Poles only good in theory

Poles have arguably above average Cavalry, Infantry in Castle Age and still top tier Heavy Infantry, Light Cavalry and Arbalesters in Imperial. Except the Light Cavalry, the other two units are setting the tone of the game. This doesn’t help at all when you are at the backfoot. The Winged Hussar is below average due to lack of last armor until you get the Unique Technology.

When the civ was released, I thought it could be Knights → cheap Cavaliers → Winged Hussars or Archers → Crossbowmen → Arbalesters → Arbalesters + Elite Obuch. But the tech tree doesn’t support getting a bit off track. We saw with the Vinchester game too.

How do Poles counter cavalry?
They use their own superior Light Cavalry or cheaper Heavy Cavalry. 1 melee armor from PBA is less important than +1 melee armor, +2 attack which the WH has, and the blast damage is just another plus. I am fairly confident that this method will work against every unit except Elite Boyars. So missing Halberdier isnt an issue.

How do Poles counter foot archers?
Siege Ram + ESkirmishers? ESkirmishers + EObuch? Arbalesters + EObuch? There always seems to be some gold involved. I am used to playing Lithuanians who not only have last armor upgrade, but another +2 armor. The ball of archers can easily snipe the Polish ESkirm/Arbalester while also dealing with EObuch. I think they might need some help here. Maybe we could give Tower Shields to Poles, and give Schlatcha Priviledge to Lithuanians (while removing Paladins and giving Plate Mail ofcourse). Tower Shields could add some melee armor too this way. Moreover the Siege Ram + ESkirm method falls flat against Chu Ko Nus.

How do Poles counter mounted archers?
Exactly the same 3 options, but now you have to deal with mobility as well, basically nullifying Obuchs. Siege Rams wont work against Mangudais and Kipchaks.

The common pattern is that none of the trash units of Poles are FU, just like Malians, but hey, both of them can stretch their golden age a bit longer. The Malians however deal with stuff a bit differently. To counter cavalry, they make Camels, which have no flaws. To counter archers, they make Champions which only miss +2 attack (the least important upgrade). To counter infantry, they can make Hand Cannoneers (not above average, but FU). To counter siege, they have BBC. Mounted archers can be a bit dicey, but Siege Onagers or Champions are fairly usable. Moreover, they have better Heavy Cav and Light Cav for raiding or as a general purpose unit, because they dont miss armor upgrades.

One last note is that, the Elite Obuch upgrade doesnt provide a lot of value. The Castle Age Obuch is already pretty strong. I just suggest some tiny buffs for the unit:

  1. (Elite) Obuch +1 or +2 LoS. LS have 4, Champions/2HS have 5. Obuch have 3.
  2. Elite Obuch +1 melee attack.
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don’t forget your winged hussar has splash damage and bonus against foot archers !

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Winged hussars wouldn’t be a great choice against heavy cavalry. Unless maybe if the enemy heavy cavalry is softened by obuch strikes. But don’t outright discard pikemen, although weaker than halbs they still punish cavalry hard.

Against archers I agree with gnarfk, winged hussars are devastating. They do lack the pierce armour of a FU hussar but they strike much harder, and are still trash units costing 80 food. Same against horse archers, they are faster so they will catch them, or at least make them flee away, removing them from the fight for some time.

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Here is Poles strategy. Do whatever till FU winged hussar. Win

I won vs Briton arb push and managed to out muscle his panic halbs too because of trample damage. This was on arena, so bit safer to boom to imp I suppose.

On open maps too though you got so many options. Castle drops or defensive castles without sacrificing too much eco since the stone miners are gathering gold as well. You could just start mining stone in dark age and not mine gold at all and go all the way to the castle age with gold and stone ready for a castle drop. You can play archers, or scouts or maa towers

Poles are fine


Poles are fine. Their power spikes are dominant during feudal and castle age.
In 1vs1 you are supposed to play them like old incas. Some towers well-placed should be enough to defeat others at best, or buy you enough time to advance to castle age faster than your opponent, and then going imperial faster in case he hasn’t resigned yet.
In TG, you are supposed to go all-in castle age. Just play them like any cav civ, and opt for imperial later depending on the situation.
You won’t even face arbs or FU CA most of the time.


Still waiting for the latest stats . But my money is on their lowest winrates v archer civs(namely Mayans and Brits). Similar to Burmese. Missing that skirm PA as well as the cav PA really hurts em.

Blast dmg + bonus dmg is nice. But it’s expensive to tech into (WH + UT is a hefty fee)

But I think overall poles are pretty decent. They might get some qol nerfs(mainly stone: gold and castle age obuch), which in turn might result in the need for civ buffing… similar to sic and burg