1400 AD, Canton Schwyz
It was not until early June that the Hapsburg forces were able to cross the Alps and move on the rebellious farmers of canton Schwyz. Outside the hamlet of Meindorf, the Austrians assembled in a formation of two lines, but due to the constricting nature of the valley, the knights would give the honour of first clash to their foot troops.
The Swiss in response to the Austrian invasion could only secure the representation of cantons Uri and Schwyz with nearly equal number of halberd and pikes. The small unit of mounted crossbow were no match for the Austrian knights, but dutifully positioned themselves to the right of the battle line.
Good fortune had brought the Swiss to a valley floor offering a clear field 400 – 500 paces wide. The general consensus was to move the pike blocks supported by halberd as quickly as possible forward, while the artillery and light horse were held back. Skirmishers would secure the steep slopes to the left to protect the pike blocks.
Following the general plan, the entire Swiss line moved forward. The Austrians in return move 100 paces forward to open fire with crossbows. This proved to be ineffectual, however, the artillery, blessed by St. Barbara obliterated the Swiss cannon.
Artillery leaders, Gustav and Helmut can be seen congratulating themselves on a job well done.
Un-phased by the early loss, the Swiss move as a wall forward. Skirmishers on both sides were now active along the slopes. The Austrians feeling emboldened by their early success moved their knights to attack the weakened right flank of the Swiss, while the main battle line fired their crossbows one last time. To their chagrin, missile fire proved wanting. The knights, with their blood up, charged and died a glorious death.
Score even 1 – 1.
With a cry of “Sempach forever”, the pike pushed forward. Schwyz were matched against the only pike column in the Austrian battle line, while Uri confidently moved on the evil crossbows. Each Swiss attack pushed their opponents back while Swiss blade in support on the far left, were flexing their muscle as they were matched against Austrian knights. Lo and behold an even score.
The Swiss skirmishers besting their opposition brought the tally up to 3 – 1.
Fortuna dealt the Austrians a low pip score which left them scrambling to hold the tide at bay. The Swiss smelling victory close at hand, moved both flanks into battle. From the left flank, the Swiss were pushing the Austrians back on their camp. The final blow came when the artillery fell to the combined onslaught of blade and light horse; 4 – 1 and game.
The Swiss are no push over. Blade and pike will pursue recoiling enemy foot, so this army is nearly auto-pilot against most opponents of this period.
Blade, if their flanks are secure, should not fear knights even if classed as “fast”.
If the game were played with three commands per side, I am not so sure the result would have been the same. The extra space would offer maneuver capabilities for the knights.
Certainly something to think about.