"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.
The Condottiero has a large attack bonus against gunpowder units, and because of this, they are capable of taking down armies of Janissaries, Conquistadors, or Hand Cannoneers, who are usually paired with Halberdiers or Camel Riders to take down cavalry. Also, Condottieri have bonus armor and take no bonus damage from Hand Cannoneers which helps them in their role as a gunpowder counter.
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. Skirmishers are much more efficient at dealing with gunpowder units on a cost basis, while siege units excel in general combat, limiting 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). In the Malay case however, Two-Handed Swordsmen should not be substituted, but rather supplemented with Condottieri, them forming the backbone of late Malay armies, and Condottieri (backed with Halberdiers and Karambit Warriors) chasing down archers and gunpowder units, using their superior speed.
Civilizations that have access to Champions (even ones with remarkable ones) should also consider sometimes to substitute them, especially if enemies use many anti-infantry units. For example, Malian Condottieri can be coupled with Gbetos, both possessing decent speed 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 Skirmishers would be more cost-effective, since it counters all gunpowder units (except siege) as well as the Arbalest, to which the Condottiero has no defense. A more practical example would be a scenario where the player has previously built several Barracks to train Pikemen or Halberdiers against a cavalry civilization, but the opponent has started adding gunpowder units to the army composition. In this case, if the player is able to afford the gold cost and has not build yet enough Archery Ranges (to train Skirmishers), is recommended to train some Condottieros in order to diversify and gain a slight edge in battle, with proper micro. It should be noted that in the long run, Condottieros might still not be the best option, as the player's gold might start draining out, and the opponent might easily switch to other ranged unit, preventing further damage on their own economy.
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 Condottieros 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
|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 (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
Garland Wars (+4, Aztecs only)
Druzhina (gives trample damage, Slavs only)
Chieftains (Vikings only, gives +5 attack against cavalry and +4 against camels)
|Armor|| Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
Pavise (+1/+1, Italians only)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Aztecs: Condottieri are created 18% faster.
- Burmese: Condotteri have +3 attack. Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Celts: Condottieri move 15% faster. Condottieri can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Condottieri are 20% cheaper.
- Goths: Condottieri are 35% cheaper and have +3 attack against standard buildings. With Perfusion researched, researching Tracking (before the Definitive Edition) and Squires is 100% faster.
- Italians: With Pavise researched, Condottieri have +1/+1 armor.
- Japanese: Condottieri attack 33% faster.
- Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace are free.
- Malians: Condottieri have +3 pierce armor.
- Portuguese: Condottieri cost 20% less gold.
- Slavs: Tracking is free (before DE, no effect after the Definitive Edition)
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Condottieri don't cost gold.
- Tatars: Condottieri deal 50% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations.
- Teutons: Condottieri have +2 melee armor.
- Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
- Vikings: Condottieri have 20% more hit points.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Conscription is researched 25% faster.
- A team containing Goths: Condottieri are created 20% faster. Researching Tracking (before the Definitive Edition), Squires, and Arson is 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Condottieri are more resistant to conversion.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching Infantry armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is 50% faster.
The Forgotten Edit
- 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
- 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
- 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
- With update 39284, Condottieri have 10 attack again.
- Aztecs: With update 37650, all military units are now created 11.1% faster.
- Tracking removed; all infantry instantly receive +2 LOS upon reaching the Feudal Age.
- Teutons: With update 35584, Condottieri have +1 melee armor. With update 36906, they have +2 melee armor.
- Italians: With update 39284, Pavise also affects Condottieri.
- Portuguese: With update 39284, Condottieri now cost 20% less gold.
- 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.
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.