Italian mercenary unit. Quick infantry.
Age of Empires II description

The Condottiero (plural Condottieri) is the second unique unit of the Italians in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. A quick anti-gunpowder infantry unit, it can be trained at the Barracks upon reaching the Imperial Age. In The Forgotten, a Castle was also required in order to train Condottieri. This requirement was removed in The African Kingdoms.

As a team bonus, the Condottiero is a shared unique unit, available to any players allied with an Italian player. It has no Elite version, unlike the Berbers' secondary unique unit, the Genitour.

Tactics[edit | edit source]

The Condottiero has a large attack bonus against gunpowder units, and bonus armor which negates their anti-infantry damage. Thus, Condottieri are an effective counter for armies of Janissaries, Conquistadors, or Hand Cannoneers. In addition, Condottieri trade effectively against Halberdiers and Camel Riders, which are common auxiliary forces to protect gunpowder units and take down cavalry.

Condottieri move fast and have high hit points. They are also created quite quickly and don't need to be upgraded. Their comparatively high gold cost, however, makes them an expensive unit to field and sustain in the long run. Skirmishers are much more efficient at dealing with gunpowder units on a cost basis; also, siege units excel in general combat, which limits the Condottiero's use to an emergency counter to gunpowder.

Condottieri can be used as an expensive substitute for Champions. This can occur in situations where the player doesn't have the Champion upgrade at the ready or if the player's civilization doesn't have access to them (Tatars, Bulgarians, Ethiopians, Huns, Khmer, Malay, Mayans, and Persians). On the other hand, Condottieri can be a huge power spike during early Imperial Age, though as already mentioned, they are less and less cost efficient as time goes on.

For the specific case of the Malay, Two-Handed Swordsmen should not be substituted, but rather supplemented with Condottieri, forming a solid composition in late Imperial Age, with Condottieri chasing down archers and gunpowder units, using their superior speed. Halberdiers and Karambit Warriors can also be very good complements or alternatives, depending on the situation.

Even for civilizations that have access to great Champions, it should be considered to substitute them if enemies use many anti-infantry units. For example, an interesting play with be to couple Malian Condottieri with Gbetos, both possessing great mobility to raid enemy positions and supplement each other's weaknesses; Gbetos add firepower, whereas Malian Condottieri are tasked with shielding Gbetos against enemy ranged units. Although in more general situations, Skirmishers would be more cost-effective, since they effectively counters all gunpowder units (except siege) as well as the Arbalester, to which the Condottiero has little defense with no base pierce armor.

A practical, general example would be a scenario where the player has previously built several Barracks to train Pikemen or Halberdiers against a cavalry civilization, and in this case, and the opponent has chosen Hand Cannoneer as counter versus Pikes. In this case, if the player can afford the gold cost but isn't able to train Skirmishers right away, is recommended to train some Condottieri in order to diversify and gain a slight edge in battle, taking advantage of the Condottiero's more beefy stats. But as the player's gold starts draining out, Condottieri might be a dangerous choice for the player's economy, specially when the opponent can easily switch into other ranged unit.

Finally, their ability to be trained without upgrades upon reaching the Imperial Age makes them a suitable counter to gunpowder in Fast Imperial games, specially in closed maps like Arena, where it's common that battles initially happen in groups of small but powerful units. Here, training just a few Condottieri to take down enemy Bombard Cannons can inflict a tremendous damage on the opponent. In other cases, the mere presence of an Italian player can be a strong deterrent against the creation of gunpowder units, in order to prevent a disastrous scenario.

