SirDracko Review of M2TW: Kingdoms

Lithuania

Lithuania

Table Of Contents

Brief History

1.Northern Crusades
2.The End of The Teutonic Might
3.The Cuman War
4.The Errors in "Kingdoms"

Kingdoms Faction

1.Buildings
2.Units
3.Strengths and Weaknesses

Great Leaders of Lithuania

1.Gediminas
2.Algirdas
3.Vytautas
4.Mindaugas

Lithuania's History

1.Northern Crusades

Crusading Knights

As the threat of Pagan expansion in the east cast a shadow on Christian Europe, the Brotherhood of the Sword was established (1202) north of (Today's Estonia) the most powerful pagan nation - Lithuania. This brotherhood managed to conquer many pagan tribes, but was stopped at the battle of Saule (Translation would be: "The Battle of the Sun"). After this defeat, they were almost destroyed and the only thing that saved the brotherhood was to unite with the Teutonic order. They made incursions, known as Reisen (In Lithuanian: Reizai), into Lithuanian territory, eventually being defeated and destroyed in the 16th century.

The Teutonic Knights were the more powerful of the two orders in the north. They were invited to defend the borders of Poland and to subdue the Prussians by Konrad the First, in 1226. They made many incursions into Lithuania and fought many battles, however to hopefully make the order content and rest from the long wars, Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila (Polish name Jagiello, however, the king was Lithuanian) was baptised along with the whole of Lithuania. However the Order still waged war. The alliance of Poland and Lithuanian was made in the form of a marriage pact, between Jogaila and Jadwiga of Poland. Thus the fate of the Teutonic Order Was Sealed.

2. The End of the Teutonic Order

By 1407, The Order was at the peak of it's power. They wanted to conquer the territory of Lithuania and Prussia, however, the Knights were not destined to be victorious. The rash actions of the Order, incursions, sieges and battles after the baptism of Lithuania led to a Polish-Lithuanian Alliance, which had enough of the Order & their belligerent ways and made plans to get rid of them. So it was that the Anti-Teuton campaign began. A massive force of Lithuanians and a large fighting force of Polish moved into the Order's territory and on July 16, 1410, the Battle of Grunwald took place. This broke the Teuton's fighting power but did not drive them away. Eventually they were fully defeated and driven away back into Germany.

3.The Cuman War

Mongolians made a few attacks on Lithuania in the late ages, some of these were successful, however the most notable battle that happened was the battle at Blue Waters, where Algirdas defeated the Cuman horde.

4.Errors in "Kingdoms"

Unfortunately, the design of the country in Kingdoms is quite wrong in many ways. Firstly, let's touch the "Temple Chains".

4.1 Temple Chains The Temple of Perkunas (The pagan God of thunder) is relatively correct, however the followers of Perkunas are mostly an exagerration. Now,the temple to Dievas, is, let's say - Complete fiction. Dievas (Meaning the Christian God) would mean that Lithuanians were Christians, however this would be a severe inconsistency with the period of the game. The last temple, The temple of Giltine (The Grim Reaper), is not completely untrue, however "Death-worship" was virtually non existent in Pagan Lithuania. Most of the people in Lithuania resent being called "Ancient Death-worshippers" or anything similar today.

4.2. Territory The Territory of Lithuania is a bit too large for the start of the crusades and it dosen't fit with the rest of the time line, because The Lithuanian territory went far, to the black sea. However it is accepted as "true enough". The lands of Poland are a bit too large for the time, as it was much smaller than Lithuania at the time.

4.3 Village Vilnius The makers of kingdoms have noted Vilnius, the long-standing capital of Lithuania as a Polish village (Custom battles section) This is believed to be an error, or some such mishap on the part of the developers.

4.4 Palanga An unfortunate error is that Palanga is in fact, not a castle, fort or a defended village. It was merely a merely wooden-walled settlement. The true Power to the west of Lithuania was Klaipeda, a German fort called "Memel". It was taken in the 14th century by Gediminas, so it is thought, that the west Lithuanian lands should be noted as Teutonic, but a small pathway to the sea would still be Lithuanian with Palanga as the area's main city.

4.5 Accent The accent of Lithuanian speaking generals is incorrect. It is a Russian sounding voice, not a Lithuanian one.


Kingdoms Faction

1.Buildings. The buildings of Lithuania are technically correct for the most part, however, the temple chains are not strictly correct as explained above.
The restrictions of the Building tree are often over-looked, however, it should be allowed for Lithuanian to build more than castles and stone cities during the pagan period as it is noted that there were mighty fortresses and powerful stone-walled cities.

2.Units. The Lithuanian units are very powerful if used correctly, however, not all of them are correct. Most of Lithuanian units are made up of Russian looking unit models, this is incorrect as Russians and Lithuanian were different like night and day. The masks of riders, and many other details seem more Russian than Lithuanian. Also, such units as Samogitian Axemen didn't exist. Also, Lithuania lacks the plate-armoured armies of the later period. While the early Lithuanians mostly wore leather and chain, the later period saw rise of partial-to-full plate suits.

3.Strengths and Weaknesses Lithuania is a perfect quick-assault nation. It's light cavalry and powerful shock infantry make it easy to defeat even greater armies of the Teutonic Knights or the Warriors of Novgorod. Lithuania is large and relatively well defended for a start. However this nation suffers from drastic weaknesses. The number one weakness is that the country needs to convert to make more powerful warriors and buildings, this shouldn't be, because if there is a choice to convert and the player remains pagan, he should still be able to build at least a few of these, as well as having some gunpowder units, because eventually technology would have reached the country.


Great Leaders of Lithuania

1.Gediminas (1275-1341) He was the first Grand Duke and one of the greatest politicians of the time. He defeated the knights of the Teutonic Order in many battles, while also competing with the Golden Horde. He made Lithuania into a great nation. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was soon strengthened and achieved the military level of a secondary superpower. He defeated Kiev later, after this Lithuania is thought to have become a superpower of the medieval world.

2.Algirdas (1300-1377) One of the most powerful Leaders in the medieval world, he strengthened Lithuania even more, fortifying it's position as the main power of Eastern Europe. He defeated the Mongols at the battle of Blue Waters. Algirdas gave the Teutons harsh terms, for the baptism of Lithuania. The lands of Lithuania were to be given back and they should be allowed to conquer Kiev Rus. He expanded the lands of Lithuania far to the south, even to the Black Sea regions.

3.Vytautas (1350-1430) Hailed as one of the greatest heroes in the history of Lithuania. He was the grand duke who was the main leader at Grunwald and the towering figure that broke the Teutonic order. He also westernised Lithuania and expanded the borders to the Black Sea.

4.Mindaugas (1200-1263) The first king of Lithuania and a grand duke before that. He was technically baptised, however he later gave Christianity up and after the battle of Durbe and the uprising of the Prussians he chased the Teutons out of Lithuania and not only took back Zemaitija, which he gave up, but also by taking the last Lithuanian province under the rule of Teutons, he united Lithuanians under a single banner.


Conclusion

The lithuanian faction is one of the greatest factions to fight with, being well balanced and quite perfect for assaults and defence. The errors and fantasies can be easily overlooked. It is slightly under-powered, however and if the creators just slightly enlarged it's power, this faction could take over the entire map. Unfortunately it is never included in the Grand Campaign, which is a pity. So remember, raise your axes, spears & swords and march your horde to victory or death!