Mercenaries

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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.

Cost[edit]

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 (standard levies do not replenish on the field), 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.

Mechanics[edit]

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.

Vassalization[edit]

Mercenary companies may become landed, which usually results from the bankruptcy of their employer leading to the company declaring war on them and seizing territory in lieu of their pay. For example, it's not uncommon to see Venezia ruled by the Company of the Hat. A landed company may be vassalized diplomatically. The requirements are as follows:

  • Same religion
  • If you are a king, the captain must be of your culture. If you are an emperor, this doesn't apply.
  • The captain must hold a duchy title of which you are the de jure liege.

If the captain is landed but does not hold a duchy title (other than his captaincy), it is possible to force him to acquire one. You will need to get wives for all of the men in that mercenary company, as while a mercenary captain can't marry, his courtiers can. Then wait until they have children and those children become adults. Eventually someone with living relatives will become captain. You then need to invite the son/father/brother of the captain to your court, give him a duchy, make sure the captain is his heir and then kill him off, which ensures that one of your de jure ducal titles passes to the captain and making you his de jure liege. Make sure your laws permit inheritance outside of the realm before you do that.

Some companies start as vassals, as noted in the table below. In the earliest starts, the Byzantine Emperor can create and vassalize the Varangian Guard by decision.

If a mercenary company is a vassal, only their liege can hire them, and they're much cheaper.

Dynamic mercenaries[edit]

It is possible to create your own mercenary band to hire out to foreign rulers:

With the Horse Lords.pngHorse Lords DLC, nomads (or other rulers with mercenary_traditions) can make their sons or brothers into mercenaries. This can help them gain the prestige needed for nomad succession, but risks death in battle or religious conversion (unless you hire them to stand in a safe location).

With the DLC icon Conclave.pngConclave 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.

List of mercenary companies[edit]

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

Zoroastrian religion group

No
Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
25% 75%
4 d_sunni_cuman_company
D sunni berber company.png Berber Company Atlas Sunni.png Sunni Berber Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
25% 13% 38% 25%
3 d_sunni_berber_company
D sunni bedouin company.png Arab Company Halaban Sunni.png Sunni Bedouin Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
25% 50% 25%
3 d_sunni_bedouin_company
D shiite turkic company.png Turkoman Company Emba Shia.png Shiite Turkish No
Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
50% 50%
5 d_shiite_turkic_company
D shiite cuman company.png Steppe Company Yaik Shia.png Shiite Cuman Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
Light infantry.png Horse archers.png
25% 75%
4 d_shiite_cuman_company
D shiite berber company.png Tuareg Company Atlas Shia.png Shiite Berber Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
25% 13% 38% 25%
3 d_shiite_berber_company
D shiite bedouin company.png Bedouin Company Halaban Shia.png Shiite Bedoin Muslim religion group

Zoroastrian religion group

No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
25% 50% 25%
3 d_shiite_bedouin_company
D white company.png The White Company Essex Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
20% 58% 2% 20%
5 d_white_company
D great company.png The Great Company Niederbayern Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
76% 4% 20%
5 d_great_company
D company of st george.png Company of St. George Lombardia Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
29% 41% 1% 29%
4 d_company_of_st_george
D star company.png Company of the Star Ferrara Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
20% 58% 2% 20%
4 d_star_company
D little hat company.png Company of the Hat Mantua Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
20% 58% 2% 20%
3 d_little_hat_company
D rose company.png Company of the Rose Padua Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
20% 58% 2% 20%
3 d_rose_company
D catalan company.png Catalan Company Barcelona Catholic.png Catholic Catalan Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
20% 58% 2% 20%
3 d_catalan_company
D navarrese company.png Navarrese Company Navarre Catholic.png Catholic Basque Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
20% 50% 10% 20%
2 d_navarrese_company
D swiss company.png Swiss Company Geneve Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Archers.png
40% 40% 20%
2 d_swiss_company
D breton company.png Breton Company Penthievre Catholic.png Catholic Breton Christian religion group No
Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
40% 20% 20% 20%
2 d_breton_company
D sardinian company.png Sardinian Company Cagliari Catholic.png Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
49% 16% 2% 33%
2 d_sardinian_company
D sardinian band.png Sardinian Band Arborea Catholic.png Catholic Italian Christian religion group No
Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
40% 20% 13% 27%
1 d_sardinian_band
D victual brothers.png Victual Brothers Marienburg Catholic.png Catholic

