Tweaked Swiss 1450-1500

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Tweaked Swiss 1450-1500

Postby Lord Alisk » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:02 am

Hello all, again!

After taking into account some of the points from my first attempt at a Swiss list, and given all the rambling answers on the other conversation, I thought it best to post an updated Swiss list with some (not all, I am afraid!) of the suggestions given.

Design philosophy

Basically, from a historical point of view, the main advantages the Swiss had over their foes was the courage of their infantry, the number of pikemen they could deploy, and the unusual speed their armies could move. Their weaknesses were limited missile support, poor cavalry, and limited armour. That is what I hope this list emphasises!

Here is a summary of the changes:

- Gewalthut and Vorhut have their minimum unit size dropped to 12; this is mainly to avoid the ML penalties for being under strength - as the original list had large unit sizes, coupled with the high points costs, many Swiss units would be suffering ML penalties after even a bit of shooting - which is historically wrong, in my view.

- I do see 'steady' by itself as a bit 'underwhelming' as though it is a nice little bonus which is a great help from time to time, does not offer a big enough boost to the Swiss, I do not think, who (quite rightly!) had a reputation for suicidal courage. Therefore melee infantry have had their ML increased by 1 point each. My preferred option would be to keep ML at 7/8 as it was before (than the 8/9 it is now), and allow formed melee Swiss units to test ML on 3 dice and discard the highest score, but that entails adding new rules, and I am not sure that is my place to do so!

- The addition of 'lesser' Bannerhaufen units, and the increase in the ML bonus given by the 'greater' Bannerhaufen unit - this again emphasises the Swiss courage, but also helps counterbalance the fact that they have no way of increasing DL. All Bannerhaufen units can now upgrade to 1/2 plate. The lack of heavily armoured infantry really hampers the Swiss, and though I do not want all late mediaeval armies to be the same, allowing a few (slightly) heavier armoured units wouldn't hurt (and is historically valid - the best soldiers defended the cantonal standards - they probably had plenty of armour!).

- Scouts have lost their heavy crossbow option; knights have been weakened a bit (smaller unit size, lose shock cavalry and warhorses). The nachhut unit upgraded to veterans now has to be the third one, rather than 1/3.

Things that (perhaps controversially!) stayed the same:

- MR 12 + closed order. I have thought about this a lot, especially as it was brought up a few times on the other conversation. Now, mediaeval commentators thought the Swiss moved especially quickly. Giving more units open order would make them effectively quicker, but making huge pike blocks open order seems counter-intuitive to me! Anyway, giving Swiss infantry +2 MR over most other infantry I felt was the easiest, simplest way of representing a well documented fact about the way their armies fought, and given the (glaring!) Swiss disadvantages over rubbish cavalry, no 3+ save infantry and limited missile support, was fair enough.

- Lots of relentless units. I know relentless hardly turns up in late mediaeval lists, but, as I have said, the Swiss were seen as suicidally brave, and, as I said above, they have so many weaknesses relative to other late mediaeval lists, so I don't think it is a problem.

- I have not tweaked the points. They might be too low/wrong. Again, I ask for 'official' guidance on this matter.


Anyway, more constructive criticism welcomed.

Merry Christmas!

David.



Swiss, circa 1450-1500
Strategy rating d3+1; climate – fertile/mountainous
Allies:-
Can ally with French ordonnance, French principalities, and Italian cities.
Commanders
Swiss armies didn’t really have ‘commanders’ as such, and as such do not have a general. Bannerhaufen units confer ML bonuses to nearby Swiss units.
A Swiss army can include 0-1 allied leader (DL 8/+1, ML 8/+1, A +1) for 55 points. He can be mounted for +10 points. He has a 15cm command bubble, and he only gives his bonuses to ‘allied’ contingents.

Core Units

Gewalthut

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Closed 12 4+ 1 3 - 4+ 1 7 8 15 12-50
Weapons – hand weapon, bill
Armour – none
Special rules – steady
Upgrades – may wear light armour for 1pt, or heavy armour for 2pts.
Can exchange bill for pike and gain medieval phalanx rule for +2 points; can only be a 'phalanx' if comprised of 16+ models
Any unit can be drilled for +1 point/model.
Every third unit can be veterans. They gain +1 HtH, and +1 Discipline for +4 points/model.
Except in special scenarios, you must have at least one unit of Gewalthut for every unit of Vorhut and Nachhut.

Vorhut

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Open 12 4+ 1 3 - 4+ 1 7 8 16 12-32
Weapons – hand weapon, bill
Armour – none
Special rules – steady, mounted infantry
Upgrades – may wear light armour for 1pt.
Can exchange bill for pike and gain medieval phalanx rule for +2 points. Can only be a 'phalanx' if comprised of 16+ models
Any bill armed can take two handed weapons for +1 point per model, and a pike armed unit for free. This allows ½ the models to fight with two handed weapons. A pike armed unit must have at least 4 pike armed models (for a full frontage of 8+) to still qualify for the ‘phalanx’ special rules.
Any unit can be drilled for +1 point.
Up to ½ of a unit of Vorhut can be made up of crossbowmen, in which case the unit becomes a combined formation. Crossbowmen in a Vorhut unit must be upgraded to mounted infantry.

