Type: Light Cavary/Trooper
Available to: Poland
Trained at: Stable
Cost: 80/85/90/95 Food, 25/30/35/40 Florins
Pierce Armor: 1/1/1/1
Special: +10 vs. priests. Receives free upgrades and becomes more expensive with every century.
Attack: Forging, Iron Casting, Blast Furnace, Chivalric Order
Armour: Scale Barding Armour. Mail Barding Armour, Plate Barding Armour
Hit Points: Bloodlines, Cuirass (Polish Unique Technology)
Szlachta increase their stats as the player advances through the ages. It is best being trained as long as the price is still low and especially before the player advances to the century, as the cheaply trained units will directly become stronger once the next age is reached.
When fully upgraded, Szlachta can be a devastating strike force, combining the speed of light cavalry with the power of heavy cavalry. This makes them one of the most efficient units for a fast and effective attack - in any century.
- Unlike other scouting units, the Szlachcic can be attacked by wolves or lions, if he gets too close. But they mostly desist from him as soon as he turns away.
Poland knows no troopers or knights. Their main (and for the first half of the game, only) cavalryman is this guy: the Szlachcic. They are light cavalry scouting units, but they gradually evolve into troopers, and then into beasts, by far the best power/speed combination in the game.
Szlachta are perhaps the only unit capable of combining immense attack ability with blindingly fast speed, and they are chock full of upgrades--Bloodlines, Husbandry, Blacksmith stuff, a u-tech, and civ bonuses (awarded at the turn of each century). Put it all together and you have a monster. Not a monster to the same degree as the Burgundian Chevalier or Saxon Ritterbruder...but quite close - and most importantly, they are cheap (assumed that you can provide a constant supply of food).
The kingdom of Poland relied heavily on its own variant of the knightly class, the szlachta. These nobles were originally probably tribal leaders, but began to model themselves on their Central and Western European counterparts, even by name (the term szlachta is probably related to the German (Adels)geschlecht, a term for the nobility there). They remained, however, more lightly armoured than other knights.