There are many units with a name containing Scout or that perform a scouting role in the Age of Empires series. Scouts are typically fast-moving and have a high Line of Sight, but are poor at fighting or non-combatant. Scouts are essential in the early game; they uncover nearby areas of the map, finding resources, items and enemies. In some cases there are other units that can fulfill this role or can complement scouting.
Age of EmpiresEdit
In Age of Empires, the Scout is the earliest and weakest cavalry unit. There is also a ship called Scout Ship; this is the weakest of all warships in the game. Neither of these units is available until the Tool Age. Therefore, in the Stone Age, players often use a Villager or Clubman to explore the land and a Fishing Ship to explore the water instead of the designated units.
Age of Empires IIEdit
In Age of Empires II, there are two main scouting units:
Many players also use their herdables to complement scouting near their Town Center. This requires heavy micromanagement as the player runs the risk to lose some of their herdables, but has the advantage of letting the Scout unit explore other parts of the map as it will not be required to explore the surroundings of the Town Center.
Age of MythologyEdit
In Age of Mythology each culture has one designated scout unit, and some civilizations have additional scout units. The Greek designated scout is the Kataskopos, which is a starting unit – more cannot be trained. All Greek civilizations can train the Pegasus once they have a Temple, and Poseidon players also have the Hippocampus, which appears for free at the Dock. The Egyptian designated scout is the Priest, though Spearmen and other units are more suitable from the Classical Age. Set, however, has animal units that greatly help with exploration. The Norse have the Ulfsark as their scout, and Odin also has Ravens that help with scouting from the Classical Age. Atlanteans use Oracles and Oracle Heroes for scouting. Chinese can use Scout Cavalry to scout the map. Beside the scouts there are some god powers that can be used to explore the map, such as Loki's Spy, and Set's Vision.
Originally all civilizations were to have Scout Cavalry, which also functioned as Trash Cavalry, however this was changed to make them more unique.
Age of Empires IIIEdit
In Age of Empires III scouting and exploring units play an important role. European civilizations start with a special unit called the Explorer, Asian civilizations start with a Monk and American civilizations start with a War Chief. These three types of unit have special abilities that helps to explore the map, serve in combat, they can build Trading Posts and Town Centers and take treasures on the map that are vital in the early and mid game.
Beside these main scouting units there are also another scouts that can be obtained through treasures, training and shipments:
- There are special Native Scouts which may be found randomly at a map guarded by Treasure Guardians, Native American civilizations can also train them after they get a specific shipment, and the French start with one.
- Dutch have the Envoy that is very similar to the native scout.
- European civilizations can get a Dog through a special shipment, excluding the Spanish, whose Explorer can train War Dogs.
- Non-European civilizations can also train pet animals through their war chief or monk after a specific shipment has been sent, except for the Chinese, who can train Disciples and start with one.
- Warchiefs can also convert Treasure Guardians and these can be useful for scouting.
- There are shipments for European civilizations that allows to have a Hot Air Balloon that helps exploring.
- Aztecs also start with a Warrior Priest, which is generally not used for scouting, but for dancing at the Fire Pit.
- Civilizations allied with a Chinese player can get 2Mongol Scouts after the Chinese gets a team shipment, Chinese also starts with one.
- in Plymouth map, all players starts with an " Intrepid Turkey " that helps scouting but if killed by an opponent it gives food.
In Age of Empires III there is also a politician named The Scout that can be selected as an age advancement bonus for some European civilizations.