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

No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png Ships.png
34% 32% 2% 23% 1%
5 d_victual_brothers
D varangian guard.png Varangian Guard Uppland Orthodox.png Orthodox Germanic Yes (Byzantine Empire, by decision (costs 300 gold and prestige, must be some Germanic pagan rulers not too far away) or from 911)
Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
78% 11% 11%
6 d_varangian_guard
D cuman company.png Cuman Company Yaik Orthodox.png Orthodox Cuman No
Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
25% 75%
5 d_cuman_company
D rus company.png Rus Company Kiev Orthodox.png Orthodox Russian No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
40% 20% 20% 20%
4 d_rus_company
D pecheneg company.png Pecheneg Company Olvia Orthodox.png Orthodox Pecheneg No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
75% 13% 13%
3 d_pecheneg_company
D bulgarian company.png Bulgarian Company Dorostotum Orthodox.png Orthodox Bulgarian No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
40% 20% 20% 20%
2 d_bulgarian_company
D turkic company.png Turkic Company Emba Orthodox.png Orthodox Turkish No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
75% 13% 13%
3 d_turkic_company
D lombard band.png Lombard Band Lombardia Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
40% 20% 20% 20%
1 d_lombard_band
D swiss band.png Swiss Band Geneve Catholic.png Catholic Christian religion group No
Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Archers.png
40% 40% 20%
1 d_swiss_band
D breton band.png Breton Band Penthievre Catholic.png Catholic Breton Christian religion group No
Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
40% 20% 20% 20%
1 d_breton_band
D catalan band.png Catalan Band Barcelona Catholic.png Catholic Catalan Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
20% 40% 20% 20%
1 d_catalan_band
D saxon band.png Saxon Band York Catholic.png Catholic Saxon Christian religion group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Archers.png
10% 50% 10% 30%
1 d_saxon_band
D cuman band.png Cuman Band Yaik Orthodox.png Orthodox Cuman No
Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
25% 75%
1.5 d_cuman_band
D rus band.png Rus Band Kiev Orthodox.png Orthodox Russian Christian religion group

Pagan religion group

No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
60% 20% 20% 20%
1.5 d_rus_band
D finnish band.png Finnish Band Häme Suomenusko.png Suomenusko Finnish Christian religion group

Pagan religion group

No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
47% 16% 16%
1 d_finnish_band
D lappish band.png Lappish Band Kemi Suomenusko.png Suomenusko Lappish Christian religion group

Pagan religion group

No
Light infantry.png Archers.png
64% 36%
1 d_lappish_band
D lithuanian band.png Lithuanian Band Lietuva / Zhmud Romuva.png Romuva Lithuanian Christian religion group

Pagan religion group

No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
50% 11% 22% 17%
1 d_lithuanian_band
D abyssinian band.png Abyssinian Band Axum Miaphysite.png Miaphysite Ethiopian Christian religion group

Jewish religion group

No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
50% 17% 17% 17%
1.5 d_abyssinian_band
D nubian band.png Nubian Band Hayya Miaphysite.png Miaphysite Ethiopian Christian religion group

