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A Native American minor civilization's settlement as it appears in the game (Cheyenne).

An Asian minor civilization's settlement (Sufi Mosque).

An African minor civilization's settlement (Akan).

Minor civilizations (also referred to as minor tribes, Natives, or Native allies) feature throughout the campaign scenarios and random maps of Age of Empires III. All playable civilizations can ally with a minor civilization by constructing Trading Posts at settlement sites. Each minor civilization typically offers three technologies to research and access to at least one unique military unit; trained in limited amounts with two unit upgrades.

Players retain access to the minor civilization's technologies and units for as long as the Trading Post is not destroyed. After the release of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - The African Royals, there are a total of 28 minor civilizations in normal game and three more exclusive to the campaigns.

Units[]

Native units always cost a certain amount of wood, food, and/or coin, but never population. Instead, native units have a build limit which players can increase by allying with further settlements of the same minor civilization.

From The WarChiefs, players can build Native Embassies to train allied minor civilization units at locations beyond the Trading Post site.

Upgrades[]

All native units' hit points and damage can be upgraded first in Fortress Age by +25% for 200 wood and 150 coin and a second time by +40% in Industrial Age for 400 wood and 300 coin. The native unit upgrades from Age of Empires III and The WarChiefs are called Elite and Champion while in The Asian Dynasties they are called Disciplined and Honored. In the Imperial Age, players can improve hit points and damage again by researching Legendary Native Warriors in the Capitol for 1,500 food and 1,500 wood.

A wide array of Home City cards can boost native units.

Native mercenaries[]

Most civilizations can send native allies from their Home City, which are technically mercenary shipments as they cost Coin. Furthermore, native units sent from Home City have their own build limit, an additional mercenary tag and they are treated by the game as different units. Because of that the visually identical native mercenaries and native units will not simultaneously select when double-clicking one of them. Military unit upgrades in the native settlement still affect both, native mercenaries and native units.

Ships[]

Certain ships can be trained from the Dock if the player builds a Trading Post on a minor civilization settlement, which vary depending on the minor civilization allied with:

On Horn and Swahili Coast maps, Bandit Catamarans can be trained from the Dock by default.

List[]

While Age of Empires III and The WarChiefs feature Native American settlements, the paradigma changes in The Asian Dynasties to religious communities or Holy Sites (as developer Big Huge Games labels them in the game manual), and later, in Knights of the Mediterranean to European royal houses.

Age of Empires III[]

Age of Empires III included the following twelve Native American settlements:

Tribe Units Technologies Maps
Aztec native icon.png Aztecs

(replaced by Zapotecs)

Aztec Eagle Warrior
Aztec Jaguar Warrior
Aztec Initiation
Aztec Chocolate Recipes
Aztec Chinampa
Aztec Garland Wars
Sonora
Yucatan
Carib Icon.png Carib Carib Blowgunner
Carib Ambusher*
Carib Kasiri Beer
Carib Garifuna Drums
Carib Ambush Party
Carib Ceremonial Feast
Amazonia
Caribbean
Florida
Hispaniola
Orinoco
Cherokee Icon.png Cherokee Cherokee Rifleman
Settler*
Cherokee War Dance
Sequoyah's Cherokee Syllabary
Cherokee Basket Weaving
Bayou
Carolina
New England
Ozarks
Comanche Icon.png Comanche Comanche Horse Archer Comanche Trade Language
Comanche Horse Breeding
Comanche Mustangs
Colorado
Dakota
Great Plains
Ozarks
Rockies
Texas
Cree Icon.png Cree Cree Tracker
Cree Coureur des Bois
Cree Tanning
Cree Kinship
Cree Textile Craftsmanship
Dakota
Great Lakes
Saguenay
Yukon
Iroquois native icon.png Haudenosaunee

(replaced by Huron)

Haudenosaunee Tomahawk
Haudenosaunee Mantlet
Haudenosaunee Lacrosse
Haudenosaunee League
Haudenosaunee Morning Wars
Great Lakes
New England
Sioux native icon.png Lakota

(replaced by Cheyenne)

