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Longbowman prev aoe2de.png
The Britons are an archer civilization with a simple-yet-effective unique unit, the Longbowman, and bonuses aiding their offensive and defensive capabilities. These make them an easy-to-use, borderline jack-of-all-trades civilization.


Their archers gain bonus range in the Castle and Imperial Age and are trained faster. In addition their unique technology increases their range even more and grants towers additional attack. In total their foot archers gain +3 range, giving them an advantage against the archers of other civilizations. Their unique unit, the Longbowman, has the longest range of any archer. Due to their range Longbowmen can cut down opposing forces before they can even get close. Even enemy archers will likely be killed before they get in range. If in a large enough group they are almost impossible to counter. Cavalry are the main threat of Longbowmen, but the Britons have full infantry technology so can build Halberdiers to provide close combat protection from cavalry for the Longbowmen. If played in conjunction with the Saracens, their team bonus will allow Longbowmen to deal additional damage to buildings. Britons have almost full University technologies.

The Britons also excel in naval combat due to their nearly full dock technology, only missing Elite Cannon Galleon.


However the Britons have several weaknesses. They have poor cavalry, lacking both the Hussar and Paladin upgrades, cannot build Camel Riders, and lack Bloodlines. Their siege weapons are similarly lacking, missing the Siege Ram, Siege Onager, and Bombard Cannon, and being unable to research Redemption would mean that they cannot convert any enemy siege units for themselves, therefore being greatly disadvantaged when facing enemies with Bombard Cannons. They are missing the Parthian Tactics and Thumb Ring upgrades, though their inherent archer bonuses compensates for this (and Thumb Ring would make Longbowmen overpowered).

In addition, they also lack Hand Cannoneers and Bombard Cannons, thus further limiting their archer and siege options. Although historically the British were known for their heavy use of gunpowder as means of expanding their empire in the New World, those events occurred long after the medieval period, i.e. in the time of Age of Empires III. And one could also say the lack of said units is for balance purposes.


Britons should avoid getting rushed in the Dark Age (commonly called a drush) at all costs. It is critically important to frequently scout the base of the enemy to try to determine which strategy they are using. If the player sees a Barracks going up in the earlier half of the Dark Age, it is highly likely they will drush. If this is the case a Briton player must, wall themself in with palisades and buildings. It's all right to constrict the space, and try to keep the enemy out. Britons must age up on 22 population, and get an Archery Range as soon as possible. A few Archers should be more than enough to break the siege from behind the walls, and then the Britons can go out and harass their opponent with Archers.

If a Briton player doesn't get drushed, they should still use essentially the same tactic. Going age up on 22 population (21 Villagers + a Scout Cavalry) and rush the opponent with Archers in the Feudal Age. Since Archers only take Wood and Gold, they shouldn't hinder their progress to the Castle Age much, so long as they get a few extra Villagers on wood and gold. Britons can get out of the Dark Age faster than many other civilizations, since their Shepherds work faster. It is important to press this advantage by Feudal Age rushing (flushing) the foe with Archers as early as possible. In the Castle Age, the Britons must upgrade the Archers who are ideally already raiding the opponent into Crossbowmen, and research as many relevant Blacksmith technologies as possible. A good Briton player must be sure to protect their Archers with Pikemen, as Knights can be hazardous otherwise.

Britons can optionally switch into Longbowmen in the Castle Age, but Crossbowmen and Arbalesters are generally more effective, unless that extra one range is really important. Trebuchets make good Imperial Age back-up, as Britons lack proper Siege. The Britons must always keep some melee units on hand (usually Champions and Halberdiers, as their cavalry is too weak to be reliable due to the lack of Bloodlines and missing important cavalry upgrades), as enemy units will often hide in rams to approach safely to the archer lines.

