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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III. For other uses, see Crossbowman.

Archaic archer. Good against infantry.
—In-game description

The Crossbowman is an archer in Age of Empires III that can be trained at a Barracks, Fort, and Galleon.

Crossbowmen are available to the French, Germans, Maltese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedes.

Overview[]

Crossbowmen are ranged infantry units that use crossbows in battle. They are counter infantry units that are useful for attacking heavy infantry such as Musketeers, but are easily defeated by melee cavalry and artillery. They are similar in many ways to Skirmishers. Although the Crossbowmen might be out-ranged by their Skirmisher counterparts, they are cheaper and are trainable earlier in the game. The exceptions to this rule reside in the Dutch who can train Skirmishers in the Commerce Age and the French through the use of the "TEAM Early Skirmishers" Home City Card which allows them and their allies to train Skirmishers in the Commerce Age.

Spanish players have the option of being able to almost instantly train (2.7 seconds) Crossbowmen and Pikemen in the Commerce Age, due to the "TEAM Archaic Soldier Training" and "Fencing School" cards, and can train instantly if the cards are also used with the Standing Army improvement.

Upgrades[]

Age Upgrade Cost Effect Civ.
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Veteran archer.png Veteran Crossbowmen 200 wood,
200 coin
Upgrade Crossbowmen to Veteran (+20% hit points and attack)
Flag FrenchDE.png
Flag GermanDE.png
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedes
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard archer.png Guard Crossbowmen 600 wood,
600 coin
Upgrade Crossbowmen to Guard (+30% hit points and attack); requires Veteran Crossbowmen and The Papal Guard
Flag FrenchDE.png
Flag GermanDE.png
Spanish
Guard archer.png Ordinance Besteiro 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrade Crossbowmen to Ordinance Besteiros (Guard Crossbowman with +10% hit points and attack); requires Veteran Crossbowmen and The Papal Guard
Portuguese
Guard archer.png Arbalesters Upgrade Crossbowmen to Arbalesters (Guard Crossbowman with +10% hit points and attack, +1 range); requires Veteran Crossbowmen
Flag MalteseDE.png
Imperial Age
Imperial archer.png Imperial Crossbowmen 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrade Crossbowmen to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Guard Crossbowmen and The Papal Guard
Flag FrenchDE.png
Flag GermanDE.png
Spanish
Imperial archer.png Imperial Ordinance Besteiros Upgrade Ordinance Besteiros to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Ordinance Besteiro and The Papal Guard
Portuguese
Imperial archer.png Imperial Arbalesters Upgrade Arbalesters to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Arbalesters
Flag MalteseDE.png

Civilization differences[]

  • (Definitive Edition) Choosing The Papal Guard to advance into the Industrial Age automatically upgrades Crossbowman to Guard (Royal Guard for the Portuguese) and allows them to be upgraded to Imperial.
    • Before the Definitive Edition, the Portuguese have Besteiros, which upgrades their Crossbowmen to Veteran (if not already) and gives them +30% hit points and attack, and renames them to Besteiro.
    • However, the Swedes are the only civilization with access to Crossbowman who cannot upgrade them beyond Veteran, even with The Papal Guard.
  • Indians and Japanese can get Crossbowmen by allying with the Portuguese, which provides Portuguese Expeditionary Company and Portuguese Expeditionary Force that includes 7 and 10 Crossbowmen (named Ordinance Besteiro) respectively. These Crossbowmen start with +10% hit points and attack than their regular counterpart, and are automatically upgraded in each Age starting from the Fortress Age (see here for the exact values).
    • The Ethiopians can ship 10 Crossbowmen (named Ordinance Besteiro) with Portuguese Crusaders, which also allows them to be trained at War Camps for 40 food and 40 coin. These Crossbowmen are automatically upgraded in each Age starting from the Fortress Age like their Consulate version.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry, Eagle Runner Knights
Weak vs. Heavy cavalry, Coyote Runners, artillery
Improvements
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Besteiros.png Besteiros (+30%; Portuguese only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Besteiros.png Besteiros (+30%; Portuguese only)
Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Carib Garifuna Drums.png Carib Garifuna Drums (+1.0x multiplier vs. villagers)
Iroquois lacrosse.png Iroquois Lacrosse (+10%; vanilla Age of Empires III only)
Seminole Bowyer.png Seminole Bowyer (+25%)
Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs.png Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs (+10%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Clenched Fist.png Clenched Fist (+30% melee attack)
Somali jile daggers.png Somali Jile Daggers (-35% melee attack ROF)
Armor Somali oryx shields.png Somali Oryx Hide Shields (additional +10% melee/ranged resistance)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+20%; Germans only)
Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Akan Drums.png Akan Fontomfrom (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army.png Standing Army (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Akan Drums.png Akan Fontomfrom (-20%)
Other Besteiros.png Besteiros (ships 22 Crossbowmen and grants the Veteran upgrade; Portuguese only)
Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Portuguese Crusaders.png Portuguese Crusaders (ships 10 Crossbowmen and allows them to be trained at War Camps; Ethiopians only)
Penalties Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost; Germans only)
High Crusade.png High Crusade (-5% hit points; Knights of St. John only)

