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You know what's bad about gold? It attracts flies.
—The Sheriff, referring to the Sioux in the Black Hills as "flies".

William "Billy" Holme is the main antagonist in the Act II: Shadow campaign for Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. He is first assigned to protect Chayton Black from the Lakota, but he is later promoted to the title of sheriff.


Sworn to preserve and protect, Sheriff Holme sees this territory as a land of conflict and opportunity. He's a survivor - a tour of duty during the Civil War has given him a gruff, sometimes jesting, view of life. With his long-time friend Chayton by his side, Holme is not a man to let events simply unfold for themselves.
—In-game history section

Billy Holme was a hardened Civil War veteran on the Union side who later became quartermaster of Fort Laramie.

After Chayton Black first meets him, they protect Miners and Settlers from Sioux raids successfully over the length of a year before parting ways. Ten years later, Chayton meets again with Holme (now a sheriff), who has discovered gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota and offers Chayton a partnership in the mine.

When the Americans claim this gold, tensions between the Sioux and American settlers erupt after the miners continue to invade Sioux lands to strip them of their resources. At first, Chayton allies with Holme, but, when Holme asks Chayton to raid a Sioux village and kill even women and children, Chayton refuses after realizing that his old friend has become corrupt and leads an attack on Holme's base. Holme flees, and Chayton searches for him with the help of native Sioux who discover him in a cave.

After killing his team of bandits armed with gatling guns, Chayton tries to convince Holme to stop attacking the Sioux villages (he had explained to Colonel Custer that it was Holme and not the Sioux that had begun the attacks), However, Holme refuses and tries to kill Chayton with a quick shot from his pistol. Chayton draws his gun quicker and shoots the aging sheriff.

Mortally wounded, Holme stumbles backwards into some powder kegs before falling with them down a mine shaft, where said kegs explode. Chayton expresses disappointment at his former friend's decision and slowly walks away from the smoking hole.


As an American Civil War veteran, Sheriff Holme sees unsettled American territory as land of conflict and opportunity, and this has given him a gruff, sometimes jest, view of life.

This eventually leads him into a conflict with Chayton over the proper use of force against others. He eventually lets his greed get the better of him, however, and is shown to be uncaring about others when it comes to money-making.

He even tells Chayton in their final confrontation that he would have cruelly killed U.S. settlers in place of Native Americans if they had claim to the territory instead.

In-game unit[]

A grizzled Civil War veteran.
—In-game description

Holme fights with a pistol and a knife, and has the ability to train Renegados, but cannot move or attack while doing so.

Like other heroes, Holme has many hit points, but if he falls, he will collapse instead of dying and need to regenerate enough hit points to be rescued by allies. He can collect treasures but, unlike Explorers, cannot build Trading Posts and Town Centers, and has no special abilities.


  • Regenerate ability aoe3de Health Regeneration: Regenerates 0.25% hit points per second after 3.5 seconds idle.


Age Unit Cost Pop.
Age II tech tree aoe3
Renegado aoe3de Renegado 110 coin 4

In-game dialogue[]

Holme speaks Western American English, and his dialogue files before the Definitive Edition are reused files of Saloon units (Pistolero, Renegado, and Comanchero), but with the pitch raised slightly.

3WCIcon48px The WarChiefs[]

Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition[]


  • He is named after Kevin "The Sheriff" Holme, a veteran game developer of Ensemble Studios.
  • Holme is shown to carry a rifle on his back, but it is never used. He uses his revolver in combat instead.
  • Holme's civilization during the To Stop a War scenario is copied from Amelia's Black's Falcon Company (United States).
  • In The WarChiefs, it was unknown how Holme would have been able to get so many outlaws after being defeated by Chayton the first time, but in the Definitive Edition, it turns out he is the leader of The Hole in the Wall Gang. Similarly, Holme is much more racist than in The WarChiefs, since Holme did not make any racist comments about the Sioux, and made it clear with Chayton that he would not judge him for being half Sioux. By stark contrast, Holme repeatedly makes racist comments in the Definitive Edition and quickly sees his friendship with Chayton disintegrate immediately after the ten year time skip, while it took Holme ordering a massacre in the original game for Chayton to turn on him. In The WarChiefs, Holme's greed was explicitly stated to have come from the gold found in the Black Hills, whereas the Definitive Edition gives Holme a reputation for greed and horrible crimes from the Civil War.
  • In the Definitive Edition, Sheriff Billy Holme appears on the United States' "Sheriff" Home City Card.


Heroes in Age of Empires III
3Icon48px Age of Empires III
Act I: BloodAlain icon aoe3de Alain Magnan · Young Chilche AoE3DE Chilche · Delgado aoe3de Delgado · Elizabeth ramsey aoe3de Elisabet Ramsey · Morgan black aoe3de Morgan Black · Native boy aoe3de Native Boy · Sahin icon aoe3de Sahin The Falcon
Act II: IceCol washington aoe3de George Washington · John black aoe3de John Black · Kanyenke aoe3de Ká:nien · Nonahkee act2 aoe3de Nonahkee · Stuart icon aoe3de Stuart Black · Warwick icon aoe3de Warwick
Act III: SteelAmelia black igc icon Amelia Black · Bolivar icon aoe3de Bolivar · Old Chilche AoE3DE Chilche · Kanyenke old aoe3de Ká:nien · Cooper icon aoe3de Major Cooper · Old Coot icon AoE3DE Old Coot · Beaumont icon aoe3de Pierre Beaumont
3WCIcon48px The WarChiefs
Act I: FireGen washington aoe3de George Washington · Kanyenke twc aoe3de Ká:nien · Nathaniel Black icon DE Nathaniel Black · Nonahkee act1 aoe3de Nonahkee · Sven icon aoe3de Sven Kuechler
Act II: ShadowChayton Black icon DE Chayton Black · Crazy horse aoe3de Crazy Horse · Custer aoe3de General Custer · Holmes icon aoe3de Sheriff Holme · Sx warchief aoe3de Chief Brave Wolf · Lakota dog soldier aoe3de Chief Bull Bear · Iro warchief aoe3de Chief Two Moon
3ADIcon48px The Asian Dynasties
Act I: JapanMototada aoe3de Daimyo Mototada · Kichiro icon DE General Kichiro · Tokugawa aoe3de Shogun Tokugawa
Act II: ChinaJinhai aoe3de Admiral Jinhai · Huang icon DE Jian Huang · Chen icon aoe3de Lao Chen
Act III: IndiaBadur icon aoe3de Bahadur Shah · Edwardson aoe3de Colonel Edwardson · Nanib icon DE Nanib Sahir · Pravar icon aoe3de Pravar Patel
Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition
Act II: ShadowFrank Icon Uncle Frank (replaces Crazy Horse)
Historical BattlesAhmad al mansur Ahmad al-Mansur · Pecaudy Icon Claude-Pierre Pecaudy · General mx portrait El General · Padre hidalgo aoe3de El Padre · Isaac Brock icon General Isaac Brock · American General Icon General Jackson · Hizir Reis Icon Hizir Reis · Kassa hailu portrait Kassa Hailu · Marine Officer portrait Marine Officer · Militia Officer portrait Militia Officer · Oruc Reis Icon Oruc Reis · Queen Sabla Icon Queen Sabla Wengel · Sir Francis Drake Icon Sir Francis Drake · Sultan malik portrait Sultan Abd al-Malik · Sultan Mohammed II portrait Sultan Mohammed II · Usman dan fodio icon Usman dan Fodio · Yermak Timofeyevich Icon Yermak