A Home City is the capital city of a civilization that provides economic and military shipments. Home Cities are a feature first introduced in Age of Empires III.
Every civilization has its own unique Home City, which add extra functionality to normal gameplay. Through the Home Cities, players can select and send shipments to their in-game colony. Shipments can deliver a variety of economic, land military and naval-oriented units or technology upgrades. Home Cities also enable more diverse or varied game-style decisions and situations. Players are also able to their Home City.
The real- life city locations of the Home Cities are the following:
- British: London
- Dutch: Amsterdam
- French: Paris
- Germans: Berlin
- Ottomans: Istanbul
- Portuguese: Lisbon
- Russians: St. Petersburg
- Spanish: Seville
In The WarChiefs expansion only the Aztecs have an actual city - the other civilizations are represented through Tribal Councils.
In The Asian Dynasties expansion, the civilizations have:
Cards and Decks Edit
Every civilization has a unique assortment of improvements, units, and resources that are called Cards, which can be sent to your "New World" colony as shipments. The higher the player's Home City level is the more Cards are available for use. The cards are also available by Ages, such as troops start coming in during the Colonial Age while artillery start coming in at the Fortress Age.
There are five categories of cards, represented by a building in the Home City:
- Trading Company - Economic units and resources
- Military Academy - Soldiers and Military upgrades
- Cathedral - Improvements
- Manufacturing Plant - Advanced economic upgrades
- Harbor - Naval upgrades and mercenaries
All of the cards for a Home City is put in a group called a deck. A Home City starts with a standard deck of 15 cards. Your deck can contain 20 cards plus one extra for every ten levels, to a maximum of 25. This forces players to make decisions and to only use the cards they believe to be the most important.
Age of Empires III Edit
Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties Edit
Experience Points Edit
Experience Points, or "XP", are points you gain by destroying enemy units and buildings, building units or buildings, picking up treasures, or just simply being in the game. It's actually a fourth resource that you must collect over time, much like Favor in Age of Mythology. XP automatically generates, but not nearly fast enough to give you immediate shipments. The amount of XP gained from training or killing units varies based on total resource cost; destroying a Falconet will obviously provide more XP than killing a Musketeer. Buildings follow a similar pattern, large, expensive buildings are worth more XP than smaller, cheaper ones. A common misconception is that Home Cities provide free shipments, so you don't have to try as hard. However, XP limits the amount of shipments you can send at a time and forces you to earn them as the game progresses.Once you acquire a certain amount of XP, you earn a shipment. As the game progresses, each additional shipment requires a greater amount of XP. Want more XP? Try to secure a monopoly on Trade Posts. Each generates a small amount of XP at every pass, providing you experience without having to fight for it.
All Home Cities begin at level 1 and are provided with 15 cards. As you gain more XP, your Home City is able to level up. Each time you level up, you can add a new card to your deck after the game. To accumulate the most XP out of any game, make sure to manage your army and economy well as you thoroughly crush your opponent's.
When faced with the decision of choosing which new cards to select, always consider the opportunity cost and how it affects your strategy. You can try to rush your opponents early on by stacking military shipments, but in doing so, you give up other cards, such as shipments of settlers, which could have helped stabilize your economy should your preemptive strike fail. Because every choice comes with its consequences, think carefully before purchasing new cards.
Many cards must be unlocked (usually after your Home City reaches a certain level) before you can purchase them. Some cards can also require you to purchase other cards as prerequisites. By focusing on specific units or technologies, you can minimize the number of new cards you have to buy.
There will be several ways you can customize your Home City so it looks unique from any other player's Home City. Customizations are varied; you can add entertainment to the streets of your Home City (Jugglers, Artists, Drunks...), or even market vendors and nobles. You can even design the buildings by changing the building color, adding "Market Day" flags, etc. Ensemble's aim was to make the customizations unique and varied enough so you can distinctly tell the Home City of one player from another. Of course, the customizations are purely cosmetic -- they only affect the look of your Home City, nothing more.
You gain customizations by earning them, which aligns with earning cards with levels. Every new level lets you select a new customization.
NOTE: Only European Home Cities contain customizations. Native American and Asian civilizations cannot customize their Home Cities.