Defensively, their long ranged archers play well. Also, Longbowmen behind Fortified Walls or inside a Castle, accompanied by a Trebuchet with Warwolf researched, is an easy, cheap and effective option. If micromanaged properly, Longbowmen can take down Bombard Cannons and Onagers, and British Trebuchets have an advantage over any other civilization in a Trebuchet battle due to their 100% accuracy. Their only weakness in defense is the absence of strong gunpowder unit to take down group of units quickly or Rams, though their Halberdiers, Champions, and their Longbowmen. The Yeomen technology is also helpful for defense, as towers increase their attack damage.

Strategy changes in The Forgotten[]

Yeomen was moved from the Imperial Age to the Castle Age, allowing Britons to strike with archers heavily earlier than in The Conquerors (now with +2 range in the Castle Age and +3 range in the Imperial Age). The new technology Warwolf allows Trebuchets to do blast damage (damaging enemy buildings and units near to the firing point) so a combined force of archers, Longbowmen and Trebuchets makes the Britons even better in a siege in this expansion. Furthermore, Warwolf gives Trebuchets 100% accuracy against stationary units, allowing a Britons player to easily win a Trebuchet battle assuming similar numbers.

They now have the ability to build Cannon Galleons. Warwolf and Cannon Galleon are critical changes since they eliminate the two main weaknesses of Britons before the expansion (absence of a more powerful siege weapon and a siege ship). Thanks to this, they have become a good naval force since they have full technology apart from Elite Cannon Galleon (but no civilization bonuses that make their navy dangerous).


Britons in team games are great at supporting their teammates, as their long range archers can aid allies from long distances, even when besieging an opponent or when defending a location.

Their team bonus greatly benefits any civilization that have buffs for the archery range units, as this will help to produce Arbalesters, Skirmishers, Hand Cannoneers, Cavalry Archers and the Inca Slinger faster. If played in conjunction with Berbers this will also apply to the Genitour. Despite the Inca team bonus doesn't benefit too much the Britons, they can still offer to a Briton ally their initial llama (as they can gather the food from that faster), in return the Incas can make use for the Briton team bonus for making their Slingers and Skirmishers faster. Since the Definitive Edition, Tatars can also use the Briton team bonus to amass cavalry archers quicker, and provide vision bonus for Briton cavalry archers in return. Also, the Persian Castle Age technology was changed to Kamandaran (Archers only cost wood), and Korean archers now cost less wood, so they also benefit from faster Archery Ranges now.

If played in conjunction with the Magyars, their Longbowmen can have a Line of Sight as high as 15, the highest of any unit in the game, with the exception of several gunpowder and siege units. Also, the Saracen team bonus is a great addition to the Britons, as this lets groups of Arbalesters or Longbowmen act like a siege engine that outranges Castles and Towers.

Southeast Asian civilizations, introduced in Rise of the Rajas, have also proven to be more than capable allies of the Britons, as they provide Battle Elephants as viable meat-shields and an alternative of Paladins, together with Bombard Cannons as gunpowder component and late-game fire support they need, allowing their Longbowmen to return fire against hostile Monks and missile units. In comparison to other Southeast Asian civilizations, nonetheless, only the Vietnamese have win-win synergy with the Britons: they can reveal locations of the enemy bases at the beginning, allowing Briton players to conduct surgical raids or rushes effectively, particularly archer rushes; their unique Paper Money technology grant decent gold subsidy for extra Longbowmen, foot archers or Trebuchets; their Battle Elephants, strengthened by Chatras and Bloodlines, plus equally resilient Rattan Archers, prove capable of safeguarding Briton Longbowmen from missile fire, allowing Longbowmen contingents to deliver long range snipes against hostile Monks; and, last but not least, their team bonus allow the Britons to amass Imperial Skirmisher rapidly as their own late-game measure to counter archer-oriented civs, or to dominate the Trash Wars.

