Landsknechts are powerful but slow hand infantry. In terms of gameplay they are essentially an upgraded Halberdier so have the same strengths and weaknesses. They do a large amount of damage in melee combat, capable of defeating most hand infantry and cavalry units and can raze buildings quickly. However, as heavy infantry, they are vulnerable to Skirmishers and artillery.
They can be shipped from the Home City or trained at the Saloon in the expansion packs.
The historical Landsknecht company also fielded large amounts of pikemen and arquebusiers in addition to the doppelsoldner, which is used as its representative unit in the game. The Landsknecht doppelsoldner is considered a separate unit from the German unique unit of the same description, however, and in terms of performance it is the rough equivalent of a Halberdier while its standard counterpart behaves similarly to a Ronin.
Historically, the Landsknecht was a bitter rival of the mercenary corps of Switzerland (Reisläufer), in large part due to them being considered imitators of their counterpart, yet became increasingly popular upon introduction to the point of supplanting the Swiss all but entirely in service. The two forces were often opposed during the major European conflict of the early sixteenth century, the Great Italian Wars, where the results of their many clashes were often horrific.
"Regiments of Landsknechts (German for "land knights," or "servants of the land") were formed by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. They began as top-notch pikemen, but integrated other weapons, including the new technologies and weapons beginning to appear in the late Renniassance. Doppelsoldners swung great two-handed swords and other Landsknechts were early adopters of the new-fangled arquebus, an early musket. Landsknechts were known for their outlandish and elaborate clothing. They wore striped leggings, broad-brimmed hats with large plumes, puffy sleeves, and elaborately slashed doublets."