(modmod concept) Mercenaries & Militias

Hinin

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This thread is a concept presentation that could be transformed into a full-fledged modmod project if the feedback is good enough.

The idea is to introduced two new units lines :
  • A Mercenary unit line, which would complete the current 3 we have right (Free Company, Foreign Legion, Mercenaries)
  • A Militia unit line, based on the ability to use the population of a city as troops
Each civilization would have access to the two unit lines, whatever its policy choices. However, specific policies / wonders / beliefs could strengthen these units (for example, Authority Finisher for Mercenaries).

Now, I will present each unit line.

Spoiler Mercenary Unit Line :

The Mercenaries, not limited to those who obtained the Authority Finisher anymore, would constitute a group of units which with a variety of combat styles (depending on the periods), but a couple of characteristics in common :
  • Their unit line would start in the Classical Era, with one unit per age. Their tech unlocks would be in the middle part of the tech tree, but the second tech tier of each era (thus allowing civs to gain access to them more easily whatever their tech path).
  • They would have a high Gold cost and a high maintenance cost, and you wouldn't be able to obtain them with production or faith.
  • Their would require Paper to be built (symbolizing their contractual nature)
  • They would always have base experience, but wouldn't be affected by Military Training Buildings, and would gain Experience more slowly than other units (I would go for -25% for now).
  • Like the current Mercenary units, they would be upgraded into normal units of the next tech tier while retaining most of their promotions.
  • They would have access to their own promotion line that would be retained after upgrade. This promotion tree would based on the idea of out-of-the-box tactics employed by specialists, and less on raw strength (which these units would already have thanks to their high CS).
Here is a list of some the Mercenary Units I have in mind :
  • Classical Era : Balearic Slingers (Foot Ranged, focusing on damage)
  • Medieval Era : Free Company (Foot Melee, focusin on economic disruption)
  • Renaissance Era : Purbiya (Mounted Ranged, focusing on mobility)
  • Industrial Era : Foreign Legion (Foot Melee, focusing on resilience)
  • Modern Era : Frei Korps (Armor Melee, focusing on terror tactics)
  • Atomic Era : PMT (Foot Melee, focusing on infiltration)
  • Information Era : Hunters (Foot Ranged, focusing on stealth)
Here is now the Mercenary promotion tree :
  • Mercenary Lifestyle : common to all mercenary Units. Stay on upgrade
  • Terror I / Terror II / Terror III
  • Warmaster I / Warmaster II / Warmaster III
  • Leaf promotions : Dogs of War (Terror II), Dogged (Warmaster II), Ruination (Terror III), Scarred (Warmaster III), Legendary (Ruination or Scarred)
Spoiler New Mercenary promotion line descriptions :

  • Mercenary Lifestyle - Gains 30 XP when built, but doesn't receive Experience from Military Training Buildings. Gain 25 % less experience from combat.
  • Terror I - When pillaging, deals 10 damages to adjacent hostile Units and heals +5 hp.
  • Terror II - Deals 10 additionnal damages to a unit when attacking.
  • Terror III - When killing, gains back 2 MP. Ignores ZOC.
  • Dogs of War - Force defenders to retreat if it deals more damages than it receives. A defender that cannot retreat takes 50% additionnal damages.
  • Ruination - Increases the War Weariness of the targeted Civilization whenever killing or pillaging. Deals 10 damages to all adjacent hostile Units at the start of each turn.
  • Warmaster I - Counts as two units for the sake of flanking.
  • Warmaster II - Immunity to plagues. Cannot be flanked.
  • Warmaster III - Ignores Terrain cost. +15 hp.
  • Dogged - Deals back 15 damages whenever attacked in melee.
  • Scarred - Fully heals whenever killing an enemy Unit.
  • Legendary - Boosts nearby Units like a Great General. Gain 50% more experience from combat.


Here is what I have in mind in term of Policies / Wonders / Civ UA boosting Mercenary usage :
  • Authority Finisher : Reduces the cost of Mercenary Units by 25%.
  • Alhambra : Instead of its current bonus to Melee Mounted Units, gives +15 XP to Mercenary Units.
  • Carthage : Suffet give +1 :c5war: Supply and +1 Paper when expended, instead of +2 Supply.


