Most of the experienced players of this game must know that a normal homecity unit shipment takes exactly 40 seconds to arrive whereas a mercenary unit shipments take 20 seconds longer to arrive and usually have a large coin cost associated with them.
Some of the many examples of such mercenary shipments are 7 Black Riders for a cost 1000 coin (III), 6 Bosniaks for a cost of 1000 coin (III), 2 Privateers for a cost 500 coin (II) and so on. Shipments that send units that are tagged “Native Warriors” or “Outlaws” also seem to follow this rule. Native unit shipments like 9 Habsburg Allies for a cost of 500 coin (III), 9 Cree Allies for 500 coin (II) and Lakota’s Outlaw unit shipments like 7 Cowboys for 750 coin (II) are also some examples of “mercenary” unit shipments that take 60 seconds to arrive.
For African civs, the mercenary unit shipments cost influence instead of coin. For Italy, the mercenary unit shipments cost an equal amount of food, wood and coin. These shipments also arrive in 60 seconds for their respective civilizations.
For Native American civilizations, all the “Support” cards have coin cost attached to them and take 60 seconds to arrive.
I would also like to mention the “Mercenary Loyalty” shipment that is available to European civilzations in Age III. This shipment reduces the coin cost on all “mercenary unit shipments” of the type mentioned above. This will be relevant to the discussion below.
So what is the problem?
I found a few mercenary unit shipments that behave very unusually.
- ALL the new Unique Battleship cards that were added recently (in V. 100.13.58326.0) arrive in 40 seconds instead of 60 seconds. The 1 Battleship card that can be sent infinite times for a cost of 1000 coin in Age IV also arrives in 40 seconds.
Please note that the Battleships are tagged “Mercenary Warship” and the Unique Battleship shipments cost 1500 coin. Comparing this to a shipment like 2 Privateers for 500 coin (II), I find it confusing why the Battleship shipments arrive faster than the Privateers shipment. Battleship shipments are also affected by Mercenary Loyalty so shouldn’t they behave like other mercenary shipments and take 60 seconds to arrive?
22 Lenape Allies for a cost of 1000 coin (IV) for the Haudenosaunee arrives in 40 seconds. This is confusing when you compare this to very similar unit shipments of 22 Cherokee Allies and 22 Cree Allies which are also Age IV unit shipments for the same civilization and also cost the same amount of coin but arrive in the usual 60 seconds.
Emir of Kano is an Age III unit shipment for Hausa that costs 1000 influence and ships 1 Emir and 9 Maigadi. This shipment take 40 seconds to arrive. This is again unusual and confusing because every other influence costing mercenary unit shipment for Hausa takes 60 seconds to arrive.
Hadejia Emirate is another Age III unit shipment for Hausa that costs 1000 influence, ships 4 Raiders, 3 Lifdi Knights and makes their upgrades cheaper, but also takes only 40 seconds to arrive. This shipment, however, is not granting any mercenary, native or outlaw units so perhaps this is intended behaviour?
Circle Army is an Age III unit shipment for Germany that costs 250 food and 250 wood to send. The most recent patch notes mention that this shipment is now “properly classified as a mercenary unit shipment and is affected by mercenary loyalty”.
Circle Army does take 60 seconds to arrive like a normal mercenary shipment but it is NOT affected by Mercenary Loyalty. Compare this to Mercenary Loyalty for Italy where the card properly reduces the food and wood costs of mercenary unit shipments by 25% as well.
Top image is Mercenary Loyalty for Germany, bottom image is Mercenary Loyalty for Italy.
Furthermore, sending Mercenary Loyalty for Germany for their new Unique Battleship card Adler von Lubeck decreases the cost of the shipments FROM 900 food, 900 wood, 900 coin TO 900 food, 900 wood, 675 coin. Sending Mercenary Loyalty for Italy reduces the cost of a mercenary shipments from 500 of each food, wood and coin to 375 of each food, wood and coin. Is the different behavior of Mercenary Loyalty for Germany an intentional change for game balance or is this a bug?
- ALL of the “Tongue” cards for Malta take 60 seconds to arrive instead of 40 seconds.
“Tongue cards” here mean shipments like British Tonuge (II) which costs 500 wood and sends 10 Order Longbowman and 1 Commandery Wagon. These are perhaps the most confusing one for me because the Tongue cards for Malta have a large wood cost instead of coin and they do not send units that are mercenaries, natives or outlaws. Still, they take 60 seconds to arrive compared to 40 seconds like Mercenary unit shipments. However unlike Mercenary shipments, Tongue cards are NOT affected by Mercenary Loyalty.
This discrepancy becomes worse when you consider the following shipments for some other civilizations -:
Both Dutch Immigrants and French Immigrants for USA in Age I have some resource cost attached to them and both of them take 40 seconds to arrive. So wouldn’t a player naturally expect the German Tongue for Malta in Age I to arrive in 40 seconds seconds as well?
China and India have many unit shipments that cost food to send. Some examples are Emperor’s Army (IV) for China that costs 1500 food and 7 Urumi Swordsmen for India in Age III for 500 food. Ottomans have a 5 Spahi shipment in Age 3 that costs 1000 food. All these shipments take 40 seconds to arrive. Shouldn’t the British Tongue, Portugese Tongue and other similar cards then also not take 40 seconds to arrive instead of 60 seconds?
Mexico has 2 Unit shipments that behave unusually in a similar fashion. Tulancingo Cuirassiers (III) which costs 500 food and 500 wood, send 6 Gendarme and enables them at Forts. Spanish Sympathizers which costs 1000 food and 1000 wood, sends 15 Garrochista Lancers and enables them at Forts. Both these shipments take 40 seconds to arrive.
Here the discrepancy lies within the same civilization when you consider the shipment Criollos (II) which costs 250 food and 250 wood, sends 9 Spanish Musketeers and enables them at Forts. This shipment takes 60 seconds to arrive unlike its Age III and Age IV counterparts! Similar unit shipments like Pulaski’s Legion (III) and Armand’s Legion (III) for USA also take 60 seconds to arrive.
- 2 Wokou Junks (II) is an USA shipment costing 300 food and 300 wood and it also takes 40 seconds to arrive. Wokou Junks are tagged “Mercenary warship” so perhaps this shipment should take 60 seconds to arrive instead?
I suspect there are more examples of such shipments.
Are the above discrepancies and inconsistencies in the cost and arrival time of unit shipments a result of careful balance considersations and therefore completely intentional? Or are they simply an oversight and therefore bugs that have to be fixed?