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Native boat that can attack or transport units.
—In-game description

The Bandit Catamaran (Marathan Catamaran in Asian maps) is a small naval vessel available in some maps or after building a Trading Post on an Bhakti, Sufi or Udasi settlement in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties.


Allying with the mentioned settlements grants the ability to build Marathan Catamarans, with the same stats except the the ability to train units. It's also available on some African maps.

The Indians can also receive Marathan Catamaran from shipments on coastal maps alongside Dacoits or Thuggees. Players usually use it to collect Treasures at sea. It can carry a fair amount of units, including artillery. It can attack, fish (though it is as inefficient as canoes), transport units and train pets, Dacoits, and Thuggees if they are available at Saloon/Monastery.

Catamarans have weak firepower against ground units and other ships, but they fire from a good distance when compared to Musketeers for instance. Their range is the same as that of a Skirmisher, allowing them to outrange most military ground units when they are near the sea. A group of them can be used to support other war ships, as they cost no population slot, and they can also be used as a distraction for enemy ships or coast defenses. It should be noted, though, that they have low hit points and get easily destroyed by other ships. Their siege damage, though, is nearly half that of an upgraded Caravel and they perform well for their cost against buildings, especially Docks.

Because they are somewhat cheap compared to regular ships and fire from long range, they can be used to harass enemy units that are too close to the coast, especially Villagers, forcing them to flee or send ships to down the Catamarans, distracting the enemy either way.

Catamarans are a good support unit for military ships and bear great siege damage for their cost. Their high range allows them to fire at units with lower range on ground without putting themselves in danger.

The Home City shipments include mercenaries already garrisoned inside the Catamarans. They include Dacoits or Thuggee depending on which card is sent.


Water Ceremony and War Ceremony both boost ranged warships. The former requires a card, the latter does not. Ranged attack can be boosted as high as 36, siege damage 91 and HP 588 with the former ceremony and all upgrades. 32 ranged attack, 58 siege and 275 hp with only the latter ceremony and upgrades; depending on whether the player wishes to send a card or not.


The Catamaran must be close to the shore to train the units, and will also be unable to move and attack while doing so.

Marathan Catamaran[]

Age Unit Cost Pop. Limit
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
Orangutan icon.png Old Doug the Orangutan 200 food - 5
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
Dacoit.png Marathan Dacoit 90 coin 5
Thuggee.png Marathan Thuggee 150 coin 6

Bandit Catamaran[]

Age Unit Cost Pop. Limit
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
Pambuu the Tame Warthog 150 food - 7
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
Aiz the Tame Elephant 500 food - 2

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ships, buildings close to shore
Weak vs. Artillery especially Culverins, defensive structures
Hit points Armor Plating.png Armor Plating (+50%)
Rawhide Covers.png Rawhide Covers (+20%, Haudenosaunee only)
Attack Carronade.png Carronade (+25%)
Flaming Arrows.png Flaming Arrows (+25%, Lakota only)
Gathering speed Gill Nets.png Gill Nets (+15%)
Long Lines.png Long Lines (+30%)
Excessive Taxation.png Excessive Taxation (+50% from whales, Europeans only)
Excessive Tribute.png Excessive Tribute (+50% from whales, Native Americans only)
Collective Economy.png Collective Economy (+50% from whales, Asians only)
Huron Fish Wedding.png Huron Fish Wedding (+20%)
Navajo Craftsmanship.png Navajo Craftsmanship (+20% from whales)
Penalties Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)

Home City Cards[]

Bandit Catamaran[]

There is also the Treasure Guardian variant of the Catamaran. It is usually featured in large area of seas surrounding a rather abundant Treasure.

In-game dialogue[]

The Marathan Catamaran uses the Thuggee's dialogues.

Main article: Indians (Age of Empires III)#In-game dialogue


  • As the Catamaran sinks, the Dacoit-like unit steering the vessel tries to jump out of the sinking vessel, only to fall into the sea alongside the vessel.
  • African Bandit Catamarans have a black bandit sailing the ship, while Marathan Catamarans have a Dacoit.


The Maratha were the influential power behind an empire that covered a large region of India in the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries CE. The Maratha aided in bringing about the fall of the powerful Mughal Empire, and later became fierce rivals of the British occupation of India. By the middle of the eighteenth century, their empire, under the ruler Sivaji, extended the kingdom’s reach south through the vast Deccan plateau and onto the Indian peninsula. The British Empire was able to greatly reduce the great empire’s influence, subduing it completely by 1818.

Today, Maratha refers to a member of the Western Indian Marathi-speaking people known for their devotion to Hinduism and their skill as warriors. They are named for their homeland of Maharashtra.

The word “catamaran” comes from the Anglicized Tamil words “kattu,” or to tie, and “maram,” meaning wood, or tree. Comprised of two connected hulls or a single hull with two parallel keels, the catamaran is a watercraft that was developed by natives of Polynesia and first used in the fifth century CE. Its maneuverability proved advantageous for crews braving the waves of the Pacific Ocean, as it could reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour while maintaining its stability.

Westerners adopted the catamaran design in the 1870s, when famous American naval engineer Nathanael Herreshoff began building a modified version of the craft. Today, catamarans can range from 12 to 315 feet, depending on their purpose, and are widely used for sport and business.