West Palm Beach
Re: Retreating--With or Without Mercenaries?
I take the card literally--mercenaries don't retreat. Otherwise there is no reason for the sentence--one would assume the mercenaries do retreat if nothing were said about them.
It makes for a tough decision for the defender--retreat and lose the mercenaries, or fight a probably losing battle to inflict as many hits as possible. Plus if the noble is killed, the odds are that the mercenaries come back with him at the end of the turn.