Please add mercenary units for all civs

Hello community :slight_smile:

I would love a mercenary building for all civs where you can build special mercenary units.

Similar to AOE3.

What do you think about the suggestion?

Best regards


Big mercenary armies was a thing more for the aoe3 period, than for the aoe4 period.

That doesn’t mean that they weren’t used, but there wasn’t a sistem that would justify giving a building specific to that.

There are some exceptions, like the Italian states, which made often use of the condottieri armies, which literally meant contractors.

I think mercenary units like swiss pikemen would make battles even more interesting.

It would also be good to make them buildable in existing military buildings.

I’d like mercenary elephants. Maybe one with a hand cannon. If they allowed for that, I could play a different Civ in hopes of contracting one.

But I don’t know how it would work out.

I like the idea of mercs too. It would be cool for there to be Gaia/Neutral settlements on the map. If you gain control of that settlement, you can recruit certain mercs. This way the mercs are accessible to all factions equally, much like sacred sites or neutral markets are. It wouldn’t depend on faction alignment with where the mercs are from, just that they are hired for gold, which is what mercs are all about. One step further for immersion would be that the type of mercs could be determined by map type.

Mercenaries were a common thing in the middle ages.
Mercenaries – During the Middle Ages | Weapons and Warfare
AoE III (DE) features a very wide (and often exotic) selection, because of obvious changes in the world related to exploration, colonization, industrialization and the expanse of European empires in previously unknown lands.

‘Big’ or ‘small’ doesn’t matter at all, it’s an issue with game balance, and developers can limit their use and worth just like they did in AoE III. IV is less focused and far more blurred when it comes to the definition in the depiction of history, so I wouldn’t be surprised if these units would end up being as viable as core civ units, whereas in III they are often not and come with high resource and/or pop cost and other drawbacks.

Being a mercenary isn’t the oldest profession in the world, but it would fit every AoE game. One set in antiquity, or one depicting wars in the Middle East (but that would be a subject far more suitable for Company of Heroes and other games like that).

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I would suggest a similar approach like in AOE3. You can build mercenary units from buildings and there are buildings on the map with neutral mercenary units. Like the indians in AOE3. It would be cool as @PreciousSprout mentioned when the kind of neutral mercenary depends on the map and BIOM.


Nice thought. I think merc should be specialized to some factions like Italian States and Byzantine. But if being neutral it will destroy the balance…

Totally agree @KillerB3541

Just curious to hear your thoughts on why neutral mercs would destroy balance? @Athanatoi94

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For example, should merc benefit from melee/range upgrade? It will favor Delhi/France.

Should merc benefit from Khan’s skill? Yam? English Network of Citadels?

While other civs just do not have such mechanism, it will destroy the balance.

It will be better if any new civs are heavily focused on the mercenary. @PreciousSprout

Apparently, I accidentally deleted this post when editing it, lol, but here it is:

Very good points for consideration @Athanatoi94 @KillerB3541

I think it is interesting that certain map types favor different civs. Open maps favor civs with emphasis on calvary, while chokepoint maps are advantageous to civs with strong defensive capabilities. My thought was that neutral mercs would be similiar in this respect, their unit types being reflective of the specific map type and geographic area they were hired from. Players would have to carefully weigh which civ to pick if neutral mercs were enabled for the match.

I also think neutral settlements could serve other interesting purposes for how civs interact with them too, but I should probably reserve that for a different post.

The only issue I see with giving every Civ their own unique merc building/mercs, is that these essentially just become buildings to produce new special units for that civ exclusively. It makes me wonder if the English need an archer merc or if the french need a merc mounted knight, so the possibility of gaining access to mercs with abilities that your civ doesn’t have, may give you a better fighting chance on a map your civ might otherwise do terrible on. Interested to hear your thoughts on this.

Do you mean a new DLC civ that only gets access to a merc army? In that case this would be pretty cool! @Athanatoi94

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Yes, because from what we see, Relic devs’ capacity is not enough. As the content we can expect is limited, i’d prefer to see merc-based CIV instead of all civs access to merc.

Since mercenary is really hard to balance, as i mentioned above. And some civs may have advantage in Gold.

I want to shout out to Relic devs to include Mercenary for Byzantine and any Italian State. Byzantine, for example, can choose landmark between Thema or Mercenary Recruitment camp, to represent its reliance on local troops or foreign auxiliaries. Further landmark can further enable gunpowder merc and decrease the cost of mercenaries, which both fits history and gameplay.

Italian State is even more suitable for merc. But I think Relic has pretty good design on civs. Let’s wait and see.

I definitely like the Byzantine or Italian civ merc ideas. Yes, best to see what happens next with future content.

I don’t think that there should be a common building for all civs just to mercenaries, it’s not just the aoe4 style, it’s a mechanic for aoe3 which is different.

Although, something similar could be made, like a neutral building, much like a trade post, that can be captured by a player and that give access to unique, expensive and powerful mercenary units, depending on the map.

That might be fun for some map and game modes.

I understand that it is arguable whether buildings in which mercenaries are built fit AOE4.
Hiring mercenaries through neutral buildings would maybe fit better. In AOE4 I wonder how you capture the neutral buildings? There is no special scout like in AOE3. Would you just have to hold the position with units long enough?

Regarding balancing: Perhaps mercenaries could also be offered as an option. Everyone could then decide for themselves whether they want to play with mercenaries. I think it would be important that the neutral mercenary buildings are fairly distributed on the maps.

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Maybe do it for mods or non competitive games.

AoE4 is a new game, I’m sure that they can find or invent a way to do it.

Either by building a common building like a outpost, or by capturing it with military units like the prelates capture sacred sites…

I’m sure it’s not too hard to implement.

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Make mercenary camps in Regicide for Kings to capture. Different king, different options based on local history of mercs; keep it cool above real.

After more thought, while I would totally be up for playing new civs like Byzantines or Italians who have landmarks and units with mercenary themes, I realized that if you were to rename the Byzantines or Italian’s landmarks/units to anything other than merc camp/merc pikeman, these are essentially new civs that just pay gold for their unique units.

Again, I’m all for the historical and thematic elements for new civs like this, but I think what is being discussed here overall is the possibility of mercenaries who only care about gold and not being aligned with a certain civ. If the concern is imbalance due to some civs advantage in producing gold over others, this could easily be balanced by making those civs have to pay more gold for mercs than others.

I agree with the idea for neutral settlements to be capture points, evenly distributed around the map like relics/holy sites, is the way to go. For instance, Rus and HRE have certain advantages over other civs when it comes to how they interact with relics/animals on the map, so neutral settlements add another interesting element to the game for current and future civs to get buffs from.

It would be interesting if these settlements offer certain advantages too, like recruiting spies.

Also, if a Norse faction dlc is added, their raiders could destroy the neutral settlements for a civ bonus or perhaps they could receive a better bonus for destroying a settlement already captured by another player too.

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Sounds good, I will be very happy to see more diverse units appear in the game.
However, we need to clarify the purpose of the presence of mercenaries.
Are they used as supplementary units which are stronger than contemporary average like in AOE3, or rapidly deployable but expensive reinforcements like in AOE4’s campaign.