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    Skirmish Mode Guide by thepotatoman

    Version: 1.2 | Updated: 04/29/07 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Age of Empires III Supremacy Guide
    To search: Just hit ctrl + f and copy paste the code next to the section you 
    I. Introduction [INRO]
    II. Economy [ECMY]
        a. Resources [RSCE]
        b. Balancing them all [BLNC]
        c. Being Flexible [FLXB]
        d. Experience [EXPR]
    II. The Basic Strategies [STRT]
        a. Rush [RUSN]
        b. Boom [BMIN]
        c. Turtle [TRTL]
        d. The Fast Fortress [TFFS]
    III. Conquering [CNQR]
        a. Counters [CNTR]
        b. Abstract Units [ABST]
        c. Exploiting options for spying [EOFS]
        d. Microing [MCRG]
        e. The Navy [TNVY]
    IV. Civilizations [CVLZ]
        a. Spanish [SPNS]
        b. German [GRMN]
        c. French [FRCH]
        d. Ottoman [OTMN]
        e. Portuguese [PRTG]
        f. British [BRTS]
        g. Dutch [DTCH]
        h. Russian [RSHN]
    V. Miscellaneous tips [MSCT]
    VI. Conclusion and Credits [CNCL]
    / I.  Introduction [INRO]               /
    This FAQ is made to help the reader do better in the multiplayer skirmish mode
    of this game, but it could also be used for skirmish battles against the
    computer.  This guide is meant mostly for the newbie to intermediate player.
    So while it is possible the expert can pick up a thing or two, they probably
    won't learn anything of importance by reading my FAQ besides the upcoming
    Appendix.  This guide will be working off the assumption that you have the most
    updated version of this game (As of this update:1.11).  So, if you haven't
    already, update it.
    I've decided that I would like for this and future guides to only be used on g
    GameFAQs.  Just think of it as a way to keep control over my products.  Please
    do not use this on any other website.  However, linking to this guide should be
    Contact Me
    This is my first FAQ ever, so any feedback would be great (hopefully positive)
    at thepotatoguy@gmail.com .  I will read and respond to all constructive
    criticism and if possible maybe even update the guide to be all the better.
    OK, so it has been a very long time since I have even looked at this guide.  I
    haven't even played Age of Empires 3 in a while.  Spending so much time going
    through a game and looking at it in and out sort of gets burnt out on it for a
    while.  Nevertheless there has been some major changes since writing with
    patches containing many game play tweaks and balances.  From the few games I
    have played it has become apparent to me that the Russians have gotten a great
    boost and the mercenaries strategies are not as great.  However, the basics of
    the game still remains the same.
    I also want to apologize too all the people that sent me emails.  Being burnt
    out on the writing of this guide seemed to extend all the way to answering to
    the email I have received.  I feel bad about going back on my word but it is
    probably rather points and confusing to reply now, months after I received it.
    / II. Economy [ECMY]                    /
    | a. Resources [RSCE]                  |
    Food - Used for Settlers, military, and advancing to any age.  It also gathers
    the fastest of all resources.  Food should be the only resource gathered in the
    first age.  Hunting is much faster then farming and gathering.  Without any
    upgrades farming is just as fast as berries, though hunting upgrades usually
    upgrades both hunting and gathering.
    Herding - This helps out a lot.  Simply get behind an animal so that when you
    shoot you shoot toward your town center.  The herd will (almost) always run in
    the way that your gun is pointing, even if they are behind you.  Try to pull
    one Settler off of gathering from a dead animal once in a while to herd them
    towards you town center again, since if unattended the Settlers tend to herd
    the herd away from the town center, which makes for a long walk.
    Wood - Used primarily for buildings and ships.  It gathers the slowest of the
    three traditional resources.  This is mostly needed in the second age to make
    houses and military buildings and fourth age to make farms and plantations and
    improvements.  Other then that wood isn't all that important.
