Swiss, c. 1450-1500

For the creation and debate of army lists created by you! Give us a structure and we can discuss and refine them. Especially good ones will make it to the "official" lists section of the CoE website.

Re: Swiss, c. 1450-1500

Postby Janner » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:02 am

Have been able to give the army a roll out yet David?

I'm not convinced that MR12 is such an issue either, but wonder how it worked out on the table.
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Re: Swiss, c. 1450-1500

Postby Lord Alisk » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:28 am

Hello Janner,

I agree, I don't see it as an issue. It is the easiest, simplest and most rational way of representing a feature of Swiss armies near-universally commented on by contemporaries.

I (still!) haven't played a game with this list (they are surprisingly hard to organise, what with PhD commitments and the general lack of historical gamers, I think I have only played 2 full games in the last three months :cry: ). I have done experimental games at home, though without an opponent, so I do not know how valid my findings are. Basically, MR 12 might mean that Swiss forces have to suffer one fewer round of shooting when they advance, but as they have less armour than every other army, they tend to get shot up badly, with or without the speed boost.

The bigger advantage I see is in pursuit. I quite like this, in fact, because it means the Swiss have a better chance of destroying their foes (if they win), which I feel is apt - it means the swift steamroller type attack can work well, which is also historically appropriate.

I can see MR 12 as a problem if coupled with a a list with no particular weaknesses, but given the historical situation and the Swiss weaknesses (lightly armoured infantry, weak cavalry, limited support options), is not problematic. Well, that is my opinion...

All best, and many thanks for your thoughts. Might you have a look at my tweaked/updated Swiss list on a new thread please? I would appreciate more opinions on it. Many thanks.

All best.

David.
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Re: Swiss, c. 1450-1500

Postby lerostratos » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:45 pm

Hello,
There is a lot of creativity in your list and it was made with obvious passion and a search for historical accuracy.
In my opinion, and this is the case for all the published lists, no close order infantry with a MR of 12 (EDIT : ... with pike or heavy weapons).
I am not a medieval specialist so I can't judge the list overall.
There is a lot of works here, so I think the list should be tested now by beta players (means players you don't know).
So you will have some good returns to put more balance or accuracy to the list.
Unfortunately I can't do that because I don't have any Swiss.
Best regards,
Lero
Last edited by lerostratos on Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Swiss, c. 1450-1500

Postby Janner » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:05 am

I think the use of centimetres when many of us have become use to playing in inches makes this appear a bigger issue than it is.
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Re: Swiss, c. 1450-1500

Postby Lord Alisk » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:42 am

Dear All,

Firstly, thanks once again for all the feedback - if anyone wants to be a 'beta' tester, great! Please do; I recently gained teaching commitments at very short notice which is surprisingly time consuming (when one is an undergrad one seldom notices how much time preparing classes takes!), but I should be able to organise a full test game within the next few weeks (maybe).

Anyway, regarding MR12/closed order, there are MR12/closed order barbarian infantry in the army lists in the CoE rulebook itself, so it can't be that much of a problem... (pp. 151, 156, 164, 167 etc.)

Might it be possible to direct people to my 'tweaked Swiss' list, which might address some of the problems brought up? Not the MR12 thing though, I am afraid.

All best, and thanks again.

David.
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Re: Swiss, c. 1450-1500

Postby Briselance » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:23 am

Lord Alisk wrote:Anyway, regarding MR12/closed order, there are MR12/closed order barbarian infantry in the army lists in the CoE rulebook itself, so it can't be that much of a problem... (pp. 151, 156, 164, 167 etc.)


These are not very powerfull units : 6+ armour save, the warband rule (with impetuous and superstitious rules, can be real disadvantages ! I think mr12 + closed order is a compensation), poor DL, a disadvantage too when you often play against Romans armed with pilums !

I understand that you want make a compensation, poor armour save but fast troops. And it's true that medieval authors noticed the speed of Swiss armies, but it's compared to other armies : Flemish pikemen for example were absolutely static, they made a circle of chariots behind them and waited for the ennemy. Scottish are not renowned for their mobility too.


