The Napoleonic Era (also known as NE) is a non-commercial and fan-based modification for Ensemble Studios' RTS game, Age of Empires III. The mod expands the game with new gameplay elements, units, buildings, maps, sounds, music, civilizations, and a better AI.[1] The mod is focused on the events revolving around the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and all around the globe. The Napoleonic Wars were chosen as the mod's theme because they were regarded as the most influential military events during the time period of Age of Empires III, which did not cover Europe, Africa, and Western Asia as historical spheres of interest.[2]

Features Edit

Napoleonic Era features new gameplay elements, returning a few well-missed elements from Age of Empires II, like removing the limit of builders working on one building, improving the arsenal and new abilities for Explorers. In addition to the 14 regular civilizations already offered by Age of Empires III and its two official expansion packs (The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasties), the Napoleonic Era presents the players with an additional set of new playable civilizations that hold their own unique units, technologies, buildings, home cities and tactical abilities.

To fit the new theme of the wars occurring in Europe, Napoleonic Era includes many new random maps, e.g. from Europe, America, Northern Africa, Western Asia, and even other places around the world, many of them consist completely new native allies like Bavarians, Finns, or Greeks.

Civilizations Edit


Swiss Guards from the Swiss civilization

Napoleonic Era adds the Americans, Austrians, Italians, Polish, Prussians, Swedish Swiss, while also redesigning the existing French and Germans. Former releases also contained unfinished but playable Persian and Inca bonus civilizations. While the Inca civilization has been dropped the Persians will get completely reworked.[3] Furthermore, a Danish civilization has been announced.[4]

Sandy Petersen from Ensemble Studios once admitted that the Swedish and the Italians were planned to be civilizations in the original game, as the Elmeti and Fusilier mercenaries show.[5] However, the Swedish and Italian civilizations in Napoleonic Era are creations of the Napoleonic Era Core Team.

Flag Civilization Personality Royal guards Main bonus[6]

75px-US flag 28 stars.svg
United States of America

Ne217 unitedstates
     George Washington
Mounted Rifleman, Skirmisher The Americans have several types of gatherers available to them, each with different strengths and weaknesses. They do not start with an Explorer, but need to use their Frontiersmen to gather treasures who can be used as skirmishers. American Politicians grant additional bonuses for aging up, beyond granting shipments of units or resources. At each age, the player also gains an additional Frontiersman. Covered Wagons can also turn into mills or plantations. They can recruit Continental Marines from the Dock and Town Center to protect the country and attack the enemy. Instead of mercenaries, Americans can ship auxiliary troops and immigrants from European countries.

Empire of the Austrian Habsburgs

Ne217 austrians
Maria Theresa
Grenzer, Hussar The Austrians have special technologies and bonuses that make them a powerful civilization The Austrians age up with Food and wood instead of food and coin, and instead of only food for age 1, it costs food and wood. Austrian settlers are much cheaper than those of other civilizations and get even cheaper by every age. They have special unique fortified buildings for defense. Their politician system provides a similar array of options at each age-up: Either resources, settlers, Mercenaries, or defensive buildings. The Homecity contains powerful cards for improving their native allies and mercenaries. Buildings repair themselves automatically.

75px-Flag of France.svg

French Empire

Ne217 french
Napoleon Bonaparte
MusketeerCuirassier The French start with 7 Sansculottes (renamed Coureurs , allowing them a powerful start. French units train faster than those of other civilizations. This bonus improves as they advance in age. French Infantry is trained in Academies, barracks that can heal and garrison infantry and settlers. Another bonus is the access to a number of elite units that can only be accessed in limited numbers, including a wider array of University units than any other civilization. The French have technologies which upgrade their elite units and which allows them to create an early blockade (at the expense of their own team's ability to acquire new upgrades).
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806).svg

