Age of Empires Series Wiki

Shock Infantry is a tag, defined as AbstractLightInfantry in game files, refers to an infantry class that function like cavalry, having similar roles and counters. This class was introduced in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. There are two types of Shock Infantry:

  • Hand Shock Infantry (labeled as AbstractCoyoteMan in game files)
  • Ranged Shock Infantry (labeled as xpEagleKnight in game files)

The following units are Hand Shock Infantry:

Hand Shock Infantry are a substitute unit type for hand cavalry, so they are countered by light cavalry and heavy infantry. All Hand Shock Infantry units have the melee infantry tag.

Eagle Runner Knights are a substitute unit type for light cavalry, so they are countered by Rifle Infantry and foot archer classes. It's the only Shock Infantry unit in the game that is not also Hand Shock Infantry, and the only Ranged Shock Infantry. The units that have attack multiplier against light cavalry, have the same value against Eagle Runner Knights.


Light infantry refers to two different types of units depending on whether referring to Age of Empires III, to the expansions of The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasties or to the Definitive Edition after the Knights of the Mediterranean release: As tradition in other games of the series, in vanilla Age of Empires III all ranged infantry units that counter heavy infantry and light cavalry with their ranged attacks are considered light infantry.

  • In The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasties, light infantry constitutes infantry that emulate cavalry. The units formerly tagged as light infantry are no longer considered as such and do not possess the tag anymore, being tagged as just infantry and ranged infantry; they're differentiated from the Musketeer-type of units which have the heavy infantry tag.
  • In the Definitive Edition, to avoid confusion, light infantry was renamed to Shock Infantry. Although it is still referred as AbstractLightInfantry in game files. With update 13088, the AbstractCoyoteMan tag was altered to display as "Hand Shock Infantry" in the UI and was retroactively applied to the Tiger Claw and the Rattan Shield, while the Tiger Claw had its infantry tag removed. Traditional units labeled as light infantry in roles and functions were placed under the Foot Archer and Rifle Infantry tags. With update 43871, the icon for Hand Shock Infantry was added.
  • After the release of Knights of the Mediterranean the Light Infantry tag was added, including all Rifle Infantry and Foot Archer units, making the class a return as a real class in the counter system. The readded class probably came back for accommodating new archetypes of units, like the Italian Light Infantry Schiavone that counters other Light Infantry.

Leftover Units[]

Additionally, because of an apparent oversight from the developers, in The WarChiefs, The Asian Dynasties, and the Definitive Edition, some units keep both the infantry and light infantry tags from Age of Empires III, making them vulnerable to both counter-infantry and counter-cavalry units.

This oversight is probably due to them appearing only in the campaign (and in Treasures for the Aztec Eagle Warrior).