[Suggestion] Change name of Mangonel to Onager

For historical accuracy and to avoid ambiguity, I suggest that onager is the better term

A widely accepted definition of Mangonel:

“Both a generic term for medieval stone-throwing artillery, and
to describe specifically manually (traction-) powered weapons.
Sometime wrongly used as a translation for onager”
Peter Purton, History of the Early Medieval Siege, C. 450-1220, page 410

Therefore, in the general sense mangonel describes the in-game mangonel as well as both the counterweight and traction trebuchet.
In the specific sense, mangonel describes the traction trebuchet.
This is obviously not ideal. Fortunately, we have an alternative:


“(Latin). One-armed torsion-powered late-Roman stone thrower”
Peter Purton, History of the Early Medieval Siege, C. 450-1220, page 411

This specifically refers to what is being depicted in-game and will be just as familiar as mangonel to AOE2 players.


How about catapult?

Everyone knows that word.
Yes Tebuchets and Springlad are technically catapults too but that’s not what people think when they hear the name.


If the devs want a term that is instantly recognizable and associated with the torsion-powered stone thrower depicted in-game, then yes I agree that catapult does that well, even though catapult can refer to anything from a slingshot to modern aircraft carrier take-off systems.

Onager on the other hand is the more accurate and specific term if the devs want to go in that direction.

Mangonel, however, is neither widely known nor accurate. Catapult and onager are better in their respective ways, but AOE4 marketing definitely seems to put an emphasis on history, so I’d lean more towards onager


@DaStu6586 I support this idea of yours. There is something called the “Torsion Mangonel Myth” which is the belief that mangonels were torsion siege engines which they are not. By changing the name of the in-game “Mangonel” to either [Onager] or [Catapult] it will help with correcting this error that has been accepted for quite some time.

(Edit: Renaming the in-game [Mangonel] to [Catapult] instead would be better than giving it the name “Onager”, since they were replaced by the traction trebuchet (Aka the Mangonel) in the 6th century as stated by @GoldenArmorX in the comment right below mine.)

After doing my research for my version of concept for Japanese, and discovering that they never had onagers or counterweight trebushet, but did have mangonels, I found out the difference with onagers. Then when I read a document about the myth of onagers being mangonels, I was shocked.

Yes indeed, the game unit in age IV looks like an “Onager”:

Meanwhile, this is a mangonel:

But the true story is that, onager stop to being produced by the VI century A.D, because “mangonels” become more popular, cheap and powerful than them. So a “name change” couldn´t solve the great problem.


Now, in theory, they can’t change their name to Onager, because… it would be anachronistic. The game takes place between 600-1650. But the onagers ceased to exist by the 6th century AD (500-600 AD). That means that the Onager unit did not exist for the time frame of the current game.

The stone trowing function still is real.- Of course, there were several types of mangonels, from those with multiple stones, to those with a single stone. So the unit as a stone volley catapult type is not bad as its function. So the unit as a stone ball catapult type is not bad, and in fact, the mangonel was more of an anti-personnel weapon than a siege weapon, which continued to be used for that purpose with the advent of the counterweight trebushet.

Change the design to be a small Traction Trebushet.- Of course, the design of the unit could change, or at least add 3 or 6 ropes to the front, and raise the base of the spoon, so that it is seen that it is a small mangonel (to differentiate from the traction trebushet Mongolian), which, as I said, came in various sizes.

Personally, i like the next design, because this dont change the essence of the unit (4 wheels, stone-throwing bucket), it would only change the angle of the stone-throwing bucket, and some ropes to the other side:

This is the link of the images of the design, is a clip from a documental of Discovery ( Perrier Siege Artillery - Battle Castle with Dan Snow):

Here a article about the myth of the onager in the middle age:


Well the mangonel is basically the “traction trebuchet”.
The in-game model resembles more to the onager, which is itself a late-antiquity or early medieval thing. It fell out of use in the game’s period.

However, having any siege engine taking the role of “medieval field guns” at all is a modern fantasy.

