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The Tashunke Shank

            By Smear               3/9/07, TWC v1.02, Author's Rating: 2000+


The Tashunke:

As we all know the Sioux have this horrible unit called the Tashunke Prowler, although ES refuses to boost them in any way, shape or form. I have created a strategy that utilizes the strengths of the Tashunke to their fullest. But first... What are their strengths? Well let's talk about that:


    1. Tashunke attack and hitpoints stack when grouped together, this means that the more Tashunke you have, the more attack and HP they get. The most you can get is 12 without the card and 18 with the card (Marauders).
    2. Has a 2 area of effect attack.
    3. Can go into stealth mode.


    1. Costs too much.
    2. Are not that good for raiding as Axe Riders are better.
    3. Are completely underpowered when not massed together.

Now, my opinions on the matter:


    1. Tashunkes are VERY good when massed together and have the three cavalary upgrade cards, not to mention the farm upgrade and the support card upgrade.
    2. The area of effect damage is what makes them overpowered after they get the card boosts. If it wasnít for this area attack then I would completely agree with everyone and say they are UP. In fact I wouldnít even be writing this right now.
    3. Stealth mode is completely OP when used correctly... Picture this:

      Your enemy is moving to attack and they must cross the map to get to you. You place your Tashunkes in the middle of the map at a strategic crossing. They move all their anti cavalry forward prepared for your cavalry. You let them pass... Then his *light infantry comes by and just as they are on the side of his anti cavalry... YOU ATTACK!

      Bam! In one quick swing of every Tashunkeís stick, most (if not all) of their *light infantry is down and out. At this point you run away out of their LOS and put stealth back on. They will be in a shamble and retreat thinking they can't take your base now. But oh no my friend we donít let them retreat, we move our Tashunke in front of his Pikemen in stealth mode, blocking his path back to his base! Once your Tashunkes are in the middle of his Pikemen, start swinging those sticks! At least half of his Pikemen will be knocked out before he realizes whatís going on. At this point, unless he has turtled or has a vastly superior eco to you, which is nearly impossible at ten minutes, then you should have a relatively easy time taking out any villagers he has outside his base. Not to mention taking out his Town Center, houses, etc.


    1. Tashunkes do cost a lot, but they are not over the top pricey. You can get all 18 of them around eleven minutes. Thatís a pure Tashunke Fast Fortress though, and it is very susceptible to a rush; I will get to a more rush proof one.
    2. As for raiding, most people do not realize this: they are not meant to be used as raiders. Tashunkes are supposed to be used as precision strike units whoís main job is to take out a whole bunch of units without losing many themselves.
    3. Yes they suck when you only use one of them, but let me see... when was the last time you used one Axe Rider? Or one Wakina? Or even one Cuirassier? Many things suck when not massed. In fact, the only units that donít are artillery

The Strategy:

As we all know, a Fast Fortress is extremely susceptible to a rush. Now letís add in the fact that we want 18 Tashunke as fast as you can with full upgrades. There is absolutely no way you can do this without being attacked and destroyed. A pure Tashunke FF takes at least 11 minutes, the same time as an Ottoman FI. Now Iíll admit that there are some circumstances where a Sioux Fast ďIndustrialĒ (we aren't really going to Industrial, it is just a reference to the Ottomans) is logical, like if you are facing a booming civilization which you know that will sit back and boom/turtle. But let's face it: now-a-days almost nobody will defend for 11 minutes. So what we need is a strategy that gives us a proper defense, eventually will get us to fortress, and will have ~18 prowlers by 15 minutes with full upgrades. First though we must know which cards we will need:

Necessary Cards:

  • 3 Villagers (I)

  • 700 Gold (II)

  • 1000 Food (III)

  • 1000 Wood (III)

  • Marauders (III)

  • Cavalry Damage/Cavalry Hitpoints/Cavalry Combat (III)

Good Support Cards:

  • 700 Food (II)

  • 700 Wood (II)

  • Aggressive Policy (II)

  • Nomadic Expansion (II)

  • Friendly Territory (II)

  • 15 Buffalos (II)

  • 4 Axe Riders (III)

  • 9 Wakina Rifles (III)

  • 3 Dog Soldiers (III)

  • Dakota Support (III)

  • Command Skill (IV)

The Anti-Rush Tashunke Shank:

Ok, now that you have your deck set, let's move on to the strategy. This works well against almost any civ as it is basically a Sioux defensive boom to Fortress Age. Only use if you know your opponent is going to rush, if your opponent is FFing then you should FF too. Use my second Tashunke strategy which is farther down.

