Age of Empires Series Wiki

Artillery that fires an exploding shell at buildings or ships.
—In-game description

The Mortar is an artillery unit in Age of Empires III that can be trained by European civilizations and the United States at the Artillery Foundry once the Industrial Age is reached.


The Mortar can be used effectively against buildings and ships, but it is unable to attack land units. They deal greatly inferior damage to Petard, though they can attack from great range and aren't suicide units, giving them more strategic value in a greater number of situations.

They play similarly to the Trebuchet from Age of Empires II in that they have very long range and must be packed up to move and fire. With 12 Missionaries (Japanese ally), Unction and all attack improvement cards, the Spanish Mortar is the artillery with the highest siege attack, 1390.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard artillery.png Howitzers 250 food,
250 wood
Upgrade Mortars to Howitzers (+25% hit points and attack)
Imperial Age
Imperial artillery.png Imperial Howitzers 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrade Howitzers to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Howitzers

Civilization differences[]


  • Argentina have the "Argentine Mortars" Home City Card, which ships a Mortar and upgrade Mortars to Imperial Howitzers.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, ships
Weak vs. Infantry especially Arrow Knights, cavalry, artillery especially Culverins
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%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Penalties Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
High Crusade.png High Crusade (-5% hit points, Knights of St. John only)

Home City Cards[]


A mortar is an artillery piece with a short barrel and a large bore that fires massive projectiles in a high arc. The name "mortar" probably refers to its resemblance to the mortar of a mortar and pestle. The high arc of a mortar's fire reaches emplacements and buildings that are screened by terrain or walls or other permanent defenses. The projectile a mortar fired was filled with gunpowder and fitted with a fuse that was lit right before firing the mortar. The artillery crew had to carefully measure how long to make the fuse for the mortar to explode at the right moment (usually on impact). This made mortars much better at firing on buildings and fortifications than on fluid groups of moving troops.


See also[]