    Gold - Known as coin in this game it is used for military, ships, and
    improvements.  It is needed in the second age on of increasing importance.  In
    order to keep gold mining sufficient you need to move from one gold mine to the
    next.  Try to gain map control to have as many gold mines available as
    possible.  Also try not to put all your eggs into one basket by sending all
    Settlers to one gold mine.  Split it at least 50/50 so if one runs out or gets
    attacked you still have gold coming in from somewhere else.
    | b. Balancing them all [BLNC]         |
    Balancing the three - This becomes much easier when you turn on the Show
    Gatherers per Resource option.  To do that from the startup screen go:
    Help and Tools > Options > UI options (should be there already) > Show
    Gatherers per Resource.
    The best way to achieve balance is to practice, though I can help to get you
    Age I -
    The start is easy, gather food and only food while you build Settlers and save
    up for 800 food to advance.
    Age II -
    Now this is where it gets tricky.  For age two you need a whole bunch of wood
    for the building frenzy you should be doing plus a lot of food to keep building
    Settler production constant and to build military and to save up for advancing
    and to build military.  Gold is needed mostly to advance.  I believe the
    easiest way to keep a balance and constant production is to forget about gold
    as much as possible.  If you can, build a mix of cross-bow men and pikemen to
    keep away from gold.  When you are ready to advance consider sending the 600 or
    700 gold card.  That way you only have to worry about gathering about 300 - 400
    gold to advance.
    Age III -
    I assume that by now you are done building most buildings you need to make.  I
    just keep the Settlers on wood that I had at age II but stop tasking Settlers
    to it as you make more.  When you start to run out of hunting and gathering you
    could send about half of them to gather the wood you need and as soon as they
    can build the mills and plantations, while the rest finish gathering whatever
    it is they are gathering.  So other then that, just keep pumping out Settlers
    to food and gold.
    Age IV -
    So by now you should have a whole bunch of Settlers, hopefully finished
    building houses and hopefully pumping out military units.  Once you get max
    Settlers and finished up making mills and plantations the only thing you need
    wood for is artillery.
    Age V -
    Mostly the same as IV.  There is a little more emphasis on food and gold as you
    will be wanting to get all those nice (and expensive) upgrades; mainly to your
    economic upgrades in the capital building.
    | c.  Being Flexible [FLXB]            |
    Never be afraid to change things around should you have more of one resource
    then you need, or if you want you can use that extra resource for something
    that you might need later.  For instance, you can build some more houses, a
    mill or plantation, or better yet a new town center if you have to much wood,
    or if you have to much food make more Settlers.  An easy way to rearrange
    Settler tasks is to click on the resource at the bottom of the screen to locate
    the Settlers and relocate them from there.  Also some situations require
    different resources.  If the enemy is in your base killing your guys and
    buildings in age two, you need to make sure you have enough gold and food to
    make as many guys as you can plus have some wood to rebuild the important
    buildings that they destroys, like the barracks, plus you need some Settlers to
    put in your town center.  But wood defiantly isn't your priority at that time.
    | d. Experience [EXPR]                 |
    Home City shipments are very important to most strategies. You get shipments by
    getting experience points and shipments require a progressive amount of
    experience points.  You can only get them by building units and buildings, by
    killing the enemy's units and buildings, through trading posts, and by killing
    treasure guardians.  You also get a steady stream of experience points for
    You get experience fastest buy killing things, but you obviously can't do that
    all the time and if you could you wouldn't need those shipments.  So if you
    need experience go ahead and build a trading route.  Keep in mind trading
    routes are much more helpful early game then late game because of the rising
    requirements for shipments.
    You can get 1000 experience points by researching an improvement called 
    Mercantilism, but that is pretty expensive at 1500 gold, t.  It can get you 2-3
    shipments as long as you use it early enough and that can get you a fairly good
    size army in age 3.  You can research it through the church in the third age
    On a side note, each game has a maximum of 30,000 experience points to go
    toward you city.  I think you can still get shipments after this limit is
    reached though.