Spoiler Militia Unit line :

The Militia units would constitute a way for civs to train units using their Citizens. They would be quite weak in term of raw strength, but meant to be a pain to deal with when used well.
Here would be their common characteristics :
  • Recruiting a Militia Unit would require 1 :c5citizen: Citizen, and a City with at least 4 :c5citizen: Citizens in it (like for a Settler). Growth would also stop when productin the unit. However, 50% of the :c5food: Food produced by the City would be added to the production of the Unit. These units wouldn't be purchaseable with Gold.
  • They would be available from the start (Agriculture), and see their :c5production: Production and :c5strength: Combat Strength increase with the Eras. Other than that, they would stay functionaly the same (Foot Melee Units) throughout the game : only their cost, Combat Strength and appearance (name, 3d model, UnitIcon) would change from one Era to another.
  • They can't be upgraded, but don't require a Maintenance cost.
  • When disbanded, they would provide some Food to the nearest City.
  • They would suffer a combat malus when outside of your territory.
  • They would receive Experience from Military Training Buildings like normal Units.
  • They would use the promotion tree for Foot Melee Units
  • Ideologies would give them special promotions meant to diversify their usage towards the endgame.
=> All Militia Units would have the following promotion :
Irregulars - +15% CS when in Rough Terrain, but -15% CS when outside of territory. 60% chance to withdraw when attacked in melee. Grants :c5food: Food to the nearest City when disbanded, scaling with level. Doesn't have a Maintenance cost.

One main consequence of introducing Militia Units would be to reduce slightly the :c5strength: Combat Strength and HP gained from Defensive Buildings as a compensation, since it would put City Defense further away from the City tile.

Here is a first list of the cost and CStrength scalings for the Militia Units (don't forget 50% of Food from the City is used when producing the Unit) :
  • Ancient Era - Tribesmen : 40 :c5production: Production cost / 7 :c5strength: Combat Strength
  • Classical Era - Auxiliaries : 80 :c5production: Production / 11 :c5strength: Combat Strength
  • Medieval Era - Levies : 145 :c5production: Production / 16 :c5strength: Combat Strength
  • Renaissance Era - Guerilla : 280 :c5production: Production / 23 :c5strength: Combat Strength
  • Industrial Era - Francs-Tireurs (Freeshooters) : 600 :c5production: Production / 35 :c5strength: Combat Strength
  • Modern Era - Militiamen : 800 :c5production: Production / 45 :c5strength: Combat Strength
  • Atomic Era - Partisans : 1000 :c5production: Production / 55 :c5strength: Combat Strength
  • Information Era - PDF (People's Defence Force) : 1500 :c5production: Production / 65 :c5strength: Combat Strength
Here is what I have in mind for the different Ideological bonuses to militia units.
  • Autocracy - The Lebensraum tenet would be reworked, including giving the Lebensraum (+40 % :c5strength: Combat Strength in foreign territory ; Grants :c5culture: Culture to the nearest City when killing or pillaging) promotion to Militia Units.
=> Reworked Lebensraum - Can expand borders with :c5culture: Culture on tiles of other Civilizations you're at War with. Gives the Lebensraum promotion to Militia Units.
  • Freedom - The Draft Registration tenet would be renamed Freedom Fighters, and would give the Freedom Fighters (+10% flanking bonus ; +100% XP gain) promotion to Militia Units.
  • Order - The People's Army tenet would give the People's Army (+10 HP ; Deals 10 additionnal damages when attacking or defending ; Doesn't create :c5unhappy: War Weariness when killed) promotion to Militia Units.

I would also give the Progress Finisher a +25% bonus :c5production: Production towards Militia Units, while Tradition would gain +10 XP for these units.

(optional) This modmod could also change the dreaded and overly dramatic "you lost a unit" sound, to either replace it or remove it completely.

