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Papal Artillery that absorbs some of the damage inflicted to your nearby Artillery. Good against Infantry.
—In-game description

The Papal Bombard is an artillery unit in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - Knights of the Mediterranean that is unique to the Italians.


The Papal Bombard is the Italian replacement of the Heavy Cannon, and as such, it can only be obtained via shipments from the Home City or by slowly producing it in a Factory. Like Heavy Cannons, Papal Bombards are slow to move and deploy, but powerful and effective against all units and buildings. However, the Papal Bombard has the ability to absorb some damage incurred by other artillery units, a trait it shares with the Papal Guard.

Additionally, with the Papal Arsenal Home City Card, Papal Bombards gain a charged ability called "Holy Fire," which is a powerful incendiary area-of-effect attack that has a cooldown.

Special abilities[]

  • Passive holy fire.png Holy Fire (requires the Papal Arsenal shipment; has a cooldown of 60 seconds): The Papal Bombard fires an incendiary projectile which deals 430 damage (215 against Artillery and Arrow Knights, 322.5 against Cavalry and Shock Infantry, 1075 against Fixed Gun), has a maximum range of 28 and an AOE of 7.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Imperial Age
Imperial artillery.png Imperial Papal Bombards 1,500 wood
1,500 coin
Upgrades Papal Bombards to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack)


Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Most units, buildings
Weak vs. Artillery especially Culverins, Arrow Knights

Home City Cards[]

  • Green: TEAM Shipment that is sent to each player in a team
  • Purple: Shipment that can be sent an INFINITE number of times
  • Blue: Shipment that arrives fast (5 seconds)


Card Description Age HC level
Team engineering school.png TEAM Engineering School Artillery, Grenade Trooper, Petard, Ram, Mantlet, Flamethrower, Siege Elephant, Black Flag Army, and Mongolian Army train time -15%; Heavy Cannons, Rockets, Great Bombards, and Flying Crows train 10% faster
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
The TEAM Engineering School card is also available to the Swedes in the Industrial Age


Card Description Age HC level
Ottoman Home City 2 (Artillery Hitpoints).png TEAM Artillery Hitpoints Artillery and Grenade Trooper get +15% hit points
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
The TEAM Artillery Hitpoints card is available to the Ottomans and the Portuguese (in the Fortress Age)


Card Description Age HC level
Shivajis tactics.png TEAM Shivaji's Tactics All units get +5% hit points and attack
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png


Card Description Age
Italian Home City 2 (1 Papal Bombard INF).png 1 Papal Bombard Ships 1 Papal Bombard
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Italian Home City 2 (2 Papal Bombards).png2 Papal Bombards Ships 2 Papal Bombards
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Italian Home City 3 (Papal Arsenal).png Papal Arsenal Basilica shipments arrive 33% faster; Papal Bombards get the 'Holy Fire' action, Papal Guards get the 'Pistol Attack' action, Papal Lancers get the 'Lance Charge' action and Papal Zouaves get the 'Carbine Attack' action
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Italian Home City 5 (Papal Company).png Papal Company Ships 18 Papal Guards and 3 Papal Bombards; costs 1,000 food, 1,000 wood, 1,000 coin
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png


Card Description Age HC level
Japanese Home City 3 (Cheaper Unit Upgrades).png TEAM Sengoku Unit upgrades cost -20%
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png


Card Description Age
Maltese Home City 2 (TEAM Knights of the Round Table).png TEAM Knights of the Round Table Ships 1 Hospitaller for each Center owned by the player; increases all unit hit points by 2%
Age I tech tree aoe3.png


Card Description Age
Mexico card TEAM Mariachi.png TEAM Mariachi For the next 30 seconds, military buildings have their work rate increased by 400% and units have their speed increased by 10%
Age I tech tree aoe3.png


Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition).png TEAM Inquisition All units get +10 LOS
Age I tech tree aoe3.png


  • Aesthetically, the Papal Bombard is similar to the Li'l Bombard, although the Papal Bombard is brass-colored as compared to the black cast-iron of the Li'l Bombard. The crew use the same Papal Zouave models.
  • When hovering the cursor over a Papal Bombard, the description of it reads "Holy moly!"
  • The picture used to depict the Holy Fire ability for Papal Bombards is a cannonball with the papal tiara on it, the papal tiara being the crown worn by the Pope as a symbol of his spiritual and secular authority over Latin Christendom.


