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CK2 (Crusader Kings II): Retinues Guide

CK2 Crusader Kings II Troops Battle

There are many who ask the question: “What are they?” and “Are they worth it?” in regards to Crusader Kings II’s (CK2) retinues. Well, let us answer the second question first: Yes, CK2’s retinues are worth it. You know how every time you want to go to war, you first have to disband all your troops and then mobilize them? Retinues don’t go through that process. They can always be mobilized, which makes them superior to normal troops. So, let us explain how retinues work in CK2, what types there are, and how you can get more of them.

Related: CK2 (Crusader Kings II): Pagan Reformation Guide – Tier List

How the Retinue Limit Works in CK2

CK2 Crusader Kings II Retinues

If you enter CK2’s Retinue tab, under the Military option, you will see something similar to the image above. That shows the amount of retinue troops that you have, and the upper limit for them.

Though there are a lot of factors that influence your retinue limit in CK2, these are the most important ones:

  • Noble Rank (Count, Duke, etc.)
  • Number of Holdings in Realm
  • Military Buildings
  • Military Organization Technology

There is a special mathematical formula to know exactly how these influence the retinue limit, and we will leave it here for the math nerds:

  • Retinue Limit = (Rank * Holdings + Buildings) * (1 + 1.5 * Military Organization) * (1 + Unreformed Germanic Bonus + Royal Palace Bonus)

Unreformed Germanic tribes get a natural 50% bonus retinues and you also get more for every Royal Palace you own.

The Rank in the formula is 2 for Counts, 3 for Dukes, 4 for Kings and 5 for Emperors.

The Buildings that offer bonuses are:

  • Training Grounds in a Castle are 20 per level.
  • Garrisons in a trade post are 20, 30 and 50 at each level. This applies to the patrician that controls the trade post, not the ruler of the province where it is built.
  • The Silk Road Trade Office building, built in Silk Road Trade Posts, are 50, 100, and 150 for each level. This applies to the owner of the trade post.
  • The Military Warehouse buildings in a patrician’s Family Palace are 200, 400 and 600.
  • The Royal Palace Great Work are 250, 500 and 750. This applies to the top liege of the Palace, not the ruler of the province where it is built.

Related: CK2 (Crusader Kings II): All Empires – Requirements and IDs

All Retinues in CK2

Naturally, the base Retinue Limit is 1k. This does not necessarily mean you will have one thousand troops, it just means that their maximum value will be of 1k. To understand that, here is a list of all the retinues in CK2 to see their troop number and value:

Normal retinues

CompositionRetinue Limit UsageInitial Cost (Gold)Monthly Reinforcement CostMonthly UpkeepUnique Effect
200 Heavy Infantry
50 Archers
700982.10.175+20% Archer Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Defense
250 Pikemen
50 Archers
7251012.1750.18125+20% Archer Defense
+20% Pikeman Offense
+40% Pikeman Defense
200 Light Cavalry
50 Heavy Cavalry
9001262.70.225+20% Light Cavalry Offense
+20% Light Cavalry Defense
50 Heavy Infantry
200 Archers
550771.650.1375+20% Archer Offense
+10% Archer Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Defense
400 Light Infantry
150 Archers
580811.740.145+20% Archer Offense
+10% Archer Defense
+20% Light Infantry Defense
+20% Light Infantry Morale

