No Flag DracoWolfgand
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Posts: 62

08 Dec 2018, 00:36

... So, thoughts on then?

I will be honest: As a general rule, I dont like then. Either when they are trained from the Saloon or even when they are sent from shipments. In general, I would avoid unit shipments that require me to be sitting on a thousand or so gold, as I would rather use all of that gold to, well... Train units, and then use a shipment that brings me units for "free". However, I am new to this game, and I am curious whether more experienced players found users to then that I did not. It is worth noting, I sometimes open a exception to the unique mercenaries of the Asian civilizations, though, particularly the Yojimbo Cavalry Archer, though I already talked about that on a different topic, and I thought this was a question I should ask. What kind of tactics involving mercenaries would you recommend?
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Holy See Imperial Noob
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08 Dec 2018, 00:52

Yojimbos are sadly underwhelming for their price. We tested them with @pecelot some years back.
Check out Kaiser's German merc guide, it should be somewhere. Germany can create a gold/housing/upgrade economy that supports saloon production, while the transports are buffed

Renegados and Thuggees can be worth it in small, well-microed numbers, as strong skirmishers in age 2. An outlaw rush on a small map can use Pistolieros too, for their siege and general strength. Nothing that cannot be surpassed by bread and butter units, however.

Here the data for Yojimbos (both players tried to micro as well as possible):
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No Flag DracoWolfgand
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08 Dec 2018, 01:06

To be honest, that doesnt surprise me too much. Actually... I am kind of surprised they even fared as well against Gurkhas and Ruyter as they did... I guess that "Just charging into the Gurkhas in meele mode" was never a tactic I tried using with Yojimbo. If I knew they could actually manage to kill light infantry that way, I might just have been more daring with my usage of then.

I will try to see if I can find Kaiser guide. Honestly, I just didnt wanted to be the guy which ressurects a months old thread( As, if I find it interesting, I probably will want to make a comment :p )
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Canada dansil92
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08 Dec 2018, 03:04

Pistoleros are actually surprisingly strong but the pop space is killer. The civs that can make use of them most effectively are germany (duh), china, and sioux. I have a build with china where i make pistoleros and cossacks from the consulate, which when combined with diciples makes for a pretty strong musk-huss type composition and has the element of surprise from actual strong colonial play out of china. I was planning on posting the build sometime- takes advantage of a few china perks. Germany can use that house card and doesn't have musks so they are especially usefull. Sioux can ship 10 Pistoleros for 500 coin which can be a very strong power spike. Combined with axe riders and your warchief speed aura, maybe even some teepees it can give you access to some really good siege in colonial. Dutch can make use of pistoleros if they are gonna be stuck in colonial but you have to build a lot of houses- alternatively Comanchero + dutch skirms age 2 has potential. The repentance/dance hall card reduces pistoleros to 3 pop, which is something to consider.

Renegados are really really good but the animation is awful. The wiki suggests that britain can use them by combining dance hall and the saloon upgrade to make them only 2 pop and make up for a lack of skirmishers but I personally think it would never be worthwhile. Technically though since britain has lots of population space very early it is possible that a saloon build would be possible, but I have never tried it personally. Since britain gets pretty strong units age 2 (as opposed to dutch, china, germany) i would say it would be more for the lolz.

Best mercenaries are Jaegers, Highlanders, and Mamelukes. Black Riders are strong but have a very low fire rate and have melee resist intead of ranged resist. Germany can send improved mercenaries and team cav attack + arsenal upgrade to bring them up to insane stats. Same with hackapells- germany can abuse cards and arsenal to make them very strong, dutch & russia have cav combat + arsenal but probably not worthwhile.

Fusiliers are a good unit too but the cost is very high. They are unique in that they have a very strong multiplier against light infantry at range making them potent counters to Aztec erk coy combo, and rattan shields should you ever encounter them.

Barbary corsair is probably the worst mercenary in almost any situation. Germany might be able to abuse them with speed upgrades and improved mercenaries but i think they would still be terrible.

