Native Americans and Artillery

Artillery Available

The basic artillery units available to the Natives should basically just be:

  1. Light Cannon
    1.5. Light Cannon, but for the Aztecs
  2. Captured Howitzer
  3. Prairie Gun

Light Cannon

The Light Cannon is a functional unit that has little basis in anything. Giving it to the Hauds as part of their base unit comp and giving it to the ###### through a BBT to be then used as a normal unit is the best route for these two cultures. The Lakota and Aztecs do not access it.

Aztec's Light Cannon

The Aztecs don’t necessarily need what the light cannon gives - rather, giving them something similar but more pushed to the aspects of a Falconet would be ideal. Base it off Spanish design and split the Arrow Knight away from it further, to let the AK do its own job better without fear of overstepping into other territory.

Captured Howitzer

Stupid unit in every way possible, with zero basis in history. No cultures given used anything remotely like this. Make it a true Mercenary unit stylized on the Outlaws and make it a unit available to them when they get other Outlaw-type units enabled. The Hauds and ###### would have access to this through a BBT, but not the Aztecs or Lakota.

Prairie Gun

The truly new unit, and a concept of which I absolutely hate to introduce because the idea of giving the Lakota any sort of artillery whatsoever is pure fiction and purely made because the devs pushed themselves into a corner by trying to make the Lakota play with a European comp instead of letting them lean heavily into their niche All Cavalry playstyle that historically fits them and that their military composition is meant to use.

The Prairie Gun would be somewhere between a Horse Gun and a Howtizer in use, and not be particularly useful into actual units. The Lakota already have 4 explicit anti-heavy infantry units and access to 4 anti-light infantry units (Cheyenne Riders are available to them), 5 if you include the Warchief himself.

If you are having trouble fighting masses of infantry with this many anti-infantry units, blame the devs for trying to force the Lakota into using their infantry instead of letting them use thewhopping NINE cavalry units they can access in every game (Tokala Soldier, Tashunke Prowler, Rifle Rider, Bow Rider, Axe Rider, Warchief, Cheyenne Rider, Comanche Horse Archers, Cowboys) and trying to make five infantry units relevant, three of which are already inherently meant to be outclassed by one of the other three (the Cetan Bowman, Pistolero, and Renegado are all out-classed by the Wakina by age 4), while the War Clubman has never been a good unit for the civ.

The Prairie Gun would be necessary only to fulfill the role of a long-range anti-artillery weapon and as a mortar unit. With the cultural priorities in mind, a big heavy gun like a howitzer would never be carried around - a smaller gun, similar to the Horse Gun, that could be pulled around quickly and deployed and used quickly, on the other hand, would more likely be used to some extent.

It’s important to note that the Lakota, specifically, could function just fine without any true artillery units if the devs would just let them focus back heavily on cavalry like they were originally designed to be. I can agree that there’s an inherent need for a more siege-like unit for the Lakota, but I also have a solution for that particular problem that I’ve been pushing since the DE released;

############ Prowler: The Arson Prowler

Based on the hunting methods of the Sicangu Lakota, the Itkunyan Prowler would change the current Tashunke Prowler into a siege-trooper cavalry unit, gaining a ranged grenadier attack against buildings and a large shield, giving them a significant ranged resistance. They would be weaker into actual fights than other cavalry units fielded by the Lakota, but would fill the empty niche of a cavalry siege that has historically required the Lakota have the ridiculous “charging ceremony”.

With this in mind, the Mauraders card could be renamed to Cliff Hunters and increase the siege damage of the Itkunyan Prowlers and other cavalry units.

Ending Notes

Also, because I know there are going to be comments about my frustrated attitude in this post, I want to point this out - The Lakota culture is still very much alive, and not that changed from the in-game representation. Sure, we don’t live ## ##### 24/7 anymore, but I can go to my gramma’s and chill in a tipi her own mother made from bison hides that she helped paint when she was a little girl, growing up.

Yeah, we don’t hunt for our living anymore, but I’ve watched my uncle clean an entire bison, from the head to the feet, on his own over the course of about a week.

Sure, we don’t fight on horseback anymore, but my cousins can still fire a bow from horseback, and one of them is working on his ability to fire while hanging over the side of a horse like used to be done in battle.

Of all the cultures in the game, the Lakota one may very well be the least changed from the game’s representation to the modern day. I mean, one thing we do still do regularly is collect food and make wasna (pemmican) on a regular basis because that’s just how the people live. Lakota living during this game’s time period would have done many of the same things we still do today, nearly entirely unchanged.

Hell, every year, my family’s Facebook blows up when everyone gets into a competition to see who can make the biggest timpsila braid. That is something that should be in the game - we’ve been harvesting timpsila from the wild for hundreds, if not thousands, of years at this point and we still do.

