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Lao Chen is the deuteragonist of the Act II: China campaign in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, and an ally of Captain Jian Huang.


Chen sees the world as it is, and he has no use for the posturing of imperial families or the grand ambitions of an emperor. Having spent his whole life as a fisherman and occasional maritime mercenary in and around Fujian Province, Chen knows that life is often like a voyage, meaning that more often than not you are at the mercy of factors out of your control.

Chen was recruited for the treasure fleet because of his years of experience, as well as his ability to convince many other local Fuzhou sailors and laborers to contribute their manpower. His reputation as a respected and hardened seaman holds much sway in the region. Much to his surprise, Chen develops an interest in the voyages of the treasure fleet. This happens when he finds friendship with Captain Huang, a long-time military man who is undertaking his maiden voyage as a commander. A huge factor in their relationship is the presence of the young and spoiled Admiral Jinhai, who constantly insults those around him. The admiral’s conceit works to polarize the two older men against him. While Huang, as captain, must remain serious and responsible, it is up to Chen to voice his frustrations for both men, often to humorous effect.

Lao Chen is a burly sailor under Captain Huang's command. He is suspicious of Admiral Jinhai. After landing in the "New World", Chen wishes to leave the "rock" and return home. He is often foul mouthed in the campaign and frequently derides Jinhai's mercenaries.

In-game unit[]

Sailor in the Chinese Treasure Fleet.
—In-game description

Chen fights with his fists in melee combat and can use Anchor Fist, a powerful AOE melee attack. He also have a whopping 80% melee resistance and, unusually for a hero, can gather resources from crates.

Like other heroes, Chen has many hit points, but if he falls, he will collapse instead of dying and need to regenerate enough hit points to be rescued by allies. He can collect treasures, but unlike the Shaolin Master, cannot build Trading Posts and Town Centers.


Ability Use
Anchor Fist ability.png Anchor Fist A powerful punch that does 400 melee damage to the target enemy infantry or cavalry and other enemies in an AOE of 3 around the target. 60 seconds cooldown.


  • When Lao Chen collapses, a text box appears next to him that says: "Even with my bottle in hand, I grow colder."
  • Before the Definitive Edition, Lao Chen wears a queue, a hairstyle imposed on Chinese men by the Manchu Qing Dynasty from 1645 onward, and so is anachronistic for the early-15th century setting of the China campaign.