Unique Unit Counter Guide

Unique Unit Counter Guide

As you already know, Age of Empires 2 is a complex game with many units that counter other units. We have already produced a Counter Guide to assist with generic units, their counters, and their strengths.

But every civilization also comes with its own Unique Units, special units accessible only to that civilization – so what counters them?

Well, to save you the time and effort of determining this yourself, we have made the below Unique Unit Counter Guide, which considers every civilization’s Unique Units’ strengths and weaknesses.

Before you get started below, we have a question for you!!

What Unique Unit in your opinion is the most overpowered Unique Unit?

To me, Mangudai are way too strong, especially when combined with Mongolian beefy hussars as a meat shield to counter any skirmishers. Let us know your thoughts by sending us a message!

How to Counter the Unique Units of Age of Empires 2

Jaguar Warrior

Jaguar Warriors

The Jaguar Warrior is the Unique Unit of the Aztecs. Jaguar Warriors are an infantry unit that deals bonus damage against other infantry units. Jaguar Warriors counter infantry and skirmishers.

Jaguar Warriors can be countered by the archer-line, Hand Cannonneers, the knight-line, or massed scorpions.

Camel Archers

The Camel Archer is the Unique Unit of the Berbers. The Camel Archer is a Cavalry Archer unit with an attack bonus against other Cavalry Archer units. This includes other Cavalry Archer Unique Units such as the Mangudai or War Wagon.

Camel Archers counter infantry, cavalry (when in high numbers), any other Cavalry Archer unit and are useful for raiding.

Camel Archers can be countered like other Cavalry Archer units – skirmishers, monks, massed cavalry, siege, or even spearman, provided they can bridge the gap and the Camel Archer does not use hit-and-run techniques.


Genitours are Unique Units available to the Berbers and their allies, and are essentially mounted skirmishers. The Genitour is a trash cavalry archer unit, which have extra mobility compared to the elite skirmisher, but have one less range and attack than the elite skirmisher.

They are strong against archers and spearman and cavalry archers, and hit and run tactics can be used with them, despite the damage being questionable.

They are countered by cavalry, siege, and swordsman.

Hussite Wagon

Hussite Wagon

The Hussite Wagon is one of the Unique Units of the Bohemians. It is a siege unit which reduces the damage of projectiles to allied units behind it by 50%. The Hussite Wagon deals a high attack, and has a very high HP, but similarly to all siege, lacks mobility. The Hussite Wagon counters archers, Cavalry Archers, Hand Cannoneers and infantry.

The Hussite Wagon is most effectively countered by redemption monks. Other notable counters to the Hussite Wagon are heavy cavalry and siege.



The Houfnice is one of the Unique Units of the Bohemians. It is a siege unit that is only available as an upgrade to the Bombard Cannon. Similarly to Bombard Cannons, Houfnice are exceptional at dealing with siege from a distance, especially as they largely outrange scorpions and onagers. They also can effectively deal with skirmishers, spearman, and archers from a distance as the Houfnice has a considerable area-of-effect, although there must be some defensive units or structure prohibiting spearman or skirmishers from reaching the Houfnice. The Houfnice is also very effective at sieging enemy buildings due to its considerable range and bonus damage to buildings.

The Houfnice, like its younger brother the Bombard Cannon, is countered by cavalry, and by archers that are constantly being micro’d.



The Longbowman is the Unique Unit of the Britons. They are long-ranged archer units, which are extremely strong in mass, especially when they are combined with some meat-shield, such as cavalry or swordsman.

Although they are countered by skirmishers, they can effectively hit and run skirmishers due to their extreme range advantage. They can also deal effectively with cavalry when massed. They are extremely effective against infantry and in maintaining a defensive fortification.

To counter longbowman, the secret is usually the use of siege rams to soak up arrows with their high pierce armor, combined with skirmishers and onagers, or cavalry in mass.


The Cataphract is the Unique Unit of the Byzantines. They are slow but powerful heavy cavalry units, which deal bonus damage against infantry, and do not take bonus damage from spearman or camels.

Although they are very strong, they are expensive and require a number of upgrades to be effective, which are expensive in themselves. Cataphracts are very effective at countering infantry and are a safe all-rounder unit to use when playing Byzantines, which may be complimented by cheap Byzantine camels or halberdiers.

Cataphracts can be countered by monks, by knights, and by massed archers.


Arambai are the Unique Units of the Burmese. They are high attack, mobile, dart throwing cavalry archers. They excel in high numbers and when being micro’d, but can be quite weak in patrolled battles. They are quite cheap to mass.

Arambai are highly effective against infantry, and can deal relatively effectively with cavalry.

