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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. For the unit in Age of Empires IV, see Shinobi (Age of Empires IV).

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 by Shogun Tokugawa. It has strong ranged and siege attacks, and can use stealth mode.

Overview[]

The Shinobi is a highly unusual unit. It has the hit points of a Musketeer, resistance of a Crossbowman, speed that is slightly lesser than a Pikeman, a high base damage and no multipliers. As a general rule Shinobi are strong against ranged units and very weak in melee combat. Additionally, they have exceptional siege damage for an archer unit. However, the siege animation is much slower than that of other ranged infantry, making Shinobis better than most archers at sieging, but worse than most heavy infantry, such as Musketeers. It can go into stealth mode to avoid enemy contact, but must avoid units and buildings that can uncloak stealthed units, such as hero units and Town Centers.

Shinobis are classified as Siege units, which comes with both advantages and disadvantages. It makes them very resistant to defensive structures, such as Outposts, Forts or War Huts (taking only half damage, which is further negated by their range resistance), but making them more vulnerable to Militiamen or their equivalent units. Their high base damage and hitpoints gives them a strong advantage against other ranged infantry. The Shinobi can beat nearly all Skirmisher-type units in a one on one fight. The primary disadvantage of Shinobi is their short range, although this can be negated by both their speed and stealth ability.

In the Industrial Age and onwards, Shinobi can be massed by Shogun Tokugawa, and have the advantage over Yumi Archers of not having a wood cost. 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.

Upgrades[]

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 Disciplined Shinobi: +20% hit points and attack
  • Industrial age up Honored Shinobi: +30% hit points and attack
  • Imperial age up Exalted Shinobi: +50% hit points and attack

Shinobi-No-Mono[]

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

The Shinobi-No-Mono is a counterpart of the Shinobi which starts with +10% hit points and attack. It can be trained at the Consulate when Japanese Isolation is chosen.

Upgrades[]

The Shinobi-No-Mono is automatically upgraded in the Fortress Age, Industrial Age, and Imperial Age. However, this does not change his name from his regular variant:

  • Fortress age up +20% hit points and attack
  • Industrial age up +30% hit points and attack
  • Imperial age up +50% hit points and attack

Further statistics[]

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 ranged cavalry, ranged shock infantry
Weak vs. Heavy cavalry, hand shock infantry, counter-skirmishers, artillery
Improvements
Hit points Maya Cotton Armor Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Infantry Breastplate Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Cree Tanning Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Tar kilns Tar Kilns (+5%)
Attack Seminole Bowyer Seminole Bowyer (+15%)
Carib Kasiri Beer Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs (+10%)
Armatoloi Armatoloi (+5%)
Yoga Yoga (+5%)
Clenched Fist Clenched Fist (+25% hand attack)
Somali jile daggers Somali Jile Daggers (-35% hand attack Rate of Fire)
Carib Garifuna Drums Carib Garifuna Drums (+1.0 multiplier vs. villagers)
Kalthoff repeaters Kalthoff Repeaters (+0.1 multiplier vs. light infantry)
Som ajuran engineers Somali Ajuran Engineers (+20% multiplier vs. Frontier fortification)
Resistance Somali oryx shields Somali Oryx Hide Shields (+5% ranged resistance)
Range Sarmatism Sarmatism (+1)
Schutzenfest Schützenfest (+1)
Line of Sight Sarmatism Sarmatism (+1)
Schutzenfest Schützenfest (+1)
Speed Quechuan Mountaineering Quechuan Mountaineering (+10%)
Akan Drums Akan Fontomfrom (+5%)
Apache Endurance Apache Endurance (+5%)
Train time Standing Army Standing Army (-25%)
Akan Drums Akan Fontomfrom (-20%)
Quechuan Diet Quechuan Diet (-15%)
Immigrants Immigrants (-10%)
Cost Mapuche Ad-mapu Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Golden liberty Golden Liberty (-5% coin cost)

Home City Cards[]

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

Click for a list of Home City Cards related to the Shinobi
Some cards are highlighted with:
Green TEAM Shipment that is sent to each player in a team
Blue Shipment that arrives fast (5 seconds)

All[]

Card Description Age
Team ranged infantry damage TEAM Senegalese Riflemen Ranged infantry get +10% attack; French and Hausa-only ranged infantry get +15% attack instead
Age III tech tree aoe3
  • "TEAM Senegalese Riflemen" is available to the French and Hausa.

Chinese[]

Card Description Age
Chinese Home City 1 (TEAM Yongle Infrastructure) TEAM Yongle Infrastructure Ships 1 Mongol Scout; infantry, land villagers, healing units, Envoys, and Disciples get +5% speed
Age II tech tree aoe3
  • "TEAM Yongle Infrastructure" does not stack with the Inca "TEAM Inca Bridges" card.