I won’t apologize for my frustration. This game used my culture for “woke” political points as a cheap marketing strategy and then proceeded to make absolutely no changes of note.

ADD: Forum mods, can you add some exceptions to the censor? “Inxcxaxns” isn’t a swear word, “tixpis” isn’t a swear word, and my suggested name was entirely removed - “Itxkunyan”
take out the x’s


I like this idea better than giving native civs some fictive artillery units. There are many ways we can balance units so they don’t need artllery.

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Yeah the native civs shouldn’t have artillery especially the Lakota as you are supposed to build cavalry as the civ. Also if you just have all native civs artillery several balance changes would have to made to all of their unit rosters as they are designed to fight without artillery. Just giving them cannon is not only stupid it honestly could make some of the civs OP. That’s why people complain about the African civs late game, they get some pretty good units but then can also build cannons later in the game which is stupid, how it was set up.


Aztecs too are a great example of a civ who shouldn’t have canons. They never used any artillery. Moreover, they already have the arrow knight and skull knight for siege.


Yes, the Aztecs (and Lakota?) should never have artillery.

Is a fantastic idea. The Cavalry siege units like the Desert Camel warrior belong to Lakota too.

A card, at least?

I’m all for your frustrated attitude!

I think it’s lame that you feel the need to create artillery for the Lakota and Aztecs (certainly not knock to your effort - just that you feel that’s the only position now!)

Lakota totally should be cavalry over everything and for their siege, the Arson Prowler sounds a more realistic proposition than the cannon. Just give them the resistance they need to have a chance to get close to their target.

Lakota just need a different perspective to their unit roster instead of being shoehorned into the standard format, as you’ve made clear previously.

As far for Aztecs - the same - they shouldn’t need artillery as they never used it.

Instead of the fictious arrow knights maybe they should have access to Commoner units later on. Cheap, fast on their feet with mediocre attack but great melee siege (using Digging Sticks) - the idea would be that you’d swam the enemy walls or artillery and rely on numbers.
All noble (ahem, ‘Knights’) should use flaming atlalts darts on structures (even if they’re not attacking with the darts by default).

Historically Aztec armies did rely on low rank and commoners to be the initial missile screening (slings and arrows - nobles tend to stick to atlalts rather than bow contrary to Arrow Knights) as well as the more menial battlefield jobs such as ladder construction and undermining of walls (siege was still a rare thing!).


tbh i dont think this is as big of a native problem as simply how artillery is dominating due to more res maps ensuring its easier to get into late game and afford artillery. Besides inca (getting addressed next patch) all these civs have multiple ways to demolish artillery but its the static forts and stuff liek fixed guns they really have no good answer to. Lakota cav with BB demolishes all artillery and its cav heavy force plus seige dance will make short work of buildings if you understand how to apply pressure at 2 spots (when not getting 2 shotted by fixed lmao guns) haude light cannons can beat culvs and seige all day if you know how to micro, and arrow knights already can be anti infantry if you understand how to move them back and forth (ERK/AK is the goon/cannon combo). Also all these civs have some sort of access to captured artillery should they need it.

from what ive seen the core issue is in current meta, defenders have a huge advantage and natives tend not to have the eco for the long grinds. inca overpop, aztecs run out of mines, haude quickly finishes games or cow booms (haude can have the best eco but they struggle to get the cards in supremecy) and lakota in general wants to end games; the civs aren’t meant for attrition warfare. This isnt soley natives, TAD civs and even some euro civs like brits and italy dont want to get into these long drag out games. the truth is, culvs plus multiple forts/towers/etc and walls plus some cannons is far cost effective to defend than anything else in the meta, and causes aggressive civs to suffer.

if devs fixed the ease on which civs can plop forts walls and camp in a corner till all their eco cards hit, then all these issues for natives would be reduced significantly without adding to the messy meta. Its not as exciting to hone existing stuff as introducing new shiny things, but from a semiserious standpoint the trend towards defender from legacy aggressiveness has swung too far and the issues wont be fixed until the core mechanics are examined. imho


thanks for typing that all out, I agree with more or less everything here


“Prarie Gun” is just as out to lunch as Captured Howitzer. Neither of these have any basis in reality and should not be in the game full stop. Only the natives that used cannons (Inca, Hauds, Cree, Mapuche, Maya, Haida, Guarani, etc) should have access to Light Cannons or some other artillery.

The natives that never ever used artillery should be given artillery equivalents based on native technology. Doing so may stretch the plausibility of their use, but at least it wouldn’t be entirely fictional like Captured Howitzers.

