Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs
In the original Age of Empires III, Native American cultures made cameos, but weren’t included as playable civilizations. Ensemble Studios remedies this in the expansion pack Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. Each player now controls one of three Native American civilizations: the Iroquois Confederacy, the Sioux Nation or the Aztec Empire.
What makes the game great from a historical standpoint is how gameplay differs between each culture. Historically, the Iroquois adapted steel and gunpowder from European colonists, thus the virtual Iroquois boast a strong infantry and cavalry with rifles and cannons. The Sioux led a nomadic lifestyle transformed by the Spanish introduction of horses to the Great Plains in the 15th century. Their mobility is their great strength. Stretching from about 1325 to 1521, the Aztec Empire saw little European influence and relied on large infantry forces. Here, the Aztecs use the spear and atlatl—a spear-throwing shaft greatly feared by Spanish conquistadors.
The storyline of the single-player campaign follows the fictional Nathaniel Black and his son Chayton. Joining his Iroquois allies, Nathaniel fights in the American Revolution, while Chayton fights alongside the Sioux Nation in the Sioux Wars during the latter half of the 19th century. The Aztec Empire is only available in multiplayer mode.
Originally published in the May 2007 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.