Traverse Central Europe’s tall mountains and verdant forests as you arm hardy warriors with advanced weapons and lead them to victory against insurmountable odds. The Bohemian unique units are the Hussite Wagon, a deadly forerunner of the modern tank, and the Houfnice, a powerful upgrade to the Bombard Cannon.
Gunpowder and Monk civilization
- Blacksmiths, Monasteries and Universities cost -100 wood
- Chemistry and Hand Cannoneer available in Castle Age
- Spearman-line deals +25% bonus damage
- Fervor and Sanctity affect Villagers
- Mining Camp technologies free
Hussite Wagon (siege)
Bohemian unique siege unit. Units behind it receive 50% less damage from incoming projectiles.
Bohemian unique siege unit. Siege weapon with long range.
|Wagenburg Tactics (Gunpowder units move 15% faster)|
|Hussite Reforms (Monks and Monastery technologies have their gold cost replaced by food)|
- Markets work 80% faster
Bohemia’s rich history is one of both rapid change and tenacious resilience. Early-imperial Roman authors coined the region’s name after the local Boii, an ancient Celtic enemy of Rome. By the time that the Roman Empire began to fall into decay, Germanic-speaking confederations such as the Lombards and the Alemanni inhabited the region. As the Migration Period (4th-6th centuries AD) brought vast changes to Europe and its inhabitants, the Germanic groups moved on, leaving Bohemia open for a new wave of migrants.
These new arrivals were speakers of the West Slavic language-branch, the ancestors of the region’s modern inhabitants. Although these groups occasionally coalesced into small pseudo-states, such as that of Samo in the early 7th century, these were the exception rather than the rule. The most prevalent factors in this delayed process of state-building were probably issues posed by geographical features, continued migrations, and the threat posed by the Avar Khaganate, a confederation of predatory nomadic horsemen dwelling to the east in Pannonia.
As larger settlements developed and trade increased, Bohemia’s inhabitants interacted more frequently with their Frankish neighbors to the west. The resulting eastward spread of Christianity initially caused friction due to the pagan beliefs of many of the Slavic inhabitants of Bohemia, but as the new creed spread, a tenuous connection between the regions formed. This development soon bore fruit as, in the late 8th century, an alliance of Franks and Slavs thrust east and inflicted a catastrophic defeat on the Avars, driving them from the region.
The resulting power vacuum was soon filled by the rising empire of Great Moravia. Striving for legitimacy, its early rulers opened relations with the Byzantine Empire, inviting Orthodox missionaries into their lands. This brief trend was reversed under Svatopluk I (c. 840-894), who ascended to power by allying himself with the Franks and deposing his uncle Rastislav. A shrewd politician and able commander, Svatopluk used his reign to expand his empire from Moravia and Bohemia into Poland and Pannonia, eventually dying as he lived–in war.
Weakened by the squabbling of his successors and vulnerable to rebellion and invasion, Great Moravia did not long survive Svatopluk’s death. Around the turn of the 10th century, the Magyars irrupted into Pannonia and Moravia, bringing the fragile state to its knees. Desperate to protect themselves, the Premyslids, dukes of a new Christian dynasty ruling the region around Prague, placed themselves under the protection of their German neighbors to the west. This was the first in a series of policy decisions that would see Bohemia incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire.
Empowered by their western ally, the Premyslids undertook a series of campaigns to conquer Bohemia and build a new state. This ambition was set in rapid motion when Duke Boleslav I (c. 908-972) acquired Moravia after helping Otto the Great crush the Magyars at the Lechfeld in 955. For three centuries, the Premyslids ruled Bohemia, amassing vast amounts of wealth from bustling trade routes, bountiful mineral deposits that supported a strong currency, and successful warfare. Before long, the duchy grew to such strength that these magnates were gradually elevated to the status of kings.
One especially ambitious king, Ottokar II (1233-1278), known as “the Iron and Golden King” for his military might and wealth, aspired to become Holy Roman Emperor. Seeing opportunity in the instability created by the recent Mongol invasions of Central and Eastern Europe, he launched campaigns in all directions, expanding his domain to the shores of the Adriatic Sea and even crusading against the pagan Baltic Prussians. Fearing his growing power, Ottokar’s peers elected Rudolf of Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor instead and challenged the Bohemian behemoth. In a vicious showdown at the Marchfeld in 1278, Ottokar was defeated and slain.
After the fall of the Premyslid dynasty in 1306, rulership of Bohemia passed to the illustrious House of Luxembourg. Although able kings who propelled Bohemia into a brief golden age, their tenure on the throne is best known for being plagued by religious warfare. In 1415, the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund ordered the execution of Jan Hus, a university scholar preaching religious reforms, sparking the Hussite Wars, a precursor to the Protestant Reformation. Against all odds, the Hussites prevailed against the Imperial forces and won religious freedom due to the tactical brilliance of ingenious leaders such as Jan Zizka and Prokop the Great, who used gunpowder weaponry, geography, and fortified wagons equipped with artillery to deadly effect. The Hussite movement began another Bohemian thrust towards autonomy, but the region gradually fell under the sphere of influence of its Polish, Hungarian, and Austrian neighbors. Following the death of Louis II in battle against the Ottoman Turks at Mohacs in 1526, Bohemia passed into the dominion of the Habsburgs, who would rule it for nearly four more centuries.