Home City Cards[]

Click for a list of Home City Cards related to the Crossbowman
Green: TEAM Shipment that is sent to each player in a team

Dutch[]

Card Description Age HC level
Dutch Home City 2 (Infantry Hitpoints).png TEAM Infantry Hitpoints Infantry get +15% hit points
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10

Ethiopians[]

Card Description Age
Ethiopian Home City 2 (TEAM Coffee Consumption).png TEAM Coffee Consumption Ranged Infantry get +5% speed
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png

Europeans[]

Card Description Age HC level
French Home City 2 (8 Crossbowmen).png 8 Crossbowmen Ships 8 Crossbowmen (also +2 Uhlans for the Germans)
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
1
French Home City 2 (10 Crossbowmen).png 10 Crossbowmen Ships 10 Crossbowmen (also +3 Uhlans for the Germans)
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
1
Spanish Home City 1 (24 Crossbowmen).png 24 Crossbowmen Ships 24 Crossbowmen
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
10
Spanish Home City 2 (Hand Infantry Hitpoints).png Long-range Infantry Hitpoints Crossbowmen and Skirmishers get +15% hit points
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10
Spanish Home City 3 (Fencing School).png Fencing School Infantry train time -40%
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10

French[]

Card Description Age HC level
French Home City 2 (Ranged Infantry Attack).png TEAM Ranged Infantry Attack Ranged infantry get +15% attack
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
10
French Home City 2 (Tirailleurs).png Tirailleurs Turns Crossbowmen into Skirmishers
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
40

Haudenosaunee[]

Card Description Age HC level
Iroquois Home City 2 (Scout Infantry).png TEAM Scout Infantry Infantry get +8 LOS
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10

Incas[]

Card Description Age
Inca Home City 2 (TEAM Inca Bridges).png TEAM Inca Bridges Infantry and civilian units get +5% speed; +1 Chasqui
Age I tech tree aoe3.png

Indians[]

Card Description Age HC level
Shivajis tactics.png TEAM Shivaji's Tactics All units get +5% hit points and attack
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
25

Japanese[]

Card Description Age HC level
Japanese Home City 3 (Cheaper Unit Upgrades).png TEAM Cheaper Unit Upgrades Unit upgrades cost -20%
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
1

Russians[]

Card Description Age HC level
Russian Home City 3 (Dueling School).png TEAM Dueling School Infantry train time -25%; Banner army train time -12%
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
25

Spanish[]

Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 1 (Archaic Soldier Training).png TEAM Archaic Soldier Training Pikeman, Plumed Spearman, Crossbowman, Longbowman, Otontin Slinger, Aenna, Cetan Bowman, Yumi Archer, Jungle Bowman, Fulani Archer, and Desert Archer train time -50%; Old Han Army, Standard Army, and Ming Army train time -25%
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
10
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition).png TEAM Inquisition All units get +10 LOS
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
10

Changelog[]

Definitive Edition[]

  • Crossbowmen ranged attack inaccuracy removed.
  • Guard and Imperial upgrades are available to the French, Germans and Spanish through the Papal Guard. Portuguese can now upgrade Royal Besteiros to Imperial.
  • With update 14825, the Swedes can train Crossbowmen, but cannot upgrade them to Guard and Imperial.

Trivia[]

  • Portuguese Royal Guard/Consulate Crossbowmen are named after the Ordenanças.
    • Before the Definitive Edition, they are simply named "Besteiro", which means "crossbowman" in Portuguese.
  • The Dutch originally had access to training the Crossbowman, and there are unused voice files for Dutch Crossbowmen in the game files and in the Scenario Editor.
  • In the Definitive Edition, the Swedish Crossbowman uses the Swedish dialogue originally spoken by the Fusilier, while the Fusilier is a French mercenary unit and uses the French Grenadier's dialogue files.

History[]

Handheld crossbows began to appear in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Crossbowmen were attractive to military leaders because they took much less time to train than archers using bows. Firearms eclipsed Crossbows by the end of the sixteenth century.

Europeans, chiefly the Spanish, included crossbows amongst the muskets and cannon they brought to the New World. Cortes arrived with more than two dozen crossbows and less than ten muskets. Columbus' crew had crossbows when they landed in the West Indies. When the original stockpile of munitions ran out it was difficult or impossible to make or trade for more. Explorers had to be very careful with their limited supply.

Gallery[]

See also[]

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