Let’s talk about Asian ships

Asian artillery has been brought up several times but some of their ships is problematic too.

Monitor: it looks very out of place for Chinese and Japanese as the only European-styled ship. They should get a unique bombard ship with similar roles.
(BTW monitor is a bad name too. It refers to early ironclads)

Indian navy: directly giving them full European ship roster does not look good. However Mughals and Maratha did not hold strong regular navies so I’m not sure if there are some good ship models. Overall the Indians feel like a weird mixture of Mughals and the East India Company.


Indian navy: the problem is as you said: the main powers the Indian civ reference, like Mughal, Maratha and Mysore were not naval powerhouses. Meanwhile, our extant knowledge about the unique shipbuilding art of South Asia is highly incomplete, with much that is lost and to be uncovered, so designing an Indian naval unit lineup probably will need a more-than-usual amount of research & guesswork (also see: AoE2’s “Thirisadai” unit, where on top of basing the model on the Southeast Asian “Borobudur ship”, the devs got swindled by a somewhat convincing Wikipedia hoax, and still haven’t rectified the mistake).

Specifically, shallow water ironclads for gunfire support on coastal targets.

Rise of Nations refers to AoE3’s monitor unit with its actual names: bomb vessel and bomb ketch (Wikipedia: also called bomb ship or simply bomb). Ensemble most likely avoided these names because they are unintuitive, sounding like demolition ships to modern ears. Which is, well… Ensemble gotta Ensemble.

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The Maratha had a pretty strong and well-developed navy. Sure, it was not a blue water navy, but they were pretty adept at making up for their shortcomings. And let’s be honest here, it’s not like you’re fighting open sea battles in Age of Empires 3, almost every water map in the game represents a place relatively close to the coast which is where the Maratha navy excelled at.

I wouldn’t even say our knowledge about the Maratha navy is particularly incomplete, like sure a lot of it hasn’t been translated yet, but if you talk with people from the region there’s about as much information about it as just about any European nations’ in the period.


Yeah, that’s what I meant by “more-than-usual amount of research” - reading up-to-date papers & reports, and consulting local experts.

I mean, dunno how to break it to you but that’s just how it is with pretty much any civ choice you could go for outside of Europe. Even for popular choices like Korea or Siam I had no recourse but rely on Korean and Thai people to get anywhere near decent information on the military units of the period. If I research in english there’s pretty much nothing to go off of.

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LOL I know, I’m not from a European-language culture. Mountains of info not translated into any other language from here and neighboring countries.

And doing in-depth research into unfamiliar fields, that’s literally my job.

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It is not weird to me that Asian civs having European-style ships. Asian civs have never built these kind of bombard ship. They were all bought from Europe.

I quite like the concepts of the Asian civs created by the BHG. The European weapons actually make the existence of Asian civs in this game very reasonable. BHG develpers really did a great job. :smile:

AoE3 is based on a specifc period of history, so some civs need convincing reason to appear in the game. Rise of Nations is actually a RTS version of Civilzation which is based on fiction history. So we can see Bantus and Mayan have their A-10 fighter-bomber and M47 anti-tank missle as unique units in the modern age.

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Asians bought ironclads from Europe not gunboats (“monitors” in the game).
Also, the “monitor” in the game is not a realistic one. Real gunboats were much smaller, unlike the huge ship in the game. So that European model is very fictional as well. Then we could also design a “fictional” Asian-styled ship mounted with a mortar (or rockets if more creative. They really used rockets on ships).

On the other hand, if they really reflect ships purchased from Europe, they should either appear in the consulate, or work as a mercenary (costing gold or export, like the xebec for Hausa), not a directly-buildable regular ship.


The monitor is clearly a tribute to the cannon galeon.
Ships in general are off in the game. We still have wooden ships in the 1890s in the game, which is not very accurate.

I mean the name “monitor” referred to early ironclads in the 19th and gunboats in wwi.
Real gunboats in this era were much smaller. The in-game unit is a huge one because (1) you cannot make this kind of unit an early game one and (2) “advanced” constructs would look weak if they are small.

So an Asian ships mounted with a mortar would not be a weird one if the ships are already very messy. We already have cannon canoes.

That’s not true. Chinese Fleet bought a lot of Rendel gunboats from Britain.

Obviously I’m talking about the wooden gunboats with sails as the in-game model represents…

If you insist, I would say that nearly every wooden vessel in Chinese fleet equipped with mortars in reality, those mortars are same to hand mortars(碗口铳) in game.

That’s exactly why I think Asians should have their own “wooden sail ship with a mortar” model with an Asian style, not a European one.

What I meant is, so just give those existed ships special ability to bombard buildings with a card or tech, no need to make a new fictional unit at all.
BTW, mortars on Chinese vessels are mostly used for destroy ships, not buildings.

Then it is already represented by the normal regular warships in the game. European ships in reality also have other equipments like smaller swivel guns and also small mortars on the deck and use all kinds of different ammunitions, but the game abstracts all these to one attack animation with the broadside guns.
My proposal is based on not altering the original game design of having a “long-range siege ship” for the Asians.

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I pinned this topic to my forum because I think this could be a good renewal.

Could you post some related images? I don’t know much about the history and Asian culture of those times.

I have no ideas for the Indians because all of the models might need a rework.
For the Chinese and Japanese, I think we could just adopt their junk/bune design and add a mortar to replace the European-looking monitor, just like how monitor is a frigate with mortar.

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The Monitor should just be renamed ‘Bomb Ketch’ or ‘Bomb Vessel’ as they were known as - the whole Monitor thing is just weird naming!

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In case the Asian civilizations have their own set of ships, the European ships for those civilizations should not be removed entirely. They could continue to obtain through the consulate or through cards. They could be enabled at the dock or they could be summoned at the consulate and they arrive at the naval destination.