Lithuanian Axe Retinue
"The longer they live, the more daring they become."
Medium-strength axe infantry, with substantially more hitpoints than normal Swordsmen.
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Armed with a vicious bearded axe, the Lithuanian Axe Retinue represents the components of the Baltic tribes which lived to the east, and while they have no special abilities of their own, they are much tougher than normal Swordsmen — indeed, they all share the same hitpoint levels as Halberdiers and Axe Wojaky do, but unlike the latter they are trained in normal time, making them fairly more useful as a medium-strength infantry unit.
- Hack is the New Black — Versatility is key to using Lithuanian Axe Retinue — they do exceedingly well against archers and possibly siege machines, and will perform well in melee but only if they enjoy crushing superiority.
Lithuanian Axe Retinue are the favourite units of the Prussian tribes, so while they may be outclassed over time, the Lithuanian Axe Retinue as a unit can grant them the same abilities as Poland, perhaps all the more better at the beginning. In which case, use your heavy cavalry advantage to break them down, with archers and swordsmen to assist should the Prussian foe bring up spearmen.
The axe held a place in Baltic culture since time immemorial. In pagan mythology, the axe was the weapon of choice of the thunder god Perun. Although clumsy and unwieldly compared to a sword or a bow, battle axes were often very handy in certain situations. As a weapon that could chop and crush, an axe was sometimes preferable to a sword if the target was armed with spears, or was armoured (and the user of the axe itself was armoured himself, too). Battle axes eventually became crescent-shaped to focus the full strength of a fighter into a single point, making them useful in taking out armoured foes. Axes could also be used to great effect against slow-moving infantry pikes too, by having the heads of the latter being lopped off, rendering the weapon harmless.
For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were the territories of the Grand Duchy. In 1386, Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania was crowned the King of Poland, which intensified Lithuania's economic and cultural development and oriented it toward the West. In 1410, the armies of Poland and Lithuania together defeated the Teutonic Order in the Battle of Grunewald, one of the biggest battles of mediaeval Europe.