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Battle of the Greasy Grass (Battle of the Little Bighorn before the Definitive Edition) is the seventh and final scenario of Act II: Shadow in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. It depicts Chayton's final battle against the United States army led by Custer, who had decided to follow his orders to wage war against the natives. Chayton and Crazy Horse rally the tribes to fight back and protect their lands.

In the Definitive Edition, the story is mostly the same, but Crazy Horse has been replaced with Frank Warbonnet.





When the scenario begins, the player must quickly prepare their base to produce and upgrade military units. There is a finite amount of time before Custer's forces arrive, and the player must also deal with existing enemy patrols.

While the scenario is beginning, Crazy Horse (or Uncle Frank Warbonnet in the Definitive Edition) will ask Chayton to rally the other tribes in the region. Bringing Chayton to the chief of each of these tribes will start a dialogue chain that turns over control of that tribe to the player. It is usually in the player's best interest to have Chayton visit each tribe as soon as possible while the rest of the player's units gather resources and set up production buildings.

After some time passes, the game will point out that Custer's allies have not yet committed their forces to the army. This unlocks a highly recommended secondary objective to destroy the small military bases on either side of the canyon to the north. Each location marked on the map will spawn a group of enemies during the finale if not destroyed, and thus it is in the player's interest to start destroying these bases once they have enough troops. It can be a good idea to start with the far north bases, as those are the first Custer will visit when he arrives.

Once the timer to Custer's arrival runs out, he appears at the far northern side of the canyon that runs down the map. He marches at the speed of his slower units, giving the player time for some last-minute preparations for his attack. As he passes each hillside base, he'll either call out his allies or note that his reinforcements were denied (by the player destroying the base in question).

The canyon is not accessible by the player during Custer's march, but it is possible to station ranged units along the sides of the canyon to fire down at his forces. If the player has an excess of archers or gunpowder units, it can be a good idea to pick off some enemies this way. Either way, the real battle begins when Custer reaches the end of the canyon and breaks the rocks blocking it from the player.

Once the final battle begins, the main objective for the player is to survive while defeating Custer himself. If the player has been training units whenever possible and denied Custer his reinforcements, this should not be a difficult fight. Once Custer is vulnerable, the player should focus attacks on Custer to take him down, thus ending the scenario.


  • The original name for this scenario is the name most commonly used by the United States to describe the event, aside from "Custer's Last Stand". The title used in the Definitive Edition is the name used by the Lakota and Cheyenne, who are the protagonists of the scenario.
  • Before the addition of the Battle of Queenston Heights scenario, this was the only scenario in the Age of Empires III campaign that the color used by the player was anything other than blue.
  • In The WarChiefs, the Native Scouts that Custer sent to the player's base in the beginning of the scenario were a Wakina Rifle and a Warrior. In the Definitive Edition, they were replaced by two Skirmishers.


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Campaigns in Age of Empires III
AOE3Icon.png Age of Empires III
Act I: BloodBreakout · Into the Caves · Pirates! · The Ottoman Fort · Temples of the Aztec · A Pirate's Help · Spanish Treasure Fleet · The Fountain of Youth?
Act II: IceDefend the Colony · Strange Alliances · The Rescue · The Seven Years' War · The Great Lakes · Respect · Warwick's Stronghold · Bring Down the Mountain
Act III: SteelRace for the Rails · Hold the Fort · The Boneguard's Lair · The Lost Spanish Gold · Bolivar's Revolt · Journey Through the Andes · Last City of the Inca · Last Stand of the Boneguard
WarchiefsIcon.png The WarChiefs
Act I: FireWar Dance (War Ceremony) · The Rescue · Breed's Hill · Crossing the Delaware · Saratoga · Valley Forge · The Battle of Morristown · The Battle of Yorktown
Act II: ShadowThe Bozeman Trail · Red Cloud's War (A Reckoning) · Claims · Ambushed! (Urgent News) · Turning Point (To Stop a War) · Trust · Battle of the Little Bighorn (Battle of the Greasy Grass)
Names in brackets are the scenario's name in the Definitive Edition.
DynastiesIcon.png The Asian Dynasties
Act I: JapanThe Siege of Osaka · Uprising! · Clearing the Road · Last Stand at Fushimi · The Battle of Sekigahara
Act II: ChinaTo Finish a Fleet · Storming the Beaches · Lost Ships · A Rescue in the Wilderness · No Empire Lasts Forever
Act III: IndiaInto the Punjab · Fires of Calcutta · Resist! · Raid in Delhi · Company Confrontation
Age3DE Icon.png Definitive Edition
Historical BattlesAlgiers · Christopher Da Gama's Expedition · Chuvash Cape · Raid on the Caribbean · Fort Duquesne · Battle of New Orleans · The Burning of USS Philadelphia · Grito de Dolores · Battle of Queenston Heights
The Art of WarEarly Economy · Treasures · Home City Shipments · Booming · Build Orders · Early Defense · Early Offense · Land Battle · Naval Battle · Artillery
The African Royals
Historical BattlesThe Battle of the Three Kings · Fall of the Hausa · The Era of the Princes