Civilization V Customisation Wiki

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[]

Icon Unit


Black Army Icon resized
Black Army Hungary (Matthias Corvinus)
  • Does not require the Policy 'Mercenary Army'
  • May spend Movement Points to gain +33% Strength Combat Strength against a Unit Combat Type of your choice
JFD HolyRomeAtlas 256 - Copy (3)
Doppelsoldner Holy Rome (Charles V)
  • +100% Strength Combat Strength when attacking Lancer, Spearmen, or Pikemen Units.
  • Can be purchased either standalone or in a group of three Landsknecht.
  • Does not require a Social Policy to be bought.
  • Can only be purchased with Gold Gold.
Filibuster Icon
Flag filibuster wiki
Sonora (William Walker)
  • Much higher Strength Combat Strength
  • May be trained with Production Production
  • Unlocks at Rifling
  • Does not require the Mercenary Army Policy
  • Heals fully 1 turn after entering enemy territory
JFD KnightHospitallier
Knights Hospitaller Malta (Jean Valette)
  • Can be trained with Production Production.
  • Does not receive the standard bonuses of the Landsknecht.
  • +50% Strength Combat Strength against Siege Units.
  • Begins with bonus XP based on the number of enemy Units within three tiles of the city in which they are trained; the value increases the closer the enemy unit is to the city.
Holland (Floris V)
  • Grows stronger as the game progresses but is half as strong than equivalent units of its class.
  • Can only be purchased.
  • Combat bonus in home territories.
  • Can be expended to grant Food food to the nearest city in peace time.
Unitflag pesilat
Malaysia (Parameswara)
  • 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
The Shawnee (Tecumseh)
  • Does not require the Mercenary Army social policy.
  • Gains the Strength Combat Strength of the strong gun or melee unit.
  • When a friendly religious unit is expended on an enemy city, a Shemagana is created with experience based on the number of new followers converted in that city.
Unitflag swissguard
Swiss Guard
Papal States (Pius IX)
  • 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
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