Age of Empires 3: Asian Dynasties
New Game Modes
Consulates and Mercenaries
New Campaigns
Heroes and Villians

With the addition of Consulates and the new Export resource, Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties injects an intriguing level of depth to existing Age of Empires III strategy. If used wisely, these new features can mean the difference between rousing a victory or a humiliating defeat.

As players build their kingdoms, Villagers gather a new resource along with the usual Coin, Food, and Wood. Export is a resource that is spent at the Consulate to recruit powerful foreign allies and gain access to technologies from across the globe.

The rate at which players acquire Export can be adjusted depending on how they wish to play. In order to increase the Export stream, players must sacrifice other resources using the Export command panel.

All new Asian mercenaries can be trained at the Saloon, Monastery, or select native sites. These outlaws, including the Thuggee, Ronin, and Chakram hoop thrower (to name just a few) augment your army with bloodthirsty soldiers who fight for pay...not for honor.

The Jat Lancer is a mercenary Indian cavalry unit that does devastating damage against enemy archers and skirmishers. During the occupation of India by British forces, the Jat people were designated a martial race, or an ethnic group that based on exhibited qualities was predisposed to fighting. The British recruited native soldiers heavily from these particular populations, the most distinguished being the 14th Murray's Jat Lancers, which saw fighting during World War I.

The Iron Troop is a Chinese mercenary unit that has a bonus against heavy infantry and light cavalry. The mighty iron troops were the brainchild of Koxinga, the Ming military leader and man responsible for ousting the Dutch from Formosa, now Taiwan, in 1662. These tough soldiers were the most elite of all military recruits, and they wore metal masks, armor, and often painted their faces to frighten and discombobulate enemy soldiers.

The Chakram is an Indian unit that throws a razor-sharp hoop, striking enemy units from afar and inflicting great splash damage. The circular metal chakram was a weapon that ranged from 5 to 7 inches in diameter, and it was usually thrown at its target from a range of 100 to150 feet. From the sixteenth century on, the chakram was a weapon employed exclusively by Sikh soldiers, who threw them in large volleys like archers fire arrows.

The Shaolin Rattan Shield is a Native swordsman unit that is very quick, but weak. The practice of rattan shield fighting is an art form consisting of six distinct fighting methods that are still practiced in parts of Taiwan. The shields were extremely light but uncommonly strong, able to block incoming projectiles, including bullets. They were even so buoyant as to be used by soldiers as flotation devices when crossing shallow bodies of water.

The Dacoit is an Indian mercenary unit that is quick and effective as a short-ranged infantry unit. The word "dacoit" is an anglicized version of the Hindi word "dakaethee," meaning a local robber or thief. Since the fourteenth century, dacoits held a position of prominence in rural Indian life, the most powerful of which became local warlords, making money through ransoms and robberies, and by protecting members of their own castes against wandering bandits and rival dacoit.

The Thuggee is a weak Indian mercenary unit that has a good ranged attack. The thuggee were a cult of Indian robbers and murderers operating primarily between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Traveling in bands of twenty to one hundred men, they befriended wealthy travelers, waited for the right opportunity to strike, and then killed one or more victims before looting the corpses.

The Tiger Claw is an Indian mercenary unit that attacks with its animal-like claws in close-quarters melee combat, and it has a bonus against infantry. The tiger claw, or "bagh nakh," is a weapon named for the wound it inflicts: a series of slice marks that resemble the clawing left by a wild animal. Usually made of metal, the tiger claw was wielded by Indian assassins and warriors of the seventeenth century.

The Arsonist is an Indian mercenary unit that acts as an enhanced grenadier, hurling torches that cause bonus area splash damage on infantry units. Several months before the Sepoy uprising of 1857, a number of serious fires broke out in the areas surrounding the city of Calcutta. The arson of January 24, 1857 is often considered to be the turning point between scattered uprisings and the formation of a definitive resistance movement against the occupational forces of the British East India Company.

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