They placed seven stone-throwing engines heavily protected on all sides, which they had previously equipped specially for this purpose during their progress by way of Thasos.
— John Kaminiates,
eyewitness to the Saracen sacking of Thessaloniki in 904 CE
Powerful siege weapon with a a powerful but slow ranged attack, highly useful against defensive structures, but very vulnerable to cavalry.
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The Mangonel is the very first of several anti-building, long-ranged siege units that you can create from your siege workshop. And like the first siege machines, it is also the least desirable. For a high cost, and poor rates of fire and armour, and terrible accuracy to boot, you would be asking yourself: why on earth am I buying this unit? to which, there are two answers.
The first is that the Mangonel is the only unit in the Dark Age capable of a long-ranged attack. It is true that massed Spearmen can easily trash an enemy city and gut its surrounding buildings to nothing, but if an enemy has erected a Fort, such measures may be impossible. Especially moreso when there are Peasant Levy and Militia on hand to foil attacks by battering ram. Mangonels have fairly good range, allowing them to outrange even Castles (although the Nobles' Court will always prove to be a challenge), thus once you obtain these units, it would be much better to do in siege warfare what the term "siege" actually means (French, "seat", ie "sit down"): let your army sit down and take a break, while the Mangonels have a crack at the enemy, thus sparing your men of any further losses, although it must be said that Mangonels are not the fastest of units. Bring supply wagons or an autocratic Patriot, and your Mangonels will take care of any enemy citadels for you.
- This Is Personnel — Because the Scorpion's range and weaker attack make it less efficient at demolishing buildings, use Scorpions to take out enemy units instead.
- Screening Process — Keep your Scorpions must be well-defended when being moved from one area to another, and watch out for enemy siege weapons such as Mangonels which can outrange them.
- At What Price Victory? — A Scorpion is a very costly weapon since it requires wealth to be constructed — keep this in mind if you plan to assemble a contingent of Scorpions to fight for you.
- Supply wagons or autocratic Patriots can be used to increase their rate of fire threefold.
This unit can have two different appearances, namely:
- Scropio A cameo.jpg
- Scrop M cameo.jpg
Middle Eastern Scorpion
The mangonel, a medieval form of the present day catapult, was used in siege warfare. Mangonels mainly had a long timber arm whose one end had a spoon or bowl-shaped bucket that was used to hold and throw projectiles. Specialised ropes made from human or horse hair provided the spring effect. Mangonels were used to destroy walls by throwing rocks as projectiles and to demoralise besieged forces and civilians alike, either by sheer destructive force, or by throwing diseased material like putrefying corpses.
- Medieval Chronicles, Mangonel Siege Weapon