Discovery Age:

    • Send the Warchief to go treasure hunting - gather as many treasures as you can.
    • 15 Villagers age up, use the 400 Wood Politician.


    • Move 3 Villagers to wood.
    • Once you have enough wood make a War Hut. If you have to wait until Colonial to get the wood it is fine, just get it up as soon as possible once in Colonial.

Colonial Age:

    • Collect the 400 wood crates.
    • Queue a couple of Villagers.
    • Ship 4 Axe Raiders - they can be used to raid or if your enemy is rushing without any Pikemen/Musketeers, use them on their *light infantry.
    • With your War Hut queue as many Cetan Bows as you can.
    • Once you have around 15, stop making them and work on getting to Fortress Age. If you have to switch Villagers off then do it. Obviously at this point you would take Villagers off wood and put on food, but no need for gold Villagers unless you have less then 300 gold.
    • If your enemy has rushed, use extreme micro to beat him. If by some chance you are beaten then keep your Villagers where they were for a Cetan Bow spam; this is only IF you are in dire need to survive.
    • If on the other hand your opponent has opted to hem you in and not let you hunt, then send 15 Buffalos as next card, if you have safe hunts then donít bother yet.
    • Keep making Villagers.
    • Once you start moving your Villagers to gather for Fortress Age, switch a couple to make a Firepit and have them use the Fertility Dance.
    • Ship 700 Gold.
    • At this point you should have all Villagers but 3 on food, unless you are short on gold, and a couple on the Firepit.
    • Age up to Fortress using the Wise Woman. There is no need to use The Messemger since if you have made it this far you should have some type of army to defend yourself during your age. Twenty percent to hunting can really help too.


    • Build a Market.
    • Switch a little over half of your Villagers to coin. You want to have at least 500 by the time you age with more coming.
    • Firepit to Gift Dance.

Fortress Age:

    • Ship 1000 Wood - you will use 500 on New Year Festival, 200 on a Corral and the rest goes towards a second Town Center.
    • Make some Wakina Rifles. If you have your Villagers allocated right you can make the Wakina and still have 500 food and coin by the time your wood crates arrive.
    • Keep making Villagers during this time. Firepit on Fertility dance.
    • When the wood arrives collect it and research the New years festival at your market, This should give you around 3 shipments,
    • Ship 1000 Food - Tashunke Prowlers are very food heavy. To compensate switch most of your Villagers to gold.
    • Make a Corral.
    • Ship Cavalry Combat and Cavalry Attack.
    • Queue as many Tashunkes as you can. When 1000 food arrives collect it as soon as possible so that you will never run short on food when spamming Tashunkes.

At this point it is completely up to you what to do. You can attack, raid or wait until you have all the upgrades for Tashunkes. Just make sure to get an advantage on your enemy, you donít want to sit back and let him boom while you have a perfectly useful army at your disposal.

Some Tips:

    • Eventually you will want to send Marauders and the Dakota Support card and, if the game goes late enough or you have a farm for some reason, get the farm Big Button Tech.
    • Get a second Town Center and put a few Villagers on the Firepit. You should be able to boom at the same time as doing all the Tashunke upgrades.
    • Spam Wakinas! Donít forget, it is easy to get caught up looking at these OP Tashunke creatures and your economy will start to pile up. Keep making Wakinas and, most importantly, USE THEM! What good is an unit if you donít use it?
    • By 15 minutes you should have at least 12 Tashunke with most of their upgrades and an army of Cetan Bows/Wakina Rifles for support. Choose what you will to do with them.


    • This strategy can be used against all civilizations IF they are rushing you. If they are Fast Fortressing then you should use my Fast Fortress strategy, which is the next one.
    • None of these strats should be used versus Dutch: Halbs + Ruyters + Cannon = GG. It is hard enough to counter as it is let alone using a strat that requires precise micro skills.

The Delayed Tashunke Shank:

In my opinion this is the most viable of all these strategiess. If your opponent is FFing, go for a regular FF and then bring in Tashunke and an OP economy. Works really well... except vs Dutch!

Discovery Age:

    • Basic 15 Villagers age up with 400 Wood Politician.


    • Collect 300 gold. Whether you do this by collecting treasures or by mining it is up to you, but just make sure you have 300 when you reach Colonial Age.


