The Li'l Bombard has a decent number of hit points, unlike other artillery units. It is very slow but is very good at taking down ships and buildings. It can also attack other units, but it is very vulnerable to cavalry designed to counter artillery. It uses the same model that the Great Cannon and Redoubt Cannon originally use. The Li'l Bombard is a smaller version of the Great Bombard.
Although slow and extremely expensive, just three of these Bombards will destroy nearly all infantry that approaches them. They also surprisingly do well against cavalry because they have high base damage instead of having a large attack bonus against infantry, and do not have a negative multiplier against cavalry. They are actually capable of taking out entire armies of cavalry provided they are guarded well. Li'l Bombards should be used similarly to Heavy Cannons. Be sure to guard them with heavy infantry or light cavalry. With the hit point improvement upgrade and all cards (any European and Indian allies), the Chinese Li'l Bombard is the artillery with the highest hit points, 1,008.
The Great Cannon is a more powerful version of the Li'l Bombard. It cannot be obtained during normal gameplay; it only appears in the eighth scenario of the Act II: Ice campaign, Bring Down the Mountain, of Age of Empires III, wherein it is very strong heavy Russian artillery. In the level, players must halt and destroy Great Cannons in order to prevent them from crossing the player's starting position. The Great Cannon is pulled by two cavalry (like the Great Bombard) and has the firing sound of a ship gun. It is very effective against infantry and can only be countered effectively by cavalry in hand-to-hand combat and anti-artillery artillery.
The Redoubt Cannon is a campaign exclusive and more powerful version of the Li'l Bombard. The can only be found in the The Battle of Yorktown scenario of the Act I: Fire campaign. There, four enemy Redoubt Cannons will be split in half to guard two redoubts and must be taken down to complete the primary objective. The cannons will be guarded by Jaegers and will prove to be a lethal force against infantry. However, unlike Li'l Bombard, they cannot move, although they can switch between Limber and Bombard mode.
Artillery has existed for hundreds of years, practically since the invention of gunpowder. Early artillery, such as the great bombard, was extremely large, heavy, and difficult to maneuver across the field of battle. Military tacticians envisioned the value of more lightweight pieces, leading to the creation of the first mortars in the mid-seventeenth century. Armies soon discovered that the tradeoff in firepower for increased mobility was valuable in certain situations. Today, the mortar and similar weapons play a strong role in the blend of weaponry used in modern combat scenarios.