“Behold! The horde of Genghis Khan approaches!
- Cavalry archers fire 20% faster
- Light Cavalry, Hussar +30% hit points
- Hunters work 50% faster
- Unique Unit: Mangudai
- Unique Technology: Drill
- Team Bonus: Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Hussar +2 line of sight
Analysis of bonuses
Cavalry archers fire 20% faster
This bonus allows the Mongol Cavalry Archers to fire and reload substantially faster than any other opponent. Based on the fact, that the higher number of units always wins, this does make them worse than Hun Cavalry Archer in the crucial earlier stages of the game. The faster firing rate takes these Mongol units to the first or the second place among its contestants. Later, in Imperial Age they have to share this illustrious label with the fully upgraded heavy cavalry archers, since our Mongols lack ring archer armor. Then again, once in the Imperial Age, Mongols have something better up their sleeve.
Light Cavalry, Hussar +30% hit points
What does this +30% mean for the Mongolian Scout line? In the case of the Light Cavalry it donates +18, while in the case of Hussar it gives +22 hit points, with Bloodlines the latter tops with 117 Hit Points. We have to consider the lack of plate barding armor here, however. The Mongol light cavalry is clearly stronger than its competitors in the Castle Age: 98 HP, whereas the weakest light cavalry doesn’t get further than 60 HP. Hussars are a different story though: are the +22 HPs more valuable, than +1 normal and +2 pierce armor? Sadly, those aren’t: actually, a fully upgraded Hussar without the bonus is better than its Mongol counterpart. The difference is conspicouos especially against arrows: for example the Mongol Hussar dies after approximately 20 arrows from a fully upgraded Arbalest, while its Spanish buddy will be buried only after 24. In Imperial Age the numbers show, that the Mongol Hussar virtually lose the Bloodlines and the whole bonus against arrows, since its steadyness is only measurable to the fully armored Hussars with only 75 Hit Points. Since the difference regard to the normal armor is only 1, against close combat units the Mongols are slightly better.
Hunters work 50% faster
Mongols probably never have to search for a McDonald’s Drive Thru in the middle of the dreary plains of Mongolia, since they can get meat right from their ‘fast food’ serving hunters. On a usual land map with 2 boars and 4 deers in the neighbourhood, it means 1240 food that is collectible 50% faster. It is easy to find out, this is a significant Dark Age bonus, and it means much more than for example the Briton one, which is cool enough already on its own. (Britons get 800 food from a standard number of 8 sheeps 25% faster.) This extremely fast butchering makes the Mongols excellent Flushers, let it be a Scrush, or a Trush. This early advantage was tempting enough to inspire new strategies developed exclusively for the Mongolians, such as the famous AK-47 tower rush. Let’s see, how Sorry_baby and L_Clan_Dante fought their wars before the times of Drush being the standard strategy on Arabia!
However, the medal has two sides: this bonus is their strength and weakness at the same time. Mongols don’t have any other economical bonus besides this one, unlike a Celt or Teutonic one, that runs through the whole game. So if you can deprive a Mongol from his hunt, he will be hurt much more than another civ.
Team Bonus: Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Hussar +2 line of sight
The Mongolian team bonus is considered to be the best early bonus in the game. The whole team enjoys the benefits of the greater line of sight: they are able to find their sheep and wild animals faster, and they can go for voyeuring around the opponents’ bases notably earlier. The odds will be even more eye-catching if you can observe the extended Line of Sight on the same spot. Below you can see the difference made by a Saracen and a Mongolian Light Cavalry.
- Cost: 55 wood, 65 gold
- Attack: 6 (Elite: 8 )
- Armor: 0/0 (Elite: 1/0)
- HP: 60 (Elite: 60)
- Range: 4 (Elite: 4)
- Elite Upgrade: 1100 food, 675 gold
Manghud or Mangudai were members of a succesful Mongolian tribe that gave many-many excellent warriors to several horde-viziers. They are, – short people on small horses – the denominator of the Mongolian Unique Unit. Apparently: can we show more successful UU in the game? Everybody hates them, when they are facing with a massed Mangudai horde, since this unit proved to be the hardest to counter in AoC. They are extremely fast (and quick firing!), fast to train, massive ranged units with a high attack, and these all come for a discount price of 55 wood and 65 gold. (The Cavalry Archers and Heavy Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood and 70 gold!) The Elite Upgrade looks rather expensive for +2 attack points and +1 normal armor, but there’s more than meets the eye. The Elite upgrades makes Mangudai fire instantly and also increases their bonus attack against siege units. Especially the instant fire makes it worth the bucks.
