Bedouin Archers

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Death rides a fast camel.

— Middle Eastern saying

In game[edit]

Camelarcher merc.png
Bedouin Archers — Vital statistics
Bedouin Archers

Unique cavalry unit of questionable quality, combining the hitpoints and speed of javelin cavalry with the weaker armour and attack of bow cavalry.

Prereq: Build time HP LOS Attack Attack speed Movement
Upgrades to
Level 2: Mercenaries Military
70 9 13 2.3s
Cost Created from Armour Weapon range Specialty
Base Ramp Pop
Timber: 60;
Wealth.jpg: 40
Timber: 1;
Wealth.jpg: 1
1 Stable.jpg 1 0–8
  • Can attack units whilst pursuing.
  • Slight defensive bonus versus horse cavalry


Overall strategy[edit]

The very first unique units the Saracens can employ at the start of a game, Bedouin Archers actually aren't much of a great unit, tactics-wise. Although they have the range and rate of fire of a Horse Archer, they are still as slow as a Mounted Javelineer, and — worse — have no armour to speak of, although they are still as strong as a single Javelin Cavalryman.

What they can do, however, is that they may be upgraded in the Castle Age — and twice in a row, too! whereas most unit lines upgrade only once every age change, Bedouin Archers however can be upgraded twice in the Castle Age — first as more professional Dromedaries, then later on as the Dromedary Jund. This could result in some really interesting strategies for the Saracen player: upgrades purchased in the midst of a fight can sometimes deal a potentially lethal psychological blow to your opponents, who, paying no heed to your camels, suddenly discover that your they have grown even more dangerous and bolder overnight. More knowledgeable players who actually care to read and experiment can also be fooled with this, as you can force them to fight a highly defensive game, or waste his funds by creating light cavalry just to screen his heavy infantry from your Bedouin Archers. By the time you have reached the Castle Age, his economy should be as good as dismantled and you can then close in for the kill.

Unit summary[edit]

  • They Came...From Behind — Because of their toughness and slow speed, Bedouin Archers are best used for sneak attacks from behind or from the flanks against melee units.
  • Planned Obsolescence — Upgrade your Bedouin Archers as quickly as possible, and as early as often, so that they should still be effective at least well into the mid-game.
  • Camel Archer — Camel-riding nomads can be recruited as mercenaries in the Castle Age, but generally lack the ability of Bedouin Archers to "morph" into even more powerful versions of themselves.


Despite being slower and much less temperate than horses, camels had their uses. The first was their durability — on the march, camels can store all the fat and moisture that they will ever need in the hump on their body. The second was that their scent often spooked horses, which was both a blessing and a curse for the military-minded — it caused problems for enemies on horseback, but it could also cause problems if handling baggage, and keeping an army of camels and horses apart could sometimes pose problems. The earliest known instance of tactical exploitation of a camel's scent dates back from the conquest of Lydia by Persia, where the Persian Shah Cyrus deployed a detachment of camelry to spook his enemy's cavalry. When desert warfare experts were required, camel-riding nomads could be recruited as mercenaries, as was done in the wastes north of China, or in the arid sands of Africa and the Middle East.