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Mercenaries

Hiring mercenaries

Mercenaries are bands of troops that can be hired for a price. They can be hired from the Military screen on the Mercenaries Tab.

You can hire mercenary companies whose capital is within a certain distance of your capital (usually 600 for normal mercenaries). Some mercenaries have different hire range. Many mercenary companies are further limited to one or two religious groups, but unlike holy orders, they will fight any foe and always require wealth upkeep.

Contents

CostEdit

In addition to the initial hiring fee, they have upkeep fees which are much higher than any of your own troops'. Be sure that you have plenty of money to pay them. Mercenaries who do not get paid will at best stand down, and will at worst defect to the enemy or declare war on you (which can even happen in the middle of a battle). Mercenary companies cannot be set to raid.

When hiring mercenaries, the full force of their unit will not be available if they are still recovering from losses sustained under a previous employer. They will gradually replenish their manpower over time. Check their manpower on the mercenary screen to ensure you'll get what you pay for.

The cost of hiring a troop does not vary based on how many units they currently possess, but the cost of maintenance does decrease as the mercenaries take casualties. For this reason, and because mercenaries can replenish casualties while on the field more quickly than standard levies (and are able to reinforce while in hostile territory), it is beneficial to put mercenaries wherever casualties are expected to be highest. The monthly upkeep of a company depends on that unit's current size. A thrifty and unscrupulous ruler may deliberately waste half of a company in a futile assault in order to save money.

MechanicsEdit

Mercenary troops can only be hired by one ruler at a time - therefore it is possible that, at any given time, all the mercenaries which are within your hiring range may be unavailable because they have been hired by other realms. If your war strategy depends on the hiring of mercenaries, ensure that you check mercenary availability before declaring war. You could even hire them before the war starts (only raised levies prevent you from declaring war). Mercenary troop technology bonuses depend on the technology level of the mercenary company's capital province. Even if the company is landed, mercenary troops are not affected by building bonuses to troop offense or defense.

The composition ratio of the company is fixed, but the actual number of troops increases with time, based on size and current year.

A mercenary company is considered a titular duchy and uses open elective succession law.

VassalizationEdit

Creating mercenary bandsEdit

Some rulers can send their children or siblings to prove themselves as mercenaries:

  • With the  Horse Lords DLC, nomads and their descendants who maintain the "Mercenary Traditions" character modifier
  • With the  Holy Fury DLC, rulers with bloodlines described with "Children can prove themselves as Mercenaries"

With the  Conclave DLC, other rulers can assign a courtier with a military education to lead a mercenary band. This costs 50 wealth and reduces your demesne levies through a "Maintaining Mercenary Band" modifier. In exchange, the band will pay 15% of its income into your treasury. You can also further invest into upgrading your mercenaries. After creating the band, you'll have the options to send it troops or equipment. For 50 wealth, you can add another 100 Light Infantry or 100 Light Cavalry. Sending equipment converts these Light Troops. For 50 wealth, you can either convert 50 Light Infantry into Heavy Infantry or Pikemen or you can convert 50 Light Cavalry into Heavy Cavalry. In order to send troops or equipment, the mercenary band must not be hired out; right-click on the mercenary captain's portrait to see the options.

Sending relatives to prove themselves as mercenaries may help them gain prestige, especially helpful with nomad succession. However, it risks their death in battle or religious conversion, unless you hire them to stand in a safe location.

List of mercenary companiesEdit

List of mercenary companies (in order from landed_titles.txt)
CoA Name Capital Religion Culture Hire conditions Vassalizable by decision Composition Size ID
  Turkmen Company Emba   Sunni Turkish No
   
50% 50%
5 d_sunni_turkic_company
  Khazar Company Yaik   Sunni Cuman Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
   
25% 75%
4 d_sunni_cuman_company
  Berber Company Atlas   Sunni Berber Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
       
25% 13% 38% 25%
3 d_sunni_berber_company
  Arab Company Halaban   Sunni Bedouin Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
     
25% 50% 25%
3 d_sunni_bedouin_company
  Turkoman Company Emba   Shiite Turkish No
   
50% 50%
5 d_shiite_turkic_company
  Steppe Company Yaik   Shiite Cuman Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
   
25% 75%
4 d_shiite_cuman_company
  Tuareg Company Atlas   Shiite Berber Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
       
25% 13% 38% 25%
3 d_shiite_berber_company
  Bedouin Company Halaban   Shiite Bedouin Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
     
25% 50% 25%
3 d_shiite_bedouin_company
  The White Company Essex   Catholic Anglo-Saxon Christian religion group No
       
20% 58% 2% 20%
5 d_white_company
  The Great Company Niederbayern   Catholic German Christian religion group No
     
76% 4% 20%
5 d_great_company
  Company of St. George Lombardia   Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
       
29% 41% 1% 29%
4 d_company_of_st_george
  Company of the Star Ferrara   Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
       
20% 58% 2% 20%
4 d_star_company
  Company of the Hat Mantua   Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
       
