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Stride across fertile plains with industrious farmers and powerful nobles at your back as you build the fledgling Kingdom of Poland into one of medieval Europe’s most powerful states. The Polish unique unit is the Obuch, a brutal infantryman whose war hammer tears the armor from enemy units.
—Description[1]

The Poles' civilization music theme in the Definitive Edition

The Poles are an Eastern European civilization introduced in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dawn of the Dukes. They focus on cavalry. Their unique unit is the Obuch.

The kingdom of Poland was an Eastern European kingdom that formed an alliance with the duchy of Lithuania with the arranged marriage between Jadwiga and Jogaila, which would later form into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The kingdom of Poland mostly consisted of serfs with large vast of farmland. Polish nobles would often take away farm produce from the serfs for themselves. This is highlighted with their unique building, the Folwark, which immediately collects 10% of the Farm's food storage to the player's bank as well as providing 5 population space. Unlike most European kingdoms, Poland was not as negatively impacted by the bubonic plague, which can be attributed to several quarantine measures by Casimir III the Great under his rule. This is reflected with their Polish villagers that slowly regenerate health. Poland is also relatively wealthy with vast amount of salt and silver mines, which is why their stone miners also generate gold alongside with stone.

Much like their Lithuanian neighbors, the Poles utilized cavalry in battle. For gameplay design purposes, the Poles do not have access to the Paladin upgrade, despite the Lithuanians having access to it. Although their Castle Age unique tech, Szlachta Privileges, does highlight their use of heavy cavalry by making their knight line units cost less gold. The Polish were famous for their Winged Hussar, and utilized light cavalry tactics to defend against the Golden Horde and the Holy Roman Empire. This is reflected with their Imperial Age unique tech, Lechitic Legacy, which allows their light cavalry to deal trample damage in battle, and their team bonus, which provides the Scout Cavalry line with extra attack against archers. Finally, the war hammer is the most commonly used weapon among Polish infantry, which was often used to pierce through enemy armor. This is reflected on their unique unit, the Obuch, where their attacks permanently reduces armor on enemy units.

While the kingdom of Poland played an important role in the Christianization of Lithuania, the kingdom of Poland was religiously tolerant, and the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth was home to various ethnic groups (e.g. Jews, Armenians, Slavs, Czechs, Lithuanians, and Tatars). This can explain why the Polish monastery is considered to be average without Heresy, as well as their tech tree being depicted as a "jack of all trades" civilization in terms of gameplay.

Overview[]

The Poles are a versatile civilization with access to wide variety of units. Their Archery Range is solid, having access to all important technologies and units except for Ring Archer Armor, Parthian Tactics, and Hand Cannoneers. Their heavy cavalry puts emphasis on quantity over quality, as Szlachta Privileges makes their Knight unit line cost less, but the Poles lack access to Paladin and Plate Barding Armor. In a similar sense, their Winged Hussars are essentially glass cannon units with Lechitic Legacy allowing their Winged Hussars to deal trample damage. Their infantry is solid, having access to all important upgrades except for Halberdier. Their unique unit, the Obuch, is an infantry unit that can shred enemy armor. Their siege is average at best, as they have access to Bombard Cannons and Siege Rams with Siege Engineers. Their navy is below average, as they miss out a few important technologies. Their Monastery is missing Atonement, Heresy, and Illumination, but all other technologies for their Monks are present. Their economy is solid since their stone miners generate gold; and have access to a unique building, Folwark, which helps food generation by immediately collecting food from nearby Farms built. Their defenses are average, but their villagers have an extra layer of protection from enemy raids by slowly regenerating health.

Campaign appearances[]

The Poles have a campaign devoted to their civilization: Jadwiga. They also appear in:

Barbarossa[]

Genghis Khan[]

Ivaylo[]

Jadwiga[]

This campaign is played as the Poles

  • The Matter of the Crown
    • The Duke of Opole - Enemy → Ally
    • The Duke of Mazovia - Enemy → Ally
    • Mazovian Guards - Enemy
    • Krakow - Ally

Jan Zizka[]

Characteristics[]

Unique unit[]

  • Aoe2-icon-Obuch.png Obuch: Infantry whose attack removes unit's armor

Unique technologies[]

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonus[]

Changelog[]

Dawn of the Dukes[]

  • Initially, (Elite) Obuch train in 9 seconds. With update 56005, (Elite) Obuch train in 12 seconds.
  • Initially cannot research Siege Engineers. With update 56005, it was added to their tech tree.

