"For ye have iron cuirasses beneath your Latin helmets.
Through them the earth trembled and many countries,
Hinowice, Lithuania, the Yatvyági, the men of Dremble;
and the Pólovtsy threw down their maces and bowed their heads..."
— The Lay of Prince Igor
Gridny Retainers are the infantry retinue of a kynaz, and represent the junior component of the elite forces of the Russian army in the Castle Age. Armed with axes, these units are as heavy-hitting as any heavy infantry, and while they are mostly self-sufficient and do not require food in ramp, they still cost dearly in terms of metal. Thus, only a kynaz who owns proper mines or ample sources of metal may raise sizeable numbers of Gridny to bolster his numbers, alternatively, other units would have to be relied upon. Gridny as part of a greater whole, however, might prove to be advantageous. Less food being spent means that the Russian player may have more to spend on lighter units, especially light infantry and cavalry. Or civics research.
As with the Germanic housecarles, the Slavs also had their own warrior elite which served as the bodyguard of their leaders, known as a druzhina, or "fellowship", which formed the armed forces of the community. Over time, however, the druzhina split apart, with the property-owning boyary in Russia forming an elite caste within the druzhina, with less privilleged members forming the rank and file or gridny. In Poland, the druzhina was eclipsed by feudal land-owning magnates organised along a German-styled feudal system.
- Castle Age unique heavy infantry, does not cost ramp in food but consumes more metal than normal Spear Sergeants.
- While they are mostly self-sufficient and do not require food in ramp, Gridny Retainers still cost dearly in terms of metal.
- Unless you possess ample supplies of metal, other units would have to be relied upon., although less food being spent means more to spend on lighter units, especially light infantry and cavalry. Or civics research.