You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Strategy Central

Hop to:    
Topic Subject: Comprehensive Guide- The Basics of Age of Empires III
« Previous Page  1 2 3  Next Page »
posted 02-08-07 08:57 PM EDT (US)   
I've seen a lot of posts on various fansites about basic little things so I have decided to amalgamate them all into 1 compact guide. I would also like to make a better looking/better informed post than the "General Tips" post here.

If you can micro properly, you can win a lot more battles and have a much more effective economy. Here are some general micromanagement tips:

Economy Management Tips: Shift+Clicking

  • When you are in the early stages of the game (Discovery Age especially) you will want to move as fast as possible. If you hold shift and on many separate things your villagers will automatically move to the next work item without having to be told. Many people neglect to do this (or just don't know how). This can save a prodigious amount of time . So-ESPECIALLY as the British, you can tell your villagers to build this house, then cut this tree- instead of having to:
    A: Click the Idle Villager Button
    B: Scroll over to the place you want the villager to go
    C: Click the thing you want your villager to do can have you villager build the house and automatically cut the tree without having to manage him.
  • British manor houses spawn settlers when built. It is much easier to set a gather point from the houses onto a gold mine or trees or other resources than have to select the villager. The villager will walk straight out of the house straight to work.
  • Idle Villager Time- AVOIDED!
    Often when fighting a battle or micromanaging skirmishers or hussars to kill settlers, you will have 10-20 settlers completely idle wasting away doing nothing. You can avoid this Lets say that you have a group of gold miners. If you are going to enter a battle with only 400 gold left in that mine, you should shift+click on that mine and then another so that once that mine is finished, the villagers will automatically walk to the next mine. This avoids the horror of villagers doing nothing while you are micromanaging your troops.
  • Town Centers
    Basic tip, you should group your town center(s) into group 9 so that no matter where you are on the map you just press 9 and then click the villager button (or press V). This is better than pressing T in my opinion because you avoid having to take your eyes off the part of the map you are currently looking at- it will select the TC and not make you have to look at it.
  • Holding shift while clicking on the market icons (selling wood for gold, etc.) will let you buy and sell in groups of 500. Don't sit there clicking the button thousands of times. Do it 5X as fast and hold shift.
  • Surround your Town Center with houses. This is ultimate rush protection- less units can get through to the town center and it will take longer to get it down.

    Military Management Tips

  • Counters:
    A lot of people do not know several counters to specific units. Here are some:
  • Although a lot of people do not currently play Germany, Anti Infantry counter War Wagons.
  • Grenadiers and Abus Guns are light infantry- not artillery.
  • Minutemen OWN Petards
  • Culverins are simply amazing units. They own falconets and field guns like nothing else (except cavalry ). They also have immensely long range so you can see the enemy coming and destroy their cannon so your infantry has a chance! They are very underused
    See this guide for unit counters:Jaafit's Guide to Unit Counters
  • Tactics
    Bump and Run: A nasty little tactic that will obliterate your enemies army. 5 skirmishers can defeat an infinite number of musketeers or units with a shorter range than them as long as there is land behind them. Move back, shoot a unit, move back, shoot a unit...etc. Very easy to do and extremely effective.
    Raiding: Keep a separate group of cavalry, skirmishers, or natives close to your enemies base to kill his villagers off while they are attacking your main army. Guaranteed damage.
    Grouping: In a big battle, keep about 10 halberdiers surrounding your cannon- you will slaughter his cavalry and your cannons will still be alive. Keep your soldiers grouped for maximum effect.


  • Barracks or Blockhouse: Control+B
  • Stable: Control+S
  • Artillery Foundry: Control+A
  • Dock: Control+D
  • Market: Control +M
  • Church: Control+C
  • Capitol: Control+Z
  • Factory: Control+Y
  • Town Center: T
  • I find it easy to group my barracks as group 9, my stable(s) as group 8, and my artillery foundry (or foundries) as group 7.