    / III. The Basic Strategies [STRT]      /
    These are the three most basic of strategies in most RTSs.  If the game is well
    designed like Age of Empires III they counter each other in a rock, paper,
    scissors since.  Rush counters boom because of its lack of defense, boom
    counters turtle because of its waste of resources, and turtle counters rush
    because of its units get owned by buildings.
    | a. Rush [RUSN]                       |
    Best: Spanish, German, French, Ottoman, Russian
    Worst Civs: Portuguese, Dutch
    A rush is when someone focuses on getting military as fast as they possibly can
    and pound you into the ground before you even have any military to either
    cripple you or put you out.  To do this you basically as soon as you age up you
    spend all of the resources on building military buildings and units, usually
    right next to the enemy's base.  Hopefully your enemy has spent all of his
    resources and shipments on Settlers and economic resources and not on military
    He should then garrison all or most of his Settlers into his town center.  You
    now have two choices.  One is to have your army run away and attack buildings
    or Settlers out of the town center fire and wait until his Settlers decide to
    go back to work and attack them again.  The other option is to attempt to take
    down his town center, likely securing your victory, just be sure to have the
    units to take it down (see below at the Unique Units section to see what units
    can take down buildings well).
    Unit shipments are the best to use here.
    | b. Boom [BMIN]                       |
    Best Civs: Dutch, Russia, British, Portuguese
    Worst Civs: Ottoman
    The boom is basically the opposite of a rush.  You focus on your economy over
    everything else.  Have a goal of maxing out your Settler limit and researching
    many of the market improvements.  Try and keep your town center(s) constantly
    producing Settlers.  Just remember in order to do this you are going to need a
    lot of food.
    In order to do this you need to extend the game out as long as you can.  You do
    this with a combination of buildings and military units.  You have to protect
    yourself while not spending too much on military.  Just periodically make
    military units of your choice (of course try and counter his units) and make
    extra town centers with your explorer to both increase your Settler production
    and add much needed defense to your city.  Should the enemy attack, garrison at
    least 10 Settlers into each town center to maximize its attack power.  Then try
    and lure your enemy into your town center's fire with your military and attack
    him their.  Even if he did more damage to you then you did to him, hopefully
    your better economy will make up for it.  Also don't be afraid to build walls
    and towers, but don't overdo it.
    Food shipments are preferable here, as with any resource shipments.  Offensive
    cards can be good to.
    | c. Turtle [TRTL]                     |
    Best Civs: Portugal, Russian, British
    Worst Civs: Ottoman
    The strategy is a lot like a boom, just with more of an emphasis on defense.
    Definitely do this if you know your enemy is going to rush you.  I suggest
    building a wall while you are researching the second age to protect from the
    early rushes.  
    Tower and the fort are the best shipments to use here.
    | d. The Fast Fortress [TFFS]          |
    Best Civs: Portugal, Ottoman, Spanish, Germany
    Worst Civs: Dutch, Russian
    This is a very popular strategy that doesn't really fit in anywhere in the
    above three.  Basically you just try and get to age III as fast as you can
    without sacrificing too much in economy.  You then try and attack with a much
    more advanced army using mostly unit shipment cards.  It is relatively easy to
    pull off.
    When you first advance to age 2 you should choose either the 500 food or 400
    gold politicians to help get you closer to the requirement for fortress
    Come into the game knowing how much food and gold you will need to gather.  So
    if you have the 500 food politician and a 700 gold card to send, you only need
    to gather an additional 700 food and 300 gold.  Be sure to save up shipments so
    you can use them for the third age.  In age three mass age III unit shipment
    cards and build any age III so you can get a more advanced unit without
    spending money to improve them.  Getting a couple of falconets are helpful too,
    especially from a shipment.  Then just attack fast and furious or use extra
    town centers to boom faster then you could in age two for the Ports and
    Unit shipments are your friends.
    / IV. Conquering [CNQR]                 /
    What to build - Before you can actually start killing things you need to build
    military units.  Because of the rock, paper, scissor arrangement of the Age of
    Empires series you can't just send nothing but musketeers into battle and hope
    to win.  Deciding what to units to build depends on what civilization you have
    and what your opponent is building, so going in with the same unit every game
    isn't the best way to go.
