Stealthy ranged infantry. Good against infantry.
—In-game description

The Shinobi is an archer in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Japanese and can be trained either by Shogun Tokugawa or at the Consulate when Japanese Isolationism is chosen as Shinobi-No-Mono. It has strong ranged and siege attacks, and can use stealth mode.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Shinobi is a high attack archer unit that is strong against heavy infantry at range, and also fares well against light infantry. The Shinobi is weak against all hand cavalry units, artillery, and melee attacks, so it has to be careful in combat due to its low hit points. Thankfully, it can go stealth to avoid enemy contact, but beware of hero units, who can reveal the Shinobi's presence.

An odd characteristic of the Shinobi is that they seem to fire some sort of explosive arrow against buildings, rather than a grenade or a torch.

The Shinobi-No-Mono have +10% hit points and attack than regular Shinobi.

Upgrades[edit | edit source]

The Shinobi is automatically upgraded in every Age starting from the Fortress Age. However, only the regular variant whose name changes to reflect this.

Fortress age up.png Disciplined Shinobi (+20% hit points and attack)
Industrial age up.png Honored Shinobi (+30% hit points and attack)
Imperial age up.png Exalted Shinobi (+50% hit points and attack)

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

As Shinobi(-No-Mono) are unique to the Japanese, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry, Eagle Runner Knights
Weak vs. Heavy cavalry, Coyote Runners, artillery
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Carib Garifuna Drums.png Carib Garifuna Drums (+1.0x multiplier vs. villagers)
Seminole Bowyer.png Seminole Bowyer (+25%)
Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs.png Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs (+10%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Clenched Fist.png Clenched Fist (+30% melee attack)
Speed Inca Road-building.png Incan Road-building (+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 Incan Chasquis Messengers (-25%)

Home City Cards[edit | edit source]

As Shinobi(-No-Mono) are unique to the Japanese, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:

History[edit | edit source]

Translated to mean “one skilled in the art of stealth,” shinobi were masters of the art of stealth, also known as ninjutsu. They were peasants of no social rank, but in possession of expert skills that were sought after by generals and feudal lords, and that often fetched high prices. Most shinobi acted as assassins or spies, gathering reconnaissance information that could turn the tide of battle. While most feudal daimyo and honorable samurai waged a moral war against the outlaw shinobi, it is believed that many of these high ranking warriors actually were shinobi, and simply kept up the ruse of hunting the outlaws in order to deflect suspicion from their own actions.

Popular culture has grossly misrepresented the appearance of shinobi, and they are most often identified by a black suit that supposedly helped them blend into the darkness. However, shinobi most likely dressed in the typical peasant garb of fifteenth-century Japan: remnants of samurai armor, with perhaps the addition of a head covering, and a special piece of footwear called jika-tabi, which had a split-toe design that improved gripping and wall climbing and were virtually silent. The shinobi arsenal consisted of a variety of weapons and diversions, many of which utilized gunpowder. Smoke bombs, firecrackers, hand cannons, and even land mines were used to stun enemies, or to provide a moment of confusion that allowed the shinobi to escape. These gunpowder secrets were carefully guarded within the shinobi clan. Another form of trickery were the ashiaro, wooden pads that were carved to look like an animal's paw, or a child's foot, and could be worn to produce misleading footprints.

The numbers of shinobi reached its peak in the centuries of war before the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate and the beginning of the Edo Period in 1603. During the waning years of the shinobi and the samurai, writers recorded the techniques and weapons of these arts in technical manuals in order to keep the traditions alive. The most famous of these was the “Mansen Shukai", written in 1676 by ninjitsu master, Fujibayashi Samuji.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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