Hand Cannoneer
File:Hand cannoneer.jpg
AgeImperial Age
Trained atArchery Range
Cost 45 Food,
50 Gold
The Hand Cannoneer is a ranged infantry unit in Age of Empires II with a powerful attack, but low hit points and low accuracy at range. Chemistry must be researched before they become available to the player. Both the Janissary and Conquistador are unique Hand Cannoneers but are much stronger and are more accurate. They are only available to Byzantines, Franks, Goths, Japanese, Koreans, Persians, Saracens, Spanish, Teutons and Turks.


Hand Cannoneers have a powerful attack but have a slow firing rate and their shots fly off in random directions (within radial proximity to the vector leading to their target), so their accuracy at long range is poor. They have a bonus against infantry and their accuracy is less of a problem against the larger cavalry, making them deadly at close range. If maneuvered properly, Hand Cannoneers may also take down siege weapons with great efficiency.

Weaknesses Edit

Hand Cannoneers are considered to be Archers (even though they use firearms), so Skirmishers, Knights and Huskarls can take them down quickly. Being foot units, they are also vulnerable to Mangonels and Scorpions, and they perform poorly against Towers and Castles.

The Conquerors ChangesEdit

Hand Cannoneers gain 10 damage against Infantry and gain 1 damage against Spearmen.

History Edit

Following the development of cannons, small hand-operated gunpowder weapons began appearing in Europe in the fourteenth century. These early firearms were small iron tubes mounted on a wooden stock. They were inaccurate and slow to load. In the early fifteenth century the hand cannon was made smaller, the stock was redesigned so it could be held against the chest, and a mechanism was added for inserting the slow-burning match into the chamber. This weapon was effective only in volleys at close range. In the middle of the fifteenth century the first recognizably modern firearm, the arquebus, was developed. This employed a wheel lock to bring the slow match in contact with a powder pan connected by a tube to the chamber. Lead and cast iron balls fired from the arquebus were lethal. Firearms of the Middle Ages had an inferior range and rate of fire in comparison to the best bows and crossbows. Firearms improved gradually, however, and became more and more popular, despite their high cost. They became status symbols. Important lords engaged in an arms race, attempting to field more firearms of more modern design than their competitors.


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