    | a. Counters [CNTR]                   |
    The Counters Chart - (the units with a civilization next to it means a that
    unit is excusive to that civ) 
    |The Type         The Units               They Counter      Are Countered By |
    |Light Infantry   Skirmisher              Heavy Infantry    Hand Calvary     |
    |                 Crossbow-men            Ranged Calvary    Artillery        |
    |                 Longbow-men (British)                                      |
    |                 Cassador (Portuguese)                                      |
    |                 Strelet (Russian)                                          |
    |                                                                            |
    |Heavy Infantry   Musketeer*              Hand Calvary      Light Infantry   |
    |                 Pikemen                 Ranged Calvary    Artillery**      |
    |                 Halberdier              Artillery**                        |
    |                 Janissary*(Ottoman)                                        |
    |                 Rodelero (Spain)                                           |
    |                 Doppelsoldner (German)                                     |
    |                                                                            |
    |Hand Calvary     Hussar                  Light Infantry    Heavy Infantry   |
    |                 Curasser (French)        Artillery***     Ranged Calvary   |
    |                 Lancer (Spain)                                             |
    |                 Uhlan (German)                                             |
    |                 Cossak (Russian)                                           |
    |                 Spahi (Ottoman)                                            |
    |                                                                            |
    |Ranged Calvary   Dragoon                 Hand Calvary      Light Infantry   |
    |                 Calvary Archer          Artillery         Heavy Infantry   |
    |                 Ruyter (Dutch)                                             |
    |                 War Wagon* (German)                                        |
    |                                                                            |
    |Artillery        Falconet                Light Infantry    Hand Calvary     |
    |                 Grenadier               Heavy Infantry    Ranged Calvary***|
    |                 Heavy Cannon                                               |
    |                 Organ Gun (Portuguese)                                     |
    |                 Great Bombard (Ottoman)                                    |
    |                 Rocket* (British)                                          |
    |                                                                            |
    |*Abstract unit. See below.                                                  |
    |                                                                            |
    |**Heavy Infantry only counter artillery if they fight hand to hand and      |
    |not by much, otherwise they get countered like none other.                  |
    |                                                                            |
    |***Changed since patch 1.06.                                                |
    | b. Abstract Units [ABST]             |
    Abus Guns - These guns made by the Ottomans can be tricky.  They act a lot like
    artillery and still get countered by hand cavalry and ranged cavalry, but
    unlike artillery they are bad against buildings (same with organ guns) and they
    aren't countered by culverins. 
    Culverin - This is a unit only designed to counter the artillery.  It has
    tremendous range and can kill a falconet in 2-3 hits.  They get countered by
    the same things that counter artillery.
    Janissary - The only infantry unit for the Ottomans is fairly well rounded.
    They can fare pretty well against anything except artillery, and they counter
    cavalry.  The only way they counter cavalry is through hand to hand.  So if a
    bunch of cavalry comes charging at your Janissaries put them into hand combat
    mode by clicking the two swords icon in the lower left area of you HUD.  Before
    you do that I think you need to turn on Advanced Formations through:
    Help and Tools > Options > UI options (should be there already) > Advance 
    Mortar - A very simple unit.  It lays waste to buildings and ships but can't
    even try to attack anything else.  They get countered by the same things as
    Musketeer - Like the Janissaries the only way to counter cavalry is through
    hand to hand.  The only difference between them and Janissaries is they don't
    fare as well as them against light cavalry.
    Oprichnik - A Russian only hand cavalry that only does well against buildings
    and Settlers.  They get killed by anything else.  So keep them away from your
    opponent's army and lay waste to their city with them.
    Rocket - It is the British version of the heavy cannon, but it is very
    different from it.  Artillery counters it and it doesn't do much damage to
    War Wagons - This is a difficult unit to understand.  It has the same bonuses
    as other ranged cavalry so it is best to just think of them the same as
    dragoons, but they have a whole lot of hand to hand armor.  So that means even
    though bonus wise pikemen should win against them, they don't.  So just
    beware of any ranged units.  So basically only Musketeers, Janissaries, and all
    light infantry counter them.