Lakota Axe Rider
Lakota Dog Soldier
Lakota Hunting Grounds
Lakota Horse Trading
Lakota Dog Soldiers
Great Lakes
Great Plains
Rockies
Maya Icon.png Maya Maya Holcan Spearman
Medicine Man
Maya Cotton Armor
Maya Calendar
Mexico
Orinoco
Sonora
Yucatan
Nootka Icon.png Nootka Nootka Clubman
Nootka War Chief*
Nootka Bark Clothing
Nootka Potlatch
Loyal Nootka War Chief
Alaska
California
Cascade Range
Northwest Territory
Yukon
Inca Icon.png Quechua Quechua Huaminca
Quechua Bolas Warrior
Quechuan Metalworking
Quechuan Diet
Quechuan Mountaineering
Amazonia
Andes
Andes - Upper
Araucania
Gran Chaco
Pampas
Pampas Sierras
Seminole Icon.png Seminole Seminole Sharktooth Bowman Seminole Guerilla Wars
Seminole Bowyer
Bayou
Carolina
Florida
Tupi Icon.png Tupi Tupi Blackwood Archer
Buttercup the Pet Cougar
Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs
Tupi Forest Burning
Tupi Animal Lore
Amazonia
Gran Chaco
Minas Gerais
Orinoco
Pampas
Pampas Sierras

The WarChiefs[]

With the introduction of the Aztecs, Haudenosaunee, and Lakota as major civilizations, The WarChiefs removes the Aztecs, Haudenosaunee, and Lakota minor civilizations which are now only present in the campaign:

Tribe Units Technologies Maps
Apache aoe3de.png Apache Apache Cavalry Apache Cactus Use
Apache Endurance
Apache Raiders
Mexico
Painted Desert
Sonora
Texas
Cheyenne Icon.png Cheyenne
(replaces Lakota)
Cheyenne Rider Cheyenne Hunting Grounds
Cheyenne Horse Trading
Cheyenne Fury
Great Lakes
Great Plains
Ozarks
Rockies
Huron Icon.png Huron
(replaces Haudenosaunee)
Huron Mantlet Huron Sun Ceremony
Huron Trade Dominance
Huron Fish Wedding
Great Lakes
New England
Plymouth
Saguenay
Klamath settlement portrait.png Klamath Klamath Rifleman Klamath Work Ethos
Klamath Huckleberry Feast
Klamath Strategy
California
Cascade Range
Northwest Territory
Mapuche Icon.png Mapuche Mapuche Ironwood Clubman
Mapuche Bolas Rider (Definitive Edition)
Mapuche Ad-mapu
Mapuche Tactics
Mapuche Treaty of Quillin
Andes
Andes - Upper
Araucania
Pampas
Pampas Sierras
Navajo Icon.png Navajo Navajo Rifleman Navajo Weaving
Navajo Shepherds
Navajo Craftsmanship
Baja California
Mexico
Painted Desert
Sonora
Zapotec Icon.png Zapotec
(replaces Aztecs)
Zapotec Lightning Warrior Zapotec Cloud People
Zapotec Cult of the Dead
Zapotec Food of the Gods
Amazonia
Andes
Mexico
Orinoco
Yucatan

The Asian Dynasties[]

The minor civilizations in The Asian Dynasties differ from those in Age of Empires III and The WarChiefs in that they represent religious movements instead of ethnic groups.

The minor civilizations are:

Tribe Units Technologies Maps
Bhakti Icon.png Bhakti Temple Tiger Claw Yoga
Reinforced Gauntlets
Vegetarianism
Bengal
Ceylon
Deccan
Himalayas
Himalayas Upper
Silk Road
Jesuit Icon.png Jesuit Mission Conquistador Flying Buttress
Smokeless Powder
Christian Schools
Atlas
Bahia
Borneo
Highlands
Honshu
Indochina
Indonesia
Ivory Coast
Korea
Minas Gerais
Malaysia
Pepper Coast
Swahili Coast
Shaolin Icon.png Shaolin Temple Rattan Shield Clenched Fist
Wood Clearing
Dim Mak
Central Plain
Manchuria
Mongolia
Silk Road
Yellow River
Sufi Icon.png Sufi Mosque War Elephant Pilgrimage
Fasting
Sharia
Borneo
Darfur
Deccan
Fertile Crescent
Horn
Indochina
Indonesia
Malaysia
Mongolia
Nile Valley
Silk Road
Siwa Oasis
Swahili Coast
Udasi Icon.png Udasi Temple Chakram Sikh Gurus
Punjabi New Year
Army of the Pure
Deccan
Himalayas
Himalayas Upper
Silk Road
Punjab
Zen Icon.png Zen Temple Sohei Naginata Meditation
Master Lessons
Meritocracy
Ceylon
Hokkaido
Honshu
Manchuria
Parallel Rivers
Silk Road
Yellow River

Definitive Edition[]

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition introduces a single new American minor civilization, the Lenape, which is only available in the Battle of Queenston Heights scenario and the Unknown map.

Tribe Units Technologies Maps
Lenape warrior portrait.png Lenape Lenape Warrior Lenape Ceremony

Lenape Clans

Lenape Three Sisters

Unknown

The African Royals[]

The minor civilizations introduced in The African Royals offer the largest number of native units and technologies.

Tribe Units Technologies Maps
Akan Settlement Icon.png Akan Akan Ankobia
Akan Tufohen*
Akan Asafo
Akan Fontomfrom
Akan Gold Economy
Akan Cocoa Beans
Akan Palm Oil Exports
Gold Coast
Ivory Coast
Niger Delta
Niger River
Pepper Coast
Savanna
Berber Settlement Portrait.png Berbers Berber Camel Rider
Berber Nomad
Berber Salt Camel
Berber Sultan*
Berber Fantasia
Berber Kings of the Desert
Berber Dynasties
Berber Salt Caravans
Berber Ghorfas
Atlas
Darfur
Dunes
Lake Chad
Nile Valley
Pepper Coast
Siwa Oasis
Tassili
Tripolitania
Somali Settlement Portrait.png Somalis Somali Issa Warrior
Somali Darood Militia
Askari*
Somali Coinage
Somali Jile Daggers
Somali Ajuran Engineers
Somali Local Forces
Somali Berbera Seaport
Somali Oryx Hide Shields
Somali Lighthouses
Great Rift
Highlands
Horn
Sudd
Swahili Coast
Sudanese settlement portrait.png Sudanese Sudanese Dervish
Askari*
Sennar Horseman*
Sudanese Hakura System
Sudanese Red Sea Trade
Sudanese Quilted Armor
Sudanese Local Forces
Darfur
Highlands
Lake Chad
Nile Valley
Sahel
Siwa Oasis
Sudd
Yoruba settlement portait.png Yoruba Yoruba Oyo Legionary
Yoruba Eso Rider
Yoruba Ida Swords
Yoruba Twins
Yoruba Herbalism
Yoruba Wrestling
Yoruba Eredo Legacy
Gold Coast
Lake Chad
Niger Delta
Niger River
Savanna

Knights of the Mediterranean[]

Instead of ethnic groups or religious movements, the minor civilizations introduced in Knights of the Mediterranean represents various royal dynasties in Europe.

