Suggestions to improve the accuracy of Asian Outlaws

Wokou was a specific pirate organizations and culture, who should not be the title of all East Asian outlaws. The current practice of treating all East Asian outlaws as Wokou is not only far from reality, but also a wasteful practice. In East Asia, there are more material available as outlaws. Here are some suggestions for getting more diversity.

  • Rename Wokou Pirate to Wokou.
    The image of Wokou Pirate is the closest to the real Wokou, especially the Chinese pirates in the late Ming Dynasty, so they can be named to just the term “Wokou”. Let Wokou be themselves only.

  • Rename Wokou Horseman to Mazei (馬賊).
    Mazei literally means mounted brigands. They robbed villages and highways by Mounted archery, active in North China and Manchuria from the late Ming Dynasty to the Second Sino-Japanese War. When they are about to attack, they will fire whistling arrows to alert their victims, which earns them the another name “Xiangmazei” (響馬賊, literally means whistling arrow bandits).
    The treasure guardian version renamed to Rebel Horsemen.
    More details can be found here.

  • Use the module of Wokou Ronin to Ronin’s one.
    Even if a ronin engages in piracy, his essence is still a ronin. I think it’s strange to divide the ronin into two types, especially Wokou Pirates are heavy infantry too, so Wokou Ronin can be removed, and Wokou (Pirates)'s stats and cost can be strenthened and increased.
    You may know that the mercenary Ronin and Hatamoto Samurai share the same skin. Their current skin can exclusively be left to Hatamoto, and Ronin can use the Wokou Ronin’s one. This way each of them can have their own skin.

  • Introduce Liukou (流寇)
    As a new unit to make up for the removal of the Wokou Ronin. Hand shock infantry and siege outlaw, having good siege attack.
    They were peasants who became groups of roving bandits after the uprising. As the most famous bandit culture in China, directly caused the demise of the Ming Dynasty, and dealt a severe blow to the Qing dynasty. In the timeline of AoE3, many rebellions in China were caused by them, such as Li Zicheng’s Rebellion, Nian Rebellion, and White Lotus Rebellion. The most famous Taiping Rebellion is essentially the same as them.
    The treasure guardian version is named Rebel Remnant.

  • Change Wokou Monk
    Wokou Monk is a unit based almost entirely on stereotypes. I seriously doubt it’s based on a scene of the 1993 Hong Kong movie Fong Sai-yuk or the 2003 Japanese movie Zatoichi. The protagonists of both films are not monks, and the former is even a Xiangmazei from Shandong Province. What’s even more ridiculous is that the devs not only made this monk an outlaw, but even made him do more damage to villagers and lose his integrity as a monk.
    If we don’t want to remove him, he can change his name to Blind Monk and become a mercenary unit, no longer as an outlaw, and the treasure guardian Blind Monk can be renamed to Corrupted Monk.

  • Introduce Mountain Bandit (山賊)
    As a new unit to make up for the change of the Wokou Monk. Archer outlaw, high attack multiplier against heavy infantry. Common type of traditional banditry in East Asia, called Sanzoku in Japanese and Shanzei in Mandarin.
    The treasure guardian version is named Rebel Archer.

  • Wokou Junk
    Since it is called “Wokou” Junk, it should not able to train Mazei, Liukou and Mountain Bandit.
    Otherwise it need to be renamed to maybe Outlaw Junk or other else.

Maratha was an powerful Empire, should not be the title of South Asian outlaws too.
We can just name them “Dacoit”, “Thuggee” and “Bandit Catamaran”.
At the price of 100 wood, Catamaran should be like the native American canoe and its African variant which cannot train outlaws.

This thread is based on my thread about remaking the Asian civs.


This would be a good name for Indian bandit’s.


Interesting name.

Western outlaws have no title. I think the Asian outlaws do not need any title too.
Pindari can be a heavy hand cavalry outlaw unit, so there can be the 3rd South Asian outlaws.

Btw, Arsonists are criminals. They should be outlaw units instead of mercenary.


age 2 arsonists with outlaw scaling :grin:

This is an interesting post, I think that step zero for these to be used and viable is to reduce asian outlaws pop. Otherwise no matter how good the ideas might be, we’ll see little of them

High population is Outlaw’s main weakness in the early game.
But yeah, I also think they could reduce their population by one each.

