Balance for Swedes vs. German Mercenaries

I see the Swedes have become the go to civilization for Mercenaries. Germany was initially the Mercenary faction but seems to have been powercreeped by Sweden.

What the Swedes have:

#1. They receive the Mercenary Contractor both for Age 3 and Age 5. The Age 3 variant lets them create Jaegers and Harqubusiers at the Saloon.

#2. The German Mercenary Contacts card lets them spam mercenaries from Barracks and Stables… and also has the same effect as the Improved mercenaries card for the Germans which gives them 20% extra stats. This gives them two paths to unlock Jaegers and some form of ranged cavalry. However, the German Mercenary Contracts card seems even better.

#3. They have a unique church tech that gives their Jaegers stealth and +10% HP, I think.

#4. Any card that ships mercenaries seems to also unlock it at the Saloon for the Swedes.

#5. I think they also have a civilization bonus that says their Mercenary shipments are cheaper and arrive sooner.

#6. Their team heavy infantry HP card should also buff Landsknechts, fusiliers and highlanders.


#1. Improved mercenaries card which gives +20% extra stats to all mercenaries.

#2. Wallenstein’s Contracts makes Mercenary shipments free. Let us face it: This is not really worth it unless you’re going to send those Mercenary army cards multiple times.

#3. Team cavalry attack buffs both light infantry and cavalry (mercenaries) by giving +15% attack

#4. Tilly’s Discipline gives infantry mercenaries +20% speed.

Here are my suggestions.

#1. Give Germans access to the Mercenary contractor in Age 3. Mercenaries seem totally random. Giving them this politician will at least ENSURE they can create Jaegers and Harquebusiers… or make the German variant of the Mercenary contractor provide them access to Jaegers, Black riders and maybe Landsknechts… since they all are German Mercenaries.

This way, the Germans will be able to hire Jaegers that benefit from Tilly’s Discipline and TEAM cavalry attack which buffs light infantry (now known as shock infantry) by giving them +15% extra attack while the Swedes will have Jaegers that benefit from stealth, +10% HP and being available from the Barracks. This ensures that while the Swedes unequivocally have better Mercenaries from Age 4 and the Germans have better Mercenaries while in Age 3.

#2. Give Germans the option to unlock a mercenary if you send a shipment of them. For example, If Sweden decides to ship Highlanders, the Highlander is also unlocked in the Saloon I think this can also be implemented for other civilizations. For example, sending the Black Watch research from the British unique church should also unlock highlanders for them.

#3. Give Germany the option to build 2 Saloons instead of 1. They would still be on the backfoot when compared to Sweden but this will help.

I believe it is only fair that #1 is implemented. Either #2 or #3 can be implemented.

What do you guys think?


it was separated into light infantry like x-bow, skirmishers, and jaegers and shock infantry that act like cav such as coyote runners.

Isn’t that Jaegers and Black Riders?

Yeah it is only good with the 3 mercenary army shipments in age 4 and it’s more of a troll strat.

Btw you missed a point on the german side, They receive extra merc units instead of uhlans for most mercenary shipments.

I’m gonna have to disagree with most of the suggestions. Germans are strong atm, I think buffing their merc play only lets them to do whatever they want. I don’t think the merc cards should unlock those units in saloon, it’s kind of unique to Swedes. And 2 saloons can never be a good idea. I agree that swedes overall have a stronger merc play but germans on the other hand, has to still rely on their strong merc shipments (9 black riders, 12 jaegers) and I would like it that way.

They seem to have set Jaeger as Finnish, but Jaeger speak German.

They should have given Sweden a separate Skirmisher unit and their voices in Finnish.

It’s sad that germany was the go to for mercenary strats and now they give it practically all to swedes for this.

The mercenary contractor portrait is literally a german dude; every euro civ gets it except germany.

I’m fine with Swedes being n1 with mercs, just don’t make it so that they totally destroy the former merc’s civ in comparison…

Either stronger or cheaper

I think Sweden should provide a collective effect of mercenary reinforcement
Then Sweden reduced its own mercenary costs

Sweden can maintain an advantage
Germany is still the most powerful mercenary

Oh. So, they no longer are the same. Does shock infantry include Urumi runners now?

As far as I remember, the Mercenary Contractor politician grants you access to Jaegers and Harqubusiers both for the British and the Swedes. Please do correct me if I am wrong on this. However, the German Mercenary Contracts card for the Swedes, gives access to Jaegers, Blackriders and Landsknechts.

Yeah… kinda feels that way. Mercs take a long time to arrive.

Yeah, that is also true. However, I feel it’s only fair they get the Mercenary Contractor politician. With all the other European civs, there exists a group of mercenaries that you can access for sure through the mercenary contractor. It’s painful to the Germans.

It’s so ironic to say the least.

Yes. That was my point too. Let the Germans access the Mercenary Contractor.


But you are correct about Brits having jaegers and harqubusiers.

I think it’s just for some civ diversities/balance reasons. For example, Ottomans don’t have a Logistician age up :frowning: and Spain and Brits don’t have Exiled Prince and Quartermaster. In a similar way, I guess germans do not need that politician and the fast age (exiled prince) is always the best age up for them. But the mercenary contractor would definitely be a fun addition to encourage more off meta play.

I guess I assumed it was the same for both the Swedes and the British.

Each civilization can have only 4 politicians per age to choose from. The quarter master would give just 5 wood less than what was enough wood to build 3 manors and get 3 settlers without Virginia Company. With Virginia Company, that’s 4 manors.

