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Light, affordable artillery than can fire and reposition quickly. Good against infantry.
—In-game description

The Leather Cannon is an artillery in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition that is unique to the Swedes and can be trained at the Artillery Foundry and Fort. It is an artillery that fires faster but does less damage and has less range than other artillery units.


Leather Cannon has the title of being an artillery unit that is available from the Commerce Age, like the Chinese Flying Crow. It is more effective against infantry than buildings. In addition to its performance and also its early access, It is also the most expensive unit in the Commerce Age.

One of the most noticeable features of Leather Cannons is that they do not have a separate Limber Mode and Bombard Mode, unlike most artillery units. They can fire instantly and move quickly. This is a huge advantage to Leather Cannons and makes them easier to use in combat. Due to their Gunpowder unit tag, Arsenal upgrades such as Paper Cartridge and Flint Lock affect them, making them even stronger, along with the usual artillery upgrades such as Professional Gunners. These upgrades can be researched in the Commerce Age instead of Fortress Age because Advanced Arsenal is already available to the Swedes as a feature. They also have the quickest rate of fire for an artillery.

They are very fragile against any cavalry unit and due to their lesser range, they can lose to Heavy Infantry like Musketeers that charge closely and hence must be protected with other units all the time. They can be also countered by Abus Guns, Huaracas, and most Artillery units such as Falconets and Culverins.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard artillery.png Infantry Guns 250 food,
250 wood
Upgrades Leather Cannons to Infantry Guns (+25% hit points and attack, +1 LOS and range, +0.5 speed)
Imperial Age
Imperial artillery.png Imperial Infantry Guns 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Infantry Guns to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack, +1 LOS and range, +0.5 speed); requires Infantry Guns

Further statistics[]

As Leather Cannons are unique to the Swedes, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry
Weak vs. Cavalry, Culverins, Arrow Knights
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 Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-10%)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Leather Cannons are unique to the Swedes, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


Definitive Edition[]


  • The Leather Cannon and the Flying Crow are the only artillery units that are available in the Commerce Age.
  • The Leather Cannon and the Napoleon Gun are the only artillery units that are tagged as gunpowder unit.
  • The Leather Cannon was featured in the Napoleonic Era mod. One of the developers of the mod worked on the Definitive Edition.


The leather cannon was an experimental weapon, first used in northern Europe in the 1620s. The aim was to construct a light and cheap weapon that would bridge the gap between the hand-held musket and the heavy stationary cannon. The first attempts to use them in combat were made by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, during the Polish–Swedish War, but were largely unsuccessful.

A relatively thin copper tube was reinforced by heavy cords and finally clad in leather. While the weapon was light enough to be mobile and was cheaper in construction, the basic design proved to be flawed. The reinforcing materials acted as an insulator, and did not allow heat to dissipate fast enough. After only a few shots the gun would be too hot to use. However, it did demonstrate the usefulness of mobile fire support. While short-lived, the leather cannon was copied by numerous nations of Europe, most notably Scotland.
—In-game history section