    General Tips

  • Scout like crazy. If you know what they have, you can counter it. If you find some villagers, you can kill them. Scouting IS the most important thing to do in Age of Empires III.
  • Shoot huntable animals toward your Town Center. It saves walking distance and keeps your villager safer from enemies trying to raid you with their mean cavalry.
  • Save your HC cards. If there is nothing good to get at level 22, save it for level 25. Lots of good card options become available at level 25!
  • Constant Villager production- Never stop! (Until you get to the max you want- standard booms go to about 60 or 70, but a lot of games get up to the max).
  • Research the LOS technologies at the church- HUGE boost in sight.
  • DO use surgeons, priests, medicine men. They easily pay for your units and means whenever you enter a new battle you will have fresh units. And the expensive falconets will live longer!!!!!!!
  • Check on the opponents deck. It will help you to identify what he is doing. To check, click on MENU --, Player Summary --> Your enemies flag. This will get you a picture of his deck (and the name of his deck too- sometimes very revealing!).
  • Research market technologies early- colonial age. Get the tier 1 upgrades.
  • Tower up gold mines/herds/your forward base. These help a lot.
  • Always raid a LOT. He won't be expecting it. During a big battle, send 10 cavalry behind his base- you will do a LOT of damage- and as his attack horn is going off elsewhere it is unlikely that he will notice your raiding.
  • Kill his villagers- they ARE his colony.
  • Gather treasures. They boost your economy, give you experience, and give your opponent less treasure. Anything free is a plus .
  • Always make soldiers in groups of 5 if possible- same amount of training time as a single one.
  • Learn your hotkeys!
  • To find your explorer, press /.

    Treasure Hunting
    Treasure hunting is extremely beneficial to any Age of Empires III player. A lot of players neglect treasures as being useless, but they provide a large boost to your economy (and sometimes units) if you can gather enough. The most amazing treasure is to pick up a "Boots of Arkantos" that increases the Speed of the unit that picks them up by 30%- which, if you pick them up with a villager means that ALL villagers will move 30% faster. This means more resources, faster escape, and a much better economy. Here are some tips to defeating certain guardians:

  • Coyote:The easiest guardian in the game: 2 ranged shots and 1 hand attack to kill. Don't waste a sniper shot on them.
  • Wolf:Stronger than the coyote. 3 ranger shots and 1 hand attack to kill. Again, do not waste a sniper shot on them- you can take on about 3 safely.
  • Crocodiles, Cougars: Stronger than wolves- and they attack faster. Sharpshooting these is OK but still not needed. You can take on 2 or 3.
  • Jaguars: Quite powerful- you can only take on 1 at a time and sharpshooting is a good idea here.
  • Black Bears: Weak bears- you can sharpshooter these. You can probably take on about 2 or 3 at a time if you use bump+run tactics.
  • Grizzly/Polar Bears:Much stronger than black bears. Polar bears have HUGE HP but low attack, Grizzlies are strong too. Sharpshooting is advised.
  • Outlaws: Strong. Riders, pistoleros, and bandits are all hard and have a strong ranged attack (but their hand attack is crap). You can hand attack these and win easily.
  • Carib Blowgunners:Strong ranged attack, but only 5 hand attack. Melee these and snipe if there is more than 1.
  • Pirates: Extremely powerful. Don't attempt to attack these unless you have sniper and some back-up troops.

    Tactics to Gain Treasure Easier

  • Bump-and-Run: Your explorer will lose a lot of HP from units if he just charges into treasures. But what if he could take on the guardians one by one? Here is how: There is an "Invisible line" surrounding the treasures. Upon reaching this line, the guardians will retreat backwards. If you can shoot a guardian, then move back, then shoot him again, and then move back until he starts running away, you will know where the line is. Use this to: Shoot the furthest out guardian, move back, shoot as soon as he has reloaded, and then stand on that line to just hand attack kill. This will make it a lot easier (especially against coyotes). Mokon's Guide to Treasure Hunting has this and more in detail.
  • Using Terrain: Get behind trees, cliffs, or stone walls to make the guardians have to run further. This should allow you a lot more ranged shots and probably the death of the guardian.

