Much Needed Mercenary Changes

                            Politicians and Upgrades

There is now a universal imperial mercenary upgrade available to all civilizations.

Mercenary Contractor Fortress Age now also delivers 600-800 resources of faction appropriate mercenaries.

Mercenary Contractor Imperial Age now researches the imperial mercenary upgrade and ships a larger amount of faction appropriate mercenaries.

German Unique Church mercenary upgrade now allows shipped mercenaries to be trained in normal production buildings.


allow Native Americans to train mercenary units in their hut, and guarantee them and the Indians an extra artillery mercenary. allow captured mortars to be trainable in age 4 as well as infinite artillery mercenary shipments for these civs.

perhaps ottoman consulate bombards for Indians and Thunderbolts of Illapa for Incans allow them to retrain a limited amount of those units.

older civs gain the new mercenaries as cards from the expansions/dlc.


some mercenaries need changes, like the Arsonist. it feels wrong to have a bare chested torch throwing unit from that area called Arsonists. besides being absolutely worthless as a unit in game, it seems pretty offensive. instead a new Indian mercenary unit like Sikh musketeers or a super howdah would be welcome. even better to let the Indian aoe3 community design an Indian mercenary unit and let them join in the process. if you feel that the game needs a grenadier mercenary then a grenade launcher mercenary can be added in as well.

speaking of useless Indian mercenaries there’s the Jatt Lancer, a unit which severely underperforms for its price. it needs a pop and cost reduction or massive stat boosts.

the Hussar alternative Stradiot can also use either a stat boost or a pop/cost reduction as it also underperforms for what it asks. compare it to the Manchu and Cavalry archer or Musketeer and Highlander.

Sennar also underperforms when compared to its counterparts like the mameluke. its slower than mamelukes, does less damage than mamelukes, and despite having 2 armors its squishier than mamelukes. its a textbook example of a unit that has no place in the game like the Arsonists and the Jatt Lancer when compared to its alternatives. we should give it clear strength and weakness such as having standard cavalry speed, 1250 hp with 50% melee resistance and 80% siege resistance as well as 20 attack x 3 vs heavy cavalry, heavy infantry and artillery. in this way it would be clearly differed from the mameluke as a melee specialist, essentially a mounted jaguar warrior that also excels vs artillery.

barbary corsairs should be cheaper and more should come with shipments, they are not worth 200g like highlanders and iron troop. they should also have a pirate themed ability, such as granting a gold bounty in addition to xp for units they recently damaged.

landsknecht are too expensive and too few come in shipments, they should not be worth more than highlanders and iron troops.

Napoleon Guns feel like a meme unit, it costs the same as a falconet yet its inferior in all the ways that matter such as range, damage, aoe and ranged resistance. it should be retooled as a horse gun or falconet mercenary class unit with the leather cannon based model and the stats to match. there is a need for artillery mercenaries yet these cannot meaningfully fulfill that role.

Zouaves are also meme tier. costs twice a hussar/highlander for the same or lower hp and has low damage and siege with no multipliers, what exactly is the point of this unit? id rather take iron troops or highlanders or even hussars which cost half the resources of this unit. it needs the stats to back up its costs and it needs something to differentiate it from the pack, such as a grenade/satchel charge ability or being able to construct Fortifications cheaply and quickly. as it is its actively harmful to have these units in your army due to their drain on your pop and coin while providing nothing of value in return. I wouldn’t take them for free in age 4 if I had the resources to make other units.


Is this confirmed? For Asian civs as well??


I think landsknechts are OP right now, if they need something i think is not lower cost hehehe


no, I meant in the context if the suggestion was adopted. I probably could have worded that better, there have been no changes announced.

I cant really think of a single reason to ship them over swiss, jaegers, highlanders and black riders. there are better anti cav mercenaries which are cheaper, faster and have a ranged attack.

I’ve never seen the 8 landksnecht card ever used in a serious 1v1 unlike those other options.


Mercenary contractor (age 3) is still not so viable, since people may prefer instant payoffs like resources or units at that stage. They should deliver some mercenaries or a small amount of gold.


We dont need stronger mercs, Swedenis soooooo OP with mercs right now, specially with lanksnecht with church card. I think that merc contractor should be nerfed like nerfing train time or smth.

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Nice. I really like this type of threads.

Let me give my point on this matter:

  • I think that the mercenary contractor troops should be 600 resources. The reason for that is they are stronger than normal units, and you also receive the bonus of unlocking a new unit.
    So I think if the Mercenary Contractor give 800 resources worth of stronger than normal units plus unlocking a unit, he will be objectively better than a politician that only gives 800 resources worth of normal units.

  • There are some Mercenary Contractor that cannot give units on the shipment: Like the Portuguese unit. Because the relevant unit is the Lil’ Bombard, which replaces the falconets, but it’s worth more than 800 resources.

  • I agreed with almost all the units listed being bad, except the Stradiot: I only disagree with the Stradiot, because I don’t think they are a Hussar. They have so much attack that I see them much more like a Uhlan than a Hussar. Mamelukes will be more like a Hussar, because they don’t have as much attack and their main job is to tank damage. Stradiots suppose to deliver a lot of DPS, like a Uhlan.

Everything else I agreed with you.

