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The Incas

The Incas are probably the most missunderstood civilization in Age of Empires 3 DE.

They are an extremely versatile faction. Ranging from booming to rushing, or even fast fortress, they can do everything. There biggest strenght is how quick they can get their infrastruce stted up, leading into a very good early map control / turtling.

Also, unlike other natives civilisation, their economy is able to compete with Europeans and Asians. This further support their very swarmy playstyle, with so many units your opponent will quickly loose count.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without Incas building, which are trully the core of the civilisation. SimCity players, this is your wet dream, as your buildings positioning is really key in order to properly take and keep map control.

Incas potential is absolutly crazy, and i suggest anyone to dive into them, as they will only get better and better as people learn how to fully take advantage of their many strenghts.

 


 

Quick glance

 

Pros and cons

Military

Economy

Build orders

 


 

Pros and cons

  • Pros

  • Incredibly versatile! The Jack of all trades master of all!
  • Very unique army compositions and playstyle, very swarmy
  • Still a lot to discover on the faction
  • Cons

  • Their Exploration Age requires good practice
  • Non standard units, if that’s what you are looking for
  • Very limited access to Artillery

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Military

 

Buildings

The Incas have incredibly strong military buildings that are part of their overall force.
Positionning those buildings properly and playing around them is key!

Available from Exploration Age, the War Hut is the Native version of the Blockhouse. It can train all the archaic units Incas have access too (see below) and act as an Outpost, with a ranged attack and able to receive shipment.

Alone the War Hut isn’t that big of a deal and is quite expensive. However, thanks to a Commercial Age age up option (The Chieff), we can quickly get 2 of them for free! This will allow us to create a very strong foward base, almost impossible to push into without Fortress Age and artillery support.

Fortress Age? Get a Stronghold! With its incredible hitpoints, range and ranged aoe attack, the Stronghold is almost impossible to push into. On top of that, you can garrison any Military Units into it to boost its attack!

This allow to get value from units that otherwise wouldn’t get any, but also to setup deadly army pops, or even do micro tricks! On top of that the Stronghold allow to train all Incas units and will almost always offer you a shipment upon completion. One of the best early Fortress Age building / shipment in the game.

Kallankas are late game buildings that allow to better support a more advanced composition, with Huaracas, Bolas Warriors and Macemen being trainable and upgradable from it. They should rarely be built before Industrial Age, but are absolutly necessary at that point!

As the Stronghold, military units can be garrisoned into it, reducing there population cost by 1! Since each Kallanka can garrison 10 units and they are limited to 4, that’s 40 additional population space.

Tambos are the Incas version of the Trading Post! They double as an Outpost and support 5 population. Their biggest intereset is that they can receive shipment, leading into a very easy setup for your foward base.

A very common strategy is to use the Town Center big button as you reach Commercial Age. This will lead in 5 early Plumed Spearmen next to your opponent base and outward buildings! Pair that with 2 War Huts from the age up and you got a very strong foward base position.

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Units

Considering how unique and misunderstood Incas units are, an overall summary wont hurt.

  • Strong against
  • Artillery
  • Skirmisher
  • Average against
  • Dragoons
  • Heavy infantry
  • Weak against
  • Cavalry
  • Shock Infantry

We are showcasing them first cause this is probably the most criminaly underated unit in the entire game. Huaracas should be part of any Fortress Age and onward composition. But why?

The Huaraca are a long range infantry that deals siege damage instead of regular range damage, costing primarly coin. Doesn’t that reminds you any other unit? Yes, the Abus Gun! But the Huaraca has more range, more range resist (up to 40% damage reduction!) and an higher firing rate. On top of that, countering cavalry is almost a given for Incas. All of that make the Huaraca an incredible asset for any Inca player.

Not convinced? It takes 5 shots from Huaracas to take down a Falconet. It takes 4 shots to take down a Skirmisher, while a Skirmisher will need 14 shots in return once the Huaraca is upgraded! This unit is the absolute king when it comes to long range Skirmishes while eliminating Incas roaster 1st counter, artillery, with ease.

