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This article is about the Age of Empires III mercenary unit. For the cheat unit in Age of Empires, see Black Rider (Age of Empires).

Heavily armed German mercenary cavalry armed with pistols.
—In-game description

The Black Rider is a mercenary light ranged cavalry in Age of Empires III. The Black Rider fights on horseback, wearing black armor, and wields powerful handguns.

Overview[]

The Black Rider is a swift unit with a reasonable long range attack which can also take a lot of hits due to their substantial armor. Like its basic version, the Dragoon, the Black Rider is a type of ranged counter-cavalry unit. It is also good for killing enemy Artillery. The Black Rider has hand resistance, while the Dragoon has ranged resistance.

All European civilizations can pick the The Mercenary Contractor politician for aging up to the Imperial Age, and he will improve mercenaries (including the Black Rider) by increasing their hit points and attack by 50%.

Civilization differences[]

  • The Germans' Battleships can train Black Riders through the "Adler von Lübeck" Home City Card (if they are available in the Tavern). They also can be trained at Mercenary Camps through the "Mercenary Camps" Home City Card.
  • The Portuguese can upgrade Black Riders to Order Knights through the Order of the Tower and the Sword technology researched at the Church, when the "Treaty of Tordesillas" Home City Card is sent. It ships 11 Order Knights, availables them at the Tavern, and gives them +15% hit points and +30% hand attack damage.
  • For the Swedes, Black Riders are available at the Tavern by default. They may also pick the The Mercenary Contractor politician for advancing to the Fortress Age, and by doing this, they will be able to train Black Riders at Stables, or send the "Contract Black Riders" Home City Card or the "German Mercenary Contracts" Home City Card to train them at Stables and Galleons.
  • The United States can get Black Riders through the "Poker" Home City Card, in the pool of random mercenaries shipped, which also randomly enables them in Saloons.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy cavalry, hand shock infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light infantry, ranged shock infantry, MercType2
Improvements
Hit points Order of the Tower and Sword Order of the Tower and the Sword (+15%; Portuguese only)
Comanche Horse Breeding Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning Cree Tanning (+5%)
Gadaa System Gadaa System (+5%; Ethiopians only)
Navajo Weaving Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Tar kilns Tar Kilns (+5%)
Attack Ranged Cavalry Caracole Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+10%)
Smokeless Powder Smokeless Powder (+10%)
Gadaa System Gadaa System (+5%; Ethiopians only)
Yoga Yoga (+5%)
Order of the Tower and Sword Order of the Tower and the Sword (+30% hand attack; Portuguese only)
Horsemanship Horsemanship (+1.0 multiplier vs. Walls; Lakota only)
Wind horses Wind Horses (-10% Rate of Fire)
Carabinieri Carabinieri (-10% ranged Rate of Fire; Italians only)
Resistance Sudanese quilted armor Sudanese Quilted Armor (+10% hand resistance)
Range Ranged Cavalry Caracole Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Line of Sight Town Watch Town Watch (+3)
Ranged Cavalry Caracole Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Speed Horse Secrets Horse Secrets (+10%; Haudenosaunee only)
Apache Endurance Apache Endurance (+5%)
Comanche Mustangs Comanche Mustangs (+5%)
Wind horses Wind Horses (+0.5)
Train time Cheyenne Horse Trading Cheyenne Horse Trading (-40%)
Mass Cavalry Mass Cavalry (-35%)
Terror Charge Terror Charge (-20%; Indians only)
Blue Nile Ties Blue Nile Ties (-15%; Ethiopians only)
Quechuan Diet Quechuan Diet (-15%)
Carabinieri Carabinieri (-10%; Italians only)
Immigrants Immigrants (-10%)
New Mexico Immigration New Mexico Immigration (-10%; United States only)
Philhellenism Philhellenism (-10%)
Shaman drums Shaman Drums (-10%)
Strangers' Quarters Strangers' Quarters (-10%; Africans only)
Wallensteins Contracts Wallenstein's Contracts (-10%; Germans only)
Cost Blue Nile Ties Blue Nile Ties (-15%; Ethiopians only)
Philhellenism Philhellenism (-10%)
Wallensteins Contracts Wallenstein's Contracts (-10%; Germans only)
Mapuche Ad-mapu Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Golden liberty Golden Liberty (-5% coin cost)
Yemeni Relations Yemeni Relations (exchanges cost for 50% coin, 50% influence; Ethiopians only)
Other Multinationalism Multinationalism (ships 8 random European mercenaries)
Order of the Tower and Sword Order of the Tower and the Sword (ships 11 Black Riders; Black Riders can be hired at the Tavern; Portuguese only)
Wallensteins Contracts Wallenstein's Contracts (-50% mercenary shipments cost; Germans only)

