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Swiss - FW #26

 
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Todd Kaeser
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:22 pm    Post subject: Swiss - FW #26

I have been interested in the history of the Swiss army for a long, long time. I even had the army in 15mm back in the day and loved playing it - but alas I sold it when the army was reconfigured and hoped to repaint it someday....

Read Charles Oman - The Art of War in the Middle Ages for a nice crisp history of the Swiss.

I've seen the list run in the new format a few times - even faced it myself a few times in tournament play. I love that the 4H have gotten the mechanics correct for the army - the movement of the 2HCT from back to front is just how they did it historically.

There are many weaknesses with the army itself - their lights are of excellent morale but lack shields and any hand to hand weapons and shields. The CB is a poor missile weapon - despite what some people believe...(cough... Bill)... The main foot are also shieldless making them vulnerable to missile weapons which are often in use in tournament play. There is not a lot of shock mounted troops.

With all that being said I have played with the list numerous times and I'll throw out a version here to keep the juices flowing:

1599 points - 18 scouting (19 if mounted infantry count as 1)

CinC 1E LHI P, mounted - 121

7x 6E Swiss Infantry Reg B (1A) 2E LHI P, 2E LMI P, 2E LMI 2HCT - 134 [938]

2x 2E Swiss Cavalry Ir B SHK/HC L,Sh - 106 [212]

2x 2E Swiss Handguns Reg B LI HG - 26 [52]

2x 2E Swiss Crossbow Reg B LI CB - 26 [52]

2x 2E Swiss Mounted Reg B LC CB - 38 [78]

2x 4E Swiss Crossbow Reg B LMI CB - 74 [148]

17 units


The main foot would ideally be LHI in the back ranks, but cost does not allow it.

Others have run the crossbowmen as LI instead of LMI, but I thought the list needed a little denser shooting and a little stiffer/stronger foot on the sides of the main battle line. As Reg B they can counter out of the way fairly regularly. They are shieldless so are susceptible to enemy missiles.
If you don't the LMI they can always be exchanged for LI.

The CinC is a lone element. I haven't seen it run as this, but I think this may be the best way. Sure it costs about 20 points more vs. having it in the middle of a unit but often the CinC is in the thick of it and therefore can't prompt as easily and also can't rally shaken or routing units. As a lone element he can roam about the battlefield doing those rolls more easily. There is no army standard to worry about and he won't test for routs being a lone element.

Historically the Swiss often did not have a lone commander for their armies anyway - their Cantons would pretty much run an army as a group with few exceptions.

I can't wait to paint it as I love painting banners. Hopefully in the next 2 years.

Todd K

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Mark Stone
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:13 pm    Post subject:

The Swiss are a perfectly valid "Tier 2" list: not as potent and balanced as the very best lists, but plenty dangerous and can do well in a capable player's hands.

This is a pretty solid take on the Swiss. I'll admit I'd never thought of taking the CinC as a staff element, but that might be the way to go. You make a good argument for it here. While that's a lot of points not operating on the line of battle, you do still have the option of dismounting and joining a unit in a critical place. It's probably worth play testing this way to see how it feels.

Two knight units, and fairly brittle ones at that, is not a lot. But you shouldn't be playing this list to play a knight army. If it's knights you want, there are much better lists. The value of the knights here is to keep enemy loose order foot from casually skirmishing away, and to provide that mounted versus foot cause of disorder by aiding in follow up after the pikes initially charge. In that capacity, the knights here are probably adequate.

I just can't get behind the LMI CB though. Lacking both shields and hand to hand weapons, these guys cannot stand up to anything. At the same time they are super vulnerable to shooting, and if they rout they cause wavers. I'm very sympathetic to the intent here -- if the army is just pikes and LI plus a couple of knight units, then the Swiss are very likely to have at least one flank that is just LI hanging in the breeze. But I think platooning multiple "waves" of LI would be a better way to solve that problem that using a flimsy LMI unit.

Definitely a list worth further exploration, and I'm sure it'd be a ton of fun to paint and to play. No low scoring games with this one.
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Frank Gilson
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 4:22 pm    Post subject: Prompt points

The concern with one general...is that the enemy makes your pike lose their attack order first unprompted charge with skirmishers and then...you...can prompt 2, possibly 3 units to charge but no others. Also, the lone general and all the pike need to be in prompting proximity...another constraint. Still, worth playtesting.
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Todd Kaeser
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
I just can't get behind the LMI CB though. Lacking both shields and hand to hand weapons, these guys cannot stand up to anything. At the same time they are super vulnerable to shooting, and if they rout they cause wavers. I'm very sympathetic to the intent here -- if the army is just pikes and LI plus a couple of knight units, then the Swiss are very likely to have at least one flank that is just LI hanging in the breeze. But I think platooning multiple "waves" of LI would be a better way to solve that problem that using a flimsy LMI unit.


Mark - I agree in many ways - there is certainly no waiver tests for light infantry dying Smile

However, when I ran it back in the day I found the units of loose foot to be helpful to stabilize the flank areas a little better than LI. Certainly this comes at a cost (waiver + cost) but a personal taste option for players IMO.

Todd

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Todd Kaeser
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:33 pm    Post subject:

Check out the new errata for Feudal Warrior:

If half or more of its elements are P‐armed, such a mixed body is subject to the effects of preparatory shooting in the third paragraph of 11.1 only if receiving a least 3 CPF from shooting unless such shooting includes Artillery, Handguns or Incendiaries.

Swiss can now take prep shooting much better - still not great being shieldless... but more survivable.

Todd

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:06 pm    Post subject:

I don't thin this changes very much. Given the high morale you always have to assume, when facing the Swiss, that your opponent is willing to take the waver at 2CPF and you have to assume he will pass. So my game plan against the Swiss always involves getting to 3CPF, which is not that hard to do.
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Frank Gilson
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:19 pm    Post subject: LI

That's why you need 'many' 2E LI units with CB, that count as shooters to front to pull away shooting for the 'critical turn(s)'.

Those little LI, on the Swiss list, often have to take wavers to remain in place, unlike other situations...as the Swiss don't typically catch evaders.

Frank
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