On top of all that, Incas have access to the War Ceremony, which can provide a massive boost to Huaracas damage output! Their only weakness is to get caught in melee, but we will be patching that weakness with the next unit.

Huaracas are the glue of any late game Inca army. They completly switch the table by forcing your opponent to engage into you instead of the opposite. Also by removing the main counter of almost every other Inca units, they allow them to get a surprising amount of value!

  • Strong against
  • Cavalry
  • Shock Infantry
  • Average against
  • Dragoons
  • Heavy infantry
  • Weak against
  • Artillery
  • Skirmisher

The backbone of any army pre-industrial! With their high amount of hitpoints, good attack, good speed and high siege, the Plumed Spearmen are the perfect meatshield.

They of course deal incredibly well with cavalry : high damage multiplier (x3), incredibly high melee resistance and movement speed once upgraded, with 30% and 5.5 respectively! You need to protect your Huaracas? Plumed Spearmen to the rescue. Need to protect your Jungle Bowmen? Plumed Speamen. Need to snare the opponent with a cheap and resilient unit? Plumed Spearmen once more!

But it doesn’t stop there, with proper micro they can act as tanks even versus their counters! With their high hits points and the proper use of cover mode, it will take 2 Falconets shots instead of one to take them down, or 12 Skirmisher shots!

If Huaracas are the glue, the Plumed Spearmen are the pillar of any pre-industrial Inca composition. By keeping any cavalry back and making your opponent micro an absolute nightmare, they create the space you need for your other units!

  • Strong against
  • Dragoons
  • Average against
  • Cavalry
  • Shock Infantry
  • Heavy infantry
  • Weak against
  • Artillery
  • Skirmisher

The Bolas Warrior is a very weird unit that is pretty hard to understand. Their description and multipliers against cavalry suggest that they are good against cavalry. However unless you can keep most of them firing, this is not the case at all in the mid game!

This puts them in a pretty weak spot before industrial age, as a mix of Plumed Spearmen and Jungle Bowmen will often do better. However they are already a good support unit, as 10 to 15 of them snaring at range will allow you to better react against cavalry charges when paired with your Plumed Spearmen, all while being able to take out Dragoons or Heavy Infantry with Jungle Bowmen.

It’s really in industrial age that this unit unlock it’s full potential, thanks to a shipment. With it, their melee capabilities are greatly improved against Cavalry and you mass a lot of them at the same time. This makes them a solid stand alone unit, with good range damage against Dragoons and able to push back Cavalry charges. This finally allow Inca to not rely on the combination of Plumed Spearmen and  Jungle Bowmen.

Bolas Warriors are a great support unit in the mid game. They unlock their full potential in Industrial Age, in which they “replace” the Plumed Spearmen and Jungle Bowmen Combo, enabling more coin and population hungry compositions.

  • Strong against
  • Dragoons
  • Heavy infantry
  • Average against
  • Skirmisher
  • Artillery
  • Weak against
  • Cavalry
  • Shock Infantry

The Jungle Bowmen is once again a very unique unit, as it deals poison damage on top of its normal damage! This allow a large number of Jungle Bowmen to quickly take out any target they are focusing, even if this target if one of their main counter, as it ignores all resistances and multipliers. This is particularly usefull vs artillery, making the Jungle Bowmen a decent ranged answer against Artillery in Commercial Age.

Other than that, the Jungle Bowmen is a solid and very cheap unit, that unlike most archer is pretty good when heavily microed thanks to its poison and speed. It trades incredibly well versus Heavy Infantry and Dragoons for those reasons. However with their lower range and longer animation, they can get kitted quite effectively by usual Skirmisher. You will have to force the engagement and snare said Skirmishers to get the full value from your Jungle Bowmen in that scenario.

