The Landsknecht is a Melee unit available through the Mercenary Army social policy.


The landsknecht were German mercenary pikemen of the 16th century. Created in imitation of the legendary Swiss mercenary pikemen, the landsknecht would eventually supplant them as the best mercenary infantry available in Europe, fighting in almost every major engagement in the 16th century – often on both sides. In battle landsknechts generally carried pikes of up to twenty feet in length. Some few also carried huge two-handed swords or halberds; these were used to chop the heads off of the pikes of their opponents.


In Brave New World, the Landsknecht becomes available only after adopting Mercenary Army in the Commerce Social Policy tree, but it is now available to all civilizations once they research Civil Service. This unit still retains its half price compared to a normal Pikeman, but in addition, it possesses unique promotions that allow it to pillage improvements at no movement cost and to pillage twice as much Gold from cities. These features make the unit an interesting representation of actual real-life mercenaries, only interested in war as far as it enriches them.

More importantly, however, is that the Landsknecht is one of the only units in game (if not the only unit) that can move and attack on the same turn it is purchased.

This unit is great if you need a unit immediately, especially for defense.

Unique Unit Replacements


Art by Janboruta

Swiss Guard - Papal States (Pius IX)
Unitflag swissguard

  • May only be purchased with Gold Gold or FaithIcon Faith (with the Holy Warriors belief)
  • +20% Strength Strength when defending
  • Heals 50 damage if it defeats an enemy adjacent to the Capital Capital
  • Does not obsolete
  • Generates +2 Tourism Tourism after Radio

Art by Knightmare

Pesilat - Malaysia (Parameswara)
Unitflag pesilat

  • Does not require the Mercenary Army social policy
  • Is purchased with CultureIcon Culture instead of Gold Gold
  • May be upgraded from Workers
  • May move immediately after purchase in a city

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