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Fast Chinese warrior armed with a shield and a sword. Heavily armored and good against archers, skirmishers, and artillery.
—In-game description

The Rattan Shield is a melee shock infantry native warrior in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that can be trained at a Trading Post built on a Shaolin Temple settlement. It is armed with a sword and a shield, and lacks any multipliers making it more of a fodder unit rather than an essential part of an army.


Rattan Shields are cheap and can get rid of long-range/ranged infantry and artillery with ease. They are very vulnerable to heavy infantry, basically working like a weaker shock infantry version of the Hussar. They do not, however, take bonus damage from ranged cavalry, so can be used effectively against Skirmishers or archers guarded by Dragoons. They are fast, cheap, lack any negative multipliers and are resistant to ranged attacks from defensive buildings, making them solid raiding units against Settlers and Villagers. 


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Ages fortress.jpg
Disciplined natives.png Shaolin Discipline Training 200 wood,
150 coin
Upgrades Rattan Shields to Disciplined (+25% hit points and attack)
Ages industrial.jpg
Honered natives.png Shaolin Honor Training 400 wood,
300 coin
Upgrades Rattan Shields to Honored (+40% hit points and attack); requires Shaolin Discipline Training
Imperial Age
Legendary natives.png Legendary Native Warriors
Exalted natives.png Exalted Natives
1,500 food,
1,500 wood
Upgrades native warriors to Legendary/Exalted (+50% hit points and attack)
The Legendary Native Warriors improvement is available in the Capitol for European civilizations and in the Town Center for Native American and Asian (as Exalted Natives) civilizations.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ranged infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
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%)
Dim Mak.png Dim Mak (+50%)
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons (+10%)
Speed Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Penalties Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed, British only)
Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost, Germans only)

Home City Cards[]


The Asian Dynasties[]

  • Rattan Shields have 15 melee attack and a 15 build limit per Shaolin Trading Post.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Rattan Shields have 16 melee attack and a 16 build limit per Shaolin Trading Post.

In-game dialogue[]

Main article: Chinese (Age of Empires III)#In-game dialogue

Words before the slash sign are rendered in simplified Chinese. Words after the slash sign are rendered in traditional Chinese.

  • 准备就绪 / 準備就緒 [Zhǔnbèi jiùxù.] ("Ready")
  • 怎么了 / 怎麼了 [Zénmele?] ("What [is happening]?")
  • 请下命令 / 請下命令 [Qǐng xià mìnglìng.] ("Please command")
  • 是的 [Shì de.] ("Yes")
  • 遵命 [Zūnmìng.] ("Affirmative")
  • 好的 [Hǎo de.] ("OK")
  • 出发 / 出發 [Chūfā.] ("Embarking")
  • 攻击! / 攻擊! [Gōngjí!] ("Attack!")
  • 开战 / 開戰 [Kāizhàn!] ("To battle!")


  • While the history section hints that the Rattan Shield is a unit that is meant to represent south Chinese Ming loyalist troops, they instead represent Shaolin monks.
    • Also, as with Iron Troopers, they speak Mandarin rather than Hokkien or Wu Chinese.
  • Rattan Shields have only four ranged counters, Caroleans, Nizam Fusiliers, Fusiliers and Revolutionaries; all other counters to Rattan Shields must be in melee to do bonus damage.


The practice of rattan shield fighting is an art form consisting of six distinct fighting methods that is still practiced in parts of Taiwan. During the Chinese battles of Formosa in the seventeenth century, Ming military leader Koxinga expected every member of his army, from the generals to the foot soldiers, to be versed in the methods of the rattan shield.

Rattan shields were widely used for a variety of reasons. Palms blanketed the regions of Taiwan and Hokkien, China, making rattan readily available. The shields were extremely light but uncommonly strong, able to block incoming projectiles, including bullets. They were even so buoyant as to be used by soldiers as flotation devices when crossing shallow bodies of water.