They will of course struggle against any mass of Cavalry and the rest of your army must protect them from such threats.

Jungle Bowmen are the first unit to mass in almost any game, as their poison damage from range makes them a very versatile unit, especially when protected from cavalry by a dozen of Plumed Spearmen. They scale extremely well into the midgame especially when their poison damage is increased through a shipment.

  • Strong against
  • Heavy infantry
  • Cavalry
  • Shock Infantry
  • Average against
  • Dragoons
  • Weak against
  • Skirmisher
  • Artillery

The Maceman is a melee beast. Anything it touches and the surroundings will vanish, thanks to its incredibly high melee damage and AoE. The difficulty resides in having him reach melee in the first place. However, this problem is mitigated by the Maceman range of 2, allowing it to strike from behind other units!

Its very impressive stats are however balanced by its incredibly high cost and population usage. All of this pushes the Maceman into a support unit role, in which it actually excels! Acting as the second wave behind your Chimu Runners mass for example, they will be hard to take down efficiently and will deal extremely high damage for an extended period of time.

Macemen are the last unit you should add in your army, but that doesn’t make them bad at all! Instead of adding more and more Chimu Runners or Plumed Spearmen that will inevitably end up blocking each other, you should add a few Macemen into the mix.

  • Strong against
  • Skirmisher
  • Artillery
  • Average against
  • Dragoons
  • Cavalry
  • Shock Infantry
  • Weak against
  • Heavy infantry

Finally we will talk about the Chimu Runners. If you skipped all the other units, thinking the Chimus are the only good one : terrible mistake. Yes Chimu Runners are good, but no they are not the alpha and omega of Incas armies.

With their incredibly high speed, excellent pathing, and their immunity to snare, Chimu Runners go where they want to go unless body blocked. And that’s their main strength! Paired with their attack, this makes them a nightmare to deal with for Skirmishers and artillery, even if they are protected by Dragoons.

However, there is this sweet thing called Heavy Infantry, and Heavy Infantry eat Chimu Runners from breakfast to dinner! This is why in our opinion, Chimu Runners should never be the core of your army in the early game. Make a few of them to raid villagers, or surround your opponent Skirmisher and artillery. Add them to your default Plumed Spearmen and Jungle Bowmen mass for a lot more damage output.

Only in mid to late fortress age they can take that role as you add more and more upgrade onto them. In particular, the shipment enabling them to snare while increasing their hitpoints paired with the range resistance upgrade make them a good frontline unit. We are talking about a 1500 coin investement.

Chimus are great, awesome even! But they start as an addition to an already existing mass and only in late game they can and should become your main spammable unit. Constantly use them as small pockets of raiders during the entire game, as even 5 of them can inflict massive damages on your opponent economy.

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Army Compositions

Now we can dive into army compositions!
Incas armies are rather complex after Commercial Age, but require good positioning and awareness rather that pure micro speed.

An easy to access composition! Very versatile, with good early siege and skirmishing potential. Start by a few Plumed Spearmen, the Town Center Big Button helps a lot, and then add Jungle Bowmen and finally Chimu Runners.

However this composition rely heavily on mass, and investing into Chimu Runners will lock you out of Fortress Age for a while! If you are planning on a transition, stick to Spearmen and Bowmen.

Bowmen in front poking, Spearmen nearby to push back Cavalry, Chimus postering for a fight on the sides. When you engage, Spearmen from the front, surround with Chimus, and move your Bowmen close behind. Wait for the snare to stop moving you Bowmen and start doing heavy damage. Focus key target with Bowmen and Chimus, make sure to drag a few Spearmen every time your opponent tries to flank with Cavalry.

A more trade efficient composition accessible pretty early in Fortress Age. Upgrade from your Archaic composition by training Huaracas from you Stronghold while shipping Bolas Warriors.

