|Cost|| 55 Food,|
|Upgraded To||Elite Throwing Axeman|
|Cost to Upgrade||1000 Food |
Like most other unique units, Throwing Axemen are available at the Castle beginning in the Castle Age. They are unique in the sense that their attack, though listed as melee, actually inflicts damage at a range (throwing their axe). Although they only have a short range, this attribute can be very useful, especially in dealing with most traditional anti-archer units with high piercing armor. Also, Throwing Axemen have an attack bonus versus buildings.
Throwing Axemen can destroy Battering Rams quickly, without having to compromise defenses by opening gates. They deal high damage for a ranged unit, particularly towards 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 by archers. Throwing Axemen fall in the infantry class, despite their ranged attack. The Throwing Axemen are relatively sluggish, because the Franks cannot research Squires, an upgrade that increases infantry's movement speed.
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.