    Buildings - Only certain units can take down buildings efficiently.  Here is
    the list of those units:
    Heavy Cannon
    Great Bombard
    And all navy
    | c. Exploiting options for spying [EOFS]|
    There are a couple of options you should turn on to make this much easier on
    Help and Tools > Options > UI options > Show Scores
    Help and Tools > Options > UI options > Show Time
    Time -
    You should keep an eye on the time since a lot of people tend so you can see
    when the enemy is ready to attack.  Usually it takes 10 to 12 minutes before
    the enemy is ready to attack, unless they rush.  Then it can happen within 7-8
    Score -
    The score can be helpful too.  First off let me explain how the score is
    determined.  The score is solely determined by how many resource you have both
    in your pocket and on the field.  That includes the unspent resources, your
    buildings, your units, and your improvements.  That is it, it doesn't count how
    many units you kill, it doesn't count how many guys you have sent to their
    death, and it doesn't count the cost of the units set in the queue.  Basically
    the score tracker goes through every single thing that you currently have,
    counts the resources that it costs, and add it to its overall cost of your
    colony, and spits out the score from their.  So if you send a whole bunch of
    army men to fight in a huge skirmish battle in the middle of the field, both
    you and your enemy's points are going to go nowhere but down as you are losing
    So because the score is based solely off your absolute total resources, a
    person that it going to boom is going to have more points then a person that is
    going to rush, since the boomer spent all of his resources on getting more
    resources, while the rusher is trying to get military instead of resources.
    Also just because your enemy has lots more points then you do late in the game
    doesn't mean you are going to lose, but instead it might mean he has focused
    too much on economy.  I recommend you to try to send a scout to see if he has a
    big army or not.  If he doesn't, try to attack as soon as you possibly can, as
    he is likely to be able to have a big army soon.  If he does have a big army,
    stay back and try to get a turtle strategy going.  Build up a few towers and
    maybe a wall.  Let him attack first and hopefully you can get more of his guys
    to die then he can kill of yours.  Meanwhile try using your to out-boom him by
    maxing out your economy out.  It is going to be tough, but you got yourself
    into this situation.
    | c. Mircroing [MCRG]                  |
    This is basically the act of telling every unit exactly what to do all the
    time.  If you don't micro and simply send your entire battle out and let them
    be you could lose the battle against a properly microed army half your size.
    This is a skill that can only really come with practice.  The best way to learn
    Microing is through a recording, but here are some written tips anyhow:
    First off, always try and get your units fighting the units they counter.  If
    there is a falconet in the back ranks, get your hand cavalry to go around the
    army to get to it.  Also if you're the one with the falconet, protect it with
    ranged cavalry or heavy infantry and don't let them wander off.
    Second is, if possible, to bring the fight to building fire like a town center
    or a fort.
    Finally, hit and run can be a fairly useful tool especially early in the game.
    If your enemy is attacking with in sort of hand units while you have any sort
    of ranged units, just fire, immediately right click your units to run away, and
    as soon as they reloaded, turn around and fire again.  This is especially
    useful around your town center so the constant fire from the town center should
    be killing their units while they are busy running after your units.
    | d. The Navy [TNVY]                   |
    I don't really have much to say here, but I think you should only use a navy if
    either you are going to fish, or if their city is close to the water and you
    can attack with Monitors.  I like to use a fishing ship to use as a scout to
    see if the enemy is going to build a dock and fish too.  If you do see a dock,
    consider making a few naval ships to take them out while they are still
    (hopefully) defenseless.  If you don't see anything, just leave that boat to
    fish around where they might build a dock, in case they decide to make a dock
    later on. 
    If you are the one being attacked, be sure to garrison all of your fishing
    ships into your dock, and if possible bring some support with Falconets or
    / V. Civilizations [CVLZ]               /
    This is in order of what I feel to be the easiest to win with to the hardest
    for most people.  Also note "Best at:" does not mean "Restricted to:".
    | a. Spanish [SPNS]                    |
    Bonus: Shipments arrive faster, and the Explorer can train war dogs.
    Best at: The Fast Fortress, Rush
    Unique Units: Rodelero, Lancer, and War Dog
    General Tips: 
    The Spanish are a pretty average civ strategy wise and their main bonus of
    getting shipments fast can be easily utilized.  To rush the best strategy is to
    use your explorer and war dogs to take down as many treasure guardians as you
    can to get plenty of experience and use unit shipments consisting of pikemen
    and the pikemen shipment you get from leveling up to have a great way to level
    any buildings.  Also it would be a good idea to make crossbowmen to take out
    any infantry that they might have.
