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Heavy artillery. Good against infantry or buildings.
—In-game description

The Heavy Cannon is an artillery unit in Age of Empires III that can only be trained at the Factory or shipped from the Home City.

Heavy Cannons are available to the European and American civilizations except British (who have Rockets instead), John Black's Mercenaries (Act II: Ice campaign), Knights of St. John (Act I: Blood campaign), and Ottomans (who have Great Bombards instead).

Overview[]

The Heavy Cannon is the typical heavy artillery piece for the Spanish, Portuguese, Germans, Russians, Dutch, and French. Its power and hit points are similar to the Great Bombard, but the rate of fire is slightly faster and it has no penalties versus Cavalry. The Heavy Cannon is effective against enemy infantry and artillery units, Spanish cannons using Unction are also effective versus Cavalry and other Artillery due to high damage and lack of significant penalties.

Overall, a Heavy Cannon (1 on 1 and lacking Unction) would have a good chance to beat a Great Bombard with full health, though it would rely on the Heavy Cannon getting two shots off (12 seconds) before the Bombard began attacking the Heavy Cannon. This is realistically possible due to the Heavy Cannon's smaller penalty versus other artillery and its greater rate of fire. Other common factors such as battlefield confusion, varying levels of micromanagement skill and line of sight advantages allow this scenario to occur frequently. The population cost of this unit is 7.

The General Imperial Age politician provides one Heavy Cannon for Dutch, French, Germans, and Spanish.

Hidden cost[]

The Heavy Cannon has a base cost of 200 wood and 500 coin, and a train time of 115 seconds (86.25 seconds with "Engineering School" or "TEAM Engineering School" Home City Card, 69 seconds with both), while the Factory generates 5.5 (7.15 with the respective improvements) resources every second.

Therefore, a Factory producing a Heavy Cannon uses up 632.5 resources (475.75 with "Engineering School" or "TEAM Engineering School", 379.5 with both); with all three of the respective improvements, the value goes up to 822.5 (618.475 with "Engineering School" or "TEAM Engineering School", 493.35 with both).

This means for the majority of civilizations, especially those lacking significant damage potential with Heavy Cannon, it is very economically damaging to create them. Improvements and Home City Cards that reduces artillery train time will also affect the Factory, whereas no economic cards do the same. With "Engineering School" or "TEAM Engineering School", the bonus for Heavy Cannon is only 15% whereas regular artillery will train 70% faster (30% faster for civilizations lacking their "Engineering School"), fielding much quicker.

Upgrades[]

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Imperial Age
Imperial artillery.png Imperial Cannon 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrade Heavy Cannons to Imperial Cannons (+50% hit points and attack)

Civilization differences[]

The Chinese can get Heavy Cannons by the following ways:

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Most units, buildings
Weak vs. Artillery especially Culverins, Arrow Knights
Improvements
Hit points Professional gunners.png Professional Gunners (+10%)
Attack Heated Shot.png Heated Shot (+1.5x multiplier vs. ships)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Gunners Quadrant.png Gunner's Quadrant (+6)
Speed Trunion.png Trunion (+15%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Mass Production.png Mass Production (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-10%)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Penalties Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)

Home City Cards[]

Click for a list of Home City Cards related to the Heavy Cannon
  • Green: TEAM Shipment that is sent to each player in a team
  • Purple: Shipment that can be sent an INFINITE number of times

All[]

Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 2 (2 Heavy Cannons).png 2 Heavy Cannons Ships 2 Heavy Cannons (also +4 Uhlans for the Germans)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
10

Chinese[]

Card Description Age HC level
Western reforms.png Western Reforms All units get +8% hit points and attack
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
40
Ottoman Home City 2 (Light Artillery Hitpoints).png Siege Hitpoints Artillery get +15% hit points; Flamethrowers get +20% hit points
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10
Ottoman Home City 2 (Artillery Attack).png Siege Attack Artillery get +15% attack; Flamethrowers get +20% attack
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10
Artillery Combat.png Siege Combat Artillery get +15% hit points and attack; Flamethrowers get +20% hit points and attack
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
25
Team engineering school.png TEAM Engineering School Artillery, Grenade Trooper, Petard, Ram, Mantlet, Flamethrower, Siege Elephant, Black Flag Army, and Mongolian Army train time -15%; Heavy Cannons, Rockets, Great Bombards, and Flying Crows train 10% faster
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
25
"TEAM Engineering School" is also available to the Swedes.

Europeans[]

Card Description Age HC level
Ottoman Home City 2 (Artillery Hitpoints).png TEAM Artillery Hitpoints Artillery and Grenade Trooper gets +15% hit points
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10
French Home City 3 (Engineering School).png Engineering School Artillery train time -30%; Heavy Cannons train 20% faster
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
25
  • "TEAM Artillery Hitpoints" is available to Ottomans and Portuguese (in the Fortress Age).
  • Since the Heavy Cannon cannot be trained by British and Ottomans, "Engineering School" is only relevant to French, Portuguese, and Swedes.

French[]

Card Description Age HC level
French Home City 2 (Gribeuval System).png Gribeauval System Falconets, Culverins, and Horse Artillery get +25% attack; Heavy Cannons get +20% attack
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
40

Germans[]

Card Description Age HC level
German Home City 2 (1 Heavy Cannon).png 1 Heavy Cannon Ships 1 Heavy Cannon
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
10

Indians[]

Card Description Age HC level
Indian Home City 2 (Shivaji's 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
Spanish Home City 2 (2 Heavy Cannons).png Tsar Cannon Ships 2 Heavy Cannons
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
25

Spanish[]

Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition).png TEAM Inquisition All units get +10 LOS
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
10

Swedes[]

Card Description Age
Swedish Home City 2 (Case Shot).png Case Shot Leather Cannons, Falconets, Culverins, Horse Artillery and Heavy Cannons get the Case Shot attack (used against enemies within half of the normal range or closer, which deals 10% of the normal damage with 7 projectiles and +2 AOE, but with a multiplier of ×0.5 against Cavalry and Shock Infantry, and also a ×2.0 multiplier against Infantry for Culverins)
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Swedish Home City 2 (Cronstedt Reforms).png Cronstedt Reforms Leather Cannons, Falconets, and Heavy Cannons use -1 population
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png

United States[]

Card Description Age
Ottoman Home City 3 (Engineering School).png Knox Artillery Train Upgrades Horse Artillery to Heavy Horse Guns (if not already); Horse Artillery and Heavy Cannons get +20% hit points; Horse Artillery train time -25%; Heavy Cannon train time -15%
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png

Trivia[]

  • The Heavy Cannon was originally trained at the Artillery Foundry.
  • According to pre-release screenshots, the Heavy Cannon would be available to the British. There are unused voice files for British Heavy Cannon in the game files and in the Scenario Editor, which are the same voice files used by the Rocket.

History[]

The logistics of moving, maintaining, positioning, aiming, and firing artillery required a highly drilled and disciplined team with a sharp commander. In addition to the men and artillery pieces in his command, an artillery officer had to see to the horses used to haul the pieces around - sometimes up to six for heavier guns. When one side in a battle could field hundreds of artillery pieces, the logistics of just moving them into position were taxing. "Heavy Cannon" is a relative term, but in general, cannon considered 'heavy' were typically used as permanent gun emplacements to defend Forts and strategic locations.

Gallery[]

See also[]

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