Age of Empires Series Wiki
Age of Empires Series Wiki

The Black Family Estate is a civilization that can only be played in campaigns and in custom scenarios of Age of Empires III. In the campaign, the two main heroes are Nathaniel Black and Chayton Black. Other heroes include George Washington, Sheriff Billy Holme, and Crazy Horse.

Campaign storyline[]

Fire Act[]

The Black Family Estate is played in the Fire and Shadow campaigns with Nathaniel Black as the first protagonist. It is akin at first to a native civilization in appearance as it is part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. In the War Hut, the player can train Tomahawks and Forest Prowlers, and the building architecture is Haudenosaunee. This is in the first and second scenarios when the Oneida/Black Family Estate is fighting the Mohawk and Seneca and then the Mohawk and Hessians under Colonel Kuechler.

However, when Nathaniel and some other Haudenosaunee join the colonial militia, and the building architecture becomes like the British/United States architecture, but the war huts, corals, and town centers stay Haudenosaunee-like in appearance. In the War Hut, players can now train Colonial Militia, the latter replacing Forest Prowlers.

After joining the United States Continental Army, Nathaniel Black meets General Washington, and they fight the British in numerous battles, including Morristown and Yorktown. At Morristown, Nathaniel kills Colonel Kuechler and destroys the Hessian army there. At Yorktown, Washington and Nathaniel defeat the British with the help of the French, and the British finally surrender.

Shadow Act[]

In the second act of the campaign, the player's town centers adopt a more European architecture. The War Huts, Corral and Community Plaza still adapt the Haudenosaunee architectural style. As for the units, Musketeers and Skirmishers replace Tomahawks and Colonial Militia. Hussars also become available for training in addition to Dragoons, which are initially available at the end of the first act. Here, the new protagonist is Chayton Black, the half-Lakota son of Amelia Black, Nathaniel's daughter and owner of the Falcon Company (which now has a railroad empire running all the way across America).

Chayton is called to build new Trading Posts along the Bozeman Trail into the west, where he meets Fort Laramie's quartermaster Billy Holme and fights the Lakota, who oppose the construction of new stations. After fighting to save American railroad workers, Chayton makes a truce with the Lakota leader Red Cloud. Several years later, Chayton is called back when Holme (now a sheriff) and his men discover gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota, which rekindles the fighting between the U.S. and the Lakota. Chayton discovers that Holme and his miners broke the truce, and his trust in Holme is further breached when the sheriff leads an attack on a local Lakota settlement.

Chayton still fights against the Lakota for a bit longer until Holme asks him to attack a Lakota village. Chayton refuses and fights Holme, joining the Lakota. Chayton meets Custer and asks him to wait one day while he fetches for Holme to tell Custer the truth. Holme tries to kill Chayton, but Chayton defeats Holme by shooting him more quickly, and Holme falls down a mine shaft to his explosive death, never to be seen again. Chayton continues to fight against the Americans and together with Crazy Horse, his troops of warriors and the Cheyenne, who help him defeat the Americans at the Battle of Little Big Horn. General Custer is also killed during the conflict. It is not known for certain what becomes of Chayton after the battle, but rumor has it that he either dies at the Battle of Wounded Knee or lives in peace in the Black Hills with his wife and children.

The Black Family Estate adopts Lakota architecture when Chayton changes sides to fight for the Lakota.  As such, all European units are replaced with Lakota units at the player's war huts and corrals.

Definitive Edition[]

In the Definitive Edition the Black Family Estate is only used in Act I: Fire. For the majority of Act II: Shadow, the player uses a fully European civilization simply called Falcon Company, before switching to a copy of the Lakota civilization once Chayton joins the Lakota.

The Falcon Company functions the same as the Act II version of the Black Family Estate from the original game, except that they train Settlers instead of Villagers, can build Outposts, Barracks, and Stables instead of War Huts and Corrals, and cannot build Community Plazas.


  • The Black Family Estate flag has 13 stars, meaning it is a Betsy Ross flag, placing the events of Act I: Fire between 1777 and 1795. It makes no sense that the same flag still appears in use in Act II: Shadow, as this act extends until 1876 with the death of George Armstrong Custer.
    • This was corrected in the Definitive Edition, where in Act II: Shadow, the Falcon Company (Act II version of the Black Family Estate from the original game) uses the 37-star flag (1867–1877).
  • Although the Black Family Estate uses the flag and voice lines of the United States, in Age of Empires III, they're entirely separate civilizations.