In-game dialogue language[]

Polish units in-game speak Polish (Polish: Język polski) with some archaic phrases. It is a Western Slavic language that belongs to the Lechitic family.

Villager
  • Select 1 Tak? – Yes?
  • Select 2 Witajcie - Welcome
  • Female Select 3 Gotowam jest- I'm ready (feminine, in modern Polish: Jestem gotowa)
  • Male Select 3 Gotów jestem - I'm ready (masculine, in modern Polish: Jestem gotowy)
  • Select 4 Rozkazania? – Your orders? (in modern Polish: Rozkazy?)
  • Task 1 Tak – Yes
  • Task 2 Pojmuję – I understand (in modern Polish: Rozumiem)
  • Task 3 Tak też uczynię – I'll do it
  • Task 4 Natychmiast wykonam – I perform [this task] immediately
  • Female Build Jestem sprawiaczką - I'm a builder (feminine)
  • Male Build Sprawiacz - Builder (masculine, in modern Polish: Buduję/Budowniczy)
  • Chop Drwal - Lumberjack
  • Farm Zbieracz – Collector
  • Fish Rybitw – Fisherman (in modern Polish: Rybak)
  • Forage Zbieram - I gather
  • Hunt Łowię zwierzynę - I hunt game
  • Female Mine Jestem górniczką – I'm a miner (feminine)
  • Male Mine Jestem górnikiem – I'm a miner (masculine)
  • Repair Naprawiam – I'm repairing
Military
  • Select 1 Owszem – Correct/Right
  • Select 2 Do waszych usług - At Your Service
  • Select 3 Jakieś rozkazania? – Commands? (in modern Polish: Jakieś rozkazy?)
  • Move 1 Pojmuję was – I understand
  • Move 2 Dobrze, tak uczynię – Yes/Good, I'll do it
  • Move 3 Tak, panie – Yes [my] Lord
  • Attack 1 Atakujmy! - Attack!
  • Attack 2 Naprzód! – Foward!
  • Attack 3 Do broni! – To arms!
Monk
  • Select 1 Tak? – Yes?
  • Select 2 Przykazania, panie? - Your commands?
  • Select 3 Do usług – At Your Service
  • Select 4 W imię Boga – In the name of God
  • Move 1 Idę zatem – I am going
  • Move 2 Tak – Yes
  • Move 3 Oczywiście – Of course
  • Move 4 Natychmiast się tym zajmę – I'll do it immediately
King
  • Select 1 Proszę waćpana – Yes "sir" (waćpan is archaic word and means "polite term of address among the nobility")
  • Select 2 Czegóż chcecie, waszmości? – What do you want "sir"? (waszmość has similiar usage to "waćpan")
  • Select 3 Czemuż mnie niepokoicie? – Why are you bothering me?
  • Select 4 Służę pomocą – I offer my help
  • Move 1 Uczynię jak prosicie – I will do what you're asking me
  • Move 2 Z mojej łaski – By my grace
  • Move 3 Tak jak prosiliście – As you will
  • Move 4 Tak też uczynię – I will do it

AI player names[]

When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Polish AI characters:

