Retinues

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The Retinues tab under the Military screen

Retinues are regiments of troops which form a standing army for each ruler. They require the Legacy of Rome DLC.

One must pay a fee to hire and reinforce retinues. Maintaining them, however, is free.

Unlike levies, retinues do not need to be dismissed to start wars. As a ruler's retinue capacity increases, their normal levies decrease in size, gradually making retinues a more important part of the army.

Retinue cap[edit]

Each ruler can only have a retinue of a limited size, dependent on their retinue cap. Different troop types take up differently-sized portions of the cap, with more powerful types (such as heavy cavalry) using more.

The retinue cap is given by the formula:

Retinue cap = (Rank * RealmHoldings + BuildingBonus) * (1 + 1.5 * MilitaryOrganizationTech)

where:

  • Rank is 2 for Counts, 3 for Dukes, 4 for Kings and 5 for Emperors.
  • RealmHoldings is the number of holdings in the realm.
  • BuildingBonus comes from specific buildings:
    • Training Grounds in a Castle give 20 cap per level.
    • Garrisons in a trade post give 20, 30 and 50 base retinue cap at each level.
    • The Military Warehouse buildings in a patrician's Family Palace give 200, 400 and 600 retinue cap.
  • MilitaryOrganizationTech is the Military Organization technology in the ruler's capital.

If a retinue unit is completely wiped out (i.e. all members killed in battle) then it will be disbanded and the retinue cap usage will be decreased by the amount that had been used by the now-destroyed retinue unit. This can be used to reduce your retinue cap usage in order to reconstitute your retinue with different units.

Reinforcement[edit]

A purchased regiment starts out with a single man and gradually reinforces up to full capacity. If the retinue takes casualties, each regiment will reinforce once more, until they are back to full strength.

If a ruler cannot afford the (sometimes steep) cost, reinforcement can be halved or stopped completely on the retinue tab:

  • Military reinforce max.png normal reinforcement rate: 2.5% per month.
  • Military reinforce half.png half reinforcement rate: 1.2% per month.
  • Military reinforce min.png no reinforcement.

List of retinues[edit]

Retinue regiments can be divided into two types:

  • Generic retinues are available to all rulers
  • Cultural retinues are specific to the ruler's culture.

Generic retinues[edit]

Type Composition Initial cost (gold) Retinue cap usage Monthly reinforcement cost Monthly Upkeep Unique Effect
Shock
Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
200 50
91 650 2.11 0.16 +20% Archer Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Defense
Defence
Pikemen.png Archers.png
250 50
77 550 1.78 0.13 +20% Archer Defense
+20% Pikeman Offense
+40% Pikeman Defense
Cavalry
Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png
200 50
126 900 2.92 0.22 +20% Light Cavalry Offense
+20% Light Cavalry Defense
Skirmish
Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
50 200
49 350 1.13 0.08 +20% Archer Offense
+10% Archer Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Defense
Light Skirmish
Light infantry.png Archers.png
400 150
60 430 1.39 0.10 +20% Archer Offense
+10% Archer Defense
+20% Light Infantry Defense
+20% Light Infantry Morale

Cultural retinues[edit]

Starting with patch 2.2, cultural retinues no longer receive the special bonuses as granted by the highest-level cultural buildings. Instead, each cultural retinue has new unique effects as outlined in the table below.

This list is up to date as of the Charlemagne expansion:

Type Culture Composition Initial cost (gold) Retinue cap usage Monthly reinforcement cost Monthly Upkeep Unique effect
Longbow
  • English
  • Welsh
Archers.png
250
35 250 0.81 0.06 +20% Archer Offense
+10% Archer defense
Schiltron
  • Scottish
Pikemen.png
400
112 800 2.6 0.20 +20% Pikemen Offense
+40% Pikeman defense
+20% Pikeman Morale
Baltic Warrior
  • Baltic group
  • Finno-Ugric group
Heavy infantry.png
300
126 900 2.92 0.22 +30% Heavy Infantry Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Horse Archer
  • Altaic group
  • Iranian group
Light cavalry.png Horse archers.png
120 130
123 880 2.85 0.21 +20% Horse Archer Offense
+12% Horse Archer Morale
Knight
  • French
  • Norman
  • Occitan
  • German
  • Breton
Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png
100 150
168 1200 3.90 0.29 +10% Heavy Cavalry Offense
+10 Heavy Cavalry Defense
+20% Heavy Cavalry Morale
Caballero
  • Iberian group
Light cavalry.png
400
168 1200 3.90 0.29 +20% Light Cavalry Offense
+20% Light Cavalry Morale
Pike
  • Italian
Pikemen.png
400
112 800 2.60 0.20 +20% Pikeman Offense
+20% Pikeman Defense
+40% Pikeman Morale
Druzhina
  • Russian
Heavy infantry.png
250
105 750 2.44 0.18 +10% Heavy Infantry Offense
+50% Heavy Infantry Defense
+20% Heavy Infantry Morale
Housecarl
  • North Germanic group
  • Saxon
Heavy infantry.png
200
84 600 1.95 0.15 +40% Heavy Infantry Offensive
+20% Heavy Infantry Morale
Hussar
  • Hungarian
  • West Slavic group
Light cavalry.png
300
126 900 2.92 0.22 +60% Light Cavalry Defensive
+20% Light Cavalry Morale
Camel Warrior
  • Bedouin
  • Egyptian
  • Levantine
Camel cavalry.png
250
105 750 2.44 0.18 +20% Camel Cavalry Offense
+20% Camel Cavalry Defense
+20% Camel Cavalry Morale
Andalusian Cavalry
  • Andalusian
Light cavalry.png
400
168 1200 3.90 0.29 +20% Light Cavalry Offense
+40% Light Cavalry Defense
+20% Light Cavalry Morale
Berber Cavalry
  • Berber
Light cavalry.png
400
168 1200 3.90 0.29 +50% Light Cavalry Offense
+30% Light Cavalry Morale
Cataphract
  • Byzantine group
Heavy cavalry.png Horse archers.png
150 100
182 1300 4.22 0.32 +10% Heavy Cavalry Offense
+10% Heavy Cavalry Defense
+20% Heavy Cavalry Morale
Gallowglass
  • Irish
Heavy infantry.png
200
84 600 1.95 0.15 +40% Heavy Infantry Defense
+20% Heavy Infantry Morale
Ethiopian Skirmisher
  • Ethiopian
Light infantry.png
400
39 280 0.90 0.07 +50% Light Infantry Offense
+30% Light Infantry Defense
Somali Skirmisher
  • Somali (currently bugged)
Light infantry.png
400
39 280 0.90 0.07 +40% Light Infantry Offense
+40% Light Infantry Defense
Free Warrior
  • West African group
Light infantry.png Archers.png
400 100
53 380 1.23 0.09 +60% Light Infantry Offense
+10% Light Infantry Defense
+10% Light Infantry Morale
Gusar
  • South Slavic group
Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png
150 100
147 1050 3.41 0.26 +10% Heavy Cavalry Defense
+10% Heavy Cavalry Morale
+20% Light Cavalry Offense
+20% Light Cavalry Defense
Goedendag Militia
  • Dutch
Light infantry.png Pikemen.png
300 100
57 410 1.32 0.10 +20% Light Infantry Offense
+20% Light Infantry Defense
+10% Light Infantry Morale
+30% Pikeman Offense
+20% Pikeman Defense
+10% Pikeman Morale
Jaguar Warrior
  • Nahua
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png
375 125
89 638 2.06 0.15 +40% Light Infantry Offense
+20% Light Infantry Morale
+20% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Bar Kochba Guards
  • Israelite group
Heavy infantry.png
200
84 600 1.95 0.15 +20% Heavy Infantry Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Steel Bow Infantry
  • Indo-Aryan group
  • Dravidian group
Archers.png War elephants.png
200 20
84 600 1.95 0.15 +10% Archer Offense
+30% Archer Defense
Nubian Archers
  • Nubian
Archers.png
300
42 300 0.97 0.07 +20% Archer Offense
+20% Archer Defense
Frankish Heavy Infantry
  • Frankish
Heavy infantry.png
200
84 600 1.95 0.15 +20% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% heavy Infantry Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Lombard Heavy Infantry
  • Lombard
Heavy infantry.png
300
126 900 2.92 0.22 +10% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Suebi Longsperman
  • Suebi
Light infantry.png Pikemen.png
200 150
112 800 2.60 0.20 +20% Heavy Infantry Defense
+20% Heavy Infantry Morale
Pictish Raiders
  • Pictish
Light infantry.png Archers.png
375 125
54 387 1.25 0.09 +30% Light Infantry Offense
+10% Light Infantry Defense
+20% Light Infantry Morale
+10% Archer Offense
+10% Archer Morale

