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Ask

Sergeant
Is it me or they are all exceptionally bad for how expensive and rare they are? Stats wise they all seem alright and on par with regular troops but their equipment is absolutely terrible, I know that on the encyclopedia their equipment shown is only for reference and they have some variation. But for example, they come with a helmet that only provides 29 armor while every other T5 infantry unit has 45+ head armor. Their body armor is garbage too and they have a very weak scarf. I like their fashion but they could have like a special variant with more stats or something.

I know there are perks to decrease their hiring cost and wages, but even then they just feel like T3.5 infantry not T5.

In warband they were really strong and also had much higher wage costs. Is there just a shift in how mercenaries are supposed to feel now? Just like, less worthwhile in general? Has anyone ever been able to get good use of them or just bother at all with them?
 

Ananda_The_Destroyer

Master Knight
If you have money and not time you can buy them and shove them in a garrison to meet minimal +security rating to not tank loyalty in a new fief. That's the only time I've ever bought any tavern units. Some of the veteran caravan guard and xbow units perform fine in combat but I would never buy them for that. It's pretty bad and disappointing, would be nice to have minor clan troops or SPECIAL merc units available instead.
 

Ask

Sergeant
If you have money and not time you can buy them and shove them in a garrison to meet minimal +security rating to not tank loyalty in a new fief. That's the only time I've ever bought any tavern units. Some of the veteran caravan guard and xbow units perform fine in combat but I would never buy them for that. It's pretty bad and disappointing, would be nice to have minor clan troops or SPECIAL merc units available instead.
Ah well I guess sticking them in a garrison is... A possibility, I suppose.

That sucks, I really liked it more in warband how you hired them for a big fight or when you were desperate for troops and then just disbanded them to avoid paying their massive wages, or if you were very rich keep them because they could be pretty up there in performance.

Here's to hoping they eventually, maybe, sometime, add minor clan strongholds so you can recruit some of their troops for yourself as mercs and the perks for decreased merc wages or whatever works on them. That or that they buff the tavern mercs because they're laughable.
 

anoddhermit

Sergeant
I think they're supposed to be something you grab when you need troops ASAP - not a competitor to faction troops exactly.

Also, with perks, they're fairly cost efficient. Especially the T4 Crossbowmen.
 

Ongay1

Recruit
I still think they need better equipment , some of the armors they use is really bad when compared to other troops of the same tier.
 

arthur666

Recruit
They're so generic. And that would be ok if there were others that show up occasionally.
@Ananda_The_Destroyer: I like the idea of some special mercenaries for hire in taverns, akin to the mercenary factions with their own style.
Or maybe deserters from main or minor factions. Maybe you're in deep Vlandia, but there's a group of 10 Jawwal Camel Rider deserters for hire in the tavern.
 

Ask

Sergeant
I think they're supposed to be something you grab when you need troops ASAP - not a competitor to faction troops exactly.

Also, with perks, they're fairly cost efficient. Especially the T4 Crossbowmen.
There's 4 perks, 2 to reduce hiring costs and 2 to reduce wages (and they are all in between levels 150 and 225, with the 225 one being in trade). They have 50% higher base upgrade costs, and with the upgrade reduction cost perk they're still more expensive to upgrade than regular troops.

Their wage is mostly the same than that of regular troops, but they have 2 extra perks to reduce their wages by 25% each, but I can't tell how these stack. Regardless of that, there's already many other wage cost reductions and mercenary troops are very unlikely to be the majority of your army, simply because it's very rare to have more than 12 in a single tavern, while when you have progressed in the game, you can easily recruit 18-30 regular troops from town, 9-18 from villages.

Their biggest problem is their hiring costs tho. Mercenary cavalry can set you back over 1200 denars each. Watchmen which are tier 2 are much cheaper at about 100 each, but they have literally worse armor than looters and only a sword, no shield, no rocks, nothing. While making this post I've been looking for hired blades/hired crossbows but in 30 minutes I haven't found any to tell how much their hiring cost is, but honestly, recruiting any tier 2/3 infantry unit is way, WAY more cost efficient than bothering with mercenaries. Upgrading any cavalry to tier 5 is cheaper than hiring merc cavalry by a lot even factoring in the cost of a cheap horse and warhorse, so I'm gonna assume that hired blades aren't that different. Merc cavalry at least is cavalry so it does better by default, but hired blades are garbage.