Dutch[]

Card Description Age
Dutch Home City 2 (Infantry Hitpoints) TEAM Infantry Hitpoints Infantry get +10% hit points; Dutch-only infantry get +15% hit points instead
Age II tech tree aoe3

Ethiopians[]

Card Description Age
Ethiopian Home City 2 (TEAM Coffee Consumption) TEAM Coffee Consumption Ranged infantry get +5% speed
Age IV tech tree aoe 3

Haudenosaunee[]

Card Description Age
Iroquois Home City 2 (Scout Infantry) TEAM Scout Infantry Ships 1 Native Scout; infantry get +8 Line of Sight
Age II tech tree aoe3

Inca[]

Card Description Age
Inca Home City 2 (TEAM Inca Bridges) TEAM Inca Bridges Ships 1 Chasqui; infantry, land villagers, healing units, and Envoys get +5% speed
Age I tech tree aoe3
  • "TEAM Inca Bridges" does not stack with the Chinese "TEAM Yongle Infrastructure" card.

Indians[]

Card Description Age
Shivajis tactics TEAM Shivaji's Tactics All units get +5% hit points and attack
Age IV tech tree aoe 3

Japanese[]

Card Description Age
Onin war Onin War Infantry get +33% siege attack
Age II tech tree aoe3
Bakufu Bakufu Daimyo and Shogun Tokugawa get +10% speed, +20 Line of Sight and train units 15% faster; land military unit train time -20%, artillery and banner army train time -10% instead
Age III tech tree aoe3
Good faith agreements Good Faith Agreements Consulate units' train time -50%; Consulate technologies' cost -40% (-300 export for Brigades) and research time -50% (except Brigades)
Age I tech tree aoe3
  • "Good Faith Agreements" only affects Shinobi-No-Mono.

Maltese[]

Card Description Age
Maltese Home City 2 (TEAM Knights of the Round Table) TEAM Knights of the Round Table Ships 1 Hospitaller for each Town Center owned by the player; all units get +2% hit points
Age I tech tree aoe3

Mexicans[]

Card Description Age
Mexican Home City 2 (TEAM Mariachi) TEAM Mariachi For the next 30 seconds, military buildings work 400% faster and units get +10% speed
Age I tech tree aoe3

Spanish[]

Card Description Age
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition) TEAM Spanish Inquisition Ships 1 Inquisitor; all units get +10 Line of Sight
Age II tech tree aoe3

Dutch[]

Card Description Age HC level
Dutch Home City 2 (Infantry Hitpoints) TEAM Infantry Hitpoints Infantry get +15% hit points
Age II tech tree aoe3
10

French[]

Card Description Age HC level
Team ranged infantry damage TEAM Senegalese Riflemen Gunpowder infantry and archers get +15% attack
Age III tech tree aoe3
10

Indians[]

Card Description Age HC level
Shivajis tactics TEAM Shivaji's Tactics All units get +5% hit points and attack
Age IV tech tree aoe 3
25

Iroquois[]

Card Description Age HC level
Iroquois Home City 2 (Scout Infantry) TEAM Scout Infantry Infantry get +8 Line of Sight
Age II tech tree aoe3
10

Japanese[]

Card Description Age HC level
Onin war Onin War Infantry get +33% siege attack
Age II tech tree aoe3
40
Bakufu Bakufu Daimyo and Shogun Tokugawa get +10% speed, +20 Line of Sight and train units 100% faster
Age III tech tree aoe3
25
Good faith agreements Good Faith Agreements Consulate units' train time -50%; Consulate technologies' cost -40% (-400 export for Brigades) and research time -50% (except Brigades)
Age I tech tree aoe3
1
  • "Good Faith Agreements" only affects Shinobi-No-Mono.

Russians[]

Card Description Age HC level
Russian Home City 3 (Dueling School) Dueling School Infantry (except Skull Knights), Old Han Army, and Territorial Army train time -25%; Black Flag Army, Standard Army, Ming Army, and Imperial Army train time -12%
Age II tech tree aoe3
25

Spanish[]

Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition) TEAM Inquisition All units get +10 Line of Sight
Age I tech tree aoe3
10

Changelog[]

3ADIcon48px The Asian Dynasties[]

  • Shinobi-No-Mono gives 9 XP when trained or killed.

Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition[]

Age3DE Icon The African Royals[]

Age3DE Icon Knights of the Mediterranean[]

History[]

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[]

See also[]

  • Ninja de Ninja: A very similar melee unit available via shipments.
Military units in Age of Empires III
Common/shared units
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