Wednesday 7 November 2012

Campaign participant - Swiss Confederation

The Swiss Confederation began as an alliance between communities with a common interest in free trade and the maintenance of peace along trade routes crossing her boundaries. Granted reichsfrei status, the cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden came under direct authority of the emperor. By the end of the 14th century, the cantons of Bern, Zurich and Lucerne became part of the confederation.

An idyllic situation it was not, as the rise of the House of Habsburg meant the dissolution of reichsfrei status, thus bringing confederation into direct conflict with the Empire.

The Appenzell Wars
Lasting from 1401 to 1429, this successful uprising was between the farmers and craftsmen of Appenzell and St. Gallen against the House of Habsburg and the Prince-Abbot of the Abbey of St. Gall.

From Wikipedia:
The Battle of Arbedo was fought on June 30, 1422 between the Duchy of Milan and the Swiss Confederation. The victory secured Bellinzona and the Leventina to the Duchy. In addition the Duchy gained the Val d’Ossola, thus the Swiss losing all the territorial gains they had made. The defeat discouraged the Swiss expansionist intentions towards Lake Maggiore for a long time. It was the defeat at Arbedo that made the Swiss increase the number of pikemen.

In the campaign
Looking at the two army lists in the current DBA 2.2 book, our Swiss army falls in the transition period of weapons choice; from halberd to pike. As our campaign starts at the year 1400 AD, it would not seem unreasonable to field half pike, half halberd as the Battle of Arbedo proved a decisive point to increase the number of pike. With this in mind, the list is modified for our purpose.

IV/79 Late Swiss 1400 – 1522 AD:
1 x General (Bd)
3 x Halberdiers Bd)
6 x Pikemen (Pk)
1 x Handgunners (Ps) or crossbow (LH)
1 x Handgunners (Ps) or artillery


Illustration at top with thanks from Jiri Gajdorus (CH).

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