In my conception, Liukou is a cheap, fast-training, low-hp hand shock infantry outlaw unit, so they can use just 2 pop.


I agree on most of stuff but . . .
FFS !!! Just decrease the cost/pop of Jat Lancer ! its disasterously over-priced and overpopped!


Yeah it is too expensive to use.
But it is mercenary instead of outlaws so I didn’t mention it above.

By the way, in my thread about remaking the Asian civs I attached, I even add 3 new Indian mercenary units (Rajput Knight, Gurkha Rifleman, Maratha Light Infantry) as a side effect of making Indian Barracks units more accurate. If you are interested, welcome to check.

Yea the Pindari seems quite accurate. It actually fulfills the purpose and the tag of Outlaw practically and historically as well.

Meanwhile Rajputs as a mercenary is a trippy concept, as there were/are Rajput kingdoms that have stood the test of time. And the biggest state by land area, literally named after them. And as most of Indian history goes, Rajputs have been always involved in defensive wars, so it a not exactly makes a sense to make a Rajput mercenary. Also the title of knight doesn’t suit/goes well after a Rajput.

On the other hand Gurkha is Nepalese, and have proved their might defending against and for the British/Nepalese/Indians, and are more suitable to have a mercenary tag. I’m fine anyways, until and unless there is a skirm unit in barracks.

Maratha light inf can be a decent Idea but still debatable to a smaller extent.

Meanwhile a Jat Lancer is more historically/practically accurate to have mercenary tag. Although there was a resilient Sikh Empire. Still, in later decades, Sikhs/Jats have fought for the British, have turned the tides for very important battles, during both world wars for the Britishers. So a Jat Lancer or some other similar unit from unit in later ages will be more suitable for a mercenary tag.

As far as I know, the Rajputs would provide armies to the rulers of India (Mughals and later the British) as long as the interests of the Rajput nobles were respected. The use of the word “knight” is to emphasize his nobility, a feeling that is not present when the word “cavalry” is used.

In my design, Rajput Knight is an intrepid ranged cavalry mercenary, using a recurve bow and a khanda sword. Having as same statistic values as Yojimbo, and replacing the position of Yojimbo.
Meanwhile, removes Yojimbo to reduce the number of movie tropes for Asian civs.

Btw, Yojimbo, a unit 100% based entirely on stereotypes, literally just means bodyguards, not important enough to be introduced into the game as a unit in my opinion.

It is a pity that the peoples like the Rajputs and Gurkhas with outstanding military exploits is the ordinary units at Barrack. Meanwhile, it is not a good design to bind regular military units to ethnic groups.

The Mughal Empire has historically had its infantry troop, Shamsherbaz and Banduqchi.
Shamsherbaz are renamed from current Rajputs, and were elite heavy infantry companies of highly skilled swordsmen. Banduqchis are the new cheap skirmishers who formed the bulk of the Mughal infantry. Cheap, weak, gathered easily, similar to Strelets and trainable at Barrack in the Commerce Age.

In my design, Maratha Light Infantry is an agile ranged shock infantry with a matchlock or a flintlock musket, good at countering cavalry and shock infantry.

The Maratha Empire army, rival of the Mughal Empire, will use it as their representative in the game, just like Iron Troop representing one of the Qing Dynasty’s rival, Koxinga’s Kingdom of Tungning.

According to the wiki page, Shivaji gave more emphasis to infantry as against cavalry, considering the rugged mountainous terrain he operated in. Further, Shivaji did not have access to the North Indian Mughal dominated horse markets. During this era, the armies of the Marathas were known for their agility due to the light equipment of both infantry and cavalry.

Well Rajput itself is a keyword in itself, is symbolizes a Warrior Clan/Tradition. Rajput Kingdoms have always been at the fore front of waves of, many Invasions attempts, into the subcontinent. and have defended against many of them, even before the Mughals.
When the Mughals were at their Peak, Rajputs were the Rivals of Mughals, and eventually Mughals had to use Treaties and Marital agreements, in order to avoid blood shed that a war with any Renowned Rajput kingdom, could bring upon both parties.
So eventually the peak of Mughal Empire during Akbar’s reign, Many of the Rajputs were posted as top positions in Mughal court and General of Army, etc. Yet !! the Remaining Kingdoms Remained the Arch Rival.