0-3 units of Nachhut
Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Closed 12 4+ 1 3 - 4+ 1 7 8 15 12-24
Weapons – hand weapon, bill
Armour – none
Special rules – steady
Upgrades – may wear light armour for 1pt, or heavy armour for 2pts.
Can exchange bill for pike and gain medieval phalanx rule for +2 points.
Up to ¾ of the models can be crossbowmen. In that case the unit becomes a combined formation.
Can be drilled for +1 point a model.
The third unit can be veterans. They gain +1 HtH and +1 Discipline for +4 points a model.

Support Units; can have 0-6

0-2 units of Scouts
Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Open 12 4+ 1 3 - 4+ 1 7 7 18 12-24
Weapons –light crossbows and hand weapon. ½ models can fight with two handed weapons in melee
Armour – none
Special rules – Steady, scouts
Upgrades – may wear light armour for 1pt.

0-2 units of Crossbowmen

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Open 12 4+ 1 3 - 4+ 1 7 7 16 12-24
Weapons – hand weapon, light crossbow
Armour – none
Special rules – steady, infantry crossbowmen
Upgrades – may wear light armour for 1 point. Can be mounted infantry for +1 point. Can upgrade to heavy crossbows for +1 point. Can exchange their light crossbows for handguns for free.

0-1 Forlorn Hope

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Open 12 4+ 1 3 - 4+ 1 7 8 15 12-32
Weapons – hand weapon, bill
Armour – none
Special rules – relentless, bodyguards, mounted infantry
Upgrades – Can wear light armour for 1 point/model. Up to half of the models can carry two handed weapons for +1 point/model. Can be drilled for +1 point.
Up to ¾ of the models can be crossbowmen taken from the crossbow entry above as a combined formation. These must be upgraded to mounted infantry and relentless for +4 points a model.
The front rank of the Forlorn hope must deploy further forward than all other units.

0-1 Greater Bannerhaufen

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Open 12 4+ 1 4 5+ 4+ 1 8 10 24 12-24
Weapons – hand weapon, bill
Armour – heavy armour
Special rules – relentless, bodyguards, drilled
Upgrades – Up to half of the models can carry two handed weapons for +1 point/model. Can upgrade to ½ plate for +2 points/model
Swiss (not allied) units within 20cm of the Bannerhaufen add +2 to their ML, to a maximum of 10. If the Bannerhaufen ever flees, its own morale is reduced to 8 (not including any other ML penalties it might suffer from) and it ceases to confer a morale bonus to nearby units.

0-2 Lesser Bannerhaufen

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Open 12 4+ 1 4 5+ 4+ 1 8 9 22 12-24
Weapons – hand weapon, bill
Armour – heavy armour
Special rules – relentless, bodyguards, drilled
Upgrades – Up to half of the models can carry two handed weapons for +1 point/model. Can upgrade to ½ plate for 2 points/model.
Swiss (not allied) units within 10cm of the Lesser Bannerhaufen add +1 to their ML, to a maximum of 9. If the Bannerhaufen ever flees, its own morale is reduced to 8 (not including any other ML penalties it might suffer from) and it ceases to confer a morale bonus to nearby units.

0-2 units of Light Cavalry

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Open 20 4+ 1 3 6+ 4+ 1 7 7 28 6-15
Weapons – hand weapon, long spear
Armour – none
Special rules – Steady
Upgrades – can take light armour for +1 point (save of 5+), or heavy armour for +2 points (save 4+).

0 – 1 unit of Swiss knights

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Closed 20 4+ 1 4 3+ 4+ 1 7 8 45 8-16
Weapons – lance, hand weapon
Armour – full plate armour
Special rules – steady
Upgrades – Can have full plate barding for +4 points (2+ save, 18cm move).
Up to ½ of the models can be made up of Swiss light cavalry

0-1 cannon; can take 0-2 cannon after the battle of Grandson (March 1476)

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Closed 12 4+ 1/crew 1 - 4+ 1 7 7 90 1/3 crew
Weapons –hand weapon
Armour – none
Special rules – normal cannon rules; steady
Upgrades – Can have light armour (+3 points)



0-1 unit of Allied men-at arms

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Closed 20 4+ 1 4 3+ 4+ 1 7 7 40 8-20
Weapons – lance, hand weapon
Armour – full plate armour
Special rules – shock cavalry, warhorse, allies
Upgrades – Can have full plate barding for +4 points (2+ save, 18cm move).
Up to ½ of the models can be made up of allied coustilliers

0-2 units of Allied coustilliers

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Open 20 4+ 1 4 4+ 4+ 1 7 7 28 6-15
Weapons – long spear, hand weapon
Armour – heavy armour
Special rules – shock cavalry, allies
Upgrades – Can take ½ plate for +3 points.

