HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 3 Mission #8: The Ossuary

As a final mission this is not a particularly hard mission.  The only thing that might be hard about it is the bonus secondary objective which involves moving up in Ages very quickly.

In this mission you will have Amelia Black and Kanyenke at your disposal.  You will last and move north where a Spanish town which hates the Circle of Ossus agree to support you.  They state while you macro up they will defend you the best they can.

To support this I’d suggest building a fortress almost immediately.  The fortress will take most of the hits and by the time it is destroyed you will have an army.

It should also be noted there is a survival aspect to this mission.  If you survive long enough ‘America’ will have sent war ships to help you.  The war ships will take out the fixed cannons located all along The Ossuary.  On top of this if you lose ships you will just get newer better ones automatically.

The main objective in this mission will be to get high amounts of production and attack.  The more anti-infantry cannons you have the better you will do in this mission.

There is not a lot of land in this mission meaning that there is really not a lot of gold, not a lot of wood and not a lot of hope.  This means this is not a mission you can just wittle the computer down with.  You will need a proper balance of musketeers and artillery to bust down his walls.

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HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 3 Mission #7: Last City of the Inca

Leading back into Act 1 as it turns out the Incans did not move into extinction but instead went into hiding.  Amelia Black has found this tribe and must save them from extinction.

The Circle of Ossus with Beaumont has arrived and are looking to wipe out the Incans.

The Incan people have promised artillery support to wipe out The Circle of Ossus in North America.

The catch is artillery is arriving one piece at a time from the west and you have to travel it through a trail in which the Russians have blocked.

The southern defenses are mostly good enough to hold off attacks.  Staging a few extra units to deal with this is not a bad idea.  The bulk of your army should be sent to support your artillery as you move on.

With the artillery attack north into the Russian base.  This will not only make the mission easier, but will also reward more experience.

Once this base is cleared out this does not end the ambushes.  Units will spawn from the north for every single piece of artillery that spawns.

To speed up the process you can build your own artillery and they will count in the Incan stockpile.

As soon as each piece of artillery is placed in the stockpile you can move it and use it.

Upon getting enough artillery you have to destroy the Circle of Ossus to the west.  Destroying this is not particularly hard.  Make sure you have a lot of bulk with your artillery, this is musketeers.

Artillery in the game is split into three types:

  1. Anti-artillery: These are your culverins.  Culverins have the highest range and do bonus damage against artillery and do very little damage against everything else.
  2. Anti-infantry: Cannons do splash area of effect damage and do bonus damage against infantry.
  3. Anti-building: Mortars deal heavy damage against buildings and have the second highest range.

Upon your approach your artillery should be mostly anti-infantry with some anti-building mixed in.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 3 Mission #6: Journey Through the Andes

This is no doubt the hardest mission in the game period.

If you are not around a fire you will lose health.  You will heal health by being around a fire.  So as you walk around you are trying to go from fire to fire.

To make things worse the enemy is sending scouts, every time you miss a scout you have to kill off a couple of hussers and the giant enemy army moves forward.  To deal with this cycle between your two heroes three abilities and they should go down fast.

Take things slow.  You do not need to rush ahead until you have killed a scout.  As well you might as well wait on cooldowns of your heroes before moving forward.

You will lose about half of your army after the long walk.  This is the first long walk from north to south.  For whatever reason a health nerf was made to skirmisher health and they are unable to make the walk.  This makes things even harder.  It means you have to be spot on with your use of abilities to win this.

It is essential to skip any collectibles.  These increase the health of your heroes which should help you but because you spend so much time on them the enemy is sending that many more scouts and that many more hussers.

In the last little push there are many fire pits.  You should not stop for all of them, or even most of them.  You should only stop when it is absolutely necessary.  If you try to get through this quickly you should finish the mission much faster with less scouts getting through.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 3 Mission #5: Bolivar’s Revolt

Throughout the 19th century Bolivar was moving with his revolutionary army through South America liberating countries from the control of the Spanish.  Today we would think of him as a Che Guevera type… and we get to play with him in this game!

This is a pace controlled mission.  You only attack when Bolivar attacks.  You support his army but don’t be afraid to micro so his units take more damage.

Each village you liberate will grant automated units for Bolivar’s army.  They will also grant you unit producing facilities.  This means that you should not build any unit producing facilities yourself.

The whole game you should be constantly making settlers and only building military units when you have surplus resources for it.  There are no need for upgrades.

The first village you conquer will grant you a town hall and a barracks.  The barracks should be producing musketeers and/or skirmishers, the town hall obviously settlers.

