Age of Empires Series Wiki

Fast-moving sword and buckler infantry.
—In-game description

The Rodelero is a melee heavy infantry in Age of Empires III that is unique to the Spanish and can be trained at Barracks, Fort, and Galleon.

Rodeleros are also available to Knights of St. John in the Act I: Blood campaign.


Outfitted with a sword and buckler, Rodeleros are quite different compared to the typical heavy infantry. Their melee resistance enables them to negate melee damage multipliers, and attack units that would otherwise overpower them in a one to one fight. They move very quickly (similar to cavalry). This makes them a relatively cheap raiding/scouting unit in the very early stages of the game. Rodelero deal less damage against cavalry compared to Pikemen (even at Imperial level), however, Rodeleros can catch up to fleeing enemies due to their speed. They are also a decent melee unit against non-cavalry units as they possess a higher base damage compared to Pikemen. They are also more durable than Pikemen, with higher hitpoints and an exceptional melee resistance for non-mercenary units.

However, when destroying buildings, Rodeleros are not recommended, as they possess siege damage similar to that of ranged infantry, despite being a heavy infantry unit. Pikemen and Musketeers are far more efficient at razing buildings. Rodeleros should also be wary of ranged infantry and artillery, as they can be easily destroyed by them in battle.

Knights of St. John can further boost their Rodeleros' hit points by 20% through the "Hand Infantry Hitpoints" Home City Card (12 damage and 189 hit points with all upgrades except Corselet).

Through use of Academy cards from the Spanish Home City, Rodeleros' hit points and attack can be increased by 35% and 30% respectively. Unction will then boost their attack further 5-63% (39.93 damage and 324 hit points with all upgrades except Corselet).

In spite of the several cards the Spanish can send for them, Rodeleros should be considered a specialised Pikeman unit that scales better in the later ages and nothing else. They cannot take on buildings well, are extremely vulnerable to Skirmisher-type units, and do not fare well against masses of ranged Heavy Infantry either. Indeed, despite their massive melee resistance, their fragile hit points make them fall quickly to virtually any type of ranged attack; even if Rodeleros manage to get up close to a Musketeer group, they will lose, since most Musketeers will get a chance to use ranged attacks due to being protected by the rest of their group. While they can force light cavalry to retreat, Dragoons can hit-and-run against them, meaning they only really shine against Melee Cavalry.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Veteran sword infantry.png Veteran Rodeleros 200 wood,
200 coin
Upgrades Rodeleros to Veteran (+20% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard sword infantry.png Espadachins 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrades Rodeleros to Espada Rodeleros (+40% hit points and attack); requires Veteran Rodeleros
Imperial Age
Imperial sword infantry.png Imperial Espada 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Espada Rodeleros to Imperial Espadas (+50% hit points and attack); requires Espadachins

Civilization differences[]

Further statistics[]

As Rodeleros are unique to the Spanish and Knights of St. John, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, shock infantry, slow infantry
Weak vs. Skirmishers, archers, artillery
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Corselet.png Corselet (+25%)
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 Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army.png Standing Army (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Penalties High Crusade.png High Crusade (-5% hit points, Knights of St. John only)
Corselet.png Corselet (-15% speed)

Home City Cards[]

As Rodeleros are unique to the Spanish and Knights of St. John, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown on the following tables:


Age of Empires III[]

  • Rodeleros have 12 melee attack and ×3.0 multiplier against cavalry.

The WarChiefs[]

  • With patch 1.04, Rodeleros now have 10 melee attack and increased multiplier against cavalry to ×3.5.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Rodeleros now have 11 melee attack.


  • Royal Guard Rodeleros' name, Espada, is short from espadachín, which means "swordsman" in Spanish. Alternatively, it could also mean "fencer".
  • Espadachins is incorrect. The plural name of the Espadachín is espadachines.


Rodeleros were a Spanish infantry who used swords and round shields. This arms combination was often used against formations of pike and halberds. Agile swordsmen could better evade the deadly iron of densely packed pikes and could take formations apart from the inside. In 1506 Cortez arrived in the New World with over 1,300 soldiers, 1,000 of which were rodeleros. They were adaptable, versatile soldiers, capable in close quarters on the decks of ships as well as against the loose, guerilla tactics of non-European enemies.

Rodela is a Spanish word meaning shield; Rodeleros are "shield-bearers." Rodeleros were armed with one-handed swords and round shields approximately two feet in diameter. These rodela were most often made of steel, but were also made of iron-bound wood covered with hide.