The Iron Troop is a heavily armored archer, with exceptional ranged resistance, and attacks quickly with a bow and arrow with extra damage to heavy infantry and light cavalry. It is not considered light infantry, and has a much higher melee attack than most light infantry.
The Chinese Atonement card allows Iron Troops to be trained from the Monastery, similarly to how the European Dance Hall card allows players to train Ronin from the Saloon. They can also be rescued from certain treasures on Chinese maps.
|Click for a list of Iron Troop-related Home City Cards|
- The Iron Troops have the highest resistance among non-cheat units in the game, with a spectacular 60% ranged resistance. This makes them alarmingly dangerous against all non-artillery ranged units.
- Ironically, despite their heavy armor, they are highly vulnerable to melee attacks, especially from heavy cavalry.
- They have a very interesting combination of weapons. In ranged combat, they use a composite bow, whereas in melee, they fight using a Pudao (樸刀), a Chinese bladed polearm.
- Despite being based on a unit that formed part of the Ming loyalists of Koxinga, based in South China, they speak Mandarin rather than Hokkien or Wu Chinese.
- This is a similar case with another unit, the Rattan Shield.
- Iron Troops can also be obtained from Treasures in the Mongolia map, by defeating four Masterless Samurai.
"The Iron Troops were the brainchild of Koxinga, the Ming military leader and man responsible for ousting the Dutch from Formosa, now Taiwan, in 1662. Recalling memories of heavily armored Japanese soldiers from his youth, Koxinga brought the idea of iron-armored infantry units to his generals. They balked at the suggestion, claiming that with its weight of 50 pounds or more, iron armor was incredibly restricting. But one general, Gam Hui, had the brilliant idea of having their soldiers train specifically to carry such a weight and learn to fight while bearing it. He suggested that men train with sand bags attached to each foot, and those who wanted to be selected for the elite guard, known as iron man, would have to move a 400-pound stone around the training field three times in a single day. Only the toughest warriors would earn the right to fight as iron troops. With this training regimen in place, Koxinga began to build his army of iron troops, which reached a size of 10,000 men.
At first sight, the iron troops sowed confusion in their enemies. Other armies feared them and often hesitated to attack. The iron troops wore metal masks, armor, and often painted their faces to frighten and discombobulate the opposing soldiers. Members of the Chinese Qin army even wondered if the iron troops were gods, and if they should attack them at all. During Koxinga’s battles for Formosa, the Dutch soldiers quickly developed a deep fear of the iron troops. Diaries of Dutch soldiers include sketches, as well as passages such as this one: “All of his troops, besides their arms and feet, were covered in iron scaled armor. Even though many of them died, the others wouldn’t even look and charged on like crazy dogs.”"
|Mercenary units in Age of Empires III|
|Infantry||Swiss Pikeman · Landsknecht · Barbary Corsair · Highlander · Fusilier · Arsonist · Ninja · Jaeger · Ronin · Iron Troop|
|Cavalry||Hackapell · Stradiot · Elmeti · Mameluke · Manchu · Black Rider · Jat Lancer · Yojimbo Cavalry Archer|
|Navy||Privateer · Wokou Junk|
|Infantry||Pirate · Wokou Pirate · Dacoit · Wokou Ronin · Pistolero · Renegado · Thuggee · Wokou Monk|
|Light cavalry||Comanchero · Wokou Horseman|