They probably would not do this because it looks a lot like a trebuchet.

We have 3 different trebuchets in game. They look slightly different, but they all function in the same way which is not how the mangonel/onager unit functions in game.

Right, with the future update of season 4, the Lui Lui Pao will enter, and there will be 3 trebushet. Although by terminology, technically there will be 4 “catapults” in the game hehe (they throw rocks). I think they should not limit themselves when it comes to models of catapults, trebushets, “more unique units ever is better”, just like cannons that come in all shapes and sizes.

As a defense of my argument, the model of the Counterweight Trebuchet is enormous, and the one used by the Mongols is also very big, a big versión of traction trebushet, and let’s not even talk about the Lui Lui Pao, that’s already tremendous, enormous, Pantagruelic even. The thing would be to turn the onager into a “mini”-trebushet, like the model I put up, one of those that only exceeds the size of people by one meter (in one of the images you can see the comparison). In theory, historically they were “mini-mangonels” that were usually anti-personnel siege weapons, not anti-structures. So practically it would be like a MOD to the mangonel unit, its data and statistics would remain the same, as its functionality of throwing many small stones.

ABOUT THE VISUAL CONFUSION.- Now about whether it would be visually confused with the large trebushet when building both… Well, you caught me there, I would have to test it with a MOD, one that turns the onager into a traction mini-trebushet, let’s see how is it. Hopefully some players will be encouraged to put a “Mangonel-Mod” to see how it goes, total, even if it doesn’t work we can have a laugh.

LAST SOLUTION.- in any case, the last solution would be to change the name to “catapult” (term that considers the onagers), or as the first comment suggested, to “Onager”.

The thing is that when they have to make other civs… especially JAPANESE, it will be quite clear that the Japanese did not have onagers, and then through wiskipedia we will find out that really in the Middle Ages both Asians and Europeans and Africans, everyone used a rock-throwing mini-trebushet and not onagers. But hey, it’s a thing for the future, they are just visual suggestions.

PS: The Japanese never developed the Counterweight Trebushet. The technology did not reach them through Mongol rule, since the #### managed to defeat the latter thanks to 2 hurricanes that destroyed the mongol fleet. Technically they did have “chinese mangonels” or traction trebushets thanks to their legacy of being a vasal state of China in the Heian era… but since it is a Mongol unique unit: ¿Do we share the Mongolian unique unit with more than one civs? or we give them one more version of traction trebushet, the Chinese version (which the Chinese no longer use, because they have the most powerful “Nest of Bees”), ¡YAIH!, ANOTHER TREBUSHET/CATAPULT unit. As a curious fact, the japanese clans replacing the rocks with Chinese grenades. It could even be a unique technology, similar to the English one for their stone thrower, if not, included with the weapon per se. Here’s a modern artistic recreation:

Hoseki - japanese catapult

Fuente: Hoseki - japanese catapult (Hōseki (抛石) - Japanese Catapult)

This is all I am talking about really.

I like new unique units, some more unique siege would especially be cool.

In game the mangonel functionally is very different than the trebuchet variants, but it would look very similiar. Maybe it would be fine, it seems unlikely to happen though.

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Not really a siege engine but both the [Holy Roman Empire] and [Rus] could possibly get access to the “Kartouwe” as a shared artillery unit for them. Or it could just be available to the [Holy Roman Empire]. This cannon was apparently developed from bombards and used in European warfare during the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Kartouwe may not have been as impressive as the Ottoman Great Bombard but it was heavy enough that It required somewhere around 20 horses or oxen to pull it. The artillery piece was designed so that it could fire cannonballs that weighted up to 24 kg (52 pounds).


The [English] could get the “Saker” cannon instead of having the Bombard, which will be a new unique unit for them. The special ability of the saker could be that it shoots a cannonball that will bounce off the ground, causing additional damage to enemy units, since the shot fired from this cannon was apparently intended to do so in order to cause as much damage as possible.

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