The Battle of Grunwald (15 July 1410) was one of the biggest, and most decisive, engagements of the middle ages. The myth of Teutonic invulnerability - already wobbly after the Battle on the Ice - was shattered by the combined might of Poland, Lithuania, and their allies. Though both sides fielded some infantry, and the Teutonic Order some cannon, cavalry predominated. The sudden withdrawal of the Lithuanian forces left the Poles vulnerable, and their dramatic re-entry onto the battlefield may have been decisive in turning the tide against the Germans. Poland is still immensely proud of their victory over six hundred years later, and the Germans were still feeling sore about it into the twentieth century.
This first title in the revamped SHIELDS & SWORDS II series lets two players refight this dynamic and exciting battle. With lots of horsies on both sides, it's a tense contest of maneuver and tempo. The Teutonic Player must protect his camp at all costs, and use every opportunity to slow the enemy's headlong advance. But blocking him here can open a hole over there - knowing where and when to leave a hole is key. His opponent must decide when to remove the Lithuanians from the battlefield, and when to bring them back on - there's a right time and wrong time for both, but in each case it's heavily contextual and dependent on the current game state, on his own strategy, and on his opponent's. The result is an unusually replayable medieval battle game that you, your friends, and your family can revisit again and again.
Game design: Tom Russell
Map & Phase Art: Ania B. Ziolkowska
Unit Illustrations: Gonzalo Santacruz
Counter Layout & Cover: Tom Russell
Hex Number: 2
Duration: 90 minutes
Solitaire Suitability: High
Theme: Middle Ages
Shields & Swords II Series: 1