Has anyone ever got team cav attack+ improved mercenaries + arsenal mamelukes? I would be interested to see those in action

Iron troops are absolutely amazing units against everything but heavy cav. This is unfortunate because china is the only civ that can get them and china doesn't have any decent anti cav. Team games however, where someone can make goons/ruyt/erk, they could be worthwhile as they actually beat skirmishers, and melt musketeers (this is true of flamethrowers too, another unique china unit made useless because of china's trash anticav)
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France P i k i l i c
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08 Dec 2018, 06:28

I already had HACKAPELLS with mercenary combat and team cav attack, 163 attack is cool :lol:
As for Chinese anticav, you can ship manchus (very cost effective mercenary), ship changdao swordsmen, and dont forget you can have musketeers or doppelsöldners in the consulate (their stats scale with the age)
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Canada dansil92
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08 Dec 2018, 06:41

P i k i l i c wrote:I already had HACKAPELLS with mercenary combat and team cav attack, 163 attack is cool :lol:
As for Chinese anticav, you can ship manchus (very cost effective mercenary), ship changdao swordsmen, and dont forget you can have musketeers or doppelsöldners in the consulate (their stats scale with the age)


iron troop+manchu > goon skirm

Only problem is getting that much coin and losing your manchu is devastating as they are irreplaceable unless you are lucky with the monastery. Same problem with consulate units, you only get so few of them. Its definitely not impossible to counter cav as china but it's not like you can just make goons as you need them
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France P i k i l i c
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08 Dec 2018, 06:53

Sure, I wont deny its challenging
But it also makes China unique and fun to play
Civ weaknesses are important
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No Flag DracoWolfgand
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Posts: 62

08 Dec 2018, 12:46

"Sioux can ship 10 Pistoleros for 500 coin which can be a very strong power spike."

It has just hit me... That if literally any other civilization got a shipment like that, it would probably be considered worthless due to the sheer population space the 10 Pistoleros would occupy :p.



If you are plaiyng as one of the European civilizations that-Dont-Get early Skirmishers, Renegados are usually the next best thing in the Colonial age, though I would personally recommend shifting to Skirmishers as soon as you get the chance. I havent played around with mercenaries much, so I dont know how much of what I am going to say is either bullshit or painfully obvious, but I think Mamelukes can have a interesting role as "bait" for ranged units. Having then charge ahead and force opponent ranged units to focus fire on then while your slower meele units catch up. Germany, for one, can make great use of this strategy. Fudge, perhaps even mixing some of then alongside the Uhlans, as Mamelukes take much longer to die from Dragoon fire.

As for Chinese anti-cavalry: ... What is wrong with Keshiks :p?( Okay, I know they have same attack as the Yabusame which I made fun of before... But they also occupy half the population, so... )
Germany duckzilla
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08 Dec 2018, 13:15

dansil92 wrote:Has anyone ever got team cav attack+ improved mercenaries + arsenal mamelukes? I would be interested to see those in action

I play a lot of merc fun builds with Germany in recent times. Fully upped Mamelukes are quite astonishing. On GP you can get them to 2030hp/45dmg. The damage is of course still rather weak, which is why I prefer Elmeti over Mamelukes oftentimes.

Fully upped German Elmetis can get the following stats: 400g/4pop and 1300hp/30%RR/54dmg (times 3 against infantry).
Fully upped German Mamelukes can get the stats: 400g/4pop and 1885hp/40%RR/45dmg.

In team games, Elmetis are simply crushing through enemy infantry lines. With their hp/rr they still take a lot of dmg before dying, but also do up to 162 melee damage themselves.

All in all, I'm happy whenever the saloon offers one of the following units: Fusilier/Highlanders/Jaeger/Hackapell/Elmeti/Mameluke.

I just saw in the wiki that I, apparently, underestimated Manchus. They seem to be the most pop-efficient mercenaries since they only cost 2 pop. Final stats with Germany are (given that the wiki is right): 220g/2pop and 480hp/40%MR/39dmg (rof is 2). That looks like a unit you could easily use in Imperial.
"To counter the pike-boom, you must become the pike-boom." - Karl V. (HRE)
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Canada dansil92
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08 Dec 2018, 13:37

@duckzilla and that 2000 hitpoint monster is attainable age 3 right? Thats more than elephant units! that would be so frustrating to face

Elmetis are so underrated- they are one of the few mercs that actually keeps being good even extremely lategame, even 2 or 3 can change the outcome of fights, especially where very strong infantry (urumi+sepoy for example) are involved. Apart from the monastery bug, do any civs get them age 3?

