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Heavy artillery that fires a rocket and is good against infantry or buildings.
—In-game description

The Flying Crow is an artillery in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Chinese and are trained automatically by the Confucian Academy wonder or can be shipped from the Home City. Similar to the Rocket, it sends a gunpowder-powered missile effective against units and buildings.


Flying Crows can be fielded very early in the game if the Confucian Academy is built to advance into the Commerce Age, though it takes four minutes for the wonder to produce one, which is about twice the training time of a Heavy Cannon.

The Flying Crow works similarly to the British Rocket; therefore, the usage of both is in many ways the same. It is best used against buildings and large masses of infantry as it deals damage in an area of 3, increased by 1 in the Fortress Age and another 1 in the Industrial Age for a total of 5, equal to a Great Bombard. It starts out with a poor range of only 18 which is the same as an Abus Gun, but increases by 5 in the Fortress Age and another 5 in the Industrial Age, for a total of 28. It is best used to soften an enemy advance at this range, especially against Skirmishers, because of their low hit points, and heavy infantry, as the Chinese Arquebusier is not as effective as the European Skirmisher.

The Flying Crow, like any other artillery unit, is susceptible to cavalry assaults and other artillery, such as the Culverin. They themselves though are quite effective against weaker artillery units such as Horse Artillery or Morutaru and combined with Keshiks or Steppe Riders, they can be quite effective.


The Flying Crow is automatically upgraded at every Age up starting in the Fortress Age.

Fortress age up.png +25% hit points and attack, +5 range, +1 AOE
Industrial age up.png +25% hit points and attack, +5 range, +1 AOE
Imperial age up.png +50% hit points and attack

Further statistics[]

As Flying Crows are unique to the Chinese, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry, ships, buildings
Weak vs. Artillery especially Culverins, Arrow Knights, cavalry
Speed Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-10%)

Home City Cards[]

As Flying Crows are unique to the Chinese, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


  • Before the Definitive Edition, the Flying Crow was the only artillery that was available in the Commerce Age. With the release of the Definitive Edition, however, this exclusivity was shared with the Leather Cannon.
  • When destroyed, the Flying Crow explodes in a fireworks display, although the explosion causes no damage and is purely aesthetic.


The first recorded uses of such a rocket-propelled weapon occurred in 969 CE. The flying crow was an evolution of this early rocket technology, and was utilized as both a physical and psychological weapon. Its two wings allowed for natural lift and stabilization and also acted as carriage for the four rockets (two under each wing) that propelled the weapon through the air. At a certain stage of flight, the rockets would flare up and ignite the gunpowder within. The flying crow was said to fly to heights above 1,000 feet and eventually crash into the ground. Detonating near an enemy encampment, it sent a rain of fire down upon its targets.

The flying crow was constructed of bamboo laths, much like a basket, and then covered with paper to strengthen its shape. Two variations on this avian theme have been recorded in the history of Chinese siege warfare, the “flying crow with magic fire,” a larger model with four-rocket propulsion, and the “spiritual flying duck,” a smaller model using only two rockets.