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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the unit in Age of Empires III, see Skirmisher (Age of Empires III).
Skirmisher
SkirmisherIcon
Unit Information
Type Archer
Introduced In KingsIcon The Age of Kings
Civilization All civilizations
Age Feudal-age-reseach Feudal Age
Trained At Archery-range-logo Archery Range
Training Time 22 seconds
Training Cost
Wood 35
Food 25
Statistics
Hit Points 30
Attack 2 pierce
Attack Bonuses +3 vs Archer
+3 vs Spearman
Rate of Fire 3.05
Frame Delay 5
Range 4
Minimum Range 1
Accuracy 90%
Projectile Speed 7
Melee Armor 0
Pierce Armor 3
Armor Classes Archer
Speed 0.96
Line of Sight 6
Unit Evolution
Upgrades To EliteSkirmisherIcon Elite Skirmisher
Upgrade Cost Elite-skirmisher-research 200 Wood, 100 Gold
Upgrade Time 50 seconds

"Ranged unit equipped with armor vs. archer attacks."

Age of Empires II description

The Skirmisher is an anti-archer ranged unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Archery Range. Skirmishers are similar to the Slinger in Age of Empires.

Tactics Edit

Skirmisher00
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. However, their attack bonus against archers can make them valuable against any archer-using opponent, especially if the player's civilization's bonuses benefit infantry or heavy cavalry. Their anti-archer role is helped greatly by their impressive base pierce armor.

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

As 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 a wood and food economy. However, because of their cheap cost and quick build time it is possible (in some circumstances) to overwhelm the opposition with sheer quantity.

Although Skirmishers deal bonus damage against Spearmen, their minimum range can be exploited by them. In small numbers, Spearmen can defeat Skirmishers, but in large groups the Skirmishers will win.

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 Skirmishers can be upgraded to Elite Skirmishers

Civilization bonuses Edit

  • Aztecs: Skirmishers are created 15% faster.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Byzantines: Skirmishers are 25% cheaper.
  • Celts: Skirmishers can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Skirmishers are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Skirmishers don't cost gold.
  • Turks: Chemistry is free.
  • Vietnamese: Skirmishers have 10%/15%/20% more hit points in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. Conscription is free.

Team bonuses Edit

Changelog Edit

The Age of Kings Edit

  • The Elite Skirmisher upgrade costs 250W/160G.

The Conquerors Edit

The Forgotten Changes Edit

  • Britons: Yeomen moved to the Castle Age.

The African Kingdoms Changes Edit

  • With patch 4.8, the Elite Skirmisher upgrade now costs 200W/100G.
  • Ethiopians: Initially, Skirmishers fire 15% faster. With patch 4.8, that bonus was taken away and Skirmishers no longer have an increased Rate of Fire.
  • Italians: Before patch 4.8, Pavise affects Skirmishers. With patch 4.8, Pavise does not affect Skirmishers anymore.

Trivia Edit

  • Skirmishers are the cheapest of all military units, tied with the Spearman line, costing only 60 resources and no gold.
  • With 2, the Skirmisher has the weakest base attack of all land units, along with the Battering Ram.
  • With 30, the Skirmisher also has the fewest hit points of all military units, tied with the Archer, the Gbeto, and the Karambit Warrior.

History Edit

"Many armies of the Middle Ages used lightly armored skirmishers in support of the main fighting force of armored fighting men. They could be difficult to control and of little value on the battlefield, but some armies used them effectively. Skirmishers were deployed in front of the main battle line and engaged the enemy with bows, slings, and javelins. The intent was to disrupt the enemy force and cause casualties before the main battle lines clashed. The skirmishers would retire to the side of the main battle and harass the enemy as practical. They could also be useful in pursuit of a beaten enemy because they could move more quickly than men wearing armor. If caught in battle against men-at-arms, however, they could not stand and routed quickly."

Skirmishers were Infantry or even Cavalry soldiers who were used ahead or alongside a much larger body of friendly troops and were put in a skirmish line to harass the enemy or to protect their own troops from similar attacks by the enemy. They were usually lightly armored so they could move around the battlefield quickly and usually had longer ranged firearms. In earlier battles, skirmishers were often the rabble that was thrown into the battlefield at the start of a battle before being overrun by the cavalry of both sides. As warfare evolved, however, skirmishers became a valuable commodity, harassing fleeing armies and capturing loot.

Gallery Edit

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

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