Using retinues for combat[edit]

By letting you control army composition, retinues can easily beat a messy levy army that has the same total "cost". The key is to choose an army composition that lets you:

  • Excel at one combat phase, and control phases to your advantage.
  • Excel at one combat tactic in each phase, and ensure the tactic is chosen.
  • Appoint a commander whose combat specialization and cultural tactic matches your forces.

According to detailed calculations by IFUR, an English/Welsh volley force is the strongest as of version 2.2.0.5. Players may want to convert to one of these cultures.

A generic volley force is better than many cultural forces, although Italians/Scots should probably use their pikemen and Arabs their camel warriors. Byzantine cataphracts and Frankish knights are generally good at combat and avoiding attrition, but expensive to reinforce and very bad against horde doomstacks.

When combining retinues with levies, always keep them on separate flanks to avoid polluting the retinue's tactics. A popular choice is retinues in the center and levies on the sides.

Volley forces[edit]

Volley forces are designed to win in skirmish by having many archers and ensuring the Volley tactic (+200% archer attack). IFUR recommends the following ratios:

English/Welsh Large 14 Longbow, 4 Skirmish, 7 Defense, 4 Light
Generic Large 20 Skirmish, 3 Defense, 4 Light
English/Welsh Small 1 Longbow, 4 Skirmish, 1 Defense, 1 Light
Generic Small 6 Skirmish, 1 Defense, 1 Light

These ratios are chosen to have just under 60% archers, to prevent the enemy from Charging on undefended flank and forcing a switch to melee. To ensure volley, the rest of the army is a mix of infantry (light/heavy/pike) with each type below 20%.

If Christian, you should be able to invite and appoint a Welsh (or English) commander. This unlocks the even better Massive Volley tactic (+350% archer attack). With appropriate culture and 16+ martial skill, your army will use Massive volley 66% of the time and normal Volley only 33% of the time.

If combat reaches melee, order an immediate retreat.

Pure light cavalry[edit]

A pure light cavalry force is guaranteed Harass in skirmish and Raid in melee, both excellent for light cavalry. Several cultures have normal Light Cavalry with various bonuses. Arabs (Bedouin, Egyptian, and Levantine) have Camel Cavalry, which are a better version of Light Cavalry.

This is one of the fastest-moving armies, letting you control where battles take place.

"Horse Archer" divisions[edit]

The Altaic/Iranian "horse archer" divisions is about half horse archers and half light cavalry. In skirmish, they will pick harass (great only for light cavalry) or swarm (great only for horse archers).

In melee, they have a 50% chance to retreat and ambush and change back to skirmish. If they choose raid instead, you may want to order a retreat.

Pikemen forces[edit]

According to the same calculations in the above link, Pikemen are the most effective melee force. They are good against the powerful Archer build, however, such Archer armies are only likely to be found with human players. Nevertheless, Italian and Scottish players can use these with the correct culture leader, to get very good tactics. Their biggest weakness is their inability to pursue fleeing enemies properly, so they fight best in combination with cavalry flanks.

Using retinues for siege[edit]

An army of archers is great at assaulting holdings (computed as skirmish).

An army of light infantry is best for carpet sieges and discouraging rebellion, since it is the cheapest per soldier.

Beware of unreformed Pagan provinces, where attrition can be extremely high. When fighting a war on their lands, Assaulting walls may cost less troop losses than attempting to siege.

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