v  d  e
Military units in Age of Empires III
AOE3Icon.png Age of Empires III
CommonExplorer · Militiaman · Pikeman · Musketeer · Crossbowman · Skirmisher · Halberdier · Grenadier · Hussar · Dragoon · Cavalry Archer · Falconet · Culverin · Mortar · Heavy Cannon · Caravel · Galleon · Frigate · Monitor
Flag BritishDE.png BritishLongbowman · Ranger** · Rocket
Flag DutchDE.png DutchRuyter · Fluyt
Flag FrenchDE.png FrenchCuirassier
Flag GermanDE.png GermansDoppelsoldner · Uhlan · War Wagon
Flag OttomanDE.png OttomansJanissary · Nizam Fusilier** · Abus Gun · Great Bombard · Galley · Spahi
Flag PortugueseDE.png PortugueseCassador · Organ Gun
Flag RussianDE.png RussiansStrelet · Cossack · Oprichnik
Flag SpanishDE.png SpanishRodelero · Lancer
WarchiefsIcon.png The WarChiefs
CommonWarrior · Canoe · War Canoe · Ironclad · Horse Artillery · Petard · Spy
Flag AztecDE.png AztecsAztec War Chief · Coyote Runner · Otontin Slinger · Puma Spearman · Arrow Knight · Eagle Runner Knight · Jaguar Prowl Knight · Warrior Priest · Skull Knight · Tlaloc Canoe
Flag IroquoisDE.png HaudenosauneeHaudenosaunee War Chief · Aenna · Tomahawk · Forest Prowler · Kanya Horseman · Musket Rider · Ram · Mantlet · Light Cannon
Flag SiouxDE.png LakotaLakota War Chief · Cetan Bowman · Club Warrior · Wakina Rifle · Axe Rider · Bow Rider · Rifle Rider · Tashunke Prowler · Tokala Soldier
Revolution.png RevolutionRevolutionary · Gatling Gun
DynastiesIcon.png The Asian Dynasties
Flag ChineseDE.png ChineseShaolin Master · Disciple · Sentry · Irregular · Chu Ko Nu · Qiang Pikeman · Changdao Swordsman · Arquebusier · Steppe Rider · Keshik · Iron Flail · Meteor Hammer · Flamethrower · Hand Mortar · Flying Crow · Fire Junk · War Junk · Fuchuan
Flag IndianDE.png IndiansBrahmin · Sentry · Irregular · Rajput · Sepoy · Gurkha · Urumi Swordsman · Sowar · Zamburak · Mahout Lancer · Howdah · Flail Elephant · Siege Elephant
Flag JapaneseDE.png JapaneseSohei Archer · Sentry · Irregular · Samurai · Ashigaru Musketeer · Yumi Archer · Naginata Rider · Yabusame · Flaming Arrow · Morutaru · Daimyo · Shogun Tokugawa · Yamabushi · Shinobi · Fune · Atakabune · Tekkousen
Age3DE Icon.png Definitive Edition
CommonCaptured Mortar · General · Sloop · Steamer · Battleship
Flag IncanDE.png IncasInca War Chief · Plumed Spearman · Chimu Runner · Jungle Bowman · Bolas Warrior · Huaraca · Maceman · Chincha Raft
Flag SwedishDE.png SwedesCarolean · Hakkapelit · Leather Cannon
Flag American act3 aoe3de.png United StatesMinuteman · State Militia · Regular · Sharpshooter · Carbine Cavalry · Gatling Gun · Quaker Gun · Gunslinger · Cowboy · Owlhoot
Flag MexicanDE.png MexicansPadre · Insurgente · Soldado · Salteador · Chinaco · Desperado · Cuatrero · Bandido
Revolution.png RevolutionBarbary Warrior · Californio · Cetbang Cannon · Corsair Marksman · Cowboy · Cruzob Infantry · Cuerudo · Filibuster · Gaucho · Jagunço · Javanese Spearman · Llanero · Morochuco · Mounted Granadero · Revolutionary Sharpshooter · Trek Wagon
The African Royals
CommonLevied Spearman · Levied Bowman · Levied Gunner · Javelin Rider · Desert Warrior · Desert Raider · Desert Archer · Battle Canoe · Cannon Boat
Flag Ethiopian aoe3de.png EthiopiansRas · Gascenya · Neftenya · Shotel Warrior · Oromo Warrior · Sebastopol Mortar · War Dhow
Flag Hausa.png HausaEmir · Fulani Archer · Maigadi · Raider · Lifidi Knight · Xebec
Knights of the Mediterranean
Flag ItalianDE.png ItaliansArchitect · Pavisier · Bersagliere · Schiavone · Papal Guard · Papal Lancer · Papal Zouave · Papal Bombard · Galleass · Leonardo's Tank
Flag MalteseDE.png MalteseGrand Master · Hospitaller · Sentinel · Fire Thrower · Order Galley · Fire Ship
* added in The WarChiefs   ** in the Definitive Edition