Home City Cards[]

Click for a list of Home City Cards related to the Black Rider
Some cards are highlighted with:
Green TEAM Shipment that is sent to each player in a team
Purple Shipment that can be sent an INFINITE number of times
Red Shipment that can be sent twice
Blue Shipment that arrives fast (5 seconds)

All[]

Card Description Age
British Home City 2 (Cavalry Damage) Cavalry Damage Cavalry get +15% attack damage
Age II tech tree aoe3
British Home City 2 (Cavalry Hitpoints) Cavalry Hitpoints Cavalry get +15% hit points
Age II tech tree aoe3
British Home City 2 (Cavalry Combat) Cavalry Combat Cavalry get +15% hit points and attack damage
Age III tech tree aoe3
Mexican Home City 3 (Liberation March) Liberation March Infantry, cavalry, and shock infantry get +5% speed and -35% train time
Age III tech tree aoe3
Spanish Home City 3 (Riding School) Riding School Cavalry train time -40%; Cuirassier and Oprichnik train time -35% instead; Gatling Camel train time -20% instead (also +2 Uhlans for the Germans; +1 Hindu Villager for the Indians)
Age II tech tree aoe3
Baja California Home City (Outlaw Combat) Outlaw Combat Outlaws and mercenaries get +15% hit points and attack damage (costs 500 coin for Baja California)
Revolution
  • "Cavalry Damage" is available to the British and Lakota.
  • "Cavalry Hitpoints" is available to the British and Haudenosaunee.
  • "Cavalry Combat" is available to the British, Dutch, French, Italians, Lakota, Mexicans, Ottomans, Russians, and Spanish.
  • "Liberation March" is available to the Mexicans and Spanish.
  • "Riding School" is available to Europeans (except the Maltese and Spanish) and Indians.
  • "Outlaw Combat" is available to the Mexicans upon revolting to Baja California and Europeans upon revolting to the Barbary States, Hungary, and Mexico.

Africans[]

Card Description Age
Trainspeed africa Feudal Armies All units' train time -15%; hero respawn time -15%
Age III tech tree aoe3
Loyal warriors Loyal Warriors Native warriors, mercenaries, and outlaws cost -15% (also affects shipments)
Age III tech tree aoe3

Chinese[]

Card Description Age
Western reforms Western Reforms All units get +8% hit points and attack damage
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
Acupuncture aoe3 Acupuncture All units' (except monks) train time -20%; Heavy Cannon, Flying Crow, and Summer Palace banner army spawn time -5%
Age III tech tree aoe3

Dutch[]

Card Description Age
Dutch Home City 5 (Dutch States Army) Dutch States Army Mercenary train time -15% and shipments arrive time -20%; mercenaries (except Napoleon Guns and Li'l Bombards) get +7% speed; Highlanders can be trained at Barracks, Royal Horsemen at Stables, and both at the Tavern; Pikemen, Halberdiers, Skirmishers, Hussars, and Ruyters cost +10%
Age III tech tree aoe3

Ethiopians[]