Right now we have Arrow Knights and Huaracas as artillery equivalents that use native technology. Huaracs are a joke in this role. With only 12 range they get absolutely shredded on approach and don’t counter artillery at all. They’re completely unsuitable for this role, and should be more of a grenadier-skirm like Firethrowers instead of an artillery equivalent. Arrow Knights are only passable because they have an absolutely stupid range of 30. A bow capable of outranging most artillery and every single rifleman in the game takes more than a reasonable amount of suspension of disbelief.

Some solutions based on native technology should be somewhat plausible and have other strengths to make them usable without needing a fictional range.

  1. Range - Make their base range as low as practically possible to keep it realistic. Use new mechanics like the Skill Promotion to let them gain range after successful engagements. You could probably go as low as 24 range (27 fully promoted) and still have them be viable.

  2. Resiliency - They don’t necessarily need to tank a direct hit, but give them a decent amount of health and siege resistance so that they can at least shrug off some artillery splash damage. Avoiding the infantry tag and going with ranged shock infantry where reasonable would also help avoid the multipliers of most artillery.

  3. Lingering Damage - You don’t have to outrange your target if you can keep dishing out damage after you are gone. Lingering fire and poison damage would work very well for native artillery equivalents. When attacking buildings, they could set them ablaze to deal lingering damage just like the card Siege Archery. When attacking units, poison damage could be used to increase damage duration and bypass the massive range resistance of most artillery.

  4. Mobility - Having high enough mobility to be able to shoot and scoot would let you avoid the worst of artillery fire and keep your units alive longer. It would also let you make the most of lingering fire and poison damage.

With the above points in mind, I’d suggest two units to fill the artillery role for the various native civs:

Lacrosse Runner (North American Natives)

For the North American Natives, I’d give them a Lacrosse/Tewaaraton/Chanskopa Runner. At first glance, it looks like just a sport, but it was instrumental in training warriors, played a role in several sieges, and was used for hurling flaming projectiles to aid in hunting. They would make the most sense as a ranged shock infantry unit, so they’d avoid most artillery bonus damage and have high mobility.

This unit would be applicable to the Haudenosaunee, Lakota, Comanche, Cree, Muscogee, etc.

Jungle Archer (Mesoamerican & South American Natives)

For the Mesoamerican and South American Natives, I’d merge the Arrow Knight and Jungle Bowman into a more generic siege and anti-artillery “Jungle Archer” (or just keep the Jungle Bowman name). Utilizing poison damage would let it bypass artillery resistance and be an effective counter. It should also have a higher speed and more resistance, but lower range and rate of fire than current Arrow Knights.

This unit would be applicable to the Aztecs, Inca, Maya, Guarani, etc.

To replace the Jungle Bowman’s light infantry role, Otonotin Slingers could be made into a generic Slinger unit also available to Incas, Maya, etc. Huracas would also serve as more advanced light infantry.

Light Cannon (Various)

It would make sense to have this available in later ages for Inca, Hauds, Cree, Mapuche, and Maya as they all used cannons to a limited degree. Similarly, Battering Rams are also generic enough to be more widely available.

Other Artillery (Future Civs)

Carronade - The Haida captured artillery from ships so they could have a cannon with a naval background. It could also be shared with potential civs like Maori and Hawaiians.

Tacuaruzu Gun - The Guarani constructed wooden cannons out of tacuaruzu cane. They were quite makeshift and would make the most sense in a role similar to a Leather Cannon. Jungle Archers could fill the anti-artillery and siege role for Guarani.

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Lomg range siege is a MUST TO HAVE, aztecs already have high siege melee infantry (better on TAD), if devs give them mortars was for a reason. The reasonless thing is to make them worse than europeans pop-wise while they dont get artillery techs and share basic stats (and are available at age IV/V)

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(First I want to say that I don’t know if it’s a good idea, it’s just an idea)

Maybe some native Civs can train a unit called “Capturer” (or Seizer, some name like that) which for example, can be a shock infantry unit with bonus against artillery, which if it kills an artillery unit, captures it. The unit that dealt the final blow is wiped out and the artillery piece switches sides, now operated by natives. Captured artillery units may have their hit points and attack reduced if necessary.

It is possible that these units can capture any type of firearm, if they kill a unit with a musket they become native musketeers, if they kill a unit with a rifle they become native riflemen, etc.

This is just an example, the idea is to consider some mechanic to capture artillery, which can be done in other ways.

AoE 3 has never claimed to be a historically accurate game. In this game, gameplay matters more than historical accuracy. The Aztecs need a unit that can counter ranged cannons in order to play. that’s why the AK exists in the game.