    • Queue 1 or 2 Villagers depending on how much food you have.
    • Ship 700 Gold.
    • Make a Trading Post and a War Hut using your age up wood.
    • Age up with 4 Axe Riders when you can, or use The Messenger if you are going to be attacked before you can reach Fortress.


    • Immediately raid with 4 Axe Riders and Warchief.
    • Ship 5 Axe Riders.
    • Spam out 15 wakina for defense.
    • Keep raiding.
    • Ship 1000 Wood.
    • Ship 1000 Food.
    • When it arrives make a market and get the New years Festival Big Button Tech.
    • Ship Cavalry Combat and Cavalry Attack - the third shipment is up to you, depending on the situation.
    • Switch most of Villagers to gold so you can spam Tashunke Prowlers.
    • You should have around 10 Tashunkes at 12 minutes with all 18 coming within another 1:30. From here you can attack/raid/boom, do anything you can think of.

Some Tips:

    • Only use this if you know your opponent is going to FF.
    • Remember, the 15 Wakinas are for DEFENSE! Only go on offense if you think you can take him with 9 Axe Riders and 15 Wakina *laughs* But yeah, use your army for defense while you spam the necessary cards for OP Tashunkes.

The Pure Tashunke FF:

Now what do you do against civilizations that will boom/turtle? Go for the Pure Tashunke FF of course, 18 Tashunke with the economy to support Wakina spam and a Firepit boom by 12 minutes. I like to compare this strategy with the Ottoman FI because it takes the same amount of time, although you donít actually go to Industrial.

Discovery Age:

    • Typical 15 Villagers age up, use The Messenger.


    • Gather 300 gold.

Colonial Age:

    • Queue 1 or 2 Villagers depending on how much food you have.
    • Ship 700 Gold.
    • Age up to Fortress using the 800 Wood Politician.


    • 8 Villagers on gold, rest on food.
    • Build a Market.


    • Collect 800 wood.
    • Ship 1000 Food
    • Build a Stable and spam Tashunkes.
    • Research New Year Festival once you have enough gold and wood.
    • Keep most of your Villagers on gold.
    • Ship Cavalry Combat, Cavalry Attack and Marauders.
    • Keep spamming Tashunke Prowlers, you should get all 18 by 12 minutes.
    • Ship 1000 Wood - Use it for another Town Center and a Firepit

Some Tips:

    • At this point if your opponent is booming then go attack and raid him. Your force is more than enough to take out any type of unit he might be making - even take out a house if you can, Tashunke Prowlers have good siege damage.
    • If he managed to make an army to attack you, then use your brain! If his army is all Skirmishers, then attack it. If he has a couple Pikemen as well, then whipe out the pikes and move on to the Skirmishers. But if he has a lot of Pikemen then run away! Go into stealth and wait for him to attack because he will think you have the upper hand.
    • If he does not attack then try to stay up with his boom; you should be able to get three TCs and keep constant production by sending cards like 15 Buffalos.
    • Eventually you will want to send the Dakota Support card and get the Farm upgrade, plus the Cavalry Hitpoints card.

Some Helpful Tactics:

  • When your Tashunke Prowlers are not in use, then put them into good use! Stealth and put them in a strategic position between your base and your opponent. Not only will you know when he attacks but, like in the situation I described earlier, a good precision strike at his *light infantry can completely destroy his attack.

  • If the game goes way late, send Nomadic Expansion and Friendly Territory cards, plus Aggressive Policy. You will be surprised how well this helps late game when you are in the middle of a battle and your Wakina can build some Teepees to aid you!

  • Another trick is to send a bunch of Axe Riders/Tashunke Prowlers on a raid into his main base and take out his starting TC using the siege dance. This eliminates his Town Center's radius protection and will allow you to build Teepees inside his base while you are attacking! Do not underestimate this tactic, it can completely turn the tide if your opponent decides to turtle. Now when attacking an wall, instead of making a single breach, having your attack collapse and falling back, you can build some Teepees and then defend your forward position! Now it is your opponent who will have yo retreat into his base or face losing their army.
  • Recorded Games:

  • The Anti-Rush Tashunke Shank:

    - Sioux versus Aztec
  • The Delayed Tashunke Shank:

    - Sioux versus Iroquois

    • * - Reference to the Age of Empires III's light infantry (Skirmisher and Archer units) instead of The Warchiefs' light infantry (Aztec Coyote Runner and Eagle Knight)

    (View further discussion about this strategy)

                By Smear               3/9/07, TWC v1.02, Author's Rating: 2000+