The Stature of Rajputs is similar to Marathas, despite the difference in Size and time frame between them.

Mughal’s greatest strategic achievement was that, at any given moment, they didn’t face combined forces of Marathas and Rajputs.
In fact, Maratha and Rajputs are the two respected Warrior Bloodlines/Ethnicites/Tradition (IDK the exact Word).

Marathas Being Masters of Gorilla warfare tactics and Agility in Deccan, while Rajputs Ruled Thar desert and Rajputana and believed more in fair face to face battles. Just to emphasise, even the game has Tower of victory wonder, that is a Rajput Monument, built 100 years , before introduction of Mughals.
You can expect Rajput forces to be consisted of heavy Cav and Heavy Infantry mostly, and Maratha forces to be more diverse/agile and quirky(in a sense), along with a Formidable Navy so as so, to reconquer and drive away Portugese.

Well, its very hard to pin point what can or cannot be implemented as a mercenary, a Marathan or Rajputana Merc is slightly off the track. As they were independent, active powers of the subcontinent at their respective times periods.

Since the Indian civ is specifically the Mughul Empire, so the Rajputs and Marathans have to be introduced as other units. Mercenary is actually a good way. They can fight with Indians against other civs, and can also fight with others against Indians. Better than being a part of the Indian civ.

You might know that the Chinese civ is specifically the Qing Dynasty (1636 - 1911).

The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing was completed in 1431 during the Ming Dynasty.
The earliest Confucian Academy was established by 124 BCE during the Han Dynasty.
The White Pagoda was constructed during the Yuan Dynasty, and rebuilt later during the Ming Dynasty.
The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty.
Only the Summer Palace was mainly expand during the Qing Dynasty.

Basically, the choice of wonders doesn’t care about time and place at all.
Besides, I do not like the stereotype-based wonder mechanics either. These old magnificent buildings should remain in the motherland and home city, not in the new town in the Americas or Africa.
The British won’t build Westminster Abbey in Boston, the French won’t build Notre Dame in Quebec, the Spaniards won’t build Torre del Oro in Mexico, the Russians won’t build the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in Alaska…

It is quite fine to be mercenary.

Look at the Iron Troop of Koxinga’s Kingdom of Tungning, an independent kingdom dedicated to fighting the Qing Dynasty and restoring the Ming Dynasty. The villages of ninjas had substantial autonomy and were not ruled by the daimyo while they were active. The Kingdom of Nepal was also an independent force that fought against Qing China and the British East India Company. Not to mention the Swiss Confederation.

Many units that do not belong to existing civs, if they are not suitable as natives, can be introduced into the game as mercenaries, just like Stradiot from Albania, Elmeti from Italy, Kanuri Guard from Kingdom of Kanem-Bornu, Sennar Horseman from Sennar Sultanate, and original Fusilier and Hackapell from Sweden and Finland.

I always thought indians represent the british raj as they have sepoys and the campaign is about the sepoy rebellion.

Actually Mughal Empire also had sepoys.

The flag, the AI persona and many details shows it is Mughal.
The campaign of AoE3 cannot be regarded as introduction of the civs in my opinion.
The Chinese one even is based on the voyages in the early Ming Dynasty.

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Chinese are primarily represented by Qing but also late Ming, just like British represent the earlier English.

I agree with wonders being anachronistic and out of place. I think they could solve it with a simple reskin and new names. Make them less of a “Wonder” and more like a Factory.

Confucian AcademyFireworks Workshop,
Porcelain TowerCustoms House, etc. Functionality unchanged but much more fitting themes for a colonial outpost.

Did the Britons build their government upon the overthrow of the English?

Chinese are Qing. They don’t need to have a part of the Ming, even if they have, it is almost trivial.

Not every Wonders can be in this way.
You may need to check this. I have already found the solutions for them.

Porcelain Tower better become Trade Workshop.

This would be a big improvement over their current depictions. I’ve been brainstorming how to improve the accuracy of all the different outlaws and this was my take for Asia:

Africa could also use some improvements:

For the Asian ones, I took a slightly different approach with some.

