Mercenaries in Barbarian Invasion are surprisingly useful. More so than they are in the base game. These Mercenaries can actually help balance out the various factions, and reduce their flaws.
That being said, Mercenaries are still Mercenaries. They have usually have low morale, and can be quite expensive.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING HORDE MODE
In Horde mode, your faction does not have a Capitol City. Additionally, you do not have to pay your Troops their Upkeep cost. However, Mercenaries will still need to be paid every turn. Make sure to keep this in mind, as Mercenaries are expensive, and can bankrupt you if you aren’t careful.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the Tier list.
Bosphoran Mercenaries are uncommon, but 100% worth every purchase. They have the best Attack of any Spearman, and an insane 23 Defense to back it up. Also, they only cost 760 Denarii, which is cheap by Mercenary standards.
Bosphoran Mercenaries are especially clutch for the factions without any Spearman, like the Huns or the Barbarian Tribes. They make an excellent addition to everyones army, so hire them whenever you get the chance.
Armored Camel Mercenaries
These Units are the Best Anti-Cavalry Unit in the game. They are tough, and have great defense and solid morale for a mercenary. Additionally, Camels can scare Horses. Using these Armored Camels, you can actually make entire enemy troops of cavalry flee in a broken mess.
They are a solid unit, found anywhere in the Desert. Even though these Camels have great Defense, they can be taken out pretty quick if you aren’t careful. Crossbows, for example, will shred them. Pair them with your other Cavalry, just know that Camels are slower than Horses, and might not be able to keep up.
With all of the being said, sending a group of these units to fight a General will make quick work of them. If you can afford these, buy them.
These Crossbowmen might not look like much, but they pack an incredible punch. They pierce armor, and only cost 575 Denarri. They do even more damage in the Woods, but I’ve found they are best to put to use on City Walls. With the Horde Factions being able to siege cities more often, these Crossbows can really make the difference .
Only Two factions in the game can recruit Crossbowmen, so these Mercenaries are perfect for evening the odds.
They can also Swim, but I haven’t really found a use for that so far.
Mercenary Sarmatian Archers
Sarmatian Archers are outstanding. Their Missile Attack is amazing, but their melee attack is almost as good. Whats more, Sarmatians have 20 Defense!
What this means, is that you have an extremely effective Missile Calvary that can double as Light Cavalry. They are incredibly versatile, and are honestly one of the best Mercenary Units in the game. The only reason they don’t make S Tier, is their Price. 1250 Denarii is steep, so only recruit these units if you’re good on money, or you plan to use them immediately.
The screenshot shows them being recruited in England, but you can find these Horse Archers almost anywhere.
Mercenary Alan Nobels
Alan Nobels are solid Heavy Cavalry. They can get in and back out quickly, and have the best Morale of any Mercenary Unit I’ve seen so far. They come with a 1350 Denarii price tag however, so only recruit them if you need the Cavalry.
The Gallowglass is a strange unit, to be sure. They are decently strong, and make a great addition to any Heavy Infantry. Even better, there are 40 of them, and they only cost 650 Denarii! There isn’t a reason to not hire these Mercenaries. The only downside? You can only find them on the Isle of Great Britain. If that is your starting area, you’re in luck. Otherwise, they are a trek just to acquire.
They can use Warcry to boost their attack (Can’t be used while in combat though, so use it wisely). They also get a combat bonus in the Snow, which is a lot more frequent in Barbarian Invasion than it is in the base game. Overall, a great unit for a great price.
Mercenary Golden Band
This Unit gets an A in the Tier list, but an S+ in the style list. That being said, The Golden Band unit is going to cost you 1200 Denarii. Whats more, they can only be found the Center North area of the map, where the Germanic Faction would be in the base game. That being said, Golden Band units will tear through almost anything, if positioned right. They can’t stand prolonged, head on fights, but if you have them attack an enemy who is already engaged in combat, it’ll be over quick.
These units are terrifying in city streets as well. If you have the money, and you find yourself North, these units can be very helpful.
These Mercenaries, are arguably the best Light Cavalry Mercenaries in the game. They are fast, are pretty decently balanced, except for their poor defense. But they only cost 575 Denarii, which is crazy cheap.
Moorish Mercs have a combat bonus in the Desert for some reason, despite only being able to be recruited in Spain. They are a bit out of the way, but for the price, they are worth every Denarii.
