The Indians are one of three major civilizations featured in the Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties expansion. They require Wood to train their Villagers; therefore, playing them will require an overhaul of the usual tactics used by traditional civilizations, making them essentially the "Dutch of the East". The Indians in-game are based on the Mughal Empire, which controlled the vast majority of present-day India and surrounding territories, under its illustrious ruler Akbar the Great under whom the empire reached its greatest extent.
Like the Spanish, the Indians' main advantage in battle is a wide and balanced selection of different types of units. The Indians have one of the most well-balanced army in the game. The Indians have a unit to fulfill every role in war - their Sepoys fight well as musketeers, the Gurkhas provide good skirmisher support, and Rajputs help shield the light infantry and assault enemy lines. The Indian hand cavalry, the Sowar, is fast, even when compared to other cavalry, although fairly fragile. The Indians have another hand infantry unit, the Urumi. The Urumi can only be sent from the Home City as it is one of the most vital constituents of any Indian force. The Urumi has bonuses against heavy infantry and ranged cavalry, although it is a hand infantry unit. The Indian dragoon is the Zamburak, equally quick footed as the Sowar, though just as fragile.
All Indian units are unique, although most are modelled after a particular European civilization's troops. The Mansabdar units can be visually identified easily during combat; protecting them is an important endeavor if they are trained.
Civilization Bonus: Villagers costs Wood instead of Food. They lack Villager shipment cards but receive free Villagers with every shipment sent. They cannot hunt from Herdables, but instead generate experience from them; even faster when tasked on a Sacred Field. They have some of the best wonders of the game.
In order to re-balance the generally fragile camel units of the Indians, the Indians' primary shock troopers are their mighty elephants - powerful cavalry units with incredibly high hitpoints, siege and splash damage. The Indians have four distinct elephant units, excluding their monks, each with a different role. The Indians have some of the most powerful cavalry units in the game.
Howdah - Powerful dragoon unit. Expensive with very high hitpoints and attack, it is excellent for its primary purpose - sniping enemy cavalry. It is also suitable for taking out artillery.
Flail Elephant - The cheapest elephant available. Has a good and very fast siege attack and is suitable against Artillery. With its high ranged resistance, it can bring down most fortifications without much cost of life and limb.
Siege Elephant - Basically a cannon on an elephant's back. As the name implies, the Siege Elephant is excellent at siege. However, it is also encompasses other artillery abilities, such as anti-artillery and ship bonus. Despite this, the Siege Elephant performs very poorly against troops, although they do have high hitpoints.
Mahout Lancer - This elephant unit is the strongest of all the elephant and the strongest cavalry in the game. Like the Cuirassier, it has high hitpoints, high resistance and a wide splash area. Although not that effective against Heavy Infantry, this unit is devastating against archers and skirmishers. Also more effective against buildings than the Howdah, but less effective than the castle ones.
The Charminar Gate wonder acts as a barracks and stable, however the units produced here are special and take on the name Mansabdar. They increase the attack and hitpoints of similar (Mahout Mansabdar boosts Mahout Lancers, etc.) nearby units by 10%.
The Indians' main economic distinction is that their villagers costs wood rather than food. Thus, instead of sending villagers to forage berries or hunt, an Indian player would be mostly chopping wood. This leaves them somewhat weakened if they are in a map with few trees. The Indian civilization will also need to distribute the wood stock between building houses or training villagers early in the game. Fortunately, Indian players will receive free villagers with every shipment, much like how Germans receive Uhlan with every shipment, although the Indians lack any villager shipment cards. Due to this unique ability, Indian players are considered to be far too reliant on the Home City card deck, thus, a blockade would be devastating.
Note: The villagers price can be changed from wood to food by the use of 'The Raj' shipment card.
The Indians are unable to slaughter cows due to religious reasons, but this is viewed as a bonus rather than a handicap (they are also free to slaughter other animals for food). When a cow is obtained it generates experience. It generates even more when tasked on a Sacred Field. This similarily applies to other livestock including Water Buffaloes, Yaks, Goats, Sheep, and Llamas .
