Mission 3: “Pirates!”

On the way to the New World, Morgan and the Knights of St. John are attacked by a group of pirates under the command of one Elizabeth Ramsey. In the level Pirates! of Age of Empires 3, you will have to establish a base in the are with which to locate a set of 3 navigation charts to continue on your journey.

Primary Objectives: Build a Town Center & Build a Barracks and Dock

"Age of Empires 3" - Act I Ice - Mission 3: Pirates! (1 of 6)
Building the tower defense network.

You will start the mission off on the north island of five, with a small army and a Covered Wagon with which to build your Town Center. Quickly get its construction started while taking your troops and clearing out some of the enemy on the island. There are some supplies and treasure that you can capture on this island, one of which grants you a special jaguar unit.

This level is best done by taking your time to build up a substantial base and income while slowly conquering the three smaller outlying islands before attacking Lizzie and her pirate base which is situated on the largest island. Card shipments from Malta are not yet an option in this level, but you will get reinforcements every so many minutes of ships and some ground units. These ship reinforcements forgo the need of building up a navy since you will get more than enough for this level for free.

You will want to get some soldiers trained relatively quickly to combat some of the land based threats like enemies dropped onto your shores by their ships. In addition to this, once you have the resources you will want to build a dock to repair St. Elmo (your beginning hero ship, which is NOT invincible unlike hero land units) and set up a defense network of Outposts along the edge of your island as their cannons are excellent against hostile ships.

Taking the Outlying Islands

Once you have progressed to the point you have a large base operating with enough income to support the growth of a significant army while still having enough defenders to withstand the perpetual attacks, it is time to start conquering the three smaller islands not occupied by the pirate base itself.

Settler Island

"Age of Empires 3" - Act I Ice - Mission 3: Pirates! (2 of 6)
Attacking the Settler island in the level Pirates! of Age of Empires 3.

This is the tiniest of all the islands in this level, just west of yours. Send a handful of soldiers along with Morgan to fight the treasure guardians and the enemy Outpost that exist here. Once you kill these, you can claim the treasure which grants you two Settlers. If you destroy the enemy house here, it will drop several stacks of resources for those Settlers to collect and can be left here even after to mine the nearby gold.

Piggy Island & Primary Objective: Navigation Chart #1

"Age of Empires 3" - Act I Ice - Mission 3: Pirates! (3 of 6)
Taking over Piggy Island.

The Piggy Island is the one directly southeast of yours, named by myself as such due to the astonishing amount of boars that populate it (yes i know they’re not piggies, but Boar island sounds less entertaining). Here you will find some scattered enemies and treasure guardians protecting several pieces of treasure, one of which is the Navigation Chart. You will also find a second covered wagon in another treasure here. It is worth bringing a group of settlers to harvest Piggy Island for the abundance of food here compared the probable lack of food at your current Island about now.

Secondary Objective: Build a second Town Center. (200 XP)

"Age of Empires 3" - Act I Ice - Mission 3: Pirates! (4 of 6)
Building the attack forces on J Island.

With that new Covered Wagon, take your force to the final outlying island directly south of Piggy Island which we will call the J island due to its similarity to the letter. Have your forces clear out the enemy here and bring Morgan to claim the treasure before dropping your Covered Wagon to build a Town Center wherever there is some room. You can build some Settlers here to construct an Artillery Foundry to build Mortar and Hoop Throwers for the final assault which we will launch from this J island.

Don’t bother building Barracks here, as you can use your ships as mobile Barracks and Stables in one. Since you cant upgrade said units from the ship however, you should still have one of each at your original base if you plan on purchasing these upgrades. From here, start massing up your forces until you are near max population and get ready for a heavy fight.

Primary Objective: Collect the Navigation Charts #2 and #3

Once you have a good sized force, its time to move them from J island right across the water to the pirate’s home island, the largest of all and shaped like an M. Before moving against the actual base, attack the buildings near the beach to get the attention of the pirate army who will soon come out to meet yours.

Draw their forces tot he beach where your ships who dropped off your army can support their battle with cannon fire. If you lose the fight retreat to island J to rebuild a second attack force with which to do the same again with until you have overcome the defenders. Once you’ve defeated the pirate army that comes to meet yours, replenish your forces by building directly from your ships onto your established beachhead and start moving against the base itself and claim the second Navigation Chart here.

One of the nearby treasure items on this island is a third Covered Wagon, but I personally found little significant use for it at this point in the game. It can be used for a new forward base nonetheless.

Mortars will be an excellent assistance in assaulting the final base, given their potential for building damage while your ships can circle the island to bombard the outskirts of the base as your forces break in through the walls and cause havoc on the inside. Once you’ve cleared enough of the enemy out around the Town Center to reach the final objective, you are free to claim the third Navigation Chart.

Last Updated on October 5, 2020 by Standard of Entertainment