  • Mieszko I (c. 930 – 25 May 992): Mieszko I was the ruler of Poland from about 960 to his death and was the founder of the first independent Polish state, the Duchy of Poland. He was a member of the Piast dynasty, a son of Siemomysł and a grandson of Lestek. He was the father of Bolesław I the Brave (the first crowned king of Poland) and of Gunhild of Wenden. Most sources make Mieszko I the father of Sigrid the Haughty, a Scandinavian queen (though one source identifies her father as Skoglar Toste), the grandfather of Canute the Great (Gundhild's son) and the great-grandfather of Gunhilda of Denmark, Canute the Great's daughter and wife of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor.
  • Boleslaw the Brave: Bolesław the Brave, less often known as Bolesław the Great (Polish: Bolesław Wielki), was Duke of Poland from 992 to 1025, and the first King of Poland in 1025. He was also Duke of Bohemia between 1003 and 1004 as Boleslaus IV.
  • Kazimierz the Restorer: Casimir I the Restorer (Polish: Kazimierz I Odnowiciel; 25 July 1016 – 19 March 1058), a member of the Piast dynasty, was the duke of Poland from 1040 until his death. Casimir was the son of Mieszko II Lambert and Richeza of Lotharingia. He is known as the Restorer because he managed to reunite all parts of the Kingdom of Poland after a period of turmoil. He reinstated Masovia, Silesia and Pomerania into his realm. However, he failed to crown himself King of Poland, mainly because of internal and external threats to his rule.
  • Sieciech: Sieciech (AD 11th century – after AD 1100) was a medieval Polish magnate and statesman.
  • Boleslaw III Wrymouth: Bolesław III Wrymouth (also known as Boleslaus III the Wry-mouthed, Polish: Bolesław III Krzywousty) (20 August 1086 – 28 October 1138), was the duke of Lesser Poland, Silesia and Sandomierz between 1102 and 1107 and over the whole Poland between 1107 and 1138. He was the only child of Duke Władysław I Herman and his first wife, Judith of Bohemia.
  • Duke Henryk the Pious: Henry II the Pious (Polish: Henryk II Pobożny) (1196 – 9 April 1241), of the Silesian line of the Piast dynasty, was Duke of Silesia at Wrocław and Duke of Kraków and thus High Duke of Poland as well as Duke of Southern Greater Poland from 1238 until his death. During 1238–1239 he also served as a regent of two other Piast duchies: Sandomierz and Upper Silesian Opole–Racibórz. In October 2015, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Legnica opened up his cause for beatification, obtaining him the title of Servant of God
  • Kazimierz III the Great: Casimir III the Great (Polish: Kazimierz III Wielki; 30 April 1310 – 5 November 1370) reigned as the King of Poland from 1333 to 1370. He also later became King of Ruthenia in 1340, and fought to retain the title in the Galicia-Volhynia Wars. He was the third son of Ladislaus the Short and Jadwiga of Kalisz, and the last Polish king from the Piast dynasty.
  • Wladyslaw II Jagiello: Jogaila (Jogaila), later Władysław II Jagiełło (Polish pronunciation: [vwaˈdɨswaf jaˈɡʲɛwːɔ] (listen)) (c. 1352/1362 – 1 June 1434) was Grand Duke of Lithuania (1377–1434) and then King of Poland (1386–1434), first alongside his wife Jadwiga until 1399, and then sole ruler of Poland. He ruled in Lithuania from 1377. Born a pagan, in 1386 he converted to Catholicism and was baptized as Władysław in Kraków, married the young Queen Jadwiga, and was crowned King of Poland as Władysław II Jagiełło. In 1387 he converted Lithuania to Christianity. His own reign in Poland started in 1399, upon the death of Queen Jadwiga, lasted a further thirty-five years, and laid the foundation for the centuries-long Polish–Lithuanian union. He was a member of the Jagiellonian dynasty in Poland that bears his name and was previously also known as the Gediminid dynasty in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The dynasty ruled both states until 1572, and became one of the most influential dynasties in late medieval and early modern Europe. During his reign, the Polish-Lithuanian state was the largest state in the Christian world.
  • Jadwiga: Jadwiga (Polish: [jadˈvʲiɡa]; 1373 or 1374 – 17 July 1399), also known as Hedwig (Hungarian: Hedvig), was the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland, reigning from 16 October 1384 until her death. She was the youngest daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife Elizabeth of Bosnia. Jadwiga was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, but she had more close forebears among the Polish Piasts than among the Angevins. In 1997 she was canonized by the Catholic Church.
  • Zawisza the Black: Zawisza Czarny of Garbow (c. 1379 – 12 June 1428), also known as Zawisza the Black, of Sulima coat of arms, was a Polish knight and nobleman who served as a commander and diplomat under Polish king Władysław II Jagiełło and Hungarian-Bohemian king Sigismund of Luxembourg. During his life, he was regarded as a model of knightly virtues and was renowned for winning multiple tournaments. His nickname is due to his black hair and his custom-made, black armour which is kept at the Jasna Góra Monastery.
  • Zbigniew Olesnicki: Zbigniew Oleśnicki (Polish: [ˈzbiɡɲɛf ɔlɛɕˈɲitskʲi]; 5 December 1389 – 1 April 1455), known in Latin as Sbigneus, was a high-ranking Roman Catholic clergyman and an influential Polish statesman and diplomat. He served as Bishop of Kraków from 1423 until his death in 1455. He took part in the management of the country's most important affairs, initially as a royal secretary under King Władysław II Jagiełło and later as the effective regent during King Władysław III's minority. In 1439 he became the first native Polish cardinal.
  • Kazimierz IV Jagiellon: Casimir IV (in full Casimir IV Andrew Jagiellon; Polish: Kazimierz IV Andrzej Jagiellończyk [kaˈʑimi̯ɛʒ jaɡi̯ɛlˈlɔɲt͡ʃɨk] (listen); Lithuanian: Kazimieras Jogailaitis; 30 November 1427 – 7 June 1492) was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1440 and King of Poland from 1447, until his death. He was one of the most active Polish-Lithuanian rulers, under whom Poland, by defeating the Teutonic Knights in the Thirteen Years' War recovered Pomerania, and the Jagiellonian dynasty became one of the leading royal houses in Europe.
  • Jan I Olbracht: John I Albert (Polish: Jan I Olbracht; 27 December 1459 – 17 June 1501) was King of Poland (1492–1501) and Duke of Głogów (1491–1498).
  • Zygmunt I Stary: Sigismund I the Old (Polish: Zygmunt I Stary, Lithuanian: Žygimantas II Senasis; 1 January 1467 – 1 April 1548) was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1506 until his death in 1548. Sigismund I was a member of the Jagiellonian dynasty, the son of Casimir IV and younger brother of Kings John I Albert and Alexander I Jagiellon. He was nicknamed "the Old" in later historiography to distinguish him from his son and successor, Sigismund II Augustus.

