The player starts the game with a Town Center, an Explorer, and several Settlers or only a Covered Wagon and an Explorer depending on the type of game selected. Unlike the other Age of Empires games, this game includes much prominent gunpowder warfare, including artillery and rifle companies. When the game starts the exact terrain of the map which includes, the position of the enemy, native tribes, and trade post sites are blacked out. If you have teammates they and the land they visit are visible. Players must explore the map and begin gathering the natural resources, food, coin, or wood which are used to train more units, create more buildings, and upgrade your technology. The actions such as training units, constructing buildings, and killing enemy units can give the player experience points. When the experience points reach a certain threshold the players earn shipment cards that can be shipped from the Home City to the player. Then as your economy and military improves you can destroy their colonies or the enemy may offer to resign (if allowed).