|Soldiers in each unit||40/80/120/160|
|Cost||670 SP/320 MP|
|Turns to Train||1|
These light soldiers are the traditional guardians of Russian towns, part militia, part police and part fire brigade!
The viborniye (“electives” who have chosen to serve in the ranks) and gorodskiye (municipal) streltsy are both hereditary militia. Originally raised from the ranks of tradesmen by Ivan the Terrible, they are an old-fashioned and traditionally-minded group. Over the centuries, membership of the streltsy has been passed down from father to son, and a lack of new volunteers – new blood – has ossified the old ways of battle. The streltsy are reliable, however, in defence of their homeland.
Historically, the streltsy posed a significant challenge to the young Peter the Great (ruled 1682-1725). Angered by changes to the army which removed their traditional privileges (of having an extremely easy life), the streltsy attempted to overthrow Peter. In 1698 they marched on Moscow, intent on replacing him with his sister, Sophia Alekseyevna. Previous attempts to change the system had usually provoked riots by the streltsy – the very people supposed to suppress such trouble – or worse. This time, Peter’s new-model “Western”-fashion forces crushed them. This was not the end to the streltsy, however, as Russia’s precarious position during the Great Northern War (1700–21) meant that Peter had to recall them to the colours.
Whilst they may not have guns, they are much better for repression than regular militia as they have the garrison policing bonus trait. They can also play a part in an early game army to resist cavalry charges, as well as providing melee support before bayonets are researched. Finally, they have the paths seldom trod bonus, meaning they can set up ambushes on the campaign map, so can be used to soak up damage in an an ambush.
Gorodskiye Streltsy tend to lose their effectiveness in the later game, due to the increased capabilities of riflemen, line infantry, and artillery taking a heavy toll on melee infantry.