Japanese warrior Monk armed with a naginata. Good against cavalry and buildings.
—In-game description

The Sohei is a melee heavy infantry native warrior in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that can be trained at a Trading Post built on a Zen Temple settlement.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Sohei units function in a similar manner to European Pikeman, but have a higher base attack than Swiss Pikemen mercenaries when fully upgraded. Sohei are excellent against all cavalry and light infantry in combat when close, however, ineffective against heavy infantry and artillery. They are best used to supplement a force of pikeman-esque units, defend archers or skirmishers against cavalry or to use their speed in raids against Villagers.

Upgrades[edit | edit source]

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Ages fortress.jpg
Disciplined natives.png Zen Discipline Training 200 wood,
150 coin
Upgrades Sohei to Disciplined (+25% hit points and attack)
Ages industrial.jpg
Honered natives.png Zen Honor Training 400 wood,
300 coin
Upgrades Sohei to Honored (+40% hit points and attack); requires Zen Discipline Training
Imperial Age
Legendary natives.png Legendary Native Warriors
Exalted natives.png Exalted Natives
1,500 food,
1,500 wood
Upgrades native warriors to Legendary/Exalted (+50% hit points and attack)
The Legendary Native Warriors improvement is available in the Capitol for European civilizations and in the Town Center for Native American and Asian (as Exalted Natives) civilizations.

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, light infantry, buildings
Weak vs. Skirmishers, archers, artillery
Improvements
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (+20%, British only)
Corselet.png Corselet (+25%, Spanish only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Mapuche Tactics.png Mapuche Tactics (+50% siege attack)
Zapotec Cult of the Dead.png Zapotec Cult of the Dead (+20%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons (+10%)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+20%, Germans only)
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%)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Penalties Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed, British only)
Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost, Germans only)
Corselet.png Corselet (-15% speed, Spanish only)

Home City Cards[edit | edit source]

In-game dialogue[edit | edit source]

Main article: Japanese (Age of Empires III)#In-game dialogue
  • は [Ha.] ("Yes."; a variant of hai (はい "Yes") pronounced with a short, strong breath; old-fashioned, typically said by fictional archaic characters, especially of the feudal ages, in response to the instructions or remarks of their superior person, with an attitude of respect toward that person)
  • ご命令を [Gomeirei o.] ("Your instructions?")
  • 御意(に) [Gyoi (ni).] ("At your will.")
  • はい! [Hai!] ("Yes!")
  • いざ [Iza.] ("Now.")
  • 直ちに [Tadachi ni.] ("Immediately.")
  • 仰せの通り(に) [Ōse no tōri (ni).] (Literally "As you say."; it means "In accordance with your will.")
  • いざゆかん! [Iza yukan!] ("Let's go now!")
  • 戦じゃ! [Ikusa ja!] ("Fight!")
  • や! [Ya!] (an interjection)

History[edit | edit source]

The sohei were an order of Japanese warrior monks living between the tenth and sixteenth centuries, a period when several militant religious sects held sway over local lords, challenging even the samurai warrior class for dominance.

The Japanese word “Sohei” is roughly translated into English as monk (“so”) and warrior (“hei”). The sohei fought in large, extended, but not always officially ordained, brotherhoods that were geographically spread throughout smaller temples, all of which fell under the influence of a home temple’s monastic order. These central institutions, most notably those in Nara, and on Mount Hiei outside of Kyoto, held huge private armies of warrior monks. These armies often became embroiled in feudal clan rivalries, as many daimyo and samurai looked to ally with the sohei because of their technologically advanced weaponry and skills in battle. In addition, the sohei had a special form of spiritual weaponry, the kind only available to warriors of a religious order. They could intimidate their enemies by denouncing them at the Kasuga Shrine in Nara, which was considered a fate worse than death. They also used prayer beads to deliver curses on those who opposed them.

In battle, the sohei wore a form of light cuirass armor beneath a traditional kimono. They were known for fighting with the naginata blade, although they expertly wielded a variety of weapons, including the katana, the bow, and the arquebus.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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