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Age of Empires III: The Napoleonic Era

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The Napoleonic Era is a non-commercial and fan-based modification for Ensemble Studios's RTS game, Age of Empires III. This mod features a great deal of new gameplay elements and includes 7 completely new civilizations.[1] The French civilization has also been heavily redesigned. The game is focused on the events revolving around the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, and how different European civilizations reacted to this new challenge. However, the game also includes other prominent civilizations of this particular time-frame, such as the United States. The Napoleonic Wars were chosen for the game's general theme because these were the most influential military events during the time period of Age of Empires III, next to its current theme, the colonization of America.[2]


Variations and Hotfixes

There are several variations and hotfixes on Napoleonic Era. The most updated version of Napoleonic Era requires:

  • Age of Empires III
  • Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs
  • Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties
  • TAD Patch 1.02
  • Napoleonic Era 2.01
  • NE Hotfix 7.1

In addition, Napoleonic Era downloads use compressed files, creating need for a file compressor, e.g. winRAR.


Napoleonic Era features several new gameplay elements. A few elements from Age of Empires II are re-introduced, like the ability to have an unlimited amount of settlers on the construction of a building. Several new technologies are available in several different buildings. An all-new technology building, the university, is also introduced for all western nations. In this building, players will find a small amount of powerful nation-specific upgrades, as well as a two randomly generated ones. Players can also access new elite units, such as the sharpshooter, through the university. More than 10 new maps featured includes Egypt, Scandinavia and the Alps. Other gameplay changes include a new build limit on walls, and altered trading post prizes.


More than 35 new units are introduced with the Napoleonic Era. It includes not only new unique units for the new civilizations, but new standard units, such as the Fusilier, and new unique units for the civilizations featured in Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery, such as the British Green jacket rifleman. A range of native units for the new maps are also introduced. All of these new units have new graphics and statistics. The graphics was awarded by gamespy in their Picture of the Day contest in 2006.[3] The mod also includes Matthew Sher's Unit Upgrades Modpack, so that the old standard units, such as the musketeer, get a new look each age you advance.


The units of the new civilizations have received new sounds in their respective languages. According to the official web page of the Napoleonic era, new voice acting contributions are still welcome.[4] The modification also comes with a new main theme, another variation on the Age of Empires theme composed by a member of the Napoleonic Era core team.


In addition to the regular civilizations already offered by Age of Empires III and its two official expansion packs (The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasties), the Napoleonic Era presents the players with an additional set of playable civilizations that hold their own unique units, buildings, homecity shipments, and tactical abilities. Sandy Petersen admitted that the Swedes and the Italians were planned to be civilizations in the original game, as the Elmeti and Fusilier units show;[5] however, The Napoleonic Era's Swedish and Italian civilizations are originally designed by the Napoleonic Era Core Team.

Flag Civilization Personality[6] Description[7] Unique units[8]
Flag of Prussia 1892-1918 Prussians, Prussia Frederick II The Prussians have the largest array of unique military units of any European civilization. Instead of Settlers, Prussia gets Landwehrs, powerful military villagers. With each military building they construct, they get free military units. All Prussian infantry and cavalry units autoheal over time. Prussian Outpost wagons can construct Barracks, Stables, and Foundries and they gain a free outpost wagon at each age-up.
Flag of Italy Italians, Italy Cesare Borgia The Italians have access to more technologies than other civilizations. Their economic upgrades and market exchange are slightly better than they are for other civilizations. They also have stronger buildings; most of their buildings are constructed by their architect heroes. Italy starts with resources already in their inventory. They also gain their first shipment earlier than other civilizations. Another bonus is the large bandwidth of politicians which allows them to age up more cheaply to the Colonial, Fortress, and Industrial age, however, they do not provide any other bonuses.
Flag of Sweden Swedes, Sweden Karl XII The Swedes have military units that are stronger than those of other civilizations, but more expensive and train more slowly. Swedish military unit line upgrades are much cheaper than those of other civilizations, also all Swedish non-archaic units can be upgraded to Royal Guard status. Swedish settlers are more expensive and train slowly, and Sweden is limited to only 50 settlers. Sweden gains all woodcutting upgrades for free as they age up. In addition, Sweden gains the Hunting Dog and Placer Mines upgrades for free. The Swedish Explorer can create copper and gold mines.
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy Austrians, Austria Marie Louise The Austrians have special technologies and bonuses that make them a powerful civilization. Austrian settlers are much cheaper than those of other civilizations and get even cheaper by every age. They have special unique fortified buildings for defense. Their politician system provides a similar array of options at each age-up: Either resources, settlers, mercenaries, or defensive buildings. The Homecity contains powerful cards for improving their native allies and mercenaries. Buildings repair themselves automatically.
US flag 28 stars Americans, United States George Washington The Americans have several types of gatherers available to them, each with different strengths and weaknesses. They do not start with an Explorer, but need to use their Frontiersmen to gather treasures. American Politicians grant additional bonuses for aging up, beyond granting shipments of units or resources. At each age, the player also gains an additional Frontiersman. Covered Wagons can also turn into mills or plantations. They can recruit Continental Marines from the Dock and Town Center to protect the country and attack the enemy. Instead of mercenaries, Americans can ship auxiliary troops and immigrants from European countries.
Flag of Poland (with coat of arms) Poles, Poland Jan III Sobieski The Poles start with an outpost wagon, allowing them to establish early map control. All Polish units and buildings have extra line of sight. Buildings are cheaper, but weaker than those of other civilizations. Their farms and plantations are especially cheap, though they have a lower gatherer limit than typical. The Polish use farms rather than mills and livestock pens, and they gather faster from their farms early on. Their farms and plantations also provide housing space. The Polish cannot hunt without using a card to enable Settlers to do so. They can construct stables in the Discovery Age, allowing them to muster cavalry earlier in Colonial than most civilizations.
Flag of Switzerland Swiss, Switzerland Henri Dufour The Swiss are a mobile army civilization. They require few and inexpensive buildings, and have few gatherers.Their gatherers can also be used as skirmishers. They have mobile supply wagons which produce a constant stream of resources, are able to supply the Swiss army with crates of additional resources, provide economic upgrades, train surgeons and can act as a mobile dropoff point for shipments. The Swiss have early access to Halberdiers, but late access to Musketeers. They have access to additional Arsenal-style upgrades for their Halberdier-type units.
Flag of France Grande Armée, France Napoleon Bonaparte The Grande Armée is a remake of the old French civilization. It has been completely redesigned and received new bonuses, units and home city shipment cards. They have a training speed bonus which increases as you age up. They also have access to several elite units from their home city and the University building.