Like, I understand the whole point of being filler troops for emergencies, but having such a huge mark up on a tier 5 troop that barely passes as a T3, even for simulations, feels like it's simply never worth it. I'm confident that unless you can't leave the town you're currently in it'll always be much, much more worthwhile to quickly skip through 2-3 villages and hire a lot more guys for way cheaper, specially since there's so many perks that increase their availability and tier, rather than believing that 5 extra guys hired from a tavern, which are far less common than villages, will make a difference.

Sorry for the long rant but really, even for filler troops you're better off just recruiting a crapload of bandits and tanking the morale loss while you can rather than wasting so much for so little.
 

anoddhermit

Sergeant
There's 4 perks, 2 to reduce hiring costs and 2 to reduce wages (and they are all in between levels 150 and 225, with the 225 one being in trade). They have 50% higher base upgrade costs, and with the upgrade reduction cost perk they're still more expensive to upgrade than regular troops.

Their wage is mostly the same than that of regular troops, but they have 2 extra perks to reduce their wages by 25% each, but I can't tell how these stack. Regardless of that, there's already many other wage cost reductions and mercenary troops are very unlikely to be the majority of your army, simply because it's very rare to have more than 12 in a single tavern, while when you have progressed in the game, you can easily recruit 18-30 regular troops from town, 9-18 from villages.

Their biggest problem is their hiring costs tho.

They do stack. With 200 steward and 150 trade you have a 4-6 wage T4-T5 unit with 20x95-102dmg shots, medium armor, a large heavy shield and decent 1h sword. Compare this to a 5 wage T3 unit, which best case scenario(Vlandia) has 18x91dmg shots with lower accuracy, light armor, no shield, and a weaker sword. Not everyone will have these skills, but they're not hard to get and many people will get one or both along the way regardless of interest in mercs.

I did a campaign using primarily the crossbowmen and forest bandits for my archers (crossbows in front, shield wall in a pinch), which comprised about 40-50% of my party. The crossbowmen are solid units even with only one wage reduction perk, and superior (at range) to Empire crossbowmen and arguably even than Vlandians due to +2 projectiles and higher crossbow skill.

The infantry and cav are weaker, with equipment oddities - for some reason the T5 cav has a weaker spear than the T4, I assume some weapon/armor rebalancing has affected their relative equipment balance and they are due for a gear revamp at some point but it's a low priority thing.

As for hiring cost, well, they're mercenaries. They're in it for the money! They still make sense as a pricey but quick way to recuperate losses without perks, sometimes you really do just need as many troops as possible ASAP. Meatshields are meatshields.

I could see a buff to the infantry and cav, but the mercenary crossbowmen are fine, well worth the initial price and I'll often also buy up the watchmen and guards to level up into them.
 

Ask

Sergeant
Yeah the crossbowmen are decent, they aren't really my problem. They can get away with being good offensively and their armor doesn't matter much as long as they have an alright shield since they are ranged.

Hired blades just suck, that's all. Too expensive to justify them early, too weak to have any value late game. I can't say I want them to become a top tier infantry unit, I just want it to feel like you're getting what you're paying for.
 

kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
Yeah the crossbowmen are decent, they aren't really my problem. They can get away with being good offensively and their armor doesn't matter much as long as they have an alright shield since they are ranged.

Hired blades just suck, that's all. Too expensive to justify them early, too weak to have any value late game. I can't say I want them to become a top tier infantry unit, I just want it to feel like you're getting what you're paying for.

You ARE getting what you paid for.

The mercenaries aren't some elite crack troops as often portrayed in fantasy novels. They're just common soldiers for hire. With mercenaries, you're not paying them to become any kind of mainstay in your army. You're paying them for the fact that they fill the immediate need.

So you're paying for the immediate use, not for how they will perform or impact your military needs in the long run. Once you have the time to raise regulars, then terminate the employment.
 