Card Description Age
Ignatian spirituality Ignatian Spirituality All units get +5% hit points and regeneration capability even while in combat
Age IV tech tree aoe 3

Europeans[]

Card Description Age
French Home City 5 (Hire Black Riders) Hire German Black Riders Delivers 7 Black Riders; costs 1,000 coin
Age III tech tree aoe3
French Home City 5 (Hire Holy Roman Army) Hire Holy Roman Army Delivers 7 Jaegers, 5 Black Riders, and 4 Landsknechts; costs 2,000 coin
Age III tech tree aoe3
Loyal warriors Loyal Warriors Native warriors, mercenaries, and outlaws cost -15%; "TEAM 4 Zenata Rider", "Recruit Xebec", "Recruit Xebecs", and "15 Berber Allies" cost no coin
Revolution
South Africa Home City (Wanderlust) Wanderlust Land units get +5% hit points; land villagers and wagons get +5% speed
Revolution
  • "Hire German Black Riders" is available to the Dutch, French, and Germans (with +2 extra Black Riders).
  • "Hire Holy Roman Army" is available to the Dutch, French, Germans (with +1 extra Jaeger, Black Rider, and Landsknecht), Russians, and Spanish.
  • "Loyal Warriors" is available to the Italians, Maltese, Ottomans, and Portuguese upon revolting to the Barbary States.
  • "Wanderlust" is available to the British and Dutch upon revolting to South Africa, and can be sent 3 times.

Germans[]

Card Description Age
German Home City 2 (Cavalry Attack) TEAM Cavalry Attack Heavy cavalry, light ranged cavalry, and shock infantry get +10% attack damage; Germans-only heavy cavalry, light ranged cavalry, and shock infantry get +15% attack damage instead
Age III tech tree aoe3
German Home City 3 (Spanish Riding School) Spanish Riding School Cavalry get +10% speed
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
German Home City 5 (Improved Mercenaries) Improved Mercenaries Mercenaries get +15% hit points and attack damage
Age III tech tree aoe3
German Home City 5 (Mercenary Camps) Mercenary Camps Upgrades the Tavern to Mercenary Camp which get -50% cost, -25% build time, -50% build bounty and hit points, -60% coin generation, +3 build limit, and offer a fixed assortment of German mercenaries: Landsknechts, Jaegers, Giant Grenadiers, Black Riders, and Pandours
Age III tech tree aoe3
German Home City 5 (Adler von Lübeck) Adler von Lübeck Delivers 1 Battleship and 1 Privateer; Battleships can train mercenaries; costs 900 food, 900 wood, 900 coin
Age III tech tree aoe3
  • "TEAM Cavalry Attack" does not stack with the Italian "TEAM Cavalry Attack" card.

Hausa[]

Card Description Age
Hausa Home City Cards 5 (Sahelian Kingdoms) Sahelian Kingdoms Native warriors get +15% hit points and attack damage; mercenaries and outlaws get +10% hit points and attack damage
Age IV tech tree aoe 3

Inca[]

Card Description Age
Inca Home City 2 (Road Building) Road Building Land military units get +10% speed
Age II tech tree aoe3

Indians[]

Card Description Age
Dravidian martial arts Dravidian Martial Arts All units get +15% hand attack damage; Rajputs get +20% hand attack damage instead; +1 Hindu Villager
Age II tech tree aoe3
Shivajis tactics TEAM Shivaji's Tactics All units get +5% hit points and attack damage
Age IV tech tree aoe 3

Italians[]

Card Description Age
German Home City 2 (Cavalry Attack) TEAM Cavalry Attack Heavy cavalry, light ranged cavalry, and shock infantry get +10% attack damage; Italian-only heavy cavalry, light ranged cavalry, and shock infantry get +15% attack damage instead
Age III tech tree aoe3
Italian Home City 2 (Schiavoni Swords) Schiavoni Swords Infantry, cavalry, and shock infantry get +15% hand attack damage
Age II tech tree aoe3
Italian Home City 5 (Black Company) Black Company Delivers 5 Black Riders and 5 Armored Pistoleers; costs 500 food, 500 wood, 500 coin
Age III tech tree aoe3
  • "TEAM Cavalry Attack" does not stack with the German "TEAM Cavalry Attack" card.

