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Claims is the third scenario of Act II: Shadow in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. In the scenario, the player must destroy all enemy War Huts and Barracks while preventing four of the mining camps from being destroyed.


The scenario is preceded by the cutscene "An Opportunity", where Chayton and Holme reunite after almost ten years of temporary peace following Red Cloud's War. Chayton is now the owner of Falcon Trading Company following his mother Amelia's resignation. Holme is now a Sheriff, and Chayton visits him in a town in the shadows of the Black Hills. Holme informs Chayton that the region is littered with gold, which can help him expand the company and both of them can become rich.

The scenario now opens, and the Holme informs Chayton that the Lakota (referring to them as "flies") are also after the gold.

The story is very similar in the Definitive Edition, but the enemies are now exclusively rival miners.



Black Family Estate (Black Family Estate): The player controls seven Trading posts along a trade route spanning from the east to the southwest of the map. There is a mining camp close to each of the Trading Posts, which the player must defend.


Miners (United States): The Miners control several Miners mining gold across the player's mining camps.


  • Lakota (Lakota): These Lakota have an encampment in the northwest. They agressively attack the player with Corral units. They control one of the War Huts the player must destroy.
  • Lakota (Lakota): These Lakota have an encampment in the northeast. They agressively attack the player with Corral units. They control one of the War Huts the player must destroy.
  • Rival Miners (Spanish): The Spanish have a walled town in the south. They actively attack the player at the start of the game with Hussars, Lancers, and Rodeleros. They may later train minimal units consisting of Falconets and units from the Saloon. They control the Barracks the player must destroy.


The scenario starts with the player in control of 7 Trading Posts along the Trade Route. The player must utilize these to acquire more resources to quickly field an army. Since wood is scarce, the player must configure 4 to 5 of the Trading Posts to Wood, 2 on Food and 1 to Coin. Keep in mind that the configuration can be altered at any time, depending on the resources the player needs. The player should immediately assign the Lakota Warchief to construct a Town Center southeast of the map, where there are mining camps. Once the Town Center is built, train Villagers to mine the Gold nearby. Since Gold Mines contain huge amounts of Coin, the player should not construct Plantations at this point. The starting Town Center should be used to train Villagers who will gather Food, either by building a Farm, or shipping a Farm Travois (if available on the deck). The enemy will later attack non-stop, so the player should make sure they have enough resource gatheres, about 30 on Food and 30 on Gold. The player starts the game with full population capacity at 200, so here's no need to worry about unit production being halted.

Since the enemy may attack early, the player must train an army while building up a stable economy. The player's army should contain Dragoons and Skirmishers, since the former can tackle Axe Riders, while the latter can deal with Rifle Riders and Bow Riders from a great distance. Dragoons should be massed in this scenario for two reasons: They have a fast speed, which will be needed if the enemy attacks several mining camps at once, and both Lakota factions rely entirely on Corral units. The Spanish will attack the player with Lancers and Rodeleros early on, which could also be easily defeated by Dragoons and Skirmishers, respectively. After defeating most of the Spanish forces, the player can send some units to destroy the Spanish Barracks. The Spanish town is walled in, however, but that should not pose a problem, since the Spanish do not train many units after their initial attack, and should be vulnerable to raids. Keep in mind that majority of the player's forces should be on the lookout for the Lakota that could strike at any of the player's camp at any moment, while attacking the Spanish town.

By this time, the player should have more than enough Food to create a larger army.The player can also mix in about 20 Hussars to their army, to be used as meat shields against Axe Riders while the Dragoons shoot at them. Falconets are ill-advised in this scenario, since the enemy will mass cavalry that will make short work of the expensive artillery, so unless for the purpose of destroying enemy buildings during an attack, they should not be trained.

Once the player reaches the population of about 175 (including Villagers), the player may to advance to the Industrial Age to gain access to upgrades that will strengthen the current army. Meanwhile, a huge portion of the army can be used to attack one of the Lakota camps. Remember that only a single War hut needs to be destroyed from each of the camps, so after successfully destroying it, the player can immediately send the attack team to the opposite Lakota camp, and focus on taking down the other War hut. Once both the War huts are down (provided the Spanish Barracks were destroyed earlier), the scenario will be completed; otherwise, the Spanish Barracks must be taken out.

Alternate Strategy[]

There is a quicker way to finish the scenario, however it is more risky.

The player does not need to train many Villagers, and simply gather Food and Gold. As soon as the game starts, the player should use the initial army to immediately attack the Spanish town to the south. Expect resistance from the rival Spanish miners, however, the starting army should be sufficient to deal with them. Once the Spanish army has been defeated, destroy the wall, then proceed with the Barracks. While attacking, the player must create military units to replace losses during the attack and to defend the camps in case the Lakota attack.

Both of the Lakota factions should now be attacking two of the player's camps. If the player is after the bonus experience from preventing any of the mining camps to be destroyed, they must quickly respond to the attacks and use the army created. After dealing with the Lakota attacks, the player can now send the main army from the Spanish town, complemented by the new army trained during their previous attack, and direct it towards the orange Lakota's War hut. Ignore the resistance, the orange Lakota progress a bit slower than the red Lakota and it won't take long before the War hut is down.

After raiding the orange Lakota camp, all military forces should turn their attention to the red Lakota War Hut. The player may need to deal with some Bow Riders and Axe Riders; however, if the player has a decent sized army, the War Hut should be destroyed and the player has completed the scenario.

To sum it up, the second strategy could be more risky, since the player will focus more on attack rather an economy, which means a failed attack could mean defeat. However, if successful, the player's chances of obtaining experiences from the secondary objectives would be greater, since the game should be completed before the Lakota can launch a serious attack on any of the mining camps or Trading Posts.


  • The Black Hills Gold Rush took place in Dakota Territory in the United States. It began in 1874 following the Custer Expedition and reached a peak in 1876–77.
  • Rumors and poorly documented reports of gold in the Black Hills go back to the early 19th century. In the 1860s, Roman Catholic missionary Father De Smet is reported to have seen Sioux Indians carrying gold which they told him came from the Black Hills.
  • Prior to the Gold Rush, the Black Hills were used by Native Americans (primarily bands of Sioux but others also ranged through the area). The United States government recognized the Black Hills as belonging to the Sioux by the Treaty of Laramie in 1868. Despite being within Native American territory, and therefore off-limits, white Americans were increasingly interested in the gold-mining possibilities of the Black Hills.
  • Prospectors found gold in 1874 near present-day Custer, South Dakota, but the deposit turned out to be small. The large placer gold deposits of Deadwood Gulch were discovered in November 1875, and in 1876, thousands of gold-seekers flocked to the new town of Deadwood, although it was still within Indian land.


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.