This guide is written as an Excel workbook. Therefore, Excel and some basic knowledge of how Excel functions will be needed in order to use it. Except for a few interactive features, most of the guide will involve reading. It is filled with tons of useful information gathered from various forums and the “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires III\data\proto.xml" file. I started off wanting to learn the rock / paper / scissors aspects of the game but I keep finding bugs and could not quit. I have made updated this guide throughout the patches and copied lots of useful guides from various forums (giving credit where credit is due) and edited the guides to make them in the same format and translated from English to English in some circumstances (if you know what I mean). So go ahead and throw away the user manual supplied with the game.
I spent a lot of time on this and it shows. Depending on its popularity, I will continue in further patches and the expansion.