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In the late sixteenth century, the Knights of St. John defended their last stronghold on the Mediterranean island of Malta from an Ottoman invasion.
—Mission description

Breakout is the first scenario of Act I: Blood in Age of Empires III. In the scenario, the knight Morgan Black must defend a fort on Malta from the Ottoman Empire.


The scenario starts with a cutscene, with Amelia Black detailing how her family got to the Americas, starting off with her ancestor Morgan Black and the Knights of St. John dealing with the invading Ottomans led by Sahin The Falcon, who mocks Morgan and the Knights because of their outdated technology, and states that the "Crusades are over".

The scenario game-play starts with the player's fort being attacked by a group of Janissaries, where Morgan Black, several Pikemen and Crossbowmen, a Barracks, several Houses, fort walls, 4 Outposts, along with a Market, a Mill, an Outpost, and several Settlers in the northeast are helping to defend the fort.

The player does not have access to their Home City in this scenario and cannot send shipments, and can't choose new Home City Cards either once the scenario is complete. Despite this, the player can level up their Home City, and experience earned will be saved for later.

Starting conditions[]


Primary objectives[]

  • Defend the Fort Command Post.
  • Use Settlers to gather the wood on the hill to light the signal fire.
  • Destroy all the Great Bombards.

Secondary objectives[]



  • Morgan Black (Flag Maltese Cross Knights of St. John) - The player starts with a base in a walled Fort containing two Outposts, soldiers, Houses, and several Barracks, and an economic base to the north consisting of a Market, Settlers, but no Town Center. The player's fortified base also contains a decorative Command Post which must remain standing.


  • Alain Magnan (Knights of St. John) - Only appears after the signal fire has been activated, and consists of an army of 16-18 Hussars and Alain himself, to defeat the Ottoman Bombards. These units will be converted to the Knights of Saint John when they arrive in the fort.


  • Ottomans (Flag OttomanDE Ottomans (Flag BritishDE British before the Definitive Edition)) - Attacks the player periodically with Janissaries, Sipahi, and also uses a Galley when Settlers are lighting the signal fire to transport a few Janissaries to attack them. They have no base and regularly spawn from the southwest. Eventually, they arrive with 5 Great Bombards. They have fewer units on Easy.


There are 5 treasures scattered around, all visible from the start, and none of them are guarded.

  • A supply of limestone worth 150 coin
  • Grove of oak trees worth 150 wood
  • Some oak trees worth 75 wood
  • A Chinquapin oak tree acorns edibles worth 150 food
  • A carob plant worth 75 food


In Breakout, the player is tasked with defending the Knights' base from an invading Ottoman army. The player has a decent supply of resources and Settlers for this scenario, and don't have a Town Center anyway, so can focus on training Crossbowmen to defeat the attacking Janissaries.

One coin miner and all Settlers on the Mill along with a few lumberjacks can be retasked onto the Deer nearby, as there is not any need for coin other than the starting amount, and the player will need food more than wood (having more wood from the start and getting 1,000-2,000 wood from the piles surrounding the signal fire).

The player should train Crossbowmen at the Barracks while upgrading the Crossbowmen in the rear Barracks northeast of the fort.

While the soldiers are fighting, Morgan Black should be sent to collect the 5 treasures (marked by an 'X'). Collecting all of the treasures will grant bonus experience and resources which could be helpful. After Morgan Black is done treasure hunting, he should be brought back to the base to help with the defense. His Oberhau ability should be utilised often, as it deals a lot of damage to all enemies near him.

Eventually, Morgan Black will advise using the Pikemen to combat the Ottoman cavalry, but Pikemen are actually not very good in this scenario, as they are easily killed by the Janissaries and cost as much as Crossbowmen. The few Sipahi that do attack are weakened for this scenario and are easily killed at range, and do not really threaten the Crossbowmen.

The Crossbowmen will eventually be overwhelmed when the Ottomans bring their Great Bombards, so Morgan Black will call for reinforcements, and a signal will appear in the upper-left corner of the map, atop a hill. At this point, the player can send every Settler to start the signal fire. When the Ottomans see this, they will send a small group of troops to kill the Settlers, but with many settlers at the task, they will light the fire and can get away safely before the Janissaries reach them.

It will actually take quite a while for the Ottomans to destroy the fort command building, more than enough time for the reinforcements to arrive.

After the signal flare is lit, the Settlers can return to their every day duties and after a short period of time, a large group of friendly Hussars will come from the top of the map led by commander of the Knights of St. John, Alain Magnan. When the cavalry enter the fort. They come under the player's control, and so the Hussars should be ordered to destroy all of the Ottoman Great Bombards, winning the scenario (Hussars can kill the enemy Bombards even with the anti-cavalry Janissaries around with no difficulty). 


  • This scenario can be beaten using only Crossbowmen. Take the Crossbowmen upgrade at the Barracks immediately and train as many Crossbowmen as possible. Send Morgan Black off gathering treasures using shift and right click to setup gather waypoints for all of them. Drag select small groups (8-9) of Crossbowmen and have them target separate Janissaries while hiding behind the fort walls. Push out when and if at all possible (easy, normal) to take pressure off the walls/gate and repair them. Move the Crossbowmen to the left or the right of the gates, otherwise Bombards will obliterate them as they primarily target the gate (splash damage kills the archers).
    • The player will lose the gates, and possibly some buildings on normal and hard, but as long as at least 8 Settlers are sent to light the signal fire, it can be started before the Ottomans reach the Settlers (the player can have Morgan present to protect them from the Ottoman cavalry on hard difficulty and start retreating Crossbowmen from the main base to here to handle the other units). Alain will arrive before the Knights' Command Post has been destroyed (even though most of the units are dead or wounded and the fort has been breached). Also, after Alain enters the map, the Ottoman waves stop coming, leaving the enemy with no reinforcements and their AI focusing more on the two large guard towers and the wall fragments still standing.
  • The player has several Outposts and Fort Tower for defense. Repairing those whenever possible will allow them to do more damage as well as stall the enemy advance. The player should repair the walls to hold out even longer.
  • While the Settlers are initially tasked on the Mill, there are huntable Deer located nearby which will allow them to gather food faster. Use the Market to research Hunting Dogs and Steel Traps to further increase gathering speed.


  • Although not explicitly stated, this opening is based on the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, setting the start of Act I in 1565, although Alain, Morgan Black, and Sahin are otherwise fictional.
  • In the southeast of the map, there are three infinite spawn points for Ottoman Janissaries and Sipahis near two plateaus.
  • Before the Definitive Edition, Sahin's army during the first level of the campaign appear as belonging to the British civilization instead of the Ottoman civilization (note the flag of the Ottoman Galley), despite the Ottoman civilization being in the game since its launch.
  • If the torch is never lit, Alain Magnan's cavalry will never come and the scenario will never end; even killing the Great Bombards with Crossbowmen, Rodeleros and Pikemen will not end it.


Campaigns in Age of Empires III
3Icon48px Age of Empires III
TutorialMaster the Basics · Try a Game
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
3WCIcon48px 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)
3ADIcon48px 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 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
Event scenariosBombard Brawl
Age3DE Icon The African Royals
Historical BattlesThe Battle of the Three Kings · Fall of the Hausa · The Era of the Princes
Names in brackets are the scenario's name in the Definitive Edition.