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Elite Skirmisher
EliteSkirmisherIcon
Unit Information
Type Archer
Introduced In KingsIcon The Age of Kings
Civilization See description
Age Castle-age-reseach Castle Age
Trained At Archery-range-logo Archery Range
Training Time 22 seconds
Training Cost
Wood 35
Food 25
Statistics
Hit Points 35
Attack 3 pierce
Attack Bonuses +4 vs Archer
+3 vs Spearman
+2 vs Cavalry Archer
Rate of Fire 3.05
Frame Delay 5
Range 5
Minimum Range 1
Accuracy 90%
Projectile Speed 7
Melee Armor 0
Pierce Armor 4
Armor Classes Archer
Speed 0.96
Line of Sight 7
Unit Evolution
Upgraded From SkirmisherIcon Skirmisher
Upgrades To ImperialskirmishericonImperial Skirmisher
Upgrade Cost Imperialskirmisherresearch 300 Wood, 450 Gold
Upgrade Time 50 seconds

"Stronger than Skirmisher. Ranged unit equipped with armor vs. archer attacks."

Age of Empires II description

The Elite Skirmisher is an anti-archer ranged unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Archery Range once the Castle Age is reached. They have an attack bonus against archers and, as opposed to its predecessor, an extra attack bonus against Cavalry Archers. They also have increased hit points, attack power, and pierce armor. This makes Elite Skirmishers more useful against other ranged units even beyond the Castle Age.

Elite Skirmishers are available to all civilizations except for the Turks.

The upgrade to the Imperial Skirmisher is unique to the Vietnamese and their allies.

Tactics Edit

Skirmishers are very weak to everything except Archers, Hand Cannoneers, and Pikemen (to a degree). With a weak and slow attack, as well as a minimum range, they deal almost no damage to infantry and cavalry. Nevertheless, their attack bonus against archers can make them valuable against any archer-using opponent, especially if the player's civilization bonuses benefit infantry or heavy cavalry.

Unless created to retaliate against enemy archers, Elite Skirmishers make poor ranged support. Thus, training Elite Skirmishers should be avoided unless opponents are going heavy on archer units.

As Elite Skirmishers cost no gold, they are considered trash units and as such they become especially important in the late game when gold becomes scarce and players have to rely on wood and food economy. The Elite Skirmisher and its predecessor, the Skirmisher, were the only ranged trash units until the release of The African Kingdoms, where the Genitour was introduced. Elite Skirmishers also have a +3 attack bonus against Pikemen, allowing groups of them to quickly take out approaching Pikemen, but their minimum range still makes them vulnerable.

Further statistics Edit

Unit Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong vs. Archers
Weak vs. Melee units, siege units
Upgrades
Attack Fletching Fletching (+1)
Bodkinarrow Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Bracer Bracer (+1)
Chemistry Chemistry (+1)
CastleAgeUnique Atlatl (+1, Aztecs only)
Range Fletching Fletching (+1)
Bodkinarrow Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Bracer Bracer (+1)
CastleAgeUnique Atlatl (+1, Aztecs only)
CastleAgeUnique Yeomen (+1, Britons only)
CastleAgeUnique Andean Sling (eliminates the minimum range, Incas only)
Accuracy Thumb Ring Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)
Ballistics Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor Paddedarcherarmor Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Leatherarcherarmor Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Ringarcherarmor Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
CastleAgeUnique Pavise (+1/+1, Italians only in patches 4-4.7)
Conversion defense Faith Faith
Heresy Heresy
Creation speed Conscription Conscription (+33%)
Upgrades Elite Skirmishers can be upgraded to Imperial Skirmishers (Vietnamese and allies only)

Civilization bonuses Edit

  • Aztecs: Elite Skirmishers are created 15% faster.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Byzantines: Elite Skirmishers are 25% cheaper.
  • Celts: Elite Skirmishers can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Elite Skirmishers are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Elite Skirmishers don't cost gold.
  • Turks: Chemistry is free.
  • Vietnamese: Skirmishers have 15%/20% more hit points in the Castle/Imperial Age. Conscription is free.

Team bonuses Edit

Changelog Edit

The Conquerors Edit

The Forgotten Changes Edit

  • Britons: Yeomen moved to the Castle Age.

The African Kingdoms Changes Edit

  • Ethiopians: Initially, Elite Skirmishers fire 15% faster. With patch 4.8, that bonus was taken away and Elite Skirmishers no longer have an increased Rate of Fire.
  • Italians: Before patch 4.8, Pavise affects Elite Skirmishers. With patch 4.8, Pavise does not affect Elite Skirmishers anymore.

Trivia Edit

  • Skirmishers are the cheapest of all military units, tied with the Spearman line, costing only 60 resources and no gold.

History Edit

"In many Middle Age armies skirmishers were the rabble that was thrown in at the start of a battle and then often overrun by the heavy cavalry of both sides. A few armies trained elite skirmishers who could disrupt enemy formations, fall back, and support the main friendly fighting force from the sides. An army that could put elite skirmishers in the field to support its main army had an advantage over an army that did not. The Swiss, for example, often employed up to a quarter of their force in a skirmish role. Elite Swiss skirmishers supported the dense phalanxes of Swiss pikemen by disrupting enemy troops before the pikes made their attack. In an emergency, the skirmishers could take cover under the rows of pointed pikes and then stand up once more to engage a withdrawing enemy."

Gallery Edit

Unit Evolution: Skirmisher
SkirmisherIcon Skirmisher --> EliteSkirmisherIcon Elite Skirmisher --> Imperialskirmishericon Imperial Skirmisher

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