Skirmisher with low hitpoints, but a strong attack. Good against infantry.
—In-game description

The Volunteer is a ranged gunpowder infantry in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition that can only be obtained if the player revolts with the United States after the Volunteers shipment card has been sent. Once the Volunteers card arrives, each Fort spawns 4 Volunteers for free, and then each new Fort created will spawn 4 Volunteers as well.

This unit is exclusive to the United States, a revolutionary nation; only the French, British, Dutch and Swedes can obtain them.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Like the Skirmisher, the Volunteer has a long-ranged attack that is suited to kiting the enemy from afar. They are strong at countering and defeating heavy infantry and ranged cavalry, but highly vulnerable to melee cavalry and artillery due to their relatively low hit points and a weak melee attack.

Since these units spawns freely after their shipment card has been sent, and they require Forts for that, it is hard to mass, unlike the Skirmisher. However, since the United States has the Infinite Fort shipment card (like all revolutions), it is viable to have a sizeable army of Volunteers if the player manages to have at least 5 Forts or more, and since the United States also lets the player spawn a Gatling Gun with each Fort, it is advisable to keep pairing them with Gatling Guns.

Their long range ensures they can put all their damage to bear as fast as possible and makes them easy to control while kiting. They are effective against enemy Skirmishers and other ranged infantry, but their counter-damage wards off cheaper heavy infantry attacks in melee, as well as harassment from fast ranged cavalry. When in position near enemy Settlers, their range also makes them effective at harassing them while not committing too much to a bad position should a fight occur. When fighting heavy infantry, it is advisable to take an Armory in order to unlock Counter Infantry Rifling for an effective extra 33% attack against those units. Volunteers are capable of sieging buildings, but this is a risky strategy due to the poor positioning required to do so, along with slow speed and low siege damage. It may be better to use them defensively in support of Falconets, Gatling Guns, or Halberdiers instead.

Comparisons[edit | edit source]

Compared to the Skirmisher, Volunteers have:

  • More hitpoints (+20)
  • Slighlty better movement speed (+0.75)
  • Better resistance against ranged attacks (+20%)
  • Better attack overall
  • They cannot be trained normally (except in the case of the British revolt, who lack Skirmishers).

Civilization differences[edit | edit source]

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry, Eagle Runner Knights
Weak vs. Heavy cavalry, Coyote Runners, artillery
Improvements
Hit points Flint lock.png Flint Lock (+10%)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (+20%, British only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Counter Infantry Rifling.png Counter Infantry Rifling (+1.0x multiplier vs. heavy infantry)
Paper cartridge.png Paper Cartridge (+15%)
Iroquois lacrosse.png Iroquois Lacrosse (+10%, vanilla Age of Empires III only)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Smokeless Powder.png Smokeless Powder (+30% siege attack)
Clenched Fist.png Clenched Fist (+30% melee attack)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
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%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Penalties Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed British only)

Home City Cards[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • While the Volunteer cannot be trained during normal Skirmish games, it serves as a replacement for the Skirmisher during the Battle of New Orleans Historical Battle, and therefore it has a cost of 40 food and 75 coin.

See also[edit | edit source]

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