Monday, August 10, 2009

Osprey Publishing, Men at Arms Series #445

The second book specifically chosen for its interest outside of the 20th century, this book follows the more traditional layout of MAA books. This book shows off the progression of Polish army uniforms from the 10th through early 16th centuries. 8 color plates, 35 black and white drawings/photos, 5 maps, extensive bibliography and index; 48 pages.
Starting with the establishment of Catholic Poland in 966 under Prince Mieszko I, Medieval Polish Armies provides a large amount of different information about the Polish armies of the period. While the book title states “1500” the actual period covered extends through 1525. The book provides a brief history followed by a chronology of the period and is supported by three maps showing the areas of influence/territory ruled by particular kings over a 500-year period. A description of Polish army organization describes the principal troops fielded during different eras; the initial “druzhina” or household troops gave way to traditional knights over time. In wargaming terms, be prepared to paint LOTS of cavalry figures as these troops made up a large part of the armies. If the reasons remain the same as during the Commonwealth two centuries later, this is likely due to the vastness of the Kingdom and the need to traverse the distances swiftly. In depth discussions about arms and armor are divided into three sections: the early (10th-12th centuries) middle (12th-14th centuries) and later periods (14th-16th centuries) with descriptions of the development of different weapons, armor and specific units. The plates are supported by very detailed descriptions of the weaponry and armor of the color drawings.
This book covers a large timeline of medieval Polish armies and military period. Gamers interested in armies that are something different than the traditional Teutonic knights, English, French and Knights Templar will find this book very interesting and useful.
Price: $17.95


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