If we’re going to make the game historically accurate, have Mexico and the United States be revolutions, let soldiers have the same stats as musketeers, let hatamotos not massacre every melee unit in the game, have JKPs be defeated by rodeleros, that the Amazons of Dahomey are defeated by musketeers, that infantry is much slower than cavalry, etc.


dont forget that half you units health depletes at random due to disease and your mercs attack your own farms if your coin dips below 0
Also randomly have cease fires cause some new king got the throne, or you randomly loose to germans due to dynastic reasons. wouldnt that be “fun?” Just like my dwarf fortress days XD
realism is good, relations to events are good, and gameplay is important. you cant go too far in one direction and make a game appealing.


I can’t even begin to list the number of historically inaccurate things you just stated. If you’ve nothing helpful to add to the thread, then please move on. Changing civs to be more respectful and historical won’t reduce your enjoyment of the game.


This is a very compelling argument for prioritizing realism. All of these things would make the game objectively better.

Realism grounds the game and often makes it better. It inspires unique attributes that give the game its flavour. Leveling that uniqueness by giving everyone nonsense cannons “for balance” or giving them “fur trading” that is just collecting from an outhouse next to a mine is just bad.

Giving the natives unique ways to fill the artillery role with their own technology is much better than giving everyone the exact same units. That approach is one of the things that made AoE4 so bland and devoid of fun.


Replacing the Tashunke Prowler with the Itkunyan Prowler would give the Lakota a better approach to siege that is far more healthy than the Charging Ceremony. Remove all siege focus from the Lakota cavalry and put it onto the IP - the Lakota have enough cavalry units that a super-niche siege cavalry would work just fine.

In the mean time, giving the Cetan Bowman the siege range as part of its Champion level upgrade rather than needing a card for it would help, as well as changing the name of the unit to something that actually makes sense. (Seriously; Where did Hawk Bow come from?)

Let me guess, you want something like the Desert Raider?
In my opinion, this would make the Lakota stronger in supremacy, which may be not bad, but in treaty, it’s very likely not helpful.

Lakota didn’t have Mortars before, and the reason why the developers provided them with those is because lack of long range siege means is very, very bad in treaty. In the face of layer after layer of Walls and Outposts, other artillery units are far less effective than Mortars. The developers went to great lengths to “create” Captured Mortars to solve the problem, just as they created the canoe-using navy for Lakota.

If it had to be a cavalry unit, the cavalry would throw torches unreasonably far, with a range of about 30. If you think it’s unreasonable that Arrow Knights can shoot arrows farther than Longbowmen, then throwing a torch so far will be even more so. Not to mention, the longer the range, the slower the movement must be, which is counterintuitive to the fact that cavalry should be mobile.

While I personally think that the existence of Captured Mortars is consistent with the expression of creative freedom for thee game as a work of entertainment, if this really has to be changed, a trivial idea of mine is to change Captured Mortars to Renegade Mortars, and in appearance let tham go back to the look of the Europeans. In my opinion, this makes far more sense than the Prairie Gun.


What? No. The Itkunyan Prowler would be a siege cavalry trooper, likely with a grenadier-like siege attack (same as the Arsonist) against buildings at a range of something like 10 or so and leave the building burning for a few seconds after. A large shield given to the unit would provide reason to give it a hefty ranged resist, up to something like 50%, and as a cavalry unit, it would be resistant to artillery already.

Not really, the Aztec tlahuitolli was noted to have equal range to the English longbow, if not greater. I’ve only found one account from someone who’s seen both in action, but the consensus from that dude was that the Aztec tlahuitolli matched the English longbow in all respects and likely could have shot further.

Having played literally hundreds of games of Lakota in treaty from legacy, I’d say it’s only bad if you’re playing badly. The Lakota military is 90% cavalry, which alone makes them incredibly resistant to artillery masses from behind walls. Add on the high siege that cavalry like the Axe Rider and Tokala Soldier get and walls aren’t really going to stop the cavalry from advancing in treaty.

The main problem Lakota has - and always will have, without a major rework - is that their economy can never be good enough to sustain their military in treaty, because their units are hella strong and hella expensive in a manner that’s unreasonable to mass produce.

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You know the french had to deploy machine guns to fully defeat the Dahomey, right?

Because your argument quickly descended into “har-har, indigenous peoples are poor and primitive and helpless against mighty european weapons” rather than actual, you know, history.


I don’t think I said anything offensive; I don’t know why you bothered. Regarding historical inaccuracy:

The independence of Mexico began in 1810.

The independence of the United States began in 1775.

The musketeers in Mexico do not have the reputation of being much better than the European musketeers

There is no evidence that the samurai were better swordsmen than the Europeans.

the Aztecs were defeated by the Spanish and their indigenous allies. In addition, the jaguar warriors were armed with lithic technology.

The Dahomey Amazons were defeated by French musketeers in melee combat.

There is no human being that runs faster than a horse.

There are only seven examples. Don’t you have the ability to list up to seven historical inaccuracies?

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