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In Age of Empires 3, one can revolt from their home city (for a non asian civilization) in the industrial age.

This converts all villagers into fighters. While factories and banks keep producing money, the economy is usually at a standstill. You get infinite shipments (you can even take infinite shipments of forts) and a small army the second you reach the revolt stage. You still can produce army, but with the limited economy this is not too effective.

I've never been able to make this useful; while it may temporarily stop you from losing it rarely ever gains you the upper hand.

When should one advance to this age?

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Using Revolution is in essence you going "all in" (in terms of poker).

The best times to use this is when you want that extra little boost to tip the scale in your favor. This scale tipping doesn't last very long and is rather risky, but if you take advantage of it, that's all you'll need to win the game. There are a couple things that could spell doom for you however:

  1. You lose the proceeding battle: if you lose your army, you will have a very difficult and slow time getting it back unless you've saved a large amount of resources or have a solid income of XP for shipments.
  2. Your enemy advances to the fifth age: There are many technologies that drastically improve the military and economy in the fifth age that are impossible to obtain once you revolt.

I usually only use revolution when I don't have the time/resources to advance to the fifth age, and I'm also pretty sure that my enemy doesn't have time either. If I'm right, it usually spells victory for me. If I'm wrong, it usually spells defeat.

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I find the Revolution option to be a viable option for Multiplayer games, especially wherein you have one strong military power (the person using Revolution) and one or more people feeding resources to the person the revolts. It can make for a very quick game where the team that revolts just walks through the enemies.

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It’s really good if you set up for one, it’s like a midrange rush sorta. If you get both factory’s out and age up as fast as possible with tons of villagers, then revolt, you will generally generate enough food to keep the milita flowing. Use your shipments mostly for Gatling guns, and some extra troops every now and then. You should have a huge army compared to your opponents. You can just steam roll them. I’ve even lost the first battle, but as last by as you have it factory’s you can get a second army in there in no time. Also recommended to build another town center, as that is basically the barracks for milita. Keep your explorer and factory’s safe

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