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Christopher Da Gama's Expedition is the second Historical Battle in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. It focuses on the aftermath of Da Gama's expedition to Ethiopia, particularly the battles between his crew and the Ethiopians against the Somalians.


The opening cutscene reveals that Christopher Da Gama himself has been killed by the Somali and the player gains control of the remaining crew as they flee. The enemy force is overwhelming, and cannot be defeated at this stage. After fleeing to the Ethiopian base, the player gains access to Home City shipments and acquires their main objectives: free the surrounding villages and defeat the Somali forces.

This scenario can be difficult early on, as the player will not gain access to buildings to train units from. All reinforcements are from shipments or freed villages, so the player must be careful with their forces and take care not to overextend their reach. The player must also protect the Ethiopian base, as the allied forces will not always have units on hand to defend it themselves.

Queen Sabla, Leader of the Ethiopians







Initial attack[]

When the scenario begins, the player is placed directly into an unwinnable fight against a large Somali force. The player should immediately begin moving their units south, trying to keep as many alive as possible by sacrificing units that are too slow or weak to make it past the enemy. Once the Ethiopian base is revealed, the player should move their remaining units to the marked locations as quickly as possible, without detours.

Once the player's units begin to reach the allied base, a series of voice lines will play. Once these are complete, a tower in the base will be converted to the player to use for Home City shipments. From this point on, the primary way to replenish and upgrade the player's forces will be through earning shipments.

Liberating the villages[]

The next objective is to liberate the eight surrounding villages while defending the base. While saving the villages is marked as a secondary objective, it is the primary method of completing the scenario. Each liberated village (all enemy units killed in the area) will award the player with a small group of African units such as Spearmen, Shotel Warriors, or Javelin Riders, as well as converting to the main allied faction to produce units for them periodically.

However, the enemy forces also continue to produce new armies, which are slightly stronger than the allied groups at first. Without help from the player, the Ethiopian base can eventually be breached by Somali forces. Because of this, the player should keep some units near the north and east gates of the base to help in the defense (a good choice for this would be any surviving Organ Guns, which will slow down advance parties but can fire from near-safety behind walls).

The player should try to keep their main force together, with all units not defending the base in one group. It can also be wise to time attacks based on the flow of combat between the allied and enemy forces to avoid taking too many casualties on the way to villages. The first few shipments should be for additional units, but after that it would be wise to ship improvements and/or Priests to boost the survivability of the existing units.

After liberating a number of villages, the tide of the periodic ally/enemy conflicts will start to turn. At about six or seven villages liberated, the allied base will become nearly safe from enemy attack, as each village will be spawning a group of allied units. After the player saves all of the villages, it comes time for the final assault on the Somali base.


After liberating most or all of the villages, the Ethiopian forces will be strong enough to start destroying the towers and walls of the Somali base. The player should ship any last-minute improvements or units, then move all of their remaining forces to the center gate of the Somali base. With the player and allied units attacking this gate, it should be easy to break in and destroy the enemy production buildings. Once the marked building is destroyed, a series of voice lines will play to end the scenario.


  • Originally, the menu description for this scenario listed the enemy as "Portuguese", but the enemy forces are primarily Somali. This was fixed in update 9476.
  • While the scenario is named after Christopher Da Gama, he has died before the scenario began. The battle instead focuses on his surviving crew.
  • The Somali and Ethiopians use special units that are not available in any other scenario. However, many of these are statistically similar to existing units.
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Campaigns in Age of Empires III
AOE3Icon.png Age of Empires III
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
WarchiefsIcon.png 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)
Names in brackets are the scenario's name in the Definitive Edition.
DynastiesIcon.png 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.png 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
The African Royals
Historical BattlesThe Battle of the Three Kings · Fall of the Hausa · The Era of the Princes