Rates of xp gathering vary for different animals. A Sacred Cow (a cow will automatically get renamed to this after you acquired it) for example gathers 5xp/50sec while off a sacred field. A Llama on the other hand will gather 5xp/40sec (yes, faster than the Sacred Cow) while off a sacred field and 25xp/80sec while on it.
As a comparison a Trading Post on an unupgraded trade-route will give about 1.33xp/sec, of course in chunks every time the trade-travois comes by, regardless of the map or route-length.
Like other Asian civilizations, the Indians advances in Age through Wonder construction. Below is a list of Wonders available to the Indians and the bonuses they provide:
Tower of Victory - This wonder sends a shipment of Wood once built. It also unlocks the Inspiration ability, which boosts land units speed, hitpoints and damage for 15 seconds.
Agra Fort - Acts as a European Fortress. Initially, it can only train barracks units, but an upgrade available in the Fortress age and the Industrial Age can unlock the training of Stable and Castle units respectively. Sends Sepoys (Gurkhas after Fortress Age) after construction
The Karni Mata - Has the ability "Keeper of Rats" which boosts villager gathering within 36 range of the wonder. Sends all three resources once completed
Charminar Gate - This wonder sends Sowars if built to advance to the Colonial Age, but sends Mahouts if built later. Able to train Mansabdar units.
Taj Mahal - Once constructed, this wonder sends crates of coins. It also unlocks an ability, known as "Cease Fire". When activated, all units on the map cannot attack for 20 seconds, buildings, though, can still attack.
"The fall of India’s mighty Mughal Empire coincides with the rise of British rule in the subcontinent, occurring in the 18th century; yet even as the British established control, their arrival was little more than the last blow to an already struggling native dynasty. The Mughal Empire, bastion of high culture, geographic expansion, and military might, had fallen.
The Mughal Empire has its origins in neighboring Afghanistan and Turkestan, where descendents of the Mongol Empire had become Muslims and where the Muslim ruler Babur began forming the foundations of a new kingdom in 1504 with the seizure of Kabul, and territories leading east into the Indus River Valley. In 1526, he pushed further into India and defeated the last of the Delhi Sultans, Ibrahim Shah Lodi, at the First Battle of Panipat. Babur’s son Humayun succeeded him in 1530, but quickly lost most of the newly won territory. For a time he ruled in exile, but eventually raised an army large enough to march back to Delhi in 1555 and conquer it a second time.
Next in the line of succession was Humayun’s son Akbar, who succeeded his father on 14 February 1556, while in the midst of a war against Sikandar Shah for the reclamation of the Mughal throne. Akbar won his first victory at the age of 13 or 14, and quickly established himself as a confident ruler who had a vision for the future of his empire. He created fair taxes, built an efficient government, placed an emphasis on high culture, and encouraged radical religious tolerance. Because of his contributions, Akbar is considered the greatest of the Mughal rulers.
The Mughal Empire only lasted for another one hundred years. Its last great ruler was Aurangzeb Alangir, a zealous Muslim who abandoned the tolerance of his predecessors and began to crack down on other faiths, especially the Hindus. During his fifty-year reign, religious prejudice drove a wedge between the ruler and his subjects. Aurang’s intentions were to force the Hindus to convert. Temples were despoiled and a tax for non-Muslims was introduced.
Following Aurang, the Mughal Empire suffered from a lack of powerful authority, causing regional nawabs, or governors, to split and found their own kingdoms, such as the Marathas in the south and the Sikhs in the north. The next 27 years of the Mughal Empire were spent in clashes with its neighbors, and in 1739, invading Persian and Afghan armies invaded Delhi.
The greatest empire in India had crumbled and individual kingdoms rushed to gobble up the pieces. The stage was set for the British, who would overpower the smaller weakened kingdoms and in doing so would gain control the country."