View Full Version : Swiss Faction Thread

05-20-2005, 20:47
The purpose of this thread is to hold information about the Swiss faction.

Leaders names


05-20-2005, 20:47

Flag of Berne

Flag of uri

Flags of the confederation (http://www.shipmate.nl/schweiz.htm)






Membership of the Swiss confederation and year of joining

In 1291, the cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden conspired against the Habsburgs. Their union is recorded in the Federal Charter, a document probably written after the fact, in the 14th century. At the battles of Morgarten in 1315 and Sempach 1386, the Swiss defeated the Habsburg army and secured a de facto independence.

By 1353, the three original cantons had been joined by the cantons of Glarus and Zug and the city states of Lucerne, Zürich and Berne, forming the "Old Federation" of eight states that persisted during much of the 15th century, although Zürich was expelled from the confederation during the 1440s due to a conflict over the territory of Toggenburg (the Old Zürich War), and led to a significant increase of power and wealth of the federation, in particular due to the victories over Charles the Bold of Burgundy during the 1470s, and the success of the Swiss mercenaries.

The traditional listing order of the cantons of Switzerland reflects this state, listing the eight "Old Cantons" first, with the city states preceding the founding cantons, followed by cantons that joined the federation after 1481, in historical order.

1291 Uri
1291 Schwyz
1291 Unterwalden
1332 Lucerne
1351 Zurich
1352 Zug
1352 Glarus
1353 Berne

05-20-2005, 20:47
Background Info/ Army makeup

One of the major factors contributing towards the military effectiveness of the Swiss was the ability of the confederation to put a great number of men swiftly into the field. This was greatly facilitated by the introduction of conscription around the middle of the 15th century. So during the existance of teh eight Cantons some 54,000 men could be put into the field.

There were three categories of soldiers:

The Auszug - Elite corps comprising of the younger, usually unmarried men aged between eighteen and thirty.
The Landwehr - Formed from the older men who would be prepared to leave home if the need arose
The Landsturn - equivalent of the mass Levy, and was resorted to only in times of general emergency.

By mid 15th century the confederation battle formation was characterized by three columns

The Vorhut (van) - Generally either formed the largest or second largest unit of the battle formation. It had the bulk of handgunners and crossbows, either between the ranks of pike which formed the outer shell or as a wing. Sometimes the vorhut would be despatched to carry out reconnaissance or engineering work
Gewalthut (centre) - Usually the largest unit in the Swiss formation it is was here that the confederation banner would be found encircled by a forest of halberds. The Nucleus was then in turn surrounded by a wall of pike
Nachhut (rear) often had the role of supporting the centre, but would have the role of advancing as a wing as at Morat

It is generally accepted that the swiss battle formation was for three columns to advance in echelon with the van making for a predetermined point in the enemy line while the centre advanced parallel but slightly to the left or right rear of the van. The rear followed the centre in a similar formation, although when battle was engaged it would often halt before a decision was made to commit it.

Potential Unit


Therefore I would suggest the following units

Auszug Halberdiers - Elite halberdiers are extremely well trained and disciplined. Although only lightly armoured, they are effective against most enemies. the halberds can inflict heavy casualties against even heavily armoured infantry opponents
Auszug Pikemen - Elite pike are very effect against cavalry. The first four ranks of any pike unit can fight and horses will not charge into a wall of pike. the professionalism of this elite unit makes it highly regarded, but its solid formation can make it an easy pray for missile fire
Landwehr Halberdiers - With an obsession of defending themselves, even older members of the swiss community would be prepared to leave home if the need arose. These were considered as a reserve unit but could still punch a nasty blow.
Landwehr Pikemen - Using a pike which could be up to 4 meters long taking training, once trained even the oldest of the community could still have a part to play inf the need arose.
Landsturn Halberdiers - During times of general emergency teh local levy would be called out to do service, this were the least well trained and armoured of any swiss Halberdier unit
Landsturn Pikemen - During times of general emergency the local levy would be called out to do service, this were the least well trained and armoured of any swiss Pike unit.
Swordsmen - The Swiss favoured the longsword as their melee weapon of choice, they would be used in conjunction with either an halberdiers or pike formation.
Handguns - common unit
Crossbowmen - common unit

So we could split this into the three categories and also by city if we wanted.

06-03-2005, 21:05
So the question is what flag do we use, and are you all happy with the units ?

06-03-2005, 21:58
You could use the HRE warflag for switzerland. It is a red flag with a centered white cross extenting to the edges (just like the old danish naval flag).

While the cantons of the Swiss Confederation went to war flying their individual banners, they soon recognised the need for a common recognition sign, and as early as 1339 at the battle of Laupen, troops wore a long-armed narrow white linen cross stitched on their breasts, sleeves and thighs. Soon afterwards, cantonal detachment started putting this white cross on their cantonal banners. Besides its familiar bear flag, powerful Bern had a red over black guidon, and white cross on the red part of their banner became a major sign of recognition. At the battle of Arbedo in 1422 and quite regularly thereafter, mixed levies from more than one Canton carried red triangular guidons with a white cross. (from http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ch.html)

06-03-2005, 22:09
You could use the HRE warflag for switzerland. It is a red flag with a centered white cross extenting to the edges (just like the old danish naval flag).

Thanks for the info, I had not realised that the flag was that old.