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A Reckoning (Red Cloud's War before the Definitive Edition) is the second scenario of Act II: Shadow in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs.


The scenario starts off with the cinematic "Sioux Country", where Chayton and Sheriff Holme stumble upon the remains of an ambushed travel caravan, leaving Chayton disoriented as to why innocent people were butchered by the Sioux.

Sheriff Holme assures him that ambushes are too common in lands controlled by the Sioux, and talks to Chayton about his times during the American Civil War, where he saw so many deaths that he became used to it. The two then continue off to search for the perpetrators of the attack.

In the Definitive Edition, the destroyed camp has been changed to a Lakota village, with Chayton worrying if his relatives may have been killed in the ambush. Holme points out that the men who come out west to make their fortune are willing to do terrible things in the name of progress. Chayton disagrees with the idea that this death can be seen as furthering progress, but agrees to hunt down the gang responsible.



  • Falcon Trading Company (Black Family Estate) - The player is initially provided with Sheriff Holme, Chayton, and several Outlaw units as protection, and will later be provided with an entire settlement and a wide balance of troops, consisting of Musketeers, Revolutionaries, and several mercenaries.


  • United States (United States) - Consist entirely of Railroad Workers, all of which join the player's side and change their color to blue upon rescue. Buildings consist of several Houses and Outposts constructed in the main settlement.

Enemies (Original)[]

Enemies (Definitive Edition)[]

  • Bandits (Reno Gang) - Bandit forces consisting of outlaw and mercenary units.
  • Hole in the Wall Gang (Pirates)




  • Take out the Hole in Wall Gang's hideout


The scenario is of moderate difficulty, and is on the shorter spectrum. The player doesn't have to rush to save all 20 Railroad Workers, as the attacks will continuously keep spawning and gathering. Red Cloud's forces will however commit relentless attacks, constantly harassing Outposts and stray Railroad Workers. Throughout the scenario, it will be important to keep a strong sized defensive army to guard the main settlement from Native attacks.

Players start out in the map, and engage in a short skirmish with Red Cloud's forces attacking 2 Railroad Workers. After driving away the forces, the player is provided with their first objective of saving 20 Railroad Workers. The player is at this point also provided with a friendly settlement consisting of a Bank, Community Plaza, several Houses, and a 3 Outposts. A trade route will cut through the settlement, leaving outposts and buildings on both halves. The player will also be gifted with several free Cows.

The player can begin by sending Black and Holme up north along the trade route to scout the map for treasures and enemy units. As Black and Holme head up north they will arrive upon a Saloon guarded by 2 enemy Renegados. Using Chayton's Hawk Eye ability, the player can snipe down one of the Renegado before finishing off the second promptly. At the same time 3 Railroad Workers attacked by an enemy Axe Rider will scramble in from Northwest and towards Black and Holme. The player can use Chayton's other crack-shot ability, Eagle Eye to take down the Axe Rider and save the workers.

Note: If any Railroad Workers get attacked in the main settlement, it is advised to garrison them in the nearby Outposts

The player at this time should focus back at their settlement and start training at least 6 Comancheros and 4-5 Renegados as the settlement's many houses will provided the more than enough population. Once trained, the units should be sent up north towards the Saloon referred as Wall Gang's Hideout.

After the Railroad Workers are sent safely south to the settlement, a secondary objective of taking out the Hole in the Wall Gang's hideout will be revealed. The Wall Gang's hideout is protected by 7-8 enemy Renegados and 4 Pistoleros. Using the player's outlaw forces and Chayton's crack-shot ability, a close but victorious battle will ensue and the player can manage to defeat the Wall Gang and proceed to raze the Saloon, thus completing the secondary objective.

Note: The player should raze the enemy Wall Gang Saloon immediately upon defeating the Outlaws stationed there, otherwise it will continuously spawn more Outlaws

With this happening, multiple Railroad Workers will pour in towards the player's settlement from the west and east, eventually adding up 20 Railroad Workers and completing the objective. A final primary objective of building 3 Trading Posts and upgrading them will be revealed. The player can begin training additional reinforcements to protect the home settlement from Sioux attack. At least 12-13 Musketeers and 5-6 Pistolero should be trained to protect the player's settlement from waves of attack by Red Cloud's forces. It is recommended to upgrade them to Veteran and Guard status and to age up to the Industrial Age whenever possible.

At this point, the player will need to be patient. There is no need to rush to build and upgrade the 3 Trading Posts, and the player should begin to focus on their economy, upgrading their units, and to age towards the Industrial Age. Sioux attacks will happen here and there, although they won't be of major threat. Shipments should be directed towards economic upgrades and additional Villagers. The player should split their Villagers to gather mainly wood and the remaining on coin and food. 

Once the player reaches the Industrial Age, they can use Chayton and Holme to build the 3 Trading Posts and upgrade them to the Iron Horse upgrade. Back at the main settlement, enemy War Clubs, Rifle Riders, and Axe Riders will attack the player's bases. The artillery, Musketeers, and Pistoleros will help fend off the attacks. After the 3 Trading Posts are complete and fully upgraded, the player has completed the scenario.