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There are mercenaries for hire in every single region in Rome: Total War. Although expensive to hire, they can be very useful if you need troops in a hurry, are a long way from home, or simply need a different kind of unit for the next stage of your campaign. With that in mind, let's see what the world of the hired sword has to offer in RTW.

Barbarian RegionsEdit

Comprising much of the north of the campaign map, the barbarian regions represent the fierce warriors of the north where individual bravery, courage and skill are valued as high as discipline and and rigid formations.

This area includes Spain, Gaul, Britannia, Germania, Dacia and Scythia and all the provinces in between.

Barbarian MercenariesEdit

With large shields, spears and light armour these men make the perfect addition to bolster the ranks of any army. Want an expendable unit to push a battering ram to save your crack troops from enemy fire? These are your men, with a large unit size, a fierce warcry and high speed, these are perfect for all your light support roles. Can perform warcry.

Men:120

Attack: 7

Defence:10

Charge:4

Mercenary equivalent of a Warband.

Barbarian Cavalry Mercenaries>Edit

Swift horses and sharp spearpoints make a potent combination. These tireless men are perfect for outflanking enemy infantry, chasing down routing enemies or engaging light or missile troops with a powerful charge. Can perform wedge formation.

Men: 54

Attack:7

Defence 10

Charge:7

Mercenary equivalent of Barbarian Cavalry.

These men are available for hire by Britannia in Custom Battles.

Spanish MercenariesEdit

With their large shields, large helmets, javelins and gladii, the Spanish mercenaries have a lot in resemblance with early legionary troops, and so they should, as much of the inspiration for the Roman legionaries came from barbarian troops such as Spain's Scutarii. These men are perfectly fine holding a battle line as light infantry troops, or acting as an extra missile unit with their javelins, as an extra support unit.

Men:80

Attack: 7

Missle:11

Defence:12

Charge:2

Mercenary Equivalent of Scutarii.

They are available for hire by Carthage in Custom Battles.

Scythian MercenariesEdit

Swift mounted archers capable of forming the Cantabrian circle, these men are able to keep a steady rain of arrows on a unit over time, acquiring constant casualties and a steady accumulation of pressue. As they have no armour or shields these men are not recommended to engage in combat with any but routing troops, as they are far too vulnerable to even lightly armed support troops.

Men: 54

Attack:3

Missile:7

Defence:2

Charge:2

Mercenary equivalent of Scythian Horse archers.

These men are available for hire by Dacia in Custom Battles.

Sarmatian MercenariesEdit

Pointed helmets and long scale-mail coats give these men a fearsome appearance only exceeded by their shock ability. Using a very long and heavy two-handed lance these men can crush many lesser units beneath the hooves of their steeds. Impetuous, well armoured and armed, these troops are a cavalry force to be reckoned with.

Men: 54

Attack:8

Defence:13

Charge: 10

Mercenary equivalent of Scythian Nobles.

Northern MediterraneanEdit

The Northern Mediterranean is a mostly civilised area with a wide variety of factions and troops. Units included in this area hail from Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, the Balaeric Isles, Greece, Macedon, Thrace, Rhodes and Asia Minor.

Samnite MercenariesEdit

Lightly armoured spearmen with large shields, Samnite mercenaries are useful for fending off cavalry or supporting heavier infantry. Whilst not the best spearmen, they are still better at keeping horsemen at bay than swordsmen or legionaries, and so still have a place in the wily commander's army.

No normal unit equivalent.

Mercenary hoplitesEdit

A green liveried version of hoplites, if your chosen faction has no spearmen, these men are ideal for fighting factions based on cavalry units. Heavily armoured, with large shields and long bronze spears any cavalry unit getting too close to these men will be getting a reprimand from Centurion Marcus in a hurry!

Mercenary equivalent of Hoplites.

Cretan ArchersEdit

Recruited from Crete and the surrounding Hellenic lands, these archers are without doubt the best archery unit in Rome: Total War. With a much greater range than normal archers, the same ability to use flaming arrows and greater accuracy than normal archers, there isn't a lot that these men cannot do with a bow. As they have no armour and only a small knife to defend themselves with, these men need guarding with heavier infantry.

Men: 80

Attack:6

Missile:11

Defence:4

Charge:3

No normal unit equivalent.

These men are available for hire by Macedon and the Greek Cities in Custom Battles.

Rhodian/Balaeric SlingersEdit

Hailing from opposite ends of the Mediterranean, these men represent the same upgrade to normal slingers that Cretan archers represent to normal archers. Many generals underestimate slingers due to the fact that they fire horizontally, meaning they have to be in front of the main battle line, and that they cannot use flaming missiles, but slingers will often gain kills where archers would not, and have the added bonus of having far more ammunition than archers. Fast and light troops perfect for wearing down the enemy whilst they close with your main battle line.

Men: 80

Attack: 6

Missile: 9

Defence: 6

Charge: 3

No normal unit equivalent.

Rhodian slingers are available for hire by the Greek Cities in custom battles, while Spain and Carthage can hire Balaeric slingers.

Mercenary PeltastsEdit

Large shields, good helmets and short swords and a clutch of deadly javelins give these men many uses. A good versatile support unit able to shower an enemy with javelins, withdraw and then charge home to finish them off.