    I got some help from Mokon's Guide to Treasure Hunting as some help here. Just avoiding plagiarism !

    More to come...please suggest some civilization specific ideas/strategies- I will include them .

    Links to other useful guides
    Jaafit's guide to unit counters
    F1RE_FLY's Guide to "How many shots kill that unit"
    Scot_Free's Guide to Church Unique Technologies
    Flammifier's Politician Effects Guide
    Random Maps Guide- Describes all the maps in detail!

    I'm still adding more...
    If there is something you think should be included, tell me!

    A BIG Thank-you to all the people that responded, gave me new ideas, and especially to Stonewall for stickying this !! Did I break the record for being the youngest forummer (about 1 month) to have a strategy stickied?

    Tiny bit more to go.

    My AoE3 Stats
    My Warchiefs Stats
    Games currently playing:
    Age of Empires 3 (and The Warchiefs)
    Proud author of the Comprehensive Guide- The Basics of Age of Empires III guide!

    [This message has been edited by OpenWar (edited 05-06-2007 @ 07:40 PM).]

  • Replies:
    posted 02-18-07 09:55 AM EDT (US)     26 / 55  
    Ok- Almost done and finished...I added some more and just have a tiny bit left yet

    My AoE3 Stats
    My Warchiefs Stats
    Games currently playing:
    Age of Empires 3 (and The Warchiefs)
    Proud author of the Comprehensive Guide- The Basics of Age of Empires III guide!

    [This message has been edited by OpenWar (edited 02-18-2007 @ 09:56 AM).]

    posted 02-18-07 10:08 AM EDT (US)     27 / 55  
    Wow... that guide is really helpful. I'm just now starting to play AOE3 (and post on these forums) again after a year-long break, so I needed something like this to get me back on my feet.

    I'm back. Rawr.
    posted 02-22-07 09:09 AM EDT (US)     28 / 55  
    Thanks OpenWar; this is really a great description.
    I have one nasty suggestion.
    Can a villager not be used just to kill animals close to the opponents! Lead them away and kill them?
    I like playing dirty.

    [This message has been edited by jensenjens (edited 02-25-2007 @ 10:42 AM).]

    posted 02-28-07 07:58 PM EDT (US)     29 / 55  
    The uhlan bug's been fixed, you can take it away from the thread

    I MADE IT!!!
    I posted in a closed thread after a mod!

    Meet the bagpipe performer!

    posted 02-07-08 02:45 PM EDT (US)     30 / 55  
    great guide love it!!
    posted 04-29-08 04:11 PM EDT (US)     31 / 55  
    Woah, this is really going to help me. I never would have thought about using short keys or microing. I didn't think it was that important. Now I'm printing this out and having it handy for when I'm facing opponents.

    Thanks a lot!

    Rekhyt Farqual
    ESO Username: Rekhyt_Farqual
    Main Civilization: Dutch
    Game Type: Supremacy
    Motto: Screw Win Percentages. ^^
    posted 06-24-08 11:59 PM EDT (US)     32 / 55  
    oh i know something that you should add to the random map thing maybe,, i went to the rts professional site and on the videos he said that many maps aren't as random as they seem,, what i am saying is that if you can you can post in depth summaries of some commonly used map like where the second herd most likely is, and where the second mine most likely is,, this was on the crossbow contain video i think,, cause he knew the second herd would be south west or something
    posted 06-25-08 11:55 AM EDT (US)     33 / 55  
    you realize that this topic is over a year old right?
    posted 09-12-08 08:13 PM EDT (US)     34 / 55  
    very helpful, thanks heaps mate!

    "There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. "
    posted 09-12-08 08:42 PM EDT (US)     35 / 55  
    It sure is helpful!

    New players can learn a lot from this.

    Also, mate, this thread was a bit old..... Next time, look at the date of the last post. But, it is ok to bring back an old thread if you have a question.