Holy Roman Empire

Ne217 germans
Augustus the Strong
Hussar, Hand Cannoneer, Skirmisher The Germans keep their Settler Wagons, but instead of Uhlans they get extra Doppelsoldners with each shipment while Mercenary shipments ship extra mercenaries. Also they train Hussars instead of Uhlans. The Germans have access to the Reichstag, which is a unique German version of the University, that offers banner armies containing units that can usually not be built by Germans such as Musketeers and Dragoons. It also grants them access to the Garde du Corps, a heavy elite cavalryman comparable to the Cataphract in Age of Empires II with a devastating melee attack to break infantry formations.
75px-Flag of Italy.svg

States of Italy

Ne217 italians
Cesare Borgia
Crossbowman, Utili The Italians have access to more technologies than other civilizations. Their economic upgrades and market exchange are slightly better than they are for other civilizations. They also have stronger buildings; most of their buildings are constructed by their architect heroes. Italy starts with resources already in their inventory. They also gain their first shipment earlier than other civilizations. Another bonus is the large bandwidth of politicians which allows them to age up more cheaply to the Colonial, Fortress, and Industrial age, however, they do not provide any other bonuses. The Italians can also make a huge basilica, which can make Church units and Nuncios, (unique Italian priest that boosts nearby units stats and, with a Basilica upgrade, can get an attack that kills most units) Gives a trickle of coin and other resources, and serves as a University.
75px-Herb Polski.svg

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Ne217 polish
Jan Sobieski
Hussar, Pancerni Polish start with an outpost wagon, allowing them to establish early map control. All Polish units and buildings have extra line of sight. Buildings are cheaper, but weaker than those of other civilizations. Their Mill and Plantations are especially cheap, though they have a lower gatherer limit than typical. The Polish use farms rather than mills and livestock pens, and they gather faster from their farms early on. Their farms and plantations also provide housing space. The Polish cannot hunt without using a card to enable Settlers to do so. Villagers do not have to kill animals to gather food from them. They can construct Stables in the Discovery Age, allowing them to muster Cavalry earlier in Colonial than most civilizations. Can send kozaks. They are sent as a combination of kozak cavalry archers and kozak lancers.
75px-Flag of Prussia (1803)

Kingdom of Prussia

Ne217 prussians
Frederick the Great
Uhlan, Schutze The Prussians have the largest array of unique military units of any European civilization. Instead of Settlers, Prussia gets Landwehrs, powerful military villagers with a bonus against artillery in hand combat. With each military building they construct, they get free military units. All Prussian infantry and cavalry units autoheal over time. Prussian Outpost / military wagons can construct BarracksStables, and Foundries and they gain a free military wagon at each age-up. One teutonic knight for building an outpost, 2 langekerls for building artillery foundries, 2 uhlans for a stable, and 2 shutze for building a barracks.
75px-Flag of Sweden.svg

Kingdom of Sweden

Ne217 swedish
Charles XII
MusketeerSkirmisher, Fusilier, Drabant, DragoonGrenadierPikeman The Swedish military unit line upgrades are much cheaper than those of other civilizations, also most Swedish units can be upgraded to Royal Guard status. Swedish settlers are more expensive, limited to an amount of 50 and train slowly. Sweden gains all woodcutting upgrades for free as they age up. In addition, Sweden gains the Hunting Dogs and Placer Mines upgrades for free. The Swedish Explorer can create copper and gold mines in exchange for food. The Swedish have the ability to train Hackapells and Fusiliers on any map with a special card. The bronze cannon is a fire arrow resembling cannon that can fire at a fast speed or switch into a mode with an even faster speed sacrificing damage per cannonball.

