|Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth|
|Current Leader||King Karol of Poland|
|Close Allies||Russian Coalition|
Sandwiched between the Prussian Empire and the Russian Coalition, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth has always stood in a precarious position in the volatile political intrigues and territorial disputes of central and Eastern Europe. The Commonwealth is not inconsiderable in size – its lands stretch from the Baltic to the Black Sea coasts, with Riga its northernmost city and Odessa the southernmost. Formed from a union of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Commonwealth has a unique system of governance; the elective monarchy. The ruling King of the Commonwealth is elected by a parliamentary body known as the Sejm, which holds the real political power in the nation – in the past several kings have been dismissed from office by the Sejm which felt that their rule was proceeding counter to the best interests of the Commonwealth.
Though quite large, the Commonwealth has disappeared from the map of Europe in part or in whole a number of times, labouring under either Russian or Prussian domination. The last such occasion ended only in 1815, when the defeat of the Prussians forced them to surrender their hold over the Commonwealth. Though the Russian Coalition was instrumental in that victory, and is currently an ally of the Commonwealth against the Prussians once more, in truth this small nation would much prefer that both powers leave it alone. With its strategic position, however, this seems most unlikely.
The Commonwealth’s military forces are small but highly motivated and fairly well-equipped, having been resupplied by weaponry purchased from the Russians and, covertly, from the Britannians through trade links on the Black Sea. The army consists of ten Hussar Legions, each some three thousand men strong, not counting support troops. Their manner of waging war is unique, built around squadrons of heavily armoured mechanised cavalrymen riding steam-cycles and trained in the use of flame-lances. Each warrior has a set a great curved wings that sweep up from his back – when the lancer charges, air is forced through the metal ‘feathers’ making a terrible shrieking sound that by itself has been known to cause enemy infantry to scatter. The Hussar support troops use heavier versions of the steam cycle to carry weapons such as light cannon and machine guns, while lightly armoured but fast and well-armed tanks provide heavier support. The Commonwealth lacks the industrial base to build and maintain Land Ships, and has little in the way of a navy, but it does field large numbers of small aeroplanes and heavy bombers whose pilots are a byword for fierce dedication to duty and near-insane courage.
The Commonwealth’s current head of state is the 42 year old King Karol, known by the honourable epithet of ‘The Lancer King’ thanks to his days spent serving in the Hussar Legions. Ladislaw negotiated the pact between his nation and Tsar Vladimir of the Russian Coaliton that allowed Coalition armies to cross Commonwealth territory and attack the Prussians. Part of this agreement involved the provision of military aid, and so Karol committed three of his nation’s ten Hussar Legions to assist the Russians in hunting down more mobile Prussian forces while the bulk of the White Army lays siege to the Prussian border defences. Karol’s motives for forming the pact were personal as much as political – two of his uncles were executed by agents of the former Prussian Emperor Heinrich Otto during the occupation of the Commonwealth. Karol relished the chance to redeem his family’s honour after so many years.
However, although the king remains foursquare committed to his alliance, there are a small but growing number of voices within the Sejm expressing doubts about its long term benefits. With the country now full of White Army garrisons and regiments, many fear that their proud nation has in fact been invaded yet again, this time without a shot being fired, and are very worried that the Russian alliance could easily turn into outright occupation. In particular, the respected General Ryzard Rydz has reminded many of the uncomfortable fact that the last attempted military invasion of the Commonwealth was in fact carried out by the Russians in 1830, when a White Army division was destroyed at Bialystok by a crushing Commonwealth offensive that lives in national legend as the ‘Charge of the Angels. Moreover, the Commonwealth now finds its southern coast potentially under threat from Ottoman aggression. For now, the Lancer King still holds the confidence of his people, but how things will develop if the Russian-Prussian stalemate drags on and Ottoman military action escalates is anybody’s guess.
World War historyEdit
area it controls
The Commonwealth is unique among nations as it is an elective monarchy. The king, unlike in other countries were monarchs gain power through bloodline, is chosen by the Sejm, the Commonwealth's legislative branch.
On the TabletopEdit
Signature weapons and devices: flamethrowers, bombard weapons, surface-skimming vessels, stoic crew
Signature MARs: Close Quarter Gunnery, Flame Retardant Armour, Incendiary Munitions
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth have sleek spear head ships for their navy, and all of them are augmented by anti-gravity generators allowing their vessels to skim the surface with ease. Their air force is made up almost entirely of blimps and blimp-based vehicles. Their ground forces use large blocky tanks with massive treads.
The Polish are primarily known for their mastery of fire. Only the Empire of the Blazing Sun can place more raging fire tokens on the enemy. They are also known and feared for their excellence at close quarters, coupled with a blistering speed. All their primary weapons are incendiary, and many have the Close Quarter Gunnery MAR, meaning that range band one is the golden spot.
Their land vehicles often use a fair amount of bombards and flamethrowers, and all of the larger ones benefit from ablative armour. It is believed that the Commonwealth develops these war machines with aid from their Russian allies, as it is mentioned that the commonwealth doesn't have the facilities to produce and maintain the truly large war machines of other nations. They also use many Russian or Russian-based land vehicles.
If the Russians are a sledgehammer force, then the Polish are a flaming sledgehammer force. They want to get close and hit hard, and your ships will burn in the process. Beware fighting them using the Blazing Sun or other fire-heavy fleet, as your effectiveness will be quite reduced in the face of the Commonwealth's flame-retardant armour. It is worth mentioning that, despite your abundance of fire weapons, boarding tactics will not be as common or useful as good old fashioned gunnery. This is mainly due to mediocre crew quality and numbers. Thanks to the flame weapons it is still a perfectly viable tactic, but you won't be relying on it as heavily as the Prussian Empire.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is actually a real nation, but in our history has disappeared in 1795, its territory was divided between the three local powers of the time: the Russian Empire, the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Here there was no division between nations, and the "Commonwealth" has kept its independence while partnering with Russia ...