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This article is about the mercenary unit in Age of Empires III. For other uses of the term, see Pikeman.

Elite Swiss mercenary armed with a pike. Good against cavalry.
—In-game description

The Swiss Pikeman is mercenary heavy infantry in Age of Empires III.


The Swiss Pikeman are a serious threat to many units, due to their hit points and multipliers, especially cavalry. In addition, they have a high siege attack, allowing them to destroy buildings fairly easily and are also quite fast for infantry making them a good all-around unit. However like all infantry they will be defeated by artillery.

When using Swiss Pikemen, be on the lookout for Spy and Ninja units as they will be a threat, killing them with ease due to bonuses against fighting mercenaries.

Campaign appearances[]

In some campaign scenarios, Swiss Pikemen appear to assist the players' forces. For example, in the Act I: Blood level Into the Caves, three Swiss Pikemen are provided at the start to help defend the player's colony.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, Shock Infantry, buildings
Weak vs. Skirmishers, archers, artillery
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (+20%, British only)
Corselet.png Corselet (+25%, Spanish only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Counter Infantry Rifling.png Customized Merc Weapons (+30%, John Black's Mercenaries only)
Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Mapuche Tactics.png Mapuche Tactics (+50% siege attack)
Zapotec Cult of the Dead.png Zapotec Cult of the Dead (+20%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons (+10%)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+20%, Germans only)
Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army.png Standing Army (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Penalties Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed, British only)
Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost, Germans only)
Corselet.png Corselet (-15% speed, Spanish only)

Home City Cards[]

In-game dialogue[]

The Swiss Pikemen speaks German, but in modern Zürich German unlike the German civilization's ones. However, an older Swiss German accent would have been more period appropriate.

The normal text below denotes the Swiss Pikeman's dialogue in the Swiss dialect versus the standard German pronunciation in parentheses.

  • Select 1 Ja? - Yes?
  • Select 2 Bereiit (Bereit) - Ready
  • Select 3 Uftrag (Auftrag) - Order?
  • Move 1 Jawoll (Jawohl) - Yes, sir
  • Move 2 Verschtande (Verstanden) - Understood
  • Move 3 Wird gmacht (Wird gemacht) - It will be done
  • Attack 1 Aagriff (Angriff) - Attack!
  • Attack 2 Vorwärts (Vorwärts!) - Forward!
  • Attack 3 Jawoll! (Jawohl!) - Yes, sir!


  • Historically, the mercenary corps of Switzerland (Reisläufer) were bitter rivals of the Landsknecht, in large part due to the latter being considered their imitators, yet became increasingly popular upon introduction to the point of supplanting the Swiss all but entirely in service. The two forces were often opposed during the major European conflict of the early sixteenth century, the Great Italian Wars, where the results of their many clashes were often horrific.


Swiss soldiers hired themselves out as mercenaries in many European nations. They were known for their discipline and drill with pike and halberd, but by the end of the sixteenth century had adopted the arquebus, and even mounted soldiers armed with arquebuses. Swiss pikemen were ruthless on the battlefield. They were known to hang their own men for panicking, for giving no quarter to enemies who surrendered, and for loyalty as long as they were paid. The phrase, "No silver, no Swiss," referred to the price of their loyalty, and the consequences of not paying them.

Swiss mercenaries wore a variety of uniforms, favoring colorful Landsknecht-style dress with striped leggings and mismatched stockings, and bright, slashed doublets and sleeves in alternating colors.