|First Appearance||Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties|
|Cost||30 Food ,|
|Age Available||Colonial Age|
|Base Hit Points||150|
|Resists||20% vs. Ranged Damage|
|R.O.F.||1.5 / 3.0 (Melee/Ranged)|
The Shinobi or the Shinobi-No-Mono are ranged infantry units available to the Japanese in the Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties expansion. They have strong ranged and siege attacks, along with the ability to engage in stealth.
Shinobi are recruited from the Consulate with the Japanese Isolation feature. The Shinobi costs 80 Export or from Shogun Tokugawa for 30 food and 85 coin. The consulate variety is stronger than the shogun's, but more expensive overall.
This unit is a high attack archer unit that is strong against Heavy Infantry at range, and also fares well against Light Infantry. The Shinobi-No-Mono is weak against all hand cavalry units, cannons, and melee attacks, so it has to be careful in combat due to its low hitpoints. Thankfully, it can go stealth to avoid enemy contact, but beware of Hero units, who can reveal the Shinobi's presence.
An odd characteristic of Shinobis is that they seem to fire some sort of explosive arrow against buildings, rather than a grenade or a torch.
"Translated to mean “one skilled in the art of stealth,” shinobi were masters of the art of stealth, also known as ninjutsu. They were peasants of no social rank, but in possession of expert skills that were sought after by generals and feudal lords, and that often fetched high prices. Most shinobi acted as assassins or spies, gathering reconnaissance information that could turn the tide of battle. While most feudal daimyo and honorable samurai waged a moral war against the outlaw shinobi, it is believed that many of these high ranking warriors actually were shinobi, and simply kept up the ruse of hunting the outlaws in order to deflect suspicion from their own actions.
Popular culture has grossly misrepresented the appearance of shinobi, and they are most often identified by a black suit that supposedly helped them blend into the darkness. However, shinobi most likely dressed in the typical peasant garb of fifteenth-century Japan: remnants of samurai armor, with perhaps the addition of a head covering, and a special piece of footwear called jika-tabi, which had a split-toe design that improved gripping and wall climbing and were virtually silent. The shinobi arsenal consisted of a variety of weapons and diversions, many of which utilized gunpowder. Smoke bombs, firecrackers, hand cannons, and even land mines were used to stun enemies, or to provide a moment of confusion that allowed the shinobi to escape. These gunpowder secrets were carefully guarded within the shinobi clan. Another form of trickery were the ashiaro, wooden pads that were carved to look like an animal's paw, or a child's foot, and could be worn to produce misleading footprints.
The numbers of shinobi reached its peak in the centuries of war before the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate and the beginning of the Edo Period in 1603. During the waning years of the shinobi and the samurai, writers recorded the techniques and weapons of these arts in technical manuals in order to keep the traditions alive. The most famous of these was the “Mansen Shukai", written in 1676 by ninjitsu master, Fujibayashi Samuji."