    The fast fortress is an equally good strategy to use with the Spanish too.
    Just do it like a normal fast fortress while saving up shipments and spam tons
    of unit cards once you age up.  The treasures and experience your explorer +
    war dogs get can help to shave off some time between advancements.
    | b. German [GRMN]                     |
    Bonus: Free Uhlans with every shipment.  Also get more mercenaries per shipment
    of mercenaries instead of Uhlans.
    Best at: The Fast Fortress, Rush
    Unique Units: Uhlan, Settler Wagon, Doppelsoldner
    General Tips:  As soon as you can get the 2 Settler wagon for age I.  That is
    equal to 4 free near instant villagers.  This will put you ahead of other
    economy wise early game.  Then just do the fast fortress or rush like you would
    another civ.  Only with the Germans you get free Uhlans with every shipment
    from age II on.
    | c. French [FRCH]                     |
    Bonus: More efficient Settlers (Courier de Bois) that work 25% faster with only
    a 20% increase in cost.  Plus they get a starting native scout.
    Best at: Boom
    Unique Units: Courier de Bois, Cuirassier
    General Tips: A very easy city to boom with since its Settlers don't get killed
    all that easily.  Also with the Courier you should be raking in the resources
    in no time.  Near the end you can use the combination of the 20 extra pop and
    the best hand cavalry in the game, the Cuirassier, to take overwhelm your enemy
    late game.
    | d. Ottoman [OTMN]                    |
    Bonus: Free but slow spawning of Settlers.
    Best at: The Fast Fortress, Rush
    Unique Units: Janissary, Abus Gun, Spahi, Great Bombard, Galley
    General Tips:  The most unique civ in the game.  You basically have two options
    as this civ.  You can either rush using Abus Guns and Janissaries because of
    all the food you save with the free Settlers or you can go fast fortress to
    make multiple town centers to get your Settlers to come out in reasonable time.
    Then boom from there.
    In order to increase your Settler population limits you need to research some
    improvements in your Mosque (Ottoman version of Church).  If you plan to rush
    you shouldn't research these improvements and go all out early on.  If you plan
    to fast fortress, I advise to research these as soon as you can.
    | e. Portuguese [PRTG]                 |
    Bonus: They get a free Settler wagon (town center) for every time they age up.
    Best at: The Fast Fortress, Boom, Turtle
    Unique Units: Cassador, Organ Gun
    General Tips:  This is my favorite civilization to play as.  I think the fast
    fortress is easily the best strategy for this civ.  It is even easier because
    of the 500 food politician that they get from the beginning.  Then as soon as
    you get to fortress you can use you three free town centers to pump out
    Settlers and protect your city.  You can also use all of you age III cards to
    protect your city while producing as many Settlers as possible.
    The Portuguese also have some of the best units in the game if managed
    properly.  If you can get an army of Cassadors, Dragoons, and culverins you can
    take out any unit very effectively.  Dragoons take out any horses, culverins
    take out any artillery, and Cassadors take out everything else.  Just make sure
    that your Cassadors don't get attacked so much, so use their speed and range to
    do the hit and run micro with them or retreat them all the way back home if you
    are overrun.
    | f. British [BRTS]                    |
    Bonus: For each new house that is build, a Settler is spawned.
    Best at: Turtle, Boom
    Unique Units: Longbowman, Rocket
    General Tips: A more difficult civ then you may think, the British are only
    really good at the boom and turtle.  When I play this civ I usually go for the
    turtle.  As soon as you first advance, take all but two or three Settlers from
    food and set them on wood.  Then build a wall as you advance and advance with
    the outpost politician to defend that wall.  Then I spam build Manors while
    still building villagers from the town center.  How do I do that you ask?  Well
    I don't gather any gold at all until I have a decent amount on wood and food to
    keep up the manor and town center production.  Meanwhile build up some
    Longbowman to protect your walls.  They don't cost any gold so you still don't
    need to worry about gold until your ready to go for the advance.
    | g. Dutch [DTCH]                      |
    Bonus: Can build banks which generate free coin, Settlers cost coin, and can
    only make 50 Settlers.  Skirmishers are available from age II on.