Arambai are weak to archers and skirmishers, and when dealing with equal numbers of knights.

War Elephant

The War Elephant is the Unique Unit of the Persians. They are classified as a cavalry unit, despite their extremely slow speed, and are in the elephant sub-class. They are an extremely durable and powerful unit, but expensive and slow.

War Elephants are strong against any unit really where there is a fight forced. For example, at an enemy base, where the opponent has no choice but to fight, War Elephants are devastating. War Elephants can soak up many shots from archers or from siege and deal with them reasonably in a patrolled fight. They can deal with any cavalry unit and nearly all infantry.

War Elephants are countered hard by monks. Monks are effective at converting War Elephants, can convert from a safe distance that the slow elephant cannot reach, and even if a monk dies after a successful conversion, the value of the conversion is in favour of the monks player. It makes it even more difficult that Persians do not receive Faith or Heresy. Spearman units are also extremely useful, having an additional bonus against elephants on top of their usual bonus against cavalry, and are not nearly as costly. Archers or cavalry archers that are using hit-and-run tactics are also effective, provided the player with the War Elephant does not diversify their army from straight War Elephants.


The Tarkan is the Unique Unit of the Huns. Tarkans are a cavalry unit, somewhat comparable to knights, but with less damage and more pierce armour, and with a bonus against buildings.

The Tarkan is strong as a meat shield for hunnic cavalry archers, and is strong against any archer or siege unit, and for raids. As they can be trained at the stable after the unique tech Marauders, which allows them to benefit from the stable training time, and their elite research is cheaper than paladin, there is an argument to be made for them as the core hun cavalry unit, rather than using knights.

Tarkans are weak against spearman and other cavalry. They win out one on one against swordsmen, but given equal resources, a player using swordsmen would win out.


The Mangudai is the Unique Unit of the Mongols. Mangudai are a cavalry archer unit which fires extremely fast and has bonus damage to siege units. Mangudai in large numbers are able to stack in small spaces, making melee engagements extremely difficult if the player using Mangudai positions well.

Mangudai are extremely strong against every unit cavalry archers are ordinarily strong against: infantry, archers, cavalry when in large numbers, and for raiding an opponents economy. The same can be said for Mangudai, but that they are even more effective against cavalry, and are effective against siege.

Mangudai are countered by skirmishers, and masses of spearmen or cavalry that are able to take an effective trade, such as where the mangudai player is not using hit and run tactics. Onagers can also be very effective, but this is risky – essentially the onager shot must connect with the Mangudai, of which Mangudai may dodge with ease. Any onager will be killed very fast upon taking damage from a Mangudai. Monks can also be a great counter to Mangudai in low numbers.


The Huskarl is the Unique Unit of the Goths. It is a fast, high-pierce armour infantry unit with bonus damage against archers.

Huskarls are very strong against archers, hand cannoneers, trash, siege, and raiding. They are also pretty effective at taking out buildings due to the Gothic bonus.

Huskarls are weak against other infantry and against cavalry. Both scorpions and hand cannoneers are effective at attacking Huskarls, but must keep their distance, either by one-shot’ing Huskarls, or by having a meat shield.

Chu Ko Nu

The Cho Ko Nu is the Unique Unit of the Chinese. Cho Ko Nu are an archer unit that shoot multiple arrows in their volley.

Cho Ko Nu’s are effective against infantry, cavalry, rams, hand cannoneers and cavalry archers. As they shoot multiple arrows per volley, they are capable of dealing serious damage to siege unit.

Cho Ko Nu are weak against archers, onagers, and massed cavalry.


The Longboat is one of the Unique Units of the Vikings. The Longboat is comparable to a naval Cho Ko Nu mixed with a Mangudai, in that they shoot multiple arrows per volley and that they are extremely mobile, can stack on top of one another, and have a fast rate of fire.

Longboats are effective against galleys, fire galleys when the longboats are massed and using hit and run tactics, demolition ships, cannon galleons and land units.

Longboats are countered by defensive buildings such as castles and towers (especially with heated shot), and with large numbers of fire galleys, or with fire galleys used as meat shield for war galleys. Onagers can also deal considerable area of effect damage to Longboats if the opportunity presents itself.


The Berserk is the other Unique Unit of the Vikings. Berserks are a fast infantry unit with a high attack. They are stronger than a champion, with more attack and hp than the champion in the elite berserk, albeit they are more expensive and require a castle to be produced.

Berserks counter trash and most infantry. After Chieftains (the Castle Age unique tech), Berserks also counter cavalry.

Berserks are countered by archers, hand cannoneers, scorpions, and cavalry, where the viking player has not researched Chieftains.