@P i k i l i c yeah china having a weakness is very important since they have an insane eco potential and extra pop spaces, very upgradable units etc. If they had a dragoon unit it would be one of the strongest civs by far

@DracoWolfgand yeah a 63 pop shipment in colonial- only sioux can handle that haha if you get a chance you should try it out, it is a very strong shipment and an unexpected unit type from a cav civ

Also keshiks are terrible for 3 reasons. 110 hitpoints. Yeah. That is one falconet and one musketeer it takes to take one down instantly. They do not shadowtech either so you must upgrade them when you age. And most importantly you just cant mass them. You can only train them alongside qiang pikes or hand mortars (which mean the banner army costs wood) and both thosr units are... pretty bad. Hand mortars are good in team games but very lacklustre in 1v1. And yeah old han pikes are just awesome but once old Han is in then the pikes are even more expensive, once again making keshiks impossible to mass. There is an infinite shipment of keshiks age 3 and thats ok i guess...
Germany duckzilla
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08 Dec 2018, 13:54

dansil92 wrote:@duckzilla and that 2000 hitpoint monster is attainable age 3 right? Thats more than elephant units! that would be so frustrating to face

Unfortunately not. Mamelukes are only trainable in age IV and Germany does not have a Mameluke shipment on its own.
"To counter the pike-boom, you must become the pike-boom." - Karl V. (HRE)
No Flag DracoWolfgand
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08 Dec 2018, 14:10

@dansil92 Hmmm, I never thought of their low HP as TOO much of a problem( As they are mainly a back row, hit-and-run kind of unit ), but I agree the banner armies they are trained-At-Do hinder their efficiency a lot. Though, Qiang Pikeman can have their potential vastly improved by certain cards( Perhaps the main one being Old Han Reforms, which is vital if you wish to even entertain the hypothesis of training these guys on the Fortress Age ), it never becomes truly 'good", and as for the Hand Mortar... It is a specialized building destroyer, nothing more, nothing less. I guess that, considering it occupies only one population slot, it is actually fairly population-effective for this one role, but it really cant do anything else.

Still, against certain units( Like Lancers ), the Keshik is really the only response the Chinese have, so...

@duckzilla I agree for the most part, though I am not sure of how to feel about Hackapells... Their very low hp on such a costly unit just BEGS for your opponent to snipe then off with Dragoons before they get to deal much damage.

I also dont usually train Highlanders on the Saloon unless I am plaiyng as the Dutch, but I am not sure if there are other civilizations who can afford to do that.
Germany duckzilla
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08 Dec 2018, 14:26

DracoWolfgand wrote:@duckzilla I agree for the most part, though I am not sure of how to feel about Hackapells... Their very low hp on such a costly unit just BEGS for your opponent to snipe then off with Dragoons before they get to deal much damage.

They are surely fragile, but at least in age III, I see some potential for them. Fully upgraded they have the following stats: 300c/3pop and 383hp/30%RR/163dmg.
The high range resistance kind of makes up for the relatively low hp. Age III goons are not yet so strong (26-33dmg or a total of 54-69dmg, thus a you need 6-8 shots per hackapell) and they die by two hits of a hackapell.
"To counter the pike-boom, you must become the pike-boom." - Karl V. (HRE)
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France Kaiserklein
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08 Dec 2018, 15:23

dansil92 wrote:Pistoleros are actually surprisingly strong but the pop space is killer. The civs that can make use of them most effectively are germany (duh), china, and sioux. I have a build with china where i make pistoleros and cossacks from the consulate, which when combined with diciples makes for a pretty strong musk-huss type composition and has the element of surprise from actual strong colonial play out of china. I was planning on posting the build sometime- takes advantage of a few china perks. Germany can use that house card and doesn't have musks so they are especially usefull. Sioux can ship 10 Pistoleros for 500 coin which can be a very strong power spike. Combined with axe riders and your warchief speed aura, maybe even some teepees it can give you access to some really good siege in colonial. Dutch can make use of pistoleros if they are gonna be stuck in colonial but you have to build a lot of houses- alternatively Comanchero + dutch skirms age 2 has potential. The repentance/dance hall card reduces pistoleros to 3 pop, which is something to consider.

Pistoleros are not very good. Like you're going to lose any musk war with pistoleros, just because they train so slowly and have that shitty animation. Basically the same problem as renegados, except that renegados actually have an insane ranged attack + multiplier vs HI, making them good in some situations, but pistoleros don't really have that.


dansil92 wrote:Renegados are really really good but the animation is awful. The wiki suggests that britain can use them by combining dance hall and the saloon upgrade to make them only 2 pop and make up for a lack of skirmishers but I personally think it would never be worthwhile. Technically though since britain has lots of population space very early it is possible that a saloon build would be possible, but I have never tried it personally. Since britain gets pretty strong units age 2 (as opposed to dutch, china, germany) i would say it would be more for the lolz.

