Cuman Mercenaries is a technology in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition that is unique to the Cumans and can be researched at the Castle once the Imperial Age is reached. Once researched, it allows the player and their allies to train up to 10 Elite Kipchaks from their Castles for free.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
The Kipchak is a great raiding unit. Cuman Mercenaries allows the player and their allies to train up to ten free Elite Kipchaks, which can be very useful for quick raids. Also, the unit this technology grants benefits from technologies and bonuses from each allied player (for example, a Magyar player will have Elite Kipchaks with longer range and attack, due to their Recurve Bow unique technology). A contingent of 10 Elite Kipchaks is very useful for hit-and-run tactics.
An important note is that the technology stacks with itself, so in a team with two or more Cuman players, this naturally means that for each player that researches this technology, it increases the limit of the free Elite Kipchaks to ten more. In a team with 4 Cuman players, each one is able to train 40 free Elite Kipchaks after each member researches this technology, for a total of 160 Elite Kipchaks to the entire team, at the total cost of 2,600 food and 1,600 gold instead of 9,600 wood and 5,600 gold (which is the total cost of naturally trained Kipchaks; and this calculation does not take in consideration the elite upgrade each player has to research).
Cuman players may leave this technology alone in several situations in 1 vs 1 games or free for all games, as its gold cost is higher than the gold cost of 10 straightforward trained Elite Kipchaks (Cuman Mercenaries costs 650 food and 400 gold, and 10 regular trained Kipchaks cost 600 wood and 350 gold), unless they really need their Elite Kipchaks at the ready (not the regular ones) and have not already researched the Elite upgrade.
Team bonuses[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
This technology shares some similarities with a technology from the The Conquerors mod Age of Chivalry: Hegemony, where almost all civilizations can research a Market technology called Mercenaries . This technology enables the player to train unique units hailing from another civilization (for example, the Swiss Guard unique unit becomes available for the French civilization with the Eternal Peace unique technology, although it is the unique unit of the Helvetia civilization). The similarities of the The Last Khans Cuman Mercenaries with the Age of Chivalry: Hegemony Mercenaries are quite striking, but there’s one main setback: Cuman Mercenaries is a technology only available for the Cumans and it requires allied players to expect the Cumans are present in the game and wait for them to train this technology in the Imperial Age.
On the other hand, the Kipchak unit limit of 10 has similarities with the Age of Empires III native Trading Post unique units where their unique units have a unit limit. This is given in order to balance the possible over-exploitation any archer civilization with bonuses and upgrades that could give to them, turning the tables of the game and thus creating a proper deathball of overpowered Kipchaks that could make every other player abdicate as they could not stand against a horde of fully upgraded cavalry archers with tremendous firepower.