Germans got The Exiled Prince (Ages up 2.72 times as fast), The Gentleman Pirate(1 Privateer and 2 Barbary Corsairs) , The Marksman (6 Skirmishers), The Sergeant at arms (4 Doppelsoldner).

Now, why would they get The Gentleman Pirate? Technically, the units they get are mercenaries but it does not really synergize well with the civilization. The Gentleman Pirate goes well for most civilizations except Germans, French and the Russians. Guess what? All 3 of them got it. For the Russians, it’s not too bad, though.

That is one thing but it synergizes really well and gives them more options in Treaty. It is a buff. Currently, the Swedes can unlock mercenaries in various ways:

#1. Unlock in the Saloon by shipping the Mercenary
#2. The Mercenary Contractor politician (Age 3 for Jaegers and Black Riders in Saloons)
#3. German Mercenary Contracts card (which even unlocks them on Barracks and Stables) - Most likely chosen option because it also improves Mercenary stats by 20%

The Germans, despite being the first ‘Mercenary civilization’ get none of these. They can at the most, ship TEAM 5 Jaegers infinite times but you know that Germans also need more XP per shipment and that’s not a viable way to get lots of Mercenaries.

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It’s 5 now for euro civs, the 5th politician being the “interesting” age up made by DE.

And you also understand that it is better than aging with the governor (outpost + 200c), philosopher prince (500 f) and even the naturalist (2 vills 2 semi fattened cows). And it is more flexible than any other age ups. Giving brits a quartermaster age up would simply make them overpowered, that’s why they don’t have it. It means that they don’t have to chop wood for a military building or wait for 700w to get it with a stronger boom to their eco behind.

On water maps, this age up is worth considering (I’ve used it a bit as Germans) but since going to age 3 is the slowest in the game apart from the exiled prince age up…It’s kind of a risky age up too, especially for Germany and France. Swedes have that age up as well, but I can only see that their situation being similar to Germans and French. Russia on the other hand, can play age 2 and safely use that politician to compete in sea.

If this discussion was about Germans not having strong mercs as Swedes do in Treaty, then it is Swedes that have to be nerfed imo. Germans are already strong in treaty, they do not need other strong options. Maybe separate changes have to be made to Swede and German mercs in Treaty to not reflect any imbalance in supremacy.

More than anything, very versatile. Enough for a Barracks, enough wood for maybe 5 longbowmen. Naturalist is good in treaty, though.

You shouldn’t be playing the Germans or the French on water maps. Swedes, well… similar situation but at least they have one or two cards for their navy… not GREAT cards, though. Russia has a decent team card for naval combat. So, goes well with them. The Germans would be much better off with an Age 3 Mercenary contractor than The Gentleman Pirate.

Ideally, for naval maps, you should choose the British, Portuguese, Spanish, Ottomans or Russians. The Asian civilizations are also ok.

Swedes have superior mercenaries regardless of whether it’s treaty or non-treaty. However, in non-treaty games. Germany has a bit of chance until the game gets to Age 4. Giving Germans the Mercenary Contractor would not buff their non-treaty game because they have better options for the most part.

Maybe Germany needs to move away from being the mercenary civ? Their contracts tech has always been extremely underwhelming, and being focused on shipments for troops for the civ that has the most difficult time getting shipments? Seems weird.

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Yes, that’s what I meant by “more flexible”. With a quartermaster age up, it’s easy to have 15 musketeers at around 6 min mark but if you give this to brits, they have an uninterrupted manor boom and their age 2 gets to a very strong position from a strong position.

I don’t see why, what if you queue up on matchmaking with Germans or French and get a water map? Would you just resign? It’s not like Germans and French can’t beat other civs on water maps just because those civs like Ports are good at water. They just have to adapt to it such as making some caravels from a dock, or shipping 2 caravels and using The Gentleman Pirate age up instead of usual exiled prince to punish the water boom of the opponent.

I’m afraid this won’t be the case. If they keep spamming jaegers and black riders from the mercenary contractor all the time with shipment progression which gives them a bunch of uhlans, it will be really hard to beat it. You can only make spies and hope he doesn’t have an explorer anywhere near his army. They have palatine settlements to support the population and have Improved mercs card. The Swedes merc play has not been explored much since Caroleans and torps are leaving it in the shadow, If they start using it too much then people will definitely start demanding a nerf on them.

I can assure you that your fears of imbalance are not well grounded. Mercenaries have always been seen (to this day) as a meme strat, and even Sweden with all of their OP options for mercenaries, you don’t see it as much in the ladder. This is just a small buff for the original mercenary civ in comparison, that won’t break the game or anything close to it, just give Germany more game styles options.

They don’t need it? And mercs are not necessarily seen as a meme strat all the time, it is the use of outlaws and bad mercs such as landsknetchs and lil bombards that makes them appear as a meme. Germans still have to make use of mercs as a shipment (9 black riders and 12 jaegers). And as I said, only thing that sparks an interest when it comes to Swedes is that having a unit that counters almost everything and incredibly overpowered eco from torps and also really strong lategame hussars. Hence, people haven’t started using swede mercs much. In fact, this discussion starts on german mercs not being as good as swede mercs, when the truth is swedes are the new civ that actually needs changes.

If the card description is correct, the melee infantry enhancement card and the melee cavalry enhancement card mercenaries also benefit

Maybe in a future DLC - let’s hope - Germany can be reworked as a Civ to be more focused in what it is today, and the mercenary bonuses can be shifted to another new playable civ (like Austria or the italian states which actually used loads of mercs in its wars).