Japanese[]

Card Description Age
Bakufu Bakufu Daimyo and Shogun Tokugawa get +5% speed, +10 Line of Sight and train units 15% faster; land military unit train time -20%, artillery and banner army train time -10% instead
Age III tech tree aoe3

Lakota[]

Card Description Age
Sioux Home City 2 (Mustangs) TEAM Mustangs Cavalry and shock infantry cost -10%
Age III tech tree aoe3

Maltese[]

Card Description Age
Maltese Home City 2 (TEAM Knights of the Round Table) TEAM Knights of the Round Table Delivers 1 Hospitaller for each Town Center owned by the player; all units get +2% hit points
Age I tech tree aoe3
Maltese Home City 3 (Squires) Squires Military buildings train and research work 80% faster, except Forts which train and research work 260% faster
Age III tech tree aoe3

Mexicans[]

Card Description Age
Mexican Home City 2 (TEAM Mariachi) TEAM Mariachi For the next 30 seconds, military buildings work 400% faster and units get +10% speed
Age I tech tree aoe3
Federal card colegio de san nicolas Colegio de San Nicolás Delivers Books of 500 XP; units get +4 and buildings (except Walls) get +8 Line of Sight; sees what enemies can see for 20 seconds
Age II tech tree aoe3
Federal card national servant National Servant All units get +10% hit points; Padre healing 200% faster
Imperial Age

Ottomans[]

Card Description Age
Ottoman Home City 2 (Irregular) Akincis Light ranged cavalry get +100% bonus damage against villagers; Cavalry Archer train time -15%
Age III tech tree aoe3

Portuguese[]

Card Description Age
Portuguese Home City 2 (Early Dragoons) TEAM House of Aviz Dragoon, Ruyter, Cavalry Archers, Rifle Rider, Musket Rider, Yabusame, and Carbine Cavalry can be trained in the Commerce Age; Zamburak, Eagle Runner Knight, Bolas Warrior, Black Rider, and Ming Army train time -15%; Mongolian Army train time -7%
Age I tech tree aoe3

Russians[]

Card Description Age
Russian Home City 2 (Cavalry Scout) TEAM Kamchatka Expeditions Cavalry and shock infantry get +10% hit points and +4 Line of Sight
Age I tech tree aoe3

Spanish[]

Card Description Age
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition) TEAM Spanish Inquisition Delivers 1 Inquisitor; all units get +10 Line of Sight
Age II tech tree aoe3

Swedes[]

Card Description Age
British Home City 2 (Cavalry Combat) Ranged Cavalry Combat Ranged cavalry get +15% hit points and attack damage
Age III tech tree aoe3
Swedish Home City 5 (German Mercenary Contracts) German Mercenary Contracts Mercenaries get +20% hit points and attack damage; Jaegers and Landsknechts can be trained at Barracks, Blockhouses, Taverns, and Galleons; Black Riders can be trained at Stables and Galleons
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
Swedish Home City 5 (Contract Black Riders) Contract Black Riders Delivers 7 Black Riders; Black Riders can be trained at Stables and Galleons; costs 1,000 coin
Age III tech tree aoe3

United States[]

