgraded, they have 100 HP, 21 attack, 13 melee armor, and 6 pierce armor. They can defeat fully upgraded Paladins more effectively than fully upgraded Halberdiers, but the latter are still much more cost effective against cavalry.

Are Slavs good AoE2? ›

The Slavic Monks are excellent offensively with every upgrade there. They lack Heresy and Faith and thus are vulnerable to conversion (Note: Faith was added in the Definitive Edition). Their defensive structures are below average but their faster farming is considered one of the strongest economic bonuses in the game.

Are Mayans good aoe2? ›

The Mayans are one of the strongest civilizations for open maps in both 1 vs 1 and team games as the flank, due to their solid economic bonus and their military units, which are durable for long battles (their Plumed Archers and Eagle Warriors with the El Dorado technology), but their archer line had the reputation of ...

Are the Byzantines good AOE 2? ›

The Byzantines are a very effective civilization for new players and beginners, mostly due to having a very open tech tree in all stages of the game for various areas and strategies. Also, they are one of only two civilizations that have both Paladins and Arbalesters.

Are Italians good aoe2? ›

The Italians have a 15% discount for advancing in ages which allows them to age up earlier. They are effective at booming since they have almost all economic technologies, and their Silk Road technology is very helpful in late game when all gold mines have been taken.

How far can an onager throw? ›

Its optimum range was estimated at about 130 meters. Although it might reach much further, by then the force of the impact would have been much reduced. The 2002 reconstruction managed to throw a 26 kg limestone ball 90 yards before the timber of the weapon disintegrated after its second shot.

Is a trebuchet stronger than a catapult? ›

Roughly speaking, a trebuchet has a few advantages over a catapult. First, it can handle heavier projectiles. A catapult's maximum weight tops out at about 180 pounds; trebuchets top out at about 350.

Can trebuchet destroy wall? ›

The trebuchet was one of the most devastating weapons of the Middle Ages. During medieval sieges, this destruction machine crushed castle walls. Using trial and error, medieval engineers adjusted the trebuchet to make sure its missile hit the castle wall—and destroyed it.

How is aoe2 score calculated? ›

In Age of Empires II, the score is the sum of military, economy, technology, and society scores. The military score is 20% of the resource value (cost) of all enemy units and building each player destroyed or converted.

What unit type is strong against cavalry? ›

Infantry troops have an innate advantage against Cavalry. They tend to be particularly strong defensively, although they also tend to have a low speed—this can make them a sub-optimal choice to send on missions to gather resources.

What counters camels AOE 2? ›

Overall, the most cost-effective counters to camels are halberdiers, arbalests, hand cannons, and heavy scorpions. Camels have no base pierce armor, so they are quite vulnerable to arrow fire.

Do elephants count as cavalry aoe2? ›

Upgrade time. The Battle Elephant is a cavalry unit in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas that can be trained at the Stable once the Castle Age is reached. It is a slow yet very powerful and resilient cavalry unit, in some way similar to the War Elephant, but weaker and cheaper.

What is a good ELO Age of Empires 2? ›

1000 elo players are relatively very good at the game. It's just that the online playerbase of AoE2 is also really really good at it.

Why are Franks so good AoE2? ›

Franks are already good with heavy cavalry, so with these new tech they can spawn Paladins at a greater rate; this technology plus Conscription enables the Franks to produce cavalry at a +86% speed rate, and it also works with the Huns team bonus (in a team battle) furthering this rate to a total of +123% creation ...

How much money has AoE2 made? ›

Age of Empires has earned $1 billion and sold 25 million units.

Is cavalry or infantry better? ›

Cavalry is faster than infantry but typically limited in numbers, it is very strong in an attack but useless in a defense. So all armies used both infantry and cavalry and the success of the battle largely depended of whether the advantages of both could be used in an optimal way.

How many times is the character 1 used from 1 to 99? ›

Steps to find out the solution:

From the range of numbers 0 to 99, the digit 1 appears 20 times.

Do any militaries still use cavalry? ›

Today, cavalry designations and traditions continue with regiments of both armor and aviation units that perform the cavalry mission. The 1st Cavalry Division is the only active division in the United States Army with a cavalry designation.

Is Hera the best aoe2 player? ›

In the "Top 50 best Age of Empires 2 players of all time" ranking, which was published on in December 2020, Hera was voted in the 10th place by various other expert players.

What kills Elephants in Age of Empires 2? ›

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.

Can Onagers destroy trees? ›

Onagers can attack ground and destroy trees.

What does 11 mean in AoE2? ›

What is 11? - YouTube

Are Slavs good AoE2? ›

The Slavic Monks are excellent offensively with every upgrade there. They lack Heresy and Faith and thus are vulnerable to conversion (Note: Faith was added in the Definitive Edition). Their defensive structures are below average but their faster farming is considered one of the strongest economic bonuses in the game.

Are Ethiopians good AoE2? ›

Their infantry is good, lacking the Champion but getting the Shotel Warrior instead. In addition, the Ethiopians get the Pikeman upgrade for free. Their cavalry is weak, lacking key units and technologies. Their navy is below average as well, lacking the Fast Fire Ship, Heavy Demolition Ship, and Elite Cannon Galleon.


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