Jewish religion group

No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
50% 17% 17% 17%
1.5 d_nubian_band
D scottish band.png Scottish Band Gowrie Catholic.png Catholic Scottish Always No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
37% 26% 16% 5%
1.5 d_scottish_band
D irish band.png Irish Band Cill Dara Catholic.png Catholic Irish Always No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
42% 11% 11% 37%
1 d_irish_band
D alan band.png Alan Band Alania Orthodox.png Orthodox Alan Always No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
14% 43% 43%
1.5 d_alan_band
D pecheneg band.png Pecheneg Band Olvia Orthodox.png Orthodox Pecheneg No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
14% 43% 43%
1.5 d_pecheneg_band
D bulgarian band.png Bulgarian Band Dorostotum Orthodox.png Orthodox Bulgarian No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
40% 20% 20% 20%
1 d_bulgarian_band
D turkic band.png Turkic Band Emba Orthodox.png Orthodox Turkish No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
40% 20% 20% 20%
1 d_turkic_band
D mamluks.png Mamluks Cairo Shia.png Shiite Muslim religion group No (Egypt from 850)
Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png Horse archers.png
17% 33% 8% 17% 25%
6 d_mamluks
D venetian navy.png Adriatic Galleys Venice Catholic.png Catholic Year 1066 and Christian religion group No
Ships.png
100%
9 d_venetian_navy
D genoese navy.png Ligurian Galleys Genoa Catholic.png Catholic Year 1066 and Christian religion group No
Ships.png
100%
9 d_genoese_navy
D hanseatic navy.png Baltic Cogs Lübeck Catholic.png Catholic Year 1066 and Christian religion group No
Ships.png
100%
9 d_hanseatic_navy
D frisian navy.png North Sea Cogs Holland Catholic.png Catholic Year 1066 and Christian religion group No
Ships.png
100%
9 d_frisian_navy
D maghreb corsairs.png Maghreb Navy Mahdia Sunni.png Sunni Berber Year 1066 and Muslim religion group No
Ships.png
100%
9 d_maghreb_corsairs
D ghilman.png Ghilman Kara-Kum Sunni.png Sunni Muslim religion group No (Persia from 1037, Rum from 1157)
Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png Horse archers.png
17% 39% 3% 17% 25%
6 d_ghilman
D ghanan band.png Ghanan Band Ghana West African.png West African Manden West African culture group No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
50% 17% 17% 17%
1.5 d_ghanan_band
K tamilakam.png Tamil Band Tagadur Hindu.png Hindu Tamil No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
56% 14% 28% 3%
1 d_tamil_band
K maharastra.png Marathi Company Vairagara Hindu.png Hindu Marathi No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
49% 25% 12% 12% 1%
3 d_marathi_company
K maharastra.png Marathi Band Vairagara Hindu.png Hindu Marathi No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
49% 25% 12% 12% 1%
1 d_marathi_band
K bengal.png Bengal Company Candradvipa Hindu.png Hindu Bengali No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
42% 28% 14% 14% 3%
3 d_bengal_company
K bengal.png Bengal Band Candradvipa Hindu.png Hindu Bengali No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
42% 28% 14% 14% 3%
1 d_bengal_band
K gujarat.png Rajput Company Mandavyapura Hindu.png Hindu Rajput No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
37% 25% 25% 12% 1%
3 d_rajput_company
K gujarat.png Rajput Band Mandavyapura Hindu.png Hindu Rajput No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
37% 25% 25% 12% 1%
1 d_rajput_band
D han massive.png Dragon Army Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
25% 25% 19% 3% 28%
6 d_han_massive
D han large.png Phoenix Company Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
15% 31% 31% 2% 20%
5 d_han_large
D han mid.png Qilin Company Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
36% 14% 14% 12% 24%
3 d_han_mid
D han mid low.png Tortoise Company Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
29% 24% 12% 12% 24%
2 d_han_mid_low
D outlaws of the marsh.png Outlaws of the Marsh Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png
40% 40% 20%
2 d_outlaws_of_the_marsh
D han low.png Crane Band Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
36% 14% 14% 14% 21%
1 d_han_low
D han tiny 1.png Peony Band Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
Light infantry.png Pikemen.png Archers.png
51% 11% 37%
1 d_han_tiny_1
D han tiny 2.png Orchid Band Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Han Long hiring range (1300) No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Archers.png
52% 6% 6% 35%
1 d_han_tiny_2
D jurchen band.png Jurchen Band Anxi Taoist.png Taoist Jurchen Long hiring range (1300) No
Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
33% 67%
1.5 d_jurchen_band
D tangut low.png Tangut Band Jyekundo Buddhist.png Buddhist Tangut Hiring range: 800 No
Light infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
43% 36% 21%
1 d_tangut_low
D bodpa low.png Bodpa Band Purang Bön.png Bon Bodpa Hiring range: 800 No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Archers.png
29% 14% 29% 29%
1 d_bodpa_low
D treasure fleet.png Treasure Fleet Samatata Taoist.png Taoist Han Hiring range: 1200 No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Pikemen.png Archers.png Ships.png
29% 22% 22% 21% 6%
5 d_treasure_fleet
D han junks.png Han Junks Samatata Taoist.png Taoist Han Hiring range: 1000 No
Ships.png
100%
9 d_han_junks
D jurchen corsairs.png Jurchen Corsairs Samatata Taoist.png Taoist Jurchen Hiring range: 1000 No
Ships.png
100%
9 d_jurchen_corsairs
D persian caravan guards.png Persian Caravan Guards Merv Shia.png Shiite Persian No
Light cavalry.png Camel cavalry.png
67% 33%
3 d_persian_caravan_guards
D silk road sentinels.png Silk Road Sentinels Udabhanda Buddhist.png Bouddhist Panjabi No
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png
35% 22% 39%
3 d_silk_road_sentinels
D turkic guard.png Turkish Guard Syr Darya Zoroastrian Heresy.png Khurmazta Turkish No
Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
67% 33%
3 d_turkic_guard
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