"Weak but cheap skirmisher. Good against infantry."
In-game description

The Strelet is a ranged gunpowder infantry in Age of Empires III that is unique to the Russians and can be trained in blocks of ten at the Blockhouse or individually at Fort and Galleon.

Overview Edit

Strelets are the Russian meat-shield and anti-infantry unit. They are weak, but cheap infantry, making them useful for rushing opponents in the Colonial Age, however, the Strelets are weaker than other infantry units (they are the weakest and cheapest infantry). The player can get the original cost if Strelets are trained from Forts or Galleons. Strelets are cost-effective, and even more after using cards that upgrade them.

Strelets maintain effectiveness through all ages in the game when properly upgraded with Boyars and Strelet Combat. They can be further upgraded at the Arsenal with Counter Infantry Rifling, and even further with the use of Advanced Arsenal. They combine well with Cavalry Archers, which are effective against both cavalry and artillery, essentially covering one another's weaknesses. Massing Strelets is easy, with both large shipments and batch training, and can be used to grind down an enemy's economy by sheer cost effectiveness.

Strelets are useful to outnumber enemies and take down heavy infantry. Strelets are also easy to mass, since each queue will train a group of 10 Strelets. It is advised to add the cards that upgrade the Strelets in the player's deck, though they still remain weak when compared to other Light Infantry. But once they are properly upgraded with all the cards, arsenal upgrades, and barracks upgrades, the player will end up with a very cost-effective anti-infantry unit (Skirmisher). Strelets are very good in team games, as nations that can boost Strelets (team cards) will make them even more powerful. Strelets costs 53% less resources than Musketeers, which means a Musketeer essentially equals to two Strelets. Strelets, when buffed, deal 23 damage and have 3x multipliers to heavy infantry. Strelets are a good choice against nations that rely on Gunpowder Heavy Infantry, but they are extremely susceptible to cavalry or artillery-based strategies/civilizations.

Upgrades Edit

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Ages fortress
Veteran infantry Veteran Strelets 200 wood,
200 coin
Upgrades Strelets to Veteran (+20% hit points and attack)
Ages industrial
Guard infantry Guard Strelets 600 wood,
600 coin
Upgrades Strelets to Guard (+30% hit points and attack); requires Veteran Strelets
Ages imperial
Imperial infantry Imperial Strelets 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Strelets to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Guard Strelets

Further statistics Edit

As Strelets are unique to the Russians, 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 Flint lock Flint Lock (+10%)
Cree Tanning Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Counter Infantry Rifling Counter Infantry Rifling (+1x multiplier vs. heavy infantry)
Paper cartridge Paper Cartridge (+15%)
Iroquois lacrosse Iroquois Lacrosse (+10%, vanilla Age of Empires III only)
Yoga Yoga (+5%)
Smokeless Powder Smokeless Powder (+30% siege attack)
Clenched Fist Clenched Fist (+30% melee attack)
Speed Military Drummers Military Drummers (+10%)
Inca Road-building Incan Road-building (+20%)
Apache Endurance Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army Standing Army (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers Incan Chasquis Messengers (-25%)
Other Westernization Westernization (grants Veteran upgrade)
Petrine Reforms Petrine Reforms (grants Guard upgrade)
Merritocracy Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards Edit

As Strelets are unique to the Russians, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:

Trivia Edit

  • Even though historically Streltsy got meager payments from the cash-strapped Russian government, and therefore must farm and trade to supplement their income, Streltsy were not at all ubiquitous and on many occasions, proved themselves to be very efficient fighters, quite unlike their in-game depiction as weak, cheap, and easily massable rookies.
  • The Strelet do no have any attack voice.

History Edit

"Strelets (technically "streltsy" in Russian, because "strelets" is singular) were a Russian light infantry formed in the mid-sixteenth century by Tsar Ivan IV, and were Russia's first permanent standing infantry. They received a salary, a plot of land, and allotments of food and drink. This pay was rather meager, and strelets often found it necessary to supplement their income. An elite group of mounted strelets were the tsar's bodyguard and passed service to the tsar to their sons. The only way a man could become a member of this elite body was by birth.

The word strelet is derived from the Russian word for arrow, strela, and while it once referred to archers, over time it came to refer to the Russian ranged infantry in general. Strelets carried heavy, unwieldy firearms, sabers, and two-handed axes. These axes had a sharp point that could be shoved into the ground to provide a rest for cumbersome strelet muskets.

Gallery Edit

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