You can make outlaws as brits in some situations, but it's really rare. Don't ever ship dancing hall anyway, and don't pay attention to what the wiki says about strats.

dansil92 wrote:Best mercenaries are Jaegers, Highlanders, and Mamelukes. Black Riders are strong but have a very low fire rate and have melee resist intead of ranged resist. Germany can send improved mercenaries and team cav attack + arsenal upgrade to bring them up to insane stats. Same with hackapells- germany can abuse cards and arsenal to make them very strong, dutch & russia have cav combat + arsenal but probably not worthwhile.

Mams are available in industrial so they're irrelevant, unless you ship them, in which case they're good on EP and OP on RE. Highlanders have solid stats but they're musks, which can suck sometimes in fortress. Jaegers are super strong yeah. Black riders have a regular goon rate of fire, but yeah they kinda melt at range. Hackapells do fine in some match ups, but they generally suck hard against musks or goons.
Besides that, manchus are one of the best mercs, and stradiots are also really good.

dansil92 wrote:Fusiliers are a good unit too but the cost is very high. They are unique in that they have a very strong multiplier against light infantry at range making them potent counters to Aztec erk coy combo, and rattan shields should you ever encounter them.

Fusiliers just melt against decent masses of musks and/or skirms, so they generally just suck (and they cost 300g). Only thing you can do with them is run around basically, they're even not a very good anti cav in melee.

dansil92 wrote:Barbary corsair is probably the worst mercenary in almost any situation. Germany might be able to abuse them with speed upgrades and improved mercenaries but i think they would still be terrible.

Corsairs are far from being the worst merc. They actually have good stats and their speed makes them rather versatile. Against the classic skirm/goon combo, corsairs can be quite scary if you get a good engagement. Worst mercs are arsonists and landknechts.

dansil92 wrote:Has anyone ever got team cav attack+ improved mercenaries + arsenal mamelukes? I would be interested to see those in action

Yeah I had that a few times, but again you gotta be industrial, so it's not super interesting compared to regular guard units.

dansil92 wrote:Iron troops are absolutely amazing units against everything but heavy cav. This is unfortunate because china is the only civ that can get them and china doesn't have any decent anti cav. Team games however, where someone can make goons/ruyt/erk, they could be worthwhile as they actually beat skirmishers, and melt musketeers (this is true of flamethrowers too, another unique china unit made useless because of china's trash anticav)

Actually iron troops even kill cav at range, they miss the x0.75 multiplier. You just need to cover them a bit, for example with changdaos/intervention/meteor hammers/manchus shipments.
I believe they were supposed to cost 300g since they are worth 30 xp, but they cost only 200g. They're just an insane unit, probably the best merc, but since you need to send a card to make them and the opponent can see it in your deck, they're usually useless.
Micro tricks

LoOk_tOm: I have something in particular against Kaisar (GERMANY NOOB mercenary LAMME FOREVER) And the other people (noobs) like suck kaiser ... just this ..

iamturk:
well I have better mechanics than you
tbh tower rush is a good strat
No Flag umeu
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08 Dec 2018, 15:47

Swiss pikes are good too, sometimes
No Flag DracoWolfgand
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Posts: 62

08 Dec 2018, 15:49

Not sure if I fully see the connection between "Mamelukes being avaliable on the Imperial Age", and, "Then being irrelevant". Is that because the Imperial Age guard upgrades make standart units more cost-efficient then their mercenary versions? If yes, I can see why would that be a problem for most mercenaries( And this, is why I usually only train Highlanders as the Dutch ), but the Mameluke doesnt quite have a precise "counterpart". The closest thing is the Hussar: However, the Mameluke is meant to be more of a meatshield...
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France Kaiserklein
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08 Dec 2018, 16:00

They're available in industrial, not imperial. I say they're irrelevant because in the large majority of games you won't even reach industrial. And if you do, they don't have a guard upgrade, so you'd be better off making regular units.
In team you'd reach industrial quite often, but in team you also usually upgrade your units more, so we're back to the problem of mams not being very upgradable.
Micro tricks

LoOk_tOm: I have something in particular against Kaisar (GERMANY NOOB mercenary LAMME FOREVER) And the other people (noobs) like suck kaiser ... just this ..

iamturk:
well I have better mechanics than you
tbh tower rush is a good strat
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Canada dansil92
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08 Dec 2018, 16:10

@Kaiserklein i was pretty sure black riders have a fire rate of 4 instead of 3?

In regards to pistoleros, they lose musk wars no question but I find them more useful than pikes where that is your only anti cav (dutch, china, sort of Germany). Comancheros aren't bad either as dutch i was playing around with them the other day, you just have to macro really weird to make skirm+comancheros because you need so much gold, so little food, and more wood than normal for houses. I dont think it is the optimal way to play dutch by any means but i think it has potential. At least they dont have a stupid animation to fire.