Teutonic Knight

The Teutonic Knight is the Unique Unit of the Teutons. Teutonic Knights are powerful, extremely durable infantry units with high melee armor, however they are extremely slow.

Teutonic Knights counter trash, infantry, cavalry, and siege.

Teutonic Knights are countered by archers, cavalry archers, scorpions, hand cannoneers, and any elephant unit.

You may think using monks to convert Teutonic Knights is a good idea, however Teutons are given conversion resistance, so your monk will likely die before a successful conversion is made.

Plumed Archers

The Plumed Archer is the Unique Unit of the Mayans. Plumed Archers are mobile, high armored archer units.

Plumed Archers are effective at countering infantry, cavalry (when the Plumed Archers are massed), archers, and cavalry archers.

Plumed Archers are weak against siege and cavalry where the Plumed Archers do not position well, and the cavalry make a good engage.


The Kamayuk is one of the Unique Unit of the Incas. Kamayuks are infantry units which have an additional range on all melee units. They have a high attack and a reasonable amount of armour after Fabric Shields and their elite upgrade.

Kamayuks counters cavalry and elephants, trash and siege. They can deal reasonably well with cavalry archers, unless the cavalry archer is using hit and run tactics. The Kamayuk is not a counter to infantry units, but large groups of champions against large groups of Kamayuks will struggle, as the champions will bump and try to get into melee range, while the Kamayuks will be attacking.

Kamayuks are countered by archers, cavalry archers, scorpions, and hand cannoneers.


The Slinger is the other Unique Unit of the Incas. The Slinger is classified as an archer unit in every way, which is important to understand as it is basically a hand cannoneer available in the Castle Age. Unlike hand cannoneers, Slingers benefit from Thumb Ring, and Ballistics, and the blacksmith upgrades to archers.

Slingers are anti-infantry units. They counter infantry extremely well, but are not effective at fighting much else.

Slingers are countered by cavalry, archers, cavalry archers, siege and skirmishers.


The Conquistador is the Unique Unit of the Spanish. The Conquistador is a mounted gunpowder unit, featuring high attack and mobility. Conquistadors are classified under the cavalry archer class.

Conquistadors are effective against infantry, cavalry (when in mass), archers, hand cannoneers and cavalry archers.

Conquistadors are countered by skirmishers, being a cavalry archer unit, and siege. They also take serious damage from spearman, but usually can kite the spearman. Cavalry in mass can also be an effective counter. Monks can be moderately effective, as they have additional range over the Conquistador.


The Janissary is the Unique Unit of the Turks. Janissaries are powerful gunpowder units. They are comparable to the hand cannoneer, however their trade-off is less anti-infantry bonus attack, but with greater statistics.

Janissaries are strong against infantry, archers, cavalry archers, and cavalry (when the Janissaries are massed).

Janissaries are weak against siege and skirmishers. Cavalry can also cost effectively trade against Janissaries.

Throwing Axeman

The Throwing Axeman is the Unique Unit of the Franks. Throwing Axeman are ranged infantry, which deal melee damage, despite the range. They are relatively comparable to swordsman.

Throwing Axeman are strong against trash, infantry, siege, and cavalry (when in mass).

Throwing Axeman are weak against archers, hand cannoneers and cavalry archers.

War Wagon

The War Wagon is the Unique Unit of the Koreans. War Wagons are beefy cavalry archers, with lots of HP and pierce armour, and reasonably high attack, but expensive.

War Wagons counter infantry, archers, cavalry archers, hand cannoneers, and cavalry (when they are in a critical mass).

War Wagons are countered by skirmishers, however they can still effectively deal with skirmishers. Potentially the best counter to war wagons is siege, or a siege-halb composition.

Turtle Ship

The Turtle Ship is the second Unique Unit of the Koreans. They are an expensive, high HP, slow naval unit which shoot cannons dealing high damage at short range.

Turtle Ships are effective against galleons, cannon galleons and buildings.

Turtle Ships are countered cost effectively by fire ships.

Genoese Crossbowman

The Genoese Crossbowman is one of the Unique Units of the Italians. They are archer units, comparable to the crossbowmen, but with an attack bonus against cavalry.

Genoese Crossbowmen are strong against cavalry, elephants and infantry.

Genoese Crossbowmen are countered by skirmishers and siege. Archers are also cost effective counters to Genoese Crossbowmen.


The Condottiero is the other the Unique Unit of the Italians. They are also available to allies of the Italians. Condottieri are anti-gunpowder infantry, and are comparable to champions, but fast to train, move faster, and do not require the extensive upgrades required for champions.