Allied Infantry

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Closed 10 4+ 1 3 6+ 4+ 1 6 6 9 16-32
Weapons – bill, hand weapon
Armour – light armour
Special rules – allies
Upgrades – Can swap bill for pike and gain medieval phalanx rule for +2 points

0-2 Allied crossbowmen

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Closed 10 4+ 1 3 6+ 4+ 1 6 6 13 12-24
Weapons – heavy crossbow, hand weapon
Armour – light armour
Special rules – allies
Upgrades – may take a pavise for +3 points, can swap crossbow for handgun for -1 point.

Skirmishing Units; can have 0-3

Skirmishers

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Skirm. 12 4+ 1 3 - 4+ 1 6 7 16 8-15
Weapons – light crossbow, hand weapon
Armour – none
Special rules – steady
Upgrades – may upgrade to heavy crossbow for +1 point, or swap light crossbow for handgun for free. Can be mounted infantry for +1 point, or scouts for +3 points.

Mounted crossbowmen

Order MR Shoot Attacks HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Points Unit size
Skirm. 20 4+ 1 3 6+ 4+ 1 6 7 26 8-15
Weapons – light crossbow, hand weapon
Armour – none
Special rules – steady
Upgrades – can scout for +3 points a model, and/or feigned flight for +1 point
Lord Alisk
 
Posts: 59
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Re: Tweaked Swiss 1450-1500

Postby Briselance » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:10 pm

Hi,

Perhaps it's more logical to continue the discussions here with the updated list.

If you have some time Lord Alisk, could you please post an example of list you have played with ? I don't realize how you build this list, the number of units you have, etc. It can be another element of comparison with the other XVth century lists.
Briselance
 
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Re: Tweaked Swiss 1450-1500

Postby Lord Alisk » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:28 pm

Hello Briselance,

The Swiss army I have at present is:

4 units of 34 pikemen
4 units of 21 halberdiers
1 unit of 24 bannerhaufen (ie heavy halberdiers)
12 knights
6 light cavalry
2 units of 15 crossbowmen
2 units of 15 handgunners

The army is all made by Perry, hence the small number of cavalry (as their plastic cavalry only came out relatively recently - my Burgundians only have 40 or so horsemen in an army only slightly numerically smaller - no way near enough!).

Also, from back in the day (well, the late 90s anyway), I have a Warhammer Fantasy 'Dogs of War' army, which provides more crossbowmen, cavalry, loads more pikemen, and cannons (the mercenary ogres, giants, dwarves and the like stay in the box...).

As I say, 'playtesting' has revolved around occasionally shoving units around the dinner table when my wife is out (as she giggles otherwise....).

I do have a playtesting game pencilled in for very soon! Hurrah! My gaming has been beset by stoppages of late - the university wargaming society is the only club around, they play in the students' union building, which is currently under renovation, so they only have gaming once or twice a month now; it is hard to play at home as my main opponent has a fur allergy and I have a very hairy dog, added to that I have teaching as well as research to do now...

Anyway, there we are.

Many thanks indeed for taking the time to look at my Swiss list, and with all my best wishes,

David
Lord Alisk
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:45 pm
Location: St Andrews

Re: Tweaked Swiss 1450-1500

Postby Lord Alisk » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:09 pm

A friend recently lent me issue 64 of Wargames Solders and Strategy, where Charles the Bold's army is the cover story. They include a historical re-fight of the battle of Murten/Morat for CoE.

Anyway, this is the profile they give for the Swiss troops:

Order MR Shoot ATT HtH Arm Kill Hits DL ML Pts Special size
Allied knights Open 20 4+ 1 4 3+ 4+ 1 7 7 44 shock cavalry, war horse 8-20
Xbows.H.guns skirmish 12 4+ 1 3 6 4+ 1 6 6 12
Pikemen closed 12 4+ 1 3 4+ 4+ 1 8 8 22 fearsome, drilled, Phalanx, mixed formation 16-32
Halberdiers closed 12 4+ 1 4 5+ 4+ 1 8 8 22 fearsome, drilled, , mixed formation 16-32

I would be curious to hear what people think of this set-up relative to the one I proposed. I largely prefer mine :D But I realise they are broadly similar.

All best,

David.
Lord Alisk
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:45 pm
Location: St Andrews

Re: Tweaked Swiss 1450-1500

Postby Janner » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:40 pm

I think JCB is a member here, but you can always contact him via his website if you want to exchange notes:

http://www.jcbrunner.info/
Janner
 
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