Several of the European civs have a mercenary “upgrade” sent from the church after sending their respective “Treaty” home city card, like the Black Watch for the English. I think it would be a cool idea to have these “upgrades” actually upgrade to units in some way, other than just changing their name, like the Savolax Jaegers who get a small HP boost, stealth ability, and a change in cost. It would also be cool to have the mercenary unit trainable from the tavern after the upgrade for more usability. These changes would add some cool variety to the uniquely named mercenaries that their civ gets.
That could work, but mercenaries are very powerful as is, so the bonus would have to be pretty small, otherwise I could see it getting out of hand quickly, but if it’s a slight bonus, like 1 range, or 10%hp, I don’t see a problem with it, most advanced church cards are really bad, so this could be a small way to get the church cards more used.
Most Euro civs do not have Church Mercenary shipments, only 4 do (Spanish, British, Portuguese and Swedes).
I do agree, however, that they should be upgraded like the Savolax Jaegers, but with utility, not just stats boosts.
-After sending in Wild Geese, Harquebusiers get a 20% discount and become permanently available to hire at the Tavern.
-After sending in Black Watch, extra Highlanders are delivered with every Musketeer shipment.
-After sending in Order of the Tower and the Sword, Black Riders get a X1.5 Attack multiplier against other Mercenaries.
Can also get an obligatory 5% HP bonus, like Savolax Jaegers, in case it is not good enough.
They probably should also change the name from Order of the Tower and the Sword to Order of Christ, mostly because the first was more related to the wars in North Africa and the second was more related to Brazil’s colonization.
Order of the Tower and the Sword does sound more exotic, however, and is more distinguishably Portuguese, than the Order of Christ, which sounds vaguely Christian in general.
It is clear that the devs also want to move the Euro civ away from American Colonialism too, which is why they no longer get Saloons. With an African DLC on the horizon, taht too gives them an excuse to keep Order of the Tower and the Sword.
This always happens to a lot of aspects of the game: some mechanics were underused and thus untouched, but when the devs ran out of ideas for new civs, they reached out for those mechanics and made them look too good compared to their older counterparts.
I think the mercenary techs (including the techs that give access to some regular units the civ do not normally have) could either come with a unique stats upgrade, or unlock the training of that unit, or at least provide some irregular ways to retrain those units like the Nizam Reforms.
Similar things can be done to royal guards. They are too blend and generic.
You forgot the Dutch (Waargelders are Stradiot)