Trivia[]

  • The Poles' civilization icon is based on the Kingdom of Poland's coat of arms in the 14th century.
  • The Poles are the only civilization who have access to a unique building in the Dark Age.
  • The Poles are one of three civilizations to have a trainable unit with HP regeneration, among Berbers and Vikings, and the only one with innate regeneration for a generic unit.
  • The Poles are the only Eastern European civilization to not have access to the Halberdier.
  • The Poles are considered to be similar to the Malians and Chinese of being "jack of all trades" civilizations:
    • The Poles and Malians have an economic bonus that improves the gold generation for the their miners (the Poles' stone miners generating gold is comparable to Malians' gold mine last longer bonus), as well as having an infantry unique unit with access to at least one unique technology that improves their cavalry.
    • The Chinese and Poles have civilization bonuses that directly benefit their Farms (in the case with the Poles, their Folwark is comparable to the Chinese Farm team bonus, which also benefit Poles in team games) and bonuses that involve their villagers. Both Poles and Chinese are also designed for more experienced players than for beginners.
    • The Poles, Chinese, and Malians do not have access to gold-intensive and expensive late-game units (e.g. Paladin) and instead rely on their versatile tech tree as their late-game advantage and can easily adopt to different maps and strategies depending on civilization matchups. Their tech trees also lack certain upgrades to balance their unique unit, civilization bonuses, or unique technologies (in the case of the Poles, they do not have access to Halberdiers to balance their Obuchs and they do not have access to Paladin and Plate Barding Armor to balance their Castle Age unique technology).
  • The Poles are also to a degree similar to Mongols. Their Blacksmith technology tree is the same, and they have main strengths to their Hussar line (While the Mongols have more HP, the Poles have Winged Hussar, which has higher attack and trample damage, and an attack bonus to archers). Both lack Halberdiers and do not have an effective way to counter heavy cavalry (In terms of Mongols, they have weak Camel Riders) and Elephant units (despite the Poles having average Monks while Mongols are awful). Both have a good economy for their food and weak in wood-collecting. The biggest difference is the Mongols are more focused on Cavalry Archers, Siege Weapons, and Light Cavalry, while the Poles are jack–of–all–trades.

History[]

Aoe2-history-poles.png
Archaeological evidence and codified remnants of oral tradition indicate that the regions comprising modern-day Poland were inhabited by Germanic-speaking peoples during much of the Migration Period (4th-6th centuries CE). By the 6th century, however, these groups had migrated to the west and south and new arrivals began to populate the region. Small groups of Baltic-speaking peoples settled in the northeast, while the remainder of the area became home primarily to speakers of the Lechitic branch of West Slavic languages.

