The Russians were a European nation that controlled parts of north-east Europe and northern Asia, they appear as a major civilization in Age of Empires III. In the New World (Americas), the Russians took little land, but did occupy Alaska. They placed trading posts in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii and as far south as Fort Ross in northern California, some 50 miles north of San Francisco. In Age of Empires II the Russians appeared in the Genghis Khan scenario, depicted under the Goth civilization, and later appeared as the Slavs civilization in The Forgotten expansion.
The Russians start out in the game with 500 food and 100 wood for their economy and only five Settlers. The Russian Halberdiers and Musketeers train 25% faster than other civilizations. The Russians also have the Strelet, the cheapest and weakest unit in the game. With the right Home City Card, Russians can build Forts with their Musketeers, though there's still a built limit of three. The Russians therefore can have the strongest defense in the game.
The Russians can also train infantry and Settlers in groups, this allows the Russians to train them faster, but it costs more resources to group train. There is no 'squad tax' of charging extra for bulk buying, but it means resources for the whole group are needed before training begins, instead of buying one to put in a production queue and adding more as resources increase.
The Russians also have a unique military building that replaces the Barracks called a Blockhouse, this building can train infantry units as well as defend territory such as the Outpost. This makes the Russians a tough opponent when attacking their colony. Since the Russian Barracks are also an Outpost, they can be built starting in age one, so the Russians normally have their Barracks up by the time they hit Colonial Age, making their rush very early and powerful.
In the campaign, Russia is involved twice. The Russian Ossus is the new center of the Circle, and is preparing to invade America through Canada. They are stopped by John Black, at the cost of his life. Ivan the Terrible, its ruler, is not involved, though the Russian Ossus is exactly the same civilization type as the normal in-game Russian civilization. They make a resurgence again in the Act III scenario Last City of the Inca.
The National RedoubtHome City Card really comes in handy when choosing a Revolution instead of Imperial Age and then spamming the Fort Wagon card. This way, their Musketeers can build and rebuild an entire frontline of Forts.
The Musketeer wasn't available to the Russians in the beta.
“The largest nation in Europe by area and population, Russia in 1500 was relatively backward and far from the Renaissance that was blossoming to its west. It was striving to expand and having success mainly to the east, toward Siberia. Under Peter the Great, a particularly able Romanov Tsar, they began an effort to import western technology and knowledge, but progress was very slow. They fought both the Swedes to the north and the Ottomans to the south with some success. They were able to field large armies from the great mass of serfs (near-slaves bound for life to the estates of aristocracy). They fought stubbornly and rigidly, but that could be effective, especially in defense of their homeland.
When Russia reached the eastern edge of Siberia, explorers were sent into the Pacific seeking the west coast of North America. Vitus Bering, a Dane with a long career in the Russian Navy, found the Bering Strait, the Bering Sea and southern Alaska in the middle 1700s. By the late 1700s they had established a small outpost in Alaskan waters and were hunting fur animals, especially the sea otter. Their small settlements and outposts eventually stretched down the American Pacific coast to northern California, but they were never very successful. In 1867 they sold Alaska to the United States.
By 1800 they had perhaps the largest army in Europe and had entered the Napoleonic Wars, switching sides as it suited them. Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 with a huge army, but the campaign was a disaster. The Russians retreated into their limitless land and even abandoned Moscow, while letting the Russian winter do its worst. The Russians followed the retreating French and helped bring about Napoleon's first abdication and exile in 1814.”