We’ve known that the Age of Empires III developers were planning on taking the RTS game to the African continent at some point this year, and now we know when. In just a couple of weeks, Age of Empires III – The African Royals will be released, and introduce two new civilisations, as well as new historical battles, 15 African maps, and AI allies.
The new civs are the Ethiopians and the Hausa. Ethiopia gets access to mountain monasteries, and has a range of unique units from the Abun – an Ethiopian Bishop who can heal, to the Sebastopol Mortar which is a huge artillery piece that annihilates units and buildings alike. The Hausa have bonuses in livestock and universities, and their unit units include the Griot – a musician/storyteller who can buff/debuff speed stats – and the Fulani Archer, which is good against heavy infantry and ranged cavalry, and can also gather livestock.
A new resource called ‘influence’ will also be introduced, which is typically spent at the new Palace building to recruit (among other things) mercenaries or unlockable units from aging up. There are several ways you can accumulate influence, such as by owning large amounts of livestock, certain buildings, or new civs’ unique buildings.
The expansion also comes with 11 new achievements, and five additional indigenous African civilisations to ally with in-match. You can get more detailed information on the expansion on the official announcement page.
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