This composition can quickly take map control and apply pressure on your opponent buildings from long range, forcing your opponent to engage into your army. This is perfect as this composition excels at defending a friendly position rather than quickly overwhelming an ennemy position. Also since its food cost is rather limited compare to the first one, it allow you to train a lot of villagers from multiple Town Centers behind it! Once again, perfect for a “passive” army that excels at defending.

Huaracas in front to pick off targets, the rest of your army close by. As the fight engages, try to snare with your Spearmen and Bolas, and move your Bowmen in range, as with the previous unit composition. Use your Huaracas to take down key targets like artillery. Make sure to drag a few Spearmen every time your opponent tries to flank with Cavalry, while focusing said Cavalry with your Bolas Warriors.

A very hard composition to unlock, it will need several shipments, each costing a thousand coin or more, to unlock its potential. Also, most of those units are extremely expensive and such an army is only sustainable in the later stages of the game. You will also have to rely on Kallankas in order to overpop yourself. So do not try to go for this composition early on!

However in the later stages of the game, this composition requires very little wood to sustain, trades very effectively, can be way more aggressive than the previous one while keeping the excellent defensive capabilities, and can be reinforced quickly with waves after waves of Chimu Runners!

Huaracas in front, rest of the army nearby. As the fights engages, quickly move foward with your Chimus for the snare followed by your Macemen, while moving your Bolas and Huaracas in range. Use Huaracas to quickly take down any priority targets, like artillery. Use your Bolas to annihilate any pocket of units at range or push back any cavalry flank, drag the Macemen if needed. Try to surround your opponent with a few Chimus after the initial snare, while your Macemen happily club their way through ennemy lines.

As always, you should try to commit for one composition for a while, as upgrades will get more and more value as you commit to it. However, it’s important to not burry yourself into a plan that doesn’t work anymore! Stay flexible and be quick to switch to more advanced composition as your opponent is leaving you alone for a while. All the ones displayed above share some units in common, facilitating transitions from one to another.

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Honorable Mentions

We will finish this Military section with a few honorable mentions and other mechanics.
While not being as key or as frequent as everything explained above, they can give you an extra edge or open up your panel of strategies.

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Economy

Our goal with this guide is not to give you an exhaustive list of all the sources of income and their respective upgrades.
We will be talking about the more important ones that you should be focusing on.

 

The Villager

As with any civilisation in the game, the villageris of course the default way to get any ressources.

Highly upgradable through market, farms, estates and cards, you should always be training them unless you are aging.

Available in your Kancha Houses, the Queen’s Festival is a Big Button shipping you 4 villagers! Getting that Big Button pressed as early as possible is key to the Incas. Costing 180 of each resource, the oppening will almost always be the same : one Kancha House, one villager on wood, 5 on coin, rest on food.

Provides an upgrade for food gather rate and one for coin gather rate, 4 for wood gather rate.

While not as important as with European or Asian civilisation, your high number of Villagers will make those upgrades very effective.

Provides 4 upgrades for food gather rate, as well as fattening livestock and being an infinite source of food.

The farms are a key element of Incas late game economy and you should plan a transition in Industrial Age.

Provides 3 upgrades for coin gather rates, as well as being and infinite source of coin.

Estates are also key for Inca late game economy, and you should also transition towards them in Industrial Age.

Incas Economy is centered around villagers. Making sure you get as much villagers as possible, as early as possible, is really the key to get your Economy into overdrive.

The common strategy if your are looking for a villager boom is first to reach Fortress Age, as this will unlock additional Town Centers and more defensive army compositions. Also your economy should be strong enough by that point to sustain both villagers and military production.

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The Fishing Boat

I’m sorry I’m not Kynesie, and i haven’t found the time to properly dive into Incas and water play. I will complete this guide once its done, but know that Incas and water works very well together!

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The Llamas

The Llamas are the real carries of the Incas economy. Providing huge food stockpiles (400 each) that gather at the rate of 2.0 instead of 0.84 for regular hunts, Llamas should should almost always be part of your deck.