Mercenary equivalent of Heavy Peltasts.

Illyrian MercenariesEdit

Similar to peltasts with higher morale, longer range and a higher attack, these men bring all the advantages of Mercenary Peltasts with an added bonus.

Men: 80

Attack: 7

Missile: 9

Defence: 8

Charge: 4

No normal unit equivalent.

Can be hired by Macedonian and Thracian armies in custom battles.

Cilician piratesEdit

With their javelins and axes the Cilicians would initially seem a fearsome unit, but their lack of armour and indisiciplined circular formation let them down somewhat. Whilst used as a javelin unit they have some use, and are certainly better at defending themselves than ordinary archers or slingers, but still nowhere near as good as a group of light infantry.

Men: 80

Attack: 10

Missile: 13

Defence: 5

Charge: 3

No normal unit equivalent.

Pontus can hire these men in custom battles.

Thracian MercenariesEdit

Armed with the deadly rhomphaia and presenting a fearsome appearance, Thracian mercenaries are heavily armed shock troops with a fierce warcry. Whilst vulnerable to missile fire and cavalry attacks, they are more than capable of holding their own against lighter infantry.

Men: 80

Attack: 10

Defence: 6

Charge: 5

No normal unit equivalent.

Can be hired by Pontic forces in custom battles.

Bastarnae MercenariesEdit

The Bastarnae were a particularly formidable tribe of Thracians, dedicated to the arts of war and savage to the core. These warriors are identical to Thracian merenaries in appearance, but with much higher morale and far more deadly with the feared rhomphaia.

Men: 80

Attack: 14

Defence: 6

Charge: 6

Mercenary equivalent of Bastarnae.

North African MercenariesEdit

The wild and untamed lands of Africa produce a range of:

Mercenary War ElephantsEdit

Giant Elephants with archers mounted in boxed howdahs, these beasts provide a fearsome weapon for armies poorly equipped to deal with them. As they close on the petrified enemy, archers fire deadly arrows from atop giving these beasts the unique tag of being both heavy cavalry and missile cavalry. Keep them away from spearmen and fire and they will positively ruin any other unit on the battlefield. These beasts frighten horses and so get a bonus fighting cavalry.

Men: 36

Attack: 6

Missile: 6

Defence: 16

Charge: 8

Hitpoints: 12

Mercenary equivalent of War Elephants.

Can be hired by Numidia in custom battles.

Numidian mercenariesEdit

Rapid javelin armed mounted warriors, the horsemen of Numidia are famed throughout the ancient Mediterranean for their skill as both riders and javelinmen. Masters of the Cantabrian circle this unit can harass and tie up even the best of commanders when used effectively.

Men: 54

Attack: 6

Missile: 9

Defence: 8

Charge: 4

Mercenary equivalent of Numidian Cavalry.

These men can be hired to join the ranks of Carthage in custom battles.

Libyan MercenariesEdit

These light skirmishers are famed javelinmen, and are worth getting even if you already have javelinmen, for their bonuses against both chariots and elephants. The harsh deserts of Africa produce harsh, tough men and these Libyans are no exception.

No normal unit equivalent.

Eastern MercenariesEdit

These men from the East are rugged and well suited to desert warfare. Highly mobile and fast units characterise the Eastern factions, and their mercenaries are no different.

Eastern MercenariesEdit

Unarmoured infantry with large wicker shields to reduce weight, these men are fast and agile spearmen designed to move around the map in a hurry and harass different parts of an enemy army. Their long spears make them effective against cavalry, but they don't have the staying power of heavier infantry.

Men: 120

Attack: 3

Defence: 5

Charge: 1

Mercenary equivalent of Eastern Infantry

Arab MercenariesEdit

Swift horsemen with curved swords, these are perfect light raiders for running down missile troops or flanking lighter infantry. However speed comes at a price and with these men it is their lack of armour, making them vulnerable to missile fire or becoming bogged down in enemy troops for too long.

Men: 54

Attack: 7

Defence: 11

Charge: 4

No normal unit equivalent.

These horsemen can be hired by Armenia and Parthia in custom battles.

Bedouin WarriorsEdit

The smell and sight of camels frighten horses, making these mounted swordsmen ideal for engaging lighter enemy cavalry. Again unarmoured, these troops are best used to repeatedly charge home into enemy cavalry, frightening and harassing them until the pressure mounts and they begin to rout.

Men: 54

Attack: 7

Defence: 11

Charge: 4

No normal unit equivalent.

Armenia and Parthia can hire these men for custom battles.

Bedouin ArchersEdit

Identical to their sword armed brethren apart from the weapon, these camel mounted archers have the dual effect of both harassing from afar with their bows, and from close to with their stinking mounts. Although camels are slower than horses, the extra range given by a bow allow these men to keep their distance and bait enemy cavalry into chasing them halfway across the battle map, constantly taking casualties from their bows, before the final charge home and the horses really have had enough of the camels and begin to rout.

Men: 54

Attack: 3

Missile: 7

Defence: 5

Charge: 2

No normal unit equivalent.

Can be hired to join Parthian and Armenian forces in custom battles.

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