Compared advantages and disadvantages[]

Advantages vs other civilizations[]

  • The Longbowman being a ranged unit that haves the longest range among foot archers counters almost all types of infantry even the infantry from prominent infantry civilizations like Teutons, Burmese, Malay, Vikings, Japanese, Aztecs, and Celts, with the exception of the Goths' Huskarl, the Eagle Warriors, all Malian Barracks infantry (as they have a large amount of pierce armor) and the Gbeto (see in disadvantages). They even can kill well rounded slow cavalry like Persian War Elephants, South East Asian Battle Elephants, Indian Elephant Archers, and Khmer Ballista Elephants, especially if deployed in large groups and with proper support and micromanagement. Longbowmen are also capable if micromanaged to mow down enemy siege units if they are massed (with the exception of Trebuchets and Turkish Bombard Cannons; see in disadvantages). The Longbowmen also outranges Castles and Towers so they can be used to besiege an enemy town (with only 3 exceptions; see in disadvantages) so even civilizations with good defenses will have a harder time, like Byzantines, Incas, and Chinese. The basic same things applies to their Arbalesters line that also have very long range.
  • Being a civilization with good early economy and capable to perform early archer rushes they have an advantage against civilizations with bad early game like the Turks, Portuguese, and Khmer, especially in open maps like Arabia if starting in the Dark Age.
  • Being a civilization with good archers and good defensive Towers they also have an advantage in closed maps like Black Forest against civilizations with bad late game, such as Aztecs, Huns, and Malians especially if starting in the Castle Age onwards.
  • Defensively they have an advantage against civilizations with mediocre siege workshop or proper anti-building units thanks to the Yeomen and Warwolf Technologies (the first as it improves the attack of the Towers and the range of the archers and the second as it gives Trebuchets splash damage), considering also their Archers can help to defend locations. Civilizations that may have problems besieging Britons include Japanese, Berbers, and Magyars (of course once they get to Imperial Age this advantage is no longer a problem for them)
  • Considering the Warwolf technology they have an advantage also against civilizations that doesn't have Bombard Cannons, or further improvements for the Trebuchet as most civilizations. Also they get an advantage against civilizations with poor defenses, and even civilizations with good defenses like Byzantines may have trouble against Briton Trebuchets.
  • As their Skirmishers are produced faster and benefits from the Yeomen technology they are also at advantage vs other prominent archer civilizations such as Mayans, Chinese, and Ethiopians. Also they are a great asset in Trash Wars so they can defeat civilizations with poor trash units such as Turks (especially those that lack the Hussar upgrade that is the main counter in trash wars against Skirmishers) or poor Militia line infantry such as Persians.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations[]