    Best at: Boom
    Unique Units: Envoy, Ruyter, Fluyt
    General Tips: I think the Dutch is the absolute best at late game.  This is
    because of them having 150 pop units to devote to military and still have a
    maximum economy.  But getting there is the hard part.  The start is easy as
    usual, just send all of your starting units to gold and send all created
    Settlers to food.  As soon as you advance make sure to build skirmishers and
    use them very conservatively their attack against infantry.  Use your
    skirmisher's range and keep running from the enemy, putting himself in a
    predicament; either ignoring your skirmishers and be sniped from afar or
    chasing your skirmishers and get killed by town center or tower fire.  Build
    a bank as soon as possible too.  With any luck you can have 4-5 banks by
    Fortress and not have to worry about getting gold from mining and getting
    themselves killed.
    | h. Russian [RSHN]                    |
    Bonus: Their barracks (Blockhouses) get a ranged attack at no extra charge.
    Settlers and Blockhouse units are trained in batches at a lower cost per unit.
    Best at: Rush
    Unique Units: Strelet, Cossack, Oprichnik
    General Tips:  Because your armies are going to have a whole lot of quantity
    and not too much quality you are definitely going to want to attack earlier in
    the game where quantity is more important the quality.  If you get too late in
    the game that pop limit is going to be a big problem, though instant army can
    help using two shipments and the improvement at the church.  So just rush like
    always but you can use the Blockhouse to make a very easy forward base.
    / VI. Miscellaneous tips [MSCT]         /
    - Explore as much as you can, even if you have explored the area once before -
    Try and be sure that the units you are building are the right ones.
    - Always build multiple military unit types - This is sort of like don't put
    all of your eggs in one basket.  If your enemy makes only one unit type at a
    time, just use the half of your army that counters it.  Should he change up
    that one unit to counter your attacking army, you can just use the other half
    of your army.
    - Raid! - Kill all of his Settlers that you can without encountering your
    enemy's army.  The easiest way to do this is to send a hand cavalry card from
    your home city and use those and run away as soon as the other guy's army comes
    marching in.
    - Pick your battles - Don't be afraid to run away if you don't think you can
    win.  There is no need to sacrifice all of your cavalry against an army of
    hundreds of Pikemen.
    - Don't be too improvement happy - Improvements are great and all, but they are
    very useless if it is upgrading little to no units.  I say the minimum amount
    of units you have before you advance is 10 and that is only if you plan to make
    - Repair Your Buildings - Ok so this is pretty obvious.  What's not obvious is
    how you actually go about doing it.  There is an option in the lower left area
    of your HUD that looks like a hammer when you have a damaged building selected.
    All you have to do is click on it and as long as it is damaged, you have the
    resources, and no one is attacking it at that time it will slowly be repaired.
    - Hot Keys, they are useful - Just as it says learning hotkeys will help you do
    everything faster.  Try and get into a practice of selecting all of a specific
    unit type by double clicking on one unit and put it to a control group by
    hitting ctrl and a number.  So if you hit ctrl and 1 for a unit group, to
    select them again just it 1.  For the other keys, look them up in your options
    or in the manual and just learn one at a time.  So instead of looking and
    memorizing all keys at once, just use for instance t and then hit v every time
    you want to make another villager since t goes to your town center and v queues
    up one villager.
    / VII. Conclusion and Credits [CNCL]    /
    Conclusion -
    Well that's it.  Nothing left to do but practice by playing online some more.
    And don't be afraid to lose sometimes, there will always be someone who is more
    experienced at this game so don't let it get you down, you will get better. If
    you wish to get more help, try downloading some recorded games.  They can be
    found here: http://agesanctuary.com/ note that you do need to sign up to get
    them, but as an Internet user you should be used to that by now.  So, all
    that's left is the thanks.
    Thanks -
    - The Official Age of Empires III strategy guide for some statistics I could
    never find elsewhere.
    - All of the posters at http://aoe3.heavengames.com/ especially Ceres629 for
    his wonderful guides and replays that elevated me so much as an aoe player.
    - You the reader, because why else would I write this guide.
    - And of course the mandatory GameFAQs and cJayc stuff because yada yada yada.

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