20% 58% 2% 20%
3 d_little_hat_company
  Company of the Rose Padua   Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
       
20% 58% 2% 20%
3 d_rose_company
  Catalan Company Barcelona   Catholic Catalan Christian religion group No
       
20% 58% 2% 20%
3 d_catalan_company
  Navarrese Company Navarre   Catholic Basque Christian religion group No
       
20% 50% 10% 20%
2 d_navarrese_company
  Swiss Company Geneve   Catholic French Christian religion group No
     
40% 40% 20%
2 d_swiss_company
  Breton Company Penthievre   Catholic Breton Christian religion group No
       
40% 20% 20% 20%
2 d_breton_company
  Sardinian Company Cagliari   Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
       
49% 16% 2% 33%
2 d_sardinian_company
  Sardinian Band Arborea   Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
       
40% 20% 13% 27%
1 d_sardinian_band
  Victual Brothers Marienburg   Catholic Prussian

Christian religion group
(Reformed) Germanic religion
(Reformed) Suomenusko religion
(Reformed) Romuva religion

No
         
34% 32% 2% 23% 1%
(slow growth: 25% of the normal growth vs other mercenaries over the centuries)
5 d_victual_brothers
  Varangian Guard Uppland  

 

Orthodox (from 1066)

Germanic (if formed by decision earlier)

Norse Yes (Byzantine Empire, by decision (costs 300 gold and prestige, must be some Germanic pagan rulers not too far away) or from 950 to 1204)
     
78% 11% 11%
6 d_varangian_guard
  Cuman Company Yaik   Orthodox Cuman No
   
25% 75%
5 d_cuman_company
  Rus Company Kiev   Orthodox Russian No
       
40% 20% 20% 20%
4 d_rus_company
  Pecheneg Company Olvia   Orthodox Pecheneg No
     
75% 13% 13%
3 d_pecheneg_company
  Bulgarian Company Dorostotum   Orthodox Bulgarian No
       
40% 20% 20% 20%
2 d_bulgarian_company
  Turkic Company Emba   Orthodox Turkish No
     
75% 13% 13%
3 d_turkic_company
  Lombard Band Lombardia   Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
       
40% 20% 20% 20%
1 d_lombard_band
  Swiss Band Geneve   Catholic French Christian religion group No
     
40% 40% 20%
1 d_swiss_band
  Breton Band Penthievre   Catholic Breton Christian religion group No
       
40% 20% 20% 20%
1 d_breton_band
  Catalan Band Barcelona   Catholic Catalan Christian religion group No
       
20% 40% 20% 20%
1 d_catalan_band
  Saxon Band York   Catholic Saxon Christian religion group No
       
10% 50% 10% 30%
1 d_saxon_band
  Cuman Band Yaik   Orthodox Cuman No
   
25% 75%
1.5 d_cuman_band
  Rus Band Kiev   Orthodox Russian Christian religion group

Pagan religion group

No
       
60% 20% 20% 20%
1.5 d_rus_band
  Finnish Band Häme   Suomenusko Finnish Christian religion group

Pagan religion group

No
     
47% 16% 16%
1 d_finnish_band
  Sami Band Kemi   Suomenusko Sami Christian religion group

Pagan religion group

No
   
64% 36%
1 d_lappish_band
  Lithuanian Band Lietuva / Zhmud   Romuva Lithuanian Christian religion group

Pagan religion group

No
       
50% 11% 22% 17%
1 d_lithuanian_band
  Abyssinian Band Axum   Miaphysite Ethiopian Christian religion group

Jewish religion group

No
       
50% 17% 17% 17%
1.5 d_abyssinian_band
  Nubian Band Hayya   Miaphysite Ethiopian Christian religion group

Jewish religion group

No
       
50% 17% 17% 17%
1.5 d_nubian_band
  Scottish Band Gowrie   Catholic Scottish Always No
       
37% 26% 16% 5%
1.5 d_scottish_band
  Irish Band Cill Dara   Catholic Irish Always No
       
42% 11% 11% 37%
1 d_irish_band
  Alan Band Alania   Orthodox Alan Always No
     
14% 43% 43%
1.5 d_alan_band
  Pecheneg Band Olvia   Orthodox Pecheneg No
     
14% 43% 43%
1.5 d_pecheneg_band
  Bulgarian Band Dorostotum   Orthodox Bulgarian No
       
40% 20% 20% 20%
1 d_bulgarian_band
  Turkic Band Emba   Orthodox Turkish No
       
40% 20% 20% 20%
1 d_turkic_band
  Mamluks Cairo   Shiite Egyptian Muslim religion group No (Egypt from 850)
         
17% 33% 8% 17% 25%
6 d_mamluks
  Adriatic Galleys Venice   Catholic Italian Year 1066 and Christian religion group No
 
100%
9 d_venetian_navy
  Ligurian Galleys Genoa   Catholic Italian Year 1066 and Christian religion group No
 
100%
9 d_genoese_navy
  Baltic Cogs Lübeck   Catholic Pomeranian Year 1066 and Christian religion group No
 