Swiss Confederacy

Ne217 swiss
Henri Dufour
Reislaufer, Swiss Guard The Swiss are a mobile army civilization. They require few and inexpensive buildings (barracks costs gold and can moved by turning it into a wagon via the tent), and have few gatherers.Their gatherers can also be used as skirmishers and can use stealth while still being able to gather. They have mobile supply wagons which produce a constant stream of resources, are able to supply the Swiss army with crates of additional resources, provide economic and church upgrades, train surgeons and can act as a mobile dropoff point for shipments. The Swiss have early access to Halberdiers, but late access to Musketeers. They have access to an additional Arsenal-style upgrade for their Halberdier-type units. They have Royal Guard Level Crossbowman with a tent improvement but they do not have imperial level hussars.
Safavid Empire Persians None (Asian Faction) Important Note: This civ will be finished at the time the Danish are created. TheThey have great capibilites of getting export. One way is through a trickle increased with cards and a market upgrade. There is an infinite card that gives 1000 export. Emir explorer can hunt food and train cavalry archers along with two Indian like explorers. They do not have a monastery and instead have a mosque that can train mercenaries, provide Persian improvements, and train imam. They can use work elephants to generate export. They can rush with peasants that can be used like the strelet.
Inca Empire Inca Atahualpa None (Native American Faction) Important Note: This civ is not likely to be completed but it still is playable and has unique qualities The fire pit is an Aztec one so it can still spawn warrior priests and Skull Knights (un-upgradable however) . The Home City was not changed and is still an Iroquois one so the Inca have limited access to their units (infantry upgrades that affect all units will help inca infantry as well). Inca can get several upgrades at the house. They have only infantry unless Iroquois cavalry are sent form the home city. They have an archery range called the logistics lodge that acts like a noble's hut and trains archer units and the Axeman. The Barracks Trains Hand Infantry and the Bolas Warrior. Explorer engages in hand combat. They are the only Native Civ to have an outpost that is like the European one.
Denmark-Norway Danish Christian IV To come To come

Random maps Edit

In Napoleonic Era 2.1.7b are over 20 new random maps:

Alpine pass
Alpine Pass

A rectangular map divided by a high mountain range with only one pass through to the other side.

There is always one trade route on each side of the mountain range. There can be Bavarian and Wurttembergian villages in different combinations or locations.


The team areas are separated by a deep valley with a single crossing and each side contains a trade route.
There is always a Bavarian settlement near the camp of each player. Deep in the mountains there are usually extra silver mines and some powerful treasures.

America random
America Random

A much-larger-than-normal map with random terrain patterns and matching resources and tribes of America. Each map has randomly several native American villages of one or two types of tribes and varying positions, randomly several variations on trade routes and endless random variety of other terrain features, such as lakes or ponds, cliffs or canyons, rivers or mountains. The giant size allows different strategies...


This map represents the long mountain ridges of the Appalachians,and has great defensive perspectives. Teams start on either side of a ridge or ridges with varying gaps through or over the barriers.There are randomly 1 or 2 trade routes and a variety of possible numbers and placement of either Cherokee, Iroquois, Seminole or Nootka Villages - up to 2 different tribes per map.

Atlas mountains
Atlas Mountains

A long barrier ridge with only one pass divides the map. In this arid region you will find native villages of Tuareg and Barbary Pirates, plenty of palms, mines, sheep and deer for resources.
There is one trade route on each side of the ridge to supplement your economy.

Barbary coast
Barbary Coast

In this coastal arid region you will find Tuareg and/or Egyptian native villages, plenty of palms, mines, sheep and deer for resources.
The seas are rich in resources as well, but watch out for ships of the dread Barbary pirates off the coast.
There can either be one or two trade routes to supplement your economy.

Black forest
Black Forest

This map represents the Black Forest in southern Germany. The forests provide natural barriers and choke points. There is no trade route.


In Finland, you will be able to randomly play during winter or summer. The forest is really dense and it is easy to loose your opponent within it. There are a lot of fishes and a lot of animals. Two Finnish villages are scattered throughout the map.

Lake baikal
NE Lake Baikal

Very long narrow Siberian inland lake, teams start at opposite ends - map is rectangular with players fairly far apart. One trade route runs the length of the map on each side of the lake.
There are Mongol and/or Shaolin villages placed fairly but in various patterns. Randomly summer or winter.


The coastal area of the Holy Land with one large offshore island.
There are one or two trade routes per map. Natives will vary in number and include Egyptians and Maltese.


