Although a rare sight in multiplayer games, priests have a niche strategy involving the Russian Cheap PriestsHome City card. This card allows training a little mass of priests who will act as effective meat shields, since there aren't any units with multipliers against them. Enemy soldiers will be distracted and shoot at them, giving the Russian player and his allies a tactical advantage.
The Priest has three model variants: one common for British, Dutch and French civilizations, one for the Germans and Russians and one exclusive for the Portuguese. The Portuguese Priest resembles the Spanish Missionary but does not ride a donkey.
Although the Spanish and Ottomans have unique variants of the Priest, there are unused in-game models and voice files for Spanish and Ottoman Priests in the game files and in the Scenario Editor. The unused Spanish Priest uses the same model as the British, Dutch and French variant, and uses the Missionary's voice files, while the unused Ottoman Priest uses the Imam's model and voice files.
Originally, the Priest carried a staff, like the Priest of Age of Empires and the Monk of Age of Empires II. It is possible to see a Priest carrying a staff in the model and art shown in the history portrait.
Religion was at the core of early colonial life, whether seeking religious freedoms in the New World or making the arduous journey to convert the Native Americans. Priests, pastors, and lay leaders of the various settlements, colonies, and missions sought to give strength to the struggling communities, binding them together through the bond of shared faith.
Though he was never ordained, William Ames’ works made him a prominent theologian in the New World, though he never made it to the colonies. Persecution for non-conformist religious practices sent him to Holland, where he spent many years teaching and writing, dogged by the British sovereignty until he decided that it was time to venture to the New World. He grew sick and died before he could make the trip, but his works were treasured by Protestant colonists in the New World.