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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
In Age of Mythology, each of the four cultures has its own type or types of villager.
- Main article: Villager (Age of Mythology)
- Main article: Laborer
The Norse have two types of villager: Gatherers and Dwarves. Neither of these units can build or repair buildings (this is left to Norse Infantry), and both can be instantly converted into Ulfsarks. Otherwise, Gatherers are similar to Greek Villagers, while Dwarves cost gold instead of food and are better at gathering gold but not as good with other resources.
Atlantean Citizens have mules with them which enable them to deposit resources without visiting a drop-off point; they are expensive but efficient workers. Citizens can be promoted to Citizen Heroes, after which they have better building and gathering rates. Like other heroes, Citizen Heroes can collect relics.
- Main article: Citizen
- Main article: Peasant
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.