Malta is a slightly larger-than-normal map, with multiple possible terrain patterns and matching resources and tribes. Each map contains 2 or 3 Maltese villages, two trade routes, fair resources, including rich fishing.
Watch out for the Ottoman Galleys which are sieging Malta. There is a slight possibility for a landfall of Janissaries or Hoop Throwers defending the coast.


Players on this larger-than-normal map start on opposite sides of parallel rivers with randomly 1-4 crossings over each river. The land area between the rivers is richest in resources. There can be different numbers of trade posts.

Nile delta
Nile Delta

Nile Delta represents the branching river mouth, with one shallow crossing over each part of the river.
There are 2 trade routes, one on each major land section. The delta area has more resources for the growth of your empire, as well as a few villages of Egyptians or Tuaregs. Control the river and the rich delta area for victory!

Nile flood
Nile Flood

The Nile River has flooded, covering cropland which can still be harvested.
Players start in a line midway between the river and desert, where the only extra mines on the map are located.
This map has less than usual huntable or domesticated animals. Native Egyptians and/or Tuaregs may be found in the desert, along with the single trade route.

Nile river
Nile River

There is a wide river separating teams, without any land crossing. You will find Tuareg and/or Egyptian native villages on each bank, with palms, mines and deer for resources. The river is rich in fish. There is one trade route on each side of the river to supplement your economy.


This map uses unique settlements to give access to more Native American warriors. Three different native villages per player, each with 2 trade posts, allows huge battles with the native units. The natives vary randomly and roughly fit the randomly chosen terrain pattern. There are also two trade routes per map as well as adequate fauna, forests and silver.


Rhine is a central river with 1-4 crossings, which can be used defensively in several ways. You get 2 outpost wagons at the start (varies by civilization). There is one trade route on each side of the river and one or two types of German natives per map being either Westphalians or Wurttembergers, with varying position and number.


A large desert map with virtually all of the forest clustered around edge. Other resources including mines, deer and relics are pretty standard. There are a few small oases scattered across the desert.
Natives include Tuareg and/or Egyptians. There is trade route variety, variety in cliffs and in native numbers and location.

Shangri la
Shangri La

Players all start on the snowy Tibetan Plateau to the east side of a high mountain range, each with a single silver mine and limited local resources. Find the few passes through the mountains to the fabled lost valley of Shangri La, where natives, a trade route, gold, treasures and plentiful other extra resources await.


A small desert map with no trade routes. The Muslim Egyptians, Tuareg and Barbary Pirates may offer their help.

Syrian desert
Syrian Desert

The players are placed in a crescent around a rugged, mountainous area that is rich of mines.
There are one or two trade routes to supplement your economy and Egyptians may join your cause.

Trade routes
Trade Routes

There are always two trade routes crossing in the map center of this tiny map. The first player and his mate will start at the trade crossings. Redwood trees provide plenty of wood. Every player starts with a priest.


Ural is a larger map featuring a central river with a few river crossings, and unique starting positions. There is single trade route on each half of the map and there are a few native villages of one or two types. You may be battling in the winter or summer seasons.


Vinland supports only few animals, but the ocean offers a bounty of fish. Only a small number of trees provides wood for constructing ships. You will share an island with your teammates. There will always be the American continent with a trade route and an Iroquois village.

Natives Edit

The mod covers new native civilizations from Europe, Asia and Africa:

Minor Civilization Continents Technologies address Units
Bavarians Europe

Food, Gunpowder units range

Gebirgsschuetze (Long-ranged Skirmisher)
Barbary Pirates Africa Outlaws, Warships, Slaves Qrsan (Skirmisher vs. Explorers, Natives, Settlers, Hand Infantry), Raqiq (Settler), Xebec (Galley)
Egyptians Africa/Asia Farming, Unit training Fallah (Rodelero) with spear
Finns Europe Settlers, Fishing, Huntables, Hackapells Jääkäri (Skirmisher with extra bonus vs. Guardians)
Mongols Asia Gather rates, Cavalry Mangudai (Cavalry Archer), Mongol Scout
Maltese Europe/Africa/Asia Healing, Gather upgrade costs Hoop Thrower, Maltese Knight
Tuareg Africa Cavalry, Market Tuareg (Lancer)
Wurttembergers Europe Settler Wagons, Fortress Age Horse Grenadier (Mounted Grenadier)
Westphalians Europe Outposts, Food trickle Brunswicker (Skirmisher)


Asia Hashashin abilities Hashashin (Ninja)

Buildings Edit

Napoleonic Era adds a couple of new shared and unique buildings.