Zouarve and Jat Lancer are a such bad units for 400 gold… to think that this is the same value of a Mamelukes… damn.
Barbary Corsair needs a buff on their HP so they can tank more damage.
Napoleon Guns are a stronger version of the Leather Cannon. But the those units are only good on the early game, where there is no other artillery on the field to contest them (As they both lose badly to other artillery). But Napoleon Guns specifically are so expensive, that you will not be able to afford them in the early game. So you can only realistically hire Napoleon Guns on the late game, where they are almost useless already.
And Arsonists are among the worst units in the game.

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stradiots are one of the best mercs, they outrun every single unit except the lakota warchief, even faster than dragoons, a subtle stat boost not usually noticed initially. you can use them for high impact raids, snaring scouting, or tanking. They’re not as impactful as mamelukes are (which are an age 4 merc normally, meaning this should be expected), and less survivability just due to the nature of melee units, but stradiots are hands down one of the strongest mercs per cost.


Absolutely I agree.
Jat lancer ve Barbary Coursair ve kundakçılar buff ihtiyacı var.

Straidot is actually a very good unit for its cost. They are good all round balanced units, and they are very useful for civs that lack such a unit.

I do agree with the rest of the post, mercs do need some more love, especially with the age 3 politician shipping a few units (depending on units). However, the way I see it is that the merc contractor was supposed to be used mainly in treaty, as it grants merc units that the civ otherwise lacks, and synergies well with the age5 one, which most people would auto-pick anyway in treaty.
But for supremacy they might need to ship a few units (depending on unit) to be viable. Perhaps we should have a different set of politicians between treaty and supremacy maybe.

They got a bit in DE launch, but they need some more. Hopefully we will get more attention for them in the next patches.

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Well, i think you might be right, i said that because they ARE OP in treaty, so if you decrease their cost, they´re going to be even more OP, but i understand your point, and i think you´re right, they are not that specialized in cavalry like swiss pikes so they´re not that good, but whatever buffs they can receive i hope they are not for treaty as well, a little nerf for treaty if possible.

I’d be happy with just an increase to the amounts shipped rather than their stats so the cards can see use.

I’m genuinely surprised at the stradiot comments. while the suggestion to buff stats or reduce cost is based on their stat differences compared to hussars and other mercenaries, I have also spent countless games trying to get the 6 Stradiot card to see use.

the card does not perform for the Ottomans and the Spanish. every time I hover over that card I find myself instead moving over to 5 hussars/ lancers and spending the gold on other units or more useful mercenaries. Spahi/ falconets/ mamelukes/ swiss shipments have a significantly higher impact, and the falconets don’t cost 1k gold to ship.

of course these are my subjective experiences and I haven’t really tested them out in de. there might be a high level Ottoman/ Spanish player that finds great success with this card, if so id love to see it.

on a final note Dutch Waardgelders are on a completely different cost scale. 1k gold for 5 instead of 2k resources for 6 is a massive cost difference, 70% more expensive from the card at 334 gold per unit vs 200 from the church tech. this price difference changes how you would see the unit.

only ottomans and spanish get the card and they both have much better cards to ship instead. ive played countless ottoman and spanish matches with this card in my deck and it has never pulled its weight compared to other shipments or done something that I couldn’t accomplish better with 10 hussars/lancers. 334 gold per Stradiot is just not worth the shipment opportunity. if you see a high level recording with this card used to great effect recently in de though link it for me, id be happy to able to utilize them effectively.

they aren’t though. just compare the manchu, jeager, iron troop, swiss or highlander hp/damage for cost compared to their base counterparts and they don’t compete. 9 manchu, 10 jeagers or 12 swiss pikes cards are so much better than 6 stradiots.

harquebusier are more like Uhlans. Stradiots have a roughly 50/50 hp and damage split which is why they are closer to hussars. a balance of survivability and damage output.

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Stradiots are the fastest hand cavalry that isn’t Sowar…that alone makes them really good.

you’ve forgotten that dutch can access them through the church card, which is where I’ve used them the most and where they’re the most impactful. Its less relevant for spain and otto just because both of those civs can ship lancers, 5 hussars, spahi, mamelukes, etc. etc.
Dutch doesn’t have a lot of solid hand cav options and none that shadowtech. if you can drop that 5 stradiot tech in a mirror you’ll cleanup some insane amount of skirmishers. I’ve Legitimately won so many games with stradiots. I agree the 6 strad card is kinda mediocre for the given civs that can access it but civs with kinda mediocre cav or overly specialized cav (india, sorta germany, dutch, probably swedes age 3), they can be very cost effective. If you’ve not had the chance to spam “improved mercenaries” strads as germany, i highly recommend it. The speed, hard hitting, good hp, decent armour, not too costly, all a good combination

I think above all they should look at the current mercenary rooster and rebalance some mercenaries.

Because before DE it was even more random which mercenaries you got, often there were “duplicat” units with the same cost and function but different stats.

An example (which you also stated) is Jet lancer and Elemeti, Elemeti for the same price is just always better than Jet lancer.

Also how is arsenist offensive? Its just a niche unit which is supposed to be fun grenade type thrower that looks unique. I wouldnt really care if it was a European unit instead of Asian looking either. The thing with the saloon is that you hire units basically, you probably can hire a reallife arsenist too if you find use for it.

they are much more flexible than swiss pikemen, i use them as dopple soldiers in treaty when i play sweden, run in and kill what little resistance there is before burning everything.

Straidot should be 270 gold and increased by 7 on cards.

Then perfect, as long as they don´t buff their late game stats, i think is fine, because its only a one-time card and can be a powerful one to be useful like you said, just more units.