Introduced with the second expansion to the Age of Empires 3 series, The Asian Dynasties, the Asian culture represents the 3 most prominent empires of 19th century Asia, namely: Japan, China and India. WoL adds another important player of this region to this culture: Korea.
Dominating world trade from the pre-medieval times, these regions where highly sought after by the Europeans who wanted to establish themselves as world powers. Each Asian civilization provides different gameplay tactics based on its history. The Japanese were famous for their warrior codes, the Chinese for assembling large armies, the Indians for their elephant warfare tactics, and the Koreans for their powerful naval strength. In-game this is reflected by the Japanese having strong but costly units, the Chinese training groups of weak units known as Banner Armies and having larger population limit than other civilizations, the Indians being the only civilization which can train elephant units, and the Koreans training Banner Fleets.
The colonization and historical alliances of the Asian empires with other major powers is represented by their unique building: the Consulate. Each Asian civilization can ally with one major power, from a selection of 4. On completion of the alliance each ally provides a passive bonus, some of its units and some technologies. All consulate techs and units cost Export. The alliance can be broken any time and new allies can be selected.
All the Asian civilizations get a Monk instead of Explorer. They have the ability to stun their enemies instead of killing them. They also possess a host of other special abilities and skills which can be improved upon at the Monastery – the Asian replacement for the Temple and Saloon. If this was not enough, all of the Asian civilizations except the Chinese begin with 2 Monks.
The architectural prowess of the Asians is represented by their unique age up system. The Asians do not age up from the Town Centre as usual. Instead they are required to build a Wonder to age up. There are 5 Wonders an Asian civilization can choose from. The Wonders can either be built by Wonder Wagons as in the case of Koreans or by Villagers as in the case of other 3 civilizations. When built each Wonder provides different units or resources and many other bonuses.
The "Land of the Rising Sun," Japan, has a rather rich history. During its feudal era, it was the Shoguns and the samurais who had power in the country, which was then isolated both from its neigbors and the westerners. On March 31, 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world. The resignation of the shogun led to the Boshin War and the establishment of a centralized state nominally unified under the Emperor, a process known as the Meiji Restoration.
In Wars of Liberty, the Japanese are a nation of proud and free people and fierce fighters. Their contacts with Europeans have made them march towards reform, but they never abandon the traditions of their ancestors; their country may be westernized, but the honorable samurai will always be its true symbol.
The Leader of the Japanese is Emperor Meiji. Meiji is the greatest Emperor his country has seen so far; at the time of his birth in 1852, Japan was an isolated, pre-industrial, feudal country dominated by the Tokugawa Shogunate and the daimyo, who ruled over the country's more than 250 decentralized domains. Now, Japan has undergone a political, social, and industrial revolution at home and emerged as one of the great powers on the world stage. His favorite personality traits are Enlightened and Industrious and his Home City is Edo, Japan.
The Japanese have underwent the Meiji Restoration, having a relatively modern army, while still keeping some old elements.
Between 1592 and 1598, the Japanese invaded Korea. Toyotomi Hideyoshi tried to invade the Asian continent through Korea, but was completely defeated by a Righteous army, Admiral Yi Sun-sin and his "turtle ships" and assistance from Ming China. After invasions from Manchuria in the 1620s and 1630s, the Joseon dynasty experienced a nearly 200-year period of peace. However, during the last years of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the name the "Hermit Kingdom," primarily for protection against Western imperialism before it was forced to open trade beginning an era leading into Japanese colonial rule.
In Wars of Liberty, the Korean military relies almost entirely on long distance attacks; most Korean units are ranged and Korea's artillery is really strong, especially compared to those of other Asian civilizations. Its naval force is also quite a challenge for every opponent.
The leader of the Koreans is Empress Myeongseong. Also known as Queen Min, Empress Myeongseong is the first official wife of King Gojong, the twenty-sixth king of the Joseon dynasty of Korea. The Japanese consider her an obstacle against their overseas expansion and are trying to remove her from the political arena. After Japan's victory in the First Sino-Japanese War, Empress Myeongseong has advocated stronger ties between Korea and Russia in an attempt to block Japanese influence in Korea as well as a very successful modernization attempt. Her favorite personality traits are Cultural and Organized and her Home City is Seoul, Korea.
The Korean units are made to fight from range, though they aren't particularly long ranged, they instead have more variety when choosing this path.
The Qing Dynasty, which lasted from 1644 until 1912, was the last imperial dynasty of China. In the 19th century, the Qing Dynasty experienced Western imperialism following two Opium Wars with Britain. The First Sino-Japanese War resulted in Qing China's loss of influence in the Korean Peninsula, as well as the cession of Taiwan to Japan. The weakening of the Qing regime led to increasing domestic disorder. In the 1850s and 1860s, the failed Taiping Rebellion ravaged southern China. The ill-fated anti-Western Boxer Rebellion of 1899–1901 further weakened the Qing Dynasty. The Xinhai Revolution of 1911–12 brought an end to the Qing Dynasty and established the Republic of China.
In Wars of Liberty, the Chinese are believers of "quantity over quality"; they can field huge armies, as they have a bigger population, but their units, which are trained under the banners of their masters, aren't as experienced in battle as those of other nations. Chinese population is organized in small villages, which tend to be self-sufficient; big cities aren't a common phenomenon in this part of the world.
The leader of the Chinese is Li Hongzhang. A politician, general and diplomat of the late Qing Empire, Li has quelled several major rebellions and served in important positions of the Imperial Court, including the premier viceroyalty of Zhili. Although he is best known in the West for his generally pro-modern stance and importance as a negotiator, Li antagonized the British with his support of Russia as a foil against Japanese expansionism in Manchuria. For his life's work, the British Queen Victoria has made him a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. His favorite personality traits are Industrious and Organized and his Home City is Beijing, China.
The Chinese have many unique units that make their army composition similar to that of their European counterparts.
Historians consider India's modern age to have begun sometime between 1848 and 1885. The appointment in 1848 of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India Company set the stage for changes essential to a modern state. These included the consolidation and demarcation of sovereignty, the surveillance of the population, and the education of citizens. However, disaffection with the Company also grew during this time, and set off the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Although the rebellion was suppressed by 1858, it led to the dissolution of the East India Company and to the direct administration of India by the British government. In the decades following, public life gradually emerged all over India, leading eventually to the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885.
In Wars of Liberty, the Indians are religious people, who respect herdable animals and don't kill/slaughter them or eat their meat. Their military is based on fast camel units and strong elephants, whereas their economy mostly depends on the wood of the country's mango groves.
The leader of the Indians is Bahadur Shah. Bahadur Shah is a member of the Timurid Dynasty and uses "Zafar", a part of his name, meaning “victory” for his nom de plume as an Urdu poet, and he has written many Urdu ghazals under it. While the power of the East India Trading Company is ever increasing, Bahadur tries to keep his people safe. His Home City is Delhi, India.
The Indians are largely unchanged from their appearance in The Asian Dynasties, though they do posses more artillery.
The Japanese were completely redesigned by our friend Peugeot407 from Knights and Barbarians mod. It's one of our finest works. It was also the first civilization that had such big change.