University Edit

All European civilizations in Napoleonic Era can build the University for 300 wood in Industrial Age, which grants access to powerful technologies and elite units, whose availability varies depending on civilization. These units all have in common that they usually have many hitpoints, inflict a lot of damage, cost no less than 3 pop and can only be obtained from single, expensive technologies. The elite units are:

Universities also provide unique technologies to each civilization that can be compared to the unique technologies from Age of Empires II. That way the Americans can give one of their unique settlers are huge hitpoints and attack bonus while the Swiss University can make their unique settlers use stealth and gather while being stealthy. Additionally the University offers that 2-4 out of over 70 ultimate technologies that are picked randomly each match. The technologies cost nothing, but their advantages are always coming in exchange for downsides such as notably decreasing hitpoints or raising costs. With the Italians and Germans there are two civilizations that get unique versions of the University, which cost more resources, take longer to build, but are also more powerful.

Reichstag Edit

The Reichstag is the German version of the university, that costs 450w and takes 60 seconds to build. It has all features of a University, but additionally offers 6 banner armies from historically relevant states from within the Holy Roman Empire containing some units that can usually not be built by Germans (i.e. Grenadiers or Dragoons). Among regular units there are also German themed natives and mercenaries featured in these armies such Hessian Jaegers, Landsknechte or Black Riders. This new system called Reichsarmee can be used to build large powerful armies or to just complement the regular German troops.[7]

Basilica Edit

Italians can build the Basilica, that costs 500 wood and 500 coin and takes 240 seconds to build. The Basilica gives trickles to resources, gives many more unique upgrades and can spawn its unique church units for free.

Native Consulate Edit

The United States can build a consulate using a frontiersman and ally with 3 Native American civilizations instead of European ones. These are the SiouxCherokee and Iroquois of which each features 2-3 different armies with native units and technologies. Contrary to the Asian Consulate an ally can only be picked 3-4 times. Thereafter the player will be stuck with the last ally. Re-allying with a people allows the same improvements to be researched again which can be useful when trying to obtain Dog Soldiers frrm the Sioux and Light Cannon from the Cherokee. The Iroquois focus more on siege weapons and anti cavalry, the Sioux focus on cavalry and the Cherokee are focused on ranged units

Keep Edit

The Keep is a unique Austrian Fort that can be built by explorers and is weaker but also cheaper than the ordinary Fort. The build limit is increased by sending keep wagons from the home city. They are capable of training Austrian infantry, cavalry, Falconets and the Landsknecht, but will initially only train Landsknecht, Grenzers and Line Infantry unless an upgrade at the Keep is researched. Up to 4 Keeps can be present at one time.

Ranch Edit

The Ranch can be built by the United States and is a mix of stable and livestock that can produce sheep.

Look-Out Edit

The Look-Out is an American tower that is used for reconnaissance purposes only as it provides additional LOS and is built by the Frontiersman. They have a build limit of 3.

Statues Edit

The Italians can build 2 different statues that possess a unique ability, which can either boost nearby units or slowly generate XP.

Units Edit

Napoleonic Era adds new units of all types, including shared, mercenary and native units. 

Mercenaries Edit

Unit Type
Desert Archer* Skirmisher
Cairo Janissary* Musketeer
Hajduk Skirmisher
Pavise Crossbowman
Wild Geese* Musketeer

*=will be added in NE 2.2

Shared units Edit

Unit Type
Fusilier Musketeer
Hand Cannoneer Skirmisher
Inquisitor Ninja
Sapper Grenadier
Chevauxleger Dragoon
Conscript Musketeer
Sharpshooter Skirmisher
Swashbuckler Infantry

Fusiliers, Hand Cannoneers, Inquisitors and Sappers are the only new units that aren't trained from the University. Chevauxlagers are intended to be replaced in NE 2.2.

