Ashigaru Musketeer
Ashigaru Icon
First appearanceThe Asian Dynasties
Heavy infantry
Cost80 foodIcon food
40 coinIcon coin
AgeAges colonial Colonial Age
Base hit points170
Pop. use1
Line of Sight16
Resists20% vs. Melee
Melee damage10
Melee multipliersx3.5 vs. Cavalry
x2.0 vs. Light infantry
Range damage24
Siege damage21
Siege range6
Rate of Fire1.5 / 3.0 (Melee/Ranged)
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The Ashigaru Musketeer is a Japanese ranged heavy infantry unit featured in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties.

Overview Edit

Ashigaru are trained from the Barracks and can be built in the Colonial Age. They are relatively cheap and cost only one population. They are strong against Light infantry and cavalry in melee. Like most heavy infantry, Ashigaru can be easily defeated by artillery, and are weak to skirmishers.

Single-player campaign Edit

In the single player campaign, the player will find themselves creating a great deal of these units. The reason for this is that they are cheap and effective. The computer AI does not present much of a challenge at all even on the hard difficulty level and thus the player will not need to do anything more than mass-produce this unit.

Skirmish and multiplayer Edit

In skirmish and multiplayer, the Ashigaru is the same in all respects. One of the extraordinary advantages of the Japanese musketeer is the upgrade stacking advantages it gets. Between the Golden Pavilion passive boost, the Golden Pavilion Arsenal Techs, the regular Arsenal Techs (acquired by allying with Dutch in the consulate), the Ashigaru attack cards, the passive consulate boost, the Daimyo boost, and the Shogun boost, the Ashigaru can reach very high power in the early ages, making them difficult to counter.

Upgrades Edit

The overall stats for Ashigaru Musketeer can be improved by sending improvement-based shipments.

Disciplined Ashigaru Musketeer Edit

Disciplined Ashigaru Musketeer is the first upgrade for the Ashigaru Musketeer. It is available for 100 coinIcon coin and 200 woodResources wood once Fortress Age is reached.

Hit Points: +20% (204)
Hand Attack: +20% (15)
Ranged Attack: +20% (36)
Siege Attack: +20% (27)

Honored Ashigaru Edit

Honored Ashigaru is the second upgrade for the Ashigaru Musketeer. It is available for 600 coinIcon coin and 600 woodResources wood once Industrial Age is reached.

Hit Points: +30% (255)
Hand Attack: +30% (18)
Ranged Attack: +30% (45)
Siege Attack: +30% (34)

Exalted Ashigaru Edit

Exalted Ashigaru is the third upgrade for the Ashigaru Musketeer. It is available for 1500 coinIcon coin and 1500 woodResources wood once Imperial Age is reached.

Hit Points: +50% (340)
Hand Attack: +50% (25)
Ranged Attack: +50% (60)
Siege Attack: +50% (46)

Strategy Edit

Note: Ashigaru were weakened in later patches, but remained one of the strongest and most expensive musketeer type units. The Spanish unction musketeers still remain the hardest hitting musketeer, but they have fewer hit points. Other powerful musketeers include Indian Sepoys, British Redcoats, and Portuguese Guerreros.

Ashigarus are quite powerful, however, they can become more powerful by stacking upgrades. It is possible for the Ashigaru to have around 140 hand attack to cavalry and slightly above 80 attack in ranged mode.

  1. Send Close Combat and Ashigaru attack cards from the Home City.
  2. Configure Golden Pavilion to ranged mode.
  3. Send Shogun Tokugawa and a daimyo.
  4. Have British/Dutch/Portuguese allies send TEAM infantry hit points.
  5. Have French allies send TEAM ranged attack bonus.
  6. Have an Indian ally send Attack and Hit point Tactics.
  7. If playing on an Asian Dynasties map, try to find the "guide to healthy living" treasure for a small yet significant hit points boost.
  8. Research Dutch arsenal and Wonder upgrades.
  9. Set consulate to isolation for extra attack and hit points.
  10. Ally with natives and get infantry attack bonuses. Some allies to consider are Shaolin and Zapotec for increasing hand attack, Cree and Bhakti Temple for increasing overall attack and hit points, Maya for increasing hit points and many other tribes/temples.
  11. Research regular upgrades through the barracks.

It is possible for Ashigarus to have around 500 hit points, 80 ranged attack, 140/70 attack against cavalry and light infantry, all while maintaining a relatively cheap cost (with shogunate, native upgrades, and cost-lowering treasures) and good speed. Usually, Ashigaru stats can only be maxed out in treaty games. This is extremely effective since they only cost one population slot. Something to note is that Ashigaru musketeers have about twice the stats (not hit points) of a Russian Musketeer if all the above is done.

History Edit

"During the Heian Period (794-1185 CE), Japan’s system of a centralized military began to rapidly disintegrate with the rise of the warrior aristocracy. This left the creation and training of armies once again in the hands of powerful local lords. The ashigaru, which means “light-foot” or lightly armored, filled a growing need for enlisted warriors. They were the lowest class of warriors, commoners who were paid a stipend to enlarge a lord’s local army. Because they essentially fought as contractors, the ashigaru often had to provide their own provisions and were not always as reliable as their commanders would have liked.

However, the status of the ashigaru evolved dramatically in the fifteenth century, following the introduction of European firearms to Japanese warfare. The arquebus required very little training to operate properly, unlike the use of a bow, which was considered an art form. By equipping his many ashigaru with guns, a local daimyo could complement his samurai warriors with a constant and brutal ranged attack. Thus, the ashigaru quickly became indispensable.

The most famous ashigaru to rise to prominence was Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the warrior turned powerful daimyo that spent the final years of the sixteenth century seeking to unite the disparate feudal warlords of Japan.

Gallery Edit