Llamas can be supplied already fattened thanks to multiple shipments. One in Exploration Age, 2 infinite Llamas , one in Commercial Age, 4 Llamas , and one in Fortress Age, 6 Llamas.

Once again, the Farm comes in! Able to fatten livestock and to train Llamas, dedicating one or two farms to it can be a viable strategy in late game. Also the Farm Big Button will once again ship you already fattened Llamas. An excellent option when you need that extra economic boost in Industrial Age.

Llamas are by far the strongest way of generating a lot of food income for the Incas. Sure it’s not permanent, but the huge powerspike it will lead into can completly turn a game in your favor.

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The Kancha House

Why are we talking about Kencha Houses last? Simple because we believe they are not as good as many people think. Don’t get us wrong, they provide you infinite food, which is excellent.

The discussion is rather on if you should Kencha house boom or not.

The more wood the more Kancha Houses. The more Kancha Houses the more food!

As simple as it gets, but in order to efficiently get your Kancha Houses up, you should try to use wood crates instead of chopping as much as possible!

This card will boost the gather rate of your Kancha Houses from 0.6 to 0.9. With 12 Kancha Houses up, this equates to a 4 villagers shipments, which isn’t that good but can’t be ignored.

Our personnal opinion on Kancha Houses? If you want to boom, go for villagers from multiple Town Centers. Use Kancha Houses only as a bonus for supporting your population, rather than your primary way of booming.

Of course if you plan on making a huge army in the following 2 minutes, building your Kancha Houses in advance will lead to a superior economy at the time of masing. That’s why you will often see a lot of Kancha Houses followed by heavy Commercial Age aggression.

A Kencha House is 135 wood, translating into 0.6 food per second vs the 0.84 food from a non upgraded villager. Even with a card, that’s only 0.9 food per second. Since you also support 12 population, you are actually paying 15 wood for the extra food over time. However, if you are not using the population space yet, you are basically investing 135 wood for 2/3 villager, 1 when carded, which is not as good as it may seem as wood is very hard to gather in the first place.

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Build orders

Obviously this list is going to change as the meta develops and evolves.

 

Competitive

The Commercial Age contain!

Currently the go to strategy for the Inca. Extremely flexible, able to both be extremely punishing against greedy strategies or to transition into a contain gameplan.

Its strenght really reside in how many units you are able to train in Commercial Age, allowing you to completly overwhelm your opponent even if he has the technologic lead. Take your time with this one. Starve your opponent, force him to move out, and strike.

Suited for 1v1!

Stronghold Fast Fortress!

In our opinion the upcoming meta strategy. This strategy has so much more payoffs while keeping a lot of what makes the Commercial Age contain good. Incredible map control, transition into insane booming while containing your opponent or even killing him on the spot. All of that while staying very safe and able to adapt.

This is the future of Incas. We wouldn’t be surprised if this strategy becomes incredibly popular in the next weeks / months.

Suited for 1v1 and Team Games!

Water boom!

Update in progress! This strategy is getting popularized by … Kynesie! What a surprise! Pretty much a greedier version of the Inca Fast Fortress, this is also a rising strategy that will likely take over the ladder in the upcoming weeks / months as Kynesie is making everyone well aware of its potential in tournaments!

Don’t mind me if I take my time to update this one. In the meantime, go watch Kynesie matches on ESOC TV youtube channel!

Suited for 1v1 and Team Games!

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Fun strategies

Just to clarify, fun != bad. Simply those strategies are either extremely all in or require more set up than the more competitive ones.
However if your are doing an in house and want to be edgy, you are at the right place!

Natives Rush!

My absolute favorite build order in the entire game! Take that for what it’s worth. So much jank, yet soooo effective on the proper maps! Trully one of the hardest rush you can go for. Try hit, love it, submerge your opponent with armies of natives as they wonder how it was possible in the first place.

Over 25 military units at 6 minutes into the game!

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