Card Description Age
US Home City 5 (Poker) Poker Delivers 13 random mercenaries; adds up to 3 random mercenaries to training at the Saloon; costs 3,500 coin
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
Federal card indiana mobilization Indiana Mobilization Delivers 1 Carbine Cavalry for each shipment sent so far this game including this one; unit train time (except Heavy Cannons), technology research time, and age-up time -10%; costs 250 food, 250 wood
Age III tech tree aoe3
Federal card hamilton's own Hamilton's Own Delivers 4 Napoleon Guns and 2 Li'l Bombards; mercenary get +25% hit points and attack damage; costs 2,500 coin
Imperial Age
Federal card seminole ponies Seminole Ponies Delivers 9 Hussars; hand cavalry get +15% hit points and attack damage, and +5% speed; cavalry train time -10%
Imperial Age
  • "Indiana Mobilization" is available upon selecting the Indiana Federal State.
  • "Hamilton's Own" is available upon selecting the New York Federal State.
  • "Seminole Ponies" is available upon selecting the Florida Federal State.

All[]

Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 3 (Riding School) Riding School Cavalry train time -40% (also +2 Uhlans for the Germans; +1 Villager for the Indians)
Age II tech tree aoe3
10
  • "Riding School" is available to Europeans and the Indians.

Chinese[]

Card Description Age HC level
Western reforms Western Reforms All units get +8% hit points and attack damage
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
40
Acupuncture aoe3 Acupuncture All units' (except monks, Heavy Cannon, Flying Crow, and Summer Palace banner army) train time -20%
Age III tech tree aoe3
10

Europeans[]

Card Description Age HC level
British Home City 2 (Cavalry Combat) Cavalry Combat Cavalry get +15% hit points and attack damage
Age III tech tree aoe3
10
French Home City 5 (Hire Black Riders) Hire German Black Riders Delivers 7 Black Riders; costs 1,000 coin
Age III tech tree aoe3
10
French Home City 5 (Hire Holy Roman Army) Hire Holy Roman Army Delivers 7 Jaegers, 5 Black Riders, and 4 Landsknechts; costs 2,000 coin
Age III tech tree aoe3
25
  • "Cavalry Combat" is available to the Dutch, Ottomans, and Russians.
  • "Hire German Black Riders" is available to the Dutch, French, and Germans (with +2 extra Black Riders).
  • "Hire Holy Roman Army" is available to the Dutch, French, Germans (with +1 extra Jaeger, Black Rider, and Landsknecht), Russians, and Spanish.

Germans[]

Card Description Age HC level
German Home City 2 (Cavalry Attack) TEAM Cavalry Attack Heavy cavalry, light ranged cavalry, and shock infantry get +15% attack damage
Age II tech tree aoe3
10
German Home City 3 (Spanish Riding School) Spanish Riding School Cavalry get +10% speed
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
25
German Home City 5 (Improved Mercenaries) Improved Mercenaries Mercenaries get +20% hit points and attack damage
Age III tech tree aoe3
10

Indians[]

Card Description Age HC level
Dravidian martial arts Dravidian Martial Arts All units get +15% hand attack damage; +1 Villager
Age II tech tree aoe3
40
Shivajis tactics TEAM Shivaji's Tactics All units get +5% hit points and attack damage
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
25

Ottomans[]

Card Description Age HC level
Ottoman Home City 2 (Irregular) Irregulars Light ranged cavalry get +100% bonus damage against villagers
Age III tech tree aoe3
25

Russians[]

Card Description Age HC level
TEAM Cavalry Line of Sight legacy TEAM Cavalry Scouts Cavalry and shock infantry get +10% hit points and +4 Line of Sight
Age I tech tree aoe3
1

Spanish[]

Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition) TEAM Inquisition All units get +10 Line of Sight
Age I tech tree aoe3
10

Changelog[]

3Icon48px Age of Empires III[]

Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition[]

  • The Tower and Sword Rider was renamed to Order Knight.

Age3DE Icon Knights of the Mediterranean[]

  • With update 14.43676, Black Riders have 18 hand damage. Order Knights received new models.

In-game dialogue[]

The Black Rider, similar to the units of the Germans, speaks modern Standard German with a standard theater pronunciation ("Bühnendeutsch"), although this does not represent the form of German spoken in the Age of Empires III timeframe.