    [This message has been edited by James246 (edited 09-12-2008 @ 08:44 PM).]

    posted 09-12-08 09:19 PM EDT (US)     36 / 55  
    Also, mate, this thread was a bit old..... Next time, look at the date of the last post. But, it is ok to bring back an old thread if you have a question.
    It's a sticky you noob

    Proud Citizen of Sovietcanuckistan
    posted 09-13-08 11:51 AM EDT (US)     37 / 55  
    Lol duh...
    posted 09-13-08 02:40 PM EDT (US)     38 / 55  
    I'll have to side with Kivlov on this one James, no point in telling a guy not to bring a sticky up to the top of the stickies list, lol.
    posted 11-27-08 06:04 PM EDT (US)     39 / 55  
    Well written. It is very effective for new players, and even people who have played for a bit this also helps them.
    posted 11-28-08 01:26 AM EDT (US)     40 / 55  
    Also, mate, this thread was a bit old..... Next time, look at the date of the last post. But, it is ok to bring back an old thread if you have a question.
    It's a sticky you noob
    It was not a sticky when I posted that message.
    posted 05-23-09 07:40 PM EDT (US)     41 / 55  
    "Grenadiers and Abus Guns are light infantry- not artillery."

    I think they're heavy infantry.

    [This message has been edited by bobtheboy (edited 05-23-2009 @ 07:41 PM).]

    posted 05-23-09 08:07 PM EDT (US)     42 / 55  
    abus gun are not heavy artilary as they get countered by cav! and i think gens is the same

    eso name: oliandsam
    rank: 1st luit
    clan: some silly dutch one
    "A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic."
    Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography. - Paul Rodriguez
    posted 05-23-09 08:44 PM EDT (US)     43 / 55  
    abus gun are not heavy artilary as they get countered by cav! and i think gens is the same"
    I think you meant heavy infantry...since cav do counter heavy artillery.
    posted 05-24-09 04:24 AM EDT (US)     44 / 55  
    "Grenadiers and Abus Guns are light infantry- not artillery."

    I think they're heavy infantry.

    Grenadiers have the heavy infantry tag, abus not.
    abus gun are not heavy artilary as they get countered by cav! and i think gens is the same
    True, but grens still have the heavy infantry tag. The new TAD cavalry do worse vs grens than to *LI because of that heavy infantry tag.

    "There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief

    "All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."
    "A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. " - Plato
    posted 02-17-10 07:39 PM EDT (US)     45 / 55  
    OK I'm a newb and I have read these forums extensively - I just don't get the concept of loads of villagers against loads of troops?? - about 20 villagers seems to get the resources necessary for troops and upgrades? and villagers are expensive - Help me with this basic concept
    posted 02-17-10 10:39 PM EDT (US)     46 / 55  
    The basic idea is
    More Villagers = More Resources = More Troops

    What your trying to do is to get as much resources per second as possible and to do this you need to get as much villagers as possible, normally up to the limit of the civ your playing with (thats normally 70 up) so that you get as much resources as possible.

    If 20 vills seem to be doing the job, are you sure you're not playing the campaign or have a handicap?
    posted 07-07-10 08:13 PM EDT (US)     47 / 55  
    thank you for this guide.. its hard to ask questions in game lobby because most people say leave noob lol
    posted 09-01-11 12:59 PM EDT (US)     48 / 55  
    Thanks! I am new to competitive play, and this really helped!
    posted 10-03-11 11:49 AM EDT (US)     49 / 55  
    i am sorry how do you group stuff so to only press a number for all of them to be chosen

    "Boredom is a great motivator."
    "if a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."
    "Woman are meant to be loved, not to be understood".

    posted 10-03-11 06:04 PM EDT (US)     50 / 55  
    highlight what you want to hotkey then press control+any number
    « Previous Page  1 2 3  Next Page »
    Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » Strategy Central » Comprehensive Guide- The Basics of Age of Empires III
    You must be logged in to post messages.
    Please login or register
    Hop to:    
    Age of Empires III Heaven | HeavenGames