Unique units Edit

The following unique units were added in Napoleonic Era:

Unit Civilization Type
Corvette Americans Warship
Frontiersman Americans Villager
Gatling Gun Americans Artillery
Marine Americans Skirmisher
Miner Americans Villager
Mounted Rifleman Americans Cavalry
Grenzer Austrians Skirmisher
Line Infantry Austrians Musketeer
Rifleman British Skirmisher
Geus Dutch Infantry
Chasseur French Skirmisher
Grognard French Grenadier
Red Lancer French Cavalry
Sansculotte French Villager
Garde du Corps Germans Cavalry
Architect Italians Villager
Condottiero Italians Cavalry
Merchant Italians Villager
Nuncio Italians Priest
Utili Italians Cavalry
Azap Ottomans Infantry
Camelry Persians Cavalry
Elephant Archer Persians Cavalry
Emir Persians Cavalry
Ghulam Persians Infantry
Megaphant Persians Cavalry
Peasant Persians Villager
Qizilbash Persians Cavalry
Qurchi Persians Infantry
Tofangchi Persians Infantry
Lisowczyk Polish Cavalry
Pancerny Polish Cavalry
Partyzant Polish Infantry/Cavalry
Szlachcic Polish Cavalry
Tabor Polish Cavalry
Cartographer Portuguese Explorer
Velas Brancas Portuguese Fishing Boat
Death Head Hussar Prussians Cavalry
Langer Kerl Prussians Grenadier
Schutze Prussians Musketeer
Teutonic Knight Prussians Infantry
Poleaxeman Russians Infantry
Aventuro Spanish Cavalry
Drabant Swedish Cavalry
Leather Cannon Swedish Artillery
Follower Swiss Villager
Reislaufer Swiss Infantry
Swiss Guard Swiss Infantry

AI Edit

The artificial intelligence (AI) in Napoleonic is based on the fan-made Draugur AI, but has been optimized for the mod by the team's member Cliff Kang. The AI takes use of the added mod content and is generally harder to beat than in the original game. The Napoleonic Era AI was optimized for Hard difficulty and is known for:

  1. Utilizing all buildings and units that were not used before.
  2. Smaller chance for computer players to spam artillery units.
  3. Use of Church and University technologies. This sometimes results in much earlier armies in the beginning since many Church technologies send units that do not require population space.
  4. Taking better use of native settlements including its technologies.

Requirements Edit

Napoleonic Era 2.1.7b has automatic installers available for Windows and Mac OS X.[8] To be installed successfully, it requires either a fully patched Age of Empires III plus the two expansions The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasties or the Age of Empires III Complete Collection on Steam. The mod preserves the playability of the original game and the possibility to play in ESO2 without requiring uninstallation.[9]

Reception Edit

Napoleonic Era, that was originally started as a German project, gained early popularity already with its first version 0.1 being featured at the most popular German games magazines GameStar[10] and PC Games.[11]

Napoleonic Era 2.01, released in July 2009, has been the most successful mod version so far in terms of downloads. Even though older uploads of the mod have mostly been removed from the net already, the success can still be seen at some remaining uploads such as on GameFront[12] or the German software site CHIP,[13] at which it is still ranked among the top 50 mod downloads of the week.[14]

The newest versions NE 2.1.7 and NE 2.1.7b have been downloaded around 3500 times 18 days after release on 15 November in 2014 on platforms such as ModDB,[15] Heavengames,[16] Sourceforge[17] and GameFront.[18] Napoleonic Era was voted to the Top 100 mods of 2014 during the Mod Of The Year (MOTY) Awards on ModDB.[19]

Trivia Edit

  • Alexander Fleger the original director of the mod, would eventually become a Designer for Forgotten Empires, with Cysion.

Gallery Edit

References Edit

External links Edit