|Available only with the Mare Nostrum DLC enabled.|
Condottieri are armies that can be rented out to other nations in exchange for money. Condottieri armies will remain in control of the nation that has offered them but they will fight and die for their recipient country marking their recipient’s enemies as their own.
There is an alert that will tell a player when an AI country they could rent condottieri to is likely to accept an offer.
Fees and size
When renting out an army as condottieri, the player is able to negotiate the fee for their services, which is set as a multiple of the monthly maintenance of the out-rented army, from 0× in steps of 0.1× all the way up to 5×, with the first 18 months paid up front. The nation that is offering the army for rent will still have to pay for that armies' maintenance and reinforcing. The player can only rent out a maximum of 20 regiments at a single moment. This limit can be increased by the available mercenaries modifiers.
Offering an army for no fee gives a +500 "Free troops" acceptance modifier.
Rules and effects of condottieri
Condottieri can not be offered in the cases of (either impossible or a -1000 acceptance factor):
- Rent out to rivals
- Rent to subject nations
- Army does not have land access to recipient's capital
- Recipient is running a monthly deficit while having loans
- If recipient has to pay for troops while not at war (will accept free troops)
- Rent out to a nation that is at war with a nation that the renter has a truce with
- Rent out to a nation that is enemies with another nation you are already renting condottieri to
When a nation accepts an offer for condottieri, the army in question will become hostile to the recipient's enemies, and fog of war is shared with the player as though they were an ally. Armies that are hostile to the player's condottieri are indicated by a yellow colored box beneath the unit. The banner situated to the right of the rented unit indicates what nation the unit has been rented to. Condottieri get access to any territory that the recipient has access to. Renting out armies has no effects on relations with other nations.
A condottieri unit has a war participation score related to how they are performing, as in besieging provinces and fighting in battles. When not fighting, this score will decay monthly. If this rating becomes too low, the player will receive an alert of this, and eventually the recipient will cancel the agreement. When the agreement is cancelled in this way, all countries will have a -250 acceptance penalty when considering hiring condottieri, decaying over 15 years.
Advantages of renting out an army as condottieri
In addition to the fee that is charged for the recipient country, condottieri units will also gain 50% more prestige and army tradition for fighting as condottieri, received by the origin country of the units. Besides that, it is a way to fight in a war without joining it, and without gaining a truce. All money looted from enemy cities also goes to your coffers.
Other important matters
- Enemies of the recipient will have access to the condottieri’s homelands as well, so they cannot simply seek refuge at home.
- After 18 months have passed, either side may cancel the arrangement which will make the troops go back to being a regular army. It is also exiled if it doesn't normally have access where it is at the time. The agreement can remain for as long as both parties are satisfied. Naturally, should a nation find themselves at war with a nation who is renting their condottieri, the contract will be cancelled. Furthermore, if the recipient finds themselves at peace, they can end the contract before the 18 months are up.
- Condottieri can only be led by generals of the nation that is renting out the unit, and these generals can't be replaced once appointed. Leaders who are rulers or heirs can't lead condottieri.
Condottieri allow for nations to participate in wars in which they officially do not take part. Especially early in the game, an army of 20 regiments can easily change the tide of a battle and even the entire war. An area where condottieri are especially effective is in the Holy Roman Empire, where most nations have relatively small numbers, which makes the condottieri that much more powerful. But be careful, as when condottieri are rented out they can not fight in wars of their mother country until the arrangement has been cancelled (condottieri can only fight enemies of the recipient), which takes a minimum of 18 months. Make sure there are no enemies preparing a war before renting out condottieri. AI nations consider the fact that condottieri have been rented out when calculating relative strength.
Nations with strong military ideas affecting combat ability can have a larger impact with condottieri, as rented units will keep all bonuses from the nation that originally recruited them.