Horse Archer

Heaven’s reference pages

Horse Archer

Age: Iron
Prerequisites: Build Town Center, build Barracks, build Archery Range.
Upgrade Cost: – – –
Research Cost: – – –
Cost: 50 food, 70 gold
Hit Points: 60
Attack: 7
Armor: – – –
Piercing Armor: 2
Range: 7
Speed: Fast
Upgrade of: – – –
Special: +2 piercing armor against Ballista, Helepolis, and missile weapons.
The Horse Archer is a fast archery unit with strong attack strength and range. The Horse Archer can be upgraded to the Heavy Horse Archer.
Researching Nobility increases hit points. Researching Alchemy increases attack strength. Ballistics increases accuracy. Leather Armor, Scale Armor, and Chain Mail increase armor. Woodworking, Artisanship, and Craftsmanship increase range.


The Horse Archer is probably (but once again, disputably) the best Iron age unit. They have a powerful attack and an armor bonus against missle units (other archers). They are great for quick raids, because they can either take a beating or run away if they have to. Many civs without them as an Iron Age archer are forced to use either CAs, Elephant Archers or Compys. But fact is that HAs pretty much slaughter all of these units (in equal numbers fight). This unit is easily my favorite single unit in the game, simply because they are not terribly expensive, but in large numbers take out almost all non ranged units quite quickly. You can take a few and attack a war elephant, and just use “hit and run” tactics. When backed up with siege weapons and perhaps some units to draw fire or take out other siege weapons, HAs are extremely powerful. I suggest using HAs in coordination with scythe chariots and ballistas. The ballistas and HAs can level buildings quite quickly, but also will take out almost anything that comes at it. The only thing that can stop this is a large mass of Sumerian or Hittite catapults, because catapults will take out HAs and ballistas. This is where the Scythe Chariot comes in. Great raiding units, great archer units, great all around unit killers. With a range of 7, they can match many archers. Not too expensive either. And for all the various units they can counter, they are well worth the investment. A must for your Iron Age army.

Cherub Sting and Angel Washizu

The chariot archer was replaced eventually on many ancient battlefields by horse archers. This transition took place during the dark age following 1200 BC. Mounted warriors fighting with composite bows made up many of the barbarian armies on the Asia steppes. This type of unit was embraced by the Assyrians first and eventually their rivals. Two horse archers had twice the firepower of one chariot archer, were much more flexible in where they could go on the battlefield, were only half eliminated by the loss of one horse, and avoided the expense of the chariot itself. Horse archers rarely dominated fighting as the chariot archers had, however, because advances in armor and tactics relegated horse archers to a supportive role. The hordes of horse archers employed by the Persians against Alexander, for example, were no match for his Companion cavalry, heavy Greek infantry, and skirmish troops. The Great Wall of China was built to restrict the movements of barbarian horse archers from the north.