Historical Basis Of Units of Age Of Empires


Woad Raider

The Woad Raider didn’t exist. However, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any historical basis for the unit. Before going into specifics on what historical facts might have inspired the unit, let’s look at what games it can be found in. In both Age of Empires Online and Age of Empires II: HD, Woad Raiders are special Celtic units. In both games, they are known for being quick and strong.


Most likely, the Woad Raiders were chosen as a unique Celtic unit in AoE because the Celts were known as the best example of barbarian warriors. According to AncientMilitary.com, the Woad Raiders intimidated their opponents because they were taller and muscular (just like the Woad Raiders in the above AoEO image). Their horned and winged helmets added to their scary appearance. Spreading out across Europe, they specialized in different types of combat. The close combat style that the Woad Raiders in Age of Empires excel at is probably based on the Celtic warriors in Spain. In their early days, the Celtic warriors, just as the Woad Raiders, did not wear any armor. In fact, they were sometimes not wearing anything , just like in the game.

The Paladins

Sad to say, the Twelve Paladins (more often in English, the Twelve Peers) as you’ve encountered them are a literary creation.

The actual Charlemagne certainly had advisors surrounding him. But the Peers as a group come out of the chansons de geste songs starting in the late eleventh century–the Song of Roland being the most popular. The story is set around a heavily fictionalized version of a battle that really did happen in 778, the Battle of Roncevaux Pass.


Berserkers (or berserks) were champion Norse warriors who are primarily reported in Icelandic literature to have fought in a trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the English word berserk .It is proposed by some authors that the northern warrior tradition originated in hunting magic,and by the time of the Germanic Heroic Age it had developed into a physical and spiritual form of martial arts comparable to the Japanese Samurai code of Bushido. Its values included self-reliance, self-control, strict training, able to perform feats with weapons, and to be willing to die selflessly defending family and companions. It was a religious code. Later, the coming of Christianity would transform the religious element into the chivalrous knight and the animal totems into heraldic devices.


Have you ever wondered why do they heal when idle ? This is the reason! The strict spiritual code they follow , has enabled them with higher control of their body , which allows them to speed - up there healing process!


The jaguar motif was used due to the belief that the jaguar represented Tezcatlipoca, god of the night sky. Aztecs also wore these dresses at war because they believed the animal’s strengths would be given to them during battles.[citation needed] Jaguar warriors were used at the battlefront in military campaigns. They were also used to capture prisoners for sacrifice to the Aztec gods.Many statues and images (in pre-Columbian and post-Columbian codices) of these warriors have survived.[4] They fought with a wooden sword studded with obsidian volcanic glass blades, called a macuahuitl. They also used spears and atlatls.


To become a jaguar warrior, a member of the Aztec army had to capture twelve enemies during two consecutive battles. This was said to honor their gods in a way far greater than killing enemy soldiers in the battlefield. For a warrior to kill an enemy was considered clumsy.

The formal education of the Aztecs was to train and teach young boys how to function in their society as warriors. The Aztecs had no standing army, so every boy not of noble birth was trained to become a warrior.


Following the warrior’s path was one of the few ways to change one’s social status in Aztec culture. Eagle and Jaguar warriors were full-time warriors who worked for the city-state to protect merchants and the city itself. They were expected to be leaders and commanders both on and off the battlefield, and acted as sort of a police force for the city. Men who reached this rank were considered as nobles and elites of society, and were granted many of the same privileges as a noble.


By the 7 th and 8 th centuries B.C., the role of the chariot in battle was gradually being replaced by cavalry units in the Near East. Some were armed lightly and were used to harass the enemy from afar with missiles or to pursue routing troops. Other types of cavalry units were heavily armed, and were used as shock troops to break enemy formations. The most heavily armed cavalry unit in the ancient world was the greatly feared cataphract.


Generally, the cataphract is used to charge en masse into enemy lines. Due to the sheer weight of their armor, a cataphract charge can deal a great blow to the enemy. The impact of a cataphract charge is also highlighted by the historian Tacitus, who wrote that “when they (the Sarmatians) attack the foe on horseback, hardly any line can resist them.” The irresistible force of a cataphract charge may also have a psychological effect on their enemies, as another historian, Cassius Dio, suggests. In his account of Crassus’ defeat at the Battle of Carrhae, Dio claimed that “many died from fright at the very charge of the pikemen”. The reputation of the cataphract is further enhanced by the statement (in Heliodorus and Plutarch) that their charge had enough force to impale two men in one go.

That is why byzantines are considered a defensive civilization and catarphact has excellent armor.

The Janissaries

The Janissaries were elite infantry units that formed the Ottoman Sultan’s household troops, bodyguards and the first standing army in Europe. The corps was most likely established during the reign of Murad I (1362–89).

They began as an elite corps of slaves made up of conscripted young Christian boys, and became famed for internal cohesion cemented by strict discipline and order. Unlike typical slaves, they were paid regular salaries. Forbidden to marry or engage in trade, their complete loyalty to the Sultan was expected. Civilians bought their way into the corps in order to benefit from the improved socioeconomic status it conferred upon them. Consequently, the corps gradually lost its military character, undergoing a process which has been described as ‘civilianization’.


The Goths were a collection of Eastern Germanic tribes that constantly warred with the Roman Empire during its later years, known for bringing Rome to its knees and traveling all over Europe, bringing devastation with them, and in game they are an infantry civilization.

The Goths were known as flexible nomads with mostly nonexistent formal government, so their castle unique technology Anarchy allows their leaders, the Huskarls, to be trained at the Barracks like normal infantry