|This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the unit in Age of Mythology, see Throwing Axeman (Age of Mythology).|
"Frankish unique unit. Infantry with ranged attack."—Age of Empires II description
Throwing Axemen can be upgraded to Elite Throwing Axemen in the Imperial Age.
The Throwing Axeman deal melee damage at range. That can be very useful, especially in dealing with most traditional anti-archer units (most prominently Skirmishers and Huskarls). Also, since Throwing Axemen have an attack bonus against buildings, they can be used in large mobs as a practical alternative to siege machines.
Throwing Axemen can destroy Rams quickly, without having to compromise defenses by opening Gates. They deal high damage for a ranged unit, particularly against buildings, and can take more hits than the average archer. However, their inferior range means that Throwing Axemen are vulnerable against melee units, siege weapons, and hit-and-run tactics employed by archers. They are not as vulnerable to Mangonels and Onagers as archers due to their higher HP (they require 2 shots to be taken down), but Siege Onagers will still kill them in one shot. Throwing Axemen, however, can kill said siege weapons easily due to their melee damage as long as they can avoid being hit and can close the gap. Heavy cavalry units such as Paladins are also quite effective against them, though Hussars are not a suitable choice against them.
It is not advisable to try to kite melee units using Throwing Axemen as they have a long frame delay.
Further statistics Edit
As Throwing Axemen are unique to the Franks, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Skirmishers, Halberdiers, Eagle Warriors, Rams, Trebuchets, buildings, Light Cavalry, Huskarls, Camels|
|Weak vs.||Archers, Jaguar Warriors, Hand Cannoneers, Conquistadors, Slingers, Boyars, Cataphracts, Samurai, Teutonic Knights|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
|Range||Bearded Axe (+1)|
|Armor|| Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Upgrades||Throwing Axemen can be upgraded to Elite Throwing Axemen|
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Throwing Axemen are created and upgraded 25% faster, and Conscription and Bearded Axe are researched 25% faster.
- A team containing Goths: Researching Tracking, Squires, and Arson is 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Throwing Axemen are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings Edit
- Throwing Axemen have 50 (60 for Elite) HP.
- Throwing Axemen move at a speed of 0.9.
- Non-Elite Throwing Axemen have a frame delay of 12.
- The upgrade to Elite Throwing Axeman costs 1,000F/850G.
The Conquerors Edit
The Forgotten Edit
- Non-Elite Throwing Axemen have a frame delay of 10.
- The upgrade to Elite Throwing Axeman now costs 1,000F/750G.
- Franks: Get Squires.
The African Kingdoms Edit
- Throwing Axemen now move at a speed of 1.
- Arson introduced.
- With patch 4.8, Throwing Axemen now have 60 (70 for Elite) HP.
- The throwing axe was not used by the Franks in the time of Saladin, Barbarossa, and Joan of Arc.
- In reality, the francisca was so named because it was used by the Franks (whose name means "spear," cognate with Church Slavonic prǫžь, "pole"), not the other way around. 
- In real-life, the francisca has only one blade, is much smaller, & lighter: its average length is 17 inches and weighs about 1.3 lb.
The Franks took their name from the axe that was their preferred weapon in ancient times. They continued to use the axe into the Dark Ages and their warriors were especially noted for their ability to throw this axe in battle. The axe was well balanced and could be hurled a good distance by a strong man. Franks carried several axes into battle, holding on to one for hand-to-hand combat. As they advanced they could pick up axes thrown previously to replenish their supply of missiles. Throwing axemen were especially good against light troops wearing little armor. Carrying axes was also useful for dismantling fortifications.
Video overview Edit
-  Etimology of francisca. Wikipedia