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This article is about the Chinese variant of the unit in Age of Empires III. For other uses of the term, see Pikeman.

Foot warrior armed with a pike. Good against cavalry and buildings.
—In-game description

The Qiang Pikeman is a melee heavy infantry in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Chinese and are trained as part of Old Han Army and Ming Army. It functions identically to the European Pikeman and the Aztec Puma Spearman.


Like the European Pikeman and the Aztec Puma Spearman, the Qiang Pikeman is a cheap, Commerce Age heavy infantry unit. It is effective in combat against melee cavalry and, to an extent, Shock Infantry, while also having a decent siege attack. However, it fares poorly against anything else, particularly artillery or Shock Infantry at range. In later ages it mostly becomes obsolete as its role is taken by Changdao Swordsmen and Keshiks. One notable exception for this is the Old Han Reforms card, which doubles the Qiang Pikemen and Chu Ko Nu base hit points, allowing for an effective rush (especially if they were already made earlier, as it also increases their cost).

If the player sends the Old Han Reforms card (which requires a Level 40 Home City), the Qiang Pikeman not only becomes one of the strongest heavy infantry units in the game, but also one of the strongest "siege infantry" units, even though it is not considered as one.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Disciplined qiang pikeman.png Disciplined Qiang Pikeman 100 wood,
50 coin
Upgrades Qiang Pikemen to Disciplined (+20% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Honored qiang pikeman.png Honored Qiang Pikeman 300 wood,
300 coin
Upgrades Qiang Pikemen to Honored (+30% hit points and attack); requires Disciplined Qiang Pikeman
Imperial Age
Exalted qiang pikeman.png Exalted Qiang Pikeman 750 wood,
750 coin
Upgrades Qiang Pikemen to Exalted (+50% hit points and attack); requires Honored Qiang Pikeman

Further statistics[]

As Qiang Pikemen are unique to the Chinese, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, Shock Infantry, buildings
Weak vs. Skirmishers, archers, artillery
Hit points Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Mapuche Tactics.png Mapuche Tactics (+50% siege attack)
Zapotec Cult of the Dead.png Zapotec Cult of the Dead (+20%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons (+10%)
Speed Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-12%, Ming Army)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Qiang Pikemen are unique to the Chinese, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


The Asian Dynasties[]

Definitive Edition[]

  • Qiang Pikemen have a x3.5 multiplier against shock infantry.


  • "Qiang" (槍) means "spear" in Chinese, referring primarily to the flexible-pole variant. Later, it gradually came to refer to personnel-based light firearms, such as arquebuses, muskets, and handguns; i.e., the way the word "gun" is used in English (excluding the meaning of "light cannon").
  • The unit's small base melee attack and reduced bonus against Shock Infantry make it actually weak and ineffective against units such as the Aztec Coyote Runner.


The qiang spear is often called the “King of Weapons” because of its ubiquitous role as one of the longest used and most reliable Chinese weapons. Its flexible wax wood shaft varied from 7 feet long (for infantry) to nearly 13 feet (for cavalry). The qiang spear was popularized during the Shang Dynasty (seventeenth century-eleventh century BCE) and was used up until the end of the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911 CE). In that time, it changed very little.

The qiang spear featured a leaf-shaped blade atop a horse-hair tassel. When a spearman made a slashing motion, the tassel created a blur effect that kept the enemy from being able to effectively target and seize the weapon from its wielder. The hair tassel is said to have also served a secondary purpose, to stop the blood on the blade from flowing down onto the wooden shaft, which would leave the wood slippery or sticky and thus make it more difficult to handle.


See also[]