Rise from a mere duchy to the marvel of Western Europe through economic might, cultural achievement, and the use of advanced military technology and tactics. The Burgundian unique unit is the Coustillier, a cavalry unit that utilizes a powerful shock attack when charging into battle.
Historically, the Burgundians are a Germanic tribe who settled in Gaul prior to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and established their own kingdom until they were conquered by by the Franks and incorporated into the Frankish Empire. While nominally vassals to Frankish and later French kings, Burgundians maintained political independence and a somewhat different culture; they even sided with the English for a time during the Hundred Years' War. This independence would last until Burgundy was assimilated into France at the late 15th century.
The Duchy of Burgundy was considered to be one of the wealthiest European kingdoms thanks to their viticulture, which produced grapes and wine as luxuries for the Burgundian nobles and clergy. This is reflected in their civilization bonus, where they can research economic upgrades an age earlier and their Castle Age unique technology, Burgundian Vineyards, which converts their current food to gold, as well as their farmers slowly generating gold. The Burgundians were also monastic, putting emphasis on their clergy and their priesthood, and was one of the major cultural centers in Europe. Their team bonus where Relics also generate food alongside with gold reflects the Burgundian monastic culture.
Much like their French neighbors, the Burgundian army consisted of cavalry, and their cavalry troops puts more emphasis on expertise and training over durability. This is why the Burgundians don't have Bloodlines, but can upgrade their Knights into Cavaliers in the Castle Age, and their Stable upgrades cost less. Their unique unit, Coustillier, further emphasizes the tactical aspect of the Burgundian cavalry, as it is a unit that slowly charges its attack over time.
In 1369, Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy married countess Margaret III of Flanders and personally unified her wealthy county with his duchy, laying the foundation for the so-called Burgundian state. The Flemings had a peasant army which, unlike other peasant armies, were well-equipped and trained, and managed to even defeat the French cavalry in The Battle of the Golden Spurs. This is highlighted with their unique technology, Flemish Revolution, which converts all of their Villagers into Flemish Militia, and makes them trainable in their Town Centers. Finally, the Burgundians were one of the first European kingdoms to utilize gunpowder in warfare during the Hundred Years' War, which drastically changed European medieval warfare. This is why their gunpowder units gain more attack.
The Burgundians are a cavalry civilization. They lack Bloodlines, but they still have prominent cavalry units such as Hussars, Paladins, and their unique unit, Coustillier, which can charge its attack. Their cheaper Scout and Knight line upgrades will make them easier to fully upgrade. The latter can be upgraded to Cavaliers in the Castle Age. Their infantry is also good, with only Supplies missing. With Flemish Revolution upgraded, their Villagers turn into Flemish Milita, which have a bonus to cavalry. Their archery lines are weak, lacking Arbalest and Heavy Cavalry Archers. To make matters worse, they also lack Thumb Ring, Parthian Tactics and Ring Archer Armor. Still, they have decent Hand Cannoneers, which have more attack. Their siege weapons are also one of the worst, except the Bombard Cannon. Their navy is also somewhat lacking, missing Dry Dock, Heavy Demolition Ships and Shipwright. Their Monks are excellent, getting all technologies except Heresy and Theocracy. Their defense is perfect, with all technologies available, and they can research all economic upgrades one Age earlier with half food price.
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Burgundian AI characters:
Eudes the Red (1060-1102): Also known as Odo I, Eudes the Red, Duke of Burgundy, participated in the French expedition to the Iberian peninsula, started after the Battle of Sagrajas and ending with little accomplished in the failed Siege of Tudela in 1087. Later, he participated in the Crusade of 1101, where he died, while in Asia Minor, in 1101.
Robert the Old (1011 – 21 March 1076): He was Duke of Burgundy from 1032 to his death. Robert was the son of King Robert II of France and Constance of Arles. His brother was Henry I of France.
Gundaharius (d. 437): Better known by his legendary names Gunther (Middle High German: Gunther) or Gunnar (Old Norse: Gunnarr),he was a historical king of Burgundy in the early 5th century.
John the Fearless (28 May 1371 – 10 September 1419): He was a scion of the French royal family who ruled the Burgundian State from 1404 until his death in 1419. He played a key role in French national affairs during the early 15th century, particularly in the struggles to rule the country for the mentally ill King Charles VI, his cousin, and the Hundred Years' War with England. A rash, ruthless and unscrupulous politician, John murdered the King's brother, the Duke of Orléans, in an attempt to gain control of the government, which led to the eruption of the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War in France and in turn culminated in his own assassination in 1419.
Charles the Bold: He was the Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477. His main objective was to be crowned king by turning the growing Burgundian State into a territorially continuous kingdom. He declared himself and his lands independent, bought Upper Alsace and conquered Zutphen, Guelders and Lorraine, uniting at last Burgundian northern and southern possessions. This caused the enmity of several European powers and triggered the Burgundian Wars.
Philip the Good (31 July 1396 – 15 June 1467): He was Duke of Burgundy from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty, to which all 15th-century kings of France belonged. During his reign, the Burgundian State reached the apex of its prosperity and prestige, and became a leading centre of the arts
Robert II of Burgundy (1248 – 21 March 1306): Robert II of Burgundy was Duke of Burgundy between 1272 and 1306. Robert was the third son of duke Hugh IV and Yolande of Dreux.
