Mercenary Army cards

One very nice touch from the DE to mercenaries, is that they tried to make some Age IV mercenaries cards more viable to Europeans by making them infinite shipments. These are the mercenary armies card like “Hire Highland Mercenary Army” “Hire Mediterranean Mercenary Army” and “Hire Asian Mercenary Army”.

Of course not all civs get access to the three of them (except for Spain), but at least to two of them.

Asian civs are the exception to this. With India you get ‘‘Hire Idian Mercenary Army’’, China gets ‘‘Hire Mandarin Mercenary Army’’ and Japan has ‘‘Hire Japanese Mercenary Army’’. All of these you can send only once, with the exception of Japan that gets to send them twice.

I feel like the spirit for the original change to these shipments is on the right place, in order to give mercenaries more presence and diversifying armies. However, Asian civs feel kind of left behind in this regard.

I propose that all of the Age IV shipments mentioned above become infinite shipments like their European counter parts, with the exception of maybe Japan since they already get to send them twice and x2 shipments is kind of their thing. I think it’s also worth considering giving China an infinite Manchu card at Age IV and India an infinite Jat lancers card as well, in order to have more alternatives to complement their weaknesses, like you did with Dutch infinite ‘‘Hire Fusiliers Corps’’, Ottoman infinite ‘‘Hire Corsair Force’’, etc.

Ps: I think that giving Asian civs an option to have relevant mercs at Age V somehow like Europeans should also be explored, but I’ll create a different post for that.


I like the idea of adding and sustaining merc play for Asian civ. Perhaps make the Atonement card able to train both of their merc at monastery, Arsonist and Jat lancer for India, Ronin and Yojimbo for Japs, and Iron Troop and Manchu for Chinese.

For this part, I think it can be done by adding an Age5 upgrade at Asian Monastery. But the price must be steep at also 4k Food and 4k coin as they also get Wonder for aging normally.

That first idea would be a dream came true… Don’t think they’ll do it do, I’ve already made some proposals to be able to reliably recruit Manchu from the monastery with no luck… apparently people think they’d be OP even tho they cost a good amount of gold and are locked behind a single building and a card.

The second idea is for sure something to consider; as you point out, this is not something that could be added to their age up system like for Europeans, but if you pay the fair price for it as you suggest, that sounds good. I was thinking of locking it behind the Atonement card as well, let know what you think of that.

The Atonement and Dance Hall card as a whole is lacking, anyway to buff it is a welcome, besides when putting this card it’s already meaning it’s going for merc play. This card currently only give an extra 1 type of merc and reduce 1 outlaw pop, for Europe, none are gonna spend gold to train Ronin as 4 musketeer is more preferable, while German already have Dopps and Dutch have Ruyter for it’s job.

Japs Yojimbo is a situational Cuirassier, bad against any type of infantry in melee, but surprisingly good enough to counter mass hand cavalry which Japs didn’t need with Ashigaru and others.

Indian Jat Lancer is good enough between mahout or sowar, but only 600 hp for a merc hand cavalry with 4pop. Please note when using this unit, it trample damage add 3 area and only reduce it damage by 5 while still maintaining it 4x vs infantry. It’s hp though small is combined with 40% ranged resist and move at the speed of 7, faster than most any hand cavalry.

Chinese Iron Troop is considered good in skirmish battle due to it’s 60% ranged resist. But for China this unit is quite awkward, as China have 3 choice between the high dps chu ko nu, long range arquebus, or the tanky iron troop. Iron troop even lost in damage as it lack the 3x heavy infantry multiplier. Make worse as China only way to buff this unit is by age4 Western Reform card and Brits consulate.


Atonement and Dance are buffs to Outlaws not really Mercenaries. Outlaws are too population inefficient.
They cost between 3 to 7 pop, with the 3 pop ones at least being salvageable with Dance Hall, but they are the minority of them.

I think taht Attonement and Dance Hall should allow the building os a secondary Monastery/Saloon, as to actually help with Mercenary strategies, and that Outlaws should have their pop cost reduced to 3-4, and their Gold cost increased, so they become balanced around a lower pop cost, but also more justifiable to train for Dance Hall decks.

Iron Troopers are anti-Cavalry Archer-Caçador hybrids.

Correction: it reduces Outlaw pop cost by 2.
Wokou Ronin actually becomes a decent unit after Dance Hall is sent, as it becomes a 1 pop, 200 Gold cost, Super Halberdier, with slightly less damage but double the HP, that can frontline for a very long time, and even beat Tokala Soldiers in Age 2.

Thanks for correcting me about the outlaw pop reduction, my mind a bit hazy there. Yeah I know about the Wokou, it’s one of the rare good in outlaw standard, too bad it can only spawn in 3 specific map (but I’m not that familiar yet with esoc map to know what outlaw they spawn).

So far, other outlaw that have some use I found is Renegado and Thuggee as their base damage is 40+, you just need 2 of em and they can 1 shot age 2 musketeers while melding with xbow group (but how often will people make saloon in age 2?). Renegado are even better when choosing Romania as Russian or Hungaria as Ottoman.

This is also a good idea to promote merc play.

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Problem with Renegados and Thugees, is that they cost 6 pop each, so they still cost 4 pop with Dance Hall/Attonement, and are not worth having to build a House for every 2 of them.

4 Musks will outperform a Renegado or Thugee, and the real issue with Outlaws is just that you can never get enough of them, so they remain unused.
If both costed 3-4 pop, then Dance Hall would reduce it to 1-2 pop a piece, which would make them a much better choice than they are now.

You would still need to blow all your Gold on them, but at least you would have decent units to account for your slower Age Up time.

Renegados alo have the issue that they have only 110 HP, so they REALLY should be only a 3 pop unit, because they actually die to Crossbows/Archers and Musks, rather easily.

This is partially true, they are both since they unlock you a special mercenary which you could even build an strategy around theoretically.

That’s right, specially for late midgame/late game. You would stil need access to European Age V upgrade to make this relevant in late game tho, otherwise having 2 of them is not much of a difference (so much coin to afford this).

I wish this was the case but no, this is in fact very incorrect. I’ve played with Iron Troop on several matches and their whole thing is that they reck most units at range but melt to cav. It’s hard making an strategy around them since China doesn’t have the best anticav, so you have to get lucky with your mercs.

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Mercs do benefit from Arsenal upgrades, several unit stat and training time cards, so it would be worth it paired with Advanced Arsenal, and you would need much less Wood for a Merc strategy (no unit line upgrades to research), so you could have more Vills on Gold.
Double Saloon/Monastery would be great for the purposes of allowing Merc decks.

They have a 2X modifier against Light Cavalry, so they do wreck Dragoons.
Unfortunately I was remembering it wrong, and though they had a modifier against Hand Cavalry instead.

They still have high HP and Range resist, so they still are somewhat better Caçadores, but much more expensive.

Pair them with Changdao and Qiang Pikemen shipments.

I also think China should get a Banner Army that specializes in anti-Cavalry, and mixes in Qiang and Changdao units, at laest to frontline for Artillery, which is the Chinese secondary strat besides Old Han spam.