  • Despite having the longest range among archers, the Britons archery are still in disadvantage if the opponent decides to make use of either Trebuchets or Bombard Cannons, as they have enough range and enough damage output to break the archer volley. Civilizations with good Bombard Cannons or Trebuchets like Huns, Japanese, and Turks, can make use of this disadvantage. Also, despite their Longbowmen outranging Castles and Towers, there are three particular exceptions to this rule: the fully upgraded Teutonic Castles with Crenellations researched, the fully upgraded Korean Keeps with Eupseong researched, and the fully upgraded Turkish Bombard Towers with Artillery researched.
  • Since they do not get access to gunpowder (aside from Petards, Cannon Galleons and Demolition Ships), they have a disadvantage to civilizations that get access to it (like Turks, Portuguese, and Spanish), especially if the game starts at Imperial Age onwards.
  • Malians can be a very unpleasant rival for the Briton archery as their infantry bonus can partially negate the overall effectiveness of their archers vs infantry. Malians also have the Gbeto which despite being infantry they move fast, have a ranged attack and have better accuracy than the Britons archers, however fully upgraded Longbowmen if massed can mow down the Gbetos. Similarly Goths can counter a Briton Archer army by swarming Huskarls as they have attack bonus vs Archers and high pierce armor, Huskarls are also a threat to Briton Towers, as Huskarls have attack bonus against buildings. Celt Infantry can also be unpleasant for the Britons as they move fast enough to avoid arrow-fire (especially the Woad Raider).
  • Mayans, Incas and Aztecs have Eagle Warriors that can effectively counter both Trebuchets and Archers, both part of the core units of the Britons. Regarding the Trebuchets similar logic can apply to light cavalry civilizations such as Magyars, Huns and Mongols as light cavalry can catch them with ease and destroy them. Civilizations With good Rams such as Slavs are also a threat to British Trebuchets and Archers (as rams have high pierce armor).
  • Vietnamese Rattan Archers, and Imperial Skirmishers can counter a Britons archer army perfectly. Indeed, Vietnamese as a rival for the Britons can prove to be a huge threat as they also get Battle Elephants and gunpowder limiting the Briton responses especially in the late game. Similar logic can apply to the Berbers as they got Genitours, and other civilizations with good skirmishers (like the Lithuanians, whose Skirmishers are very effective against Britons' Archers, due to their speed and the extra pierce armor they get after researching Tower Shields).
  • Civilizations with good siege engines especially Siege Onagers are also a counter to Briton Archers, Towers and Trebuchets especially if they forget to microing them, these include Celts, Ethiopians, Mongols, and Koreans of course.
  • Korean War Wagons also are a threat to Briton Archers as they have a high amount of pierce armor. Similarly civilizations with elephant units can be a threat to Britons if they forget to microing them as they can soak the arrow damage and still deal high amounts of damage to the archers. so all the South East Asian civilizations (Burmese, Vietnamese, Khmer, and Malay) should take this in consideration, as well as Indians and Persians with their respective elephant units.
  • Despite having good early economy and being able to raid with archers at Feudal Age they have a disadvantage in open maps like Arabia against civilizations with early aggression such as Huns, Aztecs, Magyars, Mongols, and Goths since most of the Briton bonuses start to kick out in the Castle Age onwards.
  • Persian Paladins have attack bonus against archers, this of course puts the Longbowmen and the regular Archers at disadvantage. Overall civilizations with good cavalry especially with good Paladins are a threat to Britons, like Franks for example. Similarly, as Tatar Cavalry Archers and Light Cavalry get +1 pierce armor out of the Silk Armor technology, they are effective counters against archers.
  • As the Celts have a bonus that enables them to steal sheep they can troll the Britons if they manage to find early the Briton settlement neglecting them to use their initial sheep.
  • The Burgundians are probably the most dangerous foe for Britons, as their economy is even better. Additionally, their Cavalier in the Castle Age will strike both their Crossbowmen and Longbowmen in one less hit when both have the same attack–armor upgrades. Their faster access to Paladin will easily erase the advantages of the Arbalesters. Elite Coustilliers are also a great threat to them in the Imperial Age, as the charge attack will be enough to kill all the Britons' foot archers with only one hit when Iron Casting is researched. Besides the Coustilliers, their extra attack to the Bombard Cannon is also a good tool against the Warwolf Trebuchet.

Situational advantages[]

  • As Briton Villagers gather faster from sheep they can get an advantage in maps where they can find more sheep than the usual eight around their town center, especially in revealed map matches, these include Oasis, Yucatan, Nomad, and Ghost Lake to name a few.
  • If playing matches starting at Castle Age onwards, Britons are theoretically able to make a Town Center Rush as their Town Center discount starts at that point, this advantage also can apply if playing Nomad maps starting at Castle Age, so they save enough wood to make 3 Town Centers since the start of the game in that situation (as players starts with 475 wood and 300 stone).
  • In closed maps like Black Forest, Britons have an advantage on those kinds of maps thanks to their Towers buffed with Yeomen while also their archers being able to shoot their arrows even from behind the forest in some points.
  • In enclosed maps like Fortress, Arena, and Hill Fort their unique technology "Yeomen" and their archers also gives them an advantage as walls and in Fortress case towers are already placed so they can defend their town with their long ranged archers protected by a wall, but unfortunately in Fortress map there is no sheep so they can't make use of their economic bonus.