A Home City is the capital city of a civilization that provides economic and military shipments. Home Cities are a feature first introduced in Age of Empires III.
Every civilization has its own unique Home City, which add extra functionality to normal gameplay. Through the Home Cities, players can select and send shipments to their in-game colony. Shipments can deliver a variety of economic, land military and naval-oriented units or technology upgrades. Home Cities also enable more diverse or varied game-style decisions and situations. Players are also able to customize their Home City (except for native and Asian civilizations).
The real- life city locations of the Home Cities are the following:
- British: London
- Dutch: Amsterdam
- French: Paris
- Germans: Berlin
- Ottomans: Istanbul
- Portuguese: Lisbon
- Russians: St. Petersburg
- Spanish: Seville
In The Asian Dynasties expansion, the civilizations have:
Cards and Decks Edit
- See Home City Card.
Every civilization has a unique assortment of improvements, units, and resources that are called Cards, which can be sent to the "New World" colony as shipments. The higher the player's Home City level is the more Cards are available for use. The cards are also available by Ages, such as troops start coming in during the Colonial Age while Artillery start coming in at the Fortress Age.
There are five categories of cards, represented by a building in the Home City for European and Asian civilizations:
- Trading Company - Economic units and resources
- Military Academy - Soldiers and Military upgrades
- Cathedral - Improvements
- Manufacturing Plant - Advanced economic upgrades
- Harbor - Naval upgrades and mercenaries
All of the cards for a Home City are put in a group called a deck. A Home City starts with a standard deck of 15 cards. A deck can contain 20 cards plus one extra for every ten levels, to a maximum of 25. This forces players to make decisions and to only use the cards they believe to be the most important.
Experience Points Edit
Experience Points, or "XP", are points gained by destroying enemy units and buildings, building units or buildings, picking up treasures, or just simply being in the game. It's actually a fourth resource that is collected over time, much like Favor in Age of Mythology. XP automatically generates, but not nearly fast enough to give immediate shipments. The amount of XP gained from training or killing units depends on total resource cost, it is usually about 1 XP per 10 resources for units. The same applies for the construction of buildings. Destroying a military building will give twice as much XP as constructing it, while destroying an economic building will provide four times the XP.Once a certain amount of XP is acquired a shipment is provided. As the game progresses, each additional shipment requires a greater amount of XP. Gaining control of more Trade Posts increases the amount of XP gained.
All Home Cities begin at level 1 and are provided with 15 cards. As more XP is gained the Home City is able to level up and a new card can be added to the deck.
Choosing cards must be done carefully and a certain amount of strategy must be used. Unlocking a large amount of military cards allows for the quick creation of an army for rushing but may hinder economic development. This can cause a disadvantage later on should the initial attack fail. On the other hand, only developing the economy may result in a vulnerability to surprise attacks.
Many cards must be unlocked through reaching a certain level Home City before becoming available. Some cards can also require other cards as prerequisites. Focusing on specific units or technologies minimizes the amount of cards that need to be purchased.
There are several ways the Home City can be customized so it looks unique from any other player's Home City. Customizations are varied; some provide entertainment to the streets of the Home City (Jugglers, Artists, Drunks...), or even market vendors and nobles. The design the buildings can be modified through the building color, adding "Market Day" flags, etc.
Customizations are unlocked as the Home City level increases.
NOTE: Only European Home Cities contain customizations. Native American and Asian civilizations cannot customize their Home Cities.