These guys are impossible to knock out when massed, unless they have no space to manoeuvre or the player doesn’t give enough attention to micromanaging them well. Contrary to cavalry archers their worse nightmare isn’t siege: Mangudai are still vulnerable to them, but vice versa! Mangudai got attack bonus against siege, therefore good micro can eliminate this problem easily. The opponents can field Elite Skirmishers, but they aren’t population effective against the Mongolian Unique Unit, not to mention, they die hard against Light Cavalry, that other cornerstone of the Mongolian horde. Heavy camels will bleed to death by the arrows, halberdiers are too slow and as an outcome of the Parthian Tactics, they are still weaker against Mangudai. The only matches for these horseriders are the Paladins themselves, but they will also have hard times, unless the Mangudai aren’t managed properly.
Other than that, these dark horse riders still have one notable feature: they’re probably one of the best units to invade a trade line. If you manage to sneak a few Mangudai between enemy trade carts, the poor merchants will die. Combine this with their lack of counters, and you can imagine how a big group of Mangudai on a trade line can be decisive for a game.
Drill is a very interesting and fun to use technology: can you imagine a siege ram as a wooden racing car that “scuds” around with the speed of Champions? Only for 500 wood and 450 gold, any Mongol player can open a racing stable. Drill makes the Mongols tread down an enemy village with the speed of light, since their Siege Workshop units move 50% faster. This heavy on gold technology can be seen rarely, mostly because the workshops “move” with the speed of a villager. Of course if they can’t build Siege Workshops near the opponent due to problems with holding ground, they can still bring siege from longer distance. Not to mention: faster movement means better micromanagement and easier flee from the battlefield. And of course, it makes it easier to catch fire from enemy archers. Which perform okay-ish against Mangudai.
Dominance through the Ages
An oversight about dominance through the ages can be found in this article.
The impressive hunter bonus insures the dominance of Mongols through the Dark Age. They are able to attack earlier than most of the civilisations. The +2 line of sight for the Scout supports this nicely.
Mongols are one of the top Feudal civs. But, this largely depends on their Dark Age and the availability of hunt. I like to call Mongols the only civ that can sling themselves. Because that’s essentially what happens when they’re eating deer and boar. But, Mongols must thrive on this for the rest of the game, as it is their one and only economical bonus.
On to the Castle Age then, where they are still quite strong, since they got the best light cavalry and fully upgradeable knights, perfect archers and speedy Cavalry Archers. And not to forget: camels. Camels still being the best saviour when you’re caught up in a knight massing war and you’re busy losing the edge. The variety pleasures, even though their boom is only average.
Early Imperial Age
There is nothing to say about the Mongol Early Imperial Age, no significant bonuses, nor great advantages, at least their tech tree is decent. If that’s the case, they can upgrade their knights to cavaliers, their camels to heavy camels, their crossbowman to arbalests and it is time to start massing Mangudai.
Although Mongols got a great tech tree, their armies are usually based on the same “holy trinity”: siege with Elite Mangudai and Hussars. These are mobile and powerful units, even their siege is moving quickly thanks to the Drill. They got everything required to erase the enemy from the map without mercy.
To check how extremely strong this civlization is, you can follow the events of an amazing game by xTeRRoRx: his simple combination of Mangudai and Rams humiliated the Japanese Smurf… This agile army cut through the opponent’s base like a knife through butter.
Imperial Age (no trade)
The Mongol Skirmishers and Hussars lack the ultimate armor upgrade and they can not train halberdiers. The fully upgradeable pikeman can make the cut against light cavalry line. So Mongols aren’t best, but they stand a chance. Especially if they can throw their hussars into battle.