Condottieri are anti-gunpowder units – they are strong against any gunpowder unit due to bonus attacks. They also feature the effectivity of champions in dealing with trash effectively.

Condottieri are countered by archers, cavalry archers, cavalry, and siege. Gunpowder is also effective at dealing damage to Condottieri, but they must be protected by a meat-shield.


The Coustillier is the Unique Unit of the Burgundians. They are a cavalry unit which, although weaker than knights, can charge up an attack by moving. The Coustillers charged attack is delivered as its first attack against a unit.

Coustilliers are strong against infantry, archers, hand cannons, siege and raiding.

Coustilliers are countered by cavalry, particularly camels. They are also countered by elephants, and by cavalry archers. Monks are also effective at countering Coustilliers.

Organ Gun

The Organ Gun is the Unique Unit of the Portuguese. Organ Guns are slow siege units that shoot powerful gunpowder missiles.

Organ Guns are extremely powerful in mass, and when massed, counter cavalry, archers, monks, cavalry archers, hand cannoneers, and elephants. Even without being massed, Organ Guns counter infantry.

Organ Guns are countered by all siege. Cavalry mixed with siege can be effective at dealing with Organ Guns. Monks are not a good counter, as redemption is required, and usually the organ gun will kill the monk prior to a successful conversion.


The Boyar is the Unique Unit of the Slavs. The Boyar is a heavy cavalry unit, with high armour.

Due to Boyars high armour, Boyars are an effective counter to cavalry, archers, siege, hand cannoneers, and infantry.

Boyars are countered by massed archers, by camels, spearman, or by cavalry archers that use kiting tactics.


The Serjeant is the Unique Unit of the Sicilians. The Serjeant is a heavy infantry unit. Serjeants are comparable to swordsmen at each age, except in Castle and Imperial Age where they are stronger than the Long Swordsmen and Champion, respectively. Serjeants can be produced at the Donjon from the Feudal Age, a defensive building Serjeants can also build.

Serjeants counter trash, infantry, and even archers (from the Castle Age, due to their high pierce armor and hitpoint increase in the Castle Age).

Serjeants are countered by hand cannoneers, cavalry archers, cavalry, siege, and archers, provided the archers have a meat-shield.


The Obuch is the Unique Unit of the Poles. The Obuch is a heavy infantry unit. The Obuch might just be the most overpowered unique unit out. They are incredibly tanky for an infantry unit, and can shred the armor of their opponents as they fight.

Obuch’s counter trash, infantry, and even cavalry, given even resources spent.

When fighting Obuch, our best advice to counter them is hitting them at range, whether that is by archers, hand cannoneers, or siege. Best to keep a distance.


The Leitis is the Unique Unit of the Lithuanians. The Leitis is a heavy cavalry unit. Leitis are able to ignore the armor of their opponents. Leitis cost less gold but more food than a knight.

Leitis are a niche unit, which can counter units with high armor, such as the Teutonic Knight, Serjeant, or Boyar. Because of their cost, given equal resources, they counter knights. Leitis also counter all units knights counter, such as swordsmen, siege, and archers in low to equal numbers.

Counter them like knights, with the halberdiers, massed archers, monks or camels.


The Keshik is a Unique Unit of the Tatars. The Keshik is a heavy cavalry unit. Keshiks generate a small trickle of gold as they fight. Keshiks are far cheaper than knights, at 60 food and 40 gold.

Keshiks are comparable in stats as knights. As such, Keshik counter all units knights counter, such as swordsmen, siege, and archers in low to equal numbers.

Keshik may be countered by halberdiers, massed archers, camels or monks.

Ballista Elephant

The Ballista Elephant is the Unique Unit of the Khmer. The Ballista Elephant is a siege unit. The Ballista Elephant is essentially an elephant scorpion. Although they have less range than the scorpion, they have much more health. Ballista Elephants are almost unstoppable when they are massed.

Counter the Ballista Elephants with massed heavy cavalry, siege, or redemption monks.

Ballista Elephants counter infantry, archers, light cavalry, cavalry archers, or heavy cavalry when massed.


The Kipchak is the Unique Unit of the Cumans. The Kipchak is a cavalry archer unit. Kipchaks shoot multiple arrows per volley, similar to a Chu Ko Nu. Their mobility is complemented by Cumans cavalry moving faster and an almost instant attack animation, lending greatly to kiting opponents.

Kipchaks may be countered with skirmishers, archers, onagers, scorpions, cavalry, or halberdiers if they get in close enough.

Kipchaks ordinarily counter infantry and rams, and cavalry and elephants when using hit-and-run tactics. Kipchaks also cost-effectively counter cavalry archers given they are cheaper than generic cavalry archers.


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