Richard the Justiciar (858–921): Richard, Duke of Burgundy , also known as Richard of Autun or Richard the Justiciar, was Count of Autun from 880 and the first Margrave and Duke of Burgundy. He eventually attained suzerainty over all the counties of Burgundy save Mâcon and by 890 he was referred to as dux (duke) and by 900 as marchio (margrave). By 918 he was being called dux Burgundionem or dux Burgundiae, which probably signified less the existence of a unified Burgundian dukedom than feudal suzerainty over a multiplicity of counties in a specific region.
Gundobad (c. 452 – 516 AD): Gundobad (Latin: Flavius Gundobadus; French: Gondebaud, Gondovald) was King of the Burgundians (473 – 516), succeeding his father Gundioc of Burgundy. Previous to this, he had been a Patrician of the moribund Western Roman Empire in 472 – 473, three years before its collapse, succeeding his uncle Ricimer. He is perhaps best known today as the probable issuer of the Lex Burgundionum legal codes, which synthesized Roman law with ancient Germanic customs. He was the husband of Caretene.
Gundomar: Gundomar I (also Gundimar, Godomar, or Godemar) was eldest son and successor of Gebicca, King of the Burgundians. He succeeded his father in 406 or 407 and reigned until 411. He was succeeded by his brother Giselher.
Gunderic (379–428): Gunderic (Latin: Gundericus) , King of Hasding Vandals (407-418), then King of Vandals and Alans (418–428), led the Hasding Vandals, a Germanic tribe originally residing near the Oder River, to take part in the barbarian invasions of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century.
Odo IV of Burgundy (1295 – 3 April 1349): Odo IV or Eudes IV was Duke of Burgundy from 1315 until his death and Count of Burgundy and Artois between 1330 and 1347. He was the second son of Duke Robert II and Agnes of France.
Introduced with update 44725. Relics generate 20 food per minute, and Burgundian Vineyards converts all food into gold.
With update 47820, economic upgrades cost -50% food, Relic Food generation is increased to 30 food per minute, Burgundian Vineyards now only converts half of the food into gold, and gold generated by farmers is increased by 33%.
The Burgundian civilization icon is a shield bearing the Cross of Burgundy, a symbol adopted by the Duchy of Burgundy for their troops in the early 15th century, though the actual arms of Burgundy were diagonal blue and gold stripes. The Cross was probably chosen by developers because the latter is too similar to the Hauteville arms used by the Sicilians.
Due to dynastic marriages, Duchy and Cross were inherited by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and then by his son, Philip II of Spain, in the 16th century. This is why the Cross of Burgundy is the Spanish flag in Age of Empires III.
The Cross of Burgundy is sewn into the jacket of the Burgundians' first unique unit, the Coustillier.
When initially announced, the Flemish Militia was known as the Flemish Pikeman and they originally had Fallen Knights returning 50% of their gold cost as a civilization bonus. It was removed, possibly due to balance reasons, while the cheaper Stable technologies, Cavalier upgrade in the Castle Age, and Gunpowder units with 25% extra attack were added at the launch, and the Castle Age unique technology, Burgundian Vineyards, only converted the food into gold.
The Cumans and Burgundians are the only civilizations which have access to a generic unit earlier than any other civilization (Battering/Capped Ram and Cavalier, respectively).
The Burgundians are the only Western European civilization that have all gunpowder units and the Bombard Tower. They are also the only Western European civilization to have Redemption and Atonement, which make their Monks comparably usable in their building style. Also, they are the only civilization not introduced in The Age of Kings that get access to all economic technologies.
They are also the only civilization having all gunpowder units and Bombard Tower,but none of them can be fully upgraded.
The Burgundians were represented by the Franks before Lords of the West was released.
The Burgundians are always the enemy of the player in all of the campaign scenarios, except for the fourth Attila the Hun scenario, where they can potentially become the player's ally.
The Burgundians are somewhat similar to Lithuanians. Both have bonus to their cavalry units, and their Castle unique units are both cavalry with powerful perfomance in melee. Both have good Monks and to some extent, they rely on Relics to get an advantage. Their infantry are average and they have mediocre archer units. Their siege weapons are all simply terrible, and they have a lackluster navy. Their economy and defense are both perfect, and similary, they are the only civilizations with all gunpowder units in their own building sets.
Despite the controversy about the double attack of the Coustillier against archer units and the better charge attack at release, the Burgundians were among the weakest civilizations. Their win rates were among the lowest in the game, mostly because their earlier economic technologies came with the drawback of cost, which is very high to be researched one age earlier. This is very punishing to the player to use properly. This explains why from update 47820, the economic upgrades cost 50% less food. The similar situation is the Cuman double Town Center, though the latter have the protection of their economy circle. After the addition bonus to their economic technologies, they are one of the most powerful civilizations, as they can save a lot of food to research their advanced economic technologies, which will be more efficient for their Villagers at the same age, which may even be the best of the game. This, combined with the buffed team bonus, Burgundian Vineyards unique technology, and a wide technology tree, can make them a powerful civilization.