Culture-based retinues

CultureCompositionRetinue Limit UsageInitial Cost (Gold)Monthly Reinforcement CostMonthly UpkeepUnique Effect
English
Welsh
250 Archers500701.50.125+20% Archer Offense
+10% Archer Defense
Scottish400 Pikemen100014030.25+20% Pikemen Offense
+40% Pikeman Defense
+20% Pikeman Morale
Baltic group
Finno-Ugric group
300 Heavy Infantry9001262.70.225+30% Heavy Infantry Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Altaic group (Except Jurchen)
Iranian group
120 Light Cavalry
130 Horse Archers
8801232.640.22+20% Horse Archer Offense
+12% Horse Archer Morale
French
Norman
Occitan
German
Breton
100 Light Cavalry
150 Heavy Cavalry
12001683.60.3+10% Heavy Cavalry Offense
+10 Heavy Cavalry Defense
+20% Heavy Cavalry Morale
Iberian group400 Light Cavalry12001683.60.3+20% Light Cavalry Offense
+20% Light Cavalry Morale
Italian
Dalmatian
400 Pikemen100014030.25+20% Pikeman Offense
+20% Pikeman Defense
+40% Pikeman Morale
East Slavic group250 Heavy Infantry7501052.250.1875+10% Heavy Infantry Offense
+50% Heavy Infantry Defense
+20% Heavy Infantry Morale
North Germanic group
Anglo Saxon
Saxon
Frisian
200 Heavy Infantry600841.80.15+40% Heavy Infantry Offense
+20% Heavy Infantry Morale
Hungarian
West Slavic group
300 Light Cavalry9001262.70.225+60% Light Cavalry Defense
+20% Light Cavalry Morale
Bedouin
Egyptian
Levantine
250 Camel Cavalry7501052.250.1875+20% Camel Cavalry Offense
+20% Camel Cavalry Defense
+20% Camel Cavalry Morale
Andalusian400 Light Cavalry12001683.60.3+20% Light Cavalry Offense
+40% Light Cavalry Defense
+20% Light Cavalry Morale
Berber400 Light Cavalry12001683.60.3+50% Light Cavalry Offense
+30% Light Cavalry Morale
Armenian
Alan
Greek
Georgian
Gothic
150 Heavy Cavalry
100 Horse Archers
13001823.90.325+10% Heavy Cavalry Offense
+10% Heavy Cavalry Defense
+20% Heavy Cavalry Morale
Irish200 Heavy Cavalry600841.80.15+40% Heavy Infantry Defense
+20% Heavy Infantry Morale
Ethiopian400 Light Infantry280390.840.07+50% Light Infantry Offense
+30% Light Infantry Defense
Somali400 Light Infantry280390.840.07+40% Light Infantry Offense
+40% Light Infantry Defense
West African group
Central African group
Daju
400 Light Infantry
100 Archers
480671.440.12+60% Light Infantry Offense
+10% Light Infantry Defense
+10% Light Infantry Morale
South Slavic group150 Light Cavalry
100 Heavy Cavalry
10501473.150.2625+10% Heavy Cavalry Defense
+10% Heavy Cavalry Morale
+20% Light Cavalry Offense
+20% Light Cavalry Defense
Dutch300 Light Infantry
100 Pikemen
460641.380.115+20% Light Infantry Offense
+20% Light Infantry Defense
+10% Light Infantry Morale
+30% Pikeman Offense
+20% Pikeman Defense
+10% Pikeman Morale
Nahua375 Light Infantry
125 Heavy Infantry
638891.9140.1595+40% Light Infantry Offense
+20% Light Infantry Morale
+20% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Israelite group200 Heavy Infantry600841.80.15+20% Heavy Infantry Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Indo-Aryan group
Dravidian group
200 Archers
20 War Elephants
600841.80.15+10% Archer Offense
+30% Archer Defense
Nubian300 Archers600420.90.075+20% Archer Offense
+20% Archer Defense
Frankish200 Heavy Infantry600841.80.15+20% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Lombard300 Heavy Infantry9001262.70.225+10% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Suebi200 Light Infantry
150 Pikemen
515721.5450.12875+30% Light Infantry Defense
+20% Light Infantry Morale
+30% Pikeman Defense
+20% Pikeman Morale
Pictish375 Light Infantry
125 Archers
512711.5360.128+30% Light Infantry Offense
+10% Light Infantry Defense
+20% Light Infantry Morale
+10% Archer Offense
+10% Archer Morale
Han100 Pikemen
250 Archers
7501052.250.1875+30% Archers Offense
+10% Archers Defense
+20% Pikeman Defense
+30% Pikeman Defense
+10% Pikeman Morale
Tibetan group300 Light Infantry
100 Light Cavalry
510711.530.1275+50% Light Infantry Offense
+30% Light Infantry Defense
+10% Light Infantry Morale
+20% Light Cavalry Offense
+20% Light Cavalry Defense
+10% Light infantry Morale
Jurchen175 Light Cavalry
75 Heavy Cavalry
9751362.9250.24375+10% Knights Offense
+10% Knights Defense
+10% Light Cavalry Offense
+10% Light Cavalry Morale
Roman150 Heavy Infantry
400 Pikemen
14501362.9250.24375+20% Pikemen Offense
+20% Pikemen Defense
+40% Pikemen Morale
+25% Heavy Infantry Offense
+25% Heavy Infantry Defense
+20% Heavy Infantry Morale
Assyrian200 Heavy Infantry6001362.9250.24375+20% Heavy Infantry Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
Coptic200 Pikemen
100 Archers
7001362.9250.24375+30% Archers Defense
+20% Pikemen Defense
Outremer100 Heavy Cavalry
150 Camel Cavalry
10501472.550.19625+10% Heavy Cavalry Morale
10% Heavy Cavalry Attack
+20% Camel Cavalry Attack
+10% Camel Cavalry Morale
Arberian200 Light Cavalry600841.80.15+20% Light Cavalry Defense
+20% Light Cavalry Attack
+40% Light Cavalry Morale
Sardinian200 Pikemen
200 Archers
9001262.70.225+20% Archers Defense
+20% Pikemen Attack
+20% Pikemen Defense
+40% Pikemen Morale
Horse300 Light Cavalry9001362.9250.24375+75% Light Cavalry Defense
+75% Light Cavalry Morale
Cat300 Light Infantry2101362.9250.24375+200% Light Infantry Offense
+25% Light Infantry Morale
Bear300 Heavy Infantry9001362.9250.24375+100% Heavy Infantry Offense
+25% Heavy Infantry Morale
Hedgehog300 Pikemen7501362.9250.24375+100% Pikemen Defense
+25% Pikemen Morale
Duck300 Heavy Infantry9001362.9250.24375+50% Heavy Infantry Offense
+50% Heavy Infantry Defense
+50% Heavy Infantry Morale
Dog150 Heavy Cavalry9001362.9250.24375+75% Heavy Cavalry Defense
+100% Heavy Cavalry Morale
Elephant100 War Elephants10001362.9250.24375+50% War Elephants Offense
+25% War Elephants Defense
Dragon150 Heavy Cavalry9001362.9250.24375+75% Heavy Cavalry Offense
+100% Heavy Cavalry Morale

