How to Counter Huskarls in Age of Empires 2

Huskarls are a formidable force on the battlefield in Age of Empires 2. As the unique unit of the Goths civilization, these heavily-armored warriors can be a tough challenge to overcome for any opponent. However, with the right strategies and units at your disposal, it is possible to effectively counter Huskarls and emerge victorious.

Militia Line: Easy Counter to Huskarls


Militia Line Counters Huskarls
Militia Line Counters Huskarls

In the pro scene, Militia line is the go-to unit to put an end to huskarls. Upgrading to Two-handed swordsmen or Champions should be your end

goal. Prioritizing Armor upgrades will make your mission even easier because you already have a hidden bonus damage against all infantry unit.

Recommended Counter picks to Goths

Slavs: Get free supplies + free Gambesons and a broken Unique tech that deals area damage to units (I will cover it below in the last section of this guide)

Japanese: Get attack speed making their infantry units the strongest in Castle Age.


Powder Units: Best Counters to Huskarls

One of the best ways to counter Huskarls is by using powder units such as:

Powder Units in age of empires 2

  • Hand Cannoneer.
  • Janissary.
  • Conquistador.
  • Organ Gun.
  • Hussite Wagon

Use the powder unit to attack from a distance. This allows you to take out the Huskarls before they can get close enough to do significant damage. In addition, using cavalry units such as knights or champions can also be effective against Huskarls, as their mobility allows them to quickly engage and retreat as needed.

Powder units inflict the highest damage on Huskarls within a limited time frame. However, if the Huskarls manage to approach your powder units, you will ironically lose them in the shortest possible time. Therefore, effective micro-management plays a crucial role, as any distractions can result in the loss of your entire army.


Infantry Unique Units

Definitely, this is another safest and most effective approach to countering Huskarls (used by pros), with minimal concerns about micro-management. Simply set your unique units on patrol against the Huskarls, and they will swiftly eliminate them in no time without taking damage.

Infantry Unique Units counter Huskarls
Infantry Unique Units that counter Huskarls by tier

Any Infantry civilization is good enough to deal with Huskarl. S tier Infantry Civs on the other hand get some ridiculous unique infantry units that literally one shot or two shot a Huskarl, such as Samurai, Jaguar Warrior and Shotel Warrior.

Here is a table of all infantry civs from S tier and below that counter Huskarls + bonus tips (S = hard counter ):

 Civilization  Tier  Unique Unit Damage & Info
Aztecs S+ Jaguar Warrior Full upgraded Jaguar, one-shots Huskarls
Ethiopians S+ Shotel Warrior Wtihout upgrades can two-shot Huskarls + Outrun them
Celts S+ Woad Raider Faster than a horse with high damage to huskarls.
Japanese S+ Samurai High Attack speed and damage. Effective even in small numbers.
Poles S+ Obuch High Hit points and Armor penetration, allowing your other units to deal extra damage.
Teutons S Teutonic Knight Extremely Tanky with two-shot potential, but very slow moving.
Viking S  Berserk Tanky with 12 hidden bonus damage against infantry. Very effective in large numbers.
Malians S Gbeto Fast moving ranged high damage Anti-infantry, effective in large numbers.
Franks A Throwing Axeman Slow moving ranged high damage Anti-infantry effective in large numbers.
Malay A Karambit Warrior Very cheap and fast unit, deal decent damage. Easily spamable.
Sicilians B Serjeant Tanky but inflict average-low damage. Good with a combination of other units.

2 Advanced Tricks To Counter Huskarls

The Slavs Unique Tech Trick

Good Goths players will open up with archers into cross bows and only later mid or post Castle Age they will switch to Huskarls.  During that period of time, you either spam knights or defend while booming. The latter option is risky and would not recommend it to beginners because you will get overwhelmed by Crossbows and die early Castle Age.

If you survive the Castle age phase and manage to click Imperial Age… At this point, every second that goes by in imperial Age it goes to your advantage.

Reason 1:

Thanks to free Supplies and Gambesons, your militia line is cheaper and tankier.

Reason 2:

Slavs gets a very broken unique tech “Druzhina” which inflicts area damage to units around you. e.g. When your champion is attacking 1 Huskarl, damage is also dealt to another 2 or three nearby Huskarls making you win every fight with small numbers.



Overall, the key is to have a diverse army and to use a combination of different unit types to effectively counter Huskarls on the battlefield. By adapting your strategy and using the right units, you can effectively take down even the toughest Huskarl armies.


I am GregStein, an experienced Age of Empires 2 player and part-time developer. With over 7 years of experience in multiplayer gaming, blogging and technical issues.

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