Around the turn of the 5th century AD, the vast Roman Empire was unable to prevent the irruption of hostile Germanic tribes into its territory. One such group, the Burgundians, crossed the Rhine into Gaul and became established as Roman federates by 411. Peace did not hold, however, and around 437 the Romans employed Hunnic mercenaries against their former allies. Many Burgundians and their king, Gundaharius, were slaughtered, an event immortalized in Germanic epic works such as the Poetic Edda, Völsunga saga, and the Nibelungenlied.
The following century was a tumultuous one. As the Hunnic and Western Roman empires fell into ruin, the surviving Burgundians carved out another kingdom along the upper Rhône River. This polity rose to prominence under Gundobad (452-516), a devout Christian who was most famous for enacting a law code reconciling Germanic tribal norms with Roman legal concepts. Gundobad’s sons, however, could not resist the incursions of their aggressive Merovingian Frankish neighbors, and the kingdom was overrun by the Franks by 534.
With the collapse of the Carolingian Frankish Empire in the 9th century, central authority gave way to local magnates who largely ruled independent polities, even if nominally under the authority of the king. One of these, Duke Richard the Justiciar (858-921), managed to increase his power so considerably that his son Rudolph was even elected King of France in 923. As the Capetian kings created a powerful ruling dynasty in France, the Duchy of Burgundy retained a position of power and prominence, but nevertheless subordination.
Over the next several centuries, the dukes of Burgundy endeavored to aggrandize themselves as much as possible through shrewd diplomacy and capable management of their domains. A vibrant monastic culture blossomed under Burgundian patronage; many of these monasteries became centers of learning and viticulture, a tradition that exists in the region to the modern day. As a crossroads between the medieval states in modern-day France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, Burgundy enjoyed a powerful position in inter-regional trade and commerce.
The Duchy of Burgundy reached its zenith during the 14th and 15th centuries under a series of powerful dukes known as the House of Valois-Burgundy. Through marriage, Duke Philip the Bold (1342-1404) acquired influence in Flanders, a region famed for its lucrative maritime, wool, and textile trades, but troublesome due to the independent tendencies of its cities. Philip’s son, John the Fearless (1371-1419), violently expanded Burgundian influence in the Low Countries, but primarily occupied himself with a bloody civil war against the Armagnacs, a faction of French dukes competing with Burgundy for influence in the French royal court. The conflict culminated in John’s seizure of Paris, but John was assassinated by his rivals immediately thereafter.
By this time, the Hundred Years’ War was in full-swing, with the English also threatening French royal sovereignty and claiming the crown. In response to John’s murder, his successor, Philip the Good (1396-1467), did the previously unthinkable and allied himself with the English while greatly expanding his control over several counties and duchies in the Low Countries. As duke, Philip was known as a shrewd diplomat, an effective military expansionist, and an opportunistic, charismatic ruler who paired martial and political prowess with cultural patronage and economic growth. Burgundian wealth reached opulence, and Philip’s affinity for foreign–particularly Flemish and Italian–art and other luxuries had a considerable influence on other European courts. Philip also famously captured the French heroine Joan of Arc and sold her to the English in 1430; subsequently, in 1435 he reneged on his alliance with the English and turned coat to support the French king.
The Burgundian military enjoyed great success during this period due to its willingness to employ cutting-edge technology and tactics. Burgundian dukes used early artillery and firearms to deadly effect, and their armies were largely composed of professional forces as well. Mobile armed retinues of knights including the coustilliers, versatile medium cavalry who supported mounted knights in battle, formed a deadly complement to the rest of the army. This powerful military engendered the delusion of kingship in Philip’s successor, Charles the Bold (1433-1477), whose belligerent nature threatened all of his neighbors. A failed invasion of the Swiss Confederacy culminated in his death in 1477, however, and he died without a male heir. Following his death, Burgundy was divided between the French crown, which claimed its lands, and the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg, who married Philip’s daughter Mary.
↑Applies to Hand Cannoneers, Bombard Cannons, and Cannon Galleons. The bonus modifies all existing attack classes of the unit (e.g. versus Spearman line, Hand Cannoneer receives ×1.25 damage multiplier towards its pierce damage, anti-infantry damage, and anti-spearman damage. As unit armor classes is applied after the multiplication takes place, in cases with existing armor (pierce armor, anti-infantry bonus damage reduction of Condottiero) the bonus ends up being higher than +25% (e.g. in the case of Hand Cannoneer vs fully upgraded Champion, the actual damage is increased from 22 to 29 (i.e. by c. 32%) for Burgundians; in the worst case scenario of Hand Cannoneer vs Malian Condottiero, the Burgundian Hand Cannoneer deals 17 damage instead of 10, or +70% damage).
↑Food generation rate: 0.5 food/sec (same as gold generation rate). Food generation is not affected by other modifiers (i.e., the Aztecs' team bonus, the Indians' Sultans unique technology, or the Huns' Atheism unique technology as these clearly mention gold generation).