Polemos: Great Northern War


On this page I will put the answers to frequently asked questions, both about the Polemos: GNW rules and about the war generally. At this time there are no FAQ's about the rules because they have only just become available. So to begin with I offer:-


The following is a slightly expanded version of this question that I have been asked several times already. I am indebted to S. A. Jasinski for the illustrations from his very useful site. It covers a slightly early period than the GNW but still it is a useful source of information on the Polish-Lithuanians at this time. Click here to go to this site.

Question: Where I can get information on the Polish Army during the GNW? Is it essentially the same as during the late 1690's?

Answer: The first thng to say is that information on Polish-Lithuanian uniforms and dress is very difficult to find. So this is based on what little information there is available. But the general answer is "Yes the Polish army in the GNW is essentially the same as the one in the late 1690's".

You have 'Polish' cavalry types - Hussar (of the winged kinds), Pancerni, Light Horse, etc. These would be very similar to the same types as in the previous century.The armour could be lighter but usually was still worn. You should be thinking more of swords, pistols and carbines as armament rather than lances, spears and bows. But the 'old fashioned' weapons were still used and around generally. So as far as the information I have essentially the 'Polish' cavalry types looked the same as previously.

The 'foreign types, Dragoons and Arquebusiers/Rajtars (these last two are just standard western Horse) are a little trickier. There is no information at all on the Arquebusiers but probably standard WSS/GNW 'Horse' are what we are talking about (i.e. Any figure that is not Swedish from this time). The dragoons are supposed to be in basically standard Western dragoon uniform but with a fur hat. It seems likely thought that this would only be in the early period & that 'tricorne' hats were used later.

Polish Dragoon, Late 17th Century and early GNWPicture courtesy of Polish Renaissance Warfare by S. A. Jasinski,
www.jasinski.co.uk/wojna/index.htm or click on the picture to go to the original page.

Another thing was that Dragoons frequently dismounted to fight and indeed could be 'mounted infantry' rather than cavalry that can dismount. The reason for this was the infantry - there wasn't any! or at least very few. In the 10 battles or armies in the field Ihave information on the infantry top out at 3 battalions! In the majority of battles there are no infantry at all. So the dismounted draggons are often all you have in an army.

The infantry again are a little tricky. At the start of the war they seem to have looked like 1690's infantry. But like the dragoons it is likely that they changed during the war to standard western type uniform. But they seem to have used Polish style dress at the start of the war at least and 'normal' dress later on. Some of the private armies infantry seem to have worn Western style uniforms from the beginning of the war, some Lithuanian infantry are noted as wearing green uniforms.

Most likely the infantry were now all musketeers but pikes may have lingered on, similarly with axes. Both are likely to have disappeared by the end of the war.

Here are another couple of excellent pictures from Polish Renaissance Warfare by S. A. Jasinski, www.jasinski.co.uk/wojna/index.htm or click on the picture to go directly to the original page.

Polish Musketeer, Late 17th Century and early GNWPolish Pikeman, Late 17th Century and early GNW









So yes use them as GNW Poles but don't be in any rush to paint any infantry you may have. If you want to be absolutely accurate cut down some of the lances/spears/bows to pistols/swords/carbines but personally I wouldn't bother! But that of course is up to you :)

The current list of available and planned lists and scenarios from Gaming Research and Resources is here - including some samples.

To return to the Polemos: GNW home page click here -