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Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs

October 4th, 2007
An expansion set that adds more military improvements.

The War Chiefs is an expansion for Age of Empires III that allows play as one of three new civilizations – Aztec, Iroquois, or Sioux. While Age of Empires places the focus on a European home city and settlement, The War Chiefs moves the perspective of the game to native civilizations as a way of mixing things up a bit. The Aztec civilization is based upon a strong infantry; Iroquois strong artillery and siege weaponry; and Sioux a very strong cavalry.

Focus on war fighting

The War Chiefs places even more emphasis on military development and war fighting than does the basic game. Instead of economic improvements, most buildings offer military improvements. Another example of this change in emphasis is the “all military to this location” feature in exchange for resource trading. This button is located at the bottom portion of the mini map and orders every military unit that you control to one location on the map. This is helpful when your military unit size has out grown your saved groupings and cuts back on the time it takes to order all groups to fight in one area of the map. It is a fun feature but sometimes becomes irritating when an ally needs resources and you realize the familiar resource trading option has been eliminated from this game.

The fire pit

The fire pit is a unique option that really differentiates the game from the European civilizations. At the Pit, your Villagers can perform different dances, each providing its own specific benefit. For example, a Gift Dance will increase the rate at which your civilization accumulates Experience Points. Other dances spawn military units over time. The more Villagers you have dancing, the more effective the dance.

Revolution age

During the fourth age, you are given the opportunity to declare independence from your home city. Once you select this revolution option, every villager becomes a rebel and economic development ceases. Your military powers become substantial and new cards become available, including Gatling guns, ironclad ships, and additional militants. This option, which cannot be reversed, is meant for the player who is ready for a final military push and has all necessary economic resources on hand. It’s a do or die decision that makes you extremely strong, but only if you have the economic resources to see you through to victory.


For die-hard fans, this worthwhile expansion pack keeps the game interesting for quite some time. Some of the graphics are better than in the basic game. In addition, you can play 15 missions in a single player campaign. The War Chiefs is rated T for Teen due to blood and violence and ships as a Universal Binary release that can be operated natively either on Apple’s Intel-based or PowerPC Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher.

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Age of Empires III

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor
Improved graphics. Unique military upgrades. New single-player campaign. Cons
No resource trading option.