Mercenaries are units that can be trained at the Saloon
*I won multiple skirmish games only building and using units from the saloon (other than your explorer and the 5 villagers you begin with) and did not unlock the achievement.
This is the way I got the achievement to unlock:Game Settings:
Your Civilization: Swedes (Stockholm) – The achievement did not unlock when I used other civilizations, but did the first time I used this one.
Enemy Civilization: Inca (Cuzco) – Other civilizations build archery/canon outposts and artillery units which make it more difficult for you to defeat them.
Game Type: Supremacy
Set Number Of Players To: 2 Players
Select Type: All Maps
Select Map: Alaska (This is a small map)
Game Rules: Classic
Starting Age: Nomad
Game Speed: Fast
Speed always wins - Turns on 100x gather/build ratesMethod:
A whole lot of love - Gives you 10k of each resource (credit to DivineShai)
- Create your town center with the wagon.
- Use the cheats above. Give yourself roughly 100,000 food, wood, and coin.
- Keep advancing ages and selecting politicians that do not give you real units (select ones that give you food, coin, wood etc.) until you get a politician called “The Mercenary Contractor”. He usually shows up in either the first or second age upgrade.
- Select The Mercenary Contractor. He gives you: “Enables Jaeger and Black Rider hiring at the saloon”. Black Riders are what I used and the only units I built.
- Build 1 barracks, 1 stable and 1 arsenal. Buy all upgrades from the arsenal. (This step might not matter.)
- Build a saloon near to enemy (only 1 saloon can exist at a time).
- Build houses until the house building limit is reached.
- Buy the upgrade “Wild West” from the saloon.
- Now build Black Riders until your population limit is filled and send them in to destroy the enemy. Keep building them as they die and sending them in.
- Delete all your villagers (you should only have 5) when you are getting close to defeating the enemy.
- When the enemy concedes press yes and it should unlock right after.
These steps are exactly what I did to unlock the achievement.