Napoleonic Era offers many new Random Maps to play on, accessed from the "Custom Maps" option when starting a new Skirmish battle. Some are available only with NE Hotfix 6.1; others are available with the mod by itself.

New African Maps

  • Sahara
  • Atlas Mountains
  • Barbary Coast
  • Flood of the Nile
  • Nile Delta
  • River Nile
  • Giant Sahara
  • Sin

New Eastern Asian Maps

  • Shangre La
  • Indonesia
  • Japanese Islands

New European Maps

  • Rhine
  • Alps
  • Alpine Pass
  • Black Forest
  • Scandinavia
  • Malta

New Northern Asian Maps

  • Lake Baikal
  • Siberia
  • Urals

New Western Asian Maps

  • Mesopotamia
  • Levant
  • Syrian Desert

New Western Hemisphere Maps

  • Appalachians
  • Baja California
  • Everglades
  • Pacific Railroad
  • Reservations
  • Vinland

In addition, other maps are being planned, including a map set in African savannah, the Balkan Peninsula, and Kenyan highlands.


Napoleonic Era incorporates many new buildings, some of them for all civilizations and others for only certain ones.


The University is a location where players can research technologies available only to their civilization and train "Late-Game Units". It provides the most important technologies in the game, besides those researchable from the Capitol. Available to all European civilizations.


A building unique to the Americans, the Ranch combines the features of a Stables, Livestock Pen, and provides population space.


A cheap building with a long line-of-sight, unique to the Americans. It can garrison several Settlers, and is constructed by Frontiersmen.


An Austrian-unique variation of the Fort, with a smaller attack, cheaper cost, and available in the Colonial Age. Keeps can be rebuilt by an Explorer if destroyed.


An Austrian-unique variation of the Outpost, with a smaller attack, cheaper cost, and greater build limit.


Grande Armée-unique buildings that train heavy infantry and provide healing bonuses.


A Swedish-unique building that combines the features of a House and Barracks and also provides a trickle of Wood.


A Swiss replacement for the House that provides Arsenal upgrades to gunpowder infantry.


A Swiss building that combines the features of a House and Stable. Late in the game, it can be unpacked and packed into a wagon, allowing it to become mobile.


A German-unique building that combines the features of a Saloon and University. As a consequence, neither of those two buildings are available for the German faction.


An Italian-unique building. It has the ability to create a trickle of resources and spawn a trickle of Nuncios, Inquisitors, or Priests. The Basilica also acts as the Italian variation of the University. It's revenue is balanced by the fact that the Italian faction can only construct one Factory.

Patron Saint and Equestrian Statue

The official website describes the buildings as taking long to construct and being expensive, but giving the Italians an extra edge. That is the extent of the description. Both are Italian-unique.

Napoleonic Era Beta 2

The Beta 2 version can be downloaded free of charge online. You must have Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties and preferably Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs in order to play the beta. The beta version features all new and modified civilizations, new maps, new home city shipment cards, new natives, and improved graphics. The Beta 2 was released to help the Napoleonic Era Core Team find bugs and glitches faster in order for them to be fixed in a future version.


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