Iron troops do very well against cav as long as they are protected, even better than yumi tbh. That 60% range resist is so good.
Forgot about manchu, yeah they are really really strong anticav and one of the most cost & pop effective.

Regarding fusiliers yeah they lose to most infantry, they are just anti-goon and anti erk-coyote as far as i have experienced. Also very good at raiding vills but not for the cost.

Arsonists are terrible yes. Corsairs i dont find are that good, but maybe i will have to give them another shot
No Flag DracoWolfgand
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Posts: 62

08 Dec 2018, 16:22

dansil92 wrote:@Kaiserklein i was pretty sure black riders have a fire rate of 4 instead of 3?

In regards to pistoleros, they lose musk wars no question but I find them more useful than pikes where that is your only anti cav (dutch, china, sort of Germany). Comancheros aren't bad either as dutch i was playing around with them the other day, you just have to macro really weird to make skirm+comancheros because you need so much gold, so little food, and more wood than normal for houses. I dont think it is the optimal way to play dutch by any means but i think it has potential. At least they dont have a stupid animation to fire.

Iron troops do very well against cav as long as they are protected, even better than yumi tbh. That 60% range resist is so good.
Forgot about manchu, yeah they are really really strong anticav and one of the most cost & pop effective.

Regarding fusiliers yeah they lose to most infantry, they are just anti-goon and anti erk-coyote as far as i have experienced. Also very good at raiding vills but not for the cost.

Arsonists are terrible yes. Corsairs i dont find are that good, but maybe i will have to give them another shot


Wait, wait, wait, wait, WAIT... Dont the Germans get Doppelsoldners? I mean, I get that Musketeers are arguably a more usefull "generic" heavy infantry units, but I would hardly say the Germans have any problem dealing with heavy cavalry...
Germany duckzilla
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08 Dec 2018, 18:32

dansil92 wrote:Regarding fusiliers yeah they lose to most infantry, they are just anti-goon and anti erk-coyote as far as i have experienced. Also very good at raiding vills but not for the cost.

Let's also not forget that they have a standard speed of 5.5 and can reach a speed of up to 7.15 with Germans (8.25 on Andes), while doing 90dmg per shot. Losing against infantry may not be that much of a problem anymore, since you are basically twice as fast. They can essentially hunt down enemy cavalry.
"To counter the pike-boom, you must become the pike-boom." - Karl V. (HRE)
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Poland pecelot
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08 Dec 2018, 22:26

Hackapells are worth sending for that one cash money raid
:idea:
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France Rikikipu
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08 Dec 2018, 22:58

Outlaws is typical from AOE3. A super nice idea with a terrible design. The saloon concept is really good, you can have a way to produce unit as a back up when you srtart to run out of food in order to push and to try to control map again. Nice idea since it gives an option an decision making.

But god those numbers... There are only 3 civs out of 14 which can in theory have enough pop space to make outlaws build, but in practice it's only viable for one civ with 2 or 3 outlaw types. Would have been better to reduce their pop cost (down to 3?) and raise their stats.
Zimbabwe PeachTree
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09 Dec 2018, 01:54

Do people use the mercenary boats? Like catamarans, privateer, etc.
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Poland pecelot
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09 Dec 2018, 03:08

In long games where resources don't matter that much you can always build some “popless” catamarans to gather fish, but other than that they're very terrible in any form of combat, so I highly doubt anyone ever produces them.
Privateers come in nice packs from HC, so in water games they sometimes see some use, but usually they're considered inferior to regular vessels.
:idea:
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Canada dansil92
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09 Dec 2018, 04:02

Rikikipu wrote:Outlaws is typical from AOE3. A super nice idea with a terrible design. The saloon concept is really good, you can have a way to produce unit as a back up when you srtart to run out of food in order to push and to try to control map again. Nice idea since it gives an option an decision making.

But god those numbers... There are only 3 civs out of 14 which can in theory have enough pop space to make outlaws build, but in practice it's only viable for one civ with 2 or 3 outlaw types. Would have been better to reduce their pop cost (down to 3?) and raise their stats.


After the saloon/monastery card is sent it is definitely workable in terms of pop but you can basically never send that card and not just lose. If the outlaws cost the post-card pop by default (3&4) i could see them being feasible in more situations and for more civs.

An idea I had was to add a feature in EP where once you send a mercenary shipment it would unlock the mercenary in the saloon eg. As british you send jaegers and then you can build a saloon knowing at least one unit is available that is worth training

Idk what you guys think of that tho

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