I think CoE would need some adaptations to be played in Late Medieval. Weaponry seems very powerful and deadly, untrained phalanxes are too mobile, with the actual rules cannons are more useful to kill cavalry (historically, it was mainly used to kill infantry). And points value are so high that 2500pts is too few to play !
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Re: Swiss, c. 1450-1500

Postby Lord Alisk » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:30 pm

I agree that the rules might not be 'ideal' for the late mediaeval period - which I realise is something of a 'shoulder' period (along with Renaissance gaming too, I guess) where there a lot of features of both 'high' mediaeval warfare and that which characterised the 17th century - a mix of knights, archers, cannons and pikes.

Regarding the cannons, might you have a look at the suggested changes to cannon rules I posted somewhere else on the forum? I think that re-balances them a lot (i.e. makes their damage output relate to the number of ranks the target has, making them more effective against infantry in general).

I agree that another special rule to slow down other late mediaeval phalanxes (as you say, Flemish in particular, but Scottish too) might be in order - but that is a separate issue.

As I see it though, one should design lists with historical accuracy in mind firstly, then try and balance that as best you can against likely foes (i.e French and Burgundian ordonnance) mainly through points cost. Against these lists, the Swiss weaknesses are glaring - i.e limited cavalry, armour and support. They need something more than just the option to take huge numbers of pikemen and above average courage, as pikemen still lose against foot knights, and above average courage is only really needed when you are losing combat! Swiss need a little bit more, I think!

As I see it, having a slightly faster MR is historically tenable (indeed, it is well documented), and easy to implement. Other options to increase the de facto speed of the Swiss revolve around adding more special rules, such as drilled as standard (but that is less then perfect, as Swiss armies were also quite impetuous), or something new, such as a bonus to charge distance, or some mish-mash of drilled+impetuous. I just find the layering of special rules an unnecessarily cluttered approach. Similarly, the idea or open order pike blocks seems 'wrong'.

Now, I just think of profiles in relation to historically appropriate foes - i.e. HtH 3 is average, MR 10 is average. So, it doesn't matter whether a Burgundian foot knight or a Viking hirdman or a Roman legionary was the better fighter relative to each other, what matters is that he was better than the 'average' combatant of his day (a billman, a bondi, a Celt barbarian, whatever), and so he should have HtH 4. I reckon a Viking hirdman could probably march faster than either a Burgundian foot knight or perhaps a Roman legionary, but they all have MR10 as that is average for their time period. The number is only important relative to appropriate foes.

I don't know if that is clear, it makes sense in my head...

I haven't thought at all about the implications of taking my Swiss list out of context, and putting it up against (say) some Celtic barbarians or Archaemenid Persians - maybe they seem much stronger compared to them! We can all agree that the Swiss are said to have been very fast relative to other late mediaeval infantry. These mostly have MR10 in 'CoE Land'. Giving the Swiss MR12 makes them speedy relative to the infantry of any army they should fight, which to me is as it should be.

Anyway, I have rambled off quite a bit here. I would like to finish on a question. We all agree that Swiss armies had lots of solid combat infantry, were very brave, and were speedy, relative to their foes. These are their three big advantages. Their weaknesses have already been mentioned. Why is MR12/closed order so problematical when there are examples of the combination elsewhere, and it gives them a historically appropriate boost relative to the armies of their period?

I am sorry if this is too rambling/incoherent or otherwise bothersome. Anyway, many thanks once again for all the input, and I am curious to hear any and all suggestions.

All best,

David.
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Re: Swiss, c. 1450-1500

Postby Briselance » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:07 pm

Hi,

I don't disagree the idea of Swiss troops with MR 12 and closed order, I don't think it's absurd/cheated, it must be tested (and that's all the problem for me, I don't have enough pikemen to test your list, it could be more helpful if I could play to see how the list behaves on a table ! ). I just wanted to justify the choice of MR 12 + closed order for warband units, to show you it's not a special rule which comes from nowhere !

I read your idea to change the cannon rules. I think it would be simple to apply and it could resolve the major problem of cannons as anti-cavalry weapons. ;)
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