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Powerful heavy artillery from the foundries of Europe.
—In-game description

The Li'l Bombard is a mercenary heavy artillery unit in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. It is the strongest artillery unit in the game.


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. However, since update 5208, they received a negative multiplier against cavalry and shock infantry, reducing the damage done by the Li'l Bombard to these units by half. 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.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Land units, ships, buildings
Weak vs. Artillery especially 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%)
Penalties Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)

Home City Cards[]

Great Cannon[]

Powerful Russian heavy artillery.
—In-game description

The Great Cannon is a more powerful version of the Li'l Bombard. It cannot be obtained during normal gameplay, appearing only in the Bring Down the Mountain scenario of the Act II: Ice campaign. In this scenario, the player must close the three passages in order to prevent the Russian convoys with Great Cannons from crossing through them and escape. 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.

Li'l Bombard is the replacement for the Great Cannon in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs.

Redoubt Cannon[]

Powerful heavy artillery.
—In-game description

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.


The WarChiefs[]

The Asian Dynasties[]

  • Due to a bug, the Repentant Li'l Bombard can be trained in the Fortress Age.

Definitive Edition[]

  • The Repentant Li'l Bombard can be trained in the Industrial Age.
  • With update 5208, the Li'l Bombard has a x0.5 multiplier against Cavalry and Shock infantry.

The African Royals[]

  • Although it is not listed in the patch notes, since update 43871, the Li'l Bombard has a x0.75 multiplier against Cavalry and Shock infantry.

In-game dialogue[]

The Li'l Bombard (or their crew) speaks Italian, which is also shared with the Elmetto.

  • Select 1 Sì? - Yes?
  • Select 2 Pronto - Ready
  • Select 3 Comando? - Order?
  • Move 1 - Yes
  • Move 2 Lo farò - I'll do it
  • Move 3 Sto per farlo - I'm about to do it
  • Attack 1 Vado all'attacco! - I'm going to attack!
  • Attack 2 Alla battaglia! - To the battle!
  • Attack 3 Sì! - Yes!

The campaign-only Great Cannon speaks the same dialogue as the Russian Heavy Cannon while the Redoubt Cannon speaks the same dialogue as the British Culverin.


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.