For the related Age of Empires III unit, see Chu Ko Nu (Age of Empires III).

Chu Ko Nu
File:Chu Ko Nu.jpg
AgeCastle Age
Trained atCastle
Cost40 Wood,
35 Gold
HP45, 50 (Elite)
Upgraded FromN/A
Upgraded ToElite Chu Ko Nu
Cost to Upgrade760 Food
760 Gold

The Chu Ko Nu and its upgraded version the Elite Chu Ko Nu is the unique unit of the Chinese civilization in Age of Empires II.


This unique unit has the properties of the Arbalest but can fire three arrows in quick succession. Chu Ko Nu have low health and no base armor, but a large attack and a quick fire rate. This is offset by their poor base range of 4. They are trained at the Castle. The Elite Chu Ko Nu has a little bit more health and fires two additional arrows (so in total five arrows).

Only the first arrow of a volley does full damage, all other arrows do respectively 3 damage.


Chu Ko Nu can be used in a combination with either Arbalests in the front and Monks as healers or heavy Scorpions behind them along with some Villagers or Monks. They are great against most close combatant units, especially if facing War Elephants or Teutonic Knights. The Chu Ko Nu does very well when mixed with infantry or when Arbalests had cleared away most anti-archer threats before they close in. Another way to utilize Chu Ko Nu is to use them to protect Castles. Contrary to popular belief, Chu Ko Nus barely increase a Castle's attack. However due to each arrow doing one damage to high pierce armor units, groups of Chu Ko Nu are a great deterrent against Battering Rams.

The Chu Ko Nu have the distinction of still faring fairly well against most anti-archer units. This is because most anti-archer units (such as Huskarls and Skirmishers) can survive archer fire due to their pierce armour. However, pierce armour only minimizes damage from each individual arrow-and Chu Ko Nu fire three arrows per shot, so they are still doing a minimum of three damage per volley. However they should still try to avoid anti-archer units in general. Fully upgraded Elite Skirmishers have one more range than Chu Ko Nus and can hit and run them.

Chu Ko Nus are best countered with longer ranged archers, Skirmishers, heavy cavalry charges (in large numbers), Huskarls, Woad Raiders and siege weapons that deal splash damage.


  • Chu Ko Nu literally means "The crossbow of Zhuge." Zhuge (also known as Zhuge Liang) was a famous tactician who lived and died during China's Three Kingdoms era. However, the Chinese more commonly refer to it as the "Lian Nu", literally translating to "Repeating Crossbow".
  • Despite its name, the Chu Ko Nu was not invented by Zhuge, being in use some two hundred years before his birth. However, it is likely that he improved its design to make it a more effective weapon of war.
  • The actual Chu Ko Nu had a firing rate of around two arrows per three seconds, making it the most rapid-firing weapon in existence until the invention of the Gatling gun 1800 years later.

History Edit

The crossbow was invented in China in ancient times and the chu ko nu was an improved crossbow invented there during European Middle Ages. The chu ko nu was something like a semi-automatic crossbow. It was fitted with a magazine of bolts. When the operator pulled back the bowstring, a new bolt was automatically loaded. When the bowstring reached its limit, the weapon fired automatically. The operator pulled back as quickly as he could to maintain a rapid fire. The weaknesses of the weapon were a short range and weaker power compared to larger single-shot crossbows.

Gallery Edit


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