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The Villager (known by other names in some of the games – see below) is a civilian unit that is common to every game in the Age of Empires series. They are the foundation of a civilization and arguably the most important units in the game, as they are able to collect natural resources such as food, wood, stone, gold, and coin. Villagers are also able to construct and repair buildings, along with boats and siege weapons in some games of the series. If the civilization is attacked, Villagers can help defend their towns, but their fighting ability is very limited.
Villagers are important because as long as they live they can gather resources, which are constantly required. One of the best ways to disrupt an enemy's strategy is killing their Villagers, preferably at the beginning of the game, as they will have to create new ones, costing them time and resources. Cavalry are a fast and effective way to deal with Villagers, as they are good for hit and run tactics and can mow down Villagers quickly.
Age of Empires Edit
- Main article: Villager (Age of Empires)
Age of Empires II Edit
- Main article: Villager (Age of Empires II)
Age of Mythology Edit
- The Greeks train Villagers
- The Egyptians train Laborers
- The Norse train Gatherers and Dwarves
- The Atlanteans train Citizens.
- The Chinese train Peasants
All Villagers are able to gather resources and build some buildings, but they are still all different:
- Greek Villagers gather resources and build buildings at an average speed. They can also be tasked to pray at Temples to generate favor.
- Egyptian Laborers gather and build buildings at a lower speed. This can be offset by making the Pharaoh empower the building they are working on. This makes their gather rates above average, though some buildings are still built more slowly.
- Norse Gatherers and Dwarves cannot build buildings except Farms.
- Atlantean Citizens are more than twice as fast as Villagers and Gatherers at gathering and building. As they have pack mules, they do not need to walk to resource drop-off points. Like other human Atlantean units, Citizens can be turned into heroes, which improves their gathering and building rates. On the other hand, Citizens cost three times resources and population slots and walk more slowly. They are also less proficient in combat relative to their resource and population cost than the other Worker types.
- Chinese Peasants are essentially the same as Greek Villagers in all but one domain: upgrades. Whereas Villagers are affected by certain myth technologies that can be researched in the Heroic Age, Peasants are affected by myth technologies from the Archaic Age, with all three Chinese major gods providing a special upgrade that affects exclusively Peasants.
- Originally Villagers had the ability to fish, this feature was however cut.
- Laborers and Gatherers were originally simply called "Villagers", before being changed to their current names so their cultures could be unique.
Age of Empires III Edit
In Age of Empires III, most European villagers are known as Settlers but the Native American and Asian civilization equivalents are called Villagers. They work in the same way as in previous games, but no longer require drop sites to deposit resources.
Even with all upgrades, settlers are too weak to fight very many military units or treasure guardians. The French civilization have stronger settlers called Coureur des Bois which can collect resources faster and can also double as treasure gatherer if the Home City card Northwest Passage is sent. The German civilization also has a stronger settler unit called the Settler Wagon.
Most settlers and villagers deal much more damage in melee than at range, multipliers may allow them to do more at range only after the Market upgrade has been purchased and only against Artillery, Pets and Treasure Guardians. The Coureur is an exception to this, having 8 ranged attack instead of 3 but a x0.25 multiplier versus settlers and villagers. All villagers only inflict 2 damage against each other at range, 3 following the market upgrade and around 5 for Unction boosted Spanish settlers. With melee attacks (lacking any negative/positive multipliers) they are easily capable of killing one another, Explorers and non-upgraded infantry units granted they gang up on it and can catch it. Sometimes this may be a better option than fleeing with them, depending on the size and type of the enemy force harassing them and the number of settlers or villagers.
- Note: Settlers of any type cannot use ranged attacks if the target is too close to them, they will automatically use melee attacks. This is mostly a problem only for the French and Cree Coureur des Bois.
They are especially useful against enemy pets (the Coureur against guardians with a card shipment), as all pets have a negative x0.1 multiplier versus villagers with exception to Fluffy, the Explorer Dog (no negative/positive multipliers), War Dogs (negative multiplier of x0.3) and Tigers (negative multiplier of x0.2). Only the cheat unit Fluffy, or Unction enhanced pets pose any type of real threat to Villagers.