The second town will allow you to build cannons.  You will want to get as many cannons/artillery as possible.  These are your power units.  Cannons require high amounts of gold and some wood, so keep that in mind when you are resource gathering.

After gaining this second town there will be one more town Bolivar will attack, the final one.  For the bonus objective you should attack the eastern village (to the east of the final village) with some cannons and a few units to support the cannons.  Support here means staying back and stopping units from sniping/attacking them.

By gaining this village you will have access to stables to make cavalry, and also some more automated units for Bolivar.

On the final attack push with Bolivar and you should be unstoppable.  Destroy the town hall to win.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 3 Mission #4: The Lost Spanish Gold

In this mission there are no gold mines.  Instead there are lost spanish gold ships which you can mine.  These mine at the same rate a normal gold mine would if you had all  gold mining upgrades.  Because of this gold based units (like musketeers) will be key to beating this.

The initial goal is to defeat three towers.  The first tower you should hit is in the southeast.  After destroying this tower you will open up more gold paths and the ability to get aboriginal units from a trading post.

I would suggest only getting trading post units for the majority of this mission.

You will get a side quest to bring Kanyenkay to a point on the map.  After defeating a few white cats you will gain access to the Fixed Gun from the first campaign with Morgan Black.  The fixed gun should first be used to target down the fort to the west so that you can easily get this secondary objective (and get more aboriginal units).

Second you can use the fixed gun to wipe out the enemy’s tower in the south.

The final tower will have a fairly large army waiting there.  I would suggest wiping out the army first and then worrying about the tower.

Once you have all three towers down the final objective will appear, destroy the enemy’s town center.  By this point you should have enough units to storm the front.  For a quick win bust down his gates (right click on the gate) and destroy the town center (right click on the town center).  After doing this all or nothing tactic the mission will end.  If you lose your entire army, no worries, just build up another army.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 3 Mission #3: The Boneguard’s Lair

This mission is a momentum based mission.  If you have gathered enough forces you can crush Beaumont’s army.  If you do not you will have enough forces you will just lose.

IF you are ever facing a melee unit make sure to kite them.  To do this move away from them and then right click on one of the enemy units.  Follow this up by moving away again and attacking again.  The idea is to make sure the melee units get as little time attacking you as humanly possible.  For this reason it is recommended you not get melee units until later.

On hard difficulty you will want to clear out every single enemy units and cash in every single Food Convoy.

Food Convoy’s can be turned in for two types of aboriginal units, Ranged and Melee.  You will favor ranged initially and near the end you will want to stock up on melee units.  The melee units have more armor and more damage but are also more exposed and more likely to die.  In most engagements you will want to lead with your ranged units and move your melee units in after.

You should also make sure to use Amelia and Kanyenkay’s abilities almost on cooldown.  Kayenkay’s shot has an insanely high range and can be used for softening up enemies without having to engage.  Amelia has a big AoE attack and a one-shot kill attack.  Using them on cooldown might be a win for you.

Beyond that make sure to explore the entire cave to max out your win.  The mission ends when you get to a map.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 3 Mission #2: Hold the Fort

This guide is less about how to beat the level on hard difficulty and more on how to beat it quickly on hard difficulty.

Start off by taking your small army of a few musketeers and Amelia to build trading posts at every single trading post.  Also make sure to maximum upgrade these bad boys for maximum goodiness.  Rarely will enemies attack these but if they do, just rebuild.

Leave all of your cannons setup in attack position in your base at all times.  They will be very effective against the armies coming at you.

Make sure to upgrade stationary towers to maximum as well.  This will assure the enemy will never want to engage them and your trading posts will always be well protected.

After getting all of your trading posts up make sure you have them set to whatever resources you will need, this will mostly be gold and food.  The base of your army will be musketeers.  Build musketeers nonstop.  Do not get any upgrades.

There is a timer that tells you when an army will come to support you.  Just keep defending losing as little artillery as possible while this is happening.

While doing this do not build any extra workers, they will not pay off all that fast, plus there is no real sources of food on the map so macroing will be tough anyway.

Once you have a few seconds left on the clock gathering up your artillery and army and march them all north.  ‘Gun it’ for his town hall.

In the southeast an army will appear that is made of skirmishers, hussers, and mortars.  Mortars can be targeted on buildings while your hussers and skirmishers peel units off of them.  There are two town halls in the south and one in the north.

If you do this timing you can avoid having to march your army around the map.

Since the objective is to destroy town halls you can really avoid having to attack any other structures.  Your army should be big enough that even with some losses you should be able to take them on.