These units aren’t terrible, but they all have some major drawback in one way or the other. Use them carefully, and they’ll be worth your money.
These units are solid Infantry (despite looking like Spearmen). They hold their own pretty well, and are a godsend for Horde based Factions, as it offers them a solid infantry option to siege walls with.
They can be found anywhere, but they are pretty expensive. Their Morale leaves something be desired, but they make excellent front line troops if you can support them. I do not recommend them for Garrison units however, as their Upkeep can really end up costing you.
Mercenary Alan Horse Archers
Horse Archers are always a good thing to have. These Units are fast moving, and pretty cheap compared to some of the other Mercenaries. Just don’t expect them to hold their own in a fight. They’re lightweights in melee, but their excellent range keeps that from happening to often.
Alan Horse Archers can be found all over the North / NorthWest parts of the map. A solid addition if you need some extra range on the field, but not very effective in a City Siege.
Mercenary Equites Veteranii
These Equites are the exact same unit as they are in the base version of Rome. They’re quick and especially useful for running down Missile units. With that in mind, they come with a 950 Denarii Price tag, and there are only 27 of them.
You can find these Mercenaries anywhere on the map, so use them to provide a quick Cavalry boost. Don’t worry about getting them killed, there are always more.
These Mercenaries are best hired if you’re really desperate. Buyer beware.
I have no idea how to pronounce this.
These Mercenaries are Missile Cavalry, but very lackluster. Especially when you compare them to their Alan Horse Archer counterparts. You’re basically paying more for a worse Unit.
You’ll find these Mercenaries everywhere. They are effective at a distance, but hardly worth the cost of 1200 Denarii.
Camel Raiders are cheaper, weaker Equites. They can scare horses, and they have great stamina, for what it’s worth.
You can find them anywhere in the South part of the map, from Carthage to Selucia.
They only cost 500 Denarii, but they aren’t really that impressive. They break fast and die even faster. You can use them to run down Missile units in the desert effectively, but honestly they make better Garrison troops for the price.
Mercenary Foederati Cavalry
This Light Cavalry isn’t very impressive, and can be found all over the Western side of the map. They’re cheap, and they’re Cavalry. That’s all there is to them.
Not a bad choice if you need some extra units. Just don’t count on them for anything on their own.
Mercenary Foederati Infantry
I’m pretty sure Foederati translates literally into Fodder. Because that’s what these units are.
Despite being called Infantry, they are actually Spearmen. They are pretty cheap, at only 600 Denarii, and can be found wherever their Cavalry counterparts can.
A decent garrison unit, but nothing to go out of your way for.
Only one unit actually makes this Tier. It wasn’t good enough to place anywhere else, but wasn’t nearly as bad as the last two.
Mercenary Vandal Lancers
I honestly didn’t even know this Unit existed. They have a great Charge, but no attack to back it up with. They can break a line quickly, but they can’t get back out.
A cheap unit that can cause some chaos, but not really worth it. I’ve only seen one of these Units, ever. Maybe buy it for the novelty.
These two units are without a doubt, the worst mercenary units in the game. A huge waste of money.
These units are weaker versions of your own Ballistae. They are slow. They aren’t very accurate. And there are only 12 of them.
They can break open a gate, or break a wooden wall. That’s about it.
They only cost 600 Denarii, but even that isn’t worth it. Their upkeep is almost half that, and they aren’t even effective enough to justify it. Hard Pass.
Vandal Raider Mercenaries
This is another one of those Units that I didn’t know about. I’ve only found one, and it is easily the worst unit I’ve come across.
This Missile Unit can charge without orders. Their melee attack does nothing, so all you get is a bunch of Archers eager to die. They aren’t worth your time.
Thank You and Additional Notes
Thank you for reading my Mercenary Tier list for Rome: Barbarian Invasion. I couldn’t find much information on the different Mercenaries, so most of this was from trial and error.
I have heard rumors of two other Mercenary groups, that I was unable to find proof of.
-Mercenary War Elephants
I had a Merchant placed on the Elephant Resource, but could never find a single one in 76 turns. I’ve heard rumors of its existence, but no solid proof.
If anyone has a screenshot proving there existence, or you know of some Mercenaries I missed, please feel free to let me know. I’ll add it to the list.
Thank you again! May the True Rome smile upon your victories.
By Gaius Victor
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