Your suggestion for Mazei instead of Wokou Horsemen is an excellent fit. I like the name Xiangmazei a little more though since it captures the archer aspect of the unit.

Wokou Ronin are basically Kabukimono so there’s no need to replace them, just rename. They’re also are the precursor to the infamous Yakuza.

Wokou Monks could be reworked based on actual rebel monks like those of the White Lotus so they could be retained in a modified form. If they were replaced, I think Shanlin would be a slightly better name. Shanzei seem a little more obscure and the few English sources I could find referred to earlier time periods. Shanlin seems to be more prevalent in the Qing era. That could just be due to translation difficulty.

Liukou also seem a bit too generic for my tastes. My preference for a similar unit would be the Hongmen/Tiandihui. They were a secret society that caused or supported many of the rebellions that you mentioned the Liukou being part of. They also later evolved into the modern Triad gangs as detailed here:

The current Wokou Ronin looks just like what ronins should be like, decadent masterless samurais.
Kabukimono should look more gorgeous and flamboyant, and it is a good source to replace the Yamabushi in Consulate since the religious unit should not in there in my opinion.

It doesn’t make much sense to have two outlaw units of the melee heavy infantry type in the same region.

The “monks” of organizations such as the White Lotus do not belong to the image of Buddhists.
What’s more, the Blind Monk with great fighting power is very full of movie-like imagination.

Well, it may be because you don’t understand Chinese or Japanese languages.

The word “Mountain Bandit (山賊)” is a very common term, just like the words arsonist, raider, and pirate. Once it is a bandit group that haunts the mountains or has its base in the mountains, it can be classified as a mountain bandit group in East Asia such as China, Japan, etc.

The Shanlin you mentioned is very unknown. Not even Wikipedia has a corresponding Chinese page.

Hongmen (洪門) and Tiandihui (天地會) are gangs that seek to overthrow the Qing Dynasty.
But I think outlaws should focus on the unit itself, not the organization, so Liukou is the term that best represents these Chinese bad rogues. To take an extreme example, like an unit should be named Terrorist or Jihadist, not Taliban or ISIS. Not to mention that the term Liukou is very iconic in the Chinese-speaking world.
It’s like there is a card called “Tiandihui” that ships 20 Liukou or something, although it seems odd that the Chinese (Qing Dynasty) have such a card.

I think the mercenary depiction of Ronin is fine. They are essentially the same as Japan’s Samurai unit so having them look similar helps with player recognition. To make the Wokou Ronin into a Kabukimono all that would need to be done is brighten up the colours of the unit model.

Not ideal, but they do serve different roles. Pirates are fast and Ronin are slow heavy hitters. Rattan Shields and Disciples already shock infantry so another Chinese shock infantry might be oversaturating things.

Yes, they might not have the same aesthetic but they would still be monks with Buddhist influences. White Lotus was syncretic and had Buddhist elements. It would just be the least intrusive way to update the unit.

I’d rather not be super generic with names so both Shanlin and Shanzei aren’t the best picks. I think Shanlin are only referenced due to an association with the Honghuzi, it probably isn’t a common term.

I think the Hongmen/Tiandihui have too much of a rich history to not get a reference. It could be something like “Tiandihui Triad” or “Hongmen Liukou” could be a good way to name them.

Belonging to the same type, requiring the same resources, and trained at the same buildings, Wokou Ronin and Wokou Pirate are not sufficiently different to create different strategical functions on most occasions. When the player decides to use outlaws, he/she always choose Wokou Ronin since it is more powerful.

Liukou could be a hand shock unit with strong siege attack, which makes it very different. Also, it is an outlaw unit so it could be used by every civs and does not need TP. If you compare outlaw units with other units rather than with also outlaw units, the barrack and stable units can already satisfy all you need.

Look at Pirates and Arsonists. Simple is good. Easy for players to understand and suitable for many occasions. Especially for players who speak Chinese or Japanese, the term 山賊 is more familiar.

Honghuzi is closer to the concept of Mazei (馬賊), and even Koreans call them ma-jeok (마적) which just literally means Mazei.

Liukou is just enough. No title needed for Asian outlaws. Simple is good.