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Skirmishers, Hand Cannoneers, Conquistadors, Janissaries, siege weapons, Bombard Towers, Bombard Cannons
Weak vs. Archers, Scorpions, Boyars, Teutonic Knights, Samurai, Cataphracts, Jaguar Warriors
Attack Forging.jpg Forging (+1)
Ironcasting.jpg Iron Casting (+1)
Blastfurnace.jpg Blast Furnace (+2)
Arson.jpg Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Garland Wars (+4, Aztecs only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Druzhina (gives trample damage, Slavs only)
CastleAgeUnique.png Chieftains (Vikings only, gives +5 attack against cavalry and +4 against camels)
Armor Scalemailarmor.jpg Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)
Chainmailarmor.jpg Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
Platemailarmor.jpg Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
CastleAgeUnique.png Pavise (+1/+1, Italians only)
Speed Squires.jpg Squires (+10%)
Sight Tracking.jpg Tracking (+2)
Conversion defense Faith.jpg Faith
Heresy.png Heresy
Creation speed Conscription.jpg Conscription (+33%)

Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Perfusion (+100%, Goths only)

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

Changelog[edit | edit source]

The Forgotten[edit | edit source]

  • Aztecs: All military units are created 18% faster.
  • Condottieri require a Castle in order to be trained.
  • Condottieri have 9 attack and 1 speed.
  • Condottieri have 1 pierce armor.
  • Condottieri train in 11 seconds.

The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]

  • Condottieri no longer require a Castle.
  • Condottieri reskinned.
  • Condottieri have 10 attack and 1.2 speed.
  • Portuguese: Condottieri cost 15% less gold.
  • With patch 4.8, Condottieri train in 13 seconds.
  • Malians: On release, Condottieri incorrectly do not benefit from the civilization bonus and do not get any bonus pierce armor due to a bug. With patch 4.8, this was corrected, with Condottieri now benefiting from the civilization bonus and obtaining +3 pierce armor.
  • Vikings: With patch 4.8, Chieftains affects Condottieri. It gives Condottieri +5 attack against cavalry.
  • Vikings: With patch 4.8b, Chieftains gives Condottieri additional +2 attack against camel units.

Rise of the Rajas[edit | edit source]

  • With patch 5.7, Condottieri have 9 attack and 0 pierce armor.
  • With patch 5.7, Condottieri have a unique armor class that essentially causes the Condottiero to resist bonus damage from gunpowder units (+10 armor), but not from other anti-infantry attacks.
  • With patch 5.7, Condottieri train in 18 seconds.
  • Vikings: With patch 5.7, Chieftains makes Condottieri do +4 damage to camels instead of +2.

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Condottieri are one of only four infantry units that don't get an attack bonus against Eagle Warriors, the other being the Kamayuk, the Militia, and other Eagles.
  • The Japanese Condottiero is tied with the Samurai and the Bulgarian Hussar with Stirrups as the melee unit with the second fastest attacking rate, attacking once every 1.45 seconds, being only beaten by the Bulgarian Cavalier with 1.35 seconds.
  • Before patch 5.7, The Gothic Condottiero was the third fastest training unit in Age of Empires II, after the Shotel Warrior and the Karambit Warrior.
  • The Condottiero is the only unique unit that is initially trained at the Barracks. It is joined by the Huskarl when Anarchy is researched.
  • The Condottiero is one of only three unique units available only in the Imperial Age, the others being the Imperial Camel Rider and the Imperial Skirmisher. Unlike these two however, the Condottiero isn't part of a generic unit line and thus, is vulnerable to Samurai.
  • The Condottiero is one of only five unique units without an Elite version, the other being the Slinger, the Missionary, the Imperial Skirmisher, and the Imperial Camel Rider. However, the Elite Condottiero appears in the Sforza campaign, in the scenario O Fortuna. There, Francesco Sforza leads an army of them to meet Duke Visconti in Milan before meeting Brigata Malatesta, who gives Sforza an army of Paladins.
  • The Condottiero is one of just three unique units that are a team bonus (the others being the Genitour and the Imperial Skirmisher). All three civilizations that provide these units are supposed to be great support civilizations.

History[edit | edit source]

The term Condottiero meant "contractor" in Renaissance Italian, and was synonymous with the modern English title of Mercenary Captain.

Historically, the Italian Condottieri were the leaders (or warlords) of the professional, military free companies (or mercenaries) contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy, from the late Middle Ages and throughout the Renaissance. Although in-game Condottieri fight on foot, historical Condottieri fought mainly on horseback, as the troops they commanded consisted mainly of heavily-armoured, mounted men-at-arms.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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