Royal House Units Technologies Ability Maps
Bourbon icon portrait-1.png House of Bourbon Royal Musketeer
Royal Dragoon
Royal Horseman*
Bourbon Reforms
Royal Tax
Chouannerie
Maison du Roi
Royal March Alps
Black Forest
Corsica and Sardinia
France
Italy
Low Countries
Pyrenees
Spain
Wittelsbach icon portrait-1.png House of Wittelsbach Mountain Troopers
Chevaleuger
Oktoberfest
Ducal Berg Lancers
Philhellenism
Schützenfest
Alpine Horns Alps
Archipelago
Baltic Sea
Black Forest
Bohemia
Italy
Saxony
Scandinavia
Oldenburg icon portrait-1.png House of Oldenburg Royal Hunstman
Royal Hunter*
Northern Muskeeters
League of Armed Neutrality
Hunting Expeditions
Kalthoff Repeaters
Öresund Customs
Scientific Expeditions Archipelago
Baltic Sea
Courland
Danish Straits
Dnieper Basin
Eurasian Steppe
Finland
Lithuania
Pripet Marshes
Saxony
Scandinavia
Hanover icon portrait-1.png House of Hanover Black Brunswicker
Totenkorpf Hussar
Drummer
Royal Scots Grey
Royal Card Games
Acts of Union
Victorian Era
Royal Fireworks Danish Straits
England
Ireland
Low Countries
Saxony
Scotland
Phanar icon portrait-1.png House of Phanar Evzone
Boyar
Sacred Band Infantry**
Armatoloi
Athos Monasteries
Byzantine Legacy
Greek Shipyards
Greek Revolution Anatolia
Archipelago
Balkan Mountains
Carpathians
Corsica and Sardinia
Dnieper Basin
Italy
Wallachia
Jagiellon icon portrait-1.png House of Jagiellon Lipka Tatar
Shock Rider
Pancerni
Jagiellonian Legacy
Sarmatism
Folwarks
Balance of Powers Baltic Sea
Bohemia
Budapest
Carpathians
Courland
Dnieper Basin
Eurasian Steppe
Hungarian Plains
Lithuania
Pripet Marshes
Vistula Basin
Vasa icon portrait-1.png House of Vasa Royal Arquebusier
Winged Hussar
Golden Liberty
Tar Kilns
Koncerz
Hanseatic League
Order of Vasa Archipelago
Baltic Sea
Courland
Danish Straits
Dnieper Basin
Finland
Lithuania
Pripet Marshes
Scandinavia
Vistula Basin
Habsburg icon portrait-1.png House of Habsburg Line Infantry
Mounted Infantry
Magyar Hussar**
Hungarian Grenadier**
Congress of Vienna
Crown Lands
Multinationalism
Austro-Hungarian Empire
Radetzky March Alps
Balkan Mountains
Black Forest
Bohemia
Budapest
Corsica and Sardinia
Hungarian Plains
Italy
Low Countries
Pyrenees
Spain
Wettin icon portrait-1.png House of Wettin Trabant
Saxon Cuirassier
Leipzig Trade Fair
Königstein
Marriage Politics
Royal Saxon Grenadier
Golden Reiter Baltic Sea
Bohemia
Carpathians
Low Countries
Saxony
Vistula Basin
Wallachia
* These units are only available after researching technologies that ship or allow them to be trained by Trading Posts or Heroes
** Spawned via a Royal House ability

Trivia[]

  • Near native villages, chattering can be heard. Small dialogues are hidden in the chatter, such as: Man: "The bounty is plentiful" and Little Girl: "Can I go?" Woman: "Let's go darling" Little Girl: "I don't think I can make it mommy" can be heard.
  • Some random maps lack minor civilizations completely, like Patagonia and Siberia.
  • The most diverse random map is Silk Road with five possible minor civilizations. If excluded as a variant of three other maps (Himalayas, Mongolia, and Yellow River) due to its changing environment, the title is shared by Amazonia, Orinoco, and Mexico, with four minor civilizations each.
  • Deccan is the only Asian map besides Silk Road with more than two minor civilizations.
  • Excluding the Lenape and the minor civilizations replaced in The WarChiefs, the most exclusive minor civilizations are the Seminole and the Klamath, which are found in three maps each.
    • The most exclusive Asian minor civilization is the Udasi Temple, found in five maps (two of which, Silk Road and Himalayas - Upper, are variants of other maps).
    • The most exclusive African minor civilizations are the Yoruba and Somalis, also present in five maps.
  • The most common minor civilizations are the Sufi Mosque and the Jesuit Mission, each appearing in thirteen maps. They are also the only minor civilizations found in more than one continent (the Jesuits being present in all three), and the only introduced in The Asian Dynasties that are not identified as "temples".
    • The most common minor civilization that is exclusive to Africa is the Berbers, appearing in nine maps.
    • The most common that is exclusive to Asia is the Zen Temple, appearing in seven maps.
    • The most common that is exclusive to America is the Quechua, also appearing in seven maps.
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