Post Imperial age (with trade)
With the strong UU and one of the best siege unit sets in the game, the Golden Horde performs perfectly in population effective wars, even without heavy cavalry, Bombard Cannons or Bombard Towers. Their underbelly is maybe their dependence on the Mangudais: if all Mongol castles goes down and Mangudais are dead, the army will collapse like a half-armed giant.
If a Mongol would fall without Mangudai, he can still hold ground with massive siege and a suiting back up unit. Camels, champions and hussars come to mind. So you’re not easily done with a Mongol!
It is time to watch a refreshing game served hot by the Mongolian tribe viziers JorDan and RiUT, to prove the power of Camels combined with Castle-pushing – a game won without Mangudai.
Mongols have a lot of things to upgrade in Imperial Age – but not economy wise: there are no imperial age economy upgrades at all. No two-man saw, no guilds, nor crop rotation. Maybe this is the price of an excellent unique unit. With a weaker economy, it is harder to mass units frequently. But with such a die-hard unit, who needs economy anyway?
Mongols only miss halberdiers. They got fully upgradeable champions with all blacksmith technologies.
What to say? The Mongolian infantry is decent enough to catch up with a really aggressive infantry civilization, the Goths themselves! Is it possible to survive a Goth invasion with an archer civilization in your hands? In this record, Caimp has passed the test against waKKo’s Huskarls between the tight walls of Arena.
Mongols are a “Cavalry Archer Civilization” according to their tech tree, so besides a bonus for this unit it comes with almost all upgrades. They only miss one important technology for them, namely ring archer armor. Although it seems that Mongols have introduced the Chinese explosive powder to the Europeans, they have no access to gunpowder units. They can train Arbalests and Elite Skirmishers though, but with the aforementioned weakness.
Mongols have an average cavalry: they are strong in Castle Age, but later they have to settle for a medium fettle here. They got bloodlines and husbandry, their hussars have more hit points but they aren’t significantly stronger. Heavy cavalry is upgradeable up to cavaliers, the lack of plate barding armor hurts though. Luckily, Mongols are blessed with heavy camels too.
God damn it! How come every time a Chinese put up a wall, stupid Mongolians have to come and knock it down? That’s because their speed and instincts for havoc formed a devastating combination. Every siege units have ultimate upgrades, with siege engineers and the unique technology, this set-up is among the bests. They succeed in assaulting without Bombard Cannons.
The way of besiege presented in the tv show is more authentic, though: Mongols learned a few tricks from Chinese, but to be true, they were pretty bad in siege constantly through the centuries. But that’s just history, AoC is much more fun!
The Mongolian monastery has a lot of shortages: they lack redemption (important for monk rushes), sanctity (less HP), block printing, illumination, theocracy. Maybe the Mongolian way of life wasn’t seductive, at least their monks not excelled in conversions. (Or they worked only in a part-time job.) It is obvious now, why only a few kids in the surreal world of South Park prepared to join them.
Now you just think that these Mongolian wololo guys are totally useless, right? Do not allow yourselves to be misled by rumors like this! Here is the chance to see, how xTeRRoRx (JonSnow) suprised fuzzo with a handful bunch of Mongolian Monks – and this is another way to win over Goths.
We can be sure, Mongols were averse from water badly. Yet their Navy in the game is pretty good, somehow. They miss only dry dock, otherwise they are even blessed with elite cannon galleons. Quite fancy for a landlocked nation.
The Mongolian building set is average. They lack keeps, bombard towers and the architecture technology.
Mongols are one of the popular civilisations, they are picked often in any game- and map type, mostly because of their early bonuses and unique unit. Effective usage of the latter requires very good micro skills, though!
I won’t let my statements stay alone, here is a game to support the legend of unbeatable Mangudai. It will show you, that Mangudai indeed a match for gunpowder units, even for Turks on Arena. Enjoy this amazing comeback presented by I_lost_my_mind against xTeRRoRx.
“I know, that you are a wealthy and mighty king, you have a lot of warriors, and you rule a large country alone. Therefore it is hard to voluntarily subjugate yourself to me: yet it would be better and more beneficent to you, if you willingly surrendered to me.”
-A passage of a letter sent by the Mongolian vizier to Béla IV., King of Hungary. 1237 AD