Tribe retinues

These retinues are available if you use a tribal government and cost prestige instead of Gold. There are also retinues with piety costs available to defensive pagans.

The costs of these retinues are not affected by reinforce speed, but are affected by Marshal job Organize the Army.

CompositionRetinue Limit UsageInitial Cost (Prestige/Piety)Monthly Reinforcement CostMonthly UpkeepUnique Effect
150 Light Infantry10525 0.24 0.02 +20% Light Infantry Offense
+50% Light Infantry Defense
+20% Light Infantry Morale
100 Light Infantry
50 Archers
17050 0.36 0.03 +60% Light Infantry Defense
+30% Light Infantry Morale
+40% Archer Offense
+20% Archer Defense
+10% Archer Morale
100 Light Infantry
50 Light Cavalry
22075 0.48 0.04 +60% Light Infantry Offense
+20% Light Infantry Defense
+10% Light Infantry Morale
+10% Light Cavalry Offense
+10% Light Cavalry Defense
100 Light Infantry
50 Heavy Infantry
22075 0.48 0.04 +30% Light Infantry Offense
+30% Light Infantry Defense
+30% Light Infantry Morale
+10% Heavy Infantry Offense
+10% Heavy Infantry Defense
50 Light Cavalry
25 Horse Archers
25075 0.6 0.05 +10% Light Cavalry Offense
+10% Light Cavalry Defense
+10% Horse Archer Defense
50 Heavy Infantry
50 Archers
25075 0.72 0.06 +20% Archer Offense
+40% Archer Defense
+20% Archer Morale
+20% Heavy Infantry Defense
+10% Heavy Infantry Morale
75 Light Infantry
75 Archers
20350 0.6 0.05 +60% Light Infantry Defense
+40% Light Infantry Morale
+40% Archer Defense
+20% Archer Morale

And that is all you need to know about retinues in CK2. Check out other interesting CK2 guides and articles:


Based in Munich, Germany, Adrian Oprea is the Founder of Raider King. He is a writer with a passion for storytelling and a love for all things RPG. When not wielding a keyboard, he can be found exploring fantastical worlds, one quest at a time.
Adrian Oprea
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