A Home City is the capital city of a civilization that delivers economic and military shipments to a player's in-game colony, adding extra functionality to normal gameplay. The Home City concept is a feature first introduced in Age of Empires III.
Home Cities enable more diverse game-style decision-making, where players can ship a variety of economic, land military and naval-oriented units or technology upgrades. Furthermore, players are also able to customize European Home Cities.
Each civilization has its own unique Home City, the real-life city locations of each are the following:
- British: London
- Dutch: Amsterdam
- French: Paris
- Germans: Berlin
- Ottomans: Istanbul
- Portuguese: Lisbon
- Russians: St. Petersburg (St. Basil's Cathedral, located in Moscow, appears in the background)
- Spanish: Seville (Torre del Oro, the Spanish Wonder from Age of Empires II: The Conquerors, can be seen in its background)
In The Asian Dynasties expansion, the civilizations have:
Cards and decks Edit
- See Home City Card.
Every civilization has a unique assortment of improvements, units, and resources that are called Cards, which can be sent to the "New World" colony as shipments. The higher the player's Home City level is the more Cards are available for use. The cards are also available by Ages, such as troops start coming in during the Colonial Age while artillery start coming in at the Fortress Age.
There are five categories of cards, represented by a building in the Home City for European and Asian civilizations:
- Economic resources
- Military upgrades
- Building upgrades
- Economic upgrades
- Naval upgrades and mercenaries
All of the cards for a Home City are put in a group called a deck. A deck can contain 20 cards plus one extra for every ten levels, to a maximum of 25. This forces players to make decisions and to only use the cards they believe to be the most important.
- See Experience.
Experience is the fourth resource added in Age of Empires III.
In the original game, all Home Cities begin at level 1 and are provided with 15 cards. From The WarChiefs onward, Home Cities begin at level 10 instead. As more XP is gained the Home City is able to level up and a new card can be added to the deck. Choosing cards must be done carefully and a certain amount of strategy must be used.
Many cards must be unlocked through reaching a certain level Home City before becoming available. Some cards can also require other cards as prerequisites. Focusing on specific units or technologies minimizes the amount of cards that need to be purchased.
There are several ways the Home City can be customized so it looks unique from any other player's Home City. Customizations are varied; some provide entertainment to the streets of the Home City (jugglers, artists, drunks...), or even market vendors and nobles. The design the buildings can be modified through the building color, adding "Market Day" flags, etc.
Available only to European civilizations from the vanilla game, customizations are unlocked as the Home City level increases.