Some other things to say :
  • I tried to make the Militia line something that doesn't totally warp the balance of the other unit lines, but don't hesitate to disgree with me on that front.
  • The Warmaster I & II could be changed drastically, because the flanking bonuses mentionned are concepts only, unfortunately.
  • I have ideas to make a Norway / Harald Hardrada (the Mercenary King) mod as a follow up for this project.
  • Don't hesitate to give other ideas related to these two ensembles. For example, unique units based on these.
In any case, thanks for reading. :)
 
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amateurgamer88

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Paper resource seems to really limit how many units you can get. Those going diplomatic tend to require those for diplomatic units so it's even harder to get a good supply. I do feel like this will make the mercenary units of the earlier era rare or non-existent while even the late see their impact quite limited.

I also don't quite get why they gain experience slower than normal units. They are already more expensive to purchase and maintain. Slower experience gain results in normal units eventually surpassing them as experience can make a big difference. Even the unique promotions, while nice, will take longer before they can get the ball rolling. I don't even know if experience rounds down or up as anymore reduction makes the ranged units get 1 experience per attack and that's abysmal. And are they unable to unlock more mercenary promotions when they upgrade into normal units?
 

Hinin

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Paper resource seems to really limit how many units you can get. Those going diplomatic tend to require those for diplomatic units so it's even harder to get a good supply. I do feel like this will make the mercenary units of the earlier era rare or non-existent while even the late see their impact quite limited.

The idea was to limit the number of mercenaries one civ can have, because they are meant to be costly but noticeably strong units that can stand on their own. Thus, I don't want one civ with a strong economy to just steamroll all the others.

Using paper was an idea I had while writing the thread, since it allows three things :
  • It create a usage tension (something I'm always fond of)
  • It gives a way to naturally augment the number of deployable mercenaries throughout the game in a way the players are already familiar with
  • It gives a military aspect to Statecraft for those who want to invest in it (it is already the policy tree that gives enough gold to fund them, so that's a plus)
Another solution would be to create a specific strategic resource for the mercenaries with a specific scaling.

I also don't quite get why they gain experience slower than normal units. They are already more expensive to purchase and maintain. Slower experience gain results in normal units eventually surpassing them as experience can make a big difference. Even the unique promotions, while nice, will take longer before they can get the ball rolling. I don't even know if experience rounds down or up as anymore reduction makes the ranged units get 1 experience per attack and that's abysmal.

You're right on that point. Since they don't get experience from military buildings, I agree that their experience should work normally.

And are they unable to unlock more mercenary promotions when they upgrade into normal units?

No, since that would require putting the mercenary promotions among those accessible to all units lines. Mercenary promotions are really powerful, but you lose access to the promotion tree once you upgrade the unit. Hence why the final promotion is "Legendary" : it is for a mercenary unit that has truly stood the test of time.

No supply for mercenaries and militias unit.

Not for mercenaries (or at least not for every civ), but maybe no supply for the militias.
 

Padre19

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Militias should be able to train only in time of war.

Mercenaries should be limited in the world. A reasonable number .... 10 or more of each type. And please add mercenaries and militias for the Enlightenment Era as well.( National Guard ?)
 
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pineappledan

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Militias should be able to train only in time of war.

Mercenaries should be limited in the world. A reasonable number .... 10 or more of each type. And please add mercenaries and militias for the Enlightenment Era as well.( National Guard ?)
mercenaries should only be buildable while enemy units are in your territory.
 

black213

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mercenaries should only be buildable while enemy units are in your territory.
You should be able to hire mercs whenever you wish to. Militia however makes sense to be only during war/with hostile units nearby.
 

Hinin

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You should be able to hire mercs whenever you wish to. Militia however makes sense to be only during war/with hostile units nearby.

He was joking, as a reaction to how padre was piling up restrictions for the usage of these units.

I agree that militias should only be recruitable in time of war, and I even think that they should be automatically disbanded whenever your civ is in peace (but giving back food when doing so, as mentionned above). In exchange, they would cost no supply or maintenance cost (they already cost citizens, and food stagnation when produced).

For the mercenaries, I think these units would be obtainable whenever you want, but that there should be restrictions for the number of each type of unit in the world at the same time (if that's possible), scaling with map size.
 
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black213

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I see, my bad.

I think a merc type that pays homage to the Swiss Guard (named something else for 'universality') would be a neat addition. It would be restricted to only one unit and would grant some bonus (happiness, culture...?) when garrisoned in the capital, with beefy strength when in or near the capital.
 
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