Oltopeteeh

Recruit
Are there sensible mods for rebalancing mercenaries?
And then, out of chagrin, I slapped them with stats and things of similar units in terms of level from other factions (mainly the Empire).
As a result, mercenaries have become no worse and no better than others, just more expensive, but available immediately, without the need for pumping, like regular units. especially recruits. Without donating things for experience, they are meat))
 

humility925

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I prefer Regular units, it's cheaper and quicker refill army and mercenaries is not only costly but few in very tiny number here and there, it's cost lot, it's only few here and there (in face you get more regular unit than mercenaries), combat may or may not worthy, but there is bunch of looter for regular unit to level up quick everywhere.

I assumed mercenaries should better than regular units but few and hard to find and costly. Regular do what they had to, while mercenaries love to figthing to make living, so mercenaries should be very highly combat worthy yet few and costly.

But in some way in early game all player was or is a mercenaries party in begun of the game, till they choice to join kingdom or create kingdom.
 

five bucks

Knight
Why are so many people in this thread opposed to buffing mercenaries to the point where they come up with extensive headcanon explanations to justify doing so?

What's actually wrong, from a gameplay perspective, with buffing them to make them a better option which the player will want to use more often?

Right now, in practice, the player will rarely want to use generic tavern mercenaries at all, that's the simple fact.

Whereas in Warband I would quite often hire Hired Blades or Mercenary Cavalry and see them do reasonably well on the battlefield, in Bannerlord they are an expensive joke.

Mercenaries should either be less effective OR less expensive. They should not be BOTH.
The mercenaries aren't some elite crack troops as often portrayed in fantasy novels.
Real life had plenty of elite crack troop mercenaries. For example: the Almogavars of the Catalan Company, John Hawkwood's Great Company, Swiss mercenaries (considered the best pikemen of their time), Balearic Slingers, Xenophon's Ten Thousand, and the Varangian Guard.
 

kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
The problem is that they usually come in small numbers
This, I can agree with.

Their performance is fine. Their price is fine. But they should be made available in more numbers, for example, let's say on average at least a "band" of 20~30 mercs in taverns on average.
 

five bucks

Knight
This, I can agree with.

Their performance is fine. Their price is fine.
If you're going to keep saying they're fine, maybe you should back it up.

As I've already said, mercenaries hardly ever get used so from a gameplay perspective they aren't fine. And since they were not actually weak in reality, there's no realism argument for keeping them weak. So why not buff them so players have a reason to use them more often?
 

Oltopeteeh

Recruit
In essence, the mercenaries in the game are a minor faction. Like the Forest Brothers, the Lost Legion, the Carahergits, etc.
But they can be hired in the tavern, unlike others.
There is a mod that fixes this. Custom Merc. I checked, and yes, I hired squads myself, because they are really good. But without an exploit, the forges are expensive, to fill the entire squad means to go broke. Especially if in the mod settings set the price adequate to their strength.
 

kweassa

Sergeant at Arms
If you're going to keep saying they're fine, maybe you should back it up.

As I've already said, mercenaries hardly ever get used so from a gameplay perspective they aren't fine. And since they were not actually weak in reality, there's no realism argument for keeping them weak. So why not buff them so players have a reason to use them more often?
Hardly ever get used by YOU.

I use them. Upon need of course. To fill up the ranks after high attrition quickly. To bolster settlement defenses quickly if there's an army incoming. Even as temporary bodyguards when I'm traveling from point A to point B in the early game, and for some inexplicable reason there's gazillion small groups of bandits patrolling the way, and I have to either go a long long way around. Just because you don't see any creative use doesn't mean others feel the same. Not to mention, not every element in the game is always used on an equal footing.

Besides, "weak"? By whose standards?

I already said the mercs' main role, their main purpose that you pay money for, is them being there when there's an immediate need for more soldiers. Are you planning to hire a chockload of them to fight against t5/t6 regular troops? Of course they feel "weak" if you do such a thing. Are they "weak" when your need for them is to temporarily buff up your ranks for small scale fights? Nope.

Not to mention, people keep on treating mercs as max t5 troops because that's what they're listed as, but in reality mercs don't have a t1 at all. Watchmen are listed as t2, but effectively and practically they're the t1 in functionality. People should be comparing the troops down 1 tier from their actual listing due to this fact. (like, what's the point of saying mercs are t2 troops and comparing them to other t2 troops when their beginning point is different in the first place?) -- suddenly not feeling so "weak" now, huh.
 
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