Poles Symbol

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.


Quick Card

Cavalry civilization

  • Villagers regenerate 5 HPs per minute in Dark, 10 in Feudal, 15 in Castle, 20 in Imperial Age
  • Folwark replaces Mill
  • Stone Miners generate gold in addition to stone

Unique Units

Obuch Icon in Age of Empires IIObuch (infantry)

Polish unique infantry unit which can damage the armor of units it is fighting.

Winged Hussar Icon in Age of Empires IIWinged Hussar (cavalry)

Unique to Poles and Lithuanians. Fast cavalry for scouting and raiding.

Folwark Icon in Age of Empires IIFolwark (building)

Unique building of the Poles. Used to deposit food and research farming technologies. Immediately collects 10% of food from nearby newly constructed farms. Provides 5 population.

Unique Techs

Unique Technology Castle Age Icon in Age of Empires IISzlachta Privileges (Knights cost -60% gold)
Unique Technology Imperial Age Icon in Age of Empires IILechitic Legacy (Light Cavalry deals trample damage)

Team Bonus

  • Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Hussar +1 attack vs. Archers


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.