AgeImperial Age
Trained atCastle
TypeSiege Unit
Cost200 Wood,
200 Gold
AttackN/A (packed)
200 (unpacked)
150 (while unpacked)
Upgraded FromN/A
Upgraded ToN/A
The Trebuchet is the master siege unit available only in Age of Empires II.

Gameplay Edit

The Trebuchet is available at the Castle in the last age of Age of Kings, the Imperial Age. It is the unit with the longest range attack for all civilizations but one: the Turks. Trebuchets with the Siege Engineers technology, and Turkish Elite Cannon Galleons with Artillery researched, both have 17 range. It has the most damage of any unit in the game, on top of a heavy damage bonus*, and is mainly used to take out defensive buildings such as Castles or Bombard Towers from a safe distance. It can also be used to take out enemy siege units, such as Rams, Mangonels and even enemy Trebuchets. However, due to the Trebuchet's low accuracy, Trebuchet duels can be literally a hit-and-miss affair.

The Trebuchet is constructed from the Castle in its undeployed form. It must spend a good 8-10 seconds setting up in order to attack, during which it is unable to either attack or move. However the unpacking process can be canceled instantly if necessary to move to a safer location.

It can target, attack and remove trees to allow free passage. The Siege Onager can perform this task better; all the trees in the area of its splash damage are destroyed. However, it has a shorter range, only six of the civilizations can upgrade the Onager and the total upgrade cost is significantly more than the cost of a Castle.

Tactics Edit

The Trebuchet is slow and defenseless against all units, but excels at destroying entrenched opponents. Due to its high cost and importance in a battle, losing a trebuchet can have a serious effect on the turnout of a battle. Utilizing walls or protective terrain allow Trebuchets to attack with relative safety and destroy incoming and unpacking trebuchets. It is imperative to guard trebuchets with an army if they are used offensively. Like all siege units, Trebuchets may be repaired and the presence of some villagers may greatly prolong a Trebuchet's effective life. Using the "Attack Ground" option is an important skill to master when using the Trebuchet as commanding them to directly attack a unit causes the target to automatically flee.

When faced with enemy Trebuchets, cavalry work best due to their high speed and good damage. A small group of Knights make short work of a group of them. Cavalry archers also work well, especially the Mongol Mangudai due to their bonus damage vs. siege units. Infantry and foot archers are also acceptable but are less desirable due to their lack of speed (except for Eagle Warriors); this weakness allows the user to spot them early and respond to the situation by unpacking the Trebuchets and/or retaliating with an army of his/her own.


The most powerful of the Middle Age nongunpowder siege engines was the trebuchet. This was a large catapult-like weapon with a long throwing arm and missile bag suspended by ropes. When released the arm swung up and the bag was brought up and forward. Centrifugal force acting on the suspended bag increased the range and height achieved by the released missile. Stones fired by the Trebuchet plunged down on their target and did great damage to the tops and roofs of walls, towers, and other structures. Trebuchets were expensive and complicated machines, requiring specialists to build and operate. They could only be moved in parts and required assembly before use. Edward I of England refused the surrender of Stirling Castle in Scotland on one occasion so that he could watch his most recently acquired Trebuchet in action.


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