Non-archaeological evidence narrating the events of the following centuries is scant, but the material culture indicates the gradual growth of settlements, centers of trade and craftsmanship, and gords – fortified communities that suggest tense competition over territory and point to the consolidation of political power. These became increasingly prevalent during the 8th and 9th centuries, a time when the region was often threatened by Avar and Moravian invaders.

Around the turn of the 10th century, the Magyars poured into Central Europe, toppling the existing balance of power and several states along with it. By this point, Christianity had begun to spread into the region from the west and south, as the Carolingians and Byzantines competed for influence among the local inhabitants. Due in part to the Magyars disrupting communication between Byzantium and Central Europe, Latin Catholicism gained greater traction and established a tenuous bond between the new converts and their western neighbors.

In the ensuing decades, the Piast dynasty of dukes gradually consolidated power, forming an early Polish state. Under Mieszko I (c. 930-992), the state underwent a Christianization process spurred by Mieszko’s wife Dobrawa, expanded its borders, and established firmer contacts with neighboring powers, particularly Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire to the west. In 1025, Mieszko’s son, Boleslaw the Brave (967-1025)–known for successful campaigns against the Holy Roman Empire and the Kievan Rus’–was elevated to kingship just prior to his death.

Poland’s period of growth and expansion continued for roughly a century under Boleslaw’s successors. During this time, in emulation of its western neighbors, the kingdom developed a feudal social structure founded primarily on serfdom agriculture, which was facilitated by the exceedingly fertile nature of the region. This epoch of success and consolidation, however, was abruptly halted when Boleslaw III Wrymouth divided the kingdom among his sons in 1138, spurring a tendency towards increased localism and division that would plague Poland for decades. In the early 13th century, two occurrences unfolded that would prove disastrous for the struggling kingdom. First, a local duke enlisted the Teutonic Order in a war against the pagan Prussians, establishing its presence in the Baltic region. Second, the Mongol hordes thrust into Central Europe from 1240-41, devastating much of the local infrastructure and killing thousands.

It was not until the beginning of the 14th century that Polish kings reclaimed sovereignty over the territories that their ancestors had ruled. However, they had a new and formidable rival in the Teutonic Order, which sought to expand its domains into Pomerania. Conflict seethed on multiple levels, for the Order not only coveted the neighboring territories but also disapproved of the Polish monarchy’s policy of religious toleration: in comparison to its western neighbors, Poland was extremely progressive in establishing and upholding the rights and privileges of its religious minorities, especially Jews. Poland was also notable for being relatively unaffected by the bubonic plague pandemic of 1346-1353, mainly due to the strict but successful quarantine measures imposed by Kazimierz III the Great (1310-1370), a king known also for his skill as an administrator, a promoter of education, and a military leader.

In 1384, Poland’s first queen, Jadwiga (1373-1399), inherited the throne. Despite her young age, she proved herself an elite political strategist and local administrator, winning the hearts of the common people and masterminding a political union through marriage with the powerful Lithuanian pagan duke Jogaila–and, by extension, his cousin Vytautas. After Jadwiga’s untimely death, Jogaila–baptized as Wladyslaw II Jagiello–would rule successfully for over three more decades, most famously breaking the power of the Teutonic Order at Grunwald in 1410. The realms that Jadwiga brought together would eventually comprise the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a powerful joint state that dominated much of Central and Eastern Europe over the following centuries.

Several factors contributed to unprecedented growth in late-medieval Poland. Improved agricultural techniques bolstered productivity and exports, causing a massive influx of wealth. This led to an increase in the power of the nobility, strengthening the state locally and centrally. Finally, a strengthened policy of religious toleration promoted internal stability at a time when the remainder of Europe was wracked by religious conflict. As a result, Poland-Lithuania became a major player in Central-East Europe and often stood alongside Hungary in the struggle to resist Ottoman expansion into Europe during the late-medieval and early-modern periods.
[1]

Gallery[]

Notes and references[]

  1. In Nomad games, the bonus is only applied after the Town Center is completed or if starting in the Castle Age onwards. It also affects garrisoned Villagers, increasing their overall healing rate (base garrison healing rate is 6 HP per minute for comparison).
  2. Villagers generate 0.184 gold per second while in stone gathering animation which is roughly half of the stone gathering rate (0.36 stone per second). The gold is stored immediately to the player's bank, however. Stone Mining and Stone Shaft Mining both increase the gold generation rate by 15%.
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