History[]

Black Riders were also known as "devil riders" because of the blackened armor they wore. They first appeared in Germany in the sixteenth century. The Riders developed a special tactic known as "caracole," which allowed them to effectively bombard infantry units with constant weapons fire. In caracole, cavalry units created a tight formation. The units in front fired their weapons, and then quickly charged to the back to reload. The units that were just behind them fired immediately after the first row charged backwards to reload.

Gallery[]

Mercenary and outlaw units in Age of Empires III
Aoe3 unit type mercenary Mercenaries
InfantryMercenary armored pistoleer portrait Armored Pistoleer · Arsonist aoe3de Arsonist · Askari aoe3de portrait Askari · Corsair de Barbary Corsair · Cannoneer portrait aoe3de Cannoneer · Dahomey amazon aoe3de portrait Dahomey Amazon · Fusilier de Fusilier · Mercenary giant grenadier portrait Giant Grenadier · Highlander de Highlander · Mercenary irish brigade portrait Irish Brigadier · Iron troop aoe3de Iron Troop · Jaeger portrait aoe3de updated Jaeger · Landsknecht de Landsknecht · Ninja de Ninja · Mercenary pandour portrait Pandour · Ronin de Ronin · Swiss pikeman aoe3de Swiss Pikeman · Zouave icon aoe3de Zouave
CavalryBlack rider aoe3de Black Rider · Mercenary bosniak rider portrait Bosniak · Elmeti aoe3de Elmetto · Gatling camel aoe3de portrait Gatling Camel · Hackapell aoe3de Hackapell · Harquebusier icon Harquebusier · Jat lancer de Jat Lancer · Kanuri guard aoe3de portrait Kanuri Guard · Mameluke aoe3de Mameluke · Manchu de Manchu · Mercenary mounted rifleman portrait Mounted Rifleman · Mercenary royal horseman portrait Royal Horseman · Sennar horseman aoe3de portrait Sennar Horseman · Stradiot aoe3de Stradiot · Yojimbo aoe3de Yojimbo · Zenata rider aoe3de portrait Zenata Rider
ArtilleryLil bombard aoe3de Li'l Bombard · Napoleon gun icon aoe3de Napoleon Gun · Gatling camel aoe3de portrait Gatling Camel
ShipBattleship portrait Battleship · Privateer aoe3de Privateer · War dhow portrait aoe3de War Dhow · Wokou junk aoe3de Wokou Junk · Xebec portrait aoe3de Xebec
Outlaws
InfantryAfrican vagabond portrait African Vagabond · Colonial looter portrait Colonial Looter · Cossack daredevil portrait Cossack Daredevil · Dacoit aoe3de Dacoit · Desert archer portrait aoe3de Desert Archer · Desert warrior portrait aoe3de Desert Warrior · Hajduk portrait Hajduk · Highwayman dismounted portrait Highwayman · Inquisitor portrait Inquisitor · Pistolero aoe3de Pistolero · Renegado aoe3de Renegado · Thuggee aoe3de Thuggee · Blind monk aoe3de Wokou Monk · Wayward ronin aoe3de Wokou Ronin
Shock infantryPirate aoe3de Pirate · Wokou pirate aoe3de Wokou Pirate
CavalryComanchero icon aoe3de Comanchero · Mounted cossack daredevil portrait Cossack Daredevil · Crabat portrait Crabat · Desert raider portrait aoe3de Desert Raider · Highwayman mounted portrait Highwayman · Wokou horseman aoe3de Wokou Horseman
ArtilleryCaptured mortar aoe3de Captured Mortar
ShipCatamaran aoe3de Marathan Catamaran
Flag MexicanDE MexicansDesperado portrait Desperado · Vaquero portrait Cuatrero · Bandido portrait Bandido
Flag American act3 aoe3de United StatesGunslinger aoe3de Gunslinger · Cowboy aoe3de Cowboy · Owlhoot aoe3de Owlhoot
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