100%
9 d_hanseatic_navy
  North Sea Cogs Holland   Catholic Dutch Year 1066 and Christian religion group No
 
100%
9 d_frisian_navy
  Maghreb Navy Mahdia   Sunni Berber Year 1066 and Muslim religion group No
 
100%
9 d_maghreb_corsairs
  Ghilman Kara-Kum   Sunni Persian Muslim religion group No (Persia from 1037, Rum from 1157)
         
17% 39% 3% 17% 25%
6 d_ghilman
  Ghanan Band Ghana   West African Mandé West African culture group No
       
50% 17% 17% 17%
1.5 d_ghanan_band
  Tamil Band Tagadur   Hindu Tamil No
       
56% 14% 28% 3%
1 d_tamil_band
  Marathi Company Vairagara   Hindu Marathi No
         
49% 25% 12% 12% 1%
3 d_marathi_company
  Marathi Band Vairagara   Hindu Marathi No
         
49% 25% 12% 12% 1%
1 d_marathi_band
  Bengal Company Candradvipa   Hindu Bengali No
         
42% 28% 14% 14% 3%
3 d_bengal_company
  Bengal Band Candradvipa   Hindu Bengali No
         
42% 28% 14% 14% 3%
1 d_bengal_band
  Rajput Company Mandavyapura   Hindu Rajput No
         
37% 25% 25% 12% 1%
3 d_rajput_company
  Rajput Band Mandavyapura   Hindu Rajput No
         
37% 25% 25% 12% 1%
1 d_rajput_band
  Dragon Army Anxi   Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
         
25% 25% 19% 3% 28%
6 d_han_massive
  Phoenix Company Anxi   Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
         
15% 31% 31% 2% 20%
5 d_han_large
  Qilin Company Anxi   Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
         
36% 14% 14% 12% 24%
3 d_han_mid
  Tortoise Company Anxi   Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
         
29% 24% 12% 12% 24%
2 d_han_mid_low
  Outlaws of the Marsh Anxi   Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
     
40% 40% 20%
2 d_outlaws_of_the_marsh
  Crane Band Anxi   Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
         
36% 14% 14% 14% 21%
1 d_han_low
  Peony Band Anxi   Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
     
51% 11% 37%
1 d_han_tiny_1
  Orchid Band Anxi   Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
       
52% 6% 6% 35%
1 d_han_tiny_2
  Jurchen Band Anxi   Taoist Jurchen Long hiring range (1300) No
   
33% 67%
1.5 d_jurchen_band
  Tangut Band Jyekundo   Buddhist Tangut Hiring range: 800 No
     
43% 36% 21%
1 d_tangut_low
  Bödpa Band Purang   Bön Bödpa Hiring range: 800 No
       
29% 14% 29% 29%
1 d_bodpa_low
  Treasure Fleet Samatata   Taoist Han Hiring range: 1200 No
         
29% 22% 22% 21% 6%
5 d_treasure_fleet
  Han Junks Samatata   Taoist Han Hiring range: 1000 No
 
100%
9 d_han_junks
  Jurchen Corsairs Samatata   Taoist Jurchen Hiring range: 1000 No
 
100%
9 d_jurchen_corsairs
  Persian Caravan Guards Merv   Shiite Persian No
   
67% 33%
3 d_persian_caravan_guards
  Silk Road Sentinels Udabhanda   Buddhist Panjabi No
     
35% 22% 39%
3 d_silk_road_sentinels
  Turkish Guard Syr Darya   Khurmazta Turkish No
   
67% 33%
3 d_turkic_guard
  Scholae Palatinae Constantinople   Orthodox Greek Vassal of Byzantine Empire until 1082
   
78% 23%
(slow growth: one tenth of the normal growth vs other mercenaries over the centuries)
2 d_scholae_palatinae
  Papal Guard Rome   Catholic Italian Vassal of the Papal State
     
56% 11% 33%
4 d_papal_guards
[[File:|32px]] Ton-Tigi Army Mali   African Mandé Hiring range: 900 No
         
26% 25% 21% 4% 24%
6 d_african_massive
[[File:|32px]] Mandekalu Horsemen Djimi   African Soninke Hiring range: 900 No
           
4% 4% 39% 41% 4% 8%
5 d_african_large
[[File:|32px]] Kèlè-Koun Infantry Kosti   African Nubian Hiring range: 900 No
         
37% 17% 14% 9% 23%
3 d_african_mid
[[File:|32px]] Mandekalu Band Ghana   African Soninke Hiring range: 900 No
         
29% 23% 11% 9% 23%
2 d_african_mid_low_1
[[File:|32px]] Hausa Company Mali   African Hausa Hiring range: 900 No
         
29% 24% 12% 12% 24%
2 d_african_mid_low_2
[[File:|32px]] Band of the Hippo Gao   African Songhay Hiring range: 900 No
         
36% 14% 14% 14% 21%
1 d_african_low
